After talking, he let me know he had anxiety and still has anxiety about it. The way he was describing the anxiety seems no different than the same anxiety we, BSes, feel when we don't feel safe. I feel horrible about it because I would've never wished that awful feeling on my worst enemy.
I truly thought that having my friend stay here while I stayed elsewhere was an ideal situation for everyone. It wasn't.
Now what do I do? Am I supposed to wash my hands of my long-time friend who has been there for me through thick and thin? I want R more than anything, but am I now supposed to turn my back on someone who was one of my biggest support systems during the most painful time of my life?
[This message edited by NoReGrets at 3:48 AM, December 11th (Wednesday)]
But after a partner's A, a night alone with a potential sex partner is, I suspect, dangerous even for a BS with strong boundaries.
I don't know the best answer for you on this one, though.
Always, tell the other BS! Always!
"It's hard to be in love when you can't tell lies"!
My WH has been terrified that I will have a RA. Rationally, he knows I'll never do this, but he's still frightened of it. I had to travel for work shortly after DD, abroad, and shut off my data service because it's so expensive. I also stayed at a place with no Wifi, so I couldn't Skype. In any case, I "went dark" for quite a while, what with my meetings and so forth. He went a little crazy. I guess I'm just a bitch because as far as I was concerned I just thought "well, GOOD". I don't see what's wrong with him having a bit of insight into what I feel, particularly because my conscience is 100% clear.
Prior to DD, I always knew that WH had a bit of a jealous streak, which he did a good job of controlling over the years. Out of consideration for him, I was extra-careful not to raise his anxieties. Post DD, my attitude has changed somewhat...
If there were the remotest possibility of me being sexually attracted to him, I could see it being a dangerous set-up for me. But in that case, I just wouldn't have maintained a friendship with him for 25 years.
I am as respectful and careful of boundaries as I have always been. My boundaries are clear and firm, and I have not transgressed them. I see no reason why I should have to change or let go of friendships that are healthy for me, simply because my H chose to violate our marriage. Clearly, he has demonstrated that he is capable of setting my best interests aside for his own selfish desires. Why would I ever rid myself of my support system? He's taken enough from me.
I don't think your WSO has the right to treat you as though you have betrayed him and are untrustworthy. He has the right to check up on you and verify, he has the right to ask whatever questions that he wants, but he does not have the right to make you feel guilty about a relationship that, clearly, you have acted respectfully and responsibly in. It sounds a little controlling to me, tbh.
He feels anxious? He doesn't like feeling anxious? Sorry, but wah wah. Join a support group.
That said, I do think it's going too far to have your friend stay at your place. Would you have been ok with WSO doing the same thing(sexes reversed of course) prior to the A?
Does WSO know this guy, or is he just aware of who he is? Obviously, he is a friend of yours, but is he a FOR? Friend of the relationship) Does he support the two of you in your efforts at R?
IMHO, having him stay at your place, even if you are gone is *a bridge too far*. Especially if your goal is to R. How does making your WSO uncomfortable fit into your plans for R?
WSO has never met my friend. I've asked him many times to please meet with him on the rare occasions that he is in town so that he can see for himself what our friendship entails. He refuses to meet him.
As far as my friend being a friend of the relationship, he was the biggest cheerleader for the relationship pre-A. Like almost every other friend I have, he is keeping a very weary and watchful eye. There are a handful of people who saw me during the most painful and worst time of my life. I know it broke their heart to see me in that condition. They don't want to see me hurt. They are not so quick to trust WSO.
I have a few close guy friends. Boundaries have never been crossed with them, and I have never made a secret of any of these relationships. Anything I do with them or any conversations I have with them would not be anything WSO would not be privy to. I have nothing to hide. I have never lied.
As much as I like it when I've been in a relationship with someone who doesn't have female friends, it always makes me wonder a little bit. Do you have no female friends because you try to have sex with them all? And I already know people like my WSO have poor boundaries, so at this point in time for him, if he were to start having friends of the opposite sex, I wouldn't like it, especially if I know he's never really had any in the past.
Honestly, I was not trying to make my WSO feel uncomfortable. I truly thought that by driving way out of my way to stay with my BFF would be a perfect idea for everyone. That was my way of making him feel safe. Of course, in hindsight, vision is 20/20. Had I known it was still going to be a problem as big as it is today or even bother WSO, I would have had friend make different arrangements. I would have even asked friend to make the trip at a different time.
Thank you, everyone, for your input. I find it interesting that the posts from men are in the camp of suggesting that I should have done differently. I wish I did now, even if it was just to avoid conflict. But I can't go back in time 72 hours. So now what? WSO is even thinking he may want to pull out of R because of this. At times, I think to myself, "Are you f'n kidding me?!" However, his feelings are his feelings, and that doesn't make them any less valid because of what he's done in the past. It broke my heart to know my actions caused someone I care about the misery I know all too well, regardless of the fact that I never lied or cheated or anything like that.
So now what? WSO is even thinking he may want to pull out of R because of this
Oh, FFS. What a diva. This is just downright manipulative, and makes me wonder how much he's controlling you. Does he often resort to emotional blackmail?
It broke my heart to know my actions caused someone I care about the misery I know all too well
I'm just not seeing how your actions could make him miserable to this extent. Uncomfortable, maybe. But miserable? Give me a break. There is absolutely no way this is in any way equivalent to what you have experienced. Even the title of this thread indicates that you do think this is a valid comparison. NO. It is not.
