What kind of contact is appropriate for a husband and an old 'friend' he has inappropriate interactions with i

So dh has a friend Rob who lives in another town. dh lived with Rob and his wife Rose for a while when they were engaged. I knew early on in our relationship that dh and Rose had some sort of inappropriate interaction during that time. My impression was that dh had made a pass at her which she refused. I did know that dh occasionally sent Rose text messages and emails, etc. but didn't think much of it. I assumed the incident was a one time, impulsive mistake and dh is remorseful, etc.

About a year ago, I found out that the “incident” was an entire weekend of some sort of inappropriate interactions between them that did not include sex. IDK what the details are. At that point, I felt less comfortable with the whole thing, but not overly concerned, since it was 20 years ago. THEN I found out that while he was engaged to his ex-wife, soon before their wedding, Rose had arranged for dh to “hook up” with one of her friends when he went to visit them for one last 'fling'. It fell through, but he had every intention of doing it. This alarms me, as it means that he & Rose had to have had some highly inappropriate conversations while he was married to exwife in order for this to even have been discussed. So that is two times *that I know of* that they have crossed boundaries while one or both is in a committed relationship.

Sometime after this, he texts her that he has a “great gift coming” “It's a surprise,” etc. When I confront him, he says it's just a cheap ($5) magazine and that he was sending it for the family, for Rob really. Then send the text to ROB! I felt this was BS. He also at this time promises her an album at cost. *I* design (at that time) the albums- it takes a couple of days. So he promised out MY labor without asking me.
At this point I explain to him that the whole thing has me extremely uncomfortable, we talk a lot about boundaries, etc and how it is clear boundaries that keep marriages safe, not good intentions. He says he is never going to talk to her again. I wasn't going to ask him to do that, but since he said it, I felt safe & comfortable.

Then new year's eve we are having a nice dinner alone in the midst of a trip with his daughter to see his family. This is our only evening alone together, and he brings the whole thing up. He says that he never told his friend we had been visiting about what happened with Rose. Why? Because he would lose respect for dh. So why am *I* not supposed to lose respect for you and trust you? But… it's not really an issue since you said you won't talk to her any more. He says, “I never said that. And If I said that I didn't mean it and was just trying to shut you up.” I respond, ”Well if that is the case we have two problems, 1. you lied to me to shut me up instead of finding a compromise we are both comfortable with and 2. I am not comfortable with you two talking. BUT let's enjoy our dinner and talk about it another time.

Well… before we even were able to talk about it, before we even got home from our trip, he sent her some more texts- happy New Year's, did you get your surprise. I was pissed. But we talked and I said that I was okay with them communicating IF he kept it open, he would tell me if there is contact and I am able to read all texts and emails and he would only have phone conversations with me in the room. If everything they say is truly platonic, there should not be a problem with this. I want to protect our marriage, but at the same time, be fair to him in not wanting to ‘throw away a 20 year friendship' and not wanting him to sneak around with it. He agrees.

And then a few weeks later he sends her some texts and deletes them. We had a big argument about it. He agrees again to the previous arrangement.

And then recently (months later) she sent him an email. He tells me about the email a week later. I ask did you respond to her at all? To the email, talk, etc? No. Nope. Not at all. He said he figured she could wait until he talked to me. I reminded him of our agreement. That she pays for ALL costs, including the design fee (I am not designing it); that all communication about it go through the designer just as if it were a bride; that any communication with her be open to me and that he tell me about any communication and that he not have phone conversations with her without my presence. He said Yep I remember and agree. And then he was saying he doesn't even want a friendship and just talks to her to stay connected to Rob, which I called BS on because he doesn't communicate with his OTHER close friend's wives. And he said okay I want the friendship with her but am willing to limit it for your comfort. So I asked has he been honest? He says well, I did get a text from her about whether I got the email and just said I've been busy and will get back to her in a few days. So I asked if I could read them and he said no - he deleted them. There were 17 deleted messages. I just didn't want to upset you.

But he knows from the last time that innocent texts about the album would NOT have upset me- LYING to me and hiding conversations from me DID. Breaking our agreement AGAIN. DID. And that as we said before, deleting the texts makes him look like he is trying to hide something. That he can't lie to my face and then expect me to believe him when he is “telling the truth”.

I asked would Rob be okay with what he's asking ME to be okay with? If Rob knew what I knew and found out Rose had deleted texts from you would he say Okay no problem I trust you? Would dh think he was being unreasonable? No. Why is that different? He said because they cheated on rob not me. So he admits whatever it was, it was serious enough to call cheating.

So. While she was engaged to Rob, their ‘friendship' developed into something inappropriate; while he was engaged to exwife and Rose was married to Rob, their ‘friendship' developed into something inappropriate; but I am supposed to believe that now they can maintain an appropriate ‘friendship'.

My questions:
What level of contact is appropriate for dh and Rose?

Especially considering he has now deleted messages and lied to me about contact a few times now?

Am I being oversensitive and jealous?

Is there any way for us to rebuild trust in this relationship?

(FYI- we JUST last week started couples counseling- this will be brought up in our next session)
By IonMoon 11 years ago :: Marriage
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