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My WW triggers during sex

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NewToHell posted 5/18/2019 13:10 PM

My WW had a one year long EA/PA that ended two years ago. Dday was 18 months ago when she confessed because she felt guilty. She has gone to therapy for 18 months and has done everything a remorseful spouse could do to fix herself and help me and our marriage heal. I also have gone to therapy for almost 18 months and done a lot of work to heal myself. We have been going to MC on and off for six months but have not found a productive therapist.

The most painful and difficult part of our individual and marital healing process has been our sex life. We did not have sex for 13 months after Dday because I felt sexually rejected, inadequate and worthless. I was also having frequent mind movies and intrusive thoughts of her and AP having sex so I didnt have sex with her for more than a year after Dday.

Once we started having sex again we had serious problems. I would feel like her AP was in the room. I felt inadequate. I could not get or keep an erection. I had no interest in giving her pleasure. I could not orgasm even if I could keep an erection. I would trigger and flood with painful and negative emotions.

To make matters worse my WW would occasionally trigger and flood with negative emotions during sex and have to stop. She says the experience of triggering and flooding for her is similar to mine. She experiences unwanted intrusive feelings and thoughts of having sex with him while she is having sex with me. She even has thoughts or feelings of him in the room or touching her. She says the thoughts are very painful and negative and are not exciting or positive. They make her freeze. They paralyze her during sex. She ends up crying and profusely apologizing to me. She has even become hysterical several times while apologizing. Has anyone else experienced a wayward triggering during sex? I have not seen it discussed on infidelity message boards.

We are a total disaster sexually but are doing very well in every other respect.

I know some people will say that she is lusting after him or having positive sexual thoughts about him while we are having sex but this is not the case. Her level of pain expressed during these episodes make it obvious she is not experiencing pleasure of any kind. If you want to comment saying she is lusting after him or having positive sexual thoughts about him while we are having sex please don't bother posting.

[This message edited by NewToHell at 1:12 PM, May 18th (Saturday)]

Thanksgiving2016 posted 5/18/2019 14:18 PM

I think waywards do trigger during sex. I often wonder if my WS thinks about her during. I donít see how he couldnít. My husband would never and has never discussed with me. In a way I see it as a positive your wife has discussed this with you. Iím sorry youíre experiencing this. We had the hysterical bonding so I think for the most part it helped us past that aspect. I think if youíre both committed you can get past this. I wish you both were he best.

NewToHell posted 5/18/2019 14:30 PM

Thanksgiving, I agree that it is a positive that she discusses her episodes with me. I believe 100 percent that she is not thinking positive sexual thoughts about her AP while we are having sex because she is obviously in pain when they occur.

I do still fear that she has positive memories of their sex life which makes me feel insecure and inadequate but she assures me she has no positive memories of him or their affair. She says the thought of him and their affair makes her sick and disgusted. Hopefully, someday I will get over the feelings of sexual insecurity and inadequacy created by her infidelity. They are getting better but it is taking a while.

onthefence123 posted 5/18/2019 14:31 PM

She says the thoughts are very painful and negative and are not exciting or positive. They make her freeze. They paralyze her during sex. She ends up crying and profusely apologizing to me. She has even become hysterical several times while apologizing.
I know some people will say that she is lusting after him or having positive sexual thoughts about him while we are having sex but this is not the case.
My thought is that she reacts this way because she now realizes that she was just used. It sounds similar to PTSD from sexual assault victims. Problem is, she was not an innocent party.

You don't share much of the story, but if he dumped her on DDay, he demonstrated how little she meant and now she has to live with herself. Best thing for her is IC, which you say she is going to but you can't fix her. She needs some serious help.

If I was to suggest something, it would be to be sure that her problems don't cloud your needs and desires and your triggers. Honestly, she should be rubbing your back and consoling you, not the other way around. She is not a victim. She had free will.

I'm sorry you are going through this...

NewToHell posted 5/18/2019 14:33 PM

onthefence123, Her AP did blow her off after he was caught by his wife.

[This message edited by NewToHell at 2:36 PM, May 18th (Saturday)]

Butforthegrace posted 5/18/2019 15:47 PM

You have almost no posts here and therefore we know virtually nothing about your story. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest something, without knowing whether you've already thought of this and/or tried it.

I understand, by the way, how both the WW and the BH can trigger about sex after a LTA. Sometimes, triggers happen because of imaginations. If that is the case with you, what I'm going to suggest is that the two of you have a series of conversations in which you discuss, in minute and graphic detail, all of the sex she had with the AP. Right down to the texture of the skin on his dick. Everything.

