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2-way transparency

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ThatGuyNoMore posted 4/25/2014 08:28 AM

My question is about transparency.

As a wayward, part of my healing process is to submit to total transparency. No more secrets. No hiding phone calls, emails, texts. No secret accounts or online personas. No deleting browser history. My BS has helped herself to my journal where I struggle through a lot of the "why" questions I have. She will probably read this post. I have no expectation of privacy anymore. I view my transparency as a good thing for her because it builds trust over time, and for me because it keeps me from even thinking I could go back to that secret double-life. I do this willingly and even enthusiastically because it's the one thing I can do to prove that I'm behaving. Plainly it's the right thing to do.

My question is, shouldn't the BS be just as open? Now let me first say that I respect my BS's need for private conversations with her supportive community. I don't begrudge her that at all. What I am concerned about is some of the secretive behaviors that leave me feeling nervous--hiding browsers, sudden trips in the night, etc. It looks too much like what I used to do, and I was covering up a lot of bad stuff. Please note that I do not suspect my BS is becoming wayward herself. Secrecy just feels wrong to me now. I have come to believe that transparency is a healthy thing for both partners, and a lack of transparency builds walls between partners, preventing healing (Not Just Friends, Shirley Glass). I've said to her that I feel there should be no secrets between us. How much should I press her on this? I have no moral standing here, obviously, and I'm afraid of creating conflict, but I believe this is an important point.

Thoughts? Am I off base? Am I looking at this in the wrong way? BS's I'd like to hear your perspective too.

wifehad5 posted 4/25/2014 08:38 AM

Eventually yes. Barely a month from d-day? Probably not. The average BS is still reeling and has no trust. They need to protect themselves.

Have you asked her where she goes at night?

[This message edited by SI Staff at 8:40 AM, April 25th (Friday)]

Aceofbase posted 4/25/2014 08:39 AM

So she is leaving the house and not telling you where she is going and when she will be back? I think you just need to ask. I do not think it is too much to ask. I think it is just two people communicating.

As far as phone and texting I think she has a right to private conversations there. Maybe she is venting and gaining perspective from her friends.

tired girl posted 4/25/2014 08:44 AM

My H and I are mad hatters, meaning we have both cheated. I can tell you that I believe that in the long run, yes, both need to be transparent. However, shortly after my last Dday, I was not being transparent with him. My phone had a password on it and I told him not to read my email. This was because I was communicating things with my friends that I did not want him reading. He had lost his rights into my life at that point. Just as you have lost yours right now. Trips in the night, maybe she is going for a drive to get away from you. Ask her. Don't assume because you did this, that this is what she will do. That is wayward thinking on your part. It is called projecting.

cdnmommy posted 4/25/2014 08:56 AM

Thoughts? Am I off base? Am I looking at this in the wrong way? BS's I'd like to hear your perspective too.

I believe in two-way transparency, and until my second DDay, I was an open book. I am again. However, when we entered real R, it took me months before I was willing to give up any privacy. Beyond a safety issue, which leaving late at night without explanation might be, I think it is too early for your BW. A compromise might be to ask her to make sure a friend you can reach knows her whereabouts in case anything happens.

To his credit, my H never pushed me on this. Over time I started to feel safe again and my need to protect myself abated. I never wrote down my passwords for my H, but I would if he asked, and all of my email accounts show up on our iPad, he has total access to my FB account (he deleted his), etc.

Having read a few of your threads, it feels to me like your expectations of your BW are very high at a very early stage. Gently, I think you are nervous because you are projecting your own behaviours and because you are afraid. I think letting go of trying to control the situation may be your best bet, and pressing your BW may demonstrate a lack of understanding for the pain you have inflicted.

ThatGuyNoMore posted 4/25/2014 09:36 AM

Thanks for all the responses.

Yes, I have asked her where she goes on her drives. She said she went out driving and needed to get away from me. If she needs a good, loud cry, she doesn't feel she can do that in the house because of the kids. I totally get that. But when she's gone for hours and hours, I know she's not driving all that time. She finally admitted she went to a friend's house for a while. Yes, yes, she needs a safe place to be, a safe place to unload. I don't need to know who it is. But why not tell me that's where she went in the first place? Why hide that?

