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KatyDo posted 12/4/2013 15:12 PM

I posted here before and now a similar situation has come up. H is a health professional and sometimes becomes friends with other professionals. When i found out about the EA he said he didn't want to set up situations with other women socially like he did before. However because he works one-on-one with clients as part of his work, and becomes collegial with other professionals, it gets very awkward for me because they trade services...So today he had such a situation and it was out of town. I said I was upset about it but he reassured me. Then I was feeling queasy about it and phoned him a few hours later. He was still there after a few hours and he had a commitment back in town which is volunteer but I felt he should be honouring his commitments instead of just deciding to spend the whole day with this colleague. I told him over the phone I wasn't okay with this being an all-day thing. He emphasized he was with a colleague, and I said I felt like he was lying, at which he got angry. Then he said he had to go so he could make it back in town for the volunteering. We left it at that and imagine there will be heavy discussions about this later.

Yikes and yuck! I feel very tearful and can't concentrate at work. Trying to hold it together because I don't want to dump on MY colleagues lol. He was always one to have female friends, some of which I am okay with, but he doesn't seem to know the boundaries, and then it's like he's found this loophole by having a colleague with whom he's developing a friendship. I know she's married, but these days that means squat apparently.

What should I say to him, and how do I frame this?

Stats:
H had an EA for 2 years, I discovered it online, serial flirtations
DD Spring 2013

Rebreather posted 12/4/2013 15:22 PM

Our agreement was no friends of the opposite sex. Extreme. And works really well.

There have been some blips and it was a work in progress. My FWH is one of those who is friends with everyone. People love him. (I see this shocks no one).

No personal conversations with female coworkers.
No joking via text with female coworkers
No one on one time with other women (lunches, etc)

The LAST THING your spouse should be doing right now is forming a new friendship. At the very least, all his effort and energy should be focused on you regardless of the "opposite sex" rule.

cl131716 posted 12/4/2013 16:37 PM

I agree with Rebreather. My WS also had an EA with a co-worker. As a result, we now have a rule he is not to discuss anything with female co-workers that does not involve work. NOT ONE THING. Absolutely no discussing personal issues, theirs or his. He is to politely decline such conversations.

Your WS's reaction was wrong. He shouldn't be getting angry at your hesitation. He should be giving you reassurance.

RidingHealingRd posted 12/4/2013 16:51 PM

I know she's married, but these days that means squat apparently.

^^^Like many others, my WH had an affair with a MOW w/children. You're right, it means squat!

He emphasized he was with a colleague

^^^Like many others, my WH had an affair with a colleague...means squat

I said I felt like he was lying, at which he got angry

^^^Angry? REALLY? That's not remorseful.

he doesn't seem to know the boundaries

^^^Don't let him off so easily. He does know the boundaries he just does not want to follow them.

What should I say to him, and how do I frame this?

-Establish ground rules.

-Discuss rules and come to an agreement but DO NOT settle.

-Have him read: How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair.
(and any other material he can find to guide him down the path of TRUE R)

-Let him know that you have no tolerance for his anger when it comes to his infidelity and your lack of trust in him.

OR you could do what I did on Dday:

Set the rules and let him know that if he did not like it he could get the *bleeep* out.

^^^I never wavered...ever. I have spent the past 3+ years with a model WH who has dedicated every day to making it right. He absolutely understood that I would not tolerate anything less.


[This message edited by RidingHealingRd at 4:52 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)]

bionicgal posted 12/4/2013 16:57 PM

Agree with rebreather - no friends of the opposite sex -- Period. No personal conversations with female co-workers, or (my H's downfall) private personal conversations with female 'friends of the family.' (Who turns out -- really wasn't a friend of the family.)

And since he's a wayward - double no way!!


[This message edited by bionicgal at 4:58 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)]

Sammy2013 posted 12/4/2013 17:01 PM

Yeah, you guys need to sit and have a very hard, honest discussion.

Like everyone else, we have a strict no friends of the opposite sex. He needs to respect your boundaries. Getting angry is a red flag for me.

My WH's AP was also married with kids, a work colleague, and a "friend" he shared things with. When I voiced my concern for this friendship he got angry. Blame shifting to get the attention off of him. Classic tactic. Actually got angry at me for calling him out when I found him in another city (her city) on the other side of the country (thanks find your IPad app). Said he did it to protect me because he knew it would upset me and didn't want to cause me grief. Whatever, he slept with her for the second time on that trip. But there I was apologizing to him.

I used to be ok with female friends. Now, not going to happen. At all.

