I have never been one to open up and communicate my feelings either.
I understand the need to have a shoulder to lean on.
But asking her to give up everything in her life that is not me.
She is not the cold hearted bitch you all paint her as.
That "privacy" and insistence that she doesn't/shouldn't have to be emotionally intimate and completely open with you, could kill your marriage friend.
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne
"You can do it!" - R. Schneider
Does she NOT need to change who she is in order to successfully reconcile?
I strongly recommend some independent reading, starting with Not Just Friends by Dr. Shirley Glass if you are so inclined. You wife needs to be an open book. Period. She shouldn't be saying anything, to anyone, that she wouldn't want you to see. Why would she need to do that? Are you two a team or are you not?
Is she willing to choose her M over her "privacy" or vice versa?
Reasons, justifications, explanations, situations, and excuses aside, it comes down to this.
Once those decisions (and other foundation building ones) are made, then the work to reconcile (or not) can begin...because if this is an issue now, after 3 years, there were some things that weren't dealt with or were done out of placation or temporary/bandaid fixes.
Figure out what your boundaries are, then defend them.
The advice is pretty standard for a successful R...full transparency,no friends who aren't friends of the marriage,NC(this includes mental contact/the emotional connection she has to him), and putting your spouse and marriage above your friends.
You are not asking her to give everything up but you. You are asking her to be accountable and respectful of your feelings..and the fragile place she has put your marriage due to her affair. You are asking her to be open and honest with you. You are asking her to put you first.
If her friends are concerned about you seeing things they text about their own lives..I get that. But..she had an affair..and owes complete transparency to her husband,first and foremost. Her friend can change the way she communicates..she can call her,or see her in person. But her phone should be completely open to you.
She should WANT to do this. It helps build trust. Complete transparency is absolutely a must..if you want to R successfully.
..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.
You asked her to show you her phone and email accounts, tools of her A and betrayal, so that you could confirm she is doing what she said she would (maintaining NC) and she refused. Another way to look at this is you turned to her for help in repairing trust and connection in the M and she said no.
Razor is right that nothing she shows you now will mean anything, because she has had time to clean-up the account or set up a hidden or alternative method of communication.
You can try to install key loggers and other tracking software to monitor her communication. You can spy on her, and track her. You can worry about what you missed or she slipped by. If you WW does not care enough about you and her M to try and make things right nothing you do will help. So, here is my advice.
Assume she had evidence of contact with OM on her phone. Had she showed you the phone and you had seem proof of contact, what would you have done? Do that. Now, tell her that for good reason you do not trust her, and it is on her to prove to you that she is maintaining NC, that she is working to address her issues and to repair the M. Tell her you will not be her warden, that it is on her to figure out how to fix her mess, and then show you that she is doing it. You will be happy to work with her, but the burden to figure it all out, take action, and sustain action is on her. Then, believe only what you see.
If she does not prove to you that she is maintaining NC, assume she is not. If she does not prove to you that she is working on her stuff, attending IC, getting better, assume that she is not. If she does not prove to you that she wants to be M’d to you, that she desires you, presume that she does not. Make your decisions on only what you see from her.
Meanwhile, focus on yourself. Expand your network of friends, find activities you can do without relying on your WW, shore up your finances, exercise, and return to hobbies you set aside when you married. Attend some IC too help work through your post dday issues.
Good Luck, and enjoy the games on Saturday.
This is part of learning about healthy boundaries.
In R, you need to turn toward one another, not away.
^^ what Rebreather said.
Leafsfan, people are trying to point out what R looks like. Transparency is needed but it goes deeper than wanting to keep tabs on your spouse. Aubrie nailed that. You aren't exempt from that work either.
IMO, you heal when you start to look at what you can change and focus more on that.
Something you all should know is that I have never been one to open up and communicate my feelings either. I understand the need to have a shoulder to lean on. The people she turns to are her friends YES, but really she should not be entitled to have friends now ?? How is that healthy.??
I'm a bit confused. Did you want us to tell you that it's fine for her to hide her emails? Were you looking for someone to tell you that you were being unreasonable?
No one here is painting her as a cold hearted bitch. We are painting her as someone that has proven that it isn't beneath her to cheat. We are painting her as someone that, due to her own actions, is suspect and needs to go above and beyond to have the trust that is needed in a relationship. We are painting her as someone that will behave in very unhealthy ways if something sets her off.
We are painting YOU as someone that has asked for something that is a very normal request given the circumstances. We are saying that transparency is needed, and she should give it willingly. We are saying that someone that will not share their emails is hiding something in them. Maybe it isn't cheating. I don't know. I do know she doesn't want you to see her emails. That should trouble you.
You came here to ask the opinions of people that have in some way been touched by infidelity. You knew exactly what the answers would be before writing it, so again, I'm a bit confused.
If she wants to vent to her friends, she can call them. She has plenty of ways to communicate besides email. So what exactly is she worried about?
