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Edited

Last edited by Vibrissa; 03/07/11 08:49 PM. Reason: Accidentally posted the wrong info - removing to eliminate confusion

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Herpapabear's EXCELLENT thread on Extraordinary Precautions:

Link


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A couple of my personal boundaries:

No man shall speak to me in a manner which my husband would find unacceptable. When it happens, I shut it down, leave, etc.

I will not give my spouse a third chance.


Some EPs we have in place:

No joking texts to opposite sex

Limited texting to others, period

When at work with opposite sex, talk about spouse in coversation whenever possible. Always compliment spouse to others.

We are each other's greatest advocates. Show it.

(can you tell my dh's affair was work related?)


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Vibrissa,

I think both those posts are about enforcing one's boundaries against a spouse who commits abusive acts. They are about not allowing a spouse to verbally abuse you or treat you badly. They are not about the personal boundaries that a married individual must make and reinforce in order not to have an affair. They will possibly confuse this poster.


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Yeah I grabbed the wrong post then the forum went down gonna go edit now.


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I get the idea of what everyone is trying to get across. Does each couple get to set their own EP's and does each individual set their own boundaries? I think some of them are a little strict, such as not having any friendship with a person of the opposite sex or not staying a night away from a spouse. I personally feel like if these were expected of me by my spouse or vice versa, one would get the feeling that they were "trapped" or "imprisoned" and would cause the reverse responses that one was trying to achieve??? Any insight on this?


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Originally Posted By: strugglingaz
I get the idea of what everyone is trying to get across. Does each couple get to set their own EP's and does each individual set their own boundaries? I think some of them are a little strict, such as not having any friendship with a person of the opposite sex or not staying a night away from a spouse. I personally feel like if these were expected of me by my spouse or vice versa, one would get the feeling that they were "trapped" or "imprisoned" and would cause the reverse responses that one was trying to achieve??? Any insight on this?


Hi strugglin...

Happy marriages are interdependent marriages. Having friends of the opposite sex is a just asking for trouble -- same with spending nights apart. Shift your perspective -- CHOOSE to spend time building your marriage -- When thinking in terms of EPs replace the words "have to" with "get to" - remind yourself what a blessing it is to have someone to share your life with. Or not. Remember, this is all voluntary, you certainly don't have to do it, but it is how things are done in happy marriages.

I can tell you that I do not feel "imprisoned" or "trapped"...I feel LUCKY...I feel BLESSED...I feel CHERISHED...I feel LOVED...Spending all my time with Mr. W is a great pleasure -- he is my favorite person on the planet...smile But there was a time when that was not true -- click on my name and go read my very first posts here -- I am a FWW and I was foggy as all get out upon arrival here in 2005.

Today, Mr. W and I are enjoying the fruits of a wonderfully recovered marriage...I pray the same for you and your husband.

Mrs. W


FWW ~ 47 ~ Me
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strugglinginaz, I love that you're tackling this stuff. Good for you. You seem to be headed in the right direction.

Ideally, you and your BH should sit down and discuss EPs together. This helps you POJA (Policy of Joint Agreement) what's important to you and what's important to your spouse.

It may seem farfetched right now, but the ultimate goal is having a marriage where you love and care for your spouse, where you would be loathe to do anything to upset them. And vice-versa. The MB program is designed to create just that, but it has to be followed: NC, 15h+ UA time, EPs, etc. Once that happens, once you and your BH have that "fall in love, stay in love" objective achieved, you'll realize you don't feel trapped or imprisoned at all. It's positive reinforcement: the more you two guard your LB$s for each other, the more you two make deposits in those LB$s by meeting each other's ENs, the more you'll want to.


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You set your EPs - and your husband lets you know what it will take for him to feel safe. It is your choice if you want to live within the parameters that he feels safe and secure with or not. You don't get to decide what creates a sense of security and safety for him.

If he is uncomfortable with you have male friends - you are free to have male friends, but then you have to live with the consequence: a husband who feels unsafe, and who cannot trust you and likely who feels that your need for male friends is more important than his wellbeing and safety.

You are free to do whatever you want. But you cannot pick the consequences of your actions. You cannot remove the results of your choices.

If you feel male friendships are so important, are they more important than your marriage? Are they more important than your children being raised in a stable, loving environment with BOTH their parents?

I had a very close guy friend who I worked with. We would talk about our lives, our marriages, our families. After reading and understanding how affairs begin, I realized that my friendship with him COULD be dangerous.

I sent him some information I found from this site on how affairs begin and I informed him that I felt our friendship needed to have boundaries put in place. So we changed the dynamic of our friendship. Gone was our fun, flirty behavior. Gone were our friendly lunches. Gone was his number from my cell phone. Gone were our talks about what went on with our spouses.

His response: "I would hate to damage my marriage, sorry but no friendship is worth hurting my wife."

