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Author Topic: I noticed that my husband was responding to an attractive woman on Facebook  (Read 292 times)
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« on: May 06, 2019, 09:01:18 PM »

Mod note: This discussion is a continuation of the following thread: https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=335114.0

I need to post this, maybe to get off my chest. Not sure where to go with it, as it seems completely uncharted waters.

I noticed that my husband was responding to an attractive women on Facebook. At first I thought, it was innocent. Just a mutual 'like' thing as they have cars in common. Then today, he mentioned her name and said that she was a trust fund baby, plenty of dough, good stereo equipment and has never had a problem being female. (I guess in the world of males). He said she wanted to write for him (I knew that the flirtation was going on and never let on).  When I questioned him about her, he got defensive and angry. Of course, I am jealous. She's beautiful, rich and likes fast cars like he does. He told me personal things about her, like where she lives, her son lives with her etc. My intuition tells me he is flirting with her. If he were innocent, why the big commotion. Knowing the 'secrets' of BPD, I don't feel safe. But what can I do?
I don't want to come off as insecure, but then I am Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)   It just doesn't seem that his flirting with her is fair.
Anyone have a scope on this?
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2019, 10:29:58 AM »

IDK. My first husband would do this sort of thing and it wasn't innocent at all, yet he'd act as if it were.

My current husband also has female friends but it is innocent--or at least he's super good at being discreet.  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

I think pwBPD really don't understand socially accepted boundaries. Case in point--my husband will be extra friendly with cashiers at the grocery store. If on some day they're not as personable, then he feels like they're "being unfriendly". I've been with him when he later told me that a checker was "unfriendly" and I had no clue. It just appeared that she was busy--or maybe her kid was sick--or maybe she had a disagreement with a co-worker--or maybe she was tired--all I saw was that she was polite and doing her job.

I remember working as a waitress and regular customers (men) would be extra friendly with me. It wasn't like they were hitting on me, but it was like they felt they had a special friendship with me. I would be friendly back (of course--I wanted a good tip--but it wasn't like we were "friends" or anything). I think some pwBPD are like that. They are so desperate for validation and friendship.

But of course, I don't know the motivation of your husband. However, jealousy on your part certainly won't make things better. Why not explore more about your feelings here?
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2019, 11:20:10 PM »

Excerpt
But of course, I don't know the motivation of your husband. However, jealousy on your part certainly won't make things better. Why not explore more about your feelings here?

I've had all day to ponder this one Cat Familiar. And I am 100% guilty of overreacting and being jealous. My ex was a womanizer. My current, although a pwBPD, he hasn't cheated or paraded women in front of me. Or, like you mentioned is good at hiding it. I do think he needs the attention that women can or do give him. He's a charmer, a good talker and engaging. When this happened yesterday, I told him that women sometimes take the friendliness as more. But you are right, he has little boundaries. Today, while waiting at a doctors office, the nurse led me back out to the waiting room, and he was in deep concentration with an attractive blonde. He said "what's up?" as if I were trying to catch him at something. The woman he was talking to wasn't amused, as she must have thought I was spying on him. The nurse looked around and took me back into the room.

I just think the constant leaving and coming back into the relationship has harmed the trust. He knows that the last time he took off his wedding ring, and wanted a divorce was the last call for wolf. The next time, it's over. I just can't take not knowing when he will pull the plug. I do think that he can switch off and on quickly and there is always the possibility that he will go bonkers. Every night he is plaqued with extreme nightmares. Not the average kind, but horrible. It's no wonder that he is fatiqued.

I was married at one time to Casanova. I've brought some of that insecurity into this marriage, I admit.  In that marriage, we didn't talk divorce as it was a word not to threaten with. Now, I am married to a man that has divorced me at least 100 times (2 with papers). It isn't a wonder that I am a bit uncomfortable with the future, even though he tells me that I am the woman he has always wanted. I will definitely keep an eye on my green eye monster.
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2019, 10:36:29 AM »

I just think the constant leaving and coming back into the relationship has harmed the trust. He knows that the last time he took off his wedding ring, and wanted a divorce was the last call for wolf. The next time, it's over. I just can't take not knowing when he will pull the plug...

I was married at one time to Casanova. I've brought some of that insecurity into this marriage, I admit. 

It's no wonder that you'd be feeling some insecurity after being married to a Casanova. When I got together with my first husband (also a pwBPD), I didn't have any jealous feelings at all, but after experiencing years of his serial infidelity, I learned what jealousy was.

What I've had to do is to determine what are my boundaries. What is harmless flirting and what is behavior that is concerning?

Case in point: I had a concussion a couple of years ago and for months afterwards loud noises were intolerable. My husband had bought tickets to a classical music concert. I'm not a big fan of concerts of any kind, but classical music is my least favorite. I couldn't bear to go because my concussion symptoms would be triggered, even with earplugs.

