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Newest Member: Issyibbitt

Reconciliation :
Phone access problems

Topic is Sleeping.
concerned

 Sasdms (original poster new member #82732) posted at 9:40 PM on Wednesday, January 18th, 2023

We’re only 4 months out from finding out about the affair. WS has been completely fine with me having access to his phone this entire time. All the sudden this last weekend he got upset with me and now going through his phone is a problem. No I wasn’t doing it everyday prior to this past weekend. Only once in awhile. But since his demeanor change I did today and Monday I think it was. I guess all the silence and avoiding and his behavior has me real triggered. Also the AP is his children’s mother so he can’t do 100% no contact. They only group message with me in it and he swears he doesn’t email her or message her anymore. She promised me she’d tell me if he ever reached out up her privately again. She had no idea he and I were together during the times he was sleeping with her. Little backstory there…. Sorry. Anyways.

When I ask him why is it an issue now? He says "I need to see someone about this. That it’s too much. You still haven’t told me what you told everyone and I don’t look through your phone."

Now he doesn’t want to talk. I explained that phone access is a must. I don’t care if he looks at my phone. I’ve got nothing to hide.

Anyone have any words of wisdom or help? Feeling lost.

posts: 7   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2023
id 8773814
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TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 11:06 PM on Wednesday, January 18th, 2023

Transparency is one of the keys to rebuilding trust. In the immediate aftermath of infidelity, I personally believe there are "emergency" protocols necessary for stabilization.

No one wants to be the marriage police but certain measures can help a betrayed feel "safe" for now. More importantly, waywards (cheaters) shouldn't have anything to hide.

It truly costs NOTHING to let someone have access to your phone. Nothing.

So yeah, I wouldn't be cool with the shutdown. Your WS should have nothing to hide and be willing to do the bare minimum to help you right now.

posts: 607   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8773827
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 11:32 PM on Wednesday, January 18th, 2023

Hi Sasdms,

Welcome to SI, I'm so sorry you find yourself here. I encourage you to share the rest of your story so we can get to know you.

I'm assuming you intend to attempt to R with this man because you posted in the R forum. For R to be successful and to build back trust, you need complete honesty and transparency. I consider myself to be Reconciled with my spouse but I expect to have passwords and access to his phone any time I want for all time. He's welcome to my phone any time he wishes too. Like you pointed out, if you have nothing to hide, it shouldn't be an issue right? As you've clearly noticed, this is a giant, waving red flag.

I assure you that having access to his phone, particularly in a scenario where complete no-contact is not possible, is a perfectly obvious, perfectly reasonable boundary for you to have in place. It looks like he does not seem prepared to meet that boundary. If he doesn't, what are you going to do?

He says "I need to see someone about this. That it’s too much. You still haven’t told me what you told everyone and I don’t look through your phone."

Does he mean this in a general way, or is there something in particular he wants to know that you've told other people about?

Me: BS. Him: WS.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Happily reconciled.

posts: 2134   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8773829
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 Sasdms (original poster new member #82732) posted at 11:38 PM on Wednesday, January 18th, 2023

Hi. For some reason it won’t let me reply or quote replies. Or maybe I’m just doing it wrong lol.

I just want to feel safe yes.

Yes I want to reconcile. I love him dearly. As far as what I’m going to do I don’t know. Right now he doesn’t want to talk so I can’t force him. But with not being able to no contact the AP then yes full phone access is something I need. I will not put an end date on it. I can’t. We’re only 4 months in. I’m sure it’ll get better in time but only time can tell.

As far as what he means I guess he’s talking about what I’ve told people about the affair etc. Thing is when I try to tell him he doesn’t believe me.

I have nothing to hide. I am honest with everyone and him. He’s never asked to see my phone. If he wants to see it he can just ask. He knows the password. I have my phone a lot due to work and kids and well I’m kinda addicted to it BUT he is welcome to it ANYTIME.

posts: 7   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2023
id 8773831
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 8:14 PM on Thursday, January 19th, 2023

As far as what he means I guess he’s talking about what I’ve told people about the affair etc. Thing is when I try to tell him he doesn’t believe me.

