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User Topic: When should a WS draw boundaries with a BS?
wheredoigo
♀ Member
Member # 42327
Default  Posted: 5:02 PM, April 1st (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Today my BS said something harsh to me in front of our real estate agent (who was also a client of mine) and I saw her puzzled look from her and then she quickly left our house to exit the uncomfortable moment. After she left, I mentioned it to him that I could tell that she felt really uncomfortable by his statement about me and that his comment was so random that it even caught me off guard. I lightly mentioned that it caused the moment to be uncomfortable and maybe to give me a little more warning next time. He returned with "I didn't do this to us."

I didn't know how to handle the situation and it bothered me that his anger has escalated to not caring if he has made someone else uncomfortable and upset.

Which leads me to this topic question...

When should a WS draw boundaries with a BS?

I don't mean this in a physical sense because he would NEVER be physical. For us, it is all verbal topics. Sometimes I feel lost on how to react when I feel a topic has escalated too much, I tell him it is too much and it becomes unproductive, but he continues until we end up fighting.

It's not that I don't feel remorseful, I feel a terrible that I could be the person I was during the A's, but I'm trying to figure out how to handle his anger in sorrow for the loss of our relationship security and in love and care for him while he is saying terrible things to me and I know I am the one who caused him to feel this way.

It started with him about a year ago after our 1st DDay pointing out other women to me and telling me they are hot. One included a mom in my son's pre-class that dressed in tight clothing.

Since DDay#2 it has gradually became worse. He knows that I know he has spent a lot of time lurking on the Madhatter board and that his BFF (who's wife had an EA) recently confessed that he's considered having a ONS to get back at his WW, it then recently escalated to asking me if I would leave him if he had his own A. I responded that I would leave knowing that now we are both fully aware of the devastation that this has caused us and if he made the decision then it would be toxic. I feel awful knowing that he feels that nothing he can do will ever make things "even." He wasn't a part of my terrible decision because I never gave him a choice.

It's been on my mind so much lately, that now I am dreaming about it. Two nights ago I had a dream that we were together 15 years from now and he had a A. He told me that he had waited until the kids were grown so that he could return the hurt I made toward him. It shook me to the core.

I am trying to be realistic knowing that we are only 1 month out from DDay#2 (it occurred a year after DDAY#1 when I became a SI member and realized that I was not protecting him by withholding the truth--I had to let go the fear of losing him and )and 3 weeks from the poly I set up to try and give him confirmation of our completed timeline.

I know that there can be a lot of anger, but should I try to de-escalate? I feel like when I do, he feels that I am dismissing it.

I try to remember (still learning to respond in a different way than before) and acknowledge his anger and then ask what I can do and that usually helps, but more often he is returning with a smirk and saying "you've done enough."

Some of this is due the amount of time we have spent together since DDay#2. With his job scheduling and vacation, he has been off work every day, with us spending 24hrs/7days together. I am beyond thankful that we had this time together as it has helped us move forward in some ways tremendously. And to be honest, I struggle with the thought of the day he has to go back to work next week.

In whole, I feel like now that the anger is flowing over to conversations with others it could potentially have adverse effects on those relationships (ie- he's not being "a friend of the marriage" to his BFF by advocating poor advice and/or making comments to others -the real estate agent-that make others feel upset or uncomfortable that have no relation to our issues)


I know that what we are going through are a result of my actions. I feel devastated, disgusted, and embarrassed of them and express that often.

Feel free to send any 2x4's if I'm missing something. This is a new way of life and all I want to do is help. I don't want to cause any more damage. I want to support him. I know it will take time and we are at the beginning of it all. I know it is ultimately his decision of whether he wants this. I love him so much.

Any advice from either side is welcomed.

[This message edited by wheredoigo at 5:13 PM, April 1st (Tuesday)]


WW(me) 33
BS(him/Jt8d) 35 | Teaches me real, true unbroken love every day.

"Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully." J. Brot


Posts: 89 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: Midwest
ThoughtIKnewYa
♀ Member
Member # 18449
Default  Posted: 5:21 PM, April 1st (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Is he a member here?

I am a FBS and I think the comment to the RE Agent is crossing the line. He shouldn't say something to someone outside of the M that can come back to bite both of you, in the future. This should be between the two of you and whoever you decide, together, should know.

I understand that he is lashing out because he's hurt, though.


