flipperfive
It is now three months since DD and WS has moved out and is continuing his relationship with AP with the thought being married to me is too hard for him and we aren't suited to each other. I am getting on with my life and have begun studying towards a new career and am always busy with our five young children. WS wants to be involved in the children's lives as much as possible so helps out with their activities and drops in whenever he is in the area which is every second day, if not every day.
I have opted, although slightly apprehensively, on an open door policy that he can visit whenever he likes so the children can see him as much as possible. I say apprehensively as while both I and the children enjoy seeing him I can not help but think there must be consequences from me as a result of his actions and one consequence may be the inability to just 'pop in' whenever it is convenient for him.
To be honest my WS is still one of my best friends who I can talk with quite freely (except on any thoughts I have about his behaviour as that only causes tension and he knows my stance in any case) and I generally enjoy his visits and the opportunity to chat but I would dearly love to see his attitude towards our relationship change and for our marriage to be his priority. Am I setting myself up for failure in this regard though by being too forgiving with my actions and allowing WS open access to my home?
By placing more restrictions on WS's ability to see our children I feel I would be doing so as a punishment for him and that would not be helpful as far as us getting along and working together for the children's benefit. So I am I in quandary. Do I listen to my head which says more restrictions are necessary as there must be consequences to actions when he has hurt the kids and I so much or do I listen to my heart which says a good relationship with my WS is what is important and he will never look to our marriage as something he wants if I get tough. It might sound silly but I still want to be that soft place he can fall when his relationship with AP comes crashing down which is almost inevitable given the information I am aware of. I was first and foremost his best friend and he mine and at the end of the day if our marriage can not remain then I do not want to lose the friendship we have.
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Guiltguilt
9 weeks after dday, my BS moved into her own place. I wouldn't say we have an open door policy, but I know if I want to see my daughter, I can. When she moved, we sat down and got a parenting plan in place. This is what we used:
http://www.relationships.org.au/relationship-advice/publications/pdfs/share-the-care-parenting-plan

It was very useful, it set the boundaries for how we act towards each other. It gave her peace of mind. Even down to things like I knock on the door. I spend quite a bit of time over there, but I'm under no illusions that if/when she finds someone else, things will be very different.

I suggest you get these things in place early on so there are no misunderstandings. It doesn't have to be nasty, It's another action in aceepting the reality (albeit sad and crazy) of the situation, and getting on with your life.
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Sandy2000
You need some boundaries for every bodies sake here. I'm struggling with your WS still being your best friend, but if you allow him to come and go as he wishes, he has it all made and I think is less likely to come back.

Your actually sending a message that it's fine for him to betray you and in your mind (he probably knows it too), he can insert himself back in your marriage if the mood strikes.

There are no consequences for him and even if he does come back, why wouldn't he do it again with the same or another OW when you've made it so easy for him?

There comes a point when your self respect and mental heath must be put first and you not be a doormat.

I'm sure the thought of child support for 5 kids and spousal support don't fill him with joy, but you need to not be in limbo and not be the second option/fall back plan, when marriage should mean you are The ONLY ONE.
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flipperfive
Thank you guiltguilt and Sandy2000 for your replies. Guiltguilt the link you provided looks very helpful.
One major issue my husband has is that he is really just couch surfing at the moment as money is tight and he can not afford to rent his own accommodation so the children can't go to him for visits.
I know Sandy2000 it does sound strange for me to say WS is still one of my best friends but believe me he is under no illusions that his behaviour is acceptable to me and I certainly would not accept him back into a marriage relationship unless he makes a lot of changes and can commit 100%. I guess I say he is one of my best friends as we are isolated from our families due to distance and living in a small rural community have built our lives to rely on each other for everything up to the point of his affair. Changing this will take time.
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Guiltguilt
He's made his own bed, so quite frankly, now it's time for him to lie in it. That's the consequence. It's not being nasty or vengeful. The decision he has made to continue with his AP is his, and he has to wear it. That includes finding another place to live. When my wife said to me "it's not my problem", and she meant it, the gravity of what I did started to hit.
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Keepabuzz
I agree with GuiltGuilt. If he can't afford a place to live, then that is "his" problem. He caused the damage, he gets to pay the price. That is not vengeful or retaliatory in my opinion. I asked, let's be honest, angrily demanded my WS do/not do many things. None of these conditions were from a place of punishment, or revenge. They were all from a place of creating as much safety for me as possible. Some were temporary, some will be forever.you must put yourself first, make clear boundaries, and stick to them.
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Guiltguilt
To be fair, keepa, your conditions are to bring your wife back to your marriage in your way. I wish you luck. I tried that as a BS, and all it did was send the affair underground. I set myself up for months more pain before throwing her out. I thought I was as pure as the driven snow and didn't examine any of my part in the failed marriage. Had I done IC then, perhaps then and today would be better.

