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User Topic: What do you think of Boundaries?
deceivedx1000
♀ 39618
Member # 39618
Default  Posted: 4:11 PM, April 28th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


How do you all feel about boundaries? My husband and I are in reconciliation after his skype affair with his ex-wife (who lives overseas). He has always been a flirt and enjoys looking at women. He justifies his looking by saying that at least he is honest and looks when I am with him and lets me know (“oh, look at that one”, etc.) He states that all men look at women, just that some of them sneak the look or look when their wives are not around. He sees absolutely nothing wrong with looking, just that he is appreciating “beauty” and that he is not being sneaky about it.

He has also enjoyed many friendships with women. All of his life (even during his first marriage) he has gone to coffee with colleagues, etc. We have only been together for four years and I told him I thought it was a strange concept but as long as he asked me first and we agreed to when and where it was OK. There was only one woman I told him he could not go to coffee with: “Jane”. I know she is his “theme” for masturbation – he told me this when he confessed his skype affair with the ex. I demanded complete transparency about everything (including his themes, and he complied). She is his physical ideal – beautiful face and body and very sexy. He sees her occasionally in the community or at work (maybe every three months or so) and she is his friend on facebook. I know he looks at her photos at least twice a week – probably more (I check his search history). Occasionally they email about some work/community issue and he will ask if he can go to coffee with “Jane” to discuss something or the other and I always say no, never.

Sometimes I feel like I should just let him meet her for coffee and get it out of his system – if he is going to cheat, let it happen already and we can move on. If he is not going to cheat, is there any harm? I get sick of being a policewoman of his boundaries. Other times, I read on this site about women who will not let their husbands even talk to other women, etc. and I think maybe it’s a good idea – don’t let him get tempted, why let him put their marriage in danger, etc. But shouldn’t they be guarding their boundaries themselves? Are we supposed to continue policing them for the rest of their lives? Don’t you get sick of it? I just get so frustrated with his infatuation of this woman, that I want it to stop (either by his seeing that she is not so great, or if he thinks she is “the one”, by doing something about it already). Does that make sense? What do you think?


Posts: 7 | Registered: Jun 2013
peoplepleaser
♀ 41535
Member # 41535
Default  Posted: 4:55 PM, April 28th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think boundaries are important. Someone who has betrayed is demonstrating the fact that they struggle with adhering to them. In that situation I would not be comfortable with his contact with any women. I would also find myself self-conscious about his "looking" and flirting. But that's me.

From everything I've read, I would caution you to consider his true "whys" for the cheating and what you need to heal. It seems that every couple gas their own journey and own comfort levels with boundaries. Policing IS exhausting. What can you live with? What do you need to rebuild trust?


WS: 39
BS: 39
DS: 6
9 year relationship
DDay #1: September 6, 2013 EA for 5 weeks August 2013 with TT
DDay #2: January 2, 2014 EA for 6 weeks summer 2011 with TT
"I am still learning." -Michelangelo

Posts: 927 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Midwest
confused615
♀ 30826
Member # 30826
Default  Posted: 5:04 PM, April 28th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I feel strong boundaries are needed for both,WS and BS, if a marriage is to survive infidelity.

I believe it is the job of the WS to make the BS feel safe. If you are not ok with his female friends, it is absolutely ok to tell him so. A remorseful WS will understand that while things may have "always been" a certain way, that many things will have to change after dday. Friends of the opposite sex are one of them. And a remorseful WS will do so willingly.

The friend that he is jacking it to? He needs to NC her. That he sees her occasionally...checks out her pics weekly..and has told you when he jacks off, it's HER he is thinking about?

If he wants to cheat, like you said, he has to stop himself. Telling him "no" won't stop him. But it's ok to tell him what you will and won't accept, and expect him to respect that. Don't look at it as policing him. Look at it as protecting yourself.


BS(me)42
FWH 45
4 kids
M: June 2001
D-Day: 8/10/10
Status: Reconciled.

..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.


Posts: 8084 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Indiana
foundoutlater
♂ 32900
Member # 32900
Default  Posted: 5:11 PM, April 28th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think agreed upon boundaries are essential to intimacy, safety and trust. Even open marriages have boundaries and sometimes suffer infidelity breaches due to boundary issues. What the boundaries are IMO are what a couple agrees on, what is right for the couple not necessarily what someone else says is normal or necessary.