Posts: 11383 | Registered: Mar 2008
cindergirl
♀ New Member
Member # 42966
Default  Posted: 5:48 PM, April 1st (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree that dropping comments in front of the real estate agent is crossing the line. I'm honestly not sure how to handle this appropriately. It took a few months for my BSO to stop lashing out in anger at every turn. He threw the "you did this" line at me, too. Which of course is true, but terribly negligent of his own responsibility to be a decent human being. It was hard for me, but I started pointing out when he crosses boundaries and now he reigns himself in. 3.5 months out from D-day, he apologizes when I point out that he's being unnecessarily harsh or juvenile. Perhaps your BS simply needs more time and patience and gently pointing out when he crosses boundaries?

Pointing out how hot other women are is also boundary crossing. It's intended to be hurtful and undermining. I presume it's effective in its intent. I'm sorry you're experiencing that. Mine hasn't said anything quite like that, but has said other equally hurtful things. So I would ask him, "Does that make you feel better? Because if it does, go ahead and I'll take it." Inevitably, he would admit that it didn't make him feel better, it actually made him feel worse, and eventually he stopped doing it. Win-win for both of us.


The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. -Joseph Campbell

Posts: 37 | Registered: Apr 2014 | From: United States
wheredoigo
♀ Member
Member # 42327
Default  Posted: 7:15 PM, April 1st (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

TIKY,

Yes. He's a member. He's more of a lurker, though. I'm just worried because I've seen a lot of his past habits that he does in stress come back since the A. Maybe I can discuss IC and it will help him to talk with someone other than me? (The last person he probably wants to discuss negative reaction patterns with.)

So I would ask him, "Does that make you feel better? Because if it does, go ahead and I'll take it."

Thanks, cindergirl. I will try that. I really appreciate your own personal insight.


WW(me) 33
BS(him/Jt8d) 35 | Teaches me real, true unbroken love every day.

"Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully." J. Brot


Posts: 89 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: Midwest
cindergirl
♀ New Member
Member # 42966
Default  Posted: 9:12 PM, April 1st (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I hope it helps. Re-reading that, I realize how easy it is to infuse that question with snark. I never did. I asked him levelly. It did really seem to have the effect of bringing him back to earth and helping him see how vitriolic he was being.


The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. -Joseph Campbell

Posts: 37 | Registered: Apr 2014 | From: United States
numb&dumb
♂ Member
Member # 28542
Default  Posted: 11:02 AM, April 2nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

All else being equal I do think involving other people in your M is a problem. Obviously that was the problem in the first place.

At one month out and after a year of TT, he isn't going to be "normal" for awhile. He is more than likely wondering what else. Even with the poly, he had a year of doubting what you told him and the damage to your creditability just doesn't go away in a day or even a month. Transparency would help here. Even things you have thought of, but he didn't ask for. Doing that helped me believe that my W was authentic with her desire to regain my trust.

Boundaries are required, but at a month out I know how I would have reacted to a discussion about boundaries.

Do you ever initiate a discussion about remorse, guilt, etc. Or do they only come up when he gets angry ?

If so, his outburst are being reenforced by this. His outburst are getting him what he needs right now.

Nothing infuriates a BS more than a WS that is only being reactive instead of proactive. I am not just talking about discussions, I ma talking about across the board.

Anger is a secondary emotion and underneath I can tell you is a whole pile of hurt, sadness, insecurity and a low opinion of himself. The problem is that he doesn't trust you enough to be vulnerable, so he eclipses it with anger. Anger becomes a shield to protect himself from you hurting him again. In his mind it isn't really a questions of "if," something will be revealed or happen again. It is a matter of, "when." The poly was the foundation, but again that is hard to change once ingrained for over a year.

Most of all I believe he is struggling with hating himself right now. I know it is hard for some WS to comprehend, but a lot of BS especially BH go through this stage.

In order to keep the marriage, they have to go against every instinct and deeply held belief they had about M and fidelity in general. That is very hard on someone and exacts a heavy toll on them.

Words are going to get you what you need. Actions will, but not immediately.

