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User Topic: No New Friends
whatnow999
Member
Member # 35494
Default  Posted: 1:07 AM, July 21st (Sunday)

Having a little fun with the title, but this is a serious question. How have other WS adjusted to new restrictions/rules post affairs? For the longest time, I did what I wanted with regards to friendships. Not everything was inappropriate, but I didn't run things by my wife. If I became friends with someone else, my BW didn't necessarily know. That wasn't perfect, but there was a level of freedom that I really enjoyed.

Living transparently and under the cloud of affairs changes that. My BW has always been nervous about my friendships with other people (men and women), and the affairs has only made her suspicions and lack of trust worse. I do not blame her for feeling that way. Since last year, I've really kind of locked down and focused on her and our family. My best friends are Em and my daughter. I keep up contact with some friends from school, and work but it is no where near as frequent as it was before. I'm actually really happy with how things are, so this isn't a complaint. I'm proud of how much closer I am with my family, and I think that has been one of the best unintended consequences of this all.

And there have been absolutely no new friends. My wife is extremely, extremely paranoid about any sort of relationships I'm in, and I don't really operate freely. She sees everything (which is fine... I have nothing to hide). So I'm hesitant to talk normally with people because I don't feel like I have any privacy, and I'm hesitant to hurt her via a friendship. I don't try to befriend people I meet or interact with really, which is a change. Not sure if it is good or bad, but it is new to our relationship.

The last flair up we had was a few months ago when a woman I was friendly with years ago emailed me randomly just to catch up. Asking about work and some mutual friends. I showed the email to my BW, and asked her what to do. She didn't want me to respond, and I didn't. At the time, it seemed like the least I could do and I wasn't going to start an unnecessary argument with my pregnant wife over some random person. It has kind of stuck with me though, and I wonder was that the right call?

When are friends allowed (in general)? When are new friends allowed... is it only if they are the same gender? I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with anyone, and I can absolutely understand why someone would think no new friends of the opposite gender is the best approach. Just am curious what others think.


Me, 30, Husband
Her, 29, Wife
One Daughter, One Son

Posts: 232 | Registered: May 2012
FinallyHappy
Member
Member # 308
Default  Posted: 3:41 AM, July 21st (Sunday)

'Friends' of the opposite sex?

Probably never.

Not everything was inappropriate

That's reassuring. :)

and the affairs has only made her suspicions and lack of trust worse. I do not blame her for feeling that way.

Well........that's good. :)

My wife is extremely, extremely paranoid about any sort of relationships I'm in, and I don't really operate freely.

Oh.

Bummer.

I assume we can expect JM to show up in general in the next couple of days to tell us what's really going on?


"Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none."

~Ben~

Posts: 7334 | Registered: Jul 2002 | From: WI
BaxtersBFF
Member
Member # 26859
Default  Posted: 8:09 AM, July 21st (Sunday)

When are friends allowed (in general)?
When your BW feels comfortable enough in trusting that you won't betray her again.

When are new friends allowed... is it only if they are the same gender?
Probably going to be same gender for a very long time, as you've proven in the past that friendships with women are an avenue to infidelity.

This is part of the new life. Doing whatever you wanted as far as having friends was part of the old you, and you've proven that the old you isn't able to be trusted. It sucks, but that is sort of the way it is.

In looking back at my own situation, even the friendships with guys would get to the point of being inappropriate as far as saying things around them that I wouldn't want my wife to hear. That's a very simple barometer. Even now, when I'm on a project or having lunch with a potential new client, or whatever, sometimes the other person/people will make some off-hand comment that I'm not comfortable with and/or that I know my BW wouldn't be happy with. So I don't respond, or I leave, or I ignore the comment(s) and try to steer the conversation back to something else. It's all part of the boundaries which are much more defined for me than they ever were for the majority of my life.

Also, there are a few (many?) people who I would like to talk with regarding events in the past. Some of them are A related events. Some are non-A related things. I've thought about it and talked to gerrygirl about it, as the result is that many of those people "don't matter anymore", sort of like that female friend from HS you mentioned in your post...why would she be sending you an email out of the blue? Are you comfortable enough with how that friendly relationship was years ago to say absolutely that given your past behavior that there was never any threat to the M? Was your BW comfortable with the friendship back in the day? Well, the reality is now that your BW doesn't feel she can trust you, even if this old friendship was absolutely not a threat to the A. Because for a long time your BW probably thought that there wasn't anything to worry about, but she was betrayed anyway.

