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Tell me I'm not crazy

keepinghope posted 11/14/2019 15:06 PM

Long story short my BH and I were in R for the past 8 years. This past year I told him I thought he was having an inappropriate relationship with a woman he did a job for (he has his own business). They were texting late at night, and I know he deleted texts from her, but he deletes all texts except family and other things that need saved. He denied it and said they were just friends. I let it go thinking that once the job was done it would stop.

Fast forward and I got pregnant. We were on our way to tell my parents and she called him. He answered and they chatted about me being pregnant. (as in he must have already told her) I told him I was upset that she knew before my family. I again told him I think they talk and text too much.

The other day we had a fight and I told him I didn't want him to talk to her anymore. Even if she texts, to just ignore it. He said ok. Well I checked the phone bill and he has talked to her a few times since then via text. I don't really have proof that anything inappropriate is going on, but I also know I specifically asked him to stop and he hasn't. I dug deeper into the phone bill and they text multiple times per month, but not daily. However what really hurts is I see on the phone bill he was texting her while I was in labor with our son. I am just so sick over it.

So please tell me I am not crazy. This is unacceptable, right? How do I stand up for myself when he denies anything going on and says they are friends? I can't prove anything inappropriate.
Thank you!

PSTI posted 11/14/2019 15:17 PM

YOU get to decide with your husband what is and isn't acceptable. There is no universal standard.

Personally? I wouldn't be okay with my spouse telling me who I can and can't talk to. I know I'm an outlier here on SI because of that, but I think that is a serious overstepping of boundaries. When my husband has friends I don't like, or even if I think they're toxic, I can choose not to be around them or even ask that they not come to our house. But I am not his mother, and it's not my place to tell him who he can spend his time with.

That being said, it would be a positive thing for you and your husband to sit down together and talk about what your expectations are around boundaries for the marriage. Would he be okay with you having a close, intimate male friend that you chat with all the time? Double standards can be problematic.

What specifically is upsetting you? Would you be equally unhappy if it was a male friend he talked to this much? Is he spending time with you and talking to you, or is this a response to feeling like you need more from him? I'm a big believer in not trying to compare, or not having expectations, but having needs. I think that's much healthier. If your needs are being met, that's what matters. If they aren't, then that's the issue that needs resolving- not focusing on who your partner talks to.

Also, I think that mixing close friendships like that and business is a terrible idea, even if there's nothing inappropriate going on.

You get to decide what you're comfortable and happy with in a relationship, but it sounds like this was never something that the two of you hashed out together. It was just something you thought was mutually understood? I don't think that's great when it comes to communication. I would focus on trying to rebuild the communication between the two of you and see if that makes any changes for your relationship.

This is, of course, presupposing that it is not a physical affair but an actual friendship.

To give you some context, I chat daily with friends. I'm bisexual, so both male and female friends. It can be late at night. It doesn't mean anything other than that I care about them and they are important to me. Some people wouldn't be okay with that- I wouldn't be okay with them. But it's all context. If your spouse is changing his habits, that's a different story.

[This message edited by PSTI at 3:19 PM, November 14th (Thursday)]

keepinghope posted 11/14/2019 15:40 PM

PSTI- Thank you. I needed someone to talk to me calm and rational. We have communicated about it and I have made it clear that it is unacceptable to speak with her. I used the comparison of me doing the same with a male. He agreed he did not think that would be appropriate.

I need to do some soul searching for the specific reason I am against it. I would not care if it's a male. I guess I just think they are too "flirty" with each other. That's just from the few texts I have happened to see. He says they are just jokes though. I also think thousands of texts over a year is excessive.

I myself am working on voicing my concerns and needs to my spouse, as that is definitely something that has caused issues before. For example I know he's lying about something, I have proof he is, but I am too nervous to say anything or confront him.

A lot to work through. Thanks

PSTI posted 11/14/2019 15:46 PM

OK. So if you both think it would not be acceptable in the reverse situation, that's great. You're figuring out how to define your marital boundary in a way that works for you.

How about sitting down and discussing what specifically makes the situation inappropriate? Set some concrete concepts on paper so there is no possibility of misinterpretation. "Flirty" is vague, and it's very easy to say that you don't think it is. Be as specific as you can, and make sure you are both agreeing to what is and isn't okay.