Yes, I do think there's some projection going on in my head. I need to be very careful of that. I don't want to turn things around and blame her--that was part of my modus operandi prior to D-Day, and I definitely don't want to go there again. I see now that was so counterproductive to problem-solving and healing.

I do want her to feel safe, and she definitely doesn't feel that way around me most of the time, if not all the time. She doesn't trust me--and she has no reason to. She probably needs to keep her conversations confidential to protect herself. She doesn't want me to hurt her, and as long as she has these private places to go and private conversations, I can't hurt her there. I get that. I'm not interested in reading her emails and texts with friends. I'm concerned about secretive behavior. Now I see that this is just part of protecting herself from me, and it's to be expected, particularly at this stage.

So what you're saying is that, while 2-way transparency is the goal, it's not reasonable to expect that now given the newness of discovery. Ok.

Patience. Understanding. Keep her safe.


Aubrie posted 4/25/2014 09:38 AM

2-way transparency

D-Day 3/5/14

Nope. Not yet. You said yourself, she is not exhibiting wayward behaviors. If she is NOT giving you a reason not to trust her, why push the issue this early? Yes. Transparency is very important in a healthy relationship. And should your wife decide to R, that bridge will have to be crossed. However for the time being, your hands should be very busy with fixing what you broke and digging for your whys.

Is it that secrecy feels wrong to you, or you don't like loss of control?

ThatGuyNoMore posted 4/25/2014 10:10 AM

Insightful question, Aubrie. It's both.

Secrecy, as I have learned, builds walls of mistrust and prevents healing. But loss of control is also an issue that my counselor has raised in our sessions.

Doc: "What's it like to have no control over the situation?"
Me: "Well, it sucks."
Doc: "Now imagine how she feels..."

Her world has been turned completely upside-down. Having privacy gives her some small control over her very unstable life.

Without my knowledge of what's going on, I don't have control. I don't know what's going to happen. It's unsettling.

I should let her be and learn to let go. I should definitely not try to use transparency as a tool to regain some control. That would completely undermine healing and trust-building.

Transparency will come with time if R is the direction we take, which I hope it is. Being pushy would take things in the wrong direction.

I really appreciate all the feedback on here from everyone.

Bobbi_sue posted 4/25/2014 10:28 AM

My question is, shouldn't the BS be just as open?
I think through the years, the major consensus on this forum is transparency should be two-way; however I (as a BS) disagree in most instances. If she is doing something specific to make you no trust her, then I think you need to go further in finding out what she is up to.

But my take is that my H gave up his right to privacy for the rest of our lives. In fact he said this himself when he asked me to give him another chance. He said I could have all access to passwords, his phone, computer, pockets, vehicles, check up on him at work anywhere, any time for the rest of our lives and it would not bother him. Not that I check up on him often, there are a few times something comes up and he still states I can check up any time, any place and he will continue to be an open book with his phone and pc, etc. It has been 8 years for us.

I have not given him any of my passwords and I don't plan to. I have given him no reason to be suspicious of me. I don't really feel the same way about absolute "transparency" in marriage and feel that having some privacy can actually be healthy. I would still allow my H that "healthy" privacy if there had been no A. My H also never asks me for passwords nor does he imply that I am not entitled to any such privacy.

Aubrie posted 4/25/2014 10:34 AM

I should let her be and learn to let go. I should definitely not try to use transparency as a tool to regain some control. That would completely undermine healing and trust-building.

Transparency will come with time if R is the direction we take, which I hope it is. Being pushy would take things in the wrong direction.


In the meanwhile, change what you *can* control. You.

You're worth it.

SpotlessMind posted 4/25/2014 11:32 AM

I believe in two-way transparency (and good thing too, since my husband projected during his affairs and had installed a keylogger, checked my history, email accounts, etc, during the time he was cheating. I was surprised when I found out, but shrugged it off pretty quickly.)

I guess personally, I don't believe in asking something of my spouse that I would be unwilling to give myself. But my personal motto is also that I won't say something about a friend/spouse/etc to a third party that I would not say to their face. Caveat: yes, I'm sure I said upsetting things to close friends after DDay about my husband, and if he listened in he might be hurt--but it was nothing he didn't already know. So he knew to proceed with caution, probably, when checking.

