Some time after DDay, OH sent this article to me. He said he thought it was very good in that it set out the sort of boundaries he should have had in place when it came to female work colleagues. (Surprise, surprise! His OW was a work colleague). He said he wanted to adopt those strict boundaries in the future. I was pleased as this was a positive practice he, himself, wanted to do to help with our healing.
Since then, as far as I CAN know, he has mostly stuck to this. There was one incident when he was walking back to his office from a nearby meeting and was desperate for the toilet, when he accepted a lift from a passing female colleague. He told me about it straight away and was really anxious about my reaction. I said I wasn’t exactly happy about it, but understood in this one instance, due to the toilet thing. He promised it would never happen again.
Yesterday he texted me to tell me he was off to a meeting and would be walking as it was only 10 minutes walk away. (Since DDay we have kept each other updated via text with what we are doing throughout the day. OH never did before then, mainly because often he was sneaking off from work on the pretext of a meeting when in fact he was meeting the OW).
Fifteen minutes later he texted me to say a (female) colleague was also attending the meeting. This is quite usual so I wasn’t surprised. It was my assumption that, because of his self-imposed boundaries that were in place, they would be going separately.
Later last night we were out having food and a pint in our local pub. He was telling me about his day and mentioned going to this meeting. He started to tell me what they had talked about ON THE WAY. I just froze mid-mouthful. He asked me what was wrong. I clarified that I had heard correctly. That he had walked to the meeting with this female colleague alone? He confirmed it and said he had walked to meetings with another female colleague before and I had been OK with it. I said I had NOT been OK with it as I had never heard him tell me that before. My understanding had always been that he met colleagues at meetings but travelled separately. He said yes, by car, but not necessarily when on foot. This was not MY understanding. I thought he had said NEVER, not with qualifications.
I got really upset, started to cry and had to leave the pub. He apologised on the way home. I don’t think he realises just how big a deal this is for me. If I have misunderstood this, what else have I also mistakenly believed?
These are HIS boundaries. I have no control over them. If they start to become “fluid” or blurred where does that leave me? I have only just started letting go of my anxiety about what he gets up to when at work, (given his 8½ year affair was happening there and I had no idea), and this incident (stupid and inconsequential as it may seem) has knocked my ability to have confidence in his boundaries for six.
Am I being totally stupid and overreacting out of all proportion? I am not saying I think anything untoward is happening with this colleague, it is more the principle of it.