I learned that control doesn't work in Civvy St. People are their own keepers and will find their own ways to do what they like. The only person I can control is me.


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Keepabuzz
I don't think for a second that I'm pure as the driven snow, BUT I didn't cheat, period. There are many options to solving marital problems that don't involve an affair. For me, the moment she told me what she had done, that marriage was over. I told her exactly that (among lots of other things that I will never regret), she begged me to stay. After lots of screaming and raging, and her crying, she just asked for me not to decide right then. To take time for me, and to decide later.

I get what you're saying about control. I get how some people couldn't/wouldn't have agreed to my conditions. That's ok. Honestly it would have been OK if my wife hadn't. I would have thrown her out, it would have hurt, it would have sucked. But you know what? It wouldn't have hurt as it has to stay. I have had to look at her everyday and think of what she did to me. If I had left, I could have wrote her off as just a (insert terrible name here), and moved on to another woman that would treat me like I deserve to be treated.

I have self examined my behavior and choices in our marriage previous to the affair. I allowed resentment to buildup in me, and honestly eat away at me. Instead of putting my foot down and demanding that my wife get help for her depression, childhood sexual abuse, rape. I was so against the possibility of divorce for my children (I'm a child of multiple divorces). I just thought, I'm going to stay no matter how hard until my children are grown. My 2 oldest are not "mine" biologically they are my "step children", I use that term only for your understanding. They are MY children, no different than my biological children. If we had divorced I would have had no legal claim to them. So I put up with whatever, for them. But not infidelity. I will not stand for that.

Our new relationship has no resentment. I don't let things fester. We don't argue, we don't fight. She does everything right. I just wish I could heal faster.
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Sandy2000
Keepa,

I like your stance in this. I think you absolutely need to have a degree of control after you have been betrayed like this. The control was taken away when your spouse decided to have an affair, so it's new terms now.

I think there is fear in many BSs to stand their ground and thar just gives many WSs the feeling they are indispensable and they toy with your emotions even more. No one deserves to be betrayed and further more post dday, the WS should leave for good (bar child related matters) or be showing remorse for what they have done.
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Keepabuzz
Thanks Sandy.
Although rereading my post kind of sounds like I had it all figured out in my own mind. I assure you, I did not. I still felt I had very little to no control. I have went through and still go through the same pain as all the rest of us, I just stopped the abuse from continuing, that certainly didn't help the damage that had already been done. I'm well aware that I only control myself. I have never been a controlling husband, I was forced to be for a while. But I refuse to live the rest of my life that way. Outside of a very few permanent conditions, and some healthy boundaries, I don't control anything she does.

