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Author Topic: The "other man" sent me another letter  (Read 609 times)
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« on: December 03, 2019, 07:14:37 AM »

OM offered "setting the record straight" in his first email. I took this to mean that he was willing to be truthful.

He sent this this morning


Excerpt
Good to talk yesterday Enabler.  Just to clear up your overriding question below: it would freak me out to think that some other bloke was living with my kids and acting as a father to them.  I think that’s a fear shared by you.  It won’t happen, there is no intention to live together.  That’s the main wrong assumption I was talking about.

OMW actually said the most sensible thing the other day: face it OM, Enabler’s never going to see eye to eye with you.  However, I think that’s the very point I’m trying to make here: that despite those differences we should look for a means by which we can try to find some common ground.  Against all the odds.  And not because I’m trying to manipulate something I ‘want’ as you intimate, but for everybody’s sake; in fact as I said yesterday, if this were only all about what I ‘want’ then I don’t want it.

You asked about where the vision comes from.  Yet again Bible in One Year comes good today: ‘Vision is a ‘holy discontent’ – a deep dissatisfaction with what is, combined with a clear grasp of what could be. It is a picture – ‘a mental sight’ – of the future that inspires hope.’  And then: ‘Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision is a nightmare! But vision combined with action can change the world.’

I guess I’m just trying to promote action out of the ordinary. Action that might bring hope rather than the otherwise inevitable misery.

I should say by the way that I don’t think it’s helpful to rearrange my words in the course of ‘drilling down’ so you can then place your own interpretation on what I actually wrote, particularly the quotations, which I didn’t even write!  I’m surprised the professional advisers you show this to would be complicit in that approach.  But whatever, maybe I just have to expect that response if I’m beseeching us to consider things from all angles.  If your conclusion was that my letter was all about me then there’s nothing I can do about your interpretation though, and I will live with your unbridled criticism of me. At least I tried.

Just one thing that I felt I should pick you up on though, if I might be so bold as to criticise you in return: it’s not good to ask the kids about their ‘special relationship’.  They’re hardly likely to know are they, and you’re going to frame the question to get the answer you want; the whole point of what I was remarking on there was the unusual underlying deep friendship borne out by the evidence.  It would spoil it if we tried to make it into a ‘thing’ rather than just facilitating it by letting it flourish naturally.  You said that children never come out of divorce unaffected; that may be so, although I don’t subscribe to the view that they’re always damaged by it, that depends on the parents’ attitudes and in that respect surely it’s better to show them the positives and try to encourage a positive approach based on ‘we are where we are’ rather than dwell on the negatives?

That’s about all, thanks for listening and at least considering what I wrote, that was appreciated.


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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2019, 07:17:13 AM »


  It may stay that way until one of the 4 people involved make a change.

Are the OM and his wife still living together? 

Best,

FF
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2019, 07:20:49 AM »

Enabler
What I see and hear is someone (you) that says they are against divorce/doesn't want it, yet for some reason is "going along" with what your wife is asking of you and doesn't have a child care deal to show for it

Enabler, do I have this right?  Is there or is there not a written child care agreement in place?
There is not a care deal signed yet but then there is not a financial deal yet either. I have stipulated to W and the mediator that I will not be signing a financial deal until a child care deal is simultaneously signed.... and that mean no houses are put on the market until that is agreed.

FF there are things that are inevitable and will drain money pointlessly if I pointlessly roadblock. I am also legally required to complete the tasks either cooperatively or by force of the courts (costly). I am doing the things I am 'required to do' other than the things that are for my benefit, such as organising the Child T for discussion about telling children, co-parenting etc etc. That's something I need.
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2019, 07:21:32 AM »

Are the OM and his wife still living together? 

No but he has verbalised that he has no intentions to divorce her.
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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2019, 07:25:03 AM »

Enabler

I would respond to him like this.

"Please help me understand the "the otherwise inevitable misery" you mention."

See where he goes with that.

What I see when I read his writing is a guy that grabs on to "false dichotomous choices" and then uses those false choices to "justify" his life.

