Heidi
My WH had an affair with one of his co workers. He admits that looking back their friendship crossed the line before things became physical. They gossiped together, formed a bit of a clique. He was 40 and she was 26, and he was a higher grade but not her boss.

16 months later and he's in a new job. Things are going well. But I'm having trouble dealing with him talking to co workers of the opposite sex. He dropped into conversation yesterday that one of the women at work (he's never mentioned her before) is doing a marathon walk, and has blisters between her toes. He also mentioned that she went to his spin class (it's in the basement gym at work). It all felt a bit personal to me.

When I became upset (triggers) he said 'I don't want to have to censor what I tell you' which of course upset me more. But at the same time, I don't want him to go to work and talk to nobody all day, nor do I think it's realistic to keep talk purely about work.

Any advice on how to handle this situation? I think we are communicating well about it, but it's still knocked me for six if I'm being honest.
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UrbanExplorer
The red flag for me with my own cheating behavior was not telling my husband about messages and finally meeting up with my AP for coffee, so I think the transparency he is showing you is a positive sign. Does he talk about this woman more than he talks about other coworkers? Do you have an agreement that he will not meet coworkers outside of work/socially, or only do it in a group, or only do it with you there?
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Heidi
Thanks for your reply Urban. Yes, he doesn't meet any of them socially, and hasn't since D day. One day I'd like us to get to the point where he can again, but I'm not there yet. He's very patient with this.

It's the first time he's mentioned her. He's in an open plan office, and they hot desk, and said that sometimes she's in the bank of four desks he sits at. So is his boss (a man) who he talks about often.

He did mention his AP in conversation before the affair, but of course I saw no red flags back then. So I'm hyper sensitive now. I don't get a sense that there's anything more than a brief conversation this time, but honestly I never did before. It's horrible when you can't trust your gut instincts.
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surviving
Heidi - my WH has decided that he will not have a personal conversation with anyone of the opposite sex.  When the lunch table turns personal, he leaves the room or ignores the conversation if that is possible.  One of his many affairs started because they shared personal information with each other and that started the ball rolling.  I don't know if that is a good idea for your WH, but it is an idea if you want to use it. 

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Valntine66
I did not have an affair with a co-worker, but my affair started out talking about me and my AP personal problems.  4 months later after D-Day, a co-worker approaches me via IM at our work.  First night, it was general conversation, talking about her church ministry and the upcoming events in our lives.  The next night, Tuesday night, she unloads all her emotions, complaints, grief, and overwhelming responsibilities she has and her husband is not even lifting a finger to help but complains she is too busy for him.  As a friend, I was there, but when I went back to read what we said to each other about our personal issues, it sounded the same as with my AP.  Last night, she was off, she is back tonight.  I know that she will IM me on the work messenger and talk about stuff under the sun.

I recognize the behaviors I exhibit and now i have to exhibit the new behaviors i have learned so that i don't fall into that trap again.  Really, it has only been 4 days of texting on work IM, but it is displaying the patterns of inappropriate behavior, probably on my part more.

My advice on working with the opposite sex at work, set boundaries and follow them knowing your triggers and be open and honest with your spouse and family.  It creates accountability.
Val
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Dirazz
I honestly think a lot of BS even WS have a form of ptsd. The first few months I couldn't be around a lot of people. I got overwhelmed and at one event when someone introduced me to a lady with the same name as the OW and I told my husband we need to go! I couldn't handle it. Even going to get groceries was overwhelming. Heidi I totally get where your coming from. My husband works with pretty much all women. His supervisor had texted him while they were both at work but in different areas. The first line was " I love you but,. This felt like a punch in the gut! He said she's that way with everyone. Another male there told my husband that when he texted her to come replace him she responded with anything for you. To me that was so unprofessional. He agreed and went and spoke to her. She apologized and agreed it was indeed unprofessional. But if his affair never happened would it have effective me the same way? I'm thinking probably not. This whole thing changes the BS mindset. My husband also excuses himself when a conversation starts to become inappropriate. He pretty much keeps to himself. Which I hate that he does this, but this is him setting up boundaries. He said I don't need to know anything personal about any of these people. He said all they know about me is I have a beautiful wife and two children.
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blythespirit
Dirazz wrote:
He said all they know about me is I have a beautiful wife and two children.


