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Am I still a doormat? #414070
09/22/16 01:51 PM
09/22/16 01:51 PM
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holdingontoit Offline OP
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Mrs. Hold has an amazing opportunity. As most of you know, she had cancer last year. Surgery. Chemo. Radiation. The whole ugly intrusive course of medicine. But it seems to have worked. She has a scan in a few weeks that will hopefully show no signs of cancer.

A good female friend of hers just got divorced. Part of her settlement was a bunch of frequent flyer miles that expire at the end of December. She invited Mrs. Hold to go on an expensive vacation paid for with the expiring miles.

Mrs. Hold loves to travel. I can't afford to take her on lots of fancy trips and when we weren't getting along so well I did not enjoy going alone with her so for a number of years we only went away with the kids. She is really excited about going.

She discussed it with me and at first I was opposed. You know, all the MB things about time together and protection against cheating and all that. The friend is not a "party girl" but she is recently divorced and might be looking for some positive affirmations. She is available and Mrs. Hold isn't. And guys are going to circle around two attractive unattached females.

Then again, the trip is in December and that is my busy season at work and Mrs. H and I don't see much of each other that month anyway. So a couple of weeks of her having fun and me bearing down at work is not such a bad idea.

We had a long talk about situations and protecting yourself. Similar to the talk we had with D19. I told D19 "never leave a party alone with a boy unless you intend to have sex with him, because once he gets you alone late at night he might not take no for an answer - especially if you both have been drinking." So I told Mrs. H no getting walked back to her hotel room. Take an Uber and no sharing with him. If he is staying in the same hotel, do not get in the same elevator alone. Make up an excuse why you need a bellhop to come to your room and go to the font desk and get one. She looked at me like I am crazy to think she would cheat or that she has any interest in another man. I told her it is not her level of interest that worries me, it is his.

Finally, I told her: if anything happens, I do NOT want to know. That is a secret you take to your grave. Do not feel entitled to unburden your conscience at my expense. You did the crime, you do the time by having it eat away at you ever waking moment of every day for the rest of your life. I told her that seems like a fair punishment to me.

I am so torn about whether I am being a fabulous husband by letting her go or being a wimpy doormat.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #414074
09/22/16 02:01 PM
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You had a serious conversation with her. I don't find that wimpy at all.

Kudos to you for being brave enough to set some good guidelines.

I recall that movie, Taken. The one about the father whose daughter went with a friend to Paris? She and her mom lied about that trip and it cost her friend her life. She in turn had an experience that would scar anyone's life with the one who rescued her was the very one she tried to fool.

I'd say any warning should be given.

Then again, I have a 21 year old in my home......you can imagine the talks I give him. LOL!!!!

I think you did just fine. smile

jmo,
Orchid

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #414076
09/22/16 02:05 PM
09/22/16 02:05 PM
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Hold

I don't know what to tell you. I'd just let mine go with a "free pass" and move on with my life. It would be easier for me that way, knowing that I'd advocated "whatever" and it was one and done.

But we all know I'm batshyte crazy. <shrug>


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: Miranda] #414082
09/22/16 04:24 PM
09/22/16 04:24 PM
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holdingontoit Offline OP
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Miranda: I am already turning her down for sex when she offers. If I give her a "hall pass", I would be sending the message that I don't care who she sleeps with. That I am in some ways "done" with her. I want to stay married to her. I don't want her to think otherwise. I don't want her to think that any part of me is hoping she will have an affair so I have an excuse to divorce her. We all know that people in unhappy marriages make up all kinds of crazy stories in their heads. Lord knows I have. I don't want her making up a story to herself that "no means yes".


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #414084
09/22/16 04:35 PM
09/22/16 04:35 PM
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Miranda Online
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Good point Hold.

My long history of not caring about monogamy has an odd impact on my views


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: Miranda] #414085
09/22/16 05:28 PM
09/22/16 05:28 PM
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Hold I think you view your W through a sexualized lens. I've been a single lady traveling to things for years and I don't even flirt much much less this ONS situation you're talking about. Your W is a rape survivor who provided survivor support for years, she's not sending signals out when she's away from you. Nor would she want to be unfaithful to you, you always say how much she admires you and is happy she's with you.


