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Bo,

My wife works at an elementary school and has for 25 years. There is only one male there. However, I have seen some of what you describe. In particular, becoming very close with co-workers and being way too emotionally involved in each other's lives.

I work as a network engineer, where there is about a 50/50 of men and women at my office. On a daily basis, I work with other engineers, who are all male. I am friends with the guys I work with, but we do not hang together outside of work and are definitely not emotionally engaged.

I had to have a talk with my wife, who started coming home and telling me about her work day. My work day talk with her would be.... I set up X VM servers and put in a firewall, etc. Her talk would be.... Jan and Betty are being *****y, Mary is having problems XYZ with her husband, Emily is having an affair with her neighbor Bob.

I pointed out to her that I thought it was bizarre to get this invested in other people's lives. I got a bit angry and told her I am not interested in real life soap operas. I think, and this is just my opinion, women in general just love drama....be it on TV, in real life or in books.
 

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100% agree. If you have to enforce the boundaries or keep reminding them..then it's not working.
My wife has boundaries and if I have to think or keep reminding myself about not violating ... them then there's a problem.

But once the boundary is crossed by me (in this example) she would be foolish to wait around and see what happens next. In my eyes, the boundary is more of a 'suggestion' and doesn't really mean anything serious.
For me, I have established my personal boundaries for work and in social organizations that I belong to. These are to (1) Prioritize my marriage as my most important relationship (2) Not become involved in other people's personal relationships and (3) Avoid even the perception or temptation when dealing with women.

I have been accused of being old fashioned and misogynist, but I really do not care what others think. When you are in close proximity for hours every day at work, the reality is that boundaries become easy to cross, unless you are conscious to keep perspective. I have a couple of women from work that are friends, but I make a conscious effort to not speak privately or be alone with them. Outside of work, we only interact as couples with our spouses, like bowling, mini-golf or BBQs. Likewise, the two women at work that are friends are married, I am friends with their husband's and my wife is a friend to them too. More importantly, we share the same moral beliefs. For us, we don't drink, go clubbing and are family focused. Our interactions outside of work is few and far between. This is usually 4th of July, Christmas, etc.

I have read the book, "Not Just Friends" and there is a lot of truth in it. I have always had the "White Knight" aspect to me, and have had to learn when it is appropriate to help someone and when not to.
 

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I think affairs have a progression and most of them start as an emotional affair. It’s also what makes the illicit relationship so strong and enduring and I believe causes the cheater to absolutely lose their mind in the high when the physical boundaries get crossed. It’s the one two punch of love drunk and physical connection. Murders marriages every single day.

Sharing intimacy and hiding it is simply the first of many steps in an affair. And you are correct, the workplace is a huge one. The gym. And anywhere where people are in close and repetitive contact.

I do think many people do not intend on having an affair from the get go. They may find themselves sliding into it with each crossed boundary they take. But this is also the hunting ground of many people who DO intend on having affairs and there are many.
^^^^Wise Man^^^^
 

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My XWW's A was with a co-worker that pursued her for a good while, getting an EA established that eventually went PA.

When I figured out what was going on, there was no fighting or Hell breaking loose. I knew she was at his place, so I packed EVERYTHING that was considered hers aside from big furniture/appliances and put it on his doorstep between the hours of 1130pm and 4am. It took over 40 large yard bags to fit it all.

And surprisingly, that was that. She stayed with him. Never attempted to come home. Never attempted to get custody.

And she's been miserable ever since.

As far as the work dynamic, I was only around them together one time, at his house for a work pool party. Didn't notice anything weird between them. But I did later find out that when she was inside with him helping with the cooking, and i was in the pool with our girls, when she waved at us from the window above the sink that faced the pool, he was ****ing her from behind at that exact moment. So there's that...
You are my new hero
 

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A lot of women like emotional connections and there's nothing wrong with that. A lot of women are interested in other people they know just as friends. I just find it very peculiar when someone thinks you shouldn't have any friends. I don't think that's healthy. Just because you're that way doesn't mean someone else should be that way. It's fine for you but it probably wouldn't be fine for her.
I said become too invested in friends/co-workers lives. I have no issue with her having friends. However the old saying "not my circus, not my monkeys" applies.
 

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But it is her circus and her monkeys if she's friends with them. There's nothing wrong with becoming invested in other people's lives.
I think there is a bit of grey here, it is not just black & white. I disagree with you in the following context. When a person becomes invested in the lives of people who are just friends, to the degree that those issues cause an emotional response that impacts that person's spouse in the marital relationship, then the friendship needs to be dialed back.

Here is my perspective....my circus is MY family. My monkeys are members of MY family. While I or she can and do have friends, we should not get involved in their love lives or other emotional storms. We have financially helped friends, we have provided a safe space for one her friends before.

I guess I am different than most people. My wife has been my best friend for 40 years. I really have no need for a lot of other close friends. I have one buddy that we have been friends for 47 years.
 

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Yes but that's you. Your spouse doesn't have to become you and do everything your way. She has her own social habits. If she's not cheating there's just nothing wrong with her having friends and getting involved with people's lives and I think that applies whether the husband is threatened or not in a case where the husband is unreasonably possessive and just because he's not social but she is.
You are absolutely right. I can agree to respect her feelings and conform my social life to ensure she feels safe, secure and loved in our marriage. Or I can do whatever the hell I want to.

She can conform her social life to protect our marriage and relationship or just do what she wants. That is absolutely her right as an adult woman. In that case, I would cut her loose in a divorce and she could get as involved in everyone else's lives that she wanted to.