Still, that doesn't mean all of his reasoning is bad.  Since he has mentioned "misery", you might as well get a clear picture of what that looks like to him.

Best,

FF
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 07:30:49 AM »

I know people don't like wordy responses.... but I do. My first thoughts

Excerpt
OM,

Likewise it was good to chat on Sunday.

OMW is correct, you and I are unlikely to see eye to eye on certain issues. Your first email states you ‘feel called to apologise for my part in the upset’, ‘accept blame and I stand up to be counted’, that you are ‘really sorry for the hurt I’ve caused, truly sorry’. In that sense of remorse for your actions can you deeply empathise why we’re unlikely to see eye to eye?

What common ground do you think there could be OM? Why do we need to find common ground? If you’re not going to be part of EnablerW's family, what reason is there to seek common ground rather than accept that we have very different views and minimise interaction. I have seen how you operate, I have read some of the derogatory things you have written about me to EnablerW and read the emails you have sent me. You have made your position very clear. We simply do not share the same values around certain things. If on the other hand yourself and EnablerW decide that you were going to formalise your relationship there is a need for you and I to find some common ground. That common ground would be D11, D9 and D6, and that’s where the common ground would end. Another person being a guardian to my children does not freak me out. It’s a natural concern yes, the very fact of them not being genetically related means that the children are not the incumbents priority, his priorities lie with the woman he wants to be in a relationship with… EnablerW. There are many good men with strong personal values, whom I am sure would treat our children with the utmost respect and act as a positive role model for them. As I intimated to on Sunday, I expect any man entering our children’s lives to be committed to those responsibilities, understanding that they are not just there to put their feet up on the sofa and leave parenting to EnablerW.

I didn’t ask where the vision came from, I asked what the vision was, and you still haven’t told us. I accept that there was/is discontent and deep dissatisfaction. I know that much of my own dissatisfaction came from deep within myself, something that working with a therapist and focusing on my own behaviour has allowed me to explore and understand. I do not see misery being inevitable, and I have hope for myself regardless of external influences. From an outsiders perspective I have seen you promoting misery, and I have seen you promote very ordinary behaviours and ordinary thinking which will result in very inevitable misery. I ask again, what have you learnt about the way that YOU interact with OMW in the last 14 years? What have you learnt about OM in the last 4 years? That would be doing something different, out of the ordinary, would it not?

“There is more than one sort of prison, Captain," Chirrut said. "I sense that you carry yours wherever you go.” – Chirrut – Rouge One

My therapist did not see nor assist in comprising my interpretation, some of which I read to you on Sunday. However, he did formulate his own poignant view after reading it and we did discuss it together. We all hold up mirrors to each other, you can take or leave my mirror. A kind lady sent this to me. As much as some mirrors can show us distorted views that we’re bad, some distorted mirrors show us as perfect:

Excerpt
“The past few years have given me the opportunity (necessity) of figuring out who I am.  One thing I've learned is that everyone holds a mirror up to me, reflecting what they see.  Some of those mirrors are small and only show a small portion of me.  Some are smudged with the stuff their holder has touched them with.  Some are incredibly distorted "fun house" style mirrors.  My own mirror has its own smudges and distortions.
I have spent an incredible amount of time and energy trying to fix things about myself that only existed in the mirror I was looking into.  The problem is that you can never wipe the smudge off the mirror by cleaning the part of your body that is reflected in that smudge.  Eventually you start hiding that part of yourself.  You start standing awkwardly to compensate for the distortion in the mirror.  You start thinking that the mirrors that more accurately reflect you are the ones that are distorted.
I am working on cleaning and straightening out my own mirror, but in the meantime I'm looking to surround myself with people who have better mirrors.  I have a therapist who is trained to keep a clean mirror and point out distortions.  I have friends who don't have a ton of distortions in their mirrors and are willing to take a swipe at what may be a smudge on their mirror as readily as to offer me a tissue to wipe the spot off of my body.  I have had perfect strangers hold up mirrors that show something beautiful and learned to not discount them or think they are angled towards someone behind me. 
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I hope you are being careful about what mirrors you look into.  Until you are a bit more sure that you know yourself well enough to recognize distortions, it may be best to avoid certain "mirrors".”