His marriage was more important than a good, close friendship with me. As it should be.

You made the choice to be married. That means that no action you do is done in a vacuum that affects you alone. EVERYTHING you do from the time you wake up til you go to bed affects your husband. EVERYTHING.

Your actions can build love or destroy it. One or the other.

So, is a friendship with a guy more important than creating an atmosphere of safety and mutual protection in your marriage?

It isn't 'expected' of you - but if you want a strong, vibrant, loving and intimate marriage - that requires certain behaviors. If you aren't willing to do them, then you won't get the results you want.

You have already demonstrated appallingly bad behavior and decision making ability. You have already demonstrated you are incapable of healthy, marriage preserving boundaries with a member of the opposite sex. Do you want to continue taking risks for the sake of exerting your 'independence'?

You made the commitment, you wear the ring. You can chose to act committed and welcome it, or you can chose to see your marriage as a prison, see the commitment as a trap. It doesn't have to be.

There is an analogy I have always loved.

If you're driving down a windy mountain road that you've never been on in the middle of the night, do you go as fast as you can as close to the edge as possible? Or do you drive slow and carefully, staying as far away from the edge as possible? What if your kids are in the back seat?

Because your kids ARE in the back seat. Continued poor decision making will not damage you NEARLY as much as it will damage them - it will scar them for the rest of their life. I am living testament to that. My mother had an affair and destroyed my childhood when I was only 2. At 29 I am STILL wrestling with the demons she left me. I'm STILL picking up the pieces of the mess she made.

You can ride as close to the edge as you want, but if you want to ensure the safety of you, your husband and your kids, you'll hug that mountain side of the road and won't come close to the edge for all you're worth.

I strongly suggest you read the book "Between two worlds, the inner lives of children of divorce" Educate yourself as to the REAL costs that will be borne if you chose to live close to the edge.

Last edited by Vibrissa; 03/07/11 09:08 PM.

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Originally Posted By: MrsWondering
Remember, this is all voluntary, you certainly don't have to do it, but it is how things are done in happy marriages.

I can tell you that I do not feel "imprisoned" or "trapped"...I feel LUCKY...I feel BLESSED...I feel CHERISHED...I feel LOVED...Spending all my time with Mr. W is a great pleasure -- he is my favorite person on the planet...smile


What she said. smile

Also, the further you get from your A, the more you and your BH work the program, I think you'll realize why most EPs include no opposite-sex friendships, no nights away from your spouse, etc. They are necessary safeguards to your M. They are you saying you will protect your BH, your M, and your integrity - saying that those things are more important than any opposite-sex friendship, than a night away from your spouse, etc.


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You were given examples of boundaries and EPs people use, and as you and your H (hopefully) recover, you can POJA the boundaries and EPs that are right for your relationship.

The goal is for both spouses to guarantee prevention of a future affair and also for the wayward spouse to offer compensation to the betrayed spouse for all the pain inflicted, which helps ease the BS's resentment.

Consider the circumstances that led to the affair. If a WS met/became reacquainted with an affair partner through social networking, for example, a fitting EP would be to eliminate social networking memberships. Do you follow?

Universally speaking, married people should not have friendships with members of the opposite sex in which they spend time alone or discuss private, personal matters. Those conversations and experiences are generally how affairs begin, even when people have decent intentions to begin with.