You have your own doubts or you wouldn't be here asking. You are now defending her, which is really too bad because you are firm on the side of 'let her have her private emails' because you don't like people saying she may be hiding something.
It was a simple request that you asked of her. What reason, besides really shitting on you to her friends or cheating, is there to hide?
But asking her to give up everything in her life that is not me. That is very selfish..... And not something I would ask
You aren't asking her to do that.
You are asking her to be honest and open....
Unless, honest and open aren't her, then you have bigger problems my friend.
Given the above, you have to get to healthy within yourself, within your M, and your W has to heal herself and get healthy too. Part of that is doing things that she may not like, you may not like, or are very uncomfortable for the both of you. If you choose not to fine, but know that you will be setting yourself up for future pain and suffering.
You have been given an opportunity to heal and help each other, and even though she feels a need to have someone to vent to, it shouldn't be anyone other than you or a therapist, or a possibly a priest/pastor/rabbi. She should not be saying anything to anyone ever that she can't say or repeat in front of you. Sure I will occasionally bitch about my H to someone else, but if it were repeated I could confidently say to him, yes this is how I feel, and you are behaving like an ass.
She has lost all right to privacy, and secrecy. Without being 110%transparent know that you should not trust her. Like others have said if she offers it up now, know that she has cleaned it up. Also don't for a second think that she has not opened a new email that you are completely unaware of. I'm not saying she is doing it to mean, or hateful, or cause problems, but that she feels the need to have secrets, and will continue to behave that way until she called out on it, has consequences for it, or heals whatever it is within herself that drives this need.
I would stop arguing with her, tell her you fully expect 100% transparency. Then if she fights it again, and even if she doesn't I would install a keylogger. Just my 2 cents worth.
...to be told she should not be entitled to have her own friends anymore
You are getting a lot of advice offered by folks. A very small part of that refers to the friends, and as I read it the comments re: friends was more about ensuring that her friends are Friends of the Marriage. Also, this is not a permanent thing regarding total access, but until trust is restored many of us do not want to let our WS decide what communications we can and cannot see.
Ignore the friends part if it does not feel right and work on implementing the rest of the advice and you will be off to a great start.
Point is, I have it, as she has full access to mine. There are some things that she is uncomfortable with me seeing, but accepts that in a true marriage(remember that part about two becoming 1?) there are no secrets. She was scared that if I saw her venting that I would leave. I told her that everyone vents. I'm not perfect(well, almost), she has a right to vent about me sometimes.
What we're trying to do is open the doors of communication so that there is no need to vent. Be completely honest with each other. If there's a need to vent, do it right away. Don't let it fester.
[This message edited by SuperDuperWonderboy at 3:20 PM, November 27th (Wednesday)]
Good point, if your WS needs a friend to vent about you or the M to, then you, your WS, and the M never get a chance to develop honest communication, for intimacy.
Yes I knew what the answers were going to be regarding transparency. What I want expecting is to be told she should not be entitled to have her own friends anymore. That seems extream to me. Maybe I'm an idiot. But that's how I feel.
I didn't read that, but I can see where you did. Of course she should have friends. Everyone should. No one can be the soul support system for another. Her life should include everything that everyone else's does. She just needs to be willing to be more transparent with things like emails, facebook, cell phone, etc. That is very reasonable given the history, imo. If she is ripping you to her friends in emails, well that's wrong anyway, and as I said, she can call them to vent if she needs to. She shouldn't be doing that, but you can see that she is on a call with a friend by the phone number without knowing what they discussed, right?
I think it's great that you want to defend her. I truly do. But please, don't go so far that you defend her 'right' to keep her emails private because you think some answers went too far. That doesn't help your marriage at all.
Again, you asked for those passwords for a reason. I'm not saying she is acting different or that you suspect something. I'm just saying that something made you decide to ask for them. Her saying no should be a red flag.
Of course if her friends are not friends of the M, meaning that they encourage poor boundaries, or discourage fidelity, or even dis on you she shouldn't be hanging with those people. In addition she probably shouldn't be allowed to just go and do with them whenever she wants until you start to rebuild trust.
Listen prior to Dday I didnt care if H went out with buddies, and if he had a few drinks, or went to strip clubs, because I trusted him, and knew he would behave, after he lied to me, and had his A, and then used his friends as an excuse to see OW, I didn't trust him going out with them, because he had proven himself untrustworthy. Ony one friend knew of the A during the A, and of course he is no longer a friend in any way. When he did go out with friends or go on hunting trips, with " The guys" he always provided me with their phone numbers, and encouraged me to contact them if I needed to to make sure that he was where he would be, because he got it, he knew that he had ruined that trust and the only way to rebuild it was for him to earn it. I would text and call sometimes, and thankfully last year I had those numbers, because H lost his phone, and I was able to contact a friend to find out if he was alive or not, since I hadn't heard from him.
So my point is if she really gets it, then she will be doing anything and everything to help you, and start earning trust back.