To clarify, I did not ask the Children about their special relationship, I asked them about their relationship. It’s commonplace to ask ones children about their relationships. I’m surprised that you believe that OMD and OMD wouldn’t know about how they feel about other people, I’m almost certain they do know, and could verbalise to you. I have seen our children interact with many of their peers and see nothing exceptional about our children’s friendships, they are normal, common all garden. I’m confused why there is a need to perceive ‘it’ as remarkable or deep or any such extreme adjectives…. What’s wrong with normal? Is there a point to this part of your email, could you be more explicit if there is?

We’re going to have to agree to disagree regarding the impact of divorce & separation on children’s development. From what I have read there is a difference between “less damaging” and “no damaging” and we should make no attempt to minimise “damage” for our own comfort.

“We are where we are”… that doesn’t sound like a “visionary” statement to me, in fact it sounds like a very common, secular statement.     

Providing some specific examples would be hugely beneficial to this discussion so that we can address specific situational examples of ‘things’ we need to resolve. I am more than happy to continue truthful dialogue and as you can see, digest every word you say.
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2019, 07:32:57 AM »

is simultaneously signed....  

I think this is a strategic and tactical error.

Perhaps the wording/legal stuff is different where you live.  

I would start out all other agreements by saying they are null and void unless they are signed by both parties AND a child care agreement has bee signed by both parties and approved by the court (basically no way for it to be undone).

Switching gears.

If you wife actually wants a divorce and goes through with it, you are correct it will cost more money for you to obstruct.

Her actions (and his) are not the actions of people that want a divorce.  I suspect she is "using" divorce much like pwBPD that threaten and "do" divorce to "get people back in line".

Very often those pwBPD actually end up divorced and your wife may end up divorced as well.

Her "goals" are not of the rational world that you and I (and others on this board) live in.  

Best,

FF

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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2019, 07:35:35 AM »

I know people don't like wordy responses.... but I do. My first thoughts


If your intention is to "feel better" about communication....then double the words you have proposed and send them.

If your intention is to have some sort of "productive communication", pick one thing and send it.  (something similar to one sentence I proposed).

It appears to me that the OM is communicating to "feel better"/create his own reality. 

Don't play his game.

Best,

FF
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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2019, 07:37:51 AM »

Her actions (and his) are not the actions of people that want a divorce.  I suspect she is "using" divorce much like pwBPD that threaten and "do" divorce to "get people back in line".

Very often those pwBPD actually end up divorced and your wife may end up divorced as well.

I don't doubt this in the slightest and this morning when I was driving to work I kept thinking of a Phoenix. But nothing will change until that phoenix burns.
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2019, 09:29:16 AM »

You were going to listen to him, open up a line of communication, see what you could learn to be helpful to the children.

Instead, you are getting deeper and deeper into a meaningless pissing contest.

Enabler, what is the point of your letter?

         He wrote to you to say, in short, "I tried to talk to you to find some common ground. It's impossible to talk to you".

You want to write back, in short "I don't want to find common ground. I don't want to listen to you. Everything you say is meaningless"

Star Wars movie quote insults? Really?

      “There is more than one sort of prison, Captain," Chirrut said. "I sense that you carry yours wherever you go.” – Chirrut – Rouge One

I'm sure that will "learn him".   Smiling (click to insert in post)

I don't see any point in writing a letter to advance the hopelessness of trying to communicate with each other.

I actually think its harmful, because you are putting more logs in the high conflict fire. You are already in a complex pissing contest with your wife on how much of the your marital problems to disclose to the children (ages 6-11) when announcing your divorce. Now you are in a complex pissing contest with the other man on "if you would be willing talk to together and look for ways to reduce the tensions".
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2019, 09:49:47 AM »

Skip,

What is the purpose of finding common ground with this man if what he says is true (that he doesn't want to be in a formal relationship with my W)?
Why does he want to find common ground with me?
Is finding common ground with him going to benefit my children?

