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Struggling to rebuild my marriage

Luvhippo posted 9/11/2019 16:37 PM


I could use some help, advice, and just some good old pick me up. I've been married for 18 years now, me 47 M, wife is 45 and we have 2 teenage boys. Very conservative family and religious (LDS). My wife broke the news to me about 5 weeks ago that she had an affair with another woman. She didn't think at the time that it was sex, and that it is hard for her to explain how it happened. I ask my wife were you two naked and did you climax, and she stated yes, and I'm like that sounds like sex to me.

We have not been intimate for years and I got the feeling she really does not like sex. She states that many women she knows does not like to have sex. She still maintains her friendship with the other person but is emphatic that she they are no longer intimate.

I have tried to approach her to have intimate relations, but she does not like the increase in intimacy, and I said fine I won't ask again. Just on Monday was my birthday and I was hoping she would surprise me with a little adult fun. It didn't happen and we talked about it last night and she stated she didn't even think about it between work, kids, and other items in our daily life. She was tired and fell asleep.

I guess I feel that I need to step up to the plate and try to provide the intimacy. Every adult needs it. I gathered from our discussions after the initial bomb, that she likes the kissing, and how soft their touching is. I'm like news flash, I would do that too if you told me. However, I want the intimacy, but she does not like it very often, and its is always late at night 11PM time frame.

I try to explain how I feel, that she gave away what was mine, the intimacy. She thinks or feels that what happened was different, and that I can't understand what happened. I know we were struggling as a couple, and for the last 3 years or so at my previous employer was a nightmare and it I was trying to bottle up what was happening, but it came out in me being ornery towards everyone. I have a new job and things were better until she told me. She said telling me was the right thing to due, but wishes she hadn't and everything would have been better.

I do not want a divorce. I love my wife and mistakes happen in marriage. Just happens this is a big one. She wants to move on and so do I. I have told her I forgive you, but I cannot forget and it will take time.

I've spent an entire night entire night crying uncontrollably. You would never expect someone who was in the Corps to due that, but man it hurt. My ego has taken a big hit. It is tough.

Any help is appreciated.

dblackstar2002 posted 9/11/2019 17:18 PM

You posted this elsewhere, I am sure people will tell you the same here. Your wife is struggling with her sexuality. She is either gay or bi. BY what you are saying in you other post i would have to guess she is gay. Sorry but your only option is to live with someone you know does not want to have sex with you are move on. Simple truth...

Cooley2here posted 9/11/2019 17:28 PM

Luv, there are several actresses who did not realize they were gay until they were married and divorced several times. I think both of you need to accept that your marriage is over. How the two of you process this is your business but I hope you move on. You deserve a happy life........and so does she. People canít help their sexual orientation but they can stop lying and cheating. You have the facts now. Be kind to yourself. Get counseling to help you move on.

Questioningall posted 9/11/2019 17:46 PM

You didnít make your wife cheat. That she cheated with a woman also has nothing to do with you. You arenít a perfect husband and doubtless could work to fix your flaws (we all could,) but your wife wasnít forced to have sex with someone else because you were ornery. Thereís a thread in the I Can Relate forum for people whose wayward partners had same sex affairs. You might find it helpfulóat least youíll know youíre not alone.

Read the Healing Library, upper left of the screen. It has lots of helpful stuff. Is your wife willing to talk about the affair or does she want to rugsweep it and forget about it? Is she seeing a counselor? You donít have to decide on reconciliation or divorce immediately. Take your time and figure out what you are and are not willing to live with. Individual counseling might help you through this, too. Sometimes itís nice to have someone tell you youíre not crazy, that youíre feelings are normal under the circumstances. It might also help you not bottle up your emotions going forward. And seeing a lawyer to see what to expect in a divorce can give you a clearer picture of your options.

tushnurse posted 9/11/2019 18:27 PM

Ok so let me guess you were both very young when you married and basically you were in a somewhat arranged marriage.
Your poor wife is most likely gay or bi bit due to your religious beliefs she is scared and hesitant (to put it mildly) to admit her true feelings.
So I would encourage you in this unique situation to get into MC with someone OUTSIDE the LDS community. She needs to feel safe and unhedged to really even explore her true feelings. She is probably dealing with a significant amount of shame and confusion. She needs a safe environment to really start to explore this.
She may or may not be able to do the work to save your M. But given that her sexuality is in question I would encourage you both to explore that and figure out how she really feels.

JT4588 posted 9/11/2019 19:03 PM

To TushNurse: First of all, LDS marriages are not "arranged" marriages. I'm not sure where you heard that but you are wrong. Just wanted to get that out of the way.

LuvHippo, I do not have time to respond at length to you directly right now. I will tell you that I'm also LDS so probably have a better understanding of where you are than most people here that aren't LDS.

