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Affair Sex vs. Married Sex

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Darkness Falls posted 10/8/2019 15:49 PM

FR,

That is where I am fortunate, I guessóI donít care if people would think Iím still wayward. I know Iím not still cheating. I know that my BS has asked what he was interested in asking and has told me basically to STFU about it otherwise. I know that Iím not pining for the AP. Etc., etc. While I respect other membersí viewpoints and donít deliberately go out of my way to step on toes, itís just not in me to care about anyoneís personal opinion of me. I have enough going on in my own life, house, and family to have energy to spare for what strangers on the internet think.

hikingout posted 10/8/2019 16:28 PM

FR,

I will have to be honest in when you said you loved his wife and family, that rings untrue to me. I think that is a thought that would be helpful for you to explore. I know the situation is very complicated and you may have a lot of guilt and regret over losing friendships but you had sex with her husband. I donít think those two thoughts align. I donít have a pitchfork yelping wayward, wayward.,,but I just think I would be doing you a disservice in not pointing out there are some faulty thoughts there for you to unpack a little more.

JBWD posted 10/8/2019 17:02 PM

I think FRís most consistently agreeable point is, truly, how hazardous this line of questioning can get.

Those familiar with my story from the start may recall that my AP is a transgender woman (that being transitioned from male to female.) That, clearly, made sex different.

And it quite honestly led to a lot of distraction from the whole care team in figuring out ďIs this attraction to trans women complete, absolute, and irreversible?Ē I say this because our MC, who is very experienced in sexual identity matters, agreed to start assessing this question when we felt it relevant- about 3 mos post DDay.

One of the exercises he and I worked on was to try and very narrowly ID the EXACT POINT of arousal and how it differed from how I understood my arousal with BW- Who pre and post A had a very healthy and compatible appetite with mine. In examining this subject we came to the realization (MC and me, BW was standing by with option to read but didnít until separation...) that this was an ďalternativeĒ but certainly fell outside of an exclusive need.

This is all background to get to this one point of my post- When my BW finally DID read this document, the one that led MC and me to recognize I placed errant emotions to what was a distorted, transactional relationship, her read was as follows:

*****She stated that after reading it I was clearly deeply and irrevocably in love with AP and that BW would be wrong to stand in the way of it.*****

The difference of perspective is virtually impenetrable in my case, and for a lot of those trying to recover, it appears. I can absolutely say that I loved my BW before betraying her. I can say that Iíve refined and overhauled my understanding of what it means to love as a result of this. We even see the sensitivities among cheaters here in this topic. Itís clearly personal, and there may be those among us who still donít understand where they fall in the spectrum- And those who KNOW the spectrum described doesnít cover them.

What I know- I remember how it felt to love my wife appropriately, and I further know that I didnít quite recognize where those emotions came from when they just naturally werenít there for some time. And when I found ways to replace that I believed the similar sensations to be love. And when I discovered where those sensations DID originate, the illusion of love with AP was unmasked. Thus clearly making me a #4.

OwningItNow posted 10/8/2019 17:53 PM

My thinking it was good was projection of that I wanted it to be good, but it wasn't. I lied to myself a lot because I needed the fantasy escape.

My original point. ^^^^

when I discovered where those sensations DID originate, the illusion of love with AP was unmasked.

JBWD's point ^^^ is the same as mine, yes? It was an illusion.


In my case, they are both true. 🤷🏻‍♀️

DF's comment. Present tense. Shrug of the shoulders as if saying the AP and sex ARE special and it's no big deal. Suggesting I need to get over it. It's only my issue??? It's not even my issue.

We can all argue semantics, but there would be a lot of BS here pointing out all of this cruel and obvious wording if it weren't for the stop sign preventing them. They would have no problem bringing down some harsh 2 ◊ 4s here, and I can feel what many are thinking. And honestly, that is our target audience here, right? Learning and growing to meet their standards?

I learned something on this thread. I learned that just because I am remorseful and post here does not mean all waywards who post are feeling the same level of remorse. I genuinely believed that remorseful spouses could fully look back, sans their rose colored glasses, and admit that the "special" was not so special after all. I know that's how I feel, so I assumed remorse looked like that for everyone. I no longer know. Maybe true remorse--that laughs at the supposed specialness of the A (what a joke!)--is far less common than I realized. Maybe remorse can be faked. I know lots of posters on the site believe that, and maybe they are right.