Sounds like your WH is welcoming this opportunity to get the upper hand.
I also agree that waywards have earned greater boundaries than non waywards. That's not a punishment, but a recognition that they have shown they need it.
However, I am not a big fan of such intimate friendships with the opposite sex. Even if you have the best of intentions there is always the risk that a line will eventually be crossed.
Counseling is definitely something WSO and I have discussed. We wanted to see if R was something that was even a possibility before we committed to counseling. We have felt that we were not quite in a place to be in couple's counseling yet.
As some of you have suggested, I think he may be projecting his fears because of what he has done. However, his feelings are still his feelings, I don't think it would be fair to invalidate them.
In no way do I think that the present circumstances due to my decisions that I at the time thought was ideal for everyone in any way compares to what he did and that state I was in as a result of such is even a close comparison. But I also know how those feelings of anxiety and unease suck. I don't want him to feel that way, and he does because he says my decision-making process didn't let him feel safe.
So now am I at a point where I forfeit my friendship to attempt R?
WSO do not get to issue ultimatums. They already took what they needed for themselves - they are in or they are out.
[This message edited by plainpain at 7:59 PM, December 11th (Wednesday)]
And it sounds lke you're doing all of the giving here. Have you read up on co-dependency? There's a lot of discussion about his feelings and very little about yours. What about what HE needs to do to make YOU feel safe? This all seems like a huge distraction from what ought to be the main issue - that he fucked someone else. I don't understand why you're letting him make you feel guilty. Like I said before, there's a serious power imbalance here, and he's the one calling the shots, apparently. You really need to claim your power, here.
[This message edited by Blobette at 8:44 PM, December 11th (Wednesday)]
You're right. I thought that I was taking his feelings into consideration by doing what I did. Some people agree, and some don't. Some people also think that I didn't have to go out of my way the way I did. I guess it's all a matter of perspective and opinion, and none are wrong.
I suppose a better option would've have been to let him get a hotel and rental car, especially since money is not an issue.
I have been thinking quite a bit about the dynamics of the relationship versus friendship. Friend and I are close. We have talked almost daily for almost 12 yrs. He has met other exes I have had in the past because I always try to incorporate the important people in my relationships.
But 5454 put something into perspective for me. Pre-A, I may have been okay if situations were reversed. Post-A, definitely not. However, how would I feel with my SO chatting with another female every day, even if boundaries are not being crossed, even without taking into consideration the history of cheating? I would probably have my questions and doubts. I just always trusted those I was with enough to believe they would never betray me.
I am currently reevaluating my friendships. Yes, I know WSO and I have differences in opinions regarding this. No, I will not forfeit the friends I do have who have been there for me, but I think if R is truly what I want, then it is only fair that I change the extent of my friendships with certain people, even if they are only platonic. This goes for any relationship I choose to have now or in the future.
Maybe I am being a pushover. I don't know.
There were times in the past where he has done the emotional blackmail. There were also times in the past where I was co-dependant. The time apart allowed me to see that. Yes, I still hurt from his betrayal. Not a day goes by where I don't think about it. The separation was good for me, as it allowed me to step back and try to see things from a less biased standpoint. It also allowed me to see that being co-dependant was not healthy, and my happiness once upon a time was directly correlated with how WSO and I were doing. Being on my own allowed me to realize once again that I don't need him to be happy. I don't need him in my life at all. This time, I CHOSE to let him back into my life. I am fine without him, and I always will be. I was not shy about letting WSO know this. I can walk away tomorrow and be totally fine.
As far as WSO's work goes, I'd be lying if I said he was model WSO. He's got a lot of work, and he knows it, and I see his efforts. If I feel he is not measuring up to what I want to see, then I voice my feelings. I no longer walk on eggshells like I once did years ago.
I recently read Dalai Lama's Little Book of Inner Peace. The principles he talks about are so simple and basic that it's easy to forget about them and get so caught up in all the tedious details of everyday life. The book has also helped put things in perspective for me in the grand scheme of things. It's also helped me find some peace within myself. Sure, a WS can play a major role in helping a BS heal, but I will not rely on anyone else to help me heal. If they do, great; if not, I can work on healing myself.
I hope that answers any more questions. 2x4s are welcome.
That being said, I think that when we are working on R with our FWSO/FWS's, it is considerate to adopt the same boundaries that we are requiring of them. I know that in some cases this may be extreme (ie no personal conversations with coworkers of opposite gender) but the bottom line for boundaries is preventing any slippery slopes.
I have much respect for your consideration of things, NoReGrets. I think that having an opposite-gender friend stay at your place might be pushing good boundaries a bit, but I like that you stayed elsewhere, though. I think that that was considerate. Another option might have been having your WSO stay with you all at your place while your friend was there. There are reasonable workarounds to what might be a categorically uncomfortable situation. You do not deserve the same level of scrutiny as your WSO is under, but it's always a good idea to do for our SO as we would like them to do for us. KWIM?
For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning. - T.S. Eliot
I actually brought it up before friend was coming in, and I said to WSO, "Hey, friend is coming and I've offered to let him stay. If it's okay, I'd like to spend the night at your place, but if you have plans, I can go to BFF's." Had he said, "I don't want friend there," I would have made different arrangements. Again, I can't change things now.
Thank you all for taking the time and your input. I appreciate it very much. I still have a lot to think about.
[This message edited by NoReGrets at 4:26 AM, December 20th (Friday)]