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Hello. I have come to this forum to get relationship advice. My husband and I have been married for 14.5 years and we have just started marriage counseling about 2 months ago. There has been infidelity and a lot of lies, but I am trying to work on forgiving and moving forward. I am struggling with some issues that will, of course, take awhile to be resolved. I am hoping that this community can help me with some issues that I could use a little advice with and that I can return the favor.
 

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Welcome.

Raise the lid on your marital boiling pot, slowly.

Else, the hands here will stir it madly. Burning you, and all in their frenzy.

When you hear the words "Hang him high", stick your fingers in your ears, saying, la, la, la...over and over.

Of course, my dear, good advice will turn out, and maybe flip the sought solution on its head.

Do you want to reconcile, or do you want some consoling and maybe some tough words to see you past this?
Do you want to be convinced that reconciliation is even worth any of this effort?

At this point, is it really worth it to you, hmmm?

If so, why?



Lilith-
 

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Welcome to TAM -- Sorry that you are going through this in your marriage. Post away -- there are lots of good folks who can help.
 

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Thank you for the advice SunCMars.

We have both decided that we are going to do the work to regain trust and we have both agreed that our marriage is worth saving.

I am having some trouble with boundaries. I had a difficult time with them in the beginning of our counseling because I was basing them on the wrong thing. Just some back story before I get to the actual question I want to ask.
Now, we have an issue that started in the beginning of our marriage. It actually started before our marriage, but I did not find that out until well into our marriage. My husband had a female best friend that I knew about and I had met once. I didn't know her that well but he didn't really say much about her and I didn't really know anything so it wasn't a big deal to me. I was so young and so in love that I basically didn't see the red flags going up all around me. After we were married and I was around them more and more, I began to see signs that this was not a friendship but something more. I voiced my concern and was met with, "well if you don't like it, you can leave because she was here before you and she always will be". At the time I was very young and always used the 'but he loves me and he is married to me' logic. Fast forward a few years and I found out that he had made out with her (during our marriage) and for whatever reason it didn't go any further than that. As far as I know now, that is the only time that he physically cheated on me with her, but I am well aware that there is probably more times and I will never really know unless he or she tells me. She lives in another state, but he goes back sometimes to visit for different reasons. Long story short, they stopped talking. She is now married but I know that when he visits they all hangout like old times. She has a sister and my husband texts her first thing and I feel like her sister is his connection to hold onto her.. Does that make sense? He doesn't talk to his former-best-friend by phone or messenger but he does text her sister and hangs out with her when he goes home. I know that if the sister is around the former-best-friend is around and he does not understand why I have an issue with him talking to her sister.

He recently went home and of course he was hanging out with her, her sister and his cousins (the sisters are best friends with his cousin). He claims to not see why I have an issue with him contacting her sister and why I have an issue with him putting himself in the same situation that brought on most of the pain and distrust that is in our relationship now.

Is it unrealistic of me to expect him to set boundaries in this situation because of the close relationship she has with his own family member? I am really struggling with this because I feel that he will make the family issue the main argument- accusing me of telling him he can't hang out with his family- and I fear it may be a deal-breaker for him. I think that he doesn't want to set boundaries or change anything because he is still trying to hold on to their connection through her sister. (I did my best to explain the situation)
 

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. After we were married and I was around them more and more, I began to see signs that this was not a friendship but something more. I voiced my concern and was met with, "well if you don't like it, you can leave because she was here before you and she always will be".
Iala, This speaks volumes of the type of husband you wish to keep. You again sets yourself up for disappointment.


Do you really believe, once your H, engine starts to rev that it will stop there? Sorry no dice. He done it and now he's going after the sister, and his excuse is because they are friends of the family, that doesn't fly, and prepares you to be the doormat again.

You can't want this!
 

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I voiced my concern and was met with, "well if you don't like it, you can leave . . ."
Since you stayed instead of leaving when he gave you this stupid ultimatum, you showed him a bunch of things, namely:

1. That you are desperate to keep him;
2. That he means more to you than you mean to yourself;
3. That he is the most important person in the relationship;
4. That he can continue to dupe you and see his lover as often as he can make the trip and use her sister and family as decoy;
5. That he can continue to snow you by pretending he doesn't understand what you say.

He did all those things because you allowed him. You essentially told him he could because people will try to get away with doing whatever they can get away with doing.

I am really struggling with this because I feel that he will make the family issue the main argument- accusing me of telling him he can't hang out with his family
Of course he will. He uses everything you say against you. He uses all of your insecurities against you.

and I fear it may be a deal-breaker for him.
That's why you're still there putting up with his bullcrap and all this silly drama. He keep letting him know you love him more than you love yourself.

Is it unrealistic of me to expect him to set boundaries in this situation because of the close relationship she has with his own family member? - I think that he doesn't want to set boundaries or change anything because he is still trying to hold on to their connection through her sister. (I did my best to explain the situation)
Do you know how often people come to internet boards like this wanting their spouse to change, while they, themselves, don't want to do any changing? It's every day. It's all the time. And you have joined their ranks.

It's also very common for people throw the word "boundaries" around when it applies to their spouse/partner, but they really have no idea what that word means.

So I'm asking why you want HIM to establish and enforce boundaries, but you don't have any boundaries yourself?

Boundaries are the personal values and rules of conduct that a person places on THEMSELVES and those in their life. That means you can only establish boundaries for yourself. You cannot require someone else has boundaries because, again, boundaries are borne of a person's OWN value system and are up to each individual to establish for themselves. Either he has boundaries or he doesn't. Whether he has any is not for you to be concerned with. You can only concern yourself with your own boundaries.

So if you want anyone to have boundaries, you have to have some. But you don't. You just keep letting this man run over you as he pleases. If there are things he does that you don't like and he is disrespectful to you, which there clearly are and he clearly is, then you have to establish your own boundaries and determine you don't like those disrespectful things he does. And then, you have to decide what to do about his disrespect.

You cannot decide to keep telling him and keep arguing with him because all you're doing is arguing. And all he's doing is pretending he doesn't understand what you say. Having boundaries is not about arguing a person into compliance because you can't MAKE anyone do what you want. You can only show them that you won't tolerate what they do and won't tolerate them disrespecting you, and you can't keep telling them over and over "I'm not going to tolerate this." You have to show them that you're not....by leaving since they refuse to respect your boundaries.

Until you have respect for yourself and establish your own boundaries, your husband is going to keep on disrespecting you because you don't respect yourself. Since you love him more than you love yourself, you might as well stop arguing and stop trying to explain things to him just so he can keep pretending not to understand and using everything against you.

And just for the record, they have done much more than kiss. "It was just a kiss" was just another snow job that you fell for.
 
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