So it sounds like his current concern is is appearance or how he's being perceived by others. He is focusing on himself and his feelings rather than yours. He'd prefer to rugsweep the entire thing and move on with life never mentioning it again. This is not a sign that he's remorseful.

A lot of times, betrayed spouses (especially those with unremorseful spouses), come here hoping we can give them the magic words that they can use to make their spouses "get it". One article I tend to suggest is in the Reconciliation section of the Healing Library and it is entitled "What Every WS needs to know". I printed it out for my WS to read and he actually found it really useful. True to his lawyerly form, he printed it out and put it in a tabbed binder and highlighted and marked up the document with the parts he found useful. It helped him to know that the reactions I was having were normal and expected. Somehow it meant more coming from a third party source rather than me. It gave him a sense of direction/control and a sense of purpose in what was an obviously volatile and uncharted period in our relationship. He re-read it several times during that first year and every time he got something new out of it.

All this said, it helped my husband because he was internally motivated to do this type of work. I couldn't MAKE him do it if he didn't want to, just like you cannot MAKE your husband do the work he doesn't want to do. Much as we'd like, we cannot control other people, we can only control ourselves. So I want to ask you again, you have identified a boundary regarding having transparency with one another's phones. You have suggested that you will be unable to R with this man without phone transparency in place. What are you going to do if he continues to refuse to meet this boundary?

I'm not saying this to dump on you or your spouse, or to suggest that you need to march yourself to the courthouse and seek a divorce immediately. Far from it. If your marriage is salvageable and you want to salvage it, I want to help/encourage you to achieve that. If your marriage is not salvageable. My experience/observation, both in my own marriage and in reading the stories of literally of other BS's that have posted here, is that the BS's who get the best results in terms of snapping their WS out of it are the ones who are firm on their hard boundaries. In fact, there are a litany of stories here of BS's who dealt with a remorseful in words-only (and not actions) spouse for months before deciding enough was enough and standing up from themselves by drawing a hard line in the sand. It's amazing how many WS's suddenly are motivated to do the work and make serious changes when they are faced with having to find a new place to stay, or having to retain a divorce lawyer etc.

I'm not suggesting you make threats that you do not intend to keep. This isn't about manipulating your spouse, it's about sticking up for yourself. Here is the thing, if you know that you cannot remain in the relationship without having phone transparency (and I do not see how you can), then you also know that the relationship is doomed without it. As such, it is a condition of your relationship going forward... end of story. He will either step up or he wont.

It has been said on this site many times that if you want to save your marriage, you have to be prepared to lose it. I can tell you from experience that it was true for me. I also promise you I know how scary that feels from where you're sitting right now.

......

Hi. For some reason it won’t let me reply or quote replies. Or maybe I’m just doing it wrong lol.

When you are creating a post, there are 4 little boxes above and below the message box that have icons. They are located to the left of the emoji faces. They include: an open quote, a bold, an italic and and photo. You can copy paste the text you'd like to quote, highlight it and then press the quote button. It will put some computer script on it that looks sort of like this:

Your text. [/qu0te]

When you post your message it'll show up in the quote box that you see others using.

Me: BS. Him: WS.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Happily reconciled.

posts: 2134   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8773917
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 Sasdms (original poster new member #82732) posted at 7:02 PM on Friday, January 27th, 2023

I asked him for his phone just now after I asked who a girl was that I hadn’t seen on his Facebook. He told me no.

It could be nothing. But the fact that he told me no says it all to me.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t trust him. I am in extreme emotional dis-regulation right now and it hurts really bad. Sounds childish I know but that’s all I can say. He knew what it meant to me. He knew.


How do I uphold my boundary? I don’t even know where to go from here. I’m lost.

posts: 7   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2023
id 8775018
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 7:12 PM on Friday, January 27th, 2023

How do I uphold my boundary? I don’t even know where to go from here. I’m lost.

Decide whether this is a dealbreaker.

