07: Boundaries

screenshot_20181106-131822.png“Imperfection is not our personal problem – it is a natural part of existing.”

Tara Brach
Radical Acceptance:
Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha

I keep stepping on ©’s boundaries. Sometimes I step over them, and a few times I work the loophole.

It’s manipulative as fuck.

It’s been in a blind spot and now that I see it I am responsible to change it.

As such, I had a fairly lengthy conversation last night with my doctor about how many times over the last 12 months I tried to get © to hear me, see me, and love me.

The most recent example was using her BFF to try, one more time, to get a message to ©. It wasn’t where it started, but it is where it ended. By the time I realized what happened I had already hit the send button.

It was already done.

There is, of course, like everything else, nuance to the situation.

I’m trying to get © out of my life by removing myself from any business overlap, getting her off of my truck registration, and getting her signature on a legal document.

Those are all reasonable, adulting actions.

She won’t do any of the work, of course. She never has.

I need to be done, and that means that I need to make sure that I’m done with everything.

In the recent past, I’ve been forced to communicate needs by letting her know through her BFF. For example, I asked for her BFF’s help regarding issues of ©’s Square updating me on sales, when I was receiving updates on her kids Xbox Live activities, or still getting copies of her electric bill. Those are things that if we were adulting would be simple. But nothing about betrayal is simple

Contacting her BFF were my attempts not to step on her boundaries and not contact her directly (because that’s the boundary) but these are also things that after seven years needed to be addressed.

As such, I asked her BFF for help, and although no one ever responded directly, things changed.

It was a loophole.

I’d like the things I brought to the relationship returned and I’d like to have a conversation about the things we bought together that have meaning for me.

Those are not unreasonable conversations…except they are. But as my Doctor reminds, © has her own issues with entitlement too. We are all children about something.

What is unreasonable, is I sometimes get so caught up in the emotional hangover from this experience, I end up trying too hard. And when I try to hard I step on, and over, the boundaries.

I feel entitled to be heard.

I hate to fucking admitting that.

For example, I do believe, despite no evidence, that my betrayal and the way it was revealed created and reanimated immense trauma for C. And as such over the last 12 months I have on three separate occasions sent her books and literature about dealing with trauma.

She didn’t ask for them and I sent them anyway.

I sent her a couple of books for her birthday about a place we both love, and imagined moving to later in our life together.

I could see how that is perceived as manipulative. I can also see how it was an act of vulnerability and passion.

I’ve done a few other things, that I told her I wouldn’t discuss with anyone else except my Doctor. But it is enough to know that I did them despite the fact I know she doesn’t want anything from me even as she accepted them.

Over the weekend what started out as something simple, escalated. It escalated because all too often I’m desperate to be heard by someone that will never hear me. And so I placed her BFF in the middle of a conversation that was none of their business. I emotionally dumped on Her BFF and asked her to carry my emotional water to ©.

In the process, I called out something shitty and unnecessary © did, further embarrassing her. I was angry and hurt and I hurt her back.
I don’t do it often but when I do it’s usually a tsunami.

By the time I figure out I had created a drama triangle, the damage was already done. Nothing dramatic, no threats, demands, or ultimatums, just my heart pouring out one more time to someone else hoping they would pass it on to ©.

I realized too late how manipulative that is.

The boundary issue is complicated further because I’m still sorting through both my own boundaries and hers. So although I’m working to respectfully finish unfinished business, I can see why or how © might see it differently than I do.

More than one thing can be true at a time.

I can’t do anything about how she sees things. As my doctor and I discussed tonight, I’m not responsible for © or how she perceives things. All I can do is make my mistakes, learn from them, and move forward to make new mistakes.

As such. I’m left to struggle once more with the silence. © wants nothing to do with me but I can’t get her off my truck title without talking to her. I cannot remove my name from her LinkedIn business account without her help. I cannot get back things that are mine without a confrontation.

As a result no matter what I do someone else is going to perceive it as malicious or stepping on her boundaries or simply being a prick.

Sometimes I am. Mostly I am not.

