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My husband came back from a work trip away, with a group of colleagues. This was a 'fun' work trip for a sporting activity, not a business trip or an official team bonding. But it was organised through the means of the workplace.
I encouraged him to go away and have fun on the trip. I also looked after our 4 year old for the duration and spent a rather long weekend with no adult company between Thursday morning and Monday night - had tried to arrange a meet up with another mum and it fell through. We have recently moved to a new area so my socialising options are pretty limited.
He began to show me some photos from the trip, flicking quickly past one with him in a cheeks-pressed-together pose with a woman, which I joked about a little bit, then he abruptly cut off and began trying to look at another webpage. My suspicions were a bit raised, so when he was looking for something else in the room, i opened up the folder and found another photo which seemed a bit too-close-for-comfort, albeit with another girl. I said 'hey, that's a bit of an inappropriate photo' and said that I had noticed that he seemed a bit reluctant to show me the rest.
He became really angry, said that I was a prude, that he hadn't shown me the photos because he 'knew how I would react' and went off. I tried to talk to him about it later, said that I just found the photos a bit off, but said that if he had apologised that it had all got a bit carrried away and lairy then I would not have minded. I also reminded him that it was a sort-of work trip, that he had a management role, was actually organising the trip and was also known to be married. Again he said that I was a prude, that I too should find a group of people to 'have fun' with, repeated the thing about 'knowing how i would react' and went off to sleep in the other room. The photos folder has now disappeared from the PC.
Are my boundaries really so totally out of touch?
PS. This is by no means our first marital problem, but this is a whole new area...
Out if touch with what? Your boundaries are your boundaries, they don't have to change with fashion. And maybe he did dread you seeng those photos because he knew what your 'boundaries' were, but he possibly could have dealt with it better.
What you needed was reassurance and to be heard, he has turned it around on you! Idiot.
No, and I don't see how you can be. You're entitled to set your boundaries in any way you like. He is expressing that he knows where your boundaries are but he feels he is superior to you and is therefore entitled to break them and then be angry at you.
This is not about you being a prude. It really is irrelevant what he thinks you should be allowed to feel. He knows how you feel and if he doesn't agree or doesn't want to respect you and your feelings then why is he with you at all?
I'd say his reaction speaks volumes. If all was totally innocent he'd have been calm. Going off to sleep in the other room following a huge strop over something that if innocent would have been minor = guilty conscience.
His reaction just means he was uncomfortable. Whether uncomfortable because he's guilty of something or because he's aware that the photos look like something they're not is a different question.
Your boundaries are just fine and so are your instincts.
If he'd done nothing to cause concern, he wouldn't have been trying to speed-flick through those pictures so quickly and he definitely wouldn't have gone on the counter-attack when you found them and communicated your unease. Usually when people hide things or lie about them and claim as a defence that they did so to prevent a bad reaction, what they mean is 'I don't want you to find out about this so I can do it again'.
I'm going to guess that you've never left him in the sole care of his child while you went off on a jolly for 4 days?
Er, no - no jollies here!
Well, I did once go to the other end of the country to see a relative, whom he does not want to to visit. But that was definitely not a jollly.
What really bugs me is that he has hardly wanted to be that close to me in a photo in the last how ever many years. I honestly don't think he is cheating or even thinking of it, but I do feel that the photos were off.
His behaviour was inappropriate and his reactions towards you afterwards speak volumes re him.
You do not think he is cheating, is that really that you'd prefer to think he is not cheating but your suspicions have been further raised?.
What do you get from this relationship with him now?. Be honest with yourself here.
Being generous to your DH here, it could be that he isn't cheating, but is aware that he has overstepped a boundary (maybe his as well as yours) and is feeling shamed by that. This then manifests itself in him turning it on you.
Not good that he has behaved that way, but not necessarily into "cheating" territory either. His reaction IMO is worse really, he shouldn't be throwing a strop, it was his actions and his responsibility to reassure and make sure it doesn't happen again (if that's what you and him want of course).
It's not so much the photos but his reaction was way OTT, this type of photo seems to be the norm with twenty-somethings, far too touchy feely for me but I'm old, what do I know?
I think the bigger issue is that he doesn't sound affectionate with you and to see him behave like that with others is a twist of the knife.
A conversation about how you are both feeling about your relationship will hopefully open lines of communication, honesty is key though, if you can't talk to one another, there's not a lot of hope.
The thing is he is 40 this year - and the women in question are junior to him in the organisation.
The workplace element worries me as much as anything. Those pictures could easily be taken in the wrong way.
