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Discussion Starter #1
For previous history see I Really Don't Think my Husband Gets It

The situation as is, is that I feel my husband has difficulty with respecting my boundaries. The most recent example was where he gave a female colleague a lift home then told me about it two days later - when one of my boundaries was I wouldn't be happy with him spending time alone with another woman - a result of his EA with a girl at work last year.

I am really unhappy about this and I have told him I want him to go to IC to figure this out.

He has made it clear he thinks IC is a ridiculous idea but has said he will go if it makes me happy.

That was last weekend. I have not brought it up, leaving it to him to sort out. So far he hasn't mentioned anything.

The difficulty? Around the time I found this out, he found out his grandad was really ill, who then sadly passed away. He was really close to his grandad growing up, who was a surrogate father figure as his dad wasn't around much. So needless to say, hubz has been upset and at moments a little teary-eyed.

Now, I feel stuck. I don't want to be a heartless wench who sits him down to recount the demise of our marriage whilst he's in mourning - the funeral isn't for another week. But obviously this is still an issue.

My question is, how do I handle this? My feelings say to wait until after the funeral to give him time to process things and implement IC.

The trouble is... I don't think he is GOING to implement IC. What I predict is that because I left it open with the ball in his court, he is going to say that because I haven't brought it up again, he thought I'd changed my mind. He's done this before with important things. Thing is, I don't want to nag him because, well, it's nagging isn't it? It's not like I haven't said it loud and clear. He knows exactly how I feel.

Or maybe I am going about this the wrong way round and I should have implemented consequences already. I don't know. I just don't want to be a heartless cow about it.

Advice?
 

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Tell him

" I'm so sorry for your grandad. I know how much he loved you and what he meant to you. We'll both get through this. Don't worry about the IC we talked about for now. There'll be plenty of time for that in a couple of weeks. IC might even help you deal with your granddad's passing. Again I's so sorry"
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Tell him

" I'm so sorry for your grandad. I know how much he loved you and what he meant to you. We'll both get through this. Don't worry about the IC we talked about for now. There'll be plenty of time for that in a couple of weeks. IC might even help you deal with your granddad's passing. Again I's so sorry"
I was thinking of something similar, ie giving things a couple of weeks. He's doing okay, but has moments where he gets a little emotional. Otherwise he's continuing as usual.

I was thinking leave it until after the funeral then see if he brings it up himself. If not then a gentle question if if he's pursued it at all and take it from there.
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I see your dilemma but would like too ask you about the premise. Why would you want him to attend IC, if he doesn't think himself it will do him any good?

My take is that people must want to change themselves in order to succeed. Might be a waste of time and money as well as give you false hopes. I went down the same road myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I see your dilemma but would like too ask you about the premise. Why would you want him to attend IC, if he doesn't think himself it will do him any good?

My take is that people must want to change themselves in order to succeed. Might be a waste of time and money as well as give you false hopes. I went down the same road myself.
Because he has stepped on my boundaries a number of times now since his EA. We did a lot of work on boundaries during counselling and he was ADAMANT he "got it." Which he either doeasn't - or isn't bothered about. I believe it's the former AND the latter - I have been guilty of not enforcing my boundaries so it's six of one and half a dozen of the other. I feel I HAVE to do something at this juncture to show I won't be disrespected any more.
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Discussion Starter #6
Had a heated discussion earlier...

He told me he hadn't done anything about IC... And did not intend to.

He is insistent he thinks IC would be a waste of time. He doesn't know what it would achieve. Says he understands now about boundaries... Like he said he did a year and a half ago when he did counselling. Apparently the very fact I got mad at him giving a female colleague a lift home has all of a sudden made him understand boundaries at last, inexplicably in a way neither a counsellor nor any of his previous experiences of treading on my boundaries has:rolleyes:

He then said he'd do IC - if I really wanted him to. No, I said - it has to be because YOU want to. He said he doesn't really want to - but kept reiterating he would if *I* wanted it.

