She needs to meet you halfway too though.
As I mentioned previously, she feels like she has done and is doing everything she can to work on herself and, thereby, the marriage.
Your marriage was not set up on the best foundation IMO, even though for a while things were good.
Why would you draw that conclusion? Keep in mind, the extracurricular activities with friends didn't start until after we had been together for around 10 years.
mainly that she's taking on the more masculine energy in the relationship and that can be hard on any marriage
This is definitely something we talked about a while ago. When she took over as breadwinner (at the same time as she took on starting a family), she felt she had to be more masculine. More masculine than she wanted to be, for sure (she already possessed some masculine qualities). And it was tough for me to be (feel) masculine in the new situation as well.
but especially one in which previous lovers are still in the mix due to your former lifestyle.
How do you think her increased 'masculinity' is affected by 'lovers'? (I think 'lover' is a way overblown way to look at them - more like FWBs, or really, just regular friends whom you get sexual with for fun on very rare occasions)
I don't think there was 'love' that went beyond the kind of love that comes with friendship amongst any of our friends. It's not like the conditions are even there for 'love', which I would say comes from being intimately one-on-one with someone over time and in a variety of settings. Fooling around with someone at a party on a whim doesn't pack quite the same punch.
I'd state that you're no longer willing to live with this guy (and any other ex-lovers) contacting her.
I'm no longer willing to live with her engaging with this guy in sexting.
For example, they have occasionally reached out to each other for professional advice as well (they both share a similar profession). I've seen those texts (this was the first text conversation on her phone that she has ever deleted, as far as I can tell) and they are perfectly within bounds. As are the various texts that come to both of us on special occasions, like our birthdays or something.
And the problem with cutting out friends we have ever been sexual with is that it would dramatically reduce our circle of friends, lol.
Honestly, I have little issue with us remaining friends with those we have been sexual with in the past. I trust them, they trust us, not one of our friends has ever done anything but actively and vocally respect and support all of our respective marriages/partnerships. That has always been abundantly clear for everyone involved.
The problem, for me, is the agreement that I thought she and I had, and that she failed to keep her word on the agreement.
She needs to stop her independent behavior, which you've encouraged in the past.
It's never been a problem in the past. I felt the (new) boundary was clear, and her deleting the texts would indicate that she was at least somewhat aware of the boundary. My issue isn't with her 'independent behavior' (honestly, I think little of the texts our friends send each other), but with her not honoring the boundary.
By "allowed," I mean I see no personal boundary stated otherwise.
While I recognize that I may not have clearly stated, "Sexting violates my boundaries and I don't want you to do it", when we talked about it and she told me she wouldn't do it anymore, I presumed that defined the boundary.
I can tell you with 100% certainty that I know that if my ex-lover texted me for anything at all ever, my husband's boundaries would be violated.
Well, I can totally get that.
Do any of your ex-lovers text your husband for anything? That might be one difference.
this may be totally acceptable in your marriage, and thus, you are less attractive to her (even without her fully realizing that).
I think that my letting her walk over my boundaries would definitely make me less attractive (and I will admit that this has probably happened more than I would like to admit in the past few years, though none of them involved behavior with other people). This particular boundary, though, I did call her onto the carpet for crossing.
That wouldn't fly in ours though.
Wouldn't fly in most people's marriages, for sure. Of course, most people don't have the kinds of friends we have, either (at least, the friends in that particular social circle).