KatyDo posted 12/4/2013 18:12 PM

Thank you so much for all your replies - they are helping me get through the day. So...here's what he's likely to say back to me:

I'm lonely I have no friends (my suggestion: group settings?)
I've always only or "mainly" had female friends (me: you can't form good boundaries)
(He takes care of his mum also) the stress is driving me crazy I need an outlet. (Me: Get a healthy outlet)
You should trust me (Me: demonstrate trustworthiness)

How do I counter that stuff? Are my suggestions on the right track?

Rebreather posted 12/4/2013 18:26 PM

I think your responses are right on.

If he has no male friends; why? He needs to address that. There is likely a reason (ie, he devotes more time to being friends with women because he likes the ego stroking he gets from it). If he needs to talk to someone, he should talk to you! Duh. You are his life partner, you can fill up all kinds of needs. Or, get an IC. He needs to learn to self soothe, instead of using all these crutches.

If he hasn't read Not Just Friends, he needs to. I find it very helpful in understanding and evaluating boundaries. SO MANY affairs start from friendships. We have to really watch ourselves. (Now I'm all "you better check yo'self before you wreck yo'self!)

KatyDo posted 12/4/2013 19:16 PM

He is in IC and admitted some reasons to me why he avoids men as friends at DD. I think he is on the wrong path with this behaviour. I will definitely post how things go.

NoGoodUsername posted 12/4/2013 19:36 PM

I'm a wayward who has always had friendships with women. I want to say right out that your husband is doing this wrong.

By virtue of sharing a workplace, having experiences to bond over that have nothing to do with you and being alone with them, he is playing with fire.

For the sake of argument, let's say that his intentions are good. I argue that good intentions are not enough! By allowing circumstances to exist that make it easy to start crossing boundaries it will be so easy for innocent things to become not innocent. That slow accumulation of circumstance in sharing work, experiences, points of view, it lets the walls and windows be rearranged before you even really notice it. Your husband is already a wayward and has demonstrated habits of bad boundaries and crossing lines. He needs to embrace the idea of controlling his environment so he never gets the chance to have temptation override cognition.

KatyDo posted 12/4/2013 21:21 PM

Arghhhhhhhh!!!! So tonight I get home from work and find a *Christmas card* from this new colleague/friend placed for me to find. He must have brought it home from his visit (she works out of her home). It is her happy family. How effing wonderful. I am so angry I could spit or cry - but I don't want to yell because it wrecks my voice. H is out - taken his mother out to a planned event. When I sounded tearful on the phone saying I was not comfortable with what he was doing he must have totally not gotten it. I'm so angry!!!

KatyDo posted 12/4/2013 23:17 PM

I talked with H and told him I was upset - he didn't offer any comment about our tearful conversation earlier in the day and sort of acted like it hadn't happened. In fact he was all ready to get into bed. But we did start talking. I said I was upset and why. He said some hurtful things: like I needed to see someone because there was something wrong with me. He also got angry and said he couldn't not be friends with colleagues.

I said he was breaking his promise not to cultivate one-on-one friendships with women, regardless of whether they were colleagues or not. Also that it was a similar set up to the situations where he had strayed or been inappropriate before. I kept calm and didn't yell - my voice is too precious to me to risk. By the end he said he understood why I would feel the way I did. Also I pointed out that he had talked about the situation with this colleague, and felt better about it, but he didn't bother to check in on me - which was a problem. He said he would think about it then got mad when I said "you do that. good night" and started to head upstairs. I guess that sounded a bit snide - but I held onto my dignity for most of it. What a horrible night.

Lovedyoumore posted 12/4/2013 23:28 PM

The fact that he must have discussed it with the woman makes this a big red flag. He should not be discussing his personal life with her at all, especially your discomfort with him being with her. Your marriage issues are none of her business. He has crossed a boundary.

This sounds so familiar. It did not end well.

KatyDo posted 12/5/2013 07:07 AM

Thanks for that response - I feel he has too. His explanation for the situation was that she wanted to be friends with us as a couple - and that he didn't do anything wrong. (God knows what he must have been doing before). But his sharing about my discomfort shows me he is considering her as a confidante. Who the hell is this person to know about my feelings and my marriage?!?

I'm so glad to have this site for support - and for others to help me sort this out. I especially like hearing people describe how they see things - because I have a hard time articulating my own boundaries and standing up for myself. But somewhere inside me I can find my instincts and then try to live according to them.

KatyDo posted 12/5/2013 12:09 PM

As an update - h says he will keep his promise not to cultivate friendships with women - no matter the context.

TennisTC posted 12/5/2013 12:23 PM

Definitely second reading "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass. It was extremely helpful to my WH and I.

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