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Help with sending a wall-erecting message

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NoDoormat posted 5/30/2014 10:49 AM

So, when I began my 180, part of that was realizing my H was engaging in addiction behaviors and resolving to stop enabling him in that.

I hadn't told anyone what was going down, but some people knew that I was in a very bad way. I didn't feel that I should "air our dirty laundry", and to a certain extent, I still don't. But.

Three weeks ago, I told his best friend what he was doing. It wasn't to tattle or commiserate or get him to try to talk sense into H, because I know there's no doing that. It was strictly an exercise for me to stop protecting my H from the consequences of his behavior and also to ask him to be a friend for H while we're going through this awful time. Before proceeding, I made sure that his best friend (BF) was a friend of our marriage and that his wife did not feel uncomfortable about trading messages with him.

We as a couple were very close to this man; we even took a couple of weekend trips together with him. His wife is a wonderful woman and very supportive, but we just don't have the friend interaction that I have with BF. And he reminded me that he loves both of us in his last response to me asking him to be a friend for H while we are separated.

I do not want to fall into a pattern of behavior of confiding in this man, as much as I care for him and know he would be there for me (and my H). I need to erect a wall so that I do not develop porous boundaries with BF. I intend to ask him to give his wife my contact information and that if she wouldn't mind, I'd like to be in contact with her, with the full expectation that anything I say to her is like I'm saying to him.

Part of me wants to tell him that I love him too, because I do, in a familial way, as the best friend of my husband, just as I loved my husband's late best friend, who stood up for both of us at our wedding. But I know better.

And I know that I can't worry too much about hurting his feelings, because the real need here is to let him know in no uncertain terms that my commitment is squarely focused on my H. But I *don't* want to hurt his feelings more than I have to.

Can you all help me find the right words? Or just right words be damned and firmly and clearly communicate the boundary? Thanks!

Lucky2HaveMe posted 5/30/2014 12:48 PM

I don't think you need to send a specific message. You opened the door, you can decide if it needs to be closed at all.

You can simply respond "Thanks for your support." If he says anything too familial, either ignore it (crickets) or respond with something like "I'm not comfortable sharing that with you" (or whatever).

I think you are hyper sensitive right now. I have several male friends and we have always had strict boundaries without having to say it in so many words.

NoDoormat posted 5/30/2014 12:57 PM

That is the perfect solution, I will just thank him for the support, and anything too familial will be met with crickets or an appropriate boundary (which I was already doing when he expressed his concern for my state but I was still protecting H).

Thanks for your help!

ShiningAutumn8 posted 5/30/2014 13:58 PM

I agree. You reached out to him, he responded, and that's it. There's no need to create an issue or awkwardness by sending him another message, or worrying about a problem that doesn't appear to exist.

Just leave it alone.

hopefulmother posted 5/30/2014 15:25 PM

I have to agree with the others. I almost think that by addressing may become more of an issue. In a way opening the door more. Drawing attention to possible too "familiar" feelings.

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