All I know is that a BS reading this thread wanted to read, unequivocally and without disagreement, that nothing about the AP or sex was special to their WS, the WS they are trying like hell to reconcile with. They deserved to hear that, in my opinion. And just the fact that people need to explain and qualify their statements about "special" makes me sad. Remorse should be straight forward and clear. I actually feel like an inability to flat out say, "Not special!" as straight forward as that shows a degree of selfishness, as if it's fair to continue to ask a BS to sit through the long explanation of hows and whys and progress of the degree of special. A BS deserves a solid, "Not special," and if that feels difficult then, yes, I doubt true remorse and marital safety. That is my opinion.

I'm sorry I asked the question. I thought it was a no brainer, at least for those in R. I thought everyone would be like, "Geeze, so not special!" because that is what remorse showed me. But now I don't even know what many people are calling reconciliation. It doesn't make sense to me. If it's not saying, "Not special!" then I don't get it. But to each his own.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 5:56 PM, October 8th (Tuesday)]

Darkness Falls posted 10/8/2019 18:27 PM

OwningItOut,

I suppose I just donít, as is said here, ďget it,Ē because I donít see why it IS a big deal. Yes, present tense, I do feel that the AP and the sex with him were special (past tense). Just like I feel that my first-ever kiss was special (even though it was awful). That the first time a man told me ďI love youĒ was special. That sex with some (sadly, not all) of my not-the-AP sexual partners was special. I havenít had anything to do with any of those people in many years, but it does not change the reality that they were special people and special circumstances in my life. The AP was someone I loved. Being with him, sexually and non-sexually, was special. I feel remorse that during a period of time in my life, that time spent with him was in the context of an extramarital affair. That was undeniably the wrong, immoral thing to do, because it involved being deceitful with my H and betraying my wedding vows to him. Those facts are not in question and they never were. What I do not understand is how those facts are supposed to negate my feelings about the AP as a person having been a special person in my life, who I loved, and the physical expression of that love also being special while I was doing it. I never said, or even ever thought, that it wasnít wrong. In fact, I have admitted, countless times over the years, that clearly I should have divorced first. I did the wrong thing and that is not in dispute. It doesnít change the reality of the matter at the time. And in looking back, from here in the present tense, what I see is THAT reality. I donít have this magical filter that some of you guys have that allow me to see things as they werenít. Iím not saying yíall are WRONG for having that lens; Iím merely saying that I do not have it.

BraveSirRobin posted 10/8/2019 18:31 PM

And honestly, that is our target audience here, right? Learning and growing to meet their standards?
No. Quite frankly, I find that idea troubling. I'm here to improve myself because I want to be an authentically better person, to hear other people's journeys and reflect on how they relate to my own. I am not writing here to please or impress a "target audience." Not my own BH, and not anyone else's. Believe me, I could do that if I wanted to. I've had years of practice. My BH would much, much rather I told the sometimes awkward, painful truth. He knows that everything I say here is what I really think and feel. That's what makes him feel safe, knowing that I will not tailor my responses to try and control the outcome.

This is exactly the kind of discussion a stop sign is designed for. No one asked any BS to "sit through the long explanation of hows and whys and progress of the degree of special." They are, of course, welcome to read if they want to. But the point of our forum is not to self-restrict to comments that a BS wants to hear. Your belief that it is sounds like a very surface form of remorse to me. This is where the digging happens, and not everything that gets dug up is going to fit your desired script.

FoenixRising posted 10/8/2019 18:31 PM

HIO- sheesh lady. Put the pitchfork down! Jkjkjk. You always provide me with food for thought. In this case you are wrong. I did/do love AP and his family. I didnít LOVE MYSELF. that was where I went wrong.

Darkness Falls posted 10/8/2019 18:44 PM

And honestly, that is our target audience here, right? Learning and growing to meet their standards?