Sounds like he may have poor boundaries tbh. I agree with you that a senior member of staff organising a 'work night out' like this is very, very unwise. You can still be done for sexual harassment in certain circs outside work but that drama aside it is very difficult to maintain authority over junior staff if you're caught up in trying to be 'fun boss' and getting into a mess on work nights out, doing inappropriate things etc.
Prude always sounds so quaint. Except when a spouse is overreacting and blustering. Slept in the spare room? I don't think you should re-evaluate your boundaries OP.
His calling you a prude is his way if acknowledging he knew your boundaries and chose to ignore them and do what he wanted to anyway.
Time for a discussion.
I had felt a bit 'hmm' when he came home anyway, as he kept saying how one of these girls was the 'sweetest girl on the world' and how they were all so good at this particular sporting activity (which I am not that great at).
It all just feels a bit humiliating.
What are things like between you today?
I agree it sounds a bit humiliating.
I've had a similar issue with a recent (casual so much less bad) bf. He had been trying to see me all the time for a couple of weeks then just stopped, called to say he wasn't going to see me, even though we had no plans, because he was seeing a workmate. He had been "in love" with her (unrequited) for months whilst we were friends - he had poured his heart out to me about her repeatedly for those months.
Then he decided to go to a work related thing with her at the last minute (he wasn't going to go at all) because she suggested it'd be nice to "have a holiday". When I said this was upsetting for me because we had not been away together and it felt like he was dropping me for her his response was "I can do what I like".
Then he went away, proceeded to get very, very drunk and break his glasses, be very late home on the Sunday (7pm when he said lunchtime) and told me people they were talking to made comments to him that he should "look after her" it made me think he had been his usual flirty and inappropriate self which was extremely humiliating for me.
At one point his response was very similar to your h's - "your standards are too high, no-one else I know would care about this". That really isn't the point, I explained how I felt before he went, it doesn't matter what other people might think. How I felt was what was important and if it was so important to him to be able to still behave like a single guy (do whatever he wants) then why did he want to have a girlfriend?
He never understood that it is not that I was jealous or paranoid about her, I'm not particularly keen on her as a person but I wouldn't be without her association with him - she is not the kind of person that I like or respect, but that it was him and his poor boundaries/lack of respect for me that was upsetting me.
Telling me he works with her and had to see her or that he loves me and not her missed the point spectacularly. Because it was about the lack of respect, and indeed contempt, he showed for my feelings.
He also has poor boundaries more generally. He doesn't really understand that there should be a divide between work and social life (in his work this is vitally important IMO) or where that should be (some of his work is more informal). He's often late or sometimes doesn't turn up because he is poor at prioritising/planning etc. Sometimes I have seen him behave really inappropriately with vulnerable workmates because there is a culture of sexual 'banter' and he doesn't implement his own appropriate boundaries.
Being with someone with poor boundaries can feel like an endless humiliation, if this is a long standing problem I would consider cutting your losses. If it's new you need to be able to attempt some productive conversation about it which doesn't involve him blaming you and stomping off.
I agree with some others that it's certainly possible he has stepped over his own boundaries and yours in some way but what matters is how it is dealt with and so far it has been dealt with pretty badly by him.
I don't necessarily think he's done anything illicit this time, but the sense of playing the big man and showing off may have gone to his head. If he convinces himself you were being a killjoy he might be tempted to push his luck further next time he thinks he deserves an ego boost. For this reason I think you really need to rehash this tonight.
As a couple you both know how important trust is. As a manager at work he must know certain behaviour is off-limits. Maybe he needs reminding. If he suggests this is an overreaction ask why he huffed off to sleep separately and why did he delete the photos.
have you checked your recycle bin on your laptop?
To me its the fact he has acted cagey about it and not let you look at the pictures, stormed off and been awful to you about it.
The fact he is "known to be married" is nothing. Being married can be a good excuse for some blokes to act like a letch in the office / work parties, they can say, "of course I don't mean it that way, I'm married...." when anyone pulls them up.
Plenty of people can be a bit "party hands" at works functions but its the cageyness and not telling your partner.... Is he naturally a touchy feely type? My DH is not so if I saw him up close with some woman I would question it... and if he reacted like a moody teen I would think he at least fancied her or that something more had gone on. If that is the truth or not you are not out of line for your reactions and not a "prude".
I hope you can talk to him and get this resolved though. And I hope he is letting you have a "holiday" as well - maybe to visit an old friend one weekend whilst he stays home to look after your 4 yr old.
It does sound like he might have got quite friendly with this woman and overstepped the mark a bit. He's probably getting defensive as he's feeling a bit guilty. Try and get him to open up about it, communication is key here I think.
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