I am not bitter and twisted about the guy, I just don't think he's a very trustworthy person, he's not someone I need to interact with nor is he someone I want my children to be influenced by.

If I am open to finding common ground with him..... as I did after I found the first emails between them in May16 stating they were attracted to each other (I spent time with him, went on holiday for 2 weeks with him and his family Aug16).... he stabs me in the back. He not only continued the relationship but leveraged 'common ground' to his advantage.

So why should I find common ground with him?

Enabler
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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2019, 10:01:24 AM »

You are already in a complex pissing contest with your wife on how much of the your marital problems to disclose to the children (ages 6-11) when announcing your divorce. Now you are in a complex pissing contest with the other man on "if you would be willing talk to together and look for ways to reduce the tensions".

Skip, I am not in a pissing contest with regards to how much marital detail to divulge, I am in a discussion with her about taking OWNERSHIP for the decision to divorce. I think we established there was a difference.

The only way that OM is looking to reduce tensions is for me to accept his relationship/friendship with my W, which will require me to endorse and buy into his distorted religious thinking. The same twisted religious thinking that multiple church leaders have not endorsed. Which I think would be enabling....  He believes that their relationship is divinely endorsed.... NOTHING I know about Christianity suggests this can be in any way shape or form divinely endorsed. NOTHING. 
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2019, 10:20:38 AM »

I'm sure that will "learn him".   Smiling (click to insert in post)

From what I can see OM has spent 4 years focused on my W, whilst suggesting to his W that she needs to change, whilst she says to him that he needs to change because she can't. Like many have suggested, he's in a bit of a Goldilocks zone where his W manages the kids whilst he's in the sh@g pad having ethereal chats and comparing mutual victim-hood with EnablerW. Both him and EnablerW have little interest in tackling their own inner demons rather preferring to focus on the demons of OMW and Enabler.... and mutually reinforcing to each other that they are pure as the driven snow.

He does carry around his own prison, the prison that prevents him from seeing how he contributed to his own marital demise and continued conflict with his very temperamental wife. The prison that makes him perceive specialness in everything he does and everything associated with him. Maybe he doesn't get the line... maybe he does.... maybe his wife does. Remember there are 4 people on this email including my W who is very likely to get the prison quote.
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2019, 10:43:45 AM »


Instead, you are getting deeper and deeper into a meaningless pissing contest.
 

Enabler

I have to 100% agree with Skip here.  I would add "at this time".  

The comments about "blame" and "ownership" for the other pissing contest are likely not helpful for your decision about what to do with communication about OM.  Can we just say "there is conflict there".

So...with OM, do we want to add to the total amount of conflict or can we reduce it?


Common ground:  The point of finding common ground...is to find out if there is common ground.

There may or may not be.

Being friends/friendly with someone is very different than finding common ground or determining there is no common ground.

I can't imagine anything positive coming from sending the letter as your first draft stands.

I was intrigued that OM claims there is impending doom.  (yet no details).  There may or may not be anything behind this, only one way to find out.  

Step back for a second.  

Enabler

This has got to be hard on you.  I totally get it you would like to do things that "feel like a win" or "feel like a step in the right direction".  

I think you should separate "feel good things" from "rational action" that you can take to sort out this mess of tangled relationships (with your kids and other kids connected to the tangle.)

Uggg.

 Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

Best,

FF

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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2019, 11:06:02 AM »

I sent your suggestion FF.

In many senses it's good to get what I'd like to say down on paper and send something completely different. I only wish OM would be specific and give detail of what he actually wants in any response... instead it's clouded in huff and puff.

I think the point he's not specific about the children is that I don't allow my kids round to his. We can't resolve that one until such time that he is specific about his/his kids issue. Then I will be specific back.

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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2019, 11:34:49 AM »

 this is becoming a big(er) swirl of drama, feeding drama, escalating drama that does not seem to be productive.  Why continue to engage in it?.  
 

Completely agree.

The "pragmatic" part of my is really interested in the response from OM about impending doom.  From that I think we will understand if there is anything useful in continued contact.

There is a "cost" of continued contact.  No doubt about that.

