Tryin- I say that after infidelity, especially after a LTA all the rules of a marriage change. And the WS no longer controls how things go. They had their chance and they made horrible choices so now...we the BS call the shots and need to tell them what we need.
If the WS wants the marriage then it's on our terms now.
In my case-there is zero tolerance for drinking, NC with OW (obviously), NC with all old drinking buddies/toxic friends, no Facebook (for him), no secret passwords, cell phone is open to me etc.
And in how we interract as a couple- I need a lot of his quality time , we need to do things together, I need a lot of touch, etc,etc.
If regular sex and her initiating at times is one of your needs then you have to articulate that to her.
She may not realize that this could be a dealbreaker for you...even years after d-day.
And, I think that going back to counseling is never a bad idea.
Retrouvaille was helpful for you in the beginning but now maybe you need to find someone-a marriage counselor -that specializes in sex therapy? is knowledgeable in that area?
especially as it relates to infidelity in a marriage.
What is that saying? When there are no issues regarding sex in a marriage then you think about it 10% of the time....but when there is no sex then you think about it 100% of the time?
Speaking of counseling..I've been thinking of going back into therapy (again.....).
This time I am looking for someone new that specializes in trauma, PTSD, and maybe knows how to do EMDR.
Most of the time I feel like I am in a good recovery from this trauma- I still do have my triggers...and I was hoping that dealing with the traumatic part of the infidelity-the triggers and what they do to me- would be the last step in my recovery.
Laura- Sending you long distance hugs.
Sorry that you are having such a rough time.
Your husband's behaviors and the serial nature of his affairs and OW definitely make me think that there is a SA element to it all.
Hang in there....
You are on that endless roller coaster ride of emotions.
My FWH also had unprotected sex with this MOW/serial cheater....
I am lucky that I did not catch some kind of STD from her due to her many and varied sexcapades.
My FWH never even thought that was a possibility.
Both he and I go to the same Family Practice-he goes to the husband and I go the wife.
A week or so after d-day I demanded that he go for testing as did I.
I cried when I told my doctor about the reason for the testing-she cried right along with me right there in the examining room.
My FWH went to the other doctor-her husband- and told him the story.
I can only imagine the dinner table discussion in their house that week!
And... WYE... if he did not want the marriage, he would leave-there are many stories on SI of WS doing exactly that.
He chose to stay and fight for his marriage, admit to his betrayals, face all the horrible details of what he did.
[This message edited by njgal480 at 10:34 AM, January 21st (Saturday)]
From last April through last fall I had given up hope for my M because of the lack of touch, time together. Since T-giving it has been changing. We do not have sex regular, but I have had more (all initiated by FWW) in the last 3 months than the last 4 years. She is getting testosterone injections which she says make a big difference for her. She has told me there were times she was aroused, but embarrassed to say anything so she took care of herself without me. She even did this times I was sleeping in another room because I was angry about her rejection. She says she has decided to make a point of turning to me for "help" when she is feeling aroused now.
I think she still has some issues to work through about her sexuality. She likes to watch some porn, but only girl on girl. She is still embarrassed to initiate sex unless she has had some drinks (yet she could meet with OM in the middle of the day sober and have great O’s).
Especially since the job fell through, I am here for a while longer, and it has been fun for most of the last few months, so I guess I will enjoy the good parts.
There is a risk in telling a spouse that sex is so important that you would end the M over it. The risk of course is that the sex may not get better. There is also a risk that if your spouse has issues of being defined by or valued for her sexuality, then this may feed into resentment. I have worried about this with FWW. Her value to the OM was sex pure and simple. She used her beauty and sensuality to flirt with men to make them like her and feel control. She is now trying to find her value as a person, not as a sex object, and yet here I am having always valued her as a person and pushing for sex.
[This message edited by atsenaotie at 11:33 AM, January 21st (Saturday)]
Nell can set me straight!
Mr. STBXNell wants/wanted sex more often than I do/did. Like Laura, his time with me was 10 minutes, max. It takes me a bit longer than that to start to get in the mood. And there was no play during the day, etc. It was me working my ass off, no real conversation, no flirting, then being tapped and left to fend for myself. What part of that was I supposed to be panting after and begging him for, I asked myself.
That's the background.
So during his A, we had all these discussions where my faults were layed out. He needed me to initiate more. And it had to be "spontaneous." Not scheduled! Not planned in advance! I was to be panting for his sexy sexy bod when he walked into the room. I was not sexy enough, either, so I changed up my PJ choices. After much discussion, I decided that any compromise wherein I got any of *my* needs met before he got all of his was a dead end and got myself on a schedule (a complicated one, so that he wouldn't see the un-spontaneous-ness of the whole thing) where I worked at getting myself in the mood twice a week and initiated. He turned me down at least half the time (as he was just using the no-sex thing as an excuse to justify banging the COW) but I kept at it for many, many months. Not because I wanted his sexy sexy bod and zero foreplay followed by 10 minutes of feeling like a hole... but because he told me that my initiating sex was important to him, and I decided to honor that.