My boundaries changed after DDay #2 (where was my backbone after DDay #1 IDK but I’m glad it grew in place). My boundaries are not ultimatums; they are what I need to be engaged in the M. I can’t feel safe, trust and build intimacy if the boundaries are not respected.

edit to add - I have never considered an open relationship

[This message edited by foundoutlater at 5:12 PM, April 28th (Monday)]


Your beliefs don’t make you a better person, your behavior does.

Posts: 1162 | Registered: Jul 2011
RomanticInnocenc
♀ 43041
Member # 43041
Default  Posted: 5:45 PM, April 28th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Having read your story and now this post I am a little surprised that you are accepting his current way of being with women. He crossed major marital boundaries with his xw, but tells you he has always been a flirt? He also tells you that he has sexuality fantasies about a woman and then asks you if he can go have coffee with her? I would explode. Protecting the marriage has to come from both parties, he has to want to protect it, protect you from further hurt from himself etc and it seems at the moment like he is actively trying to sabotage your marriage. At the end of the day though, boundaries are all about what YOU think is acceptable to you. If you think it is acceptable for him to go have coffee with other women, then that's fine. No you shouldn't have to police your boundaries, you aren't his warden, he should be respecting what you need and trying to actively show he has changed, and actively be showing that you are the only one he wants in his life. IMHO oogling women and sharing that he fantasizes about specific other women because he finds them to be ideal AND then wanting to go have coffee with said other woman is disrespectful to you and your marriage. But these opinions are from a snap shot of your life. Is he showing change etc in other ways? Is he actively trying to make you feel safe or just passively handing over passwords etc but continuing behaviour you are uncomfortable with?


Me: BS 31
WH: 29 (theseseatsRtaken)
DS: getting close to 1
Together 10 years, married 2.
DD1: 8th of Jan 2014
DD2: 10th of Jan 2014
NC: 8th of Jan
In hopeful R!

Posts: 429 | Registered: Apr 2014 | From: Australia
JustSoSad42
♀ 41711
Member # 41711
Default  Posted: 5:48 PM, April 28th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think it's up to you to let him know what is acceptable to you and what makes you feel uncomfortable when it comes to his interactions with other women. Then it is up to HIM to adhere to those boundaries in order to help you feel safe.

My husband and I have agreed that from now on when we are apart for his work, he will go out with friends to dinner, but not to bars or anywhere else after. And that he is not to have conversations with women past what's necessary to not be rude. (As in one word answers, not engaging them in conversation, etc). (His ONS was with a girl at a house party post-bar closing while we were apart for his job). So anyway, those are the things I told him I need from him in order to feel OK with him being gone, and it is his job to honor that. And he is OK with the new "rules" because he knows that he lost my trust because of what he did. And he knows he has a lot of work to do to earn it back.


BS: 26, SAHM
WH: 29. Together 10yrs, married 6
3 kids 3 and under
DDay 11/21/13 Husband had ONS Aug. 2013 while living across the country temporarily for work.

Posts: 82 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: United States
NaiveAgain
♀ 20849
Member # 20849
Default  Posted: 6:06 PM, April 28th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

How does his looking make you feel? How do you feel knowing he is using some other chick to masturbate to? And he is friends with her and looks at her picture frequently? What is most important is how his actions make YOU feel. And how he reacts when you tell him your feelings.

I agree that I don't want to police my guy the rest of my life, but after his EA's, I am going to watch closely until he has PROVEN to me that he is changing and he is doing everything in his power to make me feel secure, loved, and his priority. Maybe it shouldn't have to be this way, but life doesn't really follow any certain script, and this is how it is for me right now (and him if he wants to be with me). Since his EA's back in December, he has worked hard on his boundaries, and almost every day we discuss his interactions with females. Then we discuss the motives, how we feel about them, and what he gets out of his interactions.

He was looking for cheap ego stroking. So, since that is the trigger, we are careful that he finds other ways to feel good about himself. I suspect your guy is ego stroking himself with other females also. It is up to you if you feel comfortable with that, but for me, nope. I would rather be alone than not be his #1 female.

And honestly, when we are intimate, I want him there and present....not fantasizing about the flavor of the month. He is in this relationship with ME. He needs to be here and present with me.