The reasoning is that my guess is that the triggers linger this long in part because your imagination may wonder about their sex together, and it starts running away from you, which causes you trauma, then she becomes aware of how she has caused you trauma, which in turn causes her trauma, etc.

One way to stop those imaginations is to get it all out there. All of the ugly reality. Ask about it over and over and over and over until you totally know every detail. Eventually, you'll become tired and bored with the detail.

survrus posted 5/18/2019 15:49 PM


Got a laugh out of your name!

Are you still living near the OM or have any contact or potential contact with him?

Did your WW take a polygraph or write out a timeline for the affair, STD tests?

Did you confront or widely expose the OM?

I think in this moment your WW is disgusted with the effects of her affair on her life and family.

So when wives say they are ashamed it's often that they are ashamed that they now feel nothing for their husbands.

While in the affair typically the sex is explosively intense and very different than married sex. They often have types of sex they would be embarrassed to have with their husbands.

onthefence123 posted 5/18/2019 15:58 PM

Her AP did blow her off after he was caught by his wife.
Then that really explains a lot. She probably thought it was "true love," AP "really understood her," AP "was going to save her." I understand, that's what my WH's POSOW thought about him, too. She couldn't wait to replace me. OW perplex me how they are so stupid and naive and gullible. I thought grown ass adults knew better.

The thing is, NewToHell, you are not obligated to accept her behavior in bed--or anywhere else for that matter. She's a grown woman that chose to live in an affair fantasy and spend hours in la la land rather than dealing with real life and putting forth the effort to save her marriage BEFORE she annihilated it. Truly, she should not be behaving in a way that makes herself front and center my opinion, that's still extremely selfish behavior, behavior which landed her in the AP's bed to begin with. When does her sulking end? Will it?

My WH has triggers, he has shared them with me during discussions. His have nothing to do with the AP, more so what he faced in the aftermath. He's disgusted with himself. But, he understands that it's not about him anymore. His job is to give me what I need to heal and to demonstrate to me with his actions that he his trustworthy.

Sounds like she still has a LOT of work to do...

NewToHell posted 5/18/2019 17:04 PM

ButForTheGrace, I know every detail of her affair including every sexual detail. She is totally remorseful and she has been polygraphed. Discussing the details including the sexual details did help me.

survrus, you have nothing to support your conclusion that my wife feels nothing toward m nor did she have porno sex with her AP. She had normal sex with her AP. For the first few months it was very exciting then it became normal sex. She never did any sex act with him that she did not do with me. We have had a very extensive sex life since we were dating. It would be nearly impossible to have a type of sex with her AP that she did not have with me.

onthefence, she did think she loved him during the affair but now understands affair dynamics. She understands her affair was fantasy and that her AP was a liar who told her whatever he thought she wanted to hear so he could get laid. I dont think her triggering and flooding are the result of selfishness. I think they are the result of brokenness and pain. I actually have compassion for her when she experiences these episodes because the pain breaks her down.

waitedwaytoolong posted 5/18/2019 19:34 PM

She needs to do a better job in pushing down her own feelings of guilt and pain. You being witness to this only enhances the feeling that her AP is in the bed with you. Whether they are positive or negative, her bringing her feelings of him into your bed is impending your ability to enjoy or even have sex

She hid her true feelings from you for a year, the least she can do is hide them for the other guy for the hour or so you two are having sex.

[This message edited by waitedwaytoolong at 9:05 PM, May 18th (Saturday)]

skerzoid posted 5/18/2019 20:27 PM

Sounds like PTSD on both their parts. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Also, Is there a type of hypnosis therapy that can help with this type of hysteria?

OwningItNow posted 5/18/2019 23:04 PM

Hmmm. You just joined and you are immediately writing about your overwhelming and prolonged feelings of sexual inadequacy? Reminds me of another poster.

In any case, my opinion is that she is triggering so badly because she knows you are triggering badly. Her mind movies are "I can't believe I did that, allowed that" and upset her. Just my opinion. Keep up the IC.

NewToHell posted 5/19/2019 02:35 AM

OwningItNow, She does say that when she is triggering and flooding with negative emotions she is thinking of the pain she caused me by having sex with another man. Like you said she is more or less saying "I can't believe I did that, allowed that" because it hurt me so much and harmed our marriage so deeply.

I am still interested if any other waywards actually trigger during sex or is my wife the only one ? I have been reading infidelity material for a long time now and have only ever read about BSs triggering during sex.