It still surprises me how she just doesn't see some things the way I do. For example. Her AP was a coworker (condition #2 after NC, quit her job). He was 14 years her junior, (a couple of years older than our son, yeah that felt good!). So about a week ago a different male coworker sent her a "Hey" Facebook message at 2:30am. I saw it on her phone screen when I woke up. I didn't say anything, planning to give her an opportunity to be honest. I waited until noon, then confronted her, without anger, frustration maybe, but not anger. She said it was no big deal, and that he was married anyway (like that makes one bit of difference). It took quite a bit of conversation to get her to understand how it is inappropriate at a minimum for anyone of the opposite sex to private message her at 2:30 am with a "Hey". I discussed the parallels between her AP and this guy. I don't think for one minute he was trying anything, or that she would do anything, BUT those types of messages won't be tolerated by me. She gets it now, she understands how and why it upset me. She did not respond. It's just so strange how she didn't just see it.
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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UrbanExplorer
flipperfive wrote:
Thank you guiltguilt and Sandy2000 for your replies. Guiltguilt the link you provided looks very helpful.
One major issue my husband has is that he is really just couch surfing at the moment as money is tight and he can not afford to rent his own accommodation so the children can't go to him for visits.
I know Sandy2000 it does sound strange for me to say WS is still one of my best friends but believe me he is under no illusions that his behaviour is acceptable to me and I certainly would not accept him back into a marriage relationship unless he makes a lot of changes and can commit 100%. I guess I say he is one of my best friends as we are isolated from our families due to distance and living in a small rural community have built our lives to rely on each other for everything up to the point of his affair. Changing this will take time.


Maybe I am in the minority here, but in the spirit of, "Your relationship can be whatever you both agree it is," I don't think it is necessarily a problem for you to be friends. One of my college roommates had divorced parents who were also lifelong best friends. If you agree on boundaries, more power to you.
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TimT
flipperfive wrote:
...I have opted, although slightly apprehensively, on an open door policy that he can visit whenever he likes so the children can see him as much as possible. I say apprehensively as while both I and the children enjoy seeing him I can not help but think there must be consequences from me as a result of his actions and one consequence may be the inability to just 'pop in' whenever it is convenient for him. To be honest my WS is still one of my best friends who I can talk with quite freely (except on any thoughts I have about his behaviour as that only causes tension and he knows my stance in any case) and I generally enjoy his visits and the opportunity to chat but I would dearly love to see his attitude towards our relationship change and for our marriage to be his priority. Am I setting myself up for failure in this regard though by being too forgiving with my actions and allowing WS open access to my home? By placing more restrictions on WS's ability to see our children I feel I would be doing so as a punishment for him...

When a spouse is openly involved in another relationship, I do believe that boundaries need to be in place, but each person will differ in regard to what those boundaries are. If you love your husband and still hope for a return to your marriage, then you should be careful with how much you are investing in your relationship with him and how comfortable he can be in maintaining a connection with you while still involve in the affair.

IMO, your interactions with your husband should be limited to "business of life" issues (caring for the children, paying bills, family decisions, etc.). You should avoid interactions, including conversations, that are appropriate for two people investing in a relationship together. Think of him as a business partner. You can still be gracious, kind, etc. while avoiding more personal interactions. 

When it comes to your children, it is in their best interest to have easy access to their father. His access to them should never become a bargaining chip or a consequence of his choices. Each parent should remain committed to fostering a healthy relationship between their children and their spouse no matter how damaged the marriage has become. 

For this reason, some betrayed spouse still allow the unfaithful spouse to have access to the home so they can be with the children in an environment that is familiar and comfortable. I believe that is a good choice IF the betrayed spouse is able to maintain boundaries, even if that means leaving or going into another area of the house while the other parent is visiting. But if boundaries cannot be maintained (or are not respected), then both parents should cooperate to come up with another plan that allows children to be with each parent as much as possible.
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Keepabuzz
I agree with you Tim, but I would definitely not allow an open door policy. Reasonable access to the children yes, but free access to YOUR home, not his. Who owns the house doesn't matter in this discussion. He lives elsewhere. I would require my wife to work out a schedule that worked for both of us, and was fair. The children do always come first. But there would be no, just dropping by and walking in my home. If she wants to come over,out of schedule, she would need to call me and make sure it is ok with me. It's just basic respect. You don't go walking up into someone's house.
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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