This is beautiful. You're very lucky
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Valntine66
Dirazz

I do that now, excuse myself from conversations and immapropriate jokes or even questionable conversations because, not only am I drawn into them from my interest, but since I work with a lot of sign language interpreters, we love to hear what someone else did or handled a scenario. My co workers know what I am going thru and some are compassionate, some are supportive, and some are, oh, that's all, no big deal. I laugh at that idea because one day...one day...they may get to that point and my prayer is they don't.

Consider your H to show you love my making sure he does not repeat the behaviors and that he worships you and the kids. My kids see that I love my BS and that I am working hard. They question me, not to be nosy but to see if I really am making boundaries. My oldest daughter asked me if my AP has been in touch with me, I said no. She then asked if she did contact you, would you respond, I said I would not. She then asked if I were to look at your phone, emails, or text messages (including other social media) would you let me. I said yes. She asked for my phone. I gave it without hesitation. Boundaries and good open practice is what I want my BS to see and my kids to see. You are lucky Dirazz
Val
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Kalmarjan
Speaking as a WS here.

He cheated. He isn't to be trusted, and why is he hiding the fact he is interacting with another member of the opposite sex? Why is he indignation over your reaction to it? Is he not sensitive to your pain, and insecurity?

I have an assistant that is a female. We work very close. My wife knows her, and we both had the conversation about it. I could sense her discomfort, so I took the time to talk it over with my wife. In the end, she is okay with it. Nervous, but okay.

I've worked hard to overcome my lack of boundaries. They are firmly in place. Make no mistake though, the second my wife were to feel any discomfort, then I'll no longer have that assistant. Period. It's that big of a deal to my marriage.

But the most important thing is communication. I don't hide anything. Nothing big, nothing small. We all know each other, and I make sure that no matter what we are all good.
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Valntine66
Follow up on my working with opposite sex co workers.  I spoke of a female i text on IM at work.  Again, we talk about church stuff, the night before events, and even some of the things she goes through with her H.  She mentioned this first after i spoke of my arguement with my BS the night before.  the co-worker expressed her sympathy and apologies to me for what my BS and I are going through now and that she understands because her H was cheated on by his first wife.  He divorced her and later married again (now my opposite sex co-worker).  She asked me tonight, "Does your wife know we are texting back and forth?"
I responded, "I have yet to telll her because you and I have only been texting for 4 days.  the last time i saw my wife was Sunday."
"I want to make sure I dont do anything to come between you and your wife's healing."  She said
I assured her, "I assure you that I wont let it happen.  We are friends and thats how it needs to stay."

One thing i have learned in just the last 4 months is the behavior that took me down the path to my afffair:  offering AND receiving the intimate conveersation and the lack of sex between two people.  The lack of sex, I'm good with that.  the missing intimate conversation, I set boundaries and limitations to what and how I say intimate conversation pieces.

Getting ready for a CA trip with the BS, son, and grandson to the BS family.  I promised that I would not attempt to work on R but enjoy the vacation because it is our 17 year old son's graduation gift.  Cowabunga!
Val
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Heidi
Thank you all for your replies. We had a long talk last night while walking the dog (always the best time to talk!) and he said that he understood my fears, and believed he needed to work harder to demonstrate his boundaries are there. I don't think he was hiding anything, but I agree, his words about censoring what he told me rang BIG alarm bells. I told him this & why: if you don't do anything wrong, you don't have to censor yourself. It's the behaviours, not the telling me about them, that I'm concerned about.

I read somewhere that if you don't tell lies, then you usually behave better. It's when you tell yourself it's okay to hide things that the boundaries weaken. Since last year, I've told my H that lies of any kind are unacceptable to me. You can make a mistake, mess up but don't lie. That doesn't seem too much to ask!

Ah, the rocky road to reconciliation isn't always an easy one. But it definitely helps if you're both walking on the same direction!
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