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: Miranda] #414086
09/22/16 05:28 PM
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I don't think you are a doormat. You had the serious conversation and expressed your feelings. One of your feelings is exactly how I feel when it comes to my wife and her trips: The level of interest by the other men.

You're standing true to your beliefs. Do you think that you are second guessing being a doormat because you really want to give into having sex with her?

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: Oblivious2678] #414088
09/22/16 06:26 PM
09/22/16 06:26 PM
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holdingontoit Offline OP
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NED: I would be less concerned if she were travelling alone. I am concerned that her newly divorced friend may not be as anxious to send "leave me alone" signals as Mrs. H is. Mrs H will feel pressure not to be a total wet blanket and shoo away the attention that her friend is attracting. Now the predatory men are circling. My wife may fully intend to remain aloof, but if they go to a bar or to a nightclub and her friend is chatting with a man or dancing with a man, that leaves my wife in an awkward position. As we all know, sometimes "things happen" when the eventual WS did not intend for them to happen. If you don't have your eyes open and your radar on to detect when the ground starts tilting downward, you might find yourself much farther down the slippery slope that you realized.

Obliv: I would love to have sex with her, but only under certain conditions. I have not hidden those feelings.

I have told her I am willing to have sex if the goal is a mutual interactive experience. I am not interested in using her as a masturbatory aid. Occasional "duty sex" is OK and a gesture of love. Exclusively starfish sex is unappetizing. It doesn't have to be blazing fireworks initially. But it has to be a process of exploration with the goal of it eventually having her derive some pleasure other than purely a reflection of my enjoyment. Because if she never gets anything out of it, then at this point, neither do I.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #414089
09/22/16 06:57 PM
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Hold, I totally feel your anxiety about this, believe me I do, but it's one of those situations where you have to trust her judgement. She's a grown woman.

Your explanation about sex, the feeling, the meaning, the enjoyment...totally on the same page as you here too.

You are definitely not a doormat. I see you as a man who knows what he wants, is now wearing it on his sleeve, and communicates it in a civil, caring manner.

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: Oblivious2678] #414091
09/22/16 07:19 PM
09/22/16 07:19 PM
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holdingontoit Offline OP
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Obliv: That is why I did not throw a tantrum and demand that she not go. Nevertheless, given her history on the financial side, there is a limit on how far I trust her. She has willpower. She has used it to lose weight and keep it off. Whether she will choose to exercise that willpower in the face of temptation is another question. In the financial arena she often does not.

The point of my talking to her was to turn on her radar so that, when she has decided not to be a stick in the mud and be "fun" and go with divorced friend to a bar or nightclub, she realizes she is already a few steps down the slope so that "can I walk you to your room?" is properly seen as "one step too far" and not "the first step and no big deal". I want a voice in her head to be saying when she walks into the bar "I promised Hold I would go this far and no farther".

And I will be honest. Part of the reason I want that is because, if she does slip and something happens, I want her to feel good and guilty and not be able to console herself that she couldn't have seen it coming or that she owes it to me to tell me the truth. As I have said often, I am no angel. I want her to know darn well as she slides down the slope "this is going to be really bad when I get home because he told me not to tell him and keeping it a secret is going to tear me up inside."


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #414094
09/22/16 07:25 PM
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Holy shinola it's scary how much we think alike. whistle

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #414095
09/22/16 07:29 PM
09/22/16 07:29 PM
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Hold, I would never want to play you in chess.. eek

You are too astute, and really know how to see 5 moves in advance.

Wow.

