Phoenix
Hello Everyone,
I have a situation. I am going through some rough feelings. Since I am not back in therapy yet I need your input on this. 
My BS follows a MMA woman fighter on Instagram. She is the only woman fighter he follows. She is very pretty, doesn't even look like a fighter. She will post about her training, her fighting and sexy selfies. Her sexy pictures are of her in a bikini laying on the beach, etc.  He will like every single picture she post. He does not do that with anyone else. He does not even do that with me. He has even tried to reach out to her by posting a comment on her stories. She posted her eating a pizza once and he posted "that pizza looks really good" She also uses the #sandiego on every post. So obviously she is from San Diego. I mentioned to him once before that it made me very uncomfortable that he tried to reach out to her and that he likes her selfies. He pretty much said deal with it.  
Just recently he mentioned that there was a client that he might have to go see in San Diego and that would be the only opportunity to go meet with him. He said it would be 3 days. He never goes out of town. This made me very uncomfortable. I have been feeling uneasy since I found out how fond he is of this person. 
I am very conflicted about talking to him. First, because of the obvious I feel I have not right to question him or tell him how I feel about his. Second He extended an olive branch to me. I do not want to rock the boat but I feel that if we are going to stay together that we have to be completely honest and open about our feelings or you start going down the rabbit hole.  Second, I know these feelings are probably just my insecurities. Insecurities I have from my childhood. That were instilled in me during my life before him and because of what he said to me during this time. 
Not sure if I should speak to him about it, or how do I go about dealing with it?
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Skelling
Phoenix I believe you have every right to ask and tell how you feel. Just because you messed up doesn't give him permission to do the same. I suppose I understand, where he is coming from trying to boost his ego after everything that happened.... I had a conversation the other day with my husband. He told me he was jealous because a mutual friend paid me a compliment. I looked at him and before I could even think about it the sentence "Well you did much worse" shot out of my mouth. Fortunately my husband stayed calm and it didn't blow up into a massive argument. We were able to calmly talk and he asked me, if I thought what he did was appropriate and I said no. We talked about that he now understands that even the little things before, where not appropriate and that he now understands, what it can lead to...It really made me think. I hadn't given the compliment another thought. Yes it felt good at the moment but that was it. When I started thinking about it though, I realized that my husband had a point and just because he went on to betray me and cheat on me, doesn't give me the right to dimiss his feelings. I think afterallo this is what got us into the situation in the first place, not talking about how we really feel. Its new for us both and takes practise and patience but for sure better than bottling up and later resenting. 
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Phoenix
Skelling wrote:
Phoenix I believe you have every right to ask and tell how you feel. Just because you messed up doesn't give him permission to do the same. I suppose I understand, where he is coming from trying to boost his ego after everything that happened.... I had a conversation the other day with my husband. He told me he was jealous because a mutual friend paid me a compliment. I looked at him and before I could even think about it the sentence "Well you did much worse" shot out of my mouth. Fortunately my husband stayed calm and it didn't blow up into a massive argument. We were able to calmly talk and he asked me, if I thought what he did was appropriate and I said no. We talked about that he now understands that even the little things before, where not appropriate and that he now understands, what it can lead to...It really made me think. I hadn't given the compliment another thought. Yes it felt good at the moment but that was it. When I started thinking about it though, I realized that my husband had a point and just because he went on to betray me and cheat on me, doesn't give me the right to dimiss his feelings. I think afterallo this is what got us into the situation in the first place, not talking about how we really feel. Its new for us both and takes practise and patience but for sure better than bottling up and later resenting. 

Thank you Skelling, I appreciate your input. I am thinking I can be very calm and tactful when I ask him. I really do not want to start with the same bad habits. I also do not want to rug sweep everything. 
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anthro
Realistically, some MMA fighter in San Diego is probably not what you need to worry about. If he is going to leave you it is probably not going to be connected with her.

He may get an ego boost from interaction with her. I doubt that is what is going on. More likely he did get an ego boost from you being jealous and worried.

So this is just my personal view, and maybe it is miles off, but I think you should conclude that he gets a little buzz from you being jealous. Normally making a partner feel jealous is not really all that good; it can be manipulative. But in your shared situation it is probably actually nourishing and positive, because he has a very legitimate need to rebuild his self-esteem and confidence and to see outward signs that you are strongly attached to him. You can say you are attached to him over and over but witnessing you get jealous is more powerful evidence for him because it's more likely to be authentic.
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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Skelling
I think thats a really good point Anthro. When I think about my example with my husband. I do think it was my husband's response that "made me" feel good not the compliment in itself. Huh didn't think about that way thanks for that.
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Phoenix
anthro wrote:
Realistically, some MMA fighter in San Diego is probably not what you need to worry about. If he is going to leave you it is probably not going to be connected with her.