Butforthegrace posted 5/19/2019 07:10 AM

There are a lot of threads where WS talk generally about triggering in response to BS triggering. Since mos threads here focus on BS, there probably isn't much discussion specifically about whether a WS might trigger during sex in response to knowing the BS is likely to tigger during sex, but my sense is that this is probably pretty normal for a remorseful WS.

dancin-gal posted 5/19/2019 07:50 AM

As I read this post .. my mind went to deeper issues that may be triggering your wife .. but First I will suggest just hold your wife as she triggers .. during the day let her know you care .. give her hugs intimate times just hold her .. touch is such a healing tool good for you too ..

sorrowfulmate posted 5/19/2019 10:07 AM


I am a wayward so I will come from a different direction.

She does say that when she is triggering and flooding with negative emotions she is thinking of the pain she caused me by having sex with another man. Like you said she is more or less saying "I can't believe I did that, allowed that" because it hurt me so much and harmed our marriage so deeply.

One of the things that I used to do is what I call a shame spiral. This is where I would work myself into a crying frenzy and tell my wife that I didn't deserve her, that I was a terrible person, I hated myself, and I was a failure. With the help of my IC I was able to realize that this counterproductive. Many waywards will grab onto shame spiraling because somewhere inside they think the show they are putting on is remorse. In reality it's selfish, it wastes time and energy on something that does nothing to help the BS and takes it away on doing the right things to help the BS feel safe and secure.

Sounds like to me she needs to work on accepting what she did and that she is at fault for what happened. For me it was digging into my IC and working on what I all the why's. These aren't the surface excuses that waywards throw out when they first are caught, but the deeper things inside the brain that allow them to make the decision to have the affair in the first place.

Once I found out those things inside of me that made it easier to have the affair, I worked, and continue to work on them so that I am able to protect my marriage.

I no longer tell myself that I can't believe I did that and allowed affairs into my marriage. I straight up look at myself and say "Yes, I did this. I hurt my wife. I hurt myself. I did these things in the past." I also tell myself "The AP was just as screwed up as I was. I made the choice to do what I did. I know that if the AP had stronger boundaries, then I would have moved on and found another person."

This thought process has allowed me to embrace indifference toward those I had affairs with. When my wife mentions the name of one of them I don't feel disgust or anger, I just feel nothing.

Another poster said she needs to push the feelings down. I disagree. She needs to work with her IC on why she is having these feelings and quit the shame spirals because its counterproductive, and work on her ownership of all of her actions and come to accept 100% her fault in the affair.

sisoon posted 5/19/2019 11:17 AM

Random thoughts...

How much time do you have for sex? Do you have time to process the triggers and start again?

I, too, think there may be more work your W needs to do to accept responsibility. She might actually trigger on her betrayal of herself, not her betrayal of you, but that may be too overwhelming for her.

Have you seen this thread on handling mind movies?

Have you tried out reframing sex? For example, instead of thinking about what you're not getting and not doing, think in terms of starting your sexual relationship anew - touching each other the way you might do with a new person with whom you want a long term relationship. Or you can think in terms of reclaiming your W sexually on your terms. Or ... you can figure out something that works for you.

If you're still beating yourself up for sexual inadequacy, gently, that's your problem, and you're the only one who can solve it. More IC? The fact is, there's more to sexual pleasure than penetration, orgasm, and ejaculation. And the fact your sense of inadequacy, if you still have it, is yours to resolve means that you have the power to resolve it. Again, perhaps reframing is the way to go - think not about what you can't do; think about what you can do.

It's natural, I think, for the BS to be concerned with the BS's pleasure when restarting sex. It doesn't make sense to pay much attention to the WS - after all, if the WS wants back into the M, the WS should be concerned with the BS's pleasure.

[This message edited by sisoon at 11:18 AM, May 19th (Sunday)]

hikingout posted 5/19/2019 11:17 AM

I am a ww. I did have this issue for a period of time. It doesnít sound as if it was a severe as your wifeís but h and I never stopped having sex for any real length of time afterwards. My theory is the delay in that probably built up her anxiety.

For me, it was humiliating thinking I had allowed myself to be vulnerable with someone else. The contrast of having sex with the person I hurt and that I love with allowing myself to be cheapened with someone who was using me. It was horrible and ruined the experience for me in the aftermath many times. I would also have the flashbacks/deep feelings of humiliation at other times. I donít know what to tell you for advice - I really just had to practice being more present in all things yoga, mediation, etc. it went away. Is your wife in IC? Perhaps that would be in order, and also you might need to talk to someone as well.

sisoon posted 5/19/2019 11:22 AM

The humiliation hiking wrote of is at least close to what I mean by 'betraying herself.'

deephurt posted 5/19/2019 12:53 PM

I think you should both try emdr

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