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Besides the affair, what about the little stuff?

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justafool posted 5/27/2014 14:53 PM

We are five years out from my husband's affair. For the most part, things go pretty great. We have learned to talk, I have built back some trust for him, and we really have been doing good. I feel in my heart that he has changed, although at times my paranoia takes over.
What I struggle more with now are little things, things that I just wish he would think of beforehand or that seem so obvious to me, but are total surprises to him. For example, recently my husband went to bike week two days earlier than I did. He rode down with several people, including some family. Before he left, he asked me if it would be ok if another lady in the group rode with him some, as she did not have a (motorcycle) ride. Now, what part of the last five years made him think that I would be ok with that? But the way he asked implied that if I wasn't ok with it, he just wouldn't go, so I just kept my mouth shut, but pictures of them on the motorcycle wound up on Facebook, and by the time I got down there, I was not in the best of moods. Please understand - I don't think that he tried anything with this woman, and I believe that it was truly innocent. But for heaven's sake - why couldn't he think ahead about how it might make me feel? We talked when we got home, and I think we talked it out, but I am still mad. What has got me going today is that a friend "casually" mentioned seeing the picture, and I had to cover for his rear. It felt like so many times before, even though I think that it was innocent. What bothers me too is that he hangs around his cousin, who is a single father who's children are almost grown. This cousin is going looking forward to living it up, and I feel like my husband would like to be right there with him.
All in all, reconciliation is good, but there are times when it is just hard. When the big issues are gone, I'm not sure how to deal with these little things. I know that men get into innocent situations, and I know I can't expect him to be perfect. Sometimes I just feel like I am reaching the straw that broke the camel's back level. It would be terrible, I think, to have survived what we have only to call it quits over something trivial, but I admit that I was ready to. And I think he is tired of always having to think about me and my feelings, especially since he is impulsive and a rescuer by nature and he always wants to fix whatever problem that arises.
Urgh. Some days can flip in an instant, can't they?

karmahappens posted 5/27/2014 15:03 PM

I am sorry, but he asked you your opinion on the matter.

You were not honest with your feelings.

I agree, I find it odd he even asked, but you need to be honest too.

If he decided to not take the trip because of that then that's his own fault.

I don't think things like wanting to live it up with his cousin are "little" things.

Does he hang out with people that are friends of the marriage?

Has he not dealt with his need to rescue and his impulsiveness in IC? I would insist on it.

PinkJeepLady posted 5/27/2014 15:47 PM

Sorry, I wouldn't like it either. I think riding together on the same bike is just way too up close and personal, especially given the history/circumstances.

Glad you talked it out and I too hope he understands. I can understand why you are mad, but you will probably have to let it go and move forward.

Take care!

Rebreather posted 5/27/2014 16:01 PM

I could not agree with Karma more.

It is up to you to speak your truth. It's part of being in an honest relationship, that goes both ways.

The boundaries established after an affair are for a lifetime, not just a few years. His job is to protect you and your marriage, not to do things that cause small hurts. Sometimes miscommunications are just going to happen, and we forgive one another those. However, it seems to me he doesn't quite GET that life is changes forever. Things don't ever go back "the way they were" or what have you.

Shit be different. Both the wayward and the betrayed have to understand and embrace that.

AML04 posted 5/27/2014 16:02 PM

I'm only a year out now but I told my H I don't want to be the bad guy/mom any more. If he wants to do something it's on him to think about what kind of an effect it might have on me and our family. He needs to be able to make those decisions.

That being said if I was uncomfortable with something that he wanted to do I would absolutely tell him now and why. If he can't understand why I would be upset/uncomfortable then we really aren't on the same page like we should be.

If you guys have gone to MC maybe it's time for a revisit? You don't want to build up resentment over those "little" things. Better to get them out on the table now so you can continue doing as well as you have!!

Best wishes to you both!!

hopefull77 posted 5/27/2014 20:13 PM


justafool posted 5/27/2014 20:59 PM

I think the reason I didn't just go ahead and confront him was I was a) hoping he would get it on his own, and b) I guess I was going to just let him hang himself. I said from the beginning that I was not going to be his "Is this good or bad" monitor, and I think I was just hoping that he would realize that that was not cool to do. But he didn't, and I realize that I should have talked to him. But sometimes I am just tired of talking about it, always talking about it. I don't know if this is true for other couples in R, but it seems every couple of months it is something that we have to discuss. We never seem to be able to move on. He has apologized, but I get the feeling that he is just as tired of talking about it as I am. There is still this little part of me that wants to comfort him, even though it is me that was hurt.

karmahappens posted 5/27/2014 21:22 PM

One very important thing I learned. ...if you don't speak up and expect someone to do what YOU need you will be disappointed. Another's needs won't always match yours.

tired girl posted 5/27/2014 21:29 PM

I agree with karma. Also, if these changes with him are not internal, but just rule based, then you are going to continue to have these issues with him. He has to understand these things internally and feel it. Otherwise he is just obeying rules and boundaries that you have laid out and he will continue to screw up.

standinghere posted 5/27/2014 21:39 PM

I don't think this is a little thing. This sounds like standing on a slippery slope.