Marriage takes work, establishing healthy boundaries, open communication and respecting each other. It also requires both spouses to conform their behaviors to protect the marriage. I absolutely trust my wife romantically and sexually. But I do not want the shyte storm of others peoples lives impacting ours.

Call me controlling....I do not not give a crap. I will put our 40, mostly very happy years above your or anyone's opinion. What matters to me is my wife's opinion.
 

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I have to agree. When you start building intimacy with opposite sex people in any environment it’s is easier and almost natural to smudge boundaries. A lot of people take tiny little steps over months and then when it’s gone into the realm of EA their brain is already twisted into a pretzel. The PA is just the natural progression of things from there.
It is way too easy for it to incrementally creep, like the fable of boiling a frog. My company has strict workplace relationships policies. A great deal is due to the potential liability of complaints of sexual harassment. In my experience, even in social organizations, this is a huge problem.
 

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I'm surprised you got this far but I bet if you're not social and she is that you never would have even met if she hadn't been social.
Wow lady. I am social, but I practice this old fashioned maxim called "minding my own business". There is a huge difference between being friends/being social and being too invested in other people's lives. Obviously, I am a man, so my emotional life is different than a typical woman.

My wife, by the way, now agrees with me....once she got sucked into a female friends romantic/emotional hurricane. She now understands there have to be boundaries, even with friends.
 

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Yup. @Megaforce is batting a thousand here.

I grew up in a house (deliberately did not use the word home), where my mother and stepfather were physically and emotionally abusive to each other and my siblings and I.

She never outright said anything bad about my biological father, but strongly painted him as the out of control reason they got divorced. He has been married 3 more times, wives 2 & 3 died of cancer. In none of his other marriages, including wife #4, has he been violent or abusive. Much later, after I had moved back home after the military, I had a long talk with him.

He said, my mother is the one that filed for divorce. I know she had cousins move her/kids while we were at school and he was at work on the railroad. He told me she refused to go to counseling, she eventually isolated us kids from him by moving several hundreds of miles away. She married my step-dad exactly 1 day after the divorce was finalized. My biological father and my step-dad's brother, were best friends from junior high until my mom married my step-dad. In fact, my middle name is the name of my step-uncle.

I may not be a real smart man, but I figured out what my mom did to my father, a long time ago. I have deliberately minimized all interactions and communications with her psychotic, cheating person. Sad really, she is now 70 something, 5 foot tall and five feet in diameter and just a miserable, unhappy person.
 

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My mom did not cheat, but the way she treated my dad with sarcasm, ridicule due to ED and belittling has damaged my view of her. Dad had heart attack and passed ~3 yrs ago. Sadly he loved her too much to leave, so he finally died to get away from her. He loved her but could not stand to be around her.
She is now 74 and I call her about every 3-4 weeks. She lives 20 miles away with her dog. All the time she has alone, I think she now sees how bad she screwed up by the way she treated dad. She has plenty of time to think about her actions and regrets.

She was not even at the hospital when he died. She was home. He was in for dehydration and UTI due to diabetes and had heart attack. When nurses came for his lunch tray, he was gone. But they should never have married in 1st place. She did not love dad, he was a baby daddy for my older sister. She will even say that she did not love him when they got married, she "grew to love him". That statement still really irks my sister.
Divinely - this type of thing is one reason I am thankful for my wife. Too many people carry on cycles they were raised in. A lot of men marry women that act like their mother. My wife is nothing like my mother....she is sane, emotionally stable and honorable.

But to the point of the conversations. In the USA, I think there is a cultural belief that women are kinder, gentler and always the victim. This is obviously BS, I have seen and been the victim of an abusive woman. I think women are given a lot of the benefit of doubt, especially in cases of family/marital problems. The "men are violent" generalization plays into this. The reality is that both males and females can be crazy, it is not gender specific.
 

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Our societal problems arise from finding a workable balance with these imperatives.

Competition and tribalism are the most contentious factors acting out in our human society.
[/QUOTE]

Dude, I was
Humans (male and female), as a species, are just very intelligent animals.
We are not "divine".
I wish we were!

We have always acted in ways that are detrimental to civil society.

The Seven Deadly Sins that humans consistently display, attest (add) to this discord that we see every day..

pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth,


Add in these specific commandments which (mostly, secular) humans break regularly:



Why are we this way?

We are innately governed by those *Biological Imperatives that must be followed, or we go extinct.

*Survival, territorialism, competition, reproduction, quality of life-seeking, and group forming (tribalism).



Our societal problems arise from finding a workable balance with these imperatives.

Competition and tribalism are the most contentious factors acting out in our human society.
Dude, I was replying to the user named Divinely Favored....maybe dial down the atheist apologetics.
 

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I don't think we had an issue because of my wife's character, personality, attitude about her marriage and our public interactions with each other.
Right on BigDaddyNY.....as I have said before, people look to find the reasons for infidelity. It boils down to the character of the person. Character is what counts.
 

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I started out acting like my dad. Passive. Yes dear, what ever you say dear. I was not getting the reaction I wanted. She was pushing me to stand up to her as she did not want a weak ass man. I got to a point and realized I did not want to be like my dad. It was killing me to bite my tongue when she was pushing my buttons. Holding it in and letting it build resentment was eating me like cancer. I finally blew a gasket and dropped years worth of resentment in her lap over 2 days. From them on, we communicate and like has been onward and upward, wonderful.
I tease my wife about being bossy, but it is just teasing. She knows I respect a woman who will stand up to me, but also knows when to follow my lead. We are really well balanced as a couple. We have grown up a lot over the last 40 years.
 
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