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My father cheated on my mother. I learned from this and set big boundaries for myself for whenever I got married. You see, I recognize that I could be tempted to cheat under the right circumstances. So I set boundaries when I got married and did my best to abide by them.
I'll give you some examples:
I cut out friends of the opposite sex. The friends that I did have of the opposite sex became friends of the couple and I wouldn't have any conversation with that friend without informing my wife about it or without giving her the option to read the messages if she wanted to. In other words, there was complete openness.
I also recognized that there is no such thing as innocent flirting. Flirting is flirting and it slowly leads towards infidelity. I view flirting with someone else when you're married as a massive show of disrespect towards my spouse. I also wouldn't like it if she did the same and dismissed it as "innocent."
If I found someone attracted I did everything I could to avoid being around them alone. There was a woman in my squadron that I found attractive. I liked everything about her even though she was just slightly about average looking. It was the whole package. She was a pilot like I was. She was smart. She was witty and fun to talk to and hang out with.
I therefore did what I could to never be alone with her. She tagged along with us because she was part of our squadron, but I stayed away from any kind of personal contact with her.
Why? Because I found her attractive. Did she find me attractive? I have no idea. I never innoncently flirted, tried to hit on her, or talked to her outside of the business we were in.
My wayward ex felt differently. she told me she wanted to go study on the base one day when I was supposed to be at work. I got out early and decided to go surprise her. I found her playing video games with some guy she had become friends with. She didn't tell me she was doing this. She told me he was just friends, etc.
At the time, I didn't trust him because I know men. 21 year old guys don't have innocent intentions with married women with kids. There's plenty of other men to hang out with and play video games with. Why my wife?
I expressed my discomfort with this, which was dismissed as being overly jealous.
My ex had no boundaries and "innocently" flirted with men online when I deployed. The "innocent" flirtations led to meetings "to make friends."
Well, it led to cheating.
We're all human and we're all wired to cheat. Recognizing that we're all vulnerable to cheating is the first step in making sure we never do so.
Be friends with a couple, not with one man. When talking to your friends of the opposite sex, do so with your spouse around and tell them how wonderful you think your spouse is or the things you do with your spouse.
Be wary of Facebook. I looked up an ex of mine just out of curiosity. I decided NOT to contact her because nothing good could come out of it.
Was I tempted to? Yes. Did I tell myself that it would be innocent contact to just say a friendly hi? Yes.
Then I thought about whether or not my wife would be ok with the contact. That was an easy one. No.
Then I thought that it wouldn't be good to re-establish contact, no matter how innocent, with someone that I once had strong feelings for.
So I prayed about it. I asked God to help me defeat the temptation.
It worked and I have never contacted that person nor will I do so.
While you have received tons of 2x4s from those of us who have been betrayed, you're also receiving them from folks who recongize how easy it is to go down that path by anyone.
So take that as an example of boundaries.
Want to lose weight? Don't buy twinkies and ding dongs for your house.
Want to stop drinking if you have a problem? Don't buy alcohol.
Want to avoid infidelity? Then treat the opposite sex with care and with boundaries.
You can be professional, kind, and friendly. Just don't cross the line into flirting or personal contact.

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Here is what Dr Harley says about boundaries and opposite sex friendships.

Quote:
One of the extraordinary precautions I mention when discussing the topic of avoiding affairs is to rule out friends of the opposite sex. To many, my recommendation seems to be an overreaction at best and downright paranoid and controlling at worst. After all, it's healthy to have friends of the opposite sex whether or not you're married. Right?

Well, it's been my experience counseling thousands of couples that opposite-sex friends pose the greatest risk for infidelity. True, there are those who go shopping for sex on the internet or have one-night stands with total strangers while on a trip. But that's not the typical affair. The most common affair is with someone who has become a friend.

Work is a place that many find these friendships, but they are also found in recreational settings, volunteer organizations, and even church. What starts out as casual conversation develops into intimate conversation where personal problems are revealed and help is offered by the friend. Massive Love Bank deposits are made when that happens. The next thing you know, you're hooked.


And later this:
Quote:
And unless a person understands how romantic love is created, they are usually blind-sided when they experience it.

Your wife's relationship with her co-worker probably began with ordinary conversation about work-related issues that developed into intimate conversation when they talked about their personal problems. It was probably very innocent at first, because neither understood that they were making massive deposits into each other's Love Banks. But before long, those deposits triggered intense feelings of love that they communicated to each other, and the rest is history.

What happened to your wife, happens thousands of times every day to husbands and wives who feel they should be able to have friends of the opposite sex. They don't see the danger of falling in love when their intimate emotional needs are met outside of marriage. They usually understand that sex is off limits. But they rarely see intimate conversation (communication of emotional reactions and personal problems) as the first step to an affair. If enough Love Bank deposits are made to trigger romantic love, then our instincts to meet the intimate emotional needs of affection and sexual fulfillment become almost irresistible


The whole article is here:
LINK


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Originally Posted By: strugglingaz
I get the idea of what everyone is trying to get across. Does each couple get to set their own EP's and does each individual set their own boundaries?


Both you and your H work together to find EPs that you both are comfortable with. Write them down and keep a copy where you can refresh your memory as needed.

Quote:
I think some of them are a little strict, such as not having any friendship with a person of the opposite sex or not staying a night away from a spouse. I personally feel like if these were expected of me by my spouse or vice versa, one would get the feeling that they were "trapped" or "imprisoned" and would cause the reverse responses that one was trying to achieve??? Any insight on this?


Yes, my insight is...are you KIDDING me??? You had an AFFAIR!!! You are in absolutely no position to be negotiating these things OR telling us you don't need them ~ you most certainly DO!! Your affair happened because your EPs were beyond shoddy. You have very little impulse control and your H is paying the price for your indiscretions.

Your H is in more pain over your A than you can even begin to imagine. The lack of empathy you are showing by even suggesting that you might feel "trapped" if you put EPs in place is shocking.

You need to do whatever it takes to heal this M...to make it safe for your H. That includes putting boundaries in place that would make it IMPOSSIBLE to have another A.

I'm still shocked at your complaints about putting EPs in place would make you feel trapped. Good grief.