Innocent until the woman behind you on the bike becomes a little more touchy feely or suggestive, then what? What about rumors, which can be very painful?

You avoid these situations.

I've never had an affair, and I avoid them, because I've had opportunities that presented and they didn't involve that much contact. But I avoid them because I know it would make my wife uncomfortable, I KNOW, she doesn't have to tell me.

Agree with everyone else about speaking your truth as well.

justafool posted 5/27/2014 21:45 PM

Yeah . . . but how what do I do with him in the meantime? I think that is something that I can't make him change. I think he has to do that, but if he doesn't, I guess the question is if it is enough for me to be the principal and ensure that he follows the rules. Not really. I want a partner, but how do I let it be little things that tear us apart when we survived the big one?

tired girl posted 5/27/2014 23:04 PM

The little things are all part of the big problem. They are not separate.

RomanticInnocenc posted 5/28/2014 01:56 AM

Justafool, I think it was already suggested, but it sounds like you need to go back to mc. You need a mediator that can help you express your needs and how you are feeling when they are unmet, and help him to internalise his understanding of what it all means, ask him some difficult questions. Maybe he is 'just' like that, but people can change, if they want to, he needs to want to now.

Zayda1 posted 5/28/2014 04:01 AM

I understand where you are coming from. We are just over 2 years out from Dday and I struggle with WH asking "Is it ok if...". I get tired of having to be his moral compass.

I am honest with him when he asks and explain why every single time, but I just want to yell "if you have to ask if it is ok then it probably isn't and you know that somewhere deep down inside or you wouldn't be asking for permission!".

I have asked him to go back to IC to explore why making decision is so hard for him, but he keeps insisting that his thought process has changed and doesn't need it. I can't change him so now I wait and watch for him to "get it". Not sure how long I will wait for, but for now I am here doing my part.

rachelc posted 5/28/2014 05:54 AM

I struggle with WH asking "Is it ok if...". I get tired of having to be his moral compass.

this kind of thing perpetuates the parent child relationship. I get it as well. I really feel that if a wayward truly gets it, they already know what to do based on the kind of partner THEY want to be, not the kind of partner YOU want them to be.

william posted 5/28/2014 06:00 AM

“The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”

the easiest way is to avoid situations that can lead to something inappropriate. rather than having to say "no" its better to avoid the situation that would require a "no".

to put it another way only a foolish male would put themselve into a position where they would have to say no to a nude, horny, and willing female - nuch easier to have avoided all of the steps that could have led to this situation ever occuring.

he could have said "the only one allowed to ride with me is my wife".

[This message edited by william at 6:03 AM, May 28th (Wednesday)]

Scubachick posted 5/28/2014 13:18 PM

Now, what part of the last five years made him think that I would be ok with that? But the way he asked implied that if I wasn't ok with it, he just wouldn't go.

I'm sure it's innocent but I can't help but question why the girl felt comfortable enough to even ask a married man to ride on back of his motorcycle. Would you have the nerve to ask another woman's husband that? I wouldn't. I can't believe your husband even entertained the idea enough to ask you. And then to imply if you aren't ok with it, he just won't go at all. To me that would mean my husband would rather not go at all than to tell that woman no, the only woman I let on my bike is my wife. He had to know this would bother you or he wouldn't have asked for permission. He knew you wouldn't want him to miss the trip so he played on that and basically said if you don't let me take this woman, I just won't go at all. I would feel like that woman's feelings were important to him than mine. And then to see a picture of them on facebook??? That would send me over the edge. Would he be ok with you riding with another man?

Newme123 posted 5/28/2014 13:30 PM

I'm just going to ditto scubachick, And also agree with William. Part of a ws making themselves safe is to learn to not even put themself in a situation that can breed the bad behavior. Some woman snuggled up next to my husband wrapping her arms around him... Uh not a chance! Before or after infidelity!!

[This message edited by Newme123 at 1:33 PM, May 28th (Wednesday)]

realitybites posted 5/28/2014 14:38 PM

You asked, "Besides the affair, what about the little stuff?"

We all have learned that the A is not the biggest problem, although it is by far the most painful and hurtful and destructive thing a WS can do, it is really only the tip of the iceberg. All those "little" problems along the way that were swept under the rug are a part of the huge problem. If he continues to be selfish in his choices, even the small ones then this IS his character.

"if you have to ask if it is ok then it probably isn't and you know that somewhere deep down inside or you wouldn't be asking for permission!".

I totally agree with this, as others have said it sets up the parent/child mentality with your marriage. You can't win either way.

rachelc posted 5/28/2014 14:49 PM

Our MC cautioned us that we won't be perfect, that there will be flub ups, and there has, on both sides.
Thing is, there really is no room in our relationship for screw ups. At least right now.

What your husband did would bother me. Him asking me would bother me. I would think, "really? why are you even asking?"

there is a transfer of vigilence thing that needs to last for a long long time. An anticipation of your BS's needs.

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