There is a "potential benefit" of continued contact, something similar to "keep your friends close and your enemies closer".  (implied in this is that you get to keep an eye on your enemy and perhaps gets useful information)  

So we'll have to see.

Back to comments about drama.  Is it accurate to say that we have "gone past" drama triangle and have a "quadrangle" (is that even a thing?)

Best,

FF
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« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2019, 11:35:48 AM »

"Please help me understand the "the otherwise inevitable misery" you mention."

To me, this is a trap question.

Is there any possible answer to this question that would lead to the parties feeling safe in communicating and finding common ground for the betterment of the children?

Can you guys tell me any answers to this that doesn't lead to more debate?

Serious question:

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

I'll start.

Telling your daughter that mommy wants the divorce and wants to break up the family but daddy wants mommy and daddy and baby girl to be a happy family. This will certainly generate "inevitable misery".  And then you can reply with "Skip OM, I am not in a pissing contest with regards to how much marital detail to divulge, I am in a discussion with her about taking OWNERSHIP for the decision to divorce. I think we established there was a difference."
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« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2019, 11:46:05 AM »


Would it have been better to say

"I haven't a clue what you see as the downside, please let me know"

Basically, to me..he see's the current trajectory going to a bad place (but doesn't describe it). 

What's his downside?

Best,

FF
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« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2019, 11:48:42 AM »


Telling your daughter old that mommy wants the divorce and wants to break up the family but daddy wants mommy and daddy and baby girl to be a happy family. This will certainly generate "inevitable misery".

So, when I read this, it seems to come from the point of view of the OM trying to "save" or "help" Enabler wife.

Honestly, that never crossed my mind.

I think he cares very little for her.

I suppose if he thought that her having to fess up would "blow up" the good deal he has..well...maybe.

Best,

FF
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« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2019, 11:51:30 AM »

What possible answer can he give, FF, that doesn't advance the pissing contest?

This is all high conflict stuff, guys.

Enabler, if there is a 30% (or 20% or 60%) chance of saving your marriage, all these actions are lowering the possibility.

If there is a 30% (or 20% or 60%) chance of parental alienation after divorce, all these actions are increasing the possibility.

As is often said, we may have every reason to be resentful, angry, antagonistic - but it doesn't serve us well. You are fully justified in your resentments. You have a young family and its melting down.

The problem is that at the root of this, your wife thinks your are toxic (real or perceived)... and, right now, you are selecting actions that are toxic. You are fueling the divide.


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« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2019, 12:01:40 PM »

What possible answer can he give, FF, that doesn't advance the pissing contest?
 

I would say an infinite number.  It's not knowable.

Since we don't know what in the world he means, give him the chance to clarify.  He may or may not take it.

Best,

FF
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« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2019, 12:07:33 PM »

I would say an infinite number. 

Can you write down two possibilities? Share them?
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« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2019, 01:39:25 PM »


These are in the "guess" category.

He seems to think the current course is going nowhere good.  He also says the current course is not leading to him and Enabler wife being together or perhaps suggesting they are really just friends. 

I would guess he could say something about 4 estrangements (essentially nobody has a relationship with each other).

I would guess he could say something about immense cost of 4 households, vice 2 or 3 being much worse.

bonus one

He may talk about the current course of conflict being dishonoring to God or something like that, might even talk about people being judged or "not understanding". 

I haven't a clue how "probable" any of these are.

Best,

FF
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« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2019, 02:57:31 PM »

Hi Enabler,

What if you backed away from all of this "communication" with the OM?  I've been reading along and I just feel like this is becoming a big swirl of drama, feeding drama, escalating drama that does not seem to be productive.  Why continue to engage in it?.

You do not control any of the players in this scenario except yourself, they are all going to do what they are going to do.  Everyone is getting something out of the current situation, what do you think you are getting from it? What part do you play in the drama?

I would take the focus off the OM and put it back on you (and your children).  What do you deserve, what do you want, what can you change, what do you control, what is best for your children.  Living in this drama soup is not good for any of you.

