Back story; my H had a 4 year LTA, then before I learned that it was actually a PA (told "only" EA) he became entangled with another young employee, "just very good friends". I expressed my discomfort repeatedly about the relationship, he agreed to stop it, then reneged and became stubborn (You can't tell me who I can be friends with). On my second Dday, I received an anonymous letter informing me that the former LTA had been a PA, and that he was now involved in an A with the second woman, call her Sally. I spent a lot of energy disproving that this was actually a PA, including a PI, polygraph, repeated conversations with her, etc. Phone records showed a uncomfortable similarity with the LTA and he finally seemed to "get" that this was wildly inappropriate.
Against some people's better judgment Sally still works for my H. I have full access to his phone, email, etc and have occasionally looked at their correspondence. It has been work related, although now and then I have pointed out things that bothered me and he has changed them (smiley emoticons, etc). Last summer he asked if we could go to her horse show and I said not only no, but hell no, and what was he thinking?
So, this weekend we spent a lot of time together, doing a triathlon, training, etc. Sunday night we were preparing dinner and his phone dinged; text from Sally. I asked him what it was about and he said that she was in a horse show and was letting him know how she did. WTF? It's nothing, he said, read the text stream. So I did. Sent me back into the closet (you know the place, on the floor?). They had texted back and forth through the weekend, her giving him updates on how it was going, his giving congratulations and asking about the venue (which was where he had grown up) and requesting pictures, her sending pictures, him giving updates on the triathlon. OMFG.
I blew a gasket. He protested his innocence--it was nothing, he didn't do anything wrong, he had been working so hard.....I asked him to just read the texts, which he did. Then he admitted that yes, they were inappropriately personal.
So, we recently started with a new MC, who is great by the way. Last night was our session, which mostly focused on how (the fuck) he didn't realize that this was inappropriate before he did it. She called him out when he tried to minimize. She pointed out that I could not feel safe if he could not keep his boundaries. She basically insisted that he not text his employees about anything other than work. (She said that she works with lots of affair couples and texting has really blurred the boundaries of work and personal life for people and greases the slippery slope (my words there)).
He is very down and depressed now, which I am trying hard not to try and fix. He hates to send us backwards and promises that he has learned his lesson, but I am more interested that he look inside and see what the fuck is going on there. I am encouraging him to come here. I have told him that this kind of behavior keeps me from taking divorce off the table.
I would appreciate any insight from you wise folks here. Thanks!
me (WW/BS): 48
4 kiddos in mid 20's
“Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.”
If your H cannot set boundaries for himself then, personally, I'd do it for him.
He needs to fire her. Their relationship is inappropriate for business and for your relationship. You will feel a need to check in his every move as long as she is there and, as long as she is there, he will try to legitimize their every interaction.
There are plenty of people, including men! looking for jobs.
He should abide by no contact for both of these women, forever.
He should never again have a friendship with a woman. Period. He should hire men whenever possible and he should discontinue any employee that he feels an attraction toward.
My H has some boundary issues as well. He wants to be liked; to be the nice guy. Interesting guy. He flirts, uses innuendo, seeks out sounding boards and offers an "ear" for the problems of others. We have deemed this inappropriate.
He has become aware of this behavior, how it effects me and how it can lead to loving feelings. Before, he believed it was innocent; wouldn't go anywhere. Now he knows it's only a matter of time and opportunity!
Every time your H communicates with the OW, they are (intentionally or not) inspiring loving feelings. It must stop.
I agree this was disrespectful. Makes me furious.
The only thing is that I don't think that firing this "Sally" will fix the problem. I think he needs this boundary with every woman who works with him. I don't think that there are "loving feelings" at this time (or ever, for that matter) but that he just doesn't truly get work/life boundaries in general. The fact that he texted with her in this way just shows how little he gets it. He told me that he also had texted another woman about triathlons. She is our age and I consider her a friend too, but we agreed that that should stop as well. Anything nonwork related. Talk about your weekend activities at work in general if you want, but why the hell would you need to share that during the weekend? Ever?
Sally can not be a part of his life. You say she
"works for your husband". Does this mean she is a direct employee of his company or is he a supervisor in a company and she is under his command?
If he is the owner....this is very sucky as termination of her combined with an innappropriate relationship has serious legal ramifications. Her story can change from wanted advances to harrassment based on her opinion.