I'm not sure why your wife would tell you that she didn't think being naked with another woman and having an orgasm was sex. Without knowing the specifics I can only assume that perhaps they each pleasured themselves to orgasm? She knows in her heart (and her head) that it absolutely was sex even if it was only that.

I know you are hurting and confused. Others here have stated you posted this elsewhere and are saying your wife is struggling with her sexuality. I don't know what they're basing that on because I don't know where else you posted and if you provided additional details there. But based on what you are saying here I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that your wife is struggling with determining if she is gay.

If the two of you haven't had sex in years it doesn't mean she's gay. It means that life (work, kids, church) became exhausting and sex got put on the back burner and slipped away. You said that you get the feeling she doesn't like sex. Was it always that way? Or did sex cool off in the marriage because life got in the way?

This is not on you, LH. This is on your wife. Your marriage was lacking without a doubt. She had a responsibility to come to you and tell you how she was feeling. If she IS gay, then you both have some tough decisions ahead of you.

I will write more later but I just want to let you know that you have a fellow LDS member here that probably will have a different take than many here.

Marz posted 9/11/2019 19:12 PM

She still maintains her friendship with the other person but is emphatic that she they are no longer intimate.

If they continue contact the affair will continue. Cheaters and that's what this is tend to lie a lot.

She has sex with her but not you? She likes sex just not with you.

Shes to tired, busy, etc to spend 15 to 30 minutes with you?

You know this is just an excuse, right?

[This message edited by Marz at 7:13 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]

WilliamM posted 9/11/2019 19:20 PM

She does not get it. Expose the affair.

Unhinged posted 9/11/2019 21:33 PM

I've spent an entire night entire night crying uncontrollably. You would never expect someone who was in the Corps to due that, but man it hurt. My ego has taken a big hit. It is tough.
Even the mightiest among us are brought down low by the betrayal of infidelity. Don't sweat it, brother. It doesn't seem to matter much what kind of man anyone of us are, this shit hits harder than anything most of us have ever felt before. It certainly did with me.

Welcome to SI, Luvhippo. I'm sorry you've had to find us here, but you've come to the right place.

Please take some time and read the two threads pinned to the top of the Just Found Out forum:

"The Tactical Primer" &
"Newbies...Important Information - Please Read"

Check out The Healing Library (you'll find a link in the yellow shaded area at the top-left of the page). There's an "Articles" section that contains dozens of great essays written by veteran SI members. These can help you get started on your journey towards recovery and healing.

Also, there's a thread in the I Can Relate forum entitled: "Spouses with Same Gender APs."

I do not want a divorce. I love my wife and mistakes happen in marriage. Just happens this is a big one. She wants to move on and so do I. I have told her I forgive you, but I cannot forget and it will take time.
Infidelity is not a mistake; it's a choice. It's great that both of you want to move on, that you've offered her forgiveness, and yes, it will take a time. A lot of time.

Why did she do it? Why did your WW (wayward wife) betray herself in such a base and self-destructive manner? What made it okay, in her mind, to betray you and your family, her vows, integrity, honor, all of it?

If your WW is able to own and address those issues of hers that allowed her to have an affair it might be possible to reconcile.

Not every WS (wayward spouse) is wiling or able to do that.

You didn't destroy your marriage, sir. Your WW did. You can try to rebuild your marriage if that's what you want to do. First, however, put yourself back together, focus on you and your recovery. Step-back and detach from your WW. Watch and observe what she does with the opportunity you've offered her. Is she willing and able to figure out why she did what she did and, more importantly, why she can trust herself to make better choices in the future.

[This message edited by Unhinged at 9:36 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]

anoldlion posted 9/11/2019 23:42 PM

Sex is not everything in a marriage but it IS a very important ingredient. As young as you and your wife are and there is no sex then you don't really have a marriage. You have a situation of roomates who happen to live together and accomplish daily routines together. That is the situation for very old people or people who have health problems. I'm a lot older than you and have been married 53 years and sex is still a part of our lives. One of the main things that kills a marriage is when the husband stops courting their wife and the wife stops flirting with her husband. Husband and wives should treat each other with the same emotions and acts that got them to be husband and wife in the first place. Husbands that feel broken because their wife had an affair or wives crying because their husbands had one, when in reality they had been ignoring each other emotionally for months or years. 53 years and I still pay court to my wife everyday and she does to me. I have been shot down before for saying spouses are not responsible for their spouse cheating on them. But their actions, during the marriage, helped pave the road to the cheating. Before your situation, when was the last time you really made your wife feel like she was the number one thing in your life? I could ask that question of a lot of people on SI, both male and female. I do wish you well.

faithfulman posted 9/12/2019 05:23 AM

Your wife is a lesbian. That's what it is.

You are not going to change or reverse this.