Panda39
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"Have you ever looked fear in the face and just said, I just don't care" -Pink
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« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2019, 03:43:50 PM »

I've been reading along and I just feel like this is becoming a big swirl of drama, feeding drama, escalating drama that does not seem to be productive.  

I think, respectively, you are probably not in the best mindset to do this right now.

You could take a graceful exit and open the door for a shot at this at another time.

How about bailing him out of the "gotcha question" and just put forward a validation of "better is good" and maybe even "lets try again later and focus on actions and not principles".

Excerpt
Excerpt
Hey OM,

I appreciate what you are trying to do and I do think it would be good if there are communications established to work on bettering the situation between the four of us. It's a difficult thing to do as you pointed out in your first letter and as we have seen so far. I recognize my part in that.

My thoughts are that we table this for a month <<a couple of months, several years, whatever>> and try again, but differently.


[Optional] In your first letter you said "my unusual friendship with EnablerW might not be the cause of all our distress, it’s definitely not helped. But let’s assume it continues"

In your second letter you said "I'm trying to promote action out of the ordinary. Action that might bring hope".

Maybe the best way forward is to focus on tactical recommendations of specific  "actions that might bring hope"  and send them over without editorializing. I will respond to them without editorializing and without criticism.


Enabler

Principled discussions rarely yield much between opposing parties. The reason you are opoosing parties is often because your principles don't align. Trying to change how opposing parties think is a fools game. Finding common tactics is much easier.

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« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2019, 04:21:47 PM »

I entered the conversation because not entering the conversation would have appeared like stonewalling. I invited clarification to a confusing email. The response I received was of a completely different message to the first email, so different I assume the “agenda” for the email had been changed or asked to be forgotten. I asked for clarification of the second email points. I spoke to him openly but refused to accept factual untruths. The agenda for the emails was completely squashed and he in essence tried to say he was just a mad man and it was directed at his W who was terrified of him abandoning her and the kids running off with EnablerW. He sends another non specific email today, I respond with a clarification email on a specific point albeit seeming like I’m stonewalling other significant points of his email. His W has just emailed to say “take me out the loop, I’ve moved on and don’t care”.

I’m not sure of the purpose, I’m not sure of the content and I’m still not sure of the problem. The problem he’s trying to solve (his wife’s abandonment fears) doesn’t seem to exist. I have no clear purpose for him wishing to find common ground given what he says about his intentions.

I’m not sure why people are bringing the kids into this, he is for sure, but given what he says are his intentions how is he even relevant in my children’s welfare? Unless what he says about his intentions are false.
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« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2019, 04:31:38 AM »

I and agree with the others that your first reply to OM would increase the drama of the situation.
We all read what we see in communications but I think he was clear on a few points:

He empathized with you on this one:  it would freak me out to think that some other bloke was living with my kids and acting as a father to them.  I think that’s a fear shared by you.  It won’t happen, there is no intention to live together.  

He understands this is a difficult situation for you, but wants to try to at least have some kind of civil interaction with you. He's not asking for your acceptance. He's asking if the two of you can be civil, even if you dislike him and you have reason to. Common ground could mean perhaps trying for peace for the children's sake, or to both agree to diminish the hostility if possible. Any common ground. You two aren't going to be golf buddies. He knows that.

"it’s not good to ask the kids about their ‘special relationship"

Don't bring the kids into this. Good idea

the unusual underlying deep friendship borne out by the evidence.  It would spoil it if we tried to make it into a ‘thing’ rather than just facilitating it by letting it flourish naturally.    

Whatever he's got going on with your wife- he wants it to continue. He's not going anywhere.

He's not asking for your approval or acceptance. He's stating the fact: I am in your wife's life and she is the mother of your children. It's inevitable that there will be contact between all of us- is their some way we can be civil? ( you don't have to agree to be civil but he is hoping to try)

He's asking is there a chance to hope for this, rather than the inevitable misery which IMHO means a continuation of the drama between all of you- I don't mean just the emotions, but your interactions. Your wife isn't happy. You aren't happy. The kids probably aren't happy either. You are willing to endure any unhappiness for what you feel is the greater good- the continuation of the marriage, the ethical reasons, financial. But this situation involves others as well. What do they want?