Add to that him throwing a fit about him handing me his phone to look at a message. I read it then was browsing through and he got all defensive, asking what I was looking at. Told him I was just browsing idly. He got a little irate, saying he considered it to be "rude" that I would do that, and started talking about personal space.

I won't get into this but suffice to say we've had many discussions about transparency. He claims to be all on board with it... But he isn't really. He hates it. Said that he thinks most people would think like him (this is ALWAYS his "proof" to back up an opinion.) Then when I said it appeared he had something to hide and I wasn't on board with living like that, he backtracked and said of course I could look through. It was just that he didn't LIKE me doing it:rolleyes:

I was saying how this wasn't how I wanted to live, but he cut me off as we had to pick up the kids.

Now, he's being all cutesy and affectionate, trying to make out like everything is okay. I am so fvcking confused. Which I KNOW is my fault. I KNOW he is manipulating me to "nice" me into letting it go.
 

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Your story sounds soo familiar. The phone thing, the manipulation, the other people would say/think....

He sounds like he just tells you what you want to hear, what he should say, and he carrys on as normal.

Maybe he doesn't want to change.

Did he have an EA/PA?
 

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Had a heated discussion earlier...

He told me he hadn't done anything about IC... And did not intend to.

Short of a meaningful threat he's not going to

He is insistent he thinks IC would be a waste of time. He doesn't know what it would achieve. Says he understands now about boundaries... Like he said he did a year and a half ago when he did counselling.

With this attitude going to IC would be a waste of time and money. Additionally, it's likely to lead to resentment

Apparently the very fact I got mad at him giving a female colleague a lift home has all of a sudden made him understand boundaries at last, inexplicably in a way neither a counsellor nor any of his previous experiences of treading on my boundaries has:rolleyes:

Did you discover the fact that he gave a lift or did he relate it to you unsolicited?

He then said he'd do IC - if I really wanted him to. No, I said - it has to be because YOU want to. He said he doesn't really want to - but kept reiterating he would if *I* wanted it.

You have the right attitude. This is where the expression "Leading the horse to water....etc" applies.

Add to that him throwing a fit about him handing me his phone to look at a message. I read it then was browsing through and he got all defensive, asking what I was looking at. Told him I was just browsing idly. He got a little irate, saying he considered it to be "rude" that I would do that, and started talking about personal space.

It isn't rude. Not at all. "Personal space?" He's confusing 'secrecy' with 'space'. Two unrelated concepts. Under the circumstances (previous cheating) he should be bending over backwards to demonstrate transparency.

I won't get into this but suffice to say we've had many discussions about transparency. He claims to be all on board with it... But he isn't really. He hates it. Said that he thinks most people would think like him (this is ALWAYS his "proof" to back up an opinion.)

There ARE people who think 'like him'. All those people have things to hide.



Then when I said it appeared he had something to hide and I wasn't on board with living like that, he backtracked and said of course I could look through. It was just that he didn't LIKE me doing it:rolleyes:
I was saying how this wasn't how I wanted to live, but he cut me off as we had to pick up the kids.
Rugsweeping and trying to shut you up.

Now, he's being all cutesy and affectionate, trying to make out like everything is okay. I am so fvcking confused. Which I KNOW is my fault. I KNOW he is manipulating me to "nice" me into letting it go.

Trying to assuage your fears. How long have you been married? He feels entitled to act like a single man when away from home and wants to keep it that way. He figures as long as he comes home to you, you should be happy and quiet. Can you live with this? Because it's going to take a very serious event for him to want to change.
Do you have a support system? Family nearby? Very close friends? Are you close to his family members? Are they nearby?

Who are the people he respects. I don't mean bosses, I mean truly respects?

You are going to need support.

BTW I admire your tenacity in not letting him slide. However at the moment he's as slippery as mercury.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys. Also thanks to the member who PM'd me with a slightly different perspective. I have been digesting all.

We've only been married six months. Yep. Six months.

I am getting the idea from a lot of quarters that IC will be pointless unless he REALLY is into the idea. He isn't. I realise pushing him will be counter-productive, so I'm not, and have not tried to persuade him. Rather it has been on the table and it is up to him whether he takes it up or not.

