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NC with people who don't know why

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Jovie posted 4/3/2014 08:49 AM

I have several groups of friends/acquaintances I've gone NC with after DDay. One group in particular has been rough for me. I feel like I've even posted about it before and probably gotten good advice, but again, I just feel at a loss of what to do.

It's a group of four girls I used to run with. I'd see a variation of them probably 2-3 times a week over the past 2 years or so. One of them is loosely acquainted with AP, so I've cut ties with all of them. It's not really possible to stay friends with the rest and avoid contact with this one in particular. We used to have an on-going (pretty much daily ramblings) group text that I stopped responding to, but was still receiving texts from, so I e-mailed them all to say I was going through some personal stuff, busy with work, etc, so to please take me off the group text. They have, and since then I've gotten maybe 1 or 2 texts or emails from each of them asking how I'm doing, saying they miss me, etc. The last one, I ignored completely. And then I just got another "how are you" email today from a different girl.

I know I don't need these girls in my life, and BH is more important to me than they are. I do feel like an asshole though, to just cut them out with no real explanation, and I do miss the companionship, even though it was superficial. I just have to keep ignoring right? And not worry if they think I'm an asshole? There's no other way that I'm not thinking of, right?

Edited to add - Also, I guess this part really makes me an asshole, but the relationship between AP and the one girl is so far removed, it's hard for me to rationalize that NC is necessary. So that makes it even harder for me. Obviously, if its necessary for BH, then it is necessary. But part of me still feels like it is a slight overreaction.

[This message edited by Jovie at 8:52 AM, April 3rd (Thursday)]

splitintwo posted 4/3/2014 09:10 AM

Did BH ask you to have NC with these girls? If not, what's your real motivation for going NC? A relationship between one of them & AP that's "a stretch" doesn't seem like a sufficient reason. The concept of nixing relationships with my girlfriends after an A is foreign to me, especially if those conversations had zero to do with the A/AP.

Jovie posted 4/3/2014 09:20 AM

Did BH ask you to have NC with these girls?

Yes, he did. Otherwise I think I would still remain in contact with them, minimally through text and email. Although it has been difficult for me to spend time with girlfriends in general since DDay, and I have not ran or done any exercise at all since DDay. I used to work out 6 days a week.

And I feel the need to further clarify the relationship so it doesn't seem like I'm minimizing. AP is a friend of a friend of my girlfriend's boyfriend. So AP would never be in any conversations at all. We all did a race once that required an overnight stay. But going forward I don't plan on doing any overnight races without BH pretty much ever again, even if it would be girls only. I just don't think I would feel comfortable. Or at least not for a long time.

splitintwo posted 4/3/2014 09:28 AM

Damn. Since BH asked for NC, you may be stuck.

But this is hugely unhealthy from an outsider's POV, especially the line about not working out. That is going to kill your mental health. Get back to it ASAP.

If you weren't talking to them about PA or your relationship with BH, I don't see the need. Unless you used the relationship with the group to further your A, like using that overnight race to have a PA, or somesuch. At that point, then yes, I can see cutting the ties to any tool you used to facilitate an A. But if you did the overnight stay for the race & did not have a PA while you were there, then it feels like it's over-reaching to say "you can't have friends."

[This message edited by splitintwo at 9:30 AM, April 3rd (Thursday)]

Aceofbase posted 4/3/2014 09:45 AM

Are these friends .. friends of your marriage?

MindMonkey posted 4/3/2014 09:54 AM

As a BH in similar scenerio (I suppose) I can support your BH request, even if there was no AP connection.

I asked my wife to do the same because it was a trigger for me and fed her "broken". That may or may not be your case, but I wonder what your BH thinks.

My FWW worked out 6 times a week and without intentionally trying, sort of created a second life independent of me. It didn't bother me at the time as I was so busy with work, but that lifestyle led to her A. She was working out for internal and external validation and it became a monster that she had to feed.

So after DDay, she stopped completely. But that created it's own mess because she didn't like the way she felt about herself. Even though she didn't put on any weight, the loss of muscle tone and energy was eating at her.

She's back to 4-5 days a week now, but no more than an hour, at a time that doesn't conflict with family commitments, and by herself (and music). I try to run with her once a week. It seems to work. I wouldn't mind if she got involved with a new group as long as she doesn't feed the monster. But that old group...too much of a trigger for me.

splitintwo posted 4/3/2014 10:00 AM

That's an interesting POV, MindMonkey. I would have never viewed it like that, as I'm one who intentionally carries too much weight because losing it makes me anxious.