He may get an ego boost from interaction with her. I doubt that is what is going on. More likely he did get an ego boost from you being jealous and worried.

So this is just my personal view, and maybe it is miles off, but I think you should conclude that he gets a little buzz from you being jealous. Normally making a partner feel jealous is not really all that good; it can be manipulative. But in your shared situation it is probably actually nourishing and positive, because he has a very legitimate need to rebuild his self-esteem and confidence and to see outward signs that you are strongly attached to him. You can say you are attached to him over and over but witnessing you get jealous is more powerful evidence for him because it's more likely to be authentic.


I am not worried about him leaving me do to her or that she might have anything to do with it, but it is very uncomfortable to think that he might be pursuing some contact with her. 
I get what you are saying about the jealousy and ego boost and how they can help rebuild is self esteem and confidence.
I just can't stop thinking about how he would tell me he would no longer think twice about pursuing someone he wanted/liked/ was attracted to or letting someone pursue him. 
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Keepabuzz
Phoenix,

About a year ago there was a woman that I am friends with on Facebook that liked a few of my pictures, and commented on some of my posts. Nothing anywhere near the realm of inappropriate. My wife doesn’t know her, and has never met her. I went to high school with this woman. My wife made a comment to me about how she was a bit angry that this woman was liking and comment on my posts. My wife was careful in her delivery to ensure that she was clear that was not angry at me at all, but she was feeling jealous. My initial response was something along the lines of “well I’m not the one that cheated, so clearly I am not the one that needs to be worried about.”  It struck me as how dare she pull this $hit with me!  I am not the one that cheated!  I didn’t lose my cool with her. I assured her that she had nothing to worry about, since “I” would never do something like that, and that if I choose to pursue someone else, I would have the basic human decency to leave her first. I also informed her that if I did want to pursue that particular woman, that she would be quite the challenge since she is very happily married to a woman!  😂😂😂.  After I had had time to process the conversation I think I understood it better. My wife felt like I had every right to pursue someone else, which I do. Our vows are null and void. Also since she destroyed it all I can see how she would feel vulnerable in that way. 

Do you have the “right” to tell him how you feel about it? I think you do. But you don’t get to decide what his reaction will be.  It might be anger. He might find it humorous, as I did after the first reaction. As Anthro said it could give him an ego boost. It certainly did for me.  Maybe ego boost is the wrong term. It did feel good that she got jealous and felt a bit threatened.  
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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anthro
For some time after d-day almost every woman I met, aged from 30 to 90, seemed like a better choice of life partner than my wife. I mean they all were actually better choices in that they had all done less harm to me than she had. Every one of them was, on the evidence, a safer bet than her.

Your husband has already considered or will seriously consider being with someone else rather than you. He must. He'd be a strange person if he didn't think about it. It is a thought experiment he has to run through before he can make a meaningful choice to stay with you. It is right and necessary for him to explore that possibility. Most likely it will just be something he thinks through. 
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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Phoenix
Keepabuzz wrote:
Phoenix,

About a year ago there was a woman that I am friends with on Facebook that liked a few of my pictures, and commented on some of my posts. Nothing anywhere near the realm of inappropriate. My wife doesn’t know her, and has never met her. I went to high school with this woman. My wife made a comment to me about how she was a bit angry that this woman was liking and comment on my posts. My wife was careful in her delivery to ensure that she was clear that was not angry at me at all, but she was feeling jealous. My initial response was something along the lines of “well I’m not the one that cheated, so clearly I am not the one that needs to be worried about.”  It struck me as how dare she pull this $hit with me!  I am not the one that cheated!  I didn’t lose my cool with her. I assured her that she had nothing to worry about, since “I” would never do something like that, and that if I choose to pursue someone else, I would have the basic human decency to leave her first. I also informed her that if I did want to pursue that particular woman, that she would be quite the challenge since she is very happily married to a woman!  ðŸ˜‚😂😂.  After I had had time to process the conversation I think I understood it better. My wife felt like I had every right to pursue someone else, which I do. Our vows are null and void. Also since she destroyed it all I can see how she would feel vulnerable in that way. 

Do you have the “right” to tell him how you feel about it? I think you do. But you don’t get to decide what his reaction will be.  It might be anger. He might find it humorous, as I did after the first reaction. As Anthro said it could give him an ego boost. It certainly did for me.  Maybe ego boost is the wrong term. It did feel good that she got jealous and felt a bit threatened.  