[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 6:07 PM, April 28th (Monday)]


Original WS D-Day July 10, 2008. Kept lying, he is gone.
New WS (2 EA's, no PA) 12-3-13
If you don't like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree.

Posts: 15546 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: Ohio
Tearsoflove
♀ 8271
Member # 8271
Default  Posted: 6:55 PM, April 28th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have a friend my husband thinks is very attractive. I know that he has thought of her sexually on occasion. That doesn't bother me. She's stunning so I get it. I believe humans are sexual beings and everyone is entitled to his or her own thoughts. Actions are another story. If my husband wanted to meet with her without me or they built a facebook relationship independent of me, I would have a problem with it.

The thing about setting boundaries is that you have to understand that your spouse has a choice whether or not to follow them. If he chooses not to, you should have consequences in place for that. In our case, my husband fought to maintain a friendship with the OW (I didn't know at the time that they'd been sleeping together). I told him that if he wanted to remain married to me, there would be no friendships with women unless they were friends of our marriage. He argued that I was trying to choose his friends. I told him I was choosing what I needed to be safe in our marriage. He could have all the friends he wanted. He just couldn't be friends with women and be married to me so, really, the choice was his. Had he chosen the women, I'd have filed for divorce.

No matter how much you love someone, if you are constantly having to second guess relationships with other people because of his/her behavior around them, you will never feel safe in the relationship. To me, having to watch someone else's every move around other people is no way to live. I can be single and happy.


"Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand." ~Homer Simpson


Posts: 4306 | Registered: Sep 2005
MammaMia
♀ 34030
Member # 34030
Default  Posted: 7:00 PM, April 28th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I believe that no piece of paper, no MC, nothing will stop a person from doing what they want to do.But I also believe that written boundaries signed by the WS will show to the spouse that you mean business and you won't put up with any more nonsense. The rest is up to him/her and for you to enforce the terms of the boundaries if they overstep them.


And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive.But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

Posts: 884 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: Somewhere in the South
Branca
♀ 42837
Member # 42837
Default  Posted: 11:21 PM, April 28th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow. I can remember being quite shocked that what I thought were obvious boundaries were not necessarily the same obvious boundaries seen by my husband.

I have plenty of male friends, some of them very close. My husband has no problem with me hanging out with them, and even hanging out with them when he's not present. I'm clear on my boundaries. No romance, nothing sexual, no emotional or physical intimacy with anyone that is not my husband.

I used to have no problem with him having female friends. Because I assumed his boundaries were the same as mine. Turned out they weren't. And most of his female friendships are totally benign, just normal healthy friendships that pose no threat to our marriage. Well, actually, deep down his boundaries were pretty similar to mine, but he managed to ignore them, twist them and overstep them, and try to justify it. He ended up flirting with someone and saying things to her as if our marriage didn't exist.

I don't expect him or myself to never look at another person, never to find another person attractive... but then to act on that feeling or impulse, that is where it goes wrong. I expect a mature adult to be able to control their actions in that regard (but maybe this is an unrealistic expectation since so many appear unable to? - but then again, infidelity is a CHOICE).

So now, those remain the boundaries for me and him. Show respectfulness toward others. Genuine platonic friendship is a good thing, and in many cases we have mutual friends. If you find yourself sexually or emotionally attracted to someone, you need to do whatever it takes to ensure your actions (including words you speak, or type, or text) never cross the line of propriety, never disrespect your marriage. Even if that means cutting off contact with that person.

I can't watch him 24/7. I don't want to police him, or prevent him from relating to other human beings. He's a very social person and isolation would be horrible for him. He has to step up to behaving with respect, honour and dignity towards others and himself. He has the opportunity to prove to me that he can do it. If he eventually proves he can't do it, he may have to suffer the consequence of me choosing not to hang around. He says he wants me around, so I hope this is motivation enough.

I don't think it is respectful (to himself, to his wife, or to the other women) for a man to ogle other women - to sexually assess their physical attributes. I mean, sometimes you can't help noticing if someone is very attractive, but it's a bad habit in our culture, which is reinforced by media, for men to see women primarily as a sex object which can be undressed with the eyes. And often, our culture encourages girls and women to play along with this, emphasising the message that the most important aspect of a woman is her appearance. IMO we should primarily relate to others as fellow human beings, rather than our first concern being whether we find them sexy or not.