Meanwhile I simply want to be able to love her and let her go. But my romantic heart, all too often, gets in the way…and my desire to be seen and heard conspires with my wordiness to write well articulated, heartfelt thousand word essays about my passion. Which is fine in an anonymous online jounral but a problem when I send it to her BFF and ask her to send it to ©.

So where is the boundary? How do I do the principal thing and respect her boundaries?

My doctor and I agree, going dancing was not the problem. I have as much right to go anywhere I wish, as long as I simply ignore her.

But hurt people hurt people. And even though I try not to hurt her back when she lashes out at me, sometimes I fail. And other times I lash out at her simply because I hurt, and of course, she strikes back.

I fucking hate the dynamic.

And yet here I am too often fueling it because I still dream of belonging to her. It is a stupid dream.

I learned something about a blind spot over the weekend that I didn’t know existed: I’m desperate to be heard, I’m desperate to belong.

In that desperation, I step right over her boundaries.

That’s why my doctor said to me tonight, “Sean desperate people do desperate things. Your letter to ©’s BFF was a desperate plea to be heard. What happened in your life that you need so desperately to be heard by someone that isn’t capable of hearing you? That’s where we are going next.


3 thoughts on “07: Boundaries

  1. My BFF and I were both going through getting discarded by our then A-hole narcs at the time, and we’d spend hours on the phone line crying to each other wondering why he (one or the other) kept giving us the silent treatment post-discard. We just wanted closure. At one point one of us would do something dumb and take a call or text from them or and end up wondering why they kept acting like A-holes.

    While driving down the Interstate my BFF came upon a Billboard which read,”Stop asking why someone keeps hurting you and start asking why you keep allowing it.” She shared this profound insight with me.

    I am not suggesting C is an A-hole or anything of the sort . What I am suggesting is that she decided that she doesn’t want you in her life and the above axiom could be just as true for you.

    The relationship may stay like this as long as you are able to tolerate being in limbo, til she decides to come out of no contact, or until you decide that it is truly over.

    My questions to you: what is the motivation behind protecting her strict boundary of no contact? (Not suggesting or advocating you violate hers or others’ boundaries) Is it noble and altruistic or is this, in case there is a remote possibility she may return to you one day? Has she given you any indication that this possibility exists? Is this then, a realistic hope? Does holding out this hope delay your grieving process?

    The reasons I ask these questions were because I went through this hope, I abided by his no contact and I had never even betrayed him, I was the victim of his philandering. He had been the cheater. My hope of respecting his no contact had rested in my then love, returning to me if I had granted him his space.

    I truly feel for your position and send lots of love your way. ❤️

  2. Spouse of a Sex Addict – I started writing this blog 1 year post DDay #1, and 8 months post DDay #2. It's been a difficult up and down journey, but writing has allowed me to make the most progress with healing and allowing myself to still love him.
    Spouse of a Sex Addict says:

    You’re human Sean, and you’re also hurting. I completely understand what you’re doing (right, wrong, manipulative or not) and I respect that you’ve acknowledged and admitted your motivations behind the contact and your actions. We all want to be accepted, loved and forgiven. What happens when you’re not is where you’re at, and despite C’s actions to have no contact are valid given what happened, you don’t have closure. You need to close this chapter without it.

    Keep going and digging DEEP. We can learn from you xo

    1. Wanders – #Infidelity is an outcome of an unskillful coping mechanism, everything else is a story someone imagines. Sharing thoughts and letters with those the men and women that #betrayed their Loves, lives, and selves too. What you do today matters most. All anyone can do is own the experience and practice doing better.
      A Reformed Cad says:

      Have another two hour appointment tonight about this…

      And if course, despite everything © chooses to escalate. She doesn’t want me in her life but when she has to do something to make sure it is finished (liked me being the Administrator on her Biz LinkedIn Account) she goes silent and wants me to carrying the damn water…but when I need something she writes “return to sender on the envelope.”

      I understand SSA she hurts…my doctor keeps telling me over and over not to take it personally and that it is a reflection of how she learned to deal with the very hard things….but it is hard not to take it personally.

      I understand but I hate it.