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My Need = Punishment?

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veronique12 posted 7/1/2014 17:02 PM

So H seems to be starting to look at the deeper issues underlying why he had the A, to take responsibility and stop pushing some of the blame onto me, to be open to admitting to having a dark side that he didn't want to acknowledge, and he understands that him doing this makes me feel safer.

All good. But then something happened today that seems to contradict this and now I'm upset and confused. We were in MC and we started rehashing a conversation we had a few weeks ago about how he was recently sent PMs on Facebook by 2 female friends that we both used to know many years ago. He gave me his password months ago so I can access his FB account. They were friendly how are you chats, nothing inappropriate, both women initiated, my H responded once and there was nothing else. He also mentioned me and the kids in one of the messages. When I saw those however I got upset and told him that I don't think he should be having PMs with women, period. He said that I could see everything so it wasn't private and that he purposely mentioned me and the kids and the messages were just simple hellos. I told him I was uncomfortable with that and that if another female friend sent him a note, I'd like him to show it to me first before he responded. He said ok at the time. I thought we understood each other.

So fast forward to today's conversation in MC. When we talked about it, H looked upset and said that he felt that me saying he has to show me the messages before he responds is a way for me to punish him. Our MC said he didn't think so, but rather that it's a way for me to feel safe after an emotional trauma. I agreed. H was biting his lip, looking hesitant, and finally said something like ok I understand, but I could tell that he wasn't happy about it. He had said that I should trust him that these are benign chats and these women know me. (Really? OW was my pal and he characterized their chats as friendly too.) He also said that he thought that at least a little of my trust for him had come back b/c he's been open and transparent. Finally then he said that he understands my position but I think he just said that to placate me, since he clearly did that when we first discussed this.

There's a lot here that is upsetting to me. 1. He's deflecting responsibility: The view that I'm punishing him and making him change his behavior instead of seeing that HIS actions have fundamentally changed our M and eroded all trust. That's on him 100%.
2. He thinks I should trust him? That feels like he's minimizing the depth of my pain and his poor choices. It also makes me wonder whether just because we have a few good weeks with no major issues, good communication, then trust is restored? I have no clue why he'd think that since I tell him that I don't trust him at least once a week and that it saddens me.
3. He thinks that things can be the same as they were before the A. I never gave him trouble for having female friends and he took advantage of that. Again, why he thinks this is beyond me since I tell him all the time that things won't ever be the same on that front.

He generally does work to make me feel safe, so is this just a blip? Is he just frustrated? Or does this point to something deeper, like maybe he's not really getting it? I get that he is allowed to have feelings about things, he isn't a machine, but why would he consider doing something to make me feel safe, and something that isn't that big of a deal frankly, a punishment? Frustrated.

I'd really love to have WS's POV (and of course BS's).

[This message edited by veronique12 at 5:09 PM, July 1st (Tuesday)]

authenticnow posted 7/1/2014 17:11 PM

What stands out the most to me is that his conversations with these women are more important to him than your feelings about it.

Many old male friends have friend requested me. I have ignored them simply because I know it would make my BH uncomfortable and those old friends don't matter to me as much as making BH feel safe does.

Something that just occurred to me is that maybe it's a power struggle thing. He doesn't want to be told what to do. Admittedly, I went through that as well. I was tired of all the 'restrictions', tired of feeling like a villain, being monitored constantly...even if it was deserved and necessary. I felt like, even when I was being completely transparent it was constant scrutiny and I got tired of it and at times it did feel like punishment.

I'm afraid I don't have much advice except to keep speaking your truth and communicating with WH and eventually it all does come together.

rachelc posted 7/1/2014 17:11 PM

2. He thinks I should trust him?

some waywards really want this and I don't get it. It's like, "hey honey, I'm being good, can't you see? can we get back to normal now?" I told my husband I still had a few trust issues and he takes it personally. I think in his head trust = respect. But that's not how it works. I think people who say this don't understand how hard and long it is to come back from betrayal. He should. He's also a BS. But he just made a choice to trust me and it doesnt' work like that for me. But he thinks it should. I guess i'm projecting here but really, it's going to take years... that's what the books say.

3. He thinks that things can be the same as they were before the A.

again, i don't understand the mindset of this. My game changed. forever. because of what I did. They will NEVER be the same. There are things I will never do or have because of what I did. I have a plenty full life without them, no more going out with the girls, having male friends, going to an overnighter without him. It's a no brainer and I'[m happy to do this to make him feel safe. More importantly, I don't miss it at all. My life is here with him.

sisoon posted 7/1/2014 17:26 PM

I'm writing just to emphasize that your H doesn't seem to understand how difficult it is to rebuild trust, especially after multiple d-days and TT.

IMO, it's not your pain that makes you not trust him. It's the fact he cheated and lied about it for ages. My W's A lasted from 9-15 months, depending on how we actually mark the start, and it took me 2.5-3 years to trust her again.

OTOH, you're 4+ months out from the end of TT, and holding on to old ways at this point doesn't kill R - if he continues to move in the direction of R fast enough for you.

If I were in you shoes, I'd treat it as a blip, but something to watch.

hopefull77 posted 7/1/2014 19:24 PM

Bye bye facebook....

lilacs40 posted 7/1/2014 20:56 PM

WH and I are in the midst of the disagreement right now. Although the difference is my WH is not trying as hard to help me feel safe.

Honestly, I would prefer that he tell me EVERY TIME he has contact with another woman. Now I realize that this isn't really plausible but it would do wonders in the trust department.

I fall into the "this is what you need category and he should do it". At least until you're feeling safer and he has more time to regain your trust.

If it ends up being a one-time thing great. But it's something I would be on the lookout for.

mozzchops posted 7/2/2014 05:16 AM

Punishment is a consequence of his actions.

bionicgal posted 7/2/2014 06:07 AM

We all find these little rub-by areas after a betrayal...where things that the wayward did that were once ok, now aren't. You are right that things have fundamentally shifted. Your H likely still feels he is a good guy underneath it all, and perhaps he has the best intentions, but you know what the road to hell is paved with, right?

Safe actions are what you need. Hopefully he will see how imperative his reparative attempts are for your healing. His willingness to put your needs first in matters of trust is critical.

And, I agree, no wayward needs a facebook least for a long while.

veronique12 posted 7/2/2014 12:15 PM

Thanks everyone. All of your responses are so helpful and honestly it helps to just know I'm being heard and understood.

We had a very long and tearful conversation last night about this and other things. Overall cathartic and I feel he heard me and is willing to do what it takes to start to bring back security. At least I think so.

Re him thinking of himself as the good guy: Exactly. He said that b/c his actions were completely innocent, he had no hidden agenda, he didn't think that it was an issue. I told him that ok, but you need to think about how I might perceive things. I know it's a struggle for someone to think things through like that all the time, but making the effort would go such a long way toward R.

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