You might say something like, " I am so deeply saddened by what I have done to you (don't say us, he isn't thinking in terms of us right now). You trusted, loved and believed in me and I took advantage of that. I don't understand why, but I know it is not who I want to be. I can't erase the past, but I can make sure that I am safe so we can decide what our future holds. One thing we need to make sure that this never happens again is that our M stays between us and maybe a counselor or two. You don't owe me anything, but I believe this will help provide you the safety you need in working through this. I love you and it kills me to know that my actions have caused these uncharacteristic behaviors in you. If you are mad at me, that is OK, I am mad at me too. Please can we agree to not involve other people, other than counselors ?"

Then let him talk. Just listen, nod. Don't say anything. Let him exhaust the anger and I'll bet the underlying emotions start to come out. If he ask questions, obviously answer them, but let him do most of the talking. Keep your emotions in check as best as you can, speak in softer tones, cry if you need to, but mostly listen. If he has other ideas about how to handle this try to incorporate them into what you are asking for. Once you both have an agreement on the topic, both of you adhere to it. No talking to friends, family or others regarding your M. Only the two of you get any say in the R or D of it.

YMMV, but that is how I would have like my W to have handled a similar situation.

ETA:

He returned with "I didn't do this to us."

There isn't a good response to this question for you. All you can do is agree. Anything else is one of the many terms for deflecting responsibility.

[This message edited by numb&dumb at 11:03 AM, April 2nd (Wednesday)]


Me-35 her-35

DS 1, DD 6
Dday 8/31/11. ONS that occurred 3 years earlier. Lied to for 3 years.

Every truth comes to light in a long enough timeline.


Posts: 2538 | Registered: May 2010
cindergirl
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Member # 42966
Default  Posted: 1:24 PM, April 2nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Lots of good insight, numb&dumb. I find your words beneficial to me and my situation, too. Thank you.


The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. -Joseph Campbell

Posts: 37 | Registered: Apr 2014 | From: United States
Credence
♂ Member
Member # 42682
Default  Posted: 5:55 PM, April 2nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Most of all I believe he is struggling with hating himself right now. I know it is hard for some WS to comprehend, but a lot of BS especially BH go through this stage.

In order to keep the marriage, they have to go against every instinct and deeply held belief they had about M and fidelity in general. That is very hard on someone and exacts a heavy toll on them

I agree with numb&numb's very wise words. The internal conflict that a BH has to deal with is excruciating. Personally, I've always felt a duty to protect my W and take care of her but the A made me think that I couldn't even protect myself. I've always been strong and confident and I've felt safe and secure in my M but since DDay I've been reduced to feeling like a failure. I've been overwhelmed by insecurities that I never had and flooded with emotions that I've never experienced before. There is nothing but chaos and mayhem in my head which can make it rather difficult to be rational all of the time. I need to process all of these things but they're all new to me so I've got to learn how to process them and all the while I've got a voice in my head screaming at me to run away from this newfound danger so that I never have to face it again. I'm angry, sad, scared, confused, resigned, regretful, alarmed, despondent, hopeful and anxious all at the same time so boundaries are the farthest thing from my mind.

He is already aware that there is a boundary that should not be crossed but the lashing out can be almost involuntary and immediately followed by shame at having lashed out... and the only way to overcome that immediate sense of shame... yep you guessed it... reminding you that you caused all of this.
He needs to be able to release his anger and any attempt you make to diffuse it will make it seem as though you are minimising his pain. I know it's tough to take the anger but that's what you need to do - try not to take it to heart, it's a pressure release. It will get better. He'll start to feel human again and get a better grip on the anger.


If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you always got

Posts: 182 | Registered: Mar 2014 | From: UK
Jrazz
♀ Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 6:17 PM, April 2nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Gosh, if he's lurking in Madhatter he should see how much worse an RA makes things.

[This message edited by Jrazz at 12:13 PM, April 3rd (Thursday)]


We are what we repeatedly do, excellence, then is not an act but a habit. - Aristotle

Posts: 16335 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
wheredoigo
♀ Member
Member # 42327
Default  Posted: 3:33 PM, April 4th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

numb+dumb,

I really appreciate your response.

I read your story and your words reminds me a lot of my BH's personality and outlook. It helps me see a bit of somethings he may be struggling with but doesn't know how to let it out.

Do you ever initiate a discussion about remorse, guilt, etc. Or do they only come up when he gets angry ?

We literally talk everyday. I'm so grateful he's that way. There is never a day that goes by that I don't ask him what he needs, what I need to work on and what I can do to support/comfort him. Our MC says that we are one of the few couples that walks into his office that has constant open conversation about how they feel.