As for the being too nervous to confront him about lying... regardless of what this is about, I am sorry you're experiencing that. Your spouse should be the one person in the world that you can trust above anyone else. May I ask, what do you think avoiding the confrontation will do that is positive? Are you just kicking the can down the road but spending stress on it in the meantime? I am a big fan of resolving issues as they arise before they become bigger issues.

Smjsome1 posted 11/14/2019 16:24 PM

No, just no. My husband had female friends for many many years and I was okay with it.

Not anymore. That is an agreed upon boundary for me to work on recovery with him.

Also - the thing that sticks out to me - he was texting her during your labor. That’s a very personal moment. Just no.

Darkness Falls posted 11/14/2019 16:35 PM

PSTI, you’re not alone in being an outlier WRT that.

landclark posted 11/14/2019 16:40 PM

The other day we had a fight and I told him I didn't want him to talk to her anymore. Even if she texts, to just ignore it. He said ok. Well I checked the phone bill and he has talked to her a few times since then via text.

Here's the biggest problem right here. You asked him to stop and he did it anyway. Does he feel entitled due to your prior cheating?

Tell him to stop deleting the texts. If it's harmless, it should be nothing you can't see, right?

Also, the telling her about the pregnancy before telling family would also piss me off. My WH told his AP before I had even told my mom. Yeah, huge f'ing no.

That's just from the few texts I have happened to see. He says they are just jokes though. I also think thousands of texts over a year is excessive.

This is not ok.

20yrsagoBS posted 11/14/2019 16:51 PM

KH,


You WH has proven to have a problem with boundaries. By agreeing not to text her, then texting her, he’s violated a boundary again.

Yes, you’re right to be upset

PSTI posted 11/14/2019 18:52 PM

landclark- but do you find it justified to just tell your partner to stop doing something that makes you uncomfortable? I think that's a legitimate issue that needs looking at.

When we have emotional issues, it shouldn't be the default to ask our partners to change their behaviour. Why does that come ahead of working through our own feelings, especially if the partner isn't really doing anything wrong? Again, I'm not speaking of cheaters. But I don't think there is anything at all wrong with texting frequently with people or having close and intimate friends.

When my partner does something and I feel uncomfortable, my first reaction is to sit with the feelings and see why I feel the way that I do. It tends to be much easier to solve the actual problem that way rather than trying to pile rules on my spouse.

I am a big believer in boundaries, rather than rules. We can only make boundaries for ourselves, while rules are attempts to control another person. I don't believe in making rules for other adults, personally.

landclark posted 11/14/2019 21:32 PM

PSTI, I think if you find your partner is flirting with somebody, yes, it’s absolutely justified that you tell them to stop. It’s not about doing something that makes you uncomfortable, it’s wrong when you’re in a committed relationship with somebody.

She said they’re flirty in her opinion. How is that not doing anything wrong? I’m personally not cool with my husband doing that. If you are go nuts, but don’t judge others for not being, or imply that we’re just being ridiculous and controlling.

Not to mention he agreed to stop and then kept going. That’s lying and hiding. Again, not ok.

leafields posted 11/14/2019 22:20 PM

Part of my conditions of working on R with UH was that there would be no close relationships with females. Exceptions were made for specific people. UH agreed. Second offence? He didn't do what was agreed upon, and he crossed the boundary. Now we're headed for D.

cocoplus5nuts posted 11/15/2019 05:53 AM

Have you guys read, Not Just Friends?

If this relationship makes you uncomfortable and you've asked your husband to stop, he should stop it if he values the M. The fact that he continued to communicate with this woman after telling you he wouldn't is not ok. Basically, he lied. Then, it appears he is hiding his communications with this woman. This sounds like an EA to me. They don't have to share anything inappropriate to form an inappropriate bond. I would be extremely pissed if my husband shared that I was pregnant with a "friend" like that before we told our families. This whole thing stinks to me.

It is very possible he has blurred boundaries resulting from your infidelity. That doesn't make his behavior ok. You don't deserve it.


do you find it justified to just tell your partner to stop doing something that makes you uncomfortable?