That all said--and I think this is where the newness of your DDay comes in--if your wife suspects you are still TTing or hiding things or in the fog, all bets are off. You are a threat and as such, it makes sense that she would want to take steps to protect herself.

Two way transparency is for remorseful spouses and their BS and healthy spouses. You have to work your way there.

soosorrymom posted 4/25/2014 13:35 PM

I can completely relate . 4 months from DDay2 and I'm working my ass off on helping my BH heal and be transparent .
Trying to communicate about everything .
He however has changed all his passwords and locked his phone . He told me he never had a need to do that before but now needs to protect himself . At first it didn't bother me until I started noticing the odd behavior that I recognized so well.
Turns out I was right to be suspicious as he is now on mad hatter path .
Texting other women and even joined a dating site.
He has admitted both to me saying he wanted to know what it felt like.

I have been struggling with knowing what I did and that I shouldn't say anything to him, but also feel if I'm working on transparancy for R he should as well . Although he does say I can ask anything I just can't have access.

Give her time but watch closely . Long road ahead .

islesguy posted 4/25/2014 14:44 PM

My BS was never secretive at all and is now. She feels like she needs to protect herself and I don't blame her for feeling this way. I have a long way to go to earn her transparency back which may never happen.

cindergirl posted 4/25/2014 17:26 PM

This soon, I agree with space and understanding. For the long haul, I believe secrecy on either side will spell the death of the relationship. Secrecy breeds mistrust and drives away intimacy. (I know from experience. My BP was secretive long before I was unfaithful. I never trusted him and I became a secretive person, too. And now look at the mess we're in. Ha.)

william posted 4/26/2014 07:12 AM

im a bs.

my wife had multiple affairs with many people, in many different ways, over a 2 year period.

after d-day 2 i demanded and got total transparency from her. phone, emails, location, friends, what she is doing, plans - you name it.

i also granted her total transparency - with 2 exceptions. the SI forum i told her i had a forum but not its name and only let her know the sites name a couple of months later, i needed a safe place without her. an email conversation in facebook with my best friend. ive asked her not to open it. i guess she could, she has the PW to the site.

but i think transparency runs BOTH ways. it has too. however, if there is something that isnt transparant then it should be discussed - "hey, ive got a forum i go to" or "i talk to friend X about all this" and i wont tell you the name of the forum and/or ask you not to ask about or read convos with this person ... everything else is open. the areas a BS places outside of transparency should be clearly labelled as such, in my opinion. its not okay to say you be an open book but i wont be - tis not healthy.

LostTime posted 4/27/2014 11:12 AM

As a WS I totally understand I no longer deserve privacy.

But what happens when there are things that my BS does that seriously trigger my trust issues and she won't discuss it at all and says I'm being abusive for asking her or treating her the way I should be treated.

I understand I have no rights to where she goes for her "appointments" or any of that but this bothers me to my core:

She has a friend or IMHO a 'friend', male friend. I discovered the constant texting on the phone account because it is in my name and was dealing with a billing issue at the time. Texting for hours until 2, 3am sometimes. I called the number and it was a guy's voice. So I asked her about it/him. She said I was being silly and he's just a friend. She said at the time he's not looking for a relationship and neither am I. Yet later, it comes out that he wanted to meet her and have sex with her and she considered it.

Well 2+ years later she still talks to him, there was a recent late night face time audio when she was in Florida with my daughter visiting her parents.

It drives me crazy and I know I don't deserve to feel this way after everything I've done to betray and hurt her.

I try not to think about it, but I can't stop thinking about it. My IC said it's an EA, but I argued the fact that my BS said we're separated she can do whatever she wants with whoever she wants. Time doesn't make this one any easier to deal with.

soosorrymom posted 4/27/2014 15:04 PM

Lost time .. I am in se situation . I try to ignore but it is making me crazy . So much so I have now had to go on meds for depression .
I can't Imagine how I made him feel but I also think for us to move forward we both have to transparent .
I'm trying to give him space an time but the late night constant texts are very hard to swallow

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