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Loss of Attraction

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DevastatedDee posted 7/12/2019 11:32 AM

So Steve, how physically attractive do you think you and your spouse will be when you're elderly? Marriage isn't only about sexual attraction, I should hope. You aren't doing your wife a favor by staying with her while you pine for another woman. That is pretty gross, actually. She's doing you a favor by giving you an opportunity to show that you're capable of being a good husband.

JBWD posted 7/12/2019 15:48 PM

Agreed, DD. As I got closer to remorse and really reflected more on my relationship with BW, the connection became so much more than physical desire. Then when coupled WITH physical desire... WOW.

All this to say, Steve, it is all puzzling that we talk about this with you and the answer is so much that attraction should be the LEAST of your worries right now. Is it further possible that you’re suffering from some lack of desire or sexual dysfunction as an emotional impact of your A?

You said “this is the wrong choice,” pining for your AP. The only wrong choice about it is doing it while stringing along your BS. I know you understand you can’t keep dragging this out- What are your thoughts?

I know I said this before, but I think you need to at least separate again. If you’re CERTAIN you aren’t attracted enough to physically love your wife, then do her the favor of setting her free. Be brave enough to do right by her.

Steve23 posted 7/13/2019 08:02 AM


I'm not ready to give up yet, me and my wife are talking more about the affair which I think is helping us both, she initially didn't want to here anything about it and was trying to brush things under the carpet and move on without talking about our issues.

It may still come to separation but I want to keep trying and keep our family together.

I do still find her attractive, it's the desire that's missing.

hikingout posted 7/13/2019 08:23 AM

Just wanted to say that lack of desire could be normal and still may have nothing to do with your wife but more to do with the emotional numbing you have been doing as part of this situation. I was numb too. Depression and numbness can suppress a lot.

Steve23 posted 7/13/2019 15:02 PM


I hope you are right. I'm definitely suffering from depression and have regular suicidal thoughts. I'm also completely numb of emotions, even with the loss of my dad a few months ago I haven't been able to grieve, it's like I have shutdown all my emotions.

I have said before I'm not sure what to do, and I'm scared if I was to leave all the emotions I have been bottling up will hit me all at once and I will do something stupid.

I'm starting a workout routine next week with a personal trainer to try and get myself back on track, my doctor has advised exercise is by far the best way to tackle depression.

My wife has given me an ultimatium, not sure if she will follow through, but I need to sort myself out by the end of the summer. So o don't have much time.

hikingout posted 7/13/2019 16:58 PM

Regardless of the ultimatum this is not how you want to live pain.

Exercise did help me. It have me endorphins, some purpose, a mindfulness practice. You are holding on to the ap because you think she can rescue you..cure you. Part of the “ I would be happy if” or “I will be happy when”. This is your life right now. You need to find a way to be happy regardless of your circumstances. When we have the I will be happy when thinking we are never happy. We are never in the moment. Figure out how to stop numbing and connect with your heart. It’s painful to be so lost. I have been there. But part of what you need to realize is you are causing it with the stories you tell yourself. You need to write them down and then look at how distorted your thinking is.

Zugzwang posted 7/13/2019 20:05 PM

I'm not ready to give up yet, me and my wife are talking more about the affair which I think is helping us both, she initially didn't want to here anything about it and was trying to brush things under the carpet and move on without talking about our issues.

If your wife knows that you are thinking about the AP every waking moment, you aren't stringing her along. She is an adult more than capable of making an informed decision about her life. The bigger issue than stringing along (which isn't happening) is the fact that she was willing to rugsweep and wait. Sometimes things progress differently for a wayward when our feet are held to the fire and we realize we really can lose something much more important and better than some "other". You may have never had that. Are you the type of person that needs that? Sounds like your wife is nicing you out. Does that make a difference in desire? Is she fighting for you? Or is she just waiting to see where the dice lands? Indifference can work for some, it did for me. Though I have seen some WS that really need and unfortunately enjoy their BS fighting for them. I enjoyed that for the first two months, but truth be just allowed me to continue to be disrespectful to my wife and take advantage of her and to take her for granted.

Steve23 posted 7/14/2019 14:11 PM


I think she was initially in denial over the affair, she said during marriage counseling only 3 months after d day that she had forgiven me. She just wanted to move on as quickly as possible and ignore that anything had happened. I should be greatful that she said those things but we didn't get to the route of of the problems in out marriage.

I wouldn't say she is fighting for me, just waiting to see what I do next.