BW, 40s

Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 1973   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8775020
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 Sasdms (original poster new member #82732) posted at 7:15 PM on Friday, January 27th, 2023

Yes. It is. I told him from the get to this is the way it had to be.

So now what do I do? If I attempt to talk to him he shuts me down or I guess scream because I’m so upset. I don’t want to scream.

posts: 7   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2023
id 8775021
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 7:26 PM on Friday, January 27th, 2023

You say something like this, "For a very good reason, I do not trust you right now. I’m offering you an opportunity to assuage my concerns and to build back trust by showing me your phone. Your refusal to do so shows me that you still have something to hide, or at the very least, it shows me you are not prepared to make even the most minimal effort to help me feel safe in this relationship. I deserve better than that. I will NOT be in a relationship with someone who treats me like this. If you are not prepared to meet my very reasonable request, I do not see a way forward. I think you should move out."

Be firm but calm. Do not get into an argument about whether it is a fair or reasonable rule. You KNOW that it is, that is all that matters. If he is not prepared to do it or throws a hissy fit you need to be prepared to follow through with the consequence. I know that is the hard part. I promise you, I know. Right now he is having his cake and eating it too. He has no motivation to change as long as he believes he can continue to get away with it. Consequences will show him he cannot. Once you start imposing consequences for these actions, he will either decide to get his act together and change or he won’t. For your sake, I hope he changes but if he doesn’t, I hope you have the strength to get yourself out a situation that is clearly untenable.

I’m so sorry, Sasdms. You deserve so much better than this. You are stronger than you think. ♥️

Me: BS. Him: WS.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Happily reconciled.

posts: 2134   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8775022
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 Sasdms (original poster new member #82732) posted at 7:48 PM on Friday, January 27th, 2023

Thank you so much. That is beautifully written. I will work up the courage to say it.

It hurts. A lot. I’d never do him like this. I can’t fathom why people cheat and destroy. But I have learned I can’t expect myself from others.

posts: 7   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2023
id 8775025
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RangerS ( member #79516) posted at 8:40 PM on Friday, January 27th, 2023

A couple of posts back you indicated that his actions made it impossible for you to enforce your boundary. I think the problem is that while it is a boundary you set, it is his obligation to enforce it on himself, and he is refusing. This speaks volumes. His cheating was the ultimate show of disrespect. His refusal to willingly show you his phone is a close second. You state how much you love him. He clearly does not love you anywhere near as much. You cannot make him love you. He has all the power now because he cares the least about the relationship. As the cheater, he should be bending over backwards to help you heal and re-establish trust. I don't see anything changing until he believes you are ready and willing to end the relationship.

posts: 91   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2021
id 8775032
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 11:53 PM on Friday, January 27th, 2023

It hurts. A lot. I’d never do him like this. I can’t fathom why people cheat and destroy.

You are VERY correct. There are thousands of us here who would agree that dealing with our spouse’s betrayal is one of the hardest things that we have ever had to go through.

It is traumatic. Like real actual trauma. The psychological effects can be just as devastating and debilitating as the ones suffered by soldiers coming back from war. Many, if not most, of us suffer or suffered symptoms of PTSD. The complicating factor is that for many of us, we continue to live with the person who caused us this trauma. A lot of them continue this trauma following D-day.

I have been here long enough and have read enough stories to know that the BS who have the best results are the ones who decide they are not going to put up with being treated poorly any longer. The ones that set boundaries and then enforce consequences when those boundaries are not met.

When faced with real consequences, I have seen some of the least remorseful Waywards pull their heads out their asses and eventually (it takes time) transform themselves into good and worthy partners. Many others are not willing to put in the time and energy to get this far, but when their BS sees that they are unable or unwilling to change, and they DO something about it, they actually get themselves out of infidelity and are able to heal and be happy.

Whether he gets his act together or he doesn’t, you deserve happiness. Good luck and keep us posted on how it goes.

Me: BS. Him: WS.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Happily reconciled.

posts: 2134   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8775051
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 Sasdms (original poster new member #82732) posted at 1:46 PM on Saturday, January 28th, 2023

Update

I gathered the courage to text him the stuff above in my own words a bit. But ended it with I don’t see a way forward and I think you should move out.