IDK...no new friends is a safety measure to some degree. Abide by it. Respect it. Make the necessary changes within yourself to get to the point where your BW starts feeling that you've really changed and are not going to blow up her world again. It's up to you to do this, not her to provide a good enough reason to you for this restriction.


WH - 44
BW - gerrygirl

Posts: 6099 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Boise
Hrtbrken1
Member
Member # 33802
Default  Posted: 8:52 AM, July 21st (Sunday)

Hi Whatnow. I don't see a stop sign, so here it goes:
I wasn't going to start an unnecessary argument with my pregnant wife over some random person. It has kind of stuck with me though, and I wonder was that the right call?

My first question for you is why would this even be a point of arguing? It made her uncomfortable. And while kudos for not responding, it sounds like your resentful about it.

My second question is why are you wondering if you made the right call? Did it make your BS feel better? If so, why are you questioning it?

I wouldn't even be worrying about friends right now. That's the very least of your problems. FWH and I have been focusing on us, as a family, hardcore for 2 years now. As a result, we're not as social as we use to be. It was a big change for FWH, but there comes a time you have to make choices. If it makes your BW anxious to have you talk/be friendly with women, well, that's life. Women friends or your wife. It *is* one or the other. There probably won't be new friends for a very long time. Like I said, we're 2 years out and FWH knows I get anxious when we meet other women in a friend setting. That's just a result of the affair.


Me-BW
Him-WH
Together 16 years, married 10.
DDay 07/26/2011, 8 month EA/PA with friend of our family. Months of TT.
DDay#2 Early spring 2012, confirmed EA with another woman.

Posts: 144 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: Sunny South
whatnow999
Member
Member # 35494
Default  Posted: 9:25 AM, July 21st (Sunday)

Hi Whatnow. I don't see a stop sign, so here it goes:

I wasn't going to start an unnecessary argument with my pregnant wife over some random person. It has kind of stuck with me though, and I wonder was that the right call?
My first question for you is why would this even be a point of arguing? It made her uncomfortable. And while kudos for not responding, it sounds like your resentful about it.

My second question is why are you wondering if you made the right call? Did it make your BS feel better? If so, why are you questioning it?

I wouldn't even be worrying about friends right now. That's the very least of your problems. FWH and I have been focusing on us, as a family, hardcore for 2 years now. As a result, we're not as social as we use to be. It was a big change for FWH, but there comes a time you have to make choices. If it makes your BW anxious to have you talk/be friendly with women, well, that's life. Women friends or your wife. It *is* one or the other. There probably won't be new friends for a very long time. Like I said, we're 2 years out and FWH knows I get anxious when we meet other women in a friend setting. That's just a result of the affair.

AFAIK, I'm not allowed to use a stop-sign.

Would not say I'm resentful over how that was handled. I realize this is the new normal for us, and I'm okay with that. It kind of bothered me in that it felt like I was being micromanaged, which I don't particularly like, but like I said I realize that it is a consequence of my actions and I fully understand why my wife would be uncomfortable. It never reached the point of arguing.. I brought it up to her, and she told me that I shouldn't respond, and I didn't.

I do realize what you are saying about friends of the opposite gender, and I can absolutely see why it might seem like an issue. Just wanted to get some feedback into if the consensus was "no new friends". My assumption prior to posting was that it would be in support of a policy like that.

I think it was the right call, and a friendship or friendly conversation with some woman (or man) isn't more important than my BW. If I was to go back and the same choices were there... be friendly towards this woman and potentially hurt my wife or rebuff her and support my wife... I'd choose support my wife everytime. I just wish that sometimes it wasn't so much of an either...or. I can be friendly with someone else, and not be betraying my marriage. But fair or unfair, because of the As there is very little trust in me.

Friends' of the opposite sex?
Probably never.

Not everything was inappropriate
That's reassuring. :)

and the affairs has only made her suspicions and lack of trust worse. I do not blame her for feeling that way.
Well........that's good. :)

My wife is extremely, extremely paranoid about any sort of relationships I'm in, and I don't really operate freely.
Oh.

Bummer.

I assume we can expect JM to show up in general in the next couple of days to tell us what's really going on?

