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Re-establishing boundaries

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badchoice posted 5/26/2014 15:05 PM

I finally took the advice I have been getting from y'all here and my IC and re-established my boundaries with my BW.

It has been a few weeks now and my BW has been asking for advice and support in her current job search. I have been willing to help and work with her on this, but kept feeling drawn back to her and feeling close (which is great) but also conflicted.

There is another situation where one of her friends is staying over, and I am getting triggered by that too. Long story short, I feel sad about that since this friend is there spending time with my kids, making them breakfast, I just just feel like this friend is taking over part of my role with my kids.

So today I got my nerve up and asked to not share anything more about this friend, and told her how it feels. I also told her I am not expecting her to change anything, or ask them to leave, but don't want to hear about it anymore.

I also told her that I have to pull back some on being there to support her. That it hurts too much right now to be there for her.

It was scary, because I feel like when we are talking and when I am supportive of her that we are so close. I love that feeling. But I also know that it is not healthy for us right now. At one point during a conversation, she told me that she does not feel safe with me.

Anyway, I am sad, scared, depressed. We are both in the middle of scheduling individual vacations with the kids for the summer and it just sucks.

In my head I know I did the right thing, but my heart and emotions don't agree. I feel like I am being selfish, like I am putting my needs first, but then I realize how fucking codependent that is.

Do y'all think I did the right thing pulling back and detaching again?

hardlessons posted 5/26/2014 15:32 PM

BC, I think it is more important what you think about setting some boundaries.

I think it is a great step in a healthy direction for you. At some point you have to make a stand for yourself and understand that that is what is needed for you to truly be whole. Sorry that you are hurting.

badchoice posted 5/26/2014 15:38 PM

I guess what I 'think' about the boundaries is that it is needed. What I feel is in direct opposition to that.

In my head I know that we are heading to D. What I keep feeling is that I can nice her back into R or prove to her that I deserve another chance.

I am learning to allow myself to feel those things, but not act on those feelings, since they are not based on reality or what is best for me.


timidhope posted 5/26/2014 16:55 PM

I hear you on this, badchoice.

I don't have any advice since I'm in the middle of limbo myself but I do want to give you support on your decision.

I think it's fair to protect yourself from the anguish and pain to what appears to be the gradual replacement of your role in the family by your BW's friend.

As a wayward, there's so much work required internally already that the little bit of self-love goes a long way and the name of the game is establishing good boundaries right?

Then again I'm in the middle of limbo and totally relate to your hope that you can nice your way back in. I wish it could work like that but I'm reminding myself that I'm being nice to him because I want to and because to me he's worth it irregardless of him taking me back or not. I have to accept that I can be the nicest girlfriend herein out buy that might not be enough.

good luck

[This message edited by timidhope at 4:56 PM, May 26th (Monday)]

badchoice posted 5/26/2014 20:10 PM

I just feel like shit.

At drop off BW and I talked. She is upset and sad, so am I.

She asked: "why can't I just be support?" She wants us to be friends. "We just didn't work out as a couple".

I thought about out that question a while. Why can't we be friends? Why can't I be supportive?

I told her that right now I need to step away. I feel like my foundation has gotten so weak with all of the interaction. I feel like that it's not a two way street right now between us, she tells me in one breath that she does not feel safe, does not trust me, and in the next breath that she wants and values my's so confusing for me.

On the one hand I loved all the interaction and supportive conversations. On the other hand, I did not feel like an equal partner cause she doesn't fully trust me. I also felt like I was getting too obsessed with the interaction. Like my old ways of being we're creeping back in. Like if I could just show her how great and supportive I was, she would forgive me. That did not feel right to me either.

So that's where it's left right now. We both feel like shit, we are both depressed and sad.

gonnabe2016 posted 5/26/2014 20:48 PM

Dude. The two of you are a mind-fuck. I canNOT imagine living the <crazylimbo> life that you guys have been living the past few years.

Is the *friend* a male or a female?