So, it really does come down to what's the real motivation....

Jovie posted 4/3/2014 10:08 AM

My FWW worked out 6 times a week and without intentionally trying, sort of created a second life independent of me. It didn't bother me at the time as I was so busy with work, but that lifestyle led to her A. She was working out for internal and external validation and it became a monster that she had to feed.

This is exactly me.

But that created it's own mess because she didn't like the way she felt about herself. Even though she didn't put on any weight, the loss of muscle tone and energy was eating at her.

And this too... (except I'm fairly sure I've gained weight!)

We're leaving for vacation this Saturday, and then once we get back I hope to start running again. I have another friend I can run with, but we usually all end up at the same park, which would be incredibly awkward if I happen to run into any of them from the old group. Ugh.

I do think that whole lifestyle is probably a trigger for BH though.

I don't think that they are NOT friends of the marriage, but I guess they aren't exactly FOM either, even though they don't even know it or intend it, if that makes sense.

I was hoping at some point down the line BH would feel comfortable again, but at this point, it seems like even if he said he was, it would probably make me uncomfortable anyway.

[This message edited by Jovie at 10:11 AM, April 3rd (Thursday)]

splitintwo posted 4/3/2014 10:17 AM

Since you're saying that's you, Jovie, I vote for going with this for as long as is necessary:

She's back to 4-5 days a week now, but no more than an hour, at a time that doesn't conflict with family commitments, and by herself (and music).

That gives you the mental health benefits regular exercise without the second life, internal/external validation aspects.

Jovie posted 4/3/2014 10:21 AM

MindMonkey, did your FWW say anything to her old group or just stop seeing them and talking to them abruptly? Did she deal with any follow up questions?

I guess I know what I need to do, but logistically, it becomes difficult for me each time they reach out, and makes me depressed and pity myself and questioning it all over again.

landabear posted 4/3/2014 10:41 AM

Have you asked your BH what he'd like for you to do about their texts?

You might, with his help, draft a standard reply email that you can send once to each person, the next time they reach out to you. It's really up to you and your BH how much information it holds and how it reads, but would need to be clear that you are going through an intense part of your life and as such, won't be communicating with them any longer. PLease and thank you, thanks for reaching out, appreciate the concern, have a great life. That kind of thing.

I have another friend I can run with, but we usually all end up at the same park,

This one is easy: *Intentionally* end up at a different park. Change your route.

steadfast1973 posted 4/3/2014 10:42 AM

(no stop sign, I hope it's ok) Did these ladies know about the A? Did they encourage behaviors that led to the A? Will they open doors of communication to the AP?

There are people I have asked my fWH to go NC with because, while nothing happened between them, they were either connected to the AP, someone with bad boundaries themselves... or just not friends of the M. Of course, I have also gone NC with people for the same reason.

ReunitePangea posted 4/3/2014 11:40 AM

Jovie - BH here, I remember your other post on this topic a while back because I related to this type of situation. From reading your posts now it seems you have come a long way to improving things for you and your M.

My WW had a sport activity that she was in that was connected to her A. While the sport was where she connected originally to her AP, the current group she played with really were not connected at all. As a BH, it was still a trigger for me and I needed to her to take a time out from this activity.

When you post that you were working out 6 times a week, I relate to that as well. My WW was coming and going so often for all of her activities it had my head spinning. When I found out about her A on top of this no activity that she did felt safe for me. The majority of her activities were actually not A related but I had no reference from what was a made-up activity to cover for the A versus one that was legit. I needed a major time out from it all of it to get a frame of reference back that I felt safe.

I understand that logically it may not make sense for you to have to give up these friends if they don't have anything directly to do with the A. However, it is about making your BH feel safe. Have you asked him if there is a way that you can resume a workout schedule which he would feel safe with?

My WW does play her sport again, we are 1 1/2 years past dday. It was a gradual process to make that happen.

Jovie posted 4/3/2014 11:54 AM

ReunitePangea - Yes, I remember your post! I don't know why I let myself go through this cycle. It seems that I know what I need to do but I am still thinking selfishly and not letting go. The funny thing is, even if I were given the green light by BH, I still think it would just feel funny going back to my "normal" routine.

Have you asked your BH what he'd like for you to do about their texts?

He would like me to ignore and not feel bad about it.

Did these ladies know about the A? Did they encourage behaviors that led to the A? Will they open doors of communication to the AP?

No, no, and no.

Thank you everyone who responded. Talking it out does seem to help, even if I talk myself into circles.