I'm trying to be honest. I'm sorry if that isn't appreciated. The truth was in the past some of my actions were probably inappropriate (especially by SI standards). What would you rather have me say?

I kind of feel like I handled this situation well. There have been times in the past where I haven't, and this time I was upfront and honest with her. I showed her the email, respected her wishes, and I'm just asking now was that the right call. I don't think my BW could really have any issues with what I did though... it was completely by the FWS book. Right?

Probably going to be same gender for a very long time, as you've proven in the past that friendships with women are an avenue to infidelity.
This is part of the new life. Doing whatever you wanted as far as having friends was part of the old you, and you've proven that the old you isn't able to be trusted. It sucks, but that is sort of the way it is.

In looking back at my own situation, even the friendships with guys would get to the point of being inappropriate as far as saying things around them that I wouldn't want my wife to hear. That's a very simple barometer. Even now, when I'm on a project or having lunch with a potential new client, or whatever, sometimes the other person/people will make some off-hand comment that I'm not comfortable with and/or that I know my BW wouldn't be happy with. So I don't respond, or I leave, or I ignore the comment(s) and try to steer the conversation back to something else. It's all part of the boundaries which are much more defined for me than they ever were for the majority of my life.

Also, there are a few (many?) people who I would like to talk with regarding events in the past. Some of them are A related events. Some are non-A related things. I've thought about it and talked to gerrygirl about it, as the result is that many of those people "don't matter anymore", sort of like that female friend from HS you mentioned in your post...why would she be sending you an email out of the blue? Are you comfortable enough with how that friendly relationship was years ago to say absolutely that given your past behavior that there was never any threat to the M? Was your BW comfortable with the friendship back in the day? Well, the reality is now that your BW doesn't feel she can trust you, even if this old friendship was absolutely not a threat to the A. Because for a long time your BW probably thought that there wasn't anything to worry about, but she was betrayed anyway.

IDK...no new friends is a safety measure to some degree. Abide by it. Respect it. Make the necessary changes within yourself to get to the point where your BW starts feeling that you've really changed and are not going to blow up her world again. It's up to you to do this, not her to provide a good enough reason to you for this restriction.

I'm not sure how to phrase this. Baxter, how long did it take for you to adopt the marriage first view genuinely? I understand what you are saying... how friendships aren't appropriate, boundaries, etc. It isn't confusing, but the way I feel is. There is a disconnect and I don't know if it is just me. On one hand, I know what the "right" thing is, and then I know what I want to do. And doing the right thing sometimes doesn't feel right.

This woman isn't the issue. It was just an example. I have no issues with not having a conversation with her... I'll live. The thing is that sort of thing has happened repeatedly in the past, and there have been times where I haven't been so gracious when my BW has had issues.

I respect you (and other FWS) for being so, uh, proactive about their marriages. But if I'm being honest, there is no way I would have exited a conversation (with same gender friends) because it reached "the point of being inappropriate as far as saying things around them that I wouldn't want my wife to hear." That seems so foreign to me... maybe I'm not that good a person? I've been around coworkers, friends, students, etc who have had normal guy conversations about women, and I've never even thought about my wife wouldn't want to hear this. I certainly in a post-A world don't chime in as much, and talk more respectfully, but I wouldn't leave the conversation. I wouldn't say my wife wouldn't want to hear this. And I worry am I supposed to be there? Because I'm not even close.

[This message edited by whatnow999 at 9:26 AM, July 21st (Sunday)]


Me, 30, Husband
Her, 29, Wife
One Daughter, One Son

Posts: 232 | Registered: May 2012
BaxtersBFF
Member
Member # 26859
Default  Posted: 10:02 AM, July 21st (Sunday)

You ask how long it took me to get it...truth be told, it was a couple years. I was in the same non-committal, can't figure out how to do this, not sure I can do what's right as opposed to what I wanted to do. In short, it was a bunch of bullshit. Same as you. What changed? My BW packed a bag. You want reality? Keep pushing your wife to the brink. Keep trying to find some flaw in this process. Keep trying to figure out a way that you feel "you" are right in all of this.

As to the inappropriate convo's...I'm not a prude. I never just up and left a conversation. I never felt the need to tell anyone why I was leaving the conversation. I just didn't participate and then would find a way to go somewhere else.