Any chance that she'd come back to SI and start posting?

badchoice posted 5/26/2014 21:01 PM

Gonna, the friend is a guy. It's platonic, and he is leaving tomorrow. He has come and gone over the last two months, for a little while his girlfriend was with him there too.

She has no plans on coming back to SI.

The limbo is all mine in the making. As of about two years ago BW has been clear that there will not be R. It took me a year to accept this, then over the last year I get to a good place, detach, and then it all starts again.

DixieD posted 5/26/2014 21:02 PM

Badchoice, exerting boundaries with your BW is the good thing for you to do. I imagine it will get harder before it gets better. I'm sorry you are both hurting.

Honestly, other than for self-serving or codependent reasons on her part, I can't understand why she would want or need this from you. She's said many times that R is off the table. If you were attempting R, then of course support is needed and warranted but it gets tricky when you are not Ring and she knows you are hanging onto the hope that maybe one day you can or will R. Unless you completely detach and/or stuff your feelings this would be a Herculean task and you've been working hard to not do these things as you would have in the past. It would be a step backwards to attempt this. Maybe some day with A LOT of work on BOTH you and your BW parts, you could get to that point if you both agree to it, but it's not now.

There is a difference between being friends and being friendLY or cordial. Of course it's ideal to be friendly and cordial with each other by why does she need you as her 'support' of all people while she says she doesn't trust you and you are not moving not forward as a couple? I question the need and motivation behind it.

You are working on your Codependent behavior and that is great. But I wonder if your wife has worked on her own CoD behavior, since she has this request.

I feel like my foundation has gotten so weak with all of the interaction.

That's says a lot. As much as it hurts, you've come a long way. Don't lose that now.

I think Gonna and I are on the same wave length, but she's much more succinct and to the point than I am.

badchoice posted 5/26/2014 21:10 PM

Dixie. Thx.

I feel so selfish though.

I felt like I took a big step forward today being honest with her and telling her I needed to pull back for now.

[This message edited by badchoice at 9:10 PM, May 26th (Monday)]

DixieD posted 5/26/2014 21:17 PM

I didn't see your response to Gonna before I posted. This is going to be more blunt and to the point.

She knows you will jump through emotional hoops she's throwing out there. I seriously wonder if she's not getting something out of yanking your chain sometimes. I don't mean that to be as nasty as it sounds but Gonna is right it's a mind-f*ck.

Serious boundaries, BC, and big ones, you need to have them and keep enforcing them for your own sanity at this point. Keep at it. Keep posting.

badchoice posted 5/26/2014 21:23 PM

I don't feel that she is 'pulling my chain' but I do she a very blurry boundary of she doesn't trust me on one hand, but comes to me for support on the other.

I feel like I cannot be as open with her since she does not trust me, so I do not ask her for as much support.

The conversation today caused me so much anxiety. But again, I feel guilty cause it's all my fault that we are where we are.

It's just so fucked up.

gonnabe2016 posted 5/26/2014 21:55 PM

She has no plans on coming back to SI.

*sigh* I miss her. And I feel a bit disloyal to her to be posting to you because I remember when the two of you were both here and she made noises that your *recounting* of events wasn't exactly it is a bit hard for me to post to you because I know that my stbx could *spin* things to make it sound as if *I* was the problem...when I wasn't. And it was upsetting to me to see people who didn't *know* us to be giving advice that was 'validating' him in any way.

But, having said all of ^^^that....I'll just have to go with what I know of you guys and what you've posted about:

she doesn't trust me on one hand, but comes to me for support on the other.

She doesn't get to do this.
At this point, you two are either going to be together and make it work or you are going to be leading separate lives. Period. Exclamation Point.

You guys are where you are because of your choices. Ok.....but once I realized that my stbx's choices were 'shit', I cut bait. I didn't feel safe with him and I didn't trust I sure as hell didn't involve him in my life. Matter of fact, the less he knew about my life the better. I did not keep him entangled with me.

Why are you feeling selfish by asserting a 'kids/finance discussion' only boundary? For whatever* reason, Beach is not choosing R. It behooves both of you to disentangle yourselves.