FoenixRising posted 7/15/2019 05:29 AM


My friend, kindly... your eyes a still closed shut.

Zug quotes your words stating that in the beginning your wife would not even discuss the A. Now she does. She isn’t sweeping things under the carpet. She’s giving you space and time and wants to revisit strategies at the end of the summer. you proceed to say she isn’t fighting for you, just waiting on your next move.

THIS IS YOUR WIFE FIGHTING FOR YOU!!!!! For her marriage. For her family. and she is doing damn hard work. Would she better off to walk away? Maybe. But instead she is believing in you and herself and the love you had before getting married. Her methodology might not be KISA as you’d like but this is where you remind yourself that you did turn her world upside down those times that stepped out. The time that you’re STILL stepping out. You’re not present for your wife or family. You’re still stuck in self centered, woe is ‘ME’ mode which is not the ‘get my shit together for a better ME’’ mode.

The depression and suicidal thoughts that you have... have you been to a doctor at all? My guess is that you’re like me here in that you have had some mental health struggles since a while before the A. Do you have an IC? I was hospitalized after my A and the realization of the destruction the A caused everyone involved and effected. It was the worst I ever felt in my life. After in patient care, I did group counseling at an out patient clinic for over a month and IC. It was intense. It was important.

There is no shame in saying that you want to part ways with your wife if that’s what you decide but I urge you to wait because once you say that, once she’s gone without a return date, it’ll be too late.

Do the work. Leave your defenses. Be in the moment. Not the past, or future or fantasy. The moment.

Steve23 posted 7/15/2019 06:35 AM


Your right, I was struggling with depression before the affair. I was back on meds for a while after it but my IC told me they wouldn't solve my issues, just numb me. So I stopped.

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow to go back on them. I've hit rock bottom this weekend, and am ready to turn my life around. I can't go on this way.

DevastatedDee posted 7/15/2019 07:12 AM

Steve, what kind of rock bottom are you hitting? That might help us get a clearer view of what's going on with your wife and why she's not talking about the affair and why the summer is your ultimatum timeline.

hikingout posted 7/15/2019 08:10 AM

I can't go on this way.

That was one of the things I was trying to point out. This is no way to live - putting all your hopes for happiness on to the AP, who let's face it you have told yourself stories about. It's not based on her really.

I don't see how it's relevant if your wife is fighting for you or not. You cheated. Why should she fight for you? And, you have actively engaged in the affair for the last year in your mind, so you really never stopped. I don't really see how your wife's actions are relevant in the least, other than the fact she is still there with you. That's the greatest gift of love and generosity that you may ever find on this earth.

I think you realizing that you are mentally incapacitated at the moment is the first step out. Getting the help you need is going to be huge. It takes rock bottom to see it. I was there too. I couldn't take it any more - the involuntary thoughts, and the obsessing. It's an addiction. But, it's not an addiction to the actual person you had an affair with. It's an addiction to the dopamine that you were getting from the situation to cover up your feelings of depression, inadequacy, inability to self soothe and cope, lack of interest in doing things that might feed your soul. An affair in many ways is the laziest way to get good feelings but they all come from an artificial place.

So, when the artificial place is no longer available, and the desolation seeps in because you have made your life infinitely worse and unbearable, it seems like the AP must be the life preserver. But, they are so not. They are just people we have over-inflated the importance of - and we use those thoughts of them to continue to get high. It's another crash to look at the person that we had beside of us all along. I think about it every time my husband wakes up in the night and covers me back up so I won't be cold, when he takes my hand for no reason, when I realize the amount of pain that I put him in and he's still here and many days with a smile on his face. If a love like that can't fill us up, you have to honestly look at yourself and figure out what is fucked up about ourselves that we have to invent this whole other thing. When we have everything we could possibly want right in front of us. It's truly sick. I hope you will really dig in this time and see what you are not only doing to your wife, which is way worse than anything you can currently imagine, but also why you would do this to yourself.

I am sorry you are in so much pain. I have been right where you are, and the rock bottom seemed to just get lower and lower. Be done with this. You are holding yourself prisoner. And, worse, you are locking your wife up with you and she is innocent to all of it.

Steve23 posted 7/15/2019 10:46 AM

Hi hikingout,

I don't think it's relevent either, I was responding to a question asked. She has been amazing thought the whole thing, I don't know where she get the energy. I have been away for a couple of days and broke down the other morning, all I wanted to do in that moment was hold my wife tight and tell her how sorry and stupid I have been. I have had times like that in the past, but this felt different.