And what is a normal guy situation? Do normal guy conversations involve talk about tits and ass? Does someone in your group inevitably make the comment "I'd like a piece of that" because that shouldn't be normal. Do I like tits and ass? Sure. But do I need to participate in a conversation with a bunch of guys about that? No. It isn't very cool in my book. Doesn't mean either of us are or aren't a good person. It's just a matter of the bigger picture. And in this case, conversations and behavior during "normal" guy conversations is generally not something that is going to work in a post-A marriage.

Back to the subject at hand...I get that you aren't even close. Some WS can turn on a dime. Others can't. I couldn't for the longest time, until I learned my BW had an exit plan and a packed bag. That was my wake-up call. You have the opportunity to have your a-ha moment before things reach the bottom. That's the eternal frustration of being on SI. We can all see it, but so often the OP of the thread can't see it until the very end. Sometimes it's too later. Other times the WS will get it. Depends on the person.


WH - 44
BW - gerrygirl

Posts: 6099 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Boise
rachelc
Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 10:14 AM, July 21st (Sunday)

'Friends' of the opposite sex?
Probably never.

What - I have a 2nd job where the people I work with/for are all men although I'm going to be working mainly by myself this year...
We are meeting next week to discuss who is going to take what assignments. After the meeting, they are going out to an adult watering hole. I won't be joining them. Just a bad idea all around, alcohol involved, doesn't look good - so many reason. Don't give your wife ONE reason to doubt you.
You're not locked down. You're treating someone who got the rugged pulled out from under them respectfully. Understand that your life will and should be different from now on. If you're not good with that, you should leave. From what you say you are good with this.

Infidelity is a life changing event for all parties involved.


his Ddays: 2/10, 7/11
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4908 | Registered: Dec 2010
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 12:29 PM, July 21st (Sunday)

WhatNow, since nobody else addressed this, I just wanted to chime in and say if you only want Waywards to reply, then you certainly can use the "stop sign" feature...AFAIK.

Eschewing it is brave, though, and even though some comments may land harsher than we'd want...that's true whether the writer is W or B.

Are you feeling resentful that you're more socially constricted now? I'm going to humbly suggest that you take ownership of those feelings, instead of saying stuff like this...

My wife is extremely, extremely paranoid

...which sorta feels like you're blaming her. What's the saying...it's not paranoia if you really are being watched? Paranoia is a negative judgment on her. Dig in and figure out what's underneath that. If it is anger or resentment that you can no longer associate freely with whomever you choose--own that. Your feelings are valid. Don't suppress them and write yourself off as "not that good a person" just because you're having feelings that are confusing.

My answer to your question of when are new friends allowed, in general, is that there is no general. You and your BW need to agree on boundaries that are acceptable to both of you in the M. She can't "make you" abide by her boundaries, any more than you can "make her" trust you. Choose what you want: your BW's trust and security, or the "level of freedom you really enjoyed."


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1175 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
Deeply Scared
Administrator
Member # 2
Red  Posted: 12:56 PM, July 21st (Sunday)

I just wanted to chime in and say if you only want Waywards to reply, then you certainly can use the "stop sign" feature...AFAIK.

20wrongs...

whatnow is also a Madhatter, he is not able to use the stop sign icon.


"Don't give up, the beginning is always the hardest." My Mom:)

My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.


Posts: 197733 | Registered: May 2002
BaxtersBFF
Member
Member # 26859
Default  Posted: 12:56 PM, July 21st (Sunday)

nevermind...DS is lightening fast...

[This message edited by BaxtersBFF at 12:57 PM, July 21st (Sunday)]


WH - 44
BW - gerrygirl

Posts: 6099 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Boise
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 1:35 PM, July 21st (Sunday)

Learning new stuff about SI all the time! Thanks for clarifying.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1175 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
Jrazz
Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 1:57 PM, July 21st (Sunday)

How have other WS adjusted to new restrictions/rules post affairs?

I think that those that viewed these things as a punishment didn't fare as well as the ones who looked at limiting opposite-gender friendships as laying good boundaries to protect the marriage.

We don't want our WS to live in a box in the closet for the rest of their life. We want them to prove with every action - with every breath - that their marriage happily comes before everything else.


I bow to those who keep their hearts open when it is most difficult, those who refuse to keep their armor on any longer than they have to, those who recognize the courage at the heart of vulnerability. - Jeff Brown

Posts: 17298 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
whatnow999
Member
Member # 35494
Default  Posted: 2:44 PM, July 21st (Sunday)

I understand what you are talking about, Crazz, about realizing that changes are not punishment, but for the good of the marriage. I understand it on an intellectual level... but I cannot get myself to accept it. I'm not saying that I see our changes as negative or punishments, but I see the changes as what I must do to keep my wife and family.