Motives count for so much - and these relate to boundaries (self-imposed). I recall travelling in India as a solo young woman. Some men would approach me giving me a look up and down and saying 'hello pussycat' with a lecherous leer. And yet, others, the more well-brought up ones (!!!) would approach me with the utmost respect, dignity and courtesy and no hint or suggestion of trying to hook up with me. They would treat me as a sister or aunt, often quite protectively - wanting to ensure that the young visitor to their country had a safe and enjoyable journey. Not all men are bastards or crude animals. Their motives and the boundaries they set for themselves make all the difference.

There is a growing trend for people to think that women seeing men as sex objects is somehow a positive, because that's what men do (half-naked firefighter calendars as an equivalent of calendar girls etc). Gender equality doesn't mean that women should imitate men's mistakes and shortcomings! To me this is ridiculous - placing so much emphasis on physical attributes and 'sexiness' while ignoring qualities that really count like kindness, generosity, patience, humour etc. We can all do better, and teach our sons and daughters to relate to others in healthy, respectful, more holistic ways. Sexuality will still be there and it can be special instead of sleazy and in your face. Sorry for the rant, but I do think these are major issues in society which tie in to abusive relationships, pornography etc.

When we first got together, my husband set a boundary for me that I must never contact any ex boyfriends. He felt jealous and insecure, because he had been cheated on in the past, not because he didn't trust me. I didn't like this boundary, because I felt comfortable trusting myself, but I agreed to it to help him feel safe.

How ironic was it that the OW he cheated on me with was an old flame of his? I actually told him in the aftermath of discovering it that he had no right to expect me to not ever contact any exes after this. He actually agreed. The thing is, whether I ever contact or accidentally bump into any exes, I still have no intention of cheating on him. Dammit!

I guess there are externally imposed boundaries, and then there are the ones that come from inside, your ethics, your values and morals. I would prefer the fidelity of our marriage to ultimately rest on those intrinsic moral values rather than externally enforced rules. Although I acknowledge there are times when external boundaries are called for. Thanks for raising such a thought-provoking question!

While I used to feel ok about him having a normal, casual, platonic conversation with his exes, now after what he's done I don't like it, because it's a trigger. Now I would prefer he avoid any contact beyond the minimum polite 'hello, how are you'.


Me: BW, 37
Him: WH, 37
Married 13 years
2 children aged 9 and 5

DD #1 26 August 2013 - EA on FB and phone with a former flame OW#2 for about 8 months
DD #2 30 April 2014 - EA/PA for 10 months in 2011 with OW#1
Hoping for R


Posts: 120 | Registered: Mar 2014
Branca
♀ 42837
Member # 42837
Default  Posted: 11:21 PM, April 28th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow. I can remember being quite shocked that what I thought were obvious boundaries were not necessarily the same obvious boundaries seen by my husband.

I have plenty of male friends, some of them very close. My husband has no problem with me hanging out with them, and even hanging out with them when he's not present. I'm clear on my boundaries. No romance, nothing sexual, no emotional or physical intimacy with anyone that is not my husband.

I used to have no problem with him having female friends. Because I assumed his boundaries were the same as mine. Turned out they weren't. And most of his female friendships are totally benign, just normal healthy friendships that pose no threat to our marriage. Well, actually, deep down his boundaries were pretty similar to mine, but he managed to ignore them, twist them and overstep them, and try to justify it. He ended up flirting with someone and saying things to her as if our marriage didn't exist.

I don't expect him or myself to never look at another person, never to find another person attractive... but then to act on that feeling or impulse, that is where it goes wrong. I expect a mature adult to be able to control their actions in that regard (but maybe this is an unrealistic expectation since so many appear unable to? - but then again, infidelity is a CHOICE).

So now, those remain the boundaries for me and him. Show respectfulness toward others. Genuine platonic friendship is a good thing, and in many cases we have mutual friends. If you find yourself sexually or emotionally attracted to someone, you need to do whatever it takes to ensure your actions (including words you speak, or type, or text) never cross the line of propriety, never disrespect your marriage. Even if that means cutting off contact with that person.

I can't watch him 24/7. I don't want to police him, or prevent him from relating to other human beings. He's a very social person and isolation would be horrible for him. He has to step up to behaving with respect, honour and dignity towards others and himself. He has the opportunity to prove to me that he can do it. If he eventually proves he can't do it, he may have to suffer the consequence of me choosing not to hang around. He says he wants me around, so I hope this is motivation enough.