Most of all I believe he is struggling with hating himself right now. I know it is hard for some WS to comprehend, but a lot of BS especially BH go through this stage.

I have definitely watched him struggle with this. I feel helpless because I know that it was all of my fault. He's not so much there anymore, though. He felt that DDay#2 helped in several weird ways A.) I came to him and gave him the truth and offered the poly and offered a post nup. B.) He realized I was the broken one and it was no longer his fault.


You might say something like, " I am so deeply saddened by what I have done to you (don't say us, he isn't thinking in terms of us right now). You trusted, loved and believed in me and I took advantage of that. I don't understand why, but I know it is not who I want to be. I can't erase the past, but I can make sure that I am safe so we can decide what our future holds. One thing we need to make sure that this never happens again is that our M stays between us and maybe a counselor or two. You don't owe me anything, but I believe this will help provide you the safety you need in working through this. I love you and it kills me to know that my actions have caused these uncharacteristic behaviors in you. If you are mad at me, that is OK, I am mad at me too. Please can we agree to not involve other people, other than counselors ?"

Then let him talk. Just listen, nod. Don't say anything. Let him exhaust the anger and I'll bet the underlying emotions start to come out. If he ask questions, obviously answer them, but let him do most of the talking. Keep your emotions in check as best as you can, speak in softer tones, cry if you need to, but mostly listen. If he has other ideas about how to handle this try to incorporate them into what you are asking for. Once you both have an agreement on the topic, both of you adhere to it. No talking to friends, family or others regarding your M. Only the two of you get any say in the R or D of it.

Since this post, I kept this in mind. It helped. We sat down and I told him I wanted to let him know it was ok to be angry with me and that I would be here working on me and a us, that I'm not going anywhere no matter how hard it gets.

I also told him I was worried about how he was treating other women, the RE agent, waitresses and Pre-K mom, and that it had potential to have a domino effect by showing our two daughters that this is okay for their future relationships and would potentially cause FOO issues the way my dad's treatment with females did effected me. I requested that he think of them next time- not me. They are innocent of the situation. He agreed that he had been angry, but had not realized that he was saying these things...it was unconsciously coming out as he was trying to hold back his anger. I told him that he had a right to be angry with me for my actions. And we talked a bit about that. All of this really helped. He's seemed a bit more at ease and less angry for the moment. I know it comes in waves, but now I feel a little better prepared for the next one.

Thank you.


WW(me) 33
BS(him/Jt8d) 35 | Teaches me real, true unbroken love every day.

"Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully." J. Brot


Posts: 89 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: Midwest
numb&dumb
♂ Member
Member # 28542
Default  Posted: 3:57 PM, April 4th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have definitely watched him struggle with this. I feel helpless because I know that it was all of my fault. He's not so much there anymore, though.

Initially I would agree with you. After some time he has to learn to derive this form within. It doesn't mean that you aren't still responsible for your actions.

Once he works at how awesome he is already he won't have to rely on others for validation. It is a very powerful place to be.

Knowing that I could walk away from M was important for me it regaining some power back also. When he flexes these muscles let him do it.

At the same time this work on self esteem would be good for you too.

People who don't need to be married, but choose to are way better off than people who "need" to be married. Once you let go of the fear that the M could end, it doesn't control you anymore.

This is the oft mentioned let go of the outcome.


Me-35 her-35

DS 1, DD 6
Dday 8/31/11. ONS that occurred 3 years earlier. Lied to for 3 years.

Every truth comes to light in a long enough timeline.


Posts: 2538 | Registered: May 2010
wheredoigo
♀ Member
Member # 42327
Default  Posted: 4:04 PM, April 4th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Credence,

I've always been strong and confident and I've felt safe and secure in my M but since DDay I've been reduced to feeling like a failure. I've been overwhelmed by insecurities that I never had and flooded with emotions that I've never experienced before. There is nothing but chaos and mayhem in my head which can make it rather difficult to be rational all of the time. I need to process all of these things but they're all new to me so I've got to learn how to process them and all the while I've got a voice in my head screaming at me to run away from this newfound danger so that I never have to face it again. I'm angry, sad, scared, confused, resigned, regretful, alarmed, despondent, hopeful and anxious all at the same time so boundaries are the farthest thing from my mind.