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: TC_Manhattan] #414096
09/22/16 08:22 PM
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holdingontoit Offline OP
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TC: Thanks. The plotting actually extends farther. I didn't even share with you the end game after she comes back. It is a scene from LG's most terrifying horror movie. But I fear it might reflect badly on me for even considering it so I might decide that discretion is the better part of valor and keep it to myself. Plus I don't want LG to have nightmares.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #414098
09/23/16 02:10 AM
09/23/16 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Miranda: I am already turning her down for sex when she offers. If I give her a "hall pass", I would be sending the message that I don't care who she sleeps with. That I am in some ways "done" with her. I want to stay married to her. I don't want her to think otherwise. I don't want her to think that any part of me is hoping she will have an affair so I have an excuse to divorce her. We all know that people in unhappy marriages make up all kinds of crazy stories in their heads. Lord knows I have. I don't want her making up a story to herself that "no means yes".
Why can't you just tell her this?

fwiw, I'd think your wife is the LAST person on earth to succumb to the wiles (sp?) of some strange man and end up in his bed on that trip.

If anything, this trip and her recovery might just be the jumpstart your marriage needs.

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: catperson] #414101
09/23/16 04:14 AM
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Quote:
Finally, I told her: if anything happens, I do NOT want to know. That is a secret you take to your grave. Do not feel entitled to unburden your conscience at my expense. You did the crime, you do the time by having it eat away at you ever waking moment of every day for the rest of your life. I told her that seems like a fair punishment to me.


Hold, also, if my then-H said this when we were together, it would have made me feel insecure, was he trying to tell me he'd been [Bleep!] around the whole time when he was going out of town on business?


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #414103
09/23/16 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
TC: Thanks. The plotting actually extends farther. I didn't even share with you the end game after she comes back. It is a scene from LG's most terrifying horror movie. But I fear it might reflect badly on me for even considering it so I might decide that discretion is the better part of valor and keep it to myself. Plus I don't want LG to have nightmares.


Going to hold off forming an opinion on this matter at this time.

While I agree with much of what you are feeling, we may be processing this differently.

Hold, I respect and would like to continue to do so but your post above bring up some concerns.

Hope your W has a safe and fun trip then able to return home to share her memories with you. Good memories that is. smile

jmo,
Orchid

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: Orchid2] #414110
09/23/16 01:27 PM
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holdingontoit Offline OP
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Cat: I did tell her all this. I am not worried about her, I am worried about them and want her alarm system activated. And I do think the trip is good for her, which is why I agreed to spend the money to make it possible. Despite our mountain of credit card debt and the fact that she will miss 3 weeks of work and need extra spending money when she gets back. it is not free for us even if her friend covers all the hotel costs. This is still going to cost us several thousand dollars.

NED: Good point. She has expressed similar feelings. I will pay attention and reassure her that there has been no misbehavior on my part. Because there hasn't been.

Orchid: Don't worry, the end game will almost certainly not be needed. And it is not a threat of physical punishment, financial mistreatment, or anything so dire. If she confesses to having cheated (and be clear, I don't think she will cheat, and I don't think she would tell me if she did), then I would tell her I do not intend to divorce her. I would tell her I intend to stay with her to serve as a daily reminder of how much she hurt me. Or we can call the kids and tell them Dad is divorcing Mom because she cheated on him while away on vacation. Her choice. Like I said, LG's worst nightmare. My point to TC was not to focus on what my end game is. Was just telling him that I don't plan my moves out 5 steps ahead. I plot it out farther than that.

Guys, I honestly don't worry that she is seeking to meet someone else or that she would have sex with anyone else. I honestly believe she finds the thought of having sex with another man disgusting. As I told her, the idea of these conversation is not to accuse her. It is to warn and protect her. She may not have any intentions to do wrong. But the guys who are going to be circling her may well have intentions of trying to trick or entice her into straying. And she has been "out of circulation" for a long time and is not used to being at bars or nightclubs without me and without being in a large group of women. The dynamic with only 1 or 2 women at a bar is different than with your H or with a large group, and I want her to be aware and on guard. Just like we warned our D before college of several situations she may well find herself in and how to respond. Forewarned is forearmed. Instead of thinking "how nice this guy is being, what a gentleman", I want her to think "OMG he is doing exactly what Hold said he would do to try and worm his way into my confidence". I do not care if she is "unfair" to or "mistreats" some guy with honorable intentions. I want to make sure she escapes the clutches of anyone who has dishonorable intentions. Extraordinary protections is my mantra.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #414121
09/23/16 06:58 PM
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Hold,

Thanks for your clarification. Seems you have some boundaries in place and have outline what it might be like to enforce them. I get that.

