I think he wants our marriage to be just how he wants. Anything that I've asked him to do; he does for awhile but the things I'd like go to the wayside after awhile.
We are four years out from the affair. Over the last six months or so he has started talking to an old friend. She is his 'best friend.' He has told me twice that if this friendship were to ever make me uncomfortable that he would end it.
I am not liking this. I've seen enough of their communications to know that he is really pushing boundaries with her. He initiates communication with her most of the time; always when he isn't at home. He calls her 'my love' 'sunshine' and other 'sweet' names. She calls him 'boo' 'prince charming' and I've seen a few others as well.
He talks to her two to three times a day when he isn't home (he travels for his job.) I don't have the lengths of the calls. But, they do have text 'speak' that is there own ... so they obviously spend a lot of time 'together' in communication.
So ... here it is. I need to approach him with this. I don't WANT to get divorced (obviously.) I will divorce if he won't stop risking our marriage with this slippery slope behavior.
How do I approach him in such a way that doesn't set him on the defensive but he also knows that I am serious? I also don't really want to tell him I've been sneaking around to read his texts/emails ... but obviously he is going to know I've gotten the info from somewhere.
Failure to attempt is failure.
The line that jumped out at me is that you do not WANT to get divorced....your husband knows that. This is the source of your problem. He is controlling you and doing whatever he feels like doing. He is being cruel and manipulative. You are the only one who can change that.
I would advise you to channel your inner anger. Doesn't that make you angry that he calls someone else "my love?" "Best friend?" And OW calls him "Prince Charming"
First things first, if she is married, I would clue her husband in about this communication. Secondly, I would start smashing some of his favorite stuff. I'm willing to bet once you get started, you will get some adrenaline going and feel just a tiny bit better. And he will likely be quite shocked by your behavior. Maybe try burning some of his clothes? Cut the crotch out of some of his favorite pants? Let him know that you are a changed woman and you are not going to lie down and be a doormat anymore!
It is true what they say around here that you must be willing to end the M in order to save it. And nothing changes as long as nothing changes. He likes carrying on with OW, and you are afraid to talk to him about it. Eff that, honey, stick up for yourself. You deserve better.
I got super tough on my WH almost 4 years after dday. If I hadn't gotten tough I know we'd still be lumbering through time kinda better, but not really. I called him Mr 2 Weeks because that how long on average his effort lasted. The thing is, it wasn't ever really effort to help me, the effort was only to shut me up for a while.
His new ea with his "friend" is a chance to put things on track, the way they should have been from the beginning.
First, if you haven't done so, write down your list of requirements. These are the requirements he has to meet (all of them) in order for you to give him a chance to stay with you. You can look in the healing library and other threads for requirements you should include. Take your time and really think this part through.
Then have a serious consequence that you are willing to follow through on. Like moving out, or filing for divorce. Dealing with a less than happy environment is no consequence for waywards. If they are unremorseful like your wh then they just don't care.
This new betrayal might set a fire beneath you, allowing you to consider actions you weren't willing to image before.
If you still can not bring yourself to follow through with a serious consequence, then work towards getting there.
If you have no way to rent a place because of bad credit, then work to get your credit score up. If you have no skills for a job, then look into getting some training. You can always be doing something to work towards being strong and secure enough to follow through on the consequences.
The unfortunate part is, if you can't follow through yet, he's really not going to care what you say. What to do then is to pull back from him and focus n you. Put the 180 in place and stop being his maid, laundromat, chef, secretary, or whatever tasks you do for him.
If he wants to behave whatever way he chooses then he gets to take care of all his stuff, himself.
You have no obligation to serve a spouse who doesn't feel obligated to be faithful to you.
[This message edited by BtraydWife at 5:03 PM, August 10th (Sunday)]
Delay is the deadliest form of denial. - C. Northcote Parkinson
Your standards aren't up for negotiation just because he/she can't meet them.
In your sitch it appears your husband is exerting some control over his consequences.
I did not detect anywhere in your post where you actually requested he end this inappropriate friendship...did you?
As a person with CoD tendencies I know how hard it is to put this request out there. Add to this my abandonment issues and it is a serious challenge.
Like BtrydWife stated...its never to late to start doing the right thing.
Right now the right thing for you to do is be authentic with your husband regarding this and other female interactions.
I know, I know....he should do this all on his own. But he is not use to wearing big boy pants....many waywards arent. Affairs are a childish way to avoid reality. Unfortunately, some waywards choose to remain so. Others might give up adulterous ways but still remain on the surface of life, never finding the drive and our courage to face life authentically.
Those ego kibbles he is getting from "sunshine"? Yeah, he should be seeking to get them from you...and you only.
Ugh....pet names are a trigger for me. Sickening to recall the high-school like emails and texts I read from my wife to her lover.....but I digress.