I also do realise that my boundaries may be tighter than some. I realise that. I think this is because he really does appear clueless, despite him saying he gets it. To contextualise the problem with giving the female colleague a lift home: it was out of work hours. She asked for help simply to carry some boards upstairs in their work building. She didn't ask for a lift or hint at it.

They already work together a lot during the week. I genuinely see no need for him to be doing anything not work-related outside of work with her. He got himself into his EA by doing these exact things in his last job. Spending time. Proximity. It then progressed to contact outside of work, then kissing, then her turning into a stalker.

I have three choices I can see. Have boundaries and actions I will take if he steps on those boundaries, have boundaries and continue to gently kick up a fuss but ultimately let it go, or not have boundaries. The point is I HAVE boundaries but it means nothing to him if he doesn't agree with them. I guess I'm pulling this up as an example that he's actually behaving the same way he did when he had his EA. It's not like I'm telling him to not talk to any women ever. I'm not telling him he can't talk to women.

Plus, yes he is a helpful guy. That is who he is. Helpful and polite. Again - THIS IS WHAT GOT HIM INTO TROUBLE. Yes - too polite to say no to a phone number. Too worried he'd offend that OW by saying no thanks, I've got a fiance I'm very happy with. Too polite to tell her to p!ss off when she started stalking him. It REALLY doesn't make me feel special AT ALL.

When I look at a lifetime of boundary pushing, I don't like it. I don't feel respected or cared for. I don't feel he has empathy. I mean it takes a while to get over the fact he wasn't sure if he wanted me and our family or not and left me hanging for months, there, not there. I mean, we had a BABY. It was supposed to be one of the greatest times of our lives.

Rant over :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think we may have progress...

He opened up last night, quite a lot. It sounds like he's been doing a lot of reflecting. When we did counselling last year, the counsellor touched upon childhood issues, but we didn't have time to explore that more.

He's been thinking along those lines. I can see what he's thinking and understand why. I won't go into detail as it's personal to him but as well, he did reflect on the fact he has been thinking about how his actions can and do affect others, even when he thinks they may be inconsequential. This kinda ties in with the stepping-on-boundaries issue.

We're in a limbo atm. I do sense that at last he is actually taking me seriously. I hate to bring out the cliches but it is very, VERY clear (and I could have written this months ago, down to the letter) that he has been completely shell-shocked by me putting my foot down and indicating I have been thinking of leaving him - and to him, this has near-enough come out of the blue.

It has not been a case of me springing it on him... Quite the opposite. This is why it is so frustrating to me, and even a little now, that I have actually had to say very clearly, look, if this does not get better then I am leaving - it looks to me that he just hasn't taken me seriously. At all.

I do feel very, very bad that this has come at an upsetting time for him. I wish I could have handled it in a better way really. I can't do anything about that now, but can do moving forward. I'm not sure how this will pan out yet though.
 

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I do feel very, very bad that this has come at an upsetting time for him. I wish I could have handled it in a better way really. I can't do anything about that now, but can do moving forward. I'm not sure how this will pan out yet though.
STOP!

You have throughout the posts appologised for what your doing. You have no need to do that. The reason (in the cold light of day) that youve posted here is that you need to vent the issue and yes, get some perspective. The problem is caused by your H not you. If he had listened and not just heard you lay out the boundries (which are triggers for you that make you feel insecure as well) He wouldnt have to hear you dealing with them again at a time when he was suffering a loss. He is now feeling more or less as you did when he had an EA. Gut wrenching, teary eyed and feeing something so loved is gone. If he'd followed the basic boundry set up you both agreed to, you would not have to re-enforce these and do so with anger when you (I suspect) would rather be supporting him and a shoulder to cry on as he's lost someone close. His doing not yours, he forced the issue. Therefore, he has to take the full responsibility of the current status. Ok, if he feels that IC in future will not work regarding boundries then he has to prove that he has taken these on board, he understands and has signed up to keep that contract.
As for being helpful. The world needs helpful people but there again in every helpful situation there is a boundry and he has to learn sooner rather than later that he needs to know these, see them and NOT exceed them.
Your boundries in this case I feel are NOT unacceptable as he has fallen before in this situation (dont drink alchohol if you are alchoholic) All you did was to set the boundry that steers him away from taking a drink. So do not feel that is unreasonable. You appear to both interact together (previous posts) with both sexes and this you feel is not an issue to you. And that is great. It is the one on one that causes the trigger. If he was to have an electric shock every time he touched some specific thing, would he continue to touch it? You are the electric shock and the boundries the thing being touched. He has to learn.