You are spot on. His world and idea of me was shattered. In the week after DD#2, we realized a few things that gave a bit more insight of how extensive the damage of what I did destroyed him. When we met, he was attracted to me because I looked similar to his first love, because of that, he assumed that I was just like his 18 year old high school girlfriend. Truth was, I was never her. I have many FOO abuse issues, a rough dating life prior to him and different insecurities.

Thank you for being so open to give me a window in. It must be hard for you to think about those moments again to help me out. And I wanted to let you know it did help. Thank you.


Jrazz- We talked about that too. I can't even open that thread without triggering.


WW(me) 33
BS(him/Jt8d) 35 | Teaches me real, true unbroken love every day.

"Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully." J. Brot


Posts: 89 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: Midwest
wheredoigo
♀ Member
Member # 42327
Default  Posted: 4:19 PM, April 4th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

DDay#2 was due to finding that out. I had to let go of the outcome and face my actions. To give him the truth and make his own decision to continue or not.

Knowing that I could walk away from M was important for me it regaining some power back also. When he flexes these muscles let him do it.

He did. I'm fully aware that we are on his terms now. What's different now is that I'm willing to do anything to complete those terms so that he know that I'm here and can feel safe.

At the same time this work on self esteem would be good for you too.

Absolutely.



WW(me) 33
BS(him/Jt8d) 35 | Teaches me real, true unbroken love every day.

"Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully." J. Brot


Posts: 89 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: Midwest
RippedSoul
♀ Member
Member # 40055
Default  Posted: 4:23 PM, April 4th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

BS here. Only 3 people know about my SLAWH's acting out via me: my 2 best friends and my counselor. Betrayed spouses have widely varying experiences with how many people they tell but the general advice seems to be that they should tell whomever they feel the need to tell. For many reasons, obviously, I believe the best policy--if a couple hopes to R--is discretion.

That said, his comments to the real estate agent weren't about his need to share. He didn't choose to tell her about your affair. He chose to act in a way that made her uncomfortable. THAT is unacceptable. It's one thing to involve others in the affair by outing it to them; it's quite another to involve them by throwing a temper tantrum or a hissy fit. Amidst all the tainted, dirty, toxic, shameful parts that make up an A and its aftermath, causing drama--especially for "innocent bystanders" isn't kosher.

We BS believe that while we share in the M issues prior to an A, we firmly reject any fault for the A itself--for the decision to choose an A as a solution or a reaction to the marital problems. Similarly (to me), betrayed spouses are still responsible (maybe not in the first week or so?) for our actions post-A. We don't get a "Misbehavior Pass"--especially with regard to outsiders. My manners are what add some civility and dignity and grace to what is, essentially, a hedonistic free-for-all (in more coloquial terms, a "shit sandwich").

[This message edited by RippedSoul at 4:24 PM, April 4th (Friday)]


BW: 49; SLAWH: 46; M: 23 yrs
DD#1--11/30/12 (prostitute #1)
DD#2--1/29/13 (AP, escorts #1 & #2)
DD#3--9/13 (trolling MILF site)
DD#4--10/8/13 (EA with AP cont'd)
DD: 20; DD: 18; DS: 16; DS: 14
PS: I've NEVER NOT edited my posts

Posts: 390 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: California
refuz2bavictim
♀ Member
Member # 27176
Default  Posted: 4:37 PM, April 4th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I also told him I was worried about how he was treating other women, the RE agent, waitresses and Pre-K mom, and that it had potential to have a domino effect

I think this is very insightful on your part.

When he put the RE agent (and any other unsuspecting party) in an uncomfortable spot because of his anger toward you, he was being disrespectful toward her. She deserved consideration. As do the children. I think of this as a butterfly effect. We inherit a family legacy and until we are aware, we often don't know exactly what it is, we have inherited. But when we do know, it's time to make changes. That or we continue to pass the same legacy on. Both good and bad.

I do understand his lashing out after a recent Dday. And you should develop and enforce appropriate boundaries. Remember that the development of your boundaries is as new as the enforcement of them.
Be sure to consider his current position in the stage of grief, as you enforce this.

Your new boundaries, are what make you safe. And I think that will be recognized.


BS:ME DDay: 7/18/09 Last of TT 7/11/10
MOW's EA/PA all were my "friends" but one


Posts: 2372 | Registered: Jan 2010
Topic Posts: 15

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