Maybe sometimes I come across as insincere or cold, but I love my wife from the bottom of my heart. She is the most important person in my life, and the one person who has seen me at my worst and stays with me. I know how rare that is and how special and amazing she is. And I do not want to lose her. And I know not changing or keeping up with some of the stuff that I have done for years would probably cause her to leave me or break her heart. So that is the reason why I'm trying and why I want to change and be a FWS. The changes are what I have to do in order to keep my wife and family.

I really struggle with finding the right motivation.

I just wonder sometimes if I'm looking at this from a warped point of view... I've been reading a thread on General about someone's WBF and the only person I can relate to on the thread is the WBF. What the fuck? Everyone is ranting about the WBF for something like six pages, and I find myself rooting for that person. Thinking of reasons why I'd feel that way or might have acted in that way (if it was me). I'm not sure what to make of that.

And I'm not sure what I could do to suddenly see the light. I don't think I can, and I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing. It just isn't optimal towards reconciliation. But it is the hand I'm dealt. I don't want to be single, but I think I need some level of freedom to be me. I like to be able to talk to other people, to tease them, joke around, lightly flirt (but never cross the line), and I like to be liked. I trust myself in that I wouldn't cross the ultimate line. My wife obviously doesn't trust me, and more so she doesn't like any of the joking around stuff. I've really stopped as best I can since August/September of last year, but I'm not completely okay with it. I feel like this new me, on some level isn't a better me. It is certainly a less authentic version of myself.

What I'm trying to say is everything... reconciliation, not having new friends, new boundaries comes down to the fact that I value my wife and our children more than anything associated with my past life. I had to make a decision, and I chose her and them. And it was the right decision. I know that. But I can't say I'm doing X, Y, Z because I think its the right thing to do. I'm doing it FOR my BW. Maybe I'm alone in feeling this way (or maybe I'm not?). I don't know. This is all very off-topic from my post but it is definitely an interesting topic.


Me, 30, Husband
Her, 29, Wife
One Daughter, One Son

Posts: 232 | Registered: May 2012
authenticnow
Moderator
Member # 16024
Default  Posted: 3:02 PM, July 21st (Sunday)

whatnow999,

What an honest post. I get what you're saying. I had those feelings early on. I resented my new post d-day reality at times. No drinks with girlfriends, checking in, no more flirting. I felt like a child on punishment. I started to wonder if I could continue to live like that or maybe I wanted my freedom, I wasn't sure.

My BH said something to me that really stuck. He said, "If you want to be single go ahead, but don't think you're going to be married and behave like a single person". I'm not saying you want to be married and act like a single person, I'm just relating to what you're saying and maybe something will strike a nerve with you.

It changed my mindset. I realized I didn't want to be single. I love my BH and I know what a good man he is. I could never have what I have with him with anybody else.

So, I started wholeheartedly putting my energy and heart into the M, into us as a couple and into my family. I worked in IC to get to my core issues. With all that I realized I had no interest in the other stuff, I was too tired, lol. But I was feeling a lot better about things. I realized that when I put my energy into what really matters to me that was when I felt the most fulfilled.

After awhile the other stuff came. I started to go out again without my BH occasionally, I made new FOTM friends, the trust came back and life started to feel normal again. If something comes up that might be a boundary issue, we discuss it. The 'rules' are fluid. Take each situation as it comes. As long as you are true in your intentions and the self and marital work you are doing, I think you can come to a good place with all of it.


Take up your space (and do it well).

"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."


Posts: 37569 | Registered: Sep 2007
GraceRunner
New Member
Member # 39856
Default  Posted: 3:46 PM, July 21st (Sunday)

I have always felt that having friends is extremely important. I don't know where I'd be right now without some of my friends. I don't think that living your life solely focused on your marriage and family is really that healthy or well-rounded. Thankfully my BH feels this same way. We are making sure we maintain and build friendships that are beneficial to ourselves and to our marriage (ie, we don't have friends that go out and party, that live like single people, are negative about marriage or their spouses, think affairs are not a big deal, etc.).