So he invited a female friend who owns a framing shop, where he has spent thousands of dollars having his photos framed. She has encouraged his artwork and he participated in an art show at her gallery. (My guess is that she likes him and she likes him spending money at her shop. And she's single, so she wouldn't be resistant if he were single someday too.)

I heard from another friend who saw the two of them there and for a couple of months he started occasionally drinking rum and coke, which was the drink he bought her at intermission. (So yuck--I was feeling a bit weirded out that I had bowed out of going to this event and possibly setting up circumstances for him expanding upon his "friendship" with her.)

So far nothing more has come of it. He's had a couple of things framed in the last two years. We've run into her at a restaurant. She looked very pretty.

I had to attend to my feelings of jealousy and insecurity, but not externalize them where he was aware I felt that way. I found that by verbalizing my insecurity in my first marriage, it was more likely to make things happen that I didn't want to happen. By remaining centered, I keep my strength and my standing and I can deal with my own insecurities privately.
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2019, 01:28:48 PM »

i have a history of being pretty insecure myself. not necessarily jealous, but the two are related.

so your husband can probably relate on some level.

insecure people will sometimes do things to invoke insecurity/jealousy in others...that reaction can help them to feel more secure. its not always a conscious thing, and a lot of us have done things like that from time to time.

it is possible that hes doing that on some level, though its hard to say for sure; i want to make clear im not saying he is.

on the other hand, you admit that youre jealous and insecure. you can work with that.

it boils down to handling these things, as they come up, as a team. to having clear interdependent values about the ways you both behave with the opposite sex, making sure that youre both living them. it comes down to open and honest communication...not accusations, and also not shutting down/being defensive. and it also comes down to working through jealousy and insecurity on a personal level.

we have a workshop here on dealing with a jealous partner that i suspect theres a lot you can gleam in terms of coping skills and what to ask of/from him. https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=78324.0

lets start with the communication part. when you questioned him, what was said?
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2019, 02:28:21 PM »

Of course, you are feeling uncomfortable about your husband's interactions with women because he in not taking your feelings into account and he is disrespecting your marriage. I have had many male friends over the years, and as a victim of terrible family abuse from several members with BPD and NPD, I can tell you it has taken a long time to sort out what is a healthy friendship with a man and what is unacceptable. For years, I had what I considered were friendships with men who cheated on their wives, though I never did or would go out with men who cheated on their wives. I seemed to think I was different because I only talked with these men in the park, yet over time I learned that these men were narcissistic and had no empathy. I now have several friendships with men who are either married or in long term relationships, whom I chat with in the park. These men have taught me a lot about appropriate boundaries. They all let me know right away that they are in long term committed relationships and are clear about what is crossing the line. How do you expect to be treated by your husband and what do you think is unacceptable behavior with other women? Can you and he work out together what is honoring your relationship and what is hurting it, while still enjoying interacting with attractive people of the opposite sex?
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2019, 09:10:26 AM »

Mod note: This discussion is a continuation of the following thread: https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=335114.0
  But what can I do?

Sometimes looking at things with a radically alternative view (perhaps polar opposite) can help find the pathway forward.

What if you encouraged this...seemed really interested, yet in an understated and "oh by the way" kinda way included yourself in the plans?

If everything is above board, there should be no issues being part of a new friendship.  If there is a concerted effort to "lock you out", then their is clear justification for concern and action on your part.

Plus, there is the push pull dynamics that you can exploit with this method. 

If you are "pushing" for him to stay away from her (I'm sure he is getting that vibe), then your pushing very well could result in him digging in his heels and going for it in the new relationship.

If you are "pushing" him to move forward in the new friendship it could very well have the opposite effect and he may "cool" rapidly about the new thing.

Best,


FF

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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2019, 02:34:42 PM »

To expand on formflier’s point, involving yourself can have another benefit. It may be purely innocent on his part, but you don’t know what the motivations are for that woman. She may be thinking that this guy has multiple expensive cars and therefore might be a catch.

If that’s the case, your participation then could throw a monkey wrench into her plans, or should it be totally innocent on her part, it might be that you make a new friend.
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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2019, 02:40:14 PM »

but you don’t know what the motivations are for that woman. 

ding ding ding..we have a winner!  I was thinking this and specifically left it out...to see if others would pick up the train of thought.

Just like many burglars lurk in neighborhoods looking for people that leave their doors wide open...I'm sure the analogy extends to people that like to involve themselves with married people. 

All you have to do is make sure "your doors aren't wide open".

Then..you accomplish a lot without actually accusing anyone of misbehaving.