It's a choice, is what I'm saying. It is a choice she is making if you have explained that this is important to you, and if she understands that this is important to you. There's always the chance that she doesn't understand, but she seems like a smart enough cookie that she could figure it out. Maybe, like me, she has to work it out in her head... get past society's "women don't like sex as much as men" and "men are pigs, only out for one thing" and all those other crap messages before she can get to a place where it simply becomes a loving thing you do for the person you love to show them love in the way they need to be shown. It really is that simple IMO. The overlying social issues are tough to get over, though, I must admit.
Meanwhile, we were going to tell the Boyos about the D this weekend, but it's a crazy full weekend, so we're going to do it next weekend instead and have a quiet weekend at home after we have the talk. I am not looking forward to it, but we're ready for it.
And I am looking at smaller places that I can afford. Mr. STBXNell may keep this house for at least some amount of time. I don't want it. It's too big and too expensive and there's too much maintenance. But we both agree that the Boyos need stability, at least for a while, and Mr. STBXNell could afford this place on his own.
Keep me in your thoughts. This is the hard part.
I'm sorry about your job. These people who are telling you that the problem is your employer... have you asked them out for coffee or lunch to pick their brains about how you could mitigate that damage? It couldn't hurt, and it might help. I'm glad you're having some good times with FWW right now.
Yes, I am going to have to continue making sure she knows what I need is some kind of positive way because I think she does want to make a good M of it. We'll see.
Good luck telling the kids Nell. I know that is hard.
I will be thinking of you when you tell the kids. I know how hard it is. You seem to be at peace with your decision though and you will feel so much stronger about taking things to the next step and reclaiming your life, once you have told them. It is devastating to think that millions of children have to hear these words every day but they will understand more than you realise.
About the sex thing in general (warning maybe be TMI) but here's my Reader's Digest version, I'll try to be brief:
I believe my stbxh used sex to feel validated and it was sooooooo important to him that other people saw him as being attractive other than me. He would often say to me "What did you see in me? You've been out with some attractive men, why did you choose me?" I would then launch into all the reasons i.e. because I fell in love with you, because you made me laugh more than anyone else ever had, because I knew you'd be the best father, I thought you were clever, I thought you were bright and had a great zest for life etc etc. It was only when I got to "I thought you were soooooo cute and gorgeous and the sex between us was great" that I would see his body language visibly shift and I could hear him thinking "OK, NOW we're getting to the point!"
Funnily enough I never felt the need to keep asking him why he chose me. Not that I am the catch of the century, it is just that the fact that we fell in love was enough for me.
We DID have great sex, just like everyone else in the first throws of a relationship. Several times a day, on every piece of furniture in the house including the ironing board (don't try it unless you know the safety catch is on ) and in every outside location we could think of without risking arrest, although sometimes even that didn't bother us. Of course, things change. Certain events take place in life and you have to adjust to the fact that you have now moved into a different phase of your relationship. I am not saying that you should expect to do without sex, I am just saying that it is not realistic to expect that heady feeling to last forever, that other things take over, like paying the bills, buying houses, having kids, parenting those kids, dealing with deaths in the family. Day to day life can just become all consuming but it is just that...LIFE....and if you are not careful, you stop paying attention not only to the needs of your partner but to your needs as well and you get.....LOST in it all.
My stbxh has always been a very sexual person and so was I. I believe it changed for me due to several things that had a huge impact on me both emotionally and physically. Firstly, I suffered several miscarriages early on in our marriage, including the stillbirth of twins late into one pregnancy and had to deliver them which was a horrific experience and I was very ill for some time afterwards. I think things basically went downhill from there sexually. I felt like my body had become a tomb and I just didn't get the right help I needed at the time. My H went through it all with me of course and was very supportive at the time. Of course it wouldn't have been easy for him either.