I get what you are saying about doing it but not really feeling like it's coming from an authentic place within you. I've had to do things like this too during reconciliation because I have always been a happily independent, autonomous individual. It felt/feels like I am giving a part of myself up. But sometimes positive change can feel very uncomfortable and awkward and I accept the fact that I, very obviously, have a lot of growing and learning to do. You said that previously your BW wouldn't necessarily even know if you became friends with someone. Maybe now it doesn't have to be "No New Friends" but that you keep her involved and informed of the friendship, let her be a part of it - share with her what you like about the person, why you want to be their friend, let her meet them, ask her what she thinks, let her know when you are talking to them and the things you talked about, etc. I think it's very important you also be very honest with yourself about why you are seeking friendship with someone new and what types of things you are looking to gain from your friendships.

I have friends that are male but by that I mean, they are my BH's friends or family friends - I don't and wouldn't hang out with them, email them, or chat on the phone with them. Not now and not ever will I do that. I have first hand experience with how slippery of a slope that can be and I never want to put myself in that position again - not to mention how uncomfortable it would make my BH.


Me - FWW, 38
Him - BS, 42
Married 15 years
2 young daughters
4 month EA/PA, DDAY 10/12

Posts: 39 | Registered: Jul 2013
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 4:16 PM, July 21st (Sunday)

 Everyone is ranting about the WBF for something like six pages, and I find myself rooting for that person. Thinking of reasons why I'd feel that way or might have acted in that way (if it was me). I'm not sure what to make of that.

I can see that easily. It's a similar dynamic (at least from you and your wife's posts) that you both have. She'd post about things that she was struggling with and get advice to run then defend you. You'd post without the de rigueur shame and self flagellation. 

Look, their situation like yours is between two adults. I've posted to your wife and feel the same way about that thread. There is a point where you stop being a "victim" and start becoming a volunteer. Your wife is perfectly capable of knowing what works for her and what doesn't. Others views are just that. Theirs.

You are stating what you need to be happy in a relationship. Doesn't matter who feels that's wrong, insensitive, not healthy, not remorseful. It truly doesn't. If your wife is not ok with it then I guess she has some decisions to make. 

People change when they feel the need to. Those changes are consistent when those individuals honestly believe in those changes and are committed to the work involved to replace the old tapes and skill set with new ones. Not an overnight thing and no easy task. You're basically relearning and reprogramming. There was a thread on here not too long ago about boundaries. Some described some of theirs that seemed like rules, to me. There is a huge difference, again to me, between the two.

Your post actually is the image of what I was stating. Words like "allowed". The chafing against the imposed confinement. I don't see how any of that can work long term.

You are who you are. Your wife can make her choices based on that. It's not like anything is hidden. She knows. Question is, how long do you feel the need for "time out" until you say enough? What does that look like for you.

Your wife isn't paranoid. She's reacting to a very real threat based on consistent choice patterns from you. She's trying to control the nexus, she feels, and she isn't even close to the mark. You guys seem to have pretty different belief systems. Not sure how you reconcile those without someone making some pretty big sacrifices. 


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
CryingEyes
Member
Member # 11826
Default  Posted: 4:31 PM, July 21st (Sunday)

whatnow999

I understand your feelings regarding this and appreciate the honesty in your post. I have a few questions to help me understand your situation better.

How would you "feel" if your wife behaved like this: "

I like to be able to talk to other people, to tease them, joke around, lightly flirt (but never cross the line), and I like to be liked."
with another man?

What does it mean to you to be liked? What have you done in the past in order for you to be liked by someone else?

What is your definition of "crossing the line"? What is your wifes definition of crossing the line?

I've been reading a thread on General about someone's WBF and the only person I can relate to on the thread is the WBF. What the fuck? Everyone is ranting about the WBF for something like six pages, and I find myself rooting for that person. Thinking of reasons why I'd feel that way or might have acted in that way (if it was me). I'm not sure what to make of that.

I see that you identify with the WBF in the other thread. I'm wondering what you are expecting the WBF to get? How would the story end from your point of view? How "should" the WBF be/act?

It kind of bothered me in that it felt like I was being micromanaged

How was she micromanaging you in this situation? How would you have like to handle the situation if you could do it again without the micromanagement? Is this one of those situations where you want to be like and since you did not respond, the other person will think poorly of you?