If he is a supervisor in a company....its a bit less sucky legally as he has more room to adjust what he does for the company and who he does it with. Still sucks though....a few people I work with have had affairs, and it is within their chain of command. All other employees KNOW about it and they note the "weird" dynamic that exists...particularly when it comes to corrective action (or lack their of) towards the subordinate when it is absolutely in order, but doesn't take place. Nothing good comes from sin.
At the end of the day, though.....Sally is not the main problem here.....your husband is. "Sally's" are all around. Your husband found 2 within the same work force. 10 known affairs are part of our 60 employee work force (not all employee-employee, but this is a large percentage of people willing to chose adultery...from cute young flirts to grandparents) You know this....not under any delusion that you don't.
(You can't tell me who I can be friends with).
Dang....that one statement hurt to read. I remember my wife operating in similar fashion after both DD's. That hurt for sure...but what is even more painful to me is that it triggered my old CoD coping mechs, and I "agreed" to repeat a KNOWN DESTRUCTIVE CYCLE!!!! Dang....I did that.
None of this is "minimal" is it? The actions of our spouse or our own actions....it all has consequences that are far from minimal. 'Course many of us spent a lifetime minimizing our feelings, particulary our painful ones. Actively choosing to medicate those feelings so as to avoid feeling, dealing and healing them.
Keep the faith Catlover50. This takes time and is far from linear.
You both remain on my Si-specific prayer list, which I visit often!
God is with us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 8:26 AM, August 21st (Thursday)]
One of them is this change.
Blakesteele can not be solo-interacting with women...but Gracerunner can solo-interact with men. Wife and I both had this attitude. Boundaries are needed for men, not for women.
Married people need to have firm boundaries with all opposite sexed people.
I see my wife struggle to move into this stance....and I see me struggle with the destructive temptation to abandon it!
Tough, tough trial.
Thanks for posting.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 8:32 AM, August 21st (Thursday)]
I just went through something similar with HL. Your right, she isn't the issue, he is. And every woman is a potential problem for him. Just like HL. So have you requested he go to IC so he can fix this issue once and for all?
Married 4 years. Dating 8. Living together 7.
If a man took his time on earth
to prove be for he died
what on man's life could be worth
I wonder what would happen to the world
- Harry Chapin
Tired girl, I read your thread with interest. Seemed to have a lot of parallels. And yes, he is planning to continue in IC with our MC. We needed to meet with her together initially, frankly, for me to see if she would hold him accountable; his last IC did not seem to. She really seems to be stronger that way and he does like her. With his avoidance issues I have found if I am not in the room the story does not get told. Sigh.
He is her direct employer and firing her would be likely illegal. But the texting was completely not necessary and although he gets it now, I continue to be bothered by how he didn't see that before. I see it as completely black and white. My guess is that he FEELS differently now, not hiding anything, not compulsive, etc, and so felt that it was a different story at this time. I see it as a major backslide into complacency. He is just so FREAKING unselfaware sometimes that it scares me and makes me feel unsafe. He basically spent his LTA ignoring what he was doing and not examining it IN ANY WAY. So this is trigger city for me.
Couple that with the fact that he has only minimally addressed his CSA and the massive FOO that have been uncovered and I feel that we are only scratching the surface.
Thanks for your support all!
I see it as completely black and white. My guess is that he FEELS differently now, not hiding anything, not compulsive, etc, and so felt that it was a different story at this time. I see it as a major backslide into complacency. He is just so FREAKING unselfaware sometimes that it scares me and makes me feel unsafe.
This is almost exactly where we are. He was totally unaware and not trying to hide anything. But totally unaware, and that makes me feel very unsafe. That is what has to be dealt with.
Since he takes emergency and owns the clinic, he is never really "off" call. So the phone is always near. And, as our MC explained, that makes boundaries looser.
They need to be tightened.
The problem with this is that it all may very well be "innocent." But innocent crosses the line and then continues down a very wrong path. You cannot control what he does, etc. But you can express your need to feel safe in the marriage and if he can't respect that, well, then you need to protect yourself.