Absolutely not. I do not have a ďtarget audience.Ē In fact, I believe that statement is troubling because it could very easily lead to disingenuousnessówhat another poster, whom I wonít mention by name because as a BS he canít participate in this thread, calls ďgiving the right answer.Ē I also do not meet anyoneís standards but my own.

trying like hell to reconcile with

In my post-D-day situation, nobody was trying like hell to reconcile with anybody. In fact, my H was trying like hell to get away from me as fast as he possibly could. When we got back together, he told me from his own mouth that the A was a non-issue and that he had reached a point where he ďjust wasnít angry anymoreĒ (direct quote). Not everyone has followed the traditional reconciliation process.

[This message edited by Darkness Falls at 6:45 PM, October 8th (Tuesday)]

FoenixRising posted 10/8/2019 19:08 PM

I also have no target audience, though I do try to be sincere and careful in how I say things here bc I donít want any BS to feel pain from my words. Thatís why I usually donít respond to posts such as this. I respect DF and her opinion and viewpoints. I often agree with her posts and her spirit. It wasnít a surprise Iíd agree with her here too. I assume we see the same color.

But, truth be told... any person has a choice in how to react to my words. Itís possible for 2 people to be looking at the same exact color on the same exact dress and yet see a different color? Is one person wrong? Or are they just seeing something differently. Not necessarily wrong but different. (Hence me and DF seeing the same color frequently.).

Not everyone has to agree with what the color looks like for them, just that itís the same color.

You could remove the stop sign if you desire. I would/will still stand by my words. Iím willing to listen to others surely and maybe I will see a new color Iíve never seen before. Thatís up to you. Sometimes itís ok to agree to disagree and revisit later too.

Remember, special can also mean significant. Affairs are significant. They are a special kind of hell.... as in different than the usual hell.

I think we are saying a lot of the same. We just are presenting it differently.

OwningItNow posted 10/8/2019 19:30 PM

I certainly understand that some need the comforts of denial, but other waywards acknowledge what has been said here. We all must walk our own paths.

hikingout posted 10/9/2019 06:43 AM

I am confused- are you saying if we were one of the people who said at the time we thought it was special but now we know it wasnít we arenít remorseful?

hikingout posted 10/9/2019 08:22 AM

Sorry - I had to reread to make sure I got what was being said here.

I think the target audience when I am in the wayward forum is other waywards to be honest. But, my message is consistent. I am here to improve like BSR said, but as I have begun to feel that's less all encompassing, then I am here to try and help others.

I get that you expected one thing and got another - but just like in the BS forums we are all at different levels of our journeys and our perceptions reflect that. I don't actually think it's an unhealthy message for a BS to see there is a spectrum of how marriages go forward. I am surprised you are surprised by DF or whoever else you might be surprised about in this thread. All are pretty frequent posters and they have said the same thing many, many times in other threads. You saw other waywards jump in for a bit of support, because we already know each other's stories, we spend time over here in the wayward forum together. Some of us even PM. Just like there is a BS community and we make guest appearances but many of them have been supporting each other more closely.

At the end of the day - I feel my message on all boards is consistent. That I was as lost as one can get - a BS once told me that he thought I was so lost in the fog I was going to walk off a cliff. But, I engaged in my personal recovery, in my marital recovery and I think I came out a much better person in the end. I know that my husband had to pay dearly for that, and I say those words with that in mind, always.

Also, I think sometimes the differences in remorse, guilt, and regret can get lost in translation. I think you can have remorse over what you did to another person without them sharing all their feelings about it - but most of us who have gotten to R - our BS's shared their experience with us. We got a very intimate view of the damage. DF didn't experience that. She still feels remorse, guilt, and regret. Everyone also knows she posts through a lens of a not happily married person, with a husband that knows that to be the case. She's not some boogey-man who is wearing a mask in her real life.

The wayward forum is different than all the other forums, because we talk about our work and we explore our thoughts and evolution. We leave the stop sign off a lot in case a BS does have something they think is helpful to say in the situation. But, sometimes, when we are encouraging each other and talking about our work, it gets them a bit lost because they want us to refocus on the pain we caused the BS. It's not that we are not focused on it at all, it's just that may not be what we are trying to discuss in that particular thread. The things we have to get right are a mere poor consolation prize to them, and I understand that, but because of that when I am in the WS forum I really try and be authentic to the processes of others. I try to show them the compassion that I also try to show myself.