I don't think it is respectful (to himself, to his wife, or to the other women) for a man to ogle other women - to sexually assess their physical attributes. I mean, sometimes you can't help noticing if someone is very attractive, but it's a bad habit in our culture, which is reinforced by media, for men to see women primarily as a sex object which can be undressed with the eyes. And often, our culture encourages girls and women to play along with this, emphasising the message that the most important aspect of a woman is her appearance. IMO we should primarily relate to others as fellow human beings, rather than our first concern being whether we find them sexy or not.

Motives count for so much - and these relate to boundaries (self-imposed). I recall travelling in India as a solo young woman. Some men would approach me giving me a look up and down and saying 'hello pussycat' with a lecherous leer. And yet, others, the more well-brought up ones (!!!) would approach me with the utmost respect, dignity and courtesy and no hint or suggestion of trying to hook up with me. They would treat me as a sister or aunt, often quite protectively - wanting to ensure that the young visitor to their country had a safe and enjoyable journey. Not all men are bastards or crude animals. Their motives and the boundaries they set for themselves make all the difference.

There is a growing trend for people to think that women seeing men as sex objects is somehow a positive, because that's what men do (half-naked firefighter calendars as an equivalent of calendar girls etc). Gender equality doesn't mean that women should imitate men's mistakes and shortcomings! To me this is ridiculous - placing so much emphasis on physical attributes and 'sexiness' while ignoring qualities that really count like kindness, generosity, patience, humour etc. We can all do better, and teach our sons and daughters to relate to others in healthy, respectful, more holistic ways. Sexuality will still be there and it can be special instead of sleazy and in your face. Sorry for the rant, but I do think these are major issues in society which tie in to abusive relationships, pornography etc.

When we first got together, my husband set a boundary for me that I must never contact any ex boyfriends. He felt jealous and insecure, because he had been cheated on in the past, not because he didn't trust me. I didn't like this boundary, because I felt comfortable trusting myself, but I agreed to it to help him feel safe.

How ironic was it that the OW he cheated on me with was an old flame of his? I actually told him in the aftermath of discovering it that he had no right to expect me to not ever contact any exes after this. He actually agreed. The thing is, whether I ever contact or accidentally bump into any exes, I still have no intention of cheating on him. Dammit!

I guess there are externally imposed boundaries, and then there are the ones that come from inside, your ethics, your values and morals. I would prefer the fidelity of our marriage to ultimately rest on those intrinsic moral values rather than externally enforced rules. Although I acknowledge there are times when external boundaries are called for. Thanks for raising such a thought-provoking question!

While I used to feel ok about him having a normal, casual, platonic conversation with his exes, now after what he's done I don't like it, because it's a trigger. Now I would prefer he avoid any contact beyond the minimum polite 'hello, how are you'.

Edited to say: this post seems to have double-posted. How to get rid of one?

[This message edited by Branca at 11:35 PM, April 28th (Monday)]


Me: BW, 37
Him: WH, 37
Married 13 years
2 children aged 9 and 5

DD #1 26 August 2013 - EA on FB and phone with a former flame OW#2 for about 8 months
DD #2 30 April 2014 - EA/PA for 10 months in 2011 with OW#1
Hoping for R


Posts: 120 | Registered: Mar 2014
Bobbi_sue
♀ 10347
Member # 10347
Default  Posted: 4:16 AM, April 29th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

He states that all men look at women, just that some of them sneak the look or look when their wives are not around. He sees absolutely nothing wrong with looking, just that he is appreciating “beauty” and that he is not being sneaky about it.
Yes, all men "look" at women sometimes and all women look at men sometimes. But not all men (or women) look at the other sex ogling and imagining them with their clothes off, and "doing" them, which sounds like the way he looks at them. I was married to a man who "believed" that because this seemed to be natural and unavoidable to him, that it is the same way for "all" other men. I guess he thought women all looked at men that way too, and when I told him repeatedly that I do NOT do that, I believe his conclusion there was something "wrong with me" in that case.

What gets me about people is that they believe because something is a certain way in their head, it is the same for everyone else, especially of the same gender.