Me,BW - 42; FWH-46
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D-Day #3~Feb.27, 2007 (we'd been in a FR)
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So, me being in the position that I am at the moment, in which I do not have feelings for my husband (and he doesn't for me right now, for that matter), I do feel a little hesitant at wanting to give up everything for him. It feels a little bit like I am losing a piece of my identity (if you will). Is this normal feelings? I have always been an independent woman who came and went and did as I pleased (which, I KNOW, is why I am here), so the idea of this seems completely foreign. Also, my next question is, will this "struggle" between my H and I be a life long obstacle or will it ever become second nature??


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Originally Posted By: strugglingaz
my next question is, will this "struggle" between my H and I be a life long obstacle or will it ever become second nature??


The best thing for that is....you get to choose laugh

You get to decide whether how long it will take for you to get that love back in your marriage. If your willing to do the work to save this marriage then it can come faster, if your are hesitant and confused, then it will be longer.

Words are easy to use
actions are harder

If you take those actions in your marriage (MB Principles) you will feel a little bit of love each day you work on it. Once it's back you need to maintain it, that is why I love the MB program because it's not just a website to kill affairs it's a program that will build love, trust, and excitement back into your marriage for a life time.

I was a FWW

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Originally Posted By: strugglingaz
So, me being in the position that I am at the moment, in which I do not have feelings for my husband (and he doesn't for me right now, for that matter), I do feel a little hesitant at wanting to give up everything for him. It feels a little bit like I am losing a piece of my identity (if you will). Is this normal feelings? I have always been an independent woman who came and went and did as I pleased (which, I KNOW, is why I am here), so the idea of this seems completely foreign. Also, my next question is, will this "struggle" between my H and I be a life long obstacle or will it ever become second nature??


They are absolutely the feelings of a wayward spouse that is about to throw away everything for nothing.

If that's what you mean by normal, then, yes.

It's crap. Crap, crap, crap.

It's going to be hard. It's going to take years. It's going to take you to knock off the lazy, self-entitled bullcrap, and owning your part in; a) the damage to your marriage, b) the pain you have caused your husband, c) your role in recovering your marriage.


"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." - Niels Bohr

"Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons." - Michael Shermer

"Fair speech may hide a foul heart." - Samwise Gamgee LOTR
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Of course sapphire, I am confused. The other man is ALL I can think about right now and since I have no feelings of love for my husband, but know he is a good man, I am horribly confused. It is the worst thing I have ever been through in my life!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Originally Posted By: strugglingaz
So, me being in the position that I am at the moment, in which I do not have feelings for my husband (and he doesn't for me right now, for that matter), I do feel a little hesitant at wanting to give up everything for him. It feels a little bit like I am losing a piece of my identity (if you will). Is this normal feelings? I have always been an independent woman who came and went and did as I pleased (which, I KNOW, is why I am here), so the idea of this seems completely foreign. Also, my next question is, will this "struggle" between my H and I be a life long obstacle or will it ever become second nature??


This is absolutely normal, and it's a great fork-in-the-road opportunity.

Right now, you're still "foggy" - a term for brains addled by affair hormones, essentially. You forget what it's like to think and act openly, honestly, and with integrity, and you forget (or don't realize) how refreshing and freeing it is to strive for (and, ultimately, achieve) that fall in love, stay in love feeling w/ your BH.

You feel like all of this psychobabble stuff is REAL, that you are this independent woman and you will lose yourself in a marriage such as posters here describe.

When you get out of the fog (it dissipates the longer genuine NC is maintained), you will start to see this as an opportunity. You won't lose yourself - you will gain a partner and a marriage that you and your BH have walked through fire for. You and your BH will create it together - no loss of identity, just the building of something better between you both.

It will be difficult for a while - you both have a lot to overcome, and a lot of retraining in your habits, independent behavior, etc. But that part fades, especially the further along in recovery you get and the more you understand the principles behind the program.

You can choose which direction you go from here. Put the foggy feelings aside and commit to doing the best you can to help your M and your BH overcome your A, or continue serving your foggy, fearful feelings first.


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Originally Posted By: strugglingaz
So, me being in the position that I am at the moment, in which I do not have feelings for my husband (and he doesn't for me right now, for that matter), I do feel a little hesitant at wanting to give up everything for him. It feels a little bit like I am losing a piece of my identity (if you will). Is this normal feelings? I have always been an independent woman who came and went and did as I pleased (which, I KNOW, is why I am here), so the idea of this seems completely foreign. Also, my next question is, will this "struggle" between my H and I be a life long obstacle or will it ever become second nature??


What exactly is your identity right now?

What struggle?

There used to be an article around here about finding yourself. I'll see if I can find it.


Widowed 11/10/12 after 35 years of marriage
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In a sense now, I am homeless. For the home, the place of refuge, solitude, love-where my husband lived-no longer exists. Joyce Carolyn Oates, A Widow's Story
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