There have been many suggestions that you are participating in the drama. Yet, you have justified responses for what you are doing. Somehow this is working for you but I don't know how it is working for the others who are involved. I think he is trying to open a conversation.
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« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2019, 06:58:31 AM »

Notwendy, I am just a little miffed as to why he is seeking an amicable relationship or even requesting common ground at the same time as protesting he has no intention of being with my W. If for example my wife and I are divorced. In that situation he may well be around my kids as he comes over as her "friend". There's little I can do about that and it's not for me to control. If he doesn't just want to be her friend and he wants to be her husband then it's a different story. I would then have expectations that he would adopt some elements of responsibility for the kids. I don't have a sit down chat with my W's other female friends whom might come to her new abode now or in the future, nor do I expect to have any "common ground" with them.

If we are not getting divorced (he must know something I don't) then for reasonable reasons I have certain boundaries within my reasonable control which prevents him from coming to my home and minimises my children's interaction with HIM. It appears despite his supposed remorse for his historic actions he cannot see how or why I perceive him as untrustworthy and someone I have no interest in having "common ground" with unless I absolutely have to.... That 'have to' would be if my wife and him were to be partners. He doesn't like these boundaries as to some extent it restricts the ability of his kids to interact with our kids. Lets suppose he was an alcoholic, I had a rule that said 'our kids are not to spend time at his house or go to the pub with him', he got upset about this because in his mind 'he doesn't drink that much at home' yet every time I've seen him he's been drunk....... who would suggest I find common ground to relax that rule? No one I'd imagine. I don't know why he wants to 'find common ground' but I sure as hell know it's not because it's in my or our kids best interest.

My W might not be happy about the situation either (I'm pretty sure the kids don't care in the slightest) as it restricts her from playing happy families with our kids, his kids and him. She clearly thinks he's the bees knees and doesn't see him as massively weird. People have been telling me for months that I need to not enable my W's relationship with OM and say "no", yet one of the things in my remit to reasonably control "stay the heck away from him and keep my kids away from him" is questioned as being unreasonable and not moving towards common ground.

I'm massively confused I have to say.
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« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2019, 07:24:48 AM »

He may not be interested in cohabitating with your wife, but he is interested in pursuing their "special friendship" and your wife seems to want this too.

IMHO, the boundary is between you and your wife, not with him. They want what they want.

Your boundary is this: either you stand for the value of a faithful ( and I mean emotionally faithful- whatever they have going on) marriage where both people are committed to each other and the marriage or you don't stand by this and continue to enable this relationship while simultaneously trying to control this man's interactions with other members of your family while he is seeing your wife which leaves you with the situation you have now.

If this is your boundary: I will not stay in an adulterous marriage- then your wife has the choice- stay or leave. What you are doing now has her with one foot in the door and one out as it is. You don't want to do this- basically you don't want to say " I don't want to be the meal ticket, nanny, cook, maid while you see your "special friend" and pursue divorce. I want to have a marriage with a wife who is as committed to me as I am" because then, you are part of the divorce. While you see this as immoral, one could also see not taking a strong stand for fidelity in marriage as immoral too. What you have at the moment isn't a sanctified marriage.

The other- trying to control the interactions with this OM while he is seeing your wife, while your children attend the same church, is not something easily controlled. And it involves controlling other people which you can't really do.

The only thing you can control is you, and your willingness to tolerate whatever your wife is doing is perpetuating this situation. But it's your choice to do this and as long as you do, wife has no reason to not continue seeing OM because it's easy for her to do this. And OM gets a free pass too.

OM is saying he's here for as long as he's enjoying the relationship which might be until there's reason to stop-and he doesn't have one. OM is trying to break the hostility. As much as you resent him ( and with good reason) he's trying to be civil. If you can't see why, imagine your child's wedding in the future. She will be distraught because she wants her Dad to walk her down the aisle, and she wants her Mom there too, and Mom has a special friend who she wants to bring. But Dad hates his guts and she's upset about it because she wants a happy wedding. There are others involved here too.





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