In your shoes, I would not want to "police" him forever. However, your idea of letting him go and he is going to cheat, well let him get it out of his system is NOT GOING TO WORK. If he does it once with few or no consequences, it is almost guaranteed to happen again and again. This is just my opinion based on what you have shared here so far, but it sounds like you need much stronger boundaries and you need to get very tough with him. It should not really be about policing him. He needs to understand that if these boundaries are not acceptable to him, then he needs to go, and I mean permanently. It is so disrespectful to know he masturbates to a certain woman he knows in real life, and that is just one of the alarming things you shared.


Posts: 5791 | Registered: Apr 2006
NaiveAgain
♀ 20849
Member # 20849
Default  Posted: 6:21 AM, April 29th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Here is the thing about "policing" your guy. He has already shown he has poor boundaries. Why would you expect him to just magically "get" good boundaries?

For some people, boundaries have to be learned. Especially for someone that may have been SA as a child or had their boundaries breached earlier in life. So, they need to learn and practice with boundaries, because they may truly not understand how to maintain proper boundaries. So, while they are learning, that is the time period where they need to be very open, very careful, and with my guy, that is why he talks to me about his female interactions. He truly wants to learn to have platonic relationships with the opposite sex. But right now, why would I trust him? And how would I expect him to just magically figure this out? He is in counseling and we read "not just friends" together. He is taking that advice seriously. He is learning that you can't talk about intimate things with a female and not build some type of bond. He really had no idea before. He didn't understand healthy boundaries. He is improving.

And having healthy boundaries doesn't mean you can't notice an attractive person. I am sure everyone notices, but you notice, you may think "very pretty hair, very nice eyes, etc..." and then you move on. Like a beautiful sunset or a cool car. There is a difference between a passing glance and ogling. Ogling means you are imprinting that vision to take home with you. Noticing is normal.

ETA

He states that all men look at women, just that some of them sneak the look or look when their wives are not around.
Everyone looks at everyone. You have to notice other people. But, if he is looking in a sexual way, no....not everyone does that. I notice attractive men but I don't want to talk to them or touch them or anything like that. It is the way he has trained his brain. He can rewire it with a lot of work (counseling!) But he has to actively work on it.

[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 6:25 AM, April 29th (Tuesday)]


Original WS D-Day July 10, 2008. Kept lying, he is gone.
New WS (2 EA's, no PA) 12-3-13
If you don't like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree.

Posts: 15546 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: Ohio
KatieG
♀ 41222
Member # 41222
Default  Posted: 6:26 AM, April 29th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think the boundary conversation has to take place after infidelity. Their poor boundaries (amongst other things0 are what got us here.

I agree that the boundary control needs to come from within them, so your WH needs to understand first what your boundaries are and then discuss them. I don't think people can change overnight, so it will take effort on his part to change how he behaves. He might think its a harmless coffee with someone and then the conversation may turn to discussing some personal issue. So you would need to explore his thoughts about that and how he would politely steer the conversation away. He may be able to control his boundaries but what about the other person?

I have discussed this at length with my WBF because he has always had boundary issues. He sees his ex-wife but I have never met her. Talking about all friends being friends of our marriage (relationship) made me think whether she is or not.


DD#1 - 6th Oct 13 - TT
DD#2 - 9th Nov 13 - Full disclosure
DD#3 - 12th May 14 - FOG lifted and in R
7 week A, 2 weeks together, rest phone and email - PA and EA

Posts: 514 | Registered: Nov 2013
kate0421
♀ 40819
Member # 40819
Default  Posted: 6:37 AM, April 29th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I believe boundaries are essential in any relatiinship. In a M, they have to be boundaries that are agreed upon with both parties. Both you and you H should have an agreement on boundaries. Even if you have to talk about the dumbest " what it" scenario. It's something you both agree you will maintain to protect your relationship. Through all the stuff I read I am really leaning towards one particular MC. He says As only happen when there is one or two things going on. The first is a disconnection and the second is a lack of boundaries. Think about it, if the connection was there and you both had protective boundaries, what are the odds of As happening? (Unless you have a SA.)
Our boundaries are pretty clear. And to be honest I thought they were protective of As but I was wrong, we needed more boundaries. Our boundaries were No female friends unless it's a mutual friend of mine, and even then there is no alone time. This has always been in play. No alone time with any woman, ever ( except mom's and grandma's and such) he has never once disagreed and to be honest if he did, I would ask myself w in the he'll does he want to be alone with a woman? I have always said no strip clubs too, since day one. He has been perfectly ok with that. I believed these were strong enough boundaries but I was wrong, after the A we have new boundaries. One of which is he is not to go out to a bar or or a friends house or party without me. Maybe one day things might change and we will discuss our boundaries then. But since he had two drunkin ONS from a bar and a party, I believe my boundaries ar pretty reasonable.