Yes. I get to set my own boundaries. I can ask whatever I want from my partner. My partner then gets to decide whether or not to comply. I choose what I do next based on what he decides. If it's very important to me, and my partner refuses, I can choose to walk away from the relationship. Same goes for my partner. That's what setting and holding your boundaries looks like.

Of course, it can be unhealthy, but isn't necessarily.

Notmine posted 11/15/2019 07:14 AM

The bottom line is this: If you are uncomfortable with your husband being in a close relationship with another female, he should respect this. He is married to you and as such agreed to forsake all others. You are his wife and your feelings should be considered first. He seems to be putting his relationship with her above your own. This would be super problematic for me. In addition, he AGREED to stop contacting her. The fact that he hid continued contact points to a potential EA.

cptprkchp posted 11/15/2019 08:06 AM

KH-

I am a fWW so I hope you don't mind if I weigh in here. You are not crazy.

What I find to be the issue is that you have talked to him about the fact that it is inappropriate. He said himself that he would not be comfortable if you developed a close relationship with another man so it's not ok for him. You asked him to stop and he didn't. He told her about your pregnancy before you even told your families. In my humble opinion, that's inappropriate.

Maybe if he didn't have a history of cheating then maybe it wouldn't be such a huge deal but he has proven that he cannot have a platonic relationship with another female - that's the bottom line. I respect that other people deal with their relationships differently but you have spelled it out for him - and he didn't stop. That's an issue. You are not crazy! To be fair - I hold myself to the same standard as any other WS. If it's not ok with your spouse then it's just not ok. I know it would not be ok with my BS so I won't even think about it!!

Best of everything to you!

keepinghope posted 11/15/2019 09:03 AM

Wow thank you all so much! The overall consensus as well as my feelings is that it is innappropriate and I need to be willing to discuss with him and deal with the consequences.

I avoid arguing with him because he will shut down and not speak. It literally ruins the whole day or even weekend. In a way I feel that he is manipulating the situation, but in another way I hate to upset him.

And full disclosure because I think some were confused, I am a former WW.

Thank you all!

PSTI posted 11/15/2019 11:26 AM

I guess it's all perspective. I told a close friend I was pregnant before I even told my ex husband. I'm pretty sure we told friends before we told our families, so I wouldn't expect that to be universally understood to be okay or not okay.

I agree that it's different if you're talking an affair, but I don't see anything wrong with close friendships, and I don't think that should be a universal thing either. Again- with exceptions for waywards, but this is my default position.

cptprkchp posted 11/15/2019 12:26 PM

Oh, crap! I totally missed it in your tag line that you are a WW - it still doesn’t change the bottom line, though.

Skoochnski posted 11/15/2019 12:39 PM

Please please PLEASE listen to your gut on this one!!! I didn’t and 14 years later “just friends” and “she reminds me of my sister” has become “We used to make out at work and I f*cked her after she s*cked my d*ck in a cubicle one night.”

[This message edited by Skoochnski at 12:39 PM, November 15th (Friday)]

Notmine posted 11/15/2019 12:57 PM

I get that he is a BH. I feel like he should understand your feelings about this more clearly as a result. It's been 8 years. Have you guys done the counseling thing? Could it be that he is still resentful of the affair and behaving as a result of that? I think as a BS it might be hard for me to accept any demands regarding my friendships due to my FWH's actions, but I think that I would understand his request if he asked me to stop contacting another man. I do think you have the right to be concerned though. The fact that he is hiding this is a red flag.

With regards to the "shutting down" behavior, I think you set your boundaries and understand that how he deals with it is not yours, it is his. It is an immature way to react to conflict. If you have not done the MC thing, it might be a good idea. MC was really instrumental in saving my marriage.

sisoon posted 11/15/2019 15:26 PM

Telling him to stop doesn't fly, IMO. You can ask him to stop talking with her, but he chooses whether to comply or not. Then you get to decide what you will do.

There are red flags here, and I think you are right to notice and confront them. They are:

1) saying he'll stop but not stopping - that's a giant red flag, a lie, avoiding the issue, and all sorts of other bad stuff;

2) the whole thing looks like it's right out of NOT "Just Friends ... an EA.

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