I am afraid of is reaction and also taking 10 steps back after taking one step forward. 
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Phoenix
anthro wrote:
For some time after d-day almost every woman I met, aged from 30 to 90, seemed like a better choice of life partner than my wife. I mean they all were actually better choices in that they had all done less harm to me than she had. Every one of them was, on the evidence, a safer bet than her.

Your husband has already considered or will seriously consider being with someone else rather than you. He must. He'd be a strange person if he didn't think about it. It is a thought experiment he has to run through before he can make a meaningful choice to stay with you. It is right and necessary for him to explore that possibility. Most likely it will just be something he thinks through. 


Yes, makes sense. I am sure he has and is going through that thought process. I agree that any one woman who has not hurt him would be a better choice than me. 
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jasmine
I have to disagree about this making a partner jealous is an ego boost. Even if it was, I don’t think that’s a healthy way for anyone to build their self esteem and it’s certainly not a good way of communicating. But we are only second guessing here. We don’t know if this is Phoenix’s husband’s motivation at all — it’s just a guess, and “guessing” why someone is behaving is not good communication at all. But let’s put that aside, and we can agree to differ if we need to. 

Phoenix, I wouldn’t like this either. My husband had a big problem with porn and it almost destroyed my marriage. I ended up with depression and an eating disorder that has impacted on my physical and mental health. I make no apologies for having a zero tolerance towards it in my home and in my marriage. So, I admit in advance here that this is the experience of someone married to a (recovered/recovering) porn addict. It was every bit as bad as a long drawn out affair. Unlike his infidelity that was over quite quickly, this situation was never ending. 

When my husband was hooked on porn he also used to view video clips of actresses and “sexy” music videos etc. After he quit, he still viewed all that “sexy” garbage like women in bikinis or near naked women cavorting in skimpy lingerie etc etc. I guess you could call it “porn lite”, and in porn addiction circles they call this sort of imagery “porn substitutes”. Guys who try to substitute porn with something less explicit are still feeding their brain with more or less the same stimuli and inevitably they relapse. So this sh*t had to be kicked to the curb too. 

(I appreciate that your husband may not have a porn addiction problem, this is just to explain where I’m coming from and my own relationship history.)

When you are in a relationship with someone who is investing time and energy in looking at “sexy” images of women, it can and very often does impact on their partner’s self esteem. Women are pretty much tyrannised in our culture to be forever 22, very slim and toned and preferably with large breasts, to have perfect skin and be totally and permanently hairless from below the eyelashes. And guess what? This is exactly the kind of women that men fantasise and seek out and masturbate to via online imagery, whether it’s porn or celebrities or glamour models. And it’s the fake standard that we internalise and know we are not it. We see these women in advertisements aimed at women. We see these women on billboards, magazines, etc etc. When it comes to all this sexualised, objectified imagery, the odds are stacked against us. All of us. Because we all age, our bodies change, we all have pores, we all have body hair, we all sweat, breathe, eat and go to the bathroom. Pictures don’t have to do any of this. 

Phoenix, may well be the case that your husband had a sort of online infatuation going on. Despite his comments, it’s very probably a one-sided interaction. I’m sure she has plenty of followers and comments, he won’t be the only one. But there are some caveats. I learned of one woman’s story from a sex addiction community- her husband was interacting with a webcam girl and became so infatuated with her that he left to travel to another continent to be with her. This webcam woman had to take out some kind of restraining order against him for stalking her. That’s one crazy and extreme example, but these “infatuations” certainly happen and he may well want to travel to where she is to see if he might spot her someplace. Even if he was to show up as a “fan” at somewhere she is appearing professionally, chances are that she would not be at all interested in him. And I’d bet he’d not be unique either. IF that is his intention (meeting her as a fan), and I’m only guessing. I’m not him so I don’t know. 

Taking inappropriate interest in another woman, or “sexy” images of another woman isn’t particularly healthy in the context of rebuilding a marriage. I know someone will jump in and say “haven’t you ever found (name of some actor) sexy or handsome?” Yes, of course. But only for a matter of moments if I’m trying to follow the plot of the movie. Just as we all have to develop the skills of managing feelings of attraction towards others when we are committed to fidelity in marriage, we also have to behave like grownups around sexualised imagery. Phoenix’s husband is behaving like a one of those teenage girls in love with Justin Beiber only he’s a grownass man. 

Phoenix, this is ultimately an issue about boundaries and only you can draw the line between what is and is not acceptable to you right now. I suggest looking up Vicki Tidwell Palmer and her podcast series Beyond B!tchy. It’s worth listening to anyway, especially if you’re in a relationship with a history of betrayal. 