ME: BS
HIM: WS
Together over 10yrs
2 children
DDAY 9/23/2013- 2 ONS (2009-2010)
TT. 5/14/2014- slept with OW1 twice

Posts: 280 | Registered: Sep 2013 | From: Florida
sisoon
♂ 31240
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 2:16 PM, April 29th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Boundaries certainly make my life easier.

One of my boundaries is 'sex only with my W' and 'no fantasies except with my W'. As a straight male with ADD, I notice everybody, but I especially notice women. I enjoy the view, but that's as far as I go.

I used to have women friends at work (I'm basically retired now, and what work I do is on my own); some were extremely attractive. My boundary with women friends was something like 'never say or do anything that I wouldn't want my W to see and hear'.

I don't like it when my boundaries conflict with another person's. 'No' can be hard to hear, but sometimes life just isn't fair.


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 10758 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
peoplepleaser
♀ 41535
Member # 41535
Default  Posted: 7:55 PM, April 29th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Sisoon touched on something I was told once. I love it. If you shears imagine your partner present or listening in on your conversation, you will maintain healthy boundaries for the relationship.


WS: 39
BS: 39
DS: 6
9 year relationship
DDay #1: September 6, 2013 EA for 5 weeks August 2013 with TT
DDay #2: January 2, 2014 EA for 6 weeks summer 2011 with TT
"I am still learning." -Michelangelo

Posts: 927 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Midwest
Gman1
♂ 40879
Member # 40879
Default  Posted: 6:50 AM, April 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree with Sisoon and have shared my same view of boundaries with my FWW. She had fuzzy boundaries which led to her A. I simply told her that she needed stronger more defined boundaries and to follow the same rule as I had always followed for myself. And that is to never act, do or say anything to anyone that you wouldn't say or do if your spouse was standing right next to you. If everyone would follow this simple rule much of the cheating would never take place.

Posts: 281 | Registered: Oct 2013
karmahappens
♀ 35846
Member # 35846
Default  Posted: 8:30 AM, April 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think boundaries are important.

Not just in marriage, in life.

I watch my boundaries and try to respect the people around me.I respect myself and my marriage while out with others, and alone. Having a lack of boundaries also affects the people around you. Remarks about men/women, sexual undertones, words and conversations that are inappropriate can make other people uncomfortable.



“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”
Anaďs Nin
Me: 45
Him: 47
Dday 8/2007
We have R'd

Posts: 3872 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: Massachusetts
deceivedx1000
♀ 39618
Member # 39618
Default  Posted: 10:23 AM, April 30th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you everyone for your wonderful insight. (I don't always have computer access so it is hard to respond right away.)

NaiveAgain - yes, he is ego-stroking himself with flirting with other women but I know he wouldn't go beyond a certain point. I'm not really worried so much about that aspect but it is so annoying! Like Sisoon and others said, a good rule is to never say or do anything you wouldn't want your spouse to do: well, when I tell him I am annoyed with his flirting he says I should try it and that he wouldn't mind if I flirt or go to coffee with men -- that he trusts me and I should trust him, etc.

Branca, your comment, " If you find yourself sexually or emotionally attracted to someone, you need to do whatever it takes to ensure your actions (including words you speak, or type, or text) never cross the line of propriety, never disrespect your marriage. Even if that means cutting off contact with that person." is very useful and I will bring this up with my husband the next time he mentions her.

NaiveAgain, your other comment, "Everyone looks at everyone. You have to notice other people. But, if he is looking in a sexual way, no....not everyone does that. I notice attractive men but I don't want to talk to them or touch them or anything like that. It is the way he has trained his brain. He can rewire it with a lot of work (counseling!) But he has to actively work on it. " is great. I was thinking this myself but you phrased it perfectly.

THanks everyone again. I really appreciate this site and all your thoughtful replies.


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