We moved countries and States several times and finally settled back in my H's hometown. We had the usual financial difficulties that most people have in the early years of marriage, we always worked together as a team to get through things, we were "best friends" in many ways, or so I thought. During all this I noticed a marked increase in my H's flirtatious behaviour which didn't help matters. In later years it became particular apparent once I started working for the same organisation, in the same building as him and could see him operate on a daily basis, always taking other women to lunch, flirting etc. All innocent of course in my H's opinion at least. We had many confrontations about it but the behaviour never changed. I can't think when it happened exactly but I now realise that I just "switched off" from him sexually at some point. I realised that all through our marriage he made me feel that I was not the only one and that having a family, wife, kids and a stable home would never be enough for him. He was very immature in some ways, I always knew this but thought he would grow out of it as he aged. He didn't. Our sex life became crap. I can't deny it. We tried to get help but we just didn't try hard enough obviously. That is my biggest regret. Would things have been different if I'd greeted him at the door each evening and led him to the bedroom? Probably. It would certainly have made him feel better and me as well in the long run. Would it have stopped him screwing the neighbour right under my nose, screwing another woman as well and trying to organise a threesome between them all and employ her in his business? I have my doubts on that one. That is a different issue altogether and one which I believe is nothing to do with lack of sex, it is more about the need to "control".
Sorry, I haven't been brief at all have I? Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that sex is incredibly important, being validated is incredibly important also for everyone involved. Most of all though, I believe the sexiest thing you can do for someone is to make them feel that not only are they loved and desired, they are respected as well. I am only talking about my sitch but I believe the lack of respect for my feelings most definitely changed the way I related to stbxh sexually.
Not enough sex or no sex is a dealbreaker most certainly. The underlying reasons though can be be complex, hormonal, environmental, emotional, physical you name it. IMHO I believe the biggest killer of a marriage is not so much the lack of sex, it is the lack of communicating about why. This is the biggest mistake my stbxh and I made. If we had sorted this all out years ago, I mean REALLY got down to the nitty gritty of why this was happening then one of two things would have happened (1) I would now be lying across the ironing board again or (2) We would have been divorced years ago and we would both be in a much better place today.
On another note:
Just need some hugs this week as I am going through some big stuff involving stbxh at the end of this month. I may become slightly unhinged so just bear with me.
Hugs to everyone and thanks for listening.
Great post Elle....so insightful. Hope things go OK with STBXH.
Nell-Hope the talk with the kids goes OK too.
Thanks for the hugs, I'm sure I'll be back for more!
XOXO - Nell
“used sex to feel validated” – I think this is me today. It never was. It never used to me. I didn’t need that from my W before dday. This is something that has changed inside me. I think it has to do with being tricked. My innocence taken away, my own insecurities. Maybe this is why I need my W to initiate sex with me. As for people like me today, something in our lives happens when we become this type man. As I think about it, it really is love of touch.
“why She chose me” – I was never and still not the kind of man who needs to know why she picked me. I know why she M me and I still know why she’s with me. I never had that problem. She could have left me and went with her OM with many of the same “whys”. The why’s in my relationship are all non-sexual type things. It’s money, its security, it’s kindness.. I look at her needing someone who needs the love of service and gifts. I throw in love of affirmations too..
“it is not realistic to expect that heady feeling to last forever” – No, I never expected this to last in our M. So, I accepted being told NO for 8 years while she enjoyed the fruits of another. I lived it. The romantic times we did have together during her A was not fake either. I can think of a few very romantic passionate times during her A. This is the selfishness of the A. With every romantic time with her OM, I had one less with her. She should have accepted like I accepted. She should have made that effort with me, not the OM. What was taken from me is gone forever. I say all this as a fact, slight bitterness still is in myself over this. But today, I know, experienced it, life is not fair. People are not always loving or loyal. I’m still working through this my mind.
“always taking other women to lunch, flirting etc” – this was never me. This is the reason I never cheated. I always had flirt inside me, but never did it in any big way. I never had much opportunity either. It’s still not me today. I stay far away from this. I am sure this is the reason my W started her A. Both of her A’s. Attention, attraction, to the inevitably overpowering lust feelings and a “yes”. She gave herself permission to enjoy those feelings hoping I would never discover and not ruin the love we had. As for me, I strongly believe I had discipline. IMO, You have a relationship with a flirter, the will cheat. Cheaters have not learned how to be discipline. Every man I have known that is a flirter is a cheater. I would also say that most men brag about it too.
An acquaintance just told me the other night he has cheated on his W his whole M. W has caught him too. He has something on the side right now. I just said to him, I bet your wife sure was in a whole lotta pain when she found out. He said, she didn’t like sex and he does not recommend anyone have an A. What the hell??? I shook my head. I always knew he was a liar before he told me. Nell, ellejay and allgood, keep a look out for the flirter moving forward!
“IMHO I believe the biggest killer of a marriage is not so much the lack of sex, it is the lack of communicating about why.” – I think you are correct. This is very much what make a M successful IMO. I will say, It only takes one to be a liar for it to fail too. Why is it so hard to say things like
“I am attracted to another woman at work (neighbor, baby sitter)”
“I am having lunch with another woman at work and we are talking sex”
“I having an emotional conversations with someone at work”
Can you imagine that communication?