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EasyAsABC
During the days I was still married, my husband and I went to a gay bar (we live in a very progressive and open city in the US, gay bars are almost all bars these days 😂). This was the same bar we went to when we celebrated my 21st birthday. We went on a weekend where they open their third floor as a sort of dance floor or night club, and they have very muscular and traditionally handsome men dancing in nothing but thongs on various stages. He wanted to leave, not because he was uncomfortable with the display himself, but because he was experiencing some jealousy that I was seeing these basically nude attractive guys dancing about. 
Basically, this opened the door to me learning that because he had and was continuing to cheat, he was assuming I was going to do the same (these men were obviously very gay, but whatever). I’m telling you this because my initial reaction to this was pure anger, because how dare he impose his lack of faithfulness on me? I also learned that he took my phone quite often and went through it without me knowing to see who I was talking to, and about what. He also monitored a forum I used for pregnancy/parenting advice to see what I was saying. I had virtually no privacy, all because he had cheated, not me. 
I’d suggest keeping the lines of communication open and honest, but to think about how you might phrase this so it doesn’t sound like you are saddling him with your own guilt, because I can’t tell you how angry that made me. Eventually, I wound up completely alone and isolated, because he was so worried I’d cheat, even though he was. I’m not saying you’re even close to becoming this, I’m just letting you know how things were for me. Even if I went out with girlfriends, if their husbands tagged along and mine didn’t, there would inevitably be a discussion about it later. 
It got so bad that I couldn’t even get up to pee without being questioned about where I was going. And I if I took my cell phone into the bathroom with me, he’d check up on me countless times to see “how much longer” I’d be. If I left my cell phone behind, he’d inevitably be on it when I came out of the bathroom. I couldn’t even talk to my mom or dad on the phone without him in the same room. 
Again, I’m not saying that’s where you’re headed, but it could feel that way to your spouse if you bring up potentially being worried he may seek out contact with basically, a celebrity (even if she’s only known in the MMA world, or on Instagram). 
BS to an abusive H 2009-2018
OW 2018-2019
I wear many hats.
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Phoenix
Maybe I should worry less about this and worry more about how to make him feel special, important, loved, cared for so he will not want to walk away. I should worry about working on myself and my self esteem. I should worry about being healthy inside and out. 
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Keepabuzz
jasmine wrote:
I have to disagree about this making a partner jealous is an ego boost. Even if it was, I don’t think that’s a healthy way for anyone to build their self esteem and it’s certainly not a good way of communicating. But we are only second guessing here. We don’t know if this is Phoenix’s husband’s motivation at all — it’s just a guess, and “guessing” why someone is behaving is not good communication at all. But let’s put that aside, and we can agree to differ if we need to. 

Phoenix, I wouldn’t like this either. My husband had a big problem with porn and it almost destroyed my marriage. I ended up with depression and an eating disorder that has impacted on my physical and mental health. I make no apologies for having a zero tolerance towards it in my home and in my marriage. So, I admit in advance here that this is the experience of someone married to a (recovered/recovering) porn addict. It was every bit as bad as a long drawn out affair. Unlike his infidelity that was over quite quickly, this situation was never ending. 

When my husband was hooked on porn he also used to view video clips of actresses and “sexy” music videos etc. After he quit, he still viewed all that “sexy” garbage like women in bikinis or near naked women cavorting in skimpy lingerie etc etc. I guess you could call it “porn lite”, and in porn addiction circles they call this sort of imagery “porn substitutes”. Guys who try to substitute porn with something less explicit are still feeding their brain with more or less the same stimuli and inevitably they relapse. So this sh*t had to be kicked to the curb too. 

(I appreciate that your husband may not have a porn addiction problem, this is just to explain where I’m coming from and my own relationship history.)

When you are in a relationship with someone who is investing time and energy in looking at “sexy” images of women, it can and very often does impact on their partner’s self esteem. Women are pretty much tyrannised in our culture to be forever 22, very slim and toned and preferably with large breasts, to have perfect skin and be totally and permanently hairless from below the eyelashes. And guess what? This is exactly the kind of women that men fantasise and seek out and masturbate to via online imagery, whether it’s porn or celebrities or glamour models. And it’s the fake standard that we internalise and know we are not it. We see these women in advertisements aimed at women. We see these women on billboards, magazines, etc etc. When it comes to all this sexualised, objectified imagery, the odds are stacked against us. All of us. Because we all age, our bodies change, we all have pores, we all have body hair, we all sweat, breathe, eat and go to the bathroom. Pictures don’t have to do any of this. 