Last year when my SAWH was still very much in a fog, mourning the loss of his relationship with the OW, still TT, not getting it, a close friend of mine - who has been through a LOT of therapy in her life - suggested that I ask my husband to move out of our bedroom so that I could have some space. I was hesitant at first, but now I can see THAT was a defining moment. It was when I drew a line in the sand that said, "If you do not get with the program, you are out and this is the first step towards that." He remained out of the bedroom for 6 months. The only reason he moved back in was because we had family coming into town for a big event and we needed the guest room again. Moving back in was premature but when he did move all of his stuff back in, he seemed grateful and happy. That is not to say we have not had our share of ups and downs since then. I don't know...something to think about.
It is easy for the WS to have a good stretch of "model citizen" and then start slipping into old, tried and true patterns. What they don't understand is how cliche they are. They think they are so special and unique that they won't be the person who slips up again. Guess what? This is why SI exists! This is why MC is so expensive! It's because you think you - and millions like you - are so special.
he has only minimally addressed his CSA and the massive FOO that have been uncovered and I feel that we are only scratching the surface.
I am ALSO working in IC on my own CSA thing....I have dug deeper into it and it is shocking to see how deeply a 15-45 minute stand-alone event has affected me for 30 years. (at least we believe it was a stand alone event...took me a while to fully remember the event details, was shocked to remember what I have. sucky but healthy. KWIM?)
The massive FOO issues? They are there for BOTH of us.
So much work to do....checking your OWN motives while being alert to the hurts your spouse is continuing to choose, and then respond in healthy ways to both!
Might suggest your read Jrazz's post.....it kinda "reset" my warped mind a bit. To be sure, you have a REAL boundary attack and he has a REAL boundary issue. This post really address's how to do BOTH support the other while recognizing and addressing REAL feelings and dealing with REAL facts.
We got your back...keep posting.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 10:01 AM, August 21st (Thursday)]
He is her direct employer and firing her would be likely illegal. But the texting was completely not necessary and although he gets it now, I continue to be bothered by how he didn't see that before. I see it as completely black and white.
Don't get me wrong. I only say that I don't like to think in black and white terms to emphasis that this is a case worthy of exception.
All this talk reminds me of a conversation my wife and I once had.
Me: "If you have any contact with him ever again we are done. And I mean any contact. If he is in a burning car and you pull him out we are done. I want you to understand that."
Me: "I'm serious. You go near him even to save his life I'm done with you."
Wife: "You can't divorce me for saving someone's life. that's ridiculous."
Me: "I can."
Wife: "I wouldn't just let anyone die it's not even about him"
Me: "You have to make your own choices, but I'm telling you what will happen if you do."
[This message edited by Wodnships at 10:01 AM, August 21st (Thursday)]
What discussions have you had with regards to contact?
I think he's risking more than you are, and I think if he doesn't solve this, he'll lose more than you will. If he doesn't build good boundaries and self-awareness, he'll not only lose you, but he'll be vulnerable to effing up every relationship he has in the future, too.
It sounds like he's getting how important this is and wants to solve it. That's the first step. I just wish I could outline what else he has to do. (My own blind spots scare the crap out of me....)
Stay true to yourself, cat. Hugs if you want 'em: (((hugs)))
You might reframe this a step forward. That might make it easier to recover from. Depression over a 'step backward' is wasted energy.
It IS a step forward in that you uncovered a new problem, and you can't solve a problem until you know it's there.
Rachelc--I asked for their contact to be professional only. This clearly crossed that boundary.
Wodnships--I like your style. I asked my H if he wanted to be friends with young women and he said "I don't know" (which is his go to response, btw). This made me angry, but I calmly replied that he can be friends with young women, but not if he is married to me. He felt that that was a threat. I said that it is a boundary. I asked him if he felt saying that he can't have sex with other women and be married to me is a threat and he said no. I said that that is the same. It is a boundary and he can choose to accept it or not.
Sisoon--yes I guess you are right. We could look at this as an opportunity.
The loosening of boundaries. **sigh** And isn't this how it all begins…
So much of this on this forum as of late. Once it is identified, it is a wait and see to observe tangible actions that show a movement toward real change.
I pray your WH is able to reset his boundaries. Does he know why he allowed it to happen? As you said, you requested business only contact. Why the slip? If he can identify that, I think you will be on the right path.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Viktor Frankl
"When you are happy, you can forgive a great deal."