As for pushing him to IC at this stage, you are wise to stand back until other emotional issues have been cleared unless he seeks support in relation to the both issues. I feel that he will need to ween off the one on one contact issue and you will need to monitor and re-enforce at times. Hopefully he will see that you will not let go and he will either comply or suffer. Never threaten. If you say, even in anger your going to do something then follow it through because he will, if he feels he can test the boundry concerned continue to do so as there is not "electric shock". This testing is born out by you saying "To contextualise the problem with giving the female colleague a lift home: it was out of work hours. She asked for help simply to carry some boards upstairs in their work building. She didn't ask for a lift or hint at it."
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have been reflecting and I am thinking that marriage counselling rather than IC for him may be the way to go.

Although he appears to be thinking hard about things in a constructive way, I am realising that our problems go deeper than what I have mentioned here. I feel a deep amount of resentment which I don't think I can learn to let go of either by myself or just from him going to IC.

So I will talk to him about this later.
 

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MC can be a godsend, although he has to want to be there...otherwise, you'll just be talking to the MC while he sits, rolling his eyes.

IC for yourself, maybe? If he sees that you're serious about working on the marriage, even if it means starting without him, maybe he'll take it a little more seriously. Also, you may find out some surprising things about yourself. And what you're willing to put up with.

Boundaries are great. When they're respected. He isn't respecting them!
 

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T,
I don't know why it took me so long. Finally I understand, and now because of that I can actually be helpful to you.

You married the male version of my W.

Hot, fun, lovable and great with the kids. Treats you great and clearly loves you. Very long list of positive traits.

_____________________________

Boundary tests you and then pretends he has no idea that what he did would upset you that much. Is relentless on certain topics even though it does not logically make sense.

The school thing you mentioned. Every once in a while I deal with very similar type situations. My W elects to pick a battle over something that I have repeatedly said matters very much to me. And then proceeds to double down, and double down again.

I believe it is mostly a "control" thing. I think she gets tense/angry stubborn when I am not doing what she wants. Perhaps I have sometimes been overall too accommodating, so she sometimes behaves really aggressively in a quiet but determined manner when she is not getting her way.

We just started seeing a therapist. It was my suggestion. She really doesn't like it, but knows we need to.

I will repeat my earlier comment: She is a fantastic wife, except when she is being incredibly difficult. 95% of the time she is great. And 5% of the time she is being difficult/very difficult.

I will share what I have learned because you may well find it quite helpful in dealing with your H.

They know they are pushing boundaries. They are wired to do so and you cannot make them stop "testing", your only choice is whether to:
- respond in an effective manner or
- get more and more agitated

When they are being mischievous they fully understand what they are doing. Somehow they feel justified, so they persist even as we get more openly upset with them.

This is what works for me:
- Telling her I am upset more than once is counterproductive. It is VERY hard to stop myself from doing this. But I get the best results when I do.
- EXPECT some type of escalation. Because I often don't recognize it otherwise since it comes without the visible anger I always feel when I am escalating.
- When I recognize the escalation I point it out.

Let me give you an example:
- My W did something that she knew violated a boundary of mine because she wanted to be in control of a situation. In theory this is about money, but in practice it has nothing to do with money because the amounts are small. It really is / was a control issue.
- I called her on it the next day, I was angry but controlled
- She escalated in a very clear cut manner, I just didn't quite realize this was all related to her being in control
- I called her on the escalation at which point she played what I call the "castration" card. This is just one notch below asking for a divorce in terms of aggression.