Phoenix, may well be the case that your husband had a sort of online infatuation going on. Despite his comments, it’s very probably a one-sided interaction. I’m sure she has plenty of followers and comments, he won’t be the only one. But there are some caveats. I learned of one woman’s story from a sex addiction community- her husband was interacting with a webcam girl and became so infatuated with her that he left to travel to another continent to be with her. This webcam woman had to take out some kind of restraining order against him for stalking her. That’s one crazy and extreme example, but these “infatuations” certainly happen and he may well want to travel to where she is to see if he might spot her someplace. Even if he was to show up as a “fan” at somewhere she is appearing professionally, chances are that she would not be at all interested in him. And I’d bet he’d not be unique either. IF that is his intention (meeting her as a fan), and I’m only guessing. I’m not him so I don’t know. 

Taking inappropriate interest in another woman, or “sexy” images of another woman isn’t particularly healthy. I know someone will jump in and say “haven’t you ever found (name of some actor) sexy or handsome?” Yes, of course. But only for a matter of moments if I’m trying to follow the plot of the movie. Just as we all have to develop the skills of managing feelings of attraction towards others when we are committed to fidelity in marriage, we also have to behave like grownups around sexualised  imagery. Phoenix’s husband is behaving like a one of those teenage girls in love with Justin Beiber only he’s a grownass man. 

Phoenix, this is ultimately an issue about boundaries and only you can draw the line between what is and is not acceptable to you right now. I suggest looking up Vicki Tidwell Palmer and her podcast series Beyond B!tchy. It’s worth listening to anyway, especially if you’re in a relationship with a history of betrayal. 



following a MMA fighter, even a pretty one on Instagram is no where near the realm of porn addiction. I also don’t see a problem with it after what he has been through. He owes her nothing.  Now, he has offered her another chance, and at some point I think he shouldn’t follow this woman, right now might not be the right time to be drawing a line in the sand for her. I know for me, when I was where he is, that would not have been received well. If my wife had drawn a line like that, I would have reminded her where the door was. Others may disagree with me, and that’s ok, but I believe the approach she should take, and I do believe she should approach it now, should be one of “kid gloves”. Not “line in the sand”. She should say that it bothers her. She should tell him how it makes her feel. But now is not the time to be telling him what he should and shouldn’t be doing. I also like MMA, and I follow many fighters. I don’t follow any woman fighters. I don’t ever “like” or comment on girls in bikinis or the like. I certainly don’t do it because my wife told me not to. I do it because I feel it’s not respectful to my wife. Although I probably wouldn’t anyway. That needs to be a decision “he” makes, not one dictated to him by the woman that betrayed him and destroyed his life. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Keepabuzz
EasyAsABC wrote:
During the days I was still married, my husband and I went to a gay bar (we live in a very progressive and open city in the US, gay bars are almost all bars these days 😂). This was the same bar we went to when we celebrated my 21st birthday. We went on a weekend where they open their third floor as a sort of dance floor or night club, and they have very muscular and traditionally handsome men dancing in nothing but thongs on various stages. He wanted to leave, not because he was uncomfortable with the display himself, but because he was experiencing some jealousy that I was seeing these basically nude attractive guys dancing about. 
Basically, this opened the door to me learning that because he had and was continuing to cheat, he was assuming I was going to do the same (these men were obviously very gay, but whatever). I’m telling you this because my initial reaction to this was pure anger, because how dare he impose his lack of faithfulness on me? I also learned that he took my phone quite often and went through it without me knowing to see who I was talking to, and about what. He also monitored a forum I used for pregnancy/parenting advice to see what I was saying. I had virtually no privacy, all because he had cheated, not me. 
I’d suggest keeping the lines of communication open and honest, but to think about how you might phrase this so it doesn’t sound like you are saddling him with your own guilt, because I can’t tell you how angry that made me. Eventually, I wound up completely alone and isolated, because he was so worried I’d cheat, even though he was. I’m not saying you’re even close to becoming this, I’m just letting you know how things were for me. Even if I went out with girlfriends, if their husbands tagged along and mine didn’t, there would inevitably be a discussion about it later. 
It got so bad that I couldn’t even get up to pee without being questioned about where I was going. And I if I took my cell phone into the bathroom with me, he’d check up on me countless times to see “how much longer” I’d be. If I left my cell phone behind, he’d inevitably be on it when I came out of the bathroom. I couldn’t even talk to my mom or dad on the phone without him in the same room. 
Again, I’m not saying that’s where you’re headed, but it could feel that way to your spouse if you bring up potentially being worried he may seek out contact with basically, a celebrity (even if she’s only known in the MMA world, or on Instagram). 


Looking back my wife was this way too, to some extent. On d-day she said she had assumed I had been cheating on her at some point. This made me even more livid. But you’re right, it’s projecting. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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