Just like its true he controls his choices but not his consequences, it is equally true that you can control your reaction to his hurtful decisions.
2 years out I am at very good spot....I can and will D my wife if she returns to her broken but comfortable life coping skills.
This is the hardest thing I have ever been exposed to in my life.
But I can grow from and through it.
You can too.
Time to bravely put your requests and needs to your hubby....and then.....be still. Observe his actions upon you doing this. They will trump any words or half-baked attempts to put HIS responsibilities onto your shoulders.
Pay special attentions to any questions he puts to you.
Anything like "If you want, I can kill that friendship" or "Just let me know if this bothers you." Is his attempt at returning to his boyish ways. He needs to stop this and show, through actions and words, that he is remorseful and is fully committed to you AND to maturing the many parts within HIMSELF that needs to mature.
God is with us all.
I recommend Boundaries in Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud.
Your husband ordering and reading books like this would be a good start. Him sharing what he was learing would be even better!
You ordering this book and leaving it on his nightstand or recommending to him he read it would be destructive to your relationship.
I suspect you have a pattern of "doing for" your husband most of your marriage. Gotta stop that.
I am projecting a lot here...because that was my role in my M pre-A.
That book will help open your eyes not only to his boundary issues (which will be far more than just inappropriate opposite-sex relationships) but will give you concrete steps to keep your boundaries in place.
blakesteele ~ I have not asked him to end this friendship. Hang in there with me ... I haven't talked to him about it YET because I need to have some sort of proof. I know from experience that if he wants to continue to lie to me ... there really will be no amount of 'proof' that would 'prove it' to him, anyway because he will still try to lie. I plan to focus on the fact that his conversations with her make me uncomfortable, whether he thinks they are appropriate or not.
It is taking me awhile because they don't seem to communicate when he is home. He travels for his job and he has been working from home a lot lately but is going to be working out of town a lot for the next few weeks. I may accompany him on an overnight trip. I may talk to him about it then. I really don't want this to go on for a few more weeks.
He often erases his text conversations with her which tells me that he knows they are not appropriate. I check his phone when I get a chance ... and sometimes he forgets and sometimes he doesn't.
I had seen a few text conversations that didn't alarm me. However, the first one I saw that upset me greatly I couldn't figure out how to get a copy of it. So, all I could do was read it. I didn't have time to transcribe it. Since then I have three conversations that I took pictures of with my phone. They aren't AS alarming as the first one (that I don't have a picture of) but they definitely make me uncomfortable.
Of course, if he really wants to continue his relationship with her ... he will just hide it better.
1 - I am going to a divorce lawyer. I am doing this to learn my rights. I am also doing this to find out if there is something I can hand to my husband if he starts the 'she is just a friend' speech or has the attitude that he will 'keep this friendship if he so chooses.' This would also serve to let him know that if I find he continues the relationship underground that I can move on divorce immediately upon suspecting it.
2 - I am considering having this conversation with him WITH our marriage counselor. I saw MC a year ago (alone) and we have not been for a year and a half or so. MC would definitely call husband out on his crap; especially if I email him and talk to him about it in advance so as not to expect him to respond immediately to new information. The downside on this one is that $200 fee that we do not have the money to pay right now.
3 - These are the things that I know and that really bother me:
a - It appears he talks to her on the phone, at length, 2-3 times a day when he is traveling. I noticed he called her 5 minutes AFTER I had talked to him the other day. So they may not talk/text for five days in a row but then in contact for 3-5 days in a row.
b - The 'pet' names; That HURTS. He doesn't even have a pet name for me. He has NEVER called me 'my love' or 'sunshine' or any other sweet name. (I will have to pay attention to what he does call me ... I think he usually just starts talking to me....) He does send me a text fairly regularly like this: 'Good Morning, Sexy' (or Beautiful) but it is always a text ... he never says that to me directly.
c - He DOESN'T talk about her AT ALL. We have had TWO conversations about her since she got in contact with him after no contact for 20 years. I think her first contact with him was about 5 months ago. He mentioned her then. We had a second conversation last week. I asked him if he thought it was wise to have a friendship with her; especially considering they had both been waywards. It was a serious conversation in which he and I both brought up lots of important points.
d - They both have cheated on their spouse.
e - She is separated (approx a year?) from her serious control freak husband (which probably lead to her affair and separation) and is currently living with her boyfriend (I don't know if he is the affair person or not.)
f - They have text 'speak' of their own and obviously have 'inside' jokes. For example, she sent a one word text to him 'Mario' and 'Grover' another time. I assume HE knows what those 'coded' texts mean. They have abbreviations for things they say often like 'ib' stand for 'imaginary boyfriend.' They also say, 'Talk?' like they can't just call one another when they want... they have to make sure of the other's audience.
g - They inform one another of the times they will be with their spouse.
h - He is initiating the communications most of the time. He is reaching out to her. That is making me sick.