I value my wife and our children more than anything associated with my past life. I had to make a decision, and I chose her and them. And it was the right decision. I know that. But I can't say I'm doing X, Y, Z because I think its the right thing to do. I'm doing it FOR my BW

What are the things about this R you doing for YOU?


Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

Posts: 1254 | Registered: Aug 2006 | From: WA
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 7:52 PM, July 21st (Sunday)

As for everything, the only way to have a true lasting change is if you actually WANT it.

As you know, my husband and I are madhatters. He has always been very "popular" with women and we've argued over boundaries for most of our time together. Finally I gave up. Realized that he would do what he wanted and I needed to accept that. I told him so, that I now considered him single. I'd like to tell you it woke him up, but that wasn't what did it. Sure, he tried to change because he wanted to remain married... But where he really changed was when he discovered he LIKED it. He LIKED not being friendly to every woman, he liked having a "best friend he could both play video games with and love" (me, his wife), he liked being emotionally exclusive with me, and now he's beginning to like being a daddy too. He's also making some healthier friends, friends who do not cross boundaries - friends who are friends of BOTH of us. These changes are happening because he has discovered on his own that he wants them. I could never make him change, no one could. And if he did it only for me, I think we would both resent it. It has to be for both of us, and him more than anyone else. The same with me.

If you want to change, try to think about the things you will LIKE about being different. Not what you will be giving up. Or if you must... try to gauge how healthy those thing you're trying to give up even are. Is it really healthy to flirt with other people, whether it "goes too far" or not? Why or why not?


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 3905 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
SurprisinglyOkay
Member
Member # 36684
Default  Posted: 6:24 AM, July 22nd (Monday)

How have other WS adjusted to new restrictions/rules post affairs?

Not well, until I made them for myself.
We are in a 12 step fellowship, so there is opportunity for a lot of social interaction.
I tried to set up some rules, thinking they were boundaries, but there was a lot of grey area in them, and I failed.
Like not hugging certain men, not getting involved in conversations with men, etc. What happened was I felt uncomfortable, and anxious, all of the time.
Constantly thinking Am I doing this right??

So my Bs and I sat down and defined what we consider FOM, friends and everyone else. And what we consider ok interaction with said groups.

I made myself rules to uphold. As I uphold them I am learning how to make boundaries in my relationships. Low and behold, it's working!!

We have friends who are men, notice I say WE. Short of a serious emergency, I have no need to interact them, without my BS present.

I am actually trying to build relationships with healthy women. I think it's important to have relationships with others, outside the M. It's a matter of finding healthy, supportive people to bring into my life.


FWS me 36 (recovering addict)
BS him 39 AFrayedKnot
Together 7 years
2 children


"Your secrets keep you sick"


Posts: 1133 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: 221B
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 10:19 AM, July 22nd (Monday)

Thank you silverhopes. As a BS what you speak of resonates with me and my growth. Your comment as to when real change occurs is when the person making the change actually LIKES the change is well stated...and speaks to the confidence one has that that change is permenant.

Some of the things that I have changed about me that were unhealthy and destroyed intimacy felt very uncomfortable to change at first...even though I desired deeper intimacy changing what I THOUGHT worked but has proven to not work was still uncomfortable . But now having felt the feeling of what it is like to actually live like this it feels better...way better...then I did doing the "old tried and known" way.

Which gives me more courage to change the other unhealthy parts of me. Actually, one of the biggest first attempts I took on was one of my bigger unhealthy habits. So I know I can do the rest.

The common themes of "You can only control and change yourself" and "You are the only person who can make you do something" keep popping up along this journey.

The way I am "owning" this is not by watching my wife (though I do appreciate the changes I observe from her actions) but by feeling the change within myself.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 1:17 PM, July 22nd (Monday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3650 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
hitbyatruck
Member
Member # 23769
Default  Posted: 9:56 PM, July 22nd (Monday)

I like to be able to talk to other people, to tease them, joke around, lightly flirt (but never cross the line), and I like to be liked. I trust myself in that I wouldn't cross the ultimate line.

I like men who talk to me, not flirt with me. A married man flirting with and thinking I will like it puts him on my 'shit list'.

You trust that you won't cross the ultimate line. Will you cross the first little line? The next line???