I am not sure I have seen you post in the WS forum much, and while I have a ton of respect for you and I thought this was a good thread to start, I think you saw it going one way and now think it failed. In my eyes, this was a very successful thread, but you concentrated far too much on an outlier in the response. Most all of us sang the chorus you were hoping to hear, but not because you were hoping to hear it but because our narrative fit.

I saw Oldtruck went running back to the General forum as if the only thing he got out of this thread is one WS said the sex was amazing! Like he has been waiting for FR's arrival. Unfortunately, he left out the whole idea that she was sexually deprived and also said in hindsight it was not amazing. (I guess he may not see that many of the other WW's had sex on tap at home so he sees this one admission as proof of something) I point this out because everyone is still going to take what they want to take from this thread and it's going to be different for everyone, that's why the diversity of it is helpful.

I hope that many BS's who are struggling with their lost wayward see a bigger group of people who were once as lost as their WS who came to see that their affair was not amazing or good - that it was something they deeply regret and feel remorseful to their own spouse for. You seemed to walk away with the focus on one or two people and seeming to say if remorse doesn't look like your picture then it's not remorse. I don't know if that is true or not to be honest. I think I can usually pick a wayward out of a line up and see they don't get it, and I really didn't see a whole lot of that happening on this thread, which was a very interesting one. I personally enjoyed the interaction amongst my fellow waywards as we tried to piece together a picture and discuss some really uncharted territory.


Anyway, Because of the way you set it up, it really just ends up looking like you came here to prove a point, felt the point didn't get proven, and then kind of regretted the whole thing. I don't really get it at all - this was put in a forum that is probably 70 percent new people, 10 percent people who have been in and out and are still trying to grasp where to start, and the rest of us pretty much have shared our stories ad naseum. I think maybe you didn't consider your audience.

[This message edited by hikingout at 9:16 AM, October 9th (Wednesday)]

hikingout posted 10/9/2019 08:35 AM

HIO- sheesh lady. Put the pitchfork down! Jkjkjk. You always provide me with food for thought. In this case you are wrong. I did/do love AP and his family. I didnít LOVE MYSELF. that was where I went wrong.


I will push you a bit harder on the point I was trying to make. Because you didn't love yourself (I believe that is 100% accurate), you were in a place you were using other people for your feelings. You weren't in a place where you loved anyone. By sleeping with her husband, you proved that your feelings were more important than hers. That's not love. Love is when you hold someone else's feelings as important as your own, and in some situations more important than your own. If you loved her at the time of the affair, you would have considered her feelings above what you wanted.

I am really not trying to do anything but give you some different perspective to your thoughts. I think that is why a lot of us say that we were incapable of loving the AP or our spouses at the time of our affair. We were too busy using everyone as pawns to get our feelings and value from them.

I am sure in hindsight there were some healthy relationships with them in earlier days, and that you miss those relationships. Maybe you did love them in those times and miss that now. I just thought it was a bit tone deaf to be proclaiming that you loved them. It made me flinch a little. I think a healthier or truer way to look at it is that you used to love them, you became too selfish to love anyone and you began using the husband to fill up your empty tank and disregarded her in the process. You can't love someone while you are having an affair with their husband. I do hope you will take that with the caring that I mean by sharing that with you and consider it a little further.

I see this a lot like what I had to accept about the affair - that I couldn't have loved my husband during it. It's really that same discussion. I loved him before, and I loved him after, but during it didn't exist because if it did I would have considered him more fully in my decisions.