i - During our conversations about her last week he told me 'she is my best friend.' I told him, 'I want to be your best friend.' And he said, 'Well, you are my best friend but a different one. I can't talk to you about you because you are just going to tell me whatever works best for you in any given situation.' I told him that he needs to be able to talk to me about me; that's really important even if it is hard.
j - In a text she said she is 'stalking' his fb and it was a good idea to change his profile pic to not an actual picture of him. Obviously she doesn't want someone else to see who she is visiting on fb. I can't find anyone in his friends list that could be her. I either know or recognize the friends of everyone on his friends list. Also, I didn't find any messages from anyone I don't recognize. He may have just given her the info so she can log into his? (I think he said that she didn't 'do' fb .... that was months ago.) I logged into his fb and couldn't find anything. But ... I know for sure there are some women I don't personally know and want him to unfriend.
k - This relationship is following the same pattern as the affair relationship he had in the past.
I don't know what else. I am trying to get my thoughts out all in one place ... I've got to be calm and organized. I am hoping for some feedback as well.
I don't know which way he will go when I do tell him I want this relationship to stop 100% immediately, no contact. He may just comply. He may want to know why ... which could lead to the 'she is JUST a FRIEND' discussion/heated discussion/argument (not sure where that would go but can definitely see it could get ugly pretty quickly.)
I do need him to know, without a doubt, that I will file for divorce if I find the relationship continues.
[This message edited by fromthisdayfwd at 9:47 PM, August 10th (Sunday)]
l - He wouldn't be comfortable if I were to show these conversations to our MC, our daughter, my parents or sister, a pastor or any of his friends in Retrouvaille or from church. He would most likely feel the need to defend or excuse his behavior and I imagine he would be angry if I were to copy them and share with any of those people.
m - He all ready erases his texts from her most of the time ... even when I know they were there but I didn't have privacy to read them ... then they are gone when I do have the chance. I think that shows his communications with her are inappropriate or he wouldn't have to worry about erasing.
n - He is very stressed and moodier than usual. There are many legitimate reasons for that as well but even at times when I would expect him to be 'happy' or 'lighthearted' he is quite serious.
I so very badly want to call her. (I KNOW that isn't the thing to do!)
But I WANT to do so! I want to ask her if they have been together other than phone communications. I do know they met once (he told me) and they were not alone. He was driving through her area on his way home from a job.
I want to ask her so many things. But, I also know that SHE isn't likely to be truthful anyway.
UGH ... this sucks.
I know from experience that if he wants to continue to lie to me ... there really will be no amount of 'proof' that would 'prove it' to him, anyway because he will still try to lie.
I totally understand. I pushed you a bit hard to be honest with him, but I DO understand where you are at. My wife has proven able to lie to me of late even stating in a convuluded way that our therapists have told her to do as much. That stance got wishy washy as we discussed it.
You are also correct....if your husband, my wife, anyone wants to have an affair there are tons of way to make it happen.
Sucks your husband is erasing his history and texts. My wife got a new mac laptop....I can't figure out how to move around in it easily. Actually, have grown tired of that mode of operation. My gut is a better gauge anyway. It acted up 2 months ago, checked, found she was lurking his FB page. I hadn't checked her emails or history in 2 months....
So easy with instagram, FB, email accounts, snap chat, etc.. for a wayward to embrace that life style.
Keep the faith. I have added you both to my SI specific prayer list.
God is with us all. He supports the humbled and oppressed. He knows of our trials. He specifically address's the sin of adultery.
This is the trial of trials, as is written about and studied.
I don't think you pushed me 'too hard' at all ... I think you needed a little more understanding of why I haven't approached him yet.
I have been praying.... so much. I have asked other women to pray for my marriage.
I want so badly for this to be a good marriage. It has been a tough road. We've been through just about every 'big' issue a man/marriage/woman can have ...
I continue to pray for the Spirit to convict him deeply without mercy and for the Spirit to show me what I am doing that I need to stop/change/fix. He has obviously been looking for something for 20 years that he can't find ... or our relationship isn't fulfilling and he is trying to find that fulfillment from someone or something else. SO ... I can only be responsible for my actions in the relationship.
It totally sucks. We are 'celebrating' our 20 year anniversary next week and once again; we don't even have money to enjoy a date let alone something special for a special day. I am getting very, very discouraged.
If recommending the book to him would be detrimental to our relationship ... how is he going to know he should read it? What do you suggest?
Plus .... My husband isn't a 'reader.' He has read three books since he left high school and all three were right after DDay and were REQUIRED reading by our MC.
I am the reader. LOL ... figures, right?!?
Was going to quote from your posts after mine...but couldn't find a stopping point!
All that you write? Thats my spot right now too.