Married 1998, 2 kids
D-day3/27/09,he left 5/23/09
WH wants to rebuild 3/21/10
He moved back in 9/25/10,
Dec, 2011-finally putting it all together, H had multiple affairs.
Possible porn addict for 15 yrs.
01/2014- in house separation

Posts: 3280 | Registered: Apr 2009
ImNellNow
Member
Member # 28753
Default  Posted: 11:06 AM, July 23rd (Tuesday)

Whatnow,
What are your principles?
What are your priorities?
You will feel authentic and peaceful when you figure those two things out and then act in accordance. Right now, it seems as if you are trying to follow rules set up by someone else. As has been said here ad nauseum, you cannot sustain that. Nor, in all probability, can your BS continue to serve as Jiminy Cricket.


BS & D
Drinking wine and thinking bliss is on the other side of this.

Posts: 2370 | Registered: Jun 2010 | From: Baby steps on my new path
grace68
Member
Member # 28241
Default  Posted: 1:02 PM, July 23rd (Tuesday)

I can see that easily. It's a similar dynamic (at least from you and your wife's posts) that you both have. She'd post about things that she was struggling with and get advice to run then defend you. You'd post without the de rigueur shame and self flagellation.

Look, their situation like yours is between two adults. I've posted to your wife and feel the same way about that thread. There is a point where you stop being a "victim" and start becoming a volunteer. Your wife is perfectly capable of knowing what works for her and what doesn't. Others views are just that. Theirs.

You are stating what you need to be happy in a relationship. Doesn't matter who feels that's wrong, insensitive, not healthy, not remorseful. It truly doesn't. If your wife is not ok with it then I guess she has some decisions to make.

People change when they feel the need to. Those changes are consistent when those individuals honestly believe in those changes and are committed to the work involved to replace the old tapes and skill set with new ones. Not an overnight thing and no easy task. You're basically relearning and reprogramming. There was a thread on here not too long ago about boundaries. Some described some of theirs that seemed like rules, to me. There is a huge difference, again to me, between the two.

Your post actually is the image of what I was stating. Words like "allowed". The chafing against the imposed confinement. I don't see how any of that can work long term.

You are who you are. Your wife can make her choices based on that. It's not like anything is hidden. She knows. Question is, how long do you feel the need for "time out" until you say enough? What does that look like for you.

Your wife isn't paranoid. She's reacting to a very real threat based on consistent choice patterns from you. She's trying to control the nexus, she feels, and she isn't even close to the mark. You guys seem to have pretty different belief systems. Not sure how you reconcile those without someone making some pretty big sacrifices.

This x1000

If the differences in your belief systems create an either or situation, what do you do so you both feel safe, loved, and satisfied in your relationship?


Me - BS
Him - Doesn't Matter
Status: Divorced

Posts: 109 | Registered: Apr 2010
circe
Member
Member # 6687
Default  Posted: 4:16 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

When are friends allowed (in general)? When are new friends allowed... is it only if they are the same gender?

Considering how you feel, how you get your ego fed and your general sense of needing more than your wife for romantic stimulation while labeling it "friendship", I'd have to say that to keep your marriage sacred, you simply can't have new "friends".

IMO, by definition, friends aren't defined as those you flirt with to feed your ego. You might call that class of women "friends" to differentiate them from women you have regular sex with, are married to, or are dating - but to me the word "friend" can't be used to describe what you say you want.

The line between fidelity to your family and infidelity is crossed in your (our, anyone's) mind and heart long before it's crossed physically or verbally. In your case, it sounds as if you live on the "infidelity" side of the line in your mind and heart, and are just physically stopping yourself from crossing it in the final sense, through sheer force of will. Of course there's no amount of time that can pass that will make that safe in your marriage unless the mind/heart become faithful by choice. It's a "dry drunk" scenario. Still operating on the same principles, but refraining from acting on the principles for as long as you can hold out. And that's not at all a safe place for a spouse with more traditional views of monogamy and fidelity.

Also, I don't believe your wife sounds paranoid at all, simply realistic. She knows you. My guess is she knew this about you well before you were able to articulate it yourself. You simply don't believe what most of us here consider "infidelity" is wrong. Since you don't believe it's wrong then you won't change it, and because it's clearly incompatible with a healthy marriage to your current BW then my guess is you will go back and forth as you have been, achieving this status quo in which you continue to force yourself to be faithful, resentfully, while your wife waits for the other shoe to drop.

[This message edited by circe at 4:18 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)]


Posts: 3191 | Registered: Mar 2005
Topic Posts: 24