Zugzwang posted 7/15/2019 18:29 PM

It is too soon to think about marriage issues. Especially if you are still pining for the AP. Why should your wife fix any of those issues for a man that wants to escape the marriage for some chick that put nothing into it to begin with. Is that the problem? You have no attraction because she will not fix her half of marriage issues? Is the marriage the reason why you are so depressed and unhappy or are you using the marriage and her as a scapegoat to really stop from focusing on the real issue- yourself. You are unhappy with you and who you are.

Steve23 posted 7/16/2019 05:20 AM


I'm not pinning anymore, something happened at the weekend, in not going to go into it here but now there is a real risk she's going to leave me and I have never been so scared in my life. It's like a switch has gone for me. All I want to do is save this marriage and keep my family together. My wife hasn't talked to me in a day, I don't know what's going to happen. I have really screwed my life up.

Zugzwang posted 7/16/2019 13:07 PM

^^^Plain of lethal Flatness. Now your feet are being held to the fire and you can't cake eat anymore. You are no longer allowed to take her for granted and to take advantage of her, she has realized that you (as a cheater) aren't the prize anymore and that she will be just fine without a cheater. She is healing. Now real self disgust will begin to seep in for yourself as you finally wake up to the destruction you caused yourself and the people around you.

Hutch posted 7/16/2019 15:47 PM


I relate to so many parts of your journey. I don’t know your exact walk, only you do, but I see your life almost in two parts right now (the fixing you part and the restoring your marriage part). They eventually come together but right now, I think it feels separate and is needed. You have to be healthy.

I think it’s human nature to get to the point where you’ve had enough and numbness sets in. It sounds like your wife might be there and it’s hard.

I hope if it’s truly what you both want, that you’re both able to work to restore your marriage. I am also a firm believer that you don’t stop fighting...for yourself and your family, in this case. Suicide is very real and I pray you do get help you need. Your kids and family need you but do it for yourself too. I’m not sure only meds are the answer. I hope therapy helps as well.

Will your wife consider counseling/family counseling?

DevastatedDee posted 7/16/2019 21:51 PM

Hutch, I don't think family counseling is what's needed. The family isn't the problem, nor is the marriage. His wife can do IC to help her with her trauma, but if Steve just now figured out that he wants his wife, it is way too early for that kind of counseling.

BraveSirRobin posted 7/16/2019 23:18 PM

Steve, we're not trying to pry, it's just that the context of what happened is important to understanding how to support you. You mentioned that you and your wife have just started taking about details of the A that she previously wanted to rugsweep. Is the issue that she just learned things she never suspected about your connection to/experiences with AP? Given your newly desperate desire for R, you will be very, very tempted to lie to her. DO NOT DO IT. Really, really, do. not. do. it. I have been where you are. Most of us have. Panic sets in, and it feels impossible to let go of the outcome, and we take the worst decision of our lives and apply the only coping mechanism that is guaranteed to make it even worse. Learn from our many bad choices and do not repeat them.

This is one moment where you don't have to torture yourself with uncertainty. In the midst of grey areas, the requirement of honesty is black and white. If it looks grey to you, it's because you're seeing through a cloudy, self-protecting wayward lens. If she asks you a question, give her the honest answer, even if (especially if) it's an answer that you believe will send her straight to divorce court. Because if you lure her back in with lies, and the truth comes out later (which it will), you will set her back to D-Day again. Do not break her again for your own self-preservation, even though I know it feels like you're hanging on by the last thread.

If you need to seek help for suicidal thoughts, please do that. Your kids need you. Your wife needs you; she can't cope with all this and grieve for you too. Even if your marriage ends, there is so much else in your future that will make it worth fighting through this dark time. Success stories of surviving infidelity take many different and sometimes unexpected shapes.

You aren't alone, Steve. Even the 2x4s in this thread are coming from people who have been in your shoes and want to see you succeed. Your fellow waywards are listening. Keep posting. Lean in.

Steve23 posted 7/17/2019 12:58 PM

Thanks for the messages, I have been to the doctors and got some stronger antidepressants so these should kick in in a few weeks, she is also arranging some more counseling or I will arrange some privately. I need help to break out of this rut and cycle on numbness. I believe I have been waiting for my wife to somehow help me out of this, but I know I can't use her for this, I'm definitely codependent.

Once I can fix myself hopefully our marriage can survive.

I need to stop living in the past and start living in the here and now.

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