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Boundaries after an affair

(12 Posts)
missinginaction Fri 23-Sep-11 11:34:17

I'm 7 months into recovery after my H's affair and we're doing ok. But I feel like I am going to lose the plot today because a woman in his office has been made redundant and he spent 25 mins closeted away on the phone talking to her yesterday and today he is asking me for book recommendations for her! In some part of my head I think my reaction is ridiculous, but another part is fuming at his thoughtfulness and concern for someone with breasts who isn't me!! I can't rationally think why I'm so cross to tell him - am I being stupid or is this valid?

bubblegumpop Fri 23-Sep-11 11:37:32

Did he ever address how and why he got into an affair before..........sounds like he hasn't.

He seems to be getting in too deep for "friends" considering he's not long had an affair. So proved his boundaries aren't the best.

YANBU, I'd be having serious words. He sounds like he's another affair waiting to happen.

peterpan99 Fri 23-Sep-11 12:03:21

YANBU you have been very hurt by him, so your reaction is totally normal.
However men are a bit stupid when it comes to understanding how certain behavouir makes us feel. He may see what he's doing as totally innocent, whereas you being wary of his past affair, see it as him being over chatty or concerned for another women.
I would say just calmly explain how its making you feel so he can see it from your point of view

passionsrunhigh Fri 23-Sep-11 12:07:24

He sounds like he's another affair waiting to happen
that's harsh! and ridiculous to suggest, I think, especially when OP is already anxious, and wants to hear something rational.
I'd be also annoyed, but he was open about it and asked your advice = good. You obviously aer still not over the affair, so should explaon to him that you aer over sensitive still - and he should respect it! he was at fault, so should be doing evreything to put your mind at peace. Just try to explain this quietly without flying into rage, then he's likely to understand and take it on board. AS in, he can talk to a colleague but not maybe as long, on the other hand, it's better that he takls long with your knowledge rather than without. I really wouldn't worry about this particular episode (redundancy is very upsetting, anyone would want to be supportive) - but he needs to take your hypersensitivity on board and at least reassure you however much it takes, that there's nothing untoward - ask him for that, you have a right.

MadAboutHotChoc Fri 23-Sep-11 14:24:24

I would be very concerned in your shoes. Did you ever have a chat about boundaries after he got found out?

bubblegumpop Fri 23-Sep-11 16:37:06

Harsh? I think not. He's showing all the behaviours no doubt that landed him here last time around........

Being the rescuer, not knowing when too much, is too much.

This man has just had an affair, crossed the line once, and is now putting himself in the position of being the rescuer and confidante again. Dangerous territory. Not the markings of a man who understands boundaries, how they are crossed and what led him to an affair months ago.

I'd say op has every reason to worry. He has had boundary issues before and it's taken him what months? To start following this path again.

passionsrunhigh Fri 23-Sep-11 16:44:37

well, we don't know whether the affair started in his office, or whether he was confidant/rescuer then. If a guy he worked with was made reduntant he might have done the same, being supportive - but if it is just once 25min on the phone and the book recommendation (in which he involved OP) then it's really not a big deal. But as OP is still sensitive, she has all the right to ask him for assurances, and he must give them and put her mind at peace, and yes, cut down on supporting the woman, but this was just the day she was reduntant, so not unreasonable towards any colleague. She might well be unattractive to him as a woman, and he was open about it, wasn't he.

MadAboutHotChoc Fri 23-Sep-11 16:50:23

I'm with bubble. Shirley Glass's Not Just Friends describes the rescuer scenario very well and there is a section about boundaries (windows/walls). She has a website with some useful quizzes and articles.

passionsrunhigh Fri 23-Sep-11 17:03:21

why is he a rescuer? any history of that (you are just assuming)? this might have been just once, and it depends whether she's young and single (very insensitive towards OP then), or a married/partnered long-term colleague. Surely there is such thing as colleague sympathy? I think you can't judge without knowing what type of woman is she and whether this is just a one off. He wasn't secretive, was he, isn't that a good sign - whereas when he had the affair, he probablly never spoke to OW on the phone in next room to OP.

ameliagrey Fri 23-Sep-11 17:27:35


Is it not possible for a man to be friendly and concerned about a colleague without-
a) being labelled a "rescuer" ( I do hate these psycho terms being bandied about by non experts)
b) looking for another affair- or drifiting into one.

Without knowing all the details of his previous liaison, it's jumping the gun a bit IMO.

OP- you know him best. If it is making you uncomfortable, then talk to him about it- but don't over react if you can help it.

missinginaction Sat 24-Sep-11 19:07:16

Update. I spoke to H last night and I got quite upset as he looked bwildered and said he was talking to her about problems at work and that she had recently lost her dog and he was helping her with that too.
I surprised myself by gettting quite upset very quickly as it dawned on me that as far as I know this is EXACTLY what happened before - single woman at work, work problems, personal problems, and the rest is history. I have met this new woman (who we think is single) and she actually seemed very nice but as I said to H sometimes we are pulled into things rather than actually making them happen.
This morning he said he did see where I was coming from, that he had no feelings in that way about this woman but he could see why I was sensitive.
We're talking tonight more generally about boundaries and what is and isn't acceptable to us but I feel like this has been a real eye-opener to me as to how he could get drawn in again to a similar situation. Fwiw, he is also in contact with a guy from his office in a similar situation but I don't seem to get so worried about that!

bubblegumpop Sat 24-Sep-11 19:19:18

Ag, you always seem to be way off the mark in these threads dont you? Like that woman who did actually find there was an ow, after calling posters cruel for suggesting it.

Just accept some people do realise there is a pattern to this sort if thing and can see warning signals a mile off. Not shit stirring for the sake of it.

Glad you spoke to him op.

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