Best,

FF
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2019, 01:03:23 PM »

Thank you all.
     After I set my boundaries, "I don't talk to strange men online, as it makes them sense I am interested", he seemed to get it. Not sure exactly how it happened, but he shared with me that "People named Tamara are always nutty" and "I don't think she is 'good' for the magazine, just rich." I felt better. I do think that my husband likes the attention, but it isn't worth it.  When we first met, he was jealous of everyone in my past and was adamant about me dropping all connections. I do think that he's insecure, and in some weird way enjoys it when I show that I'm in the least jealous. He said recently he "didn't mind the jealousy it was my inability to see my part in things" .
     In other words, I don't always see the story that he has going on in his head. Boundaries are so important, especially with borderlines. I let myself get completely walked on by my NPD ex, so am a little raw from that. Dealing with the push/pull is a different dance, but I'm learning the steps.
     
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2019, 01:42:10 PM »


After I set my boundaries, "I don't talk to strange men online, as it makes them sense I am interested", he seemed to get it.

...Dealing with the push/pull is a different dance, but I'm learning the steps.   

 Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)  Good work, loyalwife.
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« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2019, 01:27:39 AM »

pwBPD are very insecure at the very bottom, and likely hate themselves to a great degree.

They need to validate their own attractiveness with flirting and extramarital affairs.  

After being the target of divorce threats for almost 20 years, I finally figured out H was uBPD and I was able to predict his actions and the underlying motives.  I started to become stronger until the divorce threats meant nothing to me.  They were originally means of controlling me.  (Common in emotional abuse.)  H would say he was divorcing me and was reduced to a weeping mess, begging not to leave, apologizing for whatever he said I did that warranted his wanting to divorce me.

On the other hand, he was often emotionally blackmailed by his adult children (as teens they lived with their mother) for money, gifts, apartments, etc.  He was an utter coward with them.  They would threaten not to visit him for summer visitation.  They would pick on him for his appearance, etc. and he would say nothing.  It was like kids in a schoolyard ganging up on one weak student and kicking him for fun. I lost a lot of respect for him then.  As young adults, he spent a great deal on cars, gadgets, computers, clothing, vacation trips, expensive watches, etc--all the status things young people crave.  

The children were overvalued, and knew this, and used this as leverage to manipulate their father.  They also wanted him to divorce me because they said I "used" their father.

Seeing what a coward H was really showed me "the power Wizard of Oz" behind the curtain.

LW, once you see the actions for what they are, you can then make a decision on what to do about it.

 
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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2019, 09:21:31 AM »

FF and Cat, I tried the "I think something's going on, I'll encourage it, show I'm trusting and try and join in" approach. I even went on holiday for 2 weeks with the OM and his family. My experience from reading my W's correspondence with OM a year after that period was that they thought all their Christmas's had come at once. They were suspicious of my change in behaviour which led them to believe that I had a screw loose and actually reinforced their "Folie a deux" that I was controlling. They became more secretive in their communication and hook-ups and validated 'the narrative' for why they were spending time with each other... "Spiritual awakening". Rather than live with the pervasive doubts of the legitimacy of the boundaries (or lack of) around their relationship with each other I was in essence saying "it's okay". Anything I said (discrediting a portfolio of supercars) which may have been 'truthful' was turned against me as an act of me being NPD or other messed-up-ness.

It was reading FF's suggested book 'Love must be Tough' that made my heart sink that I had in essence enabled the relationship and nurtured an environment where they could become closer rather than deal with the depravity of their behaviour.

My experience is that  people capable of an affair create/distort morality to justify what is and isn't okay, what is an acceptable boundary (and move it according). It's like driving the bus in reverse... "I did X, X was okay because XYZ". Values and appropriate boundaries are defined as a function of past actions being justifiable, rather than values and morals being SET... END OF... and actions and behaviours being evaluated to that benchmark.

I'm super glad you are able to address this with your H and somewhat use the black and white thinking to your advantage to massage his feelings about this woman round to devaluing her, nice and subtle and you allowed him to join the dots together.

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« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2019, 11:54:35 AM »

FF and Cat, I tried the "I think something's going on, I'll encourage it, show I'm trusting and try and join in" approach. I even went on holiday for 2 weeks with the OM and his family.

Wow, you certainly tried to be open, Enabler.

Having previously been married to a serial infidelitor, I had a lot of experience in this arena.

Some women thought, "Oh, she's cool with it--Great!" Of course I wasn't.

Other's thought, "She hasn't a clue what he's up to. And she's so nice, I wouldn't want to hurt her."

What I found out was that you can't control how other people behave, but you can choose what is acceptable to you. I'd rather have more information and not wonder what's going on. And presenting a united front as a couple can quash interlopers who assumed that your relationship was on the rocks. True, as in Enabler's situation, some won't care, but you can filter out those who do.
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