ReunitePangea posted 4/3/2014 12:06 PM

He would like me to ignore and not feel bad about it.

In the long run that will not solve the conflict. I remember shortly after DDay saying to my WW she could not go to an event that she had. It was a test really, I needed to know where her values were at. Was her activities more important than her marriage. That was early, I realized that was not going to work in the long run. I needed to let my wife do things that make her happy - it was about finding a compromise so that I didn't trigger while she was gone.

It may be that your BH needs you to find a new group of friends to work out with though. Discussing it rather than ignoring it will allow you to work out each of your issues with the topic. Wishing it will go away will not do anything as this is an important issue for you. You will need to be flexible with it though.

bionicgal posted 4/3/2014 12:10 PM

My H had to give up his early morning group gym classes (that he had gone to forever) because of the connection with the AP to them. (She had gone a couple of years.) AP works at the gym, so it was understandable that he not go there, but the group exercise classes were triggery -- because he, like you described, had sort of set up an alternate life away from home.

I was always a gym-goer too, but b/c we had a kid we didn't go together. Now that DS is 10, he can be left at home for short periods, or he goes with us and hangs out there. We do all the stuff together now, and I am healthier and happier, and H still gets his workouts in. I know he misses his early morning gym time, but that is over for now.

So, I don't know if that helps -- it isn't completely clear to me why you have to go NC with this group if there is really no NC with the AP. There is a difference in honoring NC and honoring triggers. At some point, triggers need to be dealt with and reclaimed, in my experience. I mean, the treadmill was triggery for me, but I chose to get over it rather than say "no treadmills!"

steadfast1973 posted 4/3/2014 13:14 PM

I still think it would just feel funny going back to my "normal" routine.

I think you answered your own question.

MindMonkey posted 4/3/2014 13:56 PM

MindMonkey, did your FWW say anything to her old group or just stop seeing them and talking to them abruptly? Did she deal with any follow up questions?

I'm sure this is where our stories diverge. We moved about 5000 miles away from that place and I didn't learn of the second A until after the move. My trigger though was that she was still connected to this life through FB, and VERY much communicated with some of these ladies. FB was a huge factor in the A anyway (where AP made first contact and where they IM'd all night).

Of course she dropped and blocked certain friends, but the reminders of her life she built without me were still there. Eventually I told her everytime one of those women, who I never even met, commented on her posts like they were besties made me sad. Sad because for six months she was blistfully enjoying her life while I was doing my absolute best for the good of the entire family. By this time she was out of the fog and understood.

Sadly, these women probably would have been great friends of marriage. One of my wife's biggest shames is knowing how these woman would have chewed her butt if they know she was cheating on her H.

If one google's my wife's name (not entirely common) the first link that shows up is a before/after expose done by a regional fitness organization. Something she was so proud of once, she looks at with contempt.

homefront posted 4/3/2014 14:04 PM

Maybe you should take these feelings and turn them into something productive in your self-healing. Part of my "rebuild" with FWH was that we started working out together -- even when I was FURIOUS with him, we went to the gym and ran it out (or lifted it out...or whatever). Somedays we chatted on the elliptical, other days I couldn't even stand on the treadmill beside him, but the whole process was invaluable. It gave us a new "us" thing we hadn't had before that wasn't related to our old marriage, created positive feelings/memories, and the health and mood benefits are fantastic too!

As someone consistently athletic, I think you need to get back at it. I would block/filter the means these girls contact you -- not because of them, but because this cycle isn't working for you. Then I would pick a totally new "path" -- with your spouse, or alone. Maybe a fitness class/sport you want to try. Personally I don't like running alone as I spend too much time in my own head which I find depressing and anxious, but if its your "happy place", find it again in a way which is comfortable for both of you.

ResoluteH posted 4/3/2014 16:33 PM

Jovie,

steadfast1973 asked about your friends,

Did they encourage behaviors that led to the A?

Very good question. Note that the "encouragement" doesn't have to be at all explicit or overt. It can simply be that their lifestyles (e.g., if they're single and dating around) or your conversations with them (critizing spouses or significant others) made it easier for you to have an affair.

Another way to put it is whether your friends are "friends of the marriage"? Does being around them help your marriage? If the answer is no, even if being around them doesn't actually harm your marriage, I'd say defer to your BS's wishes, even if it makes you feel disloyal to your friends. If the answer is yes, that being around them actually helps your marriage and makes it easier for you to stay faithful, then talk to your BS about it.

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