You and your H were arguing about location and schooling. You persisted and got upset. He kept upping the ante.

At this point I am at risk of projecting. Maybe your situation is different than mine.

In my situation this is what happens:
When she is fighting about something I know is not important to her, I get more and more tense and angry. It feels abusive when she fights with me over things I have clearly and repeatedly explained matter a lot to me and which she has said she does not really care about. Until recently I just didn't grasp that this TRULY was a control issue for her. That me not doing what she wanted, regardless of why, sometimes gets her angry because I should just "do it her way and stop arguing".

In a way it feels like marital vandalism. Think about it, he got no real benefit from being a mile or two away from the residence you really wanted. So you were quietly losing your mind over the fact that he was fighting you relentlessly in a situation where he had very little/nothing to gain, and you/the kids had a lot to lose. And that is why its vandalism, not robbery. And THAT is what makes ME feel fury. I understand legitimate conflicts where we both want something different and it is important to both of us. But not this.

I find it interesting that during your conflict about where you were moving, he gave a woman a ride home and then told you about it. Given his EA, and all your prior conversations about that type situation it looks very similar to the castration move I mentioned my W using up above.

I have no idea if my W does / did her thing in a conscious / intentional manner. I only know that when it happens, it feels really bad when I don't recognize it for what it is.

I am not going to leave my W. And you shouldn't leave your H. You might however, want to find a constructive way of dealing with these situations that is not as exhausting and draining for yourself.

My go forward plan is to tell her:
- I have explained why this is important to me
- I don't understand why it is important to you
- Most things aren't that important to me, so we do them your way "just because"
- This isn't like that. In this case "just because" will not work

And that is it. At that point I will proceed as if we have agreed to do it my way.

As for the castration move, sadly I imagine I will see it now and again in the future. It is what she does when she is melting down because she feels like she is losing control of me/the situation.

I am not going to yell or be nasty. I am just going to point out that intimacy is both a privilege and a responsibility. And it is abusive to do/say things like that to someone who has trusted you with their heart.

And then I am going to suspend communication until she comes to her senses.



Had a heated discussion earlier...

He told me he hadn't done anything about IC... And did not intend to.

He is insistent he thinks IC would be a waste of time. He doesn't know what it would achieve. Says he understands now about boundaries... Like he said he did a year and a half ago when he did counselling. Apparently the very fact I got mad at him giving a female colleague a lift home has all of a sudden made him understand boundaries at last, inexplicably in a way neither a counsellor nor any of his previous experiences of treading on my boundaries has:rolleyes:

He then said he'd do IC - if I really wanted him to. No, I said - it has to be because YOU want to. He said he doesn't really want to - but kept reiterating he would if *I* wanted it.

Add to that him throwing a fit about him handing me his phone to look at a message. I read it then was browsing through and he got all defensive, asking what I was looking at. Told him I was just browsing idly. He got a little irate, saying he considered it to be "rude" that I would do that, and started talking about personal space.

I won't get into this but suffice to say we've had many discussions about transparency. He claims to be all on board with it... But he isn't really. He hates it. Said that he thinks most people would think like him (this is ALWAYS his "proof" to back up an opinion.) Then when I said it appeared he had something to hide and I wasn't on board with living like that, he backtracked and said of course I could look through. It was just that he didn't LIKE me doing it:rolleyes:

I was saying how this wasn't how I wanted to live, but he cut me off as we had to pick up the kids.

Now, he's being all cutesy and affectionate, trying to make out like everything is okay. I am so fvcking confused. Which I KNOW is my fault. I KNOW he is manipulating me to "nice" me into letting it go.
 

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Don't expect too much in MC. My STBXH agreed to MC when I threatened to leave over his abusive behavior stemming from depression. At that time, my non-negotiable was that he go to IC, as well. He had refused to go to IC for years although he struggled with recurring episodes of depression. He just figured he knew better. After a few weeks, he refused to continue MC, but did continue IC. Seems he didn't like to have any accountability to me about problems in our marriage. He admitted a year later, that he hadn't told his IC the truth about many things-so i can't imagine it did him much good.
 
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