Still you also stated the financial burden looms as part of your decision and like many of us it plays a vital role on how to proceed while sticking to our boundaries. It is a delicate rope to walk.

Take care,
Orchid

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: Orchid2] #414610
10/11/16 01:56 PM
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holdingontoit Offline OP
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I am very blessed.. My wife loves me very much. Yesterday Mrs. Hold bought me bread and rolls. I know that her buying me the kinds of food that she cannot eat (carbs are her downfall weight-wise) and having it in the house to tempt her is her way of showing how much she cares about me. She is trying to show her love in the most meaningful way she can. Intellectually, I know this.

But last night I came home from work early and after dinner got into bed to watch tv with her. I reached out to caress her arm. She shrank away and recoiled in discomfort. I know she loves me. But when you reach out to your spouse and they recoil from your touch, it hurts. It hurts ALOT. I know it shouldn't. I know she doesn't do it to hurt me. She can't help it. It is a reflexive movement. But it still hurts.

We don't have sex. My choice. So she isn't recoiling in fear that touch will lead to sex. She simply does not enjoy my touch. Sometimes she tolerates it. But she never seeks it out.

I am staying. My choice. I know what staying entails. I am getting things from staying that I greatly desire, so to me it is worth it. I intend to remain with her forever. I just wish sometimes that it didn't hurt so much.

Tonight the Day of Atonement begins. I feel very guilty for feeling this way. This post is intended as part of my expiation for not more fully embracing my situation. I have much to feel thankful about. If I choose to focus on what is missing, that too is my choice.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #414619
10/11/16 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I am very blessed.. My wife loves me very much. Yesterday Mrs. Hold bought me bread and rolls. I know that her buying me the kinds of food that she cannot eat (carbs are her downfall weight-wise) and having it in the house to tempt her is her way of showing how much she cares about me. She is trying to show her love in the most meaningful way she can. Intellectually, I know this.

But last night I came home from work early and after dinner got into bed to watch tv with her. I reached out to caress her arm. She shrank away and recoiled in discomfort. I know she loves me. But when you reach out to your spouse and they recoil from your touch, it hurts. It hurts ALOT. I know it shouldn't. I know she doesn't do it to hurt me. She can't help it. It is a reflexive movement. But it still hurts.

We don't have sex. My choice. So she isn't recoiling in fear that touch will lead to sex. She simply does not enjoy my touch. Sometimes she tolerates it. But she never seeks it out.

I am staying. My choice. I know what staying entails. I am getting things from staying that I greatly desire, so to me it is worth it. I intend to remain with her forever. I just wish sometimes that it didn't hurt so much.

Tonight the Day of Atonement begins. I feel very guilty for feeling this way. This post is intended as part of my expiation for not more fully embracing my situation. I have much to feel thankful about. If I choose to focus on what is missing, that too is my choice.


Sorry Hold. I know that is painful. You are a great man for remaining loyal to her and focusing on the good when you can.

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #414633
10/11/16 07:20 PM
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Hold,

I read your posts and feel your suffering. The uncomfortable position our choices in marriage have put us in. Some of it was our contribution but if we have made our personal improvements to the best of our abilities, enough so that we are comfortable with who we are and still we are made to settle for less or don't feel wanted, then life doesn't have that 'happily ever after' affect.

In fact most R or M's don't have the 'happily ever after' affect, that's fantasy for the most part. Y? Because we are not perfect.

Still the current condition of your M is more than not being perfect. There are some strong feelings translating into actions or non-actions of which both you and your W have accepted. Not wanted maybe but accepted.

I can relate. Sad to say, my H (former WS) has made choices that have hurt and saddened our M as well. He knows it and chooses to continue as such. He periodically does do nice things but that is not what he is known for. Y? Because he is known for not caring vs caring. In his case he displays characteristics of narcissism even if on a mild basis.