He of course didn’t like that. Got upset. Started blaming me for a lot. I stood my ground. So now he says he’s going to read the article I printed him from here, what the wayward spouse needs to know. I told him to read it and that if he wasn’t willing to do everything listed in that guide then he’s made his choice.

He kept asking if I was breaking up with him. I said I’ve given you the options. It’s your choice. If you can’t give me the bare minimum required to make this work then you’ll need to move out. I didn’t cry. I didn’t yell. He did. But I kept my cool. I’m proud of myself.

We will see what today holds.

posts: 7   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2023
id 8775101
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 4:04 PM on Saturday, January 28th, 2023

Proud of you too Sasdms.

Me: BS. Him: WS.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Happily reconciled.

posts: 2134   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8775124
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 Sasdms (original poster new member #82732) posted at 9:59 PM on Saturday, January 28th, 2023

Pretty much today he’s shifted blame. Told me that he’s tired of the way I treat him. Sick of my accusations. All I did was ask hey who is ______. Apparently that’s an accusation? I did get upset when he denied me phone access and told me to leave him alone and shut the door in my face.

I asked him to read the guide I printed from here. He said he would. Still hasn’t. Told me he wouldn’t turn on gps or give me phone access until I start respecting him.

Then said it’s always all about me. That he’s dealing with his addiction(cocaine) and then me and he’s trying to focus on himself and heal himself as well.

Told him I’m sorry my boundaries were too much to ask and that he wasn’t willing to put in the work that was needed to fix what he broke. He said no I am, I have been. But. He hasn’t. Taking away phone access and gps isn’t fixing it. It’s making it worse. Then no therapy. No NA either. It’s not working.

So at this point I guess it’s just…. Failed.

posts: 7   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2023
id 8775183
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 10:56 PM on Saturday, January 28th, 2023

YOU have not failed at anything. You were loyal. You were faithful. You were a good partner - probably not a perfect partner (none of us are), but a good one. You kept your promises and respected your vows. You were willing to give him grace and room to try and fix this, even after he betrayed you. He is the one who refuses to change or to fix himself. He is the one throwing it away.

Have you ever heard of DARVO? It’s is an acronym for Deny, Attack, Reverse, Victim and Offender. It is a defense mechanism used by manipulators to evade accountability for the abuse they inflict on others. It is a blame-shifting tactic used for gaslighting in the context of emotional abuse. We see it pretty frequently here in the context of unremorseful Waywards who are unprepared to deal with the ramifications of their cheating. What your spouse is saying to you now is a classic example of this. I encourage you to read up on it. I’m could be wrong but I’m guessing the reason he is resorting to this manipulation tactic is because it’s worked for him in the past. Does any of this sound familiar, Sasdms?

So you’ve given him a ver reasonable boundary and told him what the consequence is for his failure to meet it. He has quite clearly told you he is not interested in meeting that boundary. Your next step is to enforce the consequence. I know this is easier said than done, but I also know you can do it. Again, he may snap out of it when he realizes you are serious and he may not, but you cannot control his actions, only your own.

Me: BS. Him: WS.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Happily reconciled.

posts: 2134   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8775186
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jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 9:50 AM on Sunday, January 29th, 2023

Emergent is right--the only failure is on his side of the table.

Pretty much today he’s shifted blame. Told me that he’s tired of the way I treat him. Sick of my accusations. All I did was ask hey who is ______. Apparently that’s an accusation? I did get upset when he denied me phone access and told me to leave him alone and shut the door in my face.

This will be the hardest part for you, but the above behavior will never even have the possibility to change until you change. By that, I mean no longer accepting this type of behavior. If you aren't willing to walk away from a relationship that has this type of dynamic, then he will continue these behaviors. They have been ingrained for a very long time.

BH-50s
WW-50s
2 boys
Married over 30yrs.

All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary PuckettD-Day(s): EnoughAccepting that I can/may end this marriage 7/2/14

posts: 4351   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2010   ·   location: northeast
id 8775224
Topic is Sleeping.
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