“I need to be shown sexually by initiation, if you won’t do it, then I need to find a new relationship” Wow!! How powerful is that? And How fair is that?
Fairness is then COMMUNICATED. Your spouse can now make the change, or not change.
But people’s fears are in the way of really communicating. People lie to protect the other parts of the relationship they desire and want. This is why I really promote The Retrouvaille Program.
Too me, once communicated, it also takes good compromise. Yes, I will initiate and make it a point to do this once a month. Then, you F’ing do it. Discipline. See, I have had a few conversations bout this with my W. It’s always yes I will do it then maybe once a few days after, then its about how she feels.. She’ll say I feel “dead sexually inside” “its menopause” “I do feel good once we start” “it’s the hormones imbalance” What I cannot say today is that my W is NOT trying. Ats.. I have backed way off my initiations too per your strategy and one of the fine ladies recommending giving her time to feel it. I think we can move to a better place, but we have some feelings to work out. I think we are going to get to a good place in time.
Ellejay, It sounds like the finality of you M is soon. I know you will feel better soon if you put yourself out their to love another. Happier times for you are ahead.
[This message edited by trynhard at 10:48 AM, January 23rd (Monday)]
And tryn -- what ARRGH ya doin'? Is this what Retrouvaille would tell you to do? The gps/var or whatever it is is stupid. Your job -- for yourself and your marriage -- at this point is NOT to whip yourself up into a frenzy for no reason but to move forward in ways that are constructive. I feel like you think if you or she can *just* do this *one* more thing (insert today's random idea of what will be "enough" here) THEN you will fully trust her again. Well, I have news for you my friend, you are NOT going to fully trust her again. Nor should you. She's proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is capable of betraying you. Period. You can't un-betray someone. It's like Satan looking towards the Heavens and saying "Sike! I had my fingers crossed..."
How you deal with that is up to you, but I submit that working yourself up like this is (a) a waste of time and (b) seriously reduces your quality of life.
And finally, I don't know how you're going to deal -- but I personally decided that I had ZERO interest in having my husband followed or whatever and that if I ever feel like that is needed again I'm just going to file for a separation and skip that step.
So, ATS -- might I suggest a lateral move? And perhaps a sex therapist for your wife?
I've been MIA, for sure. Moving sucks and then Sunshine got sick and won himself a trip to the ER with a whole lot of the follow ups involved. It's been busy.
Anyway, hang in there, especially the newer members. It does get better, I swear.
I think it has to do with being tricked.
To me this is a huge reason. Take away the cellphone records, and the best indication that FWW was having an A was that we were not having sex. I believed her that she did not feel like sex, that it was uncomfortable, etc. Fact is, while she and I had sex less than once a month, she was having sex with OM 1-2x a month.
She’ll say I feel “dead sexually inside” “its menopause” “I do feel good once we start” “it’s the hormones imbalance”
word for word, I got this from FWW. Add in, her telling me that it is normal for people our age to have infrequent sex.
Things can change, FWW like to wore me out this last week. Not just willing, but initiating, and all of the physiological signs were there that she was enjoying herself too, not just acting. Now if we can just find some balance between feast and famine.
We also had another good discussion Saturday. It started when she answered something about how she would never do a thing I had asked about, that I knew that it would not be like her. I told her there was a lot that 3 years ago I would never have believed she would do. That meeting OM during the day for sex I would have laughed if someone told me she did that, I would never believe she would go visit a friend for a weekend and spend the night with OM in a hotel. We talked about trust still taking time.
[This message edited by atsenaotie at 2:05 PM, January 23rd (Monday)]
If loving organization is wrong, I don't want to be right.
Anyhow...in WYE land....
Things with fWH are good. We went out to a really nice dinner this weekend, had lots of great, ahem, bonding time too. Something came up at dinner (can't honestly even remember what)...but I made a conscious effort not to say anything and mess the night up. I was pretty proud of myself for doing that. Sometimes I feel like I'm sabotaging things when they are going well....not that it's my fault I am paranoid now, but still.
Unfortunately, I'm sure most of you know how that feels.
But things with him are good for now.
My mother is another story. She's gone completely off the deep end. Had to tell the school to make sure she isn't allowed in the building today. Ugh.
Ironing board! I have checked my ironing board over to see if there are any warnings or load limit stickers on it. There are no tags saying that sex is not recommended or that the board is only rated for X amount of pounds. I can't wait til Mrs Dip gets the board out to iron something. I may ask her to iron me a shirt tonite.
I'm going out to buy an industrial strength ironing board....