Ever watch the movie Blended with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore? I saw only the 2nd half last night but the scene where her XH comes to babysit the kids and Adam Sandler shows up and the XH pretends he and Drew's character are reconciling, then skipping out on their son's baseball game is a prime example of how a narcissistic person can show up in our lives.

Your R with your W maybe for different reasons. That plus the article I posted in the Thunderdome forum about identifying a narcissist was quite revealing to me. It sort of put a clearer definition to what I have been experiencing and witnessing for years. frown

I'm glad you are able to post your feelings. It has been helpful to me.

Thanks,
Orchid

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: SmilingWife] #415031
10/19/16 06:35 PM
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Has Mrs. HOI ever done anything to cause you not to trust her with her friends?

See, having healthy lives means being able to do some things independently. I'm really not seeing the issue with her going, honestly, so I'm wondering from where your distrust stems? Did she do something that destroyed trust in this arena...or is it more of your insecurity?


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Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: AntigoneRisen] #415036
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No use beating a dead horse. She is going. I warned her to be on the lookout for vultures circling. As you say, she is a grown woman and knows how to deflect male attention if she wants to deflect it. Now that her radar is turned on she won't be caught unawares.

Anyway, I don't think she has ever been as happy to be married to me as she is now. She never displayed this level of pleasure with our relationship when dating or during honeymoon. when she talks about going away, she keeps saying that she wishes I could go with her.

As I said before, I am not worried about her wanting someone else. I am worried about her newly divorced friend wanting some male attention and Mrs. Hold being too nice to be a wet blanket toward the person who is paying for her cruise. And as we all know, once you involve alcohol and being alone with a man, it ceases to be solely a question of the woman's autonomy.

Has she recently gone out with a group of female friends and gotten drunk and silly? Yes. But with a group. Less chance of being pulled away from a group. Here it is just Mrs. Hold and the divorcee. If the divorcee decides to take a man back to her cabin, now Mrs. Hold is alone and drunk on a cruise ship. At that point, it is not her I distrust.

I am not drawing any fixed boundaries here. There are no limits on what we have agreed she can do. She is a big girl and she can decide for herself. I have just told her that if she chooses foolishly, don't confess to me. And if she confesses to me, I am not giving her the easy way out. I will stay with her and hold it over her head for the rest of her life.

Yes, I know, not a very pro-relationship way of communicating. Yes, allows some of my underlying hostility to leak out. "Leak" is being generous to me. I don't care. Which part of "I have no intention of doing any further work to resolve my conflicted feelings toward her" have I not been crystal clear about? She knows I have underlying hostility. She knows where the door is.

I know how much she loves to travel. I know we wouldn't be able to afford this for a couple of decades, if ever. I am glad she has this opportunity to indulge her lust for travel and adventure. But I know once the dopamine kicks in, people's boundaries tend to loosen. So I warned her to be on the lookout for that.

Otherwise I hope she has a great time. She will come home happy and excited. She will thank me for not objecting to her going. She will be even more thrilled to be married to a wonderful guy like me. Hey, I have to give her some reason to stay despite my underlying hostility. I am a fool, but I am an exceedingly aware and calculating fool.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #415040
10/19/16 07:19 PM
10/19/16 07:19 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,392
T
TC_Manhattan Offline
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TC_Manhattan  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2011
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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I am a fool, but I am an exceedingly aware and calculating fool.


Yes, you are! thumbsup angelhorns

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: TC_Manhattan] #415042
10/19/16 07:23 PM
10/19/16 07:23 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 6,982
holdingontoit Offline OP
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holdingontoit  Offline OP
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Posts: 6,982
On a more purely uplifting note, Mrs. H had a lung scan that showed no new nodules and no growth of the nodules she had last time. So it looks like the cancer did not spread to her lungs. And they said you can see a clear line where the radiation affected her tissue, so it apparently "worked" to blast the most rapidly dividing cells in her armpit. Good news.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
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