Find yourself a heterosexual woman to live your life with, and allow your wife to live her life in truth.

Butforthegrace posted 9/12/2019 05:27 AM

Why are you struggling to rebuild your marriage when your WW is the one who decided to break it?

Luvhippo posted 9/13/2019 08:32 AM

Its been 5 or so weeks now. I have been feeling better from time to time, but today all those feelings just came back.

I know its not my fault, but I still feel like a POS, worthless, etc. I'm at work and am finding it difficult to stay focused.

I cant stop thinking about what had happened, and comparing myself to the other person. What did the person offer that I didn't. Why? Why? Why?

I hope the rest of you have a great friday and a better weekend. The sun will come up again.

Cooley2here posted 9/13/2019 08:40 AM

All of us on here want you to find happiness. The fact that there is no sex in your marriage and that your wife was with another woman tells you everything you need to know but for some reason cannot accept. Your wife does not want to have sex with you because she is not sexually attracted to you. She canít help that if sheís a lesbian. It does not make her a bad person and it certainly does not make you worthless. She is a lesbian. I have gay people in my family who are with their same sex partners and are so happy. Both of you are living a lie. She because she canít admit sheís a lesbian and you because you so donít want her to be. Please face facts. You will find you are so much better off if you do.
Dismantling a marriage means dismantling everything including furniture, friends, money, etc. Thatís why so many people hang on to a marriage. Just remember you are entitled to happiness. You are entitled to a partner who desires you.

Odonna posted 9/13/2019 11:24 AM

My wife broke the news to me about 5 weeks ago that she had an affair with another woman

Can you please tell us more about how she came to confess? Were you suspicious? Was she guilt-ridden? Was this an emotional love affair as well as a PA? Did sex happen just once, a few times, or a lot? Does the friend identify herself as gay or bi? Does your wife? Did she tell the friend no more sexual contact? Why does she think she can stay friends with this woman now?

The advice you get will depend a lot on your answers. You already have many saying she is a lesbian or bi and to give up. But sexuality is pretty complicated and she may be largely asexual but deceived herself about the EA with her friend and failed to tell you, and led herself down that primrose path to the point of saying she did not think of the physical part as sex even though she/they orgasmed.

So I think your first task is to better understand her sexuality and whether that is consistent with a continuing marriage with you even if she remains faithful. If she has mixed feelings or is bi, you may or may not be able to handle that. If she really is lesbian and has been hiding that all these years, then a true marriage does not seem to be possible. Would you ever be comfortable with an open relationship for both of you? You have been living together without sex for a long time already: would both of you dating outside the M with full disclosure be something better than that for you? Think carefully as that is very hard to do in practice.

So I hope you can answer these questions, as you willl get much more thoughtful and nuanced responses.

[This message edited by Odonna at 11:29 AM, September 13th (Friday)]

AmIAnIdiot15 posted 9/14/2019 14:00 PM

As an LDS woman, I agree with Odonna. Sexuality is SO complicated. Figure out what your wife wants and needs. Then figure out if it's compatible with what YOU need.

A sexless marriage is a dealbreaker for me, unless my husband has some physical issue or disability that prevents it. You need therapy, so does she, maybe together. And if you do stay married, at some point there's going to need to be a conversation with your Bishop.

Unhinged posted 9/14/2019 16:20 PM

I cant stop thinking about what had happened, and comparing myself to the other person. What did the person offer that I didn't. Why? Why? Why?
Do you think it's possible that your WW is coming out of the closet? That she really is gay? That could certainly be what she offered that you couldn't (being female). It's not an uncommon occurrence.

Comparing yourself, however, is a no-win situation. There's no comparison. Your WW"s infidelity had absolutely nothing at all to do with you and everything to do with her. I know that's hard to believe, but trust me, nothing you said or didn't say, nothing you did or didn't do, would have made much of a difference. People cheat because of their own issues. In this case, if it's true that your WW is gay, then there's nothing you could have ever done or said that would have changed who she is.

The1stWife posted 9/16/2019 05:43 AM

You cannot compete against a same sex Affair. Sorry. There is more to it than just sex. Sorry to say.

Itís possible your wife has been hiding her true self due to her religious upbringing.

Brennan87 posted 9/16/2019 07:11 AM


I am sorry you are here most if not all of us can relate to what you are going through emotionally.

You've gotten great advice thus far the only thing I'll add is a possible spin (doesn't make it easier, but its an alternative nonetheless).

Your wife could be suppressing her sexuality (bi/gay), but there could be a history of abuse involved and she is acting out to recreate her past trauma. Not trying to give you hope, but its quite possible.

Good luck

k8la posted 9/16/2019 08:36 AM

Have you talked with your bishop about your situation? LDS Family Services would be a good option to get therapeutic help, because you're up against core values AND a marriage crisis. Your wife should also be getting therapy.

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