(*--when I say 'whatever' reason, that is my way of staying out of the 'frag' zone....maybe there's too much water under your bridge, maybe there hasn't been complete honesty I'm using my <*> as my armor here.)

DixieD posted 5/26/2014 22:01 PM

BC, you are right a very blurry boundary, and you know you can't change her boundaries, only enforce your own. And you can't rely on her for support and I'm not sure that your wife wants a two way street of friendship that includes that.

I understand as a WS you think where you are at right now is all your fault but your BW does contribute to this dynamic (eta: currently in the present).

BlakeSteele wrote this the other day and I really like it. I think it fits with your situation.

Only takes one to change for the cycle to change.
It takes two to change for a healthy cycle to develop.

You must remember that and currently you are the only one who can change this cycle but you alone can't make it develop into a healthy one.

All the best!

[This message edited by DixieD at 10:07 PM, May 26th (Monday)]

badchoice posted 5/26/2014 22:09 PM

I get it gonnabe- when I first came to SI I was looking for validation, wanting to be the good guy, etc, all while still lying to BB. It was really a shitty thing to do tomBB and to the community of SI.

Why do I feel selfish?

Because I feel I owe it to her to help her through this. To be there to support her, and frankly, I still love her and want to do it.

But that is where I get confused. What seems like love and being selfish shallows me up and makes me crazy sometimes.

badchoice posted 5/26/2014 22:12 PM

Thank you Dixie. That makes sense.

Yes, I feel like it is not a two way street, and it recognize that it might be only me that sees it that we. I just don't feel comfortable asking her for any support.

gonnabe2016 posted 5/26/2014 22:35 PM

when I first came to SI I was looking for validation, wanting to be the good guy, etc, all while still lying to BB. It was really a shitty thing to do tomBB and to the community of SI.

I wasn't trying to call you out, BC. I was only trying to point out why I feel a bit 'conflicted' about posting to you. I just don't want to be validating any 'perception-tainted' musings on your part.

So back on point:

Do y'all think I did the right thing pulling back and detaching again?


What was BB's reaction to your request for less contact?

badchoice posted 5/26/2014 22:50 PM

I know you were not trying to call me out but I wanted acknowledge that fact.

BB was sad, cried, lashed out at first in a verbal way, and later apologized for that.

When I told her that I was starting to feel that I was bordering on trying to be supportive and was getting obsessive about it, and that I was afraid that I was starting to do things to look good for her, and trying to win her back ( an old habit I have tried to stop) she asked me why can't I just be nice and supportive. She said she missed me.

In reaction to me feeling like this friend was replacing me she told me that no one will ever replace me. At that point I told her that I didn't think the conversation was doing us any good and that we should not talk about that.

It was all confusing. She wants to be friends, but does not feel safe. Misses me, but we don't work as a couple. I am sure I could think of a few more things that was said.

In the end, I felt like I had to pull back. That we are both wanting different things, and I felt like I was breaking up with her.

gonnabe2016 posted 5/26/2014 23:22 PM

I felt like I was breaking up with her

Ignoring all of the history.....^^^this is exactly what you need to do.

I'm remembering that there may be *logistical* reasons for not divorcing? Insurance or <wait for work> or something? Regardless of those issues, work out a kid/financial schedule that involves the least amount of contact with Beach and implement it.

Do that for the sake of BOTH of you.

badchoice posted 5/27/2014 10:14 AM

the logistical reason was that BB is not working, and insurance is the reason we are still together, at least on paper.

I feel worst today. depressed, not only like I broke up with BW, but like it was another betrayal. I couldn't even be there for her to support her emotionally, when she needs it.

tired girl posted 5/27/2014 10:22 AM


You understand that this can no longer be your role in her life right? It is not healthy for either one of you. You know this. And she keeps trying to draw you back into this unhealthy dynamic that has been this relationship between you two. This push/pull thing. It has to stop. And you need to be the one to stop it. Like Dixie said, it is going to hurt more at first, because you allowed yourself to go there again. But you really need to pull back. This is not about you letting her down again. This is about you being healthy.

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