I have reached the end of myself. I follow what my pastor, retrovaille and christian therapist guide me to do....some of it very painful and uncomfortable. It is no fun to express pain and anxiousness to your spouse...and have them take that soft spot and minimize, attack with sarcasm and react defensively to it.
I get that your husband is not historically been a reader....believe it or not, I wasn't either. This is a time of change.
Talk about irony with you being the reader....my wife was the one who throughout our M was concerned about ME cheating on HER. Yep.
I read a parable once about a man who constantly thought others were stealing from his boss....he voiced this unfounded concern to his boss. The boss started an investigation into possible employee-based theft....and discovered the man who brought the concern to his attention was the one and only theif in the whole work force.
I have come to believe that by my wifes suspicions, she was projecting her desires onto me.
Weird thing is....I, too, thought I was the one "at risk". I had super firm boundaries with all my female friends and co-workers....since I married my wife. I still think I needed and do need those boundaries...but totally thought my wife was fine without them. Would have trusted her to run solo with a man for all of my M....
Odd how this plays out.....
As far as "getting him to read"? Not sure if this is a goal that should be on your to-do list.
If he is not a reader....can he put forth the effort to go to IC sessions? How about joining a mens group in a local church? Even just reach out to a marriage friendly male friend? Books on CD or seek out online reasources such as TVNewLife.com?
We all process and grow in various ways.
Don't expect him to grow in YOUR ways....but DO expect him to grow. For if he doesn't he will repeat his part of a now known destructive pattern. Meanwhile, you change what you can...which is you. Then, when he reaches for the same old coping mech you will be in a strong position to say "Thanks, but no thanks" and move forward.
He can then choose for himself....do i want to sit and spin here....or is my M and family worth me growing and catching up to my wife and see if she will start a new pattern with me....one that is healthy, nurturing, and interconnected.
Keep in mind he, as a wayward, is steps behind you on this journey. He is most likely pretty darn comfortable in his old habits...such as his previous ways of interacting with other women.
He may not be picking the fruit that is adultery right now...but he is still tending trees in that same orchard. KWIM?
If my wife were doing this with another married man....I would make contact with the other spouse and alert her to the dangers that lurk.
I think there is an obligation here to keep light on such activities....especially when I see that they are "alerting" each other to when the spouse is around. That smells of at least an EA if not a PA.
Dangerous but familiar territory for a wayward. No excuses of "we were just friends" this time around. Even with my wife, her affair went from 0 to 60 in less than a week. She had a few hours of innocence...but that was it.
I understand your fear. It appears to me that what you state is enough to back off MC and let him do IC for a bit.
He is not in your marriage right now. God help me, I don't think my wife is in mine right now either.
You have the strength to do this. Its not fair that often times the betrayed are the ones who have the strength to work through the pain in ways such as you are doing....but it might just be the norm. It won't R a marriage but it will facilitate your growing past the stage your husband is fighting to stay at.
Keep the faith and keep posting.
It has all the red flags of an A. At the very least, it is a clear sign that R isn't really happening.
I don't think MC would be much help, until he decides that he really wants to commit to saving the marriage. Right now, it seems like he knows that he doesn't have to do so at all, you're all in, and he's going to toe the line.
I think there are some rough days ahead. As those come, remember that it isn't your fault at all that he's doing this -- it is something in him. You can and should be allowed to set boundaries and "rules" for staying in the marriage and not divorcing. It isn't being controlling, it is saying what you will and won't accept.
For some people, very close relationships with members of the opposite sex is not an inappropriate boundary for their spouse. For many years, decades even, such was the case in my marriage. No longer.
I'd gently suggest that no contact and full transparency are starter requirements to avoid ending the marriage.
Also, if you need to, know that there is software that can recover deleted text messages from his phone.
BH (Me) 49
D-Day Mar 19, 2014
1 year passionate EA/PA, ended by me on d-day.
Attempting to R
I did try to recover deleted texts. The software suggested I would need to 'root' the phone. I am not tech savvy and don't know how to do that.
It also carries a risk ... it voids the warranty (if there is one, I don't know) and can make the phone a 'brick.'
I thought the software would work. It went all through the steps and stages (which took me hours to get it to do so with updates, drivers, program, phone, etc.) Then it finally said it wouldn't work and I could try 'rooting' the phone.
So ... no go.
I think he suspects that I read his email (just one conversation.) It was in his 'sent' folder and he has deleted that one conversation from his 'sent' folder. I all ready have that one but I am guessing there may have been another one from today that he erased ... and then erased the other. I don't know.
The only way I know to get more info is to use a voice recorder in the car. I would have to 'weed' through a lot of conversations ... most likely because he is a consultant and talks a lot when he is traveling ... but it might be worth it.
At this point all I can do is tell him I want it to stop. I assume that he will want my reasons so that is why I am trying to think them through on here.
I don't know if I should 'reinstate' my requirements for marriage or not.