Barregirl posted 10/9/2019 09:10 AM

I think if you are posting in any forum to illicit a specific response, you will inevitably be disappointed. To paint all wayward experiences as the same does a huge disservice to the individual paths we all walk. I am a wayward whose M had deteriorated to the point that my H had been unable/unwilling to get me to orgasm in close to 4 years. I can say that the sex was good with the AP if only because I was able to reach orgasm. For some people sex is simply a bodily function. My AP was far from the first casual sexual partner I had, so there was nothing special about it, but it was good sex. Sex with my H is special because of the feelings we share. As my BH and I have travelled through R, our M sex has become far better than good. Please try to remember that each couple/individual here has their own journey to undertake and don't get upset if we can't share your individual narrative.

hikingout posted 10/9/2019 09:21 AM

T/J - Barregirl! I have been wondering about you and how you are. Glad to see things are still moving forward. I love that you can always say what I want to say in one paragraph! I didn't think you were on any more, so I am glad that you are still touching base! Post an update sometime if you are so inclined!

FoenixRising posted 10/9/2019 10:54 AM

Thank you HIO. As I said, you do often give me pause and I reflect and appreciate your words and advice. In fact, when I first landed here and I read what your words, I always thought, ĎI canít wait to be that far in my own recovery.í I think your response here has made me realize that I finally am at strong place in my recovery! Honestly, the mere fact that I read your words over and over trying to see why Iím not getting your point... I realize, I think youíre not getting it.
First, my words should not make you flinch or clench. Theyíre my words.its my story, my narrative. It doesnít make me flinch. And, kind of like DF, I donít care if my words make someone else flinch. Itís my story. If it doesnít fit the script youíre hoping to read, thatís ok. Truth though... to tell another person what they felt, what theyíre capable to feel, what they were wrong to feel or whatever, IMO, HIO, is much like what owning it now has said. She flinched at the responses. You flinched at mine. Both trying to convince others theyíre feeljngs are wrong or inaccurate.

HIO- your opinion is so important to me always. But in attempts to help you grow, I would like you to look into yourself to see why in this situation you canít at least appreciate someone elseís feelings, even if theyíre different than yours. Why do my words make you flinch?

I guess Iím just kinda like, ummmmm, if you didnít live in my body, walk in my shoes, feel my feels, walk my path... what gives you the right to tell me Iím wrong? Can we not celebrate diversity? Individual healing?

Donít get me wrong... I am still a wayward. I still have wayward urges but my thoughts are in control. I am knowledgeable now in ways that I wasnít before. In those ways, I hope to go forward making better, positive choices. Iíll screw up along the way. Maybe this writing right now is a screw up but in this moment, based on my journey this far, itís my reality. Itís ok with me. Why is not ok with you?

FoenixRising posted 10/9/2019 10:57 AM

Also... hey barregirlllllllll.... good to see you doll. I missed you too. 😘

Barregirl posted 10/9/2019 11:58 AM

T/J continued... Sorry OIN. Hi HO and FR! Good to "see" you too. I have been reading, but not posting. I am on vacation with BH in Montreal and will post an update later!

hikingout posted 10/9/2019 12:45 PM

FR -

First, it seems like you that you are reading my message as if I am judging you or talking down to you. It's really not that I walk around feeling like I know everything or that I am always right. I have been wrong plenty and have had to learn from each thing just like anyone else. I think that this site is about offering each other perspective, and I just simply offered you mine.

As far as the flinching goes - you may be reading that as a severe adverse reaction. It's more like a description of a feeling like when you are in a restaurant and someone you are with is rude to the waitress. You kind of eating dinner, enjoying the conversation and you get struck that the person next to you is lacking empathy with someone else.

And, I think that's what your post felt like to me. That you lack empathy for your former friend. It sounds like you feel awful (sympathy) about it and that you feel awful (regret) that you lost your friendship that you valued. I believe that's probably true. But, the difference is when you have empathy, you can actually put yourself in their shoes (remorse). You can envision that she slept with your husband multiple times behind your back. Would you believe that person loved you? Would you want that kind of love in your life? Would you cringe if you heard her then turn around and say she loved you? It's painful to think about it that way, I know. It's facing something difficult to face.

That's why I compared it to having to face the truth that I didn't love my husband. I mean, c'mon I felt like I always loved my husband - how dare the people here tell me that I didn't? I was appalled. Well, in all reality, when I got remorse and empathy for what I did, I could see that I didn't love him. Loving means considering other people in your decisions, considering their well being and their needs and feelings. It's actions - not just having fond feelings for someone. So, I had to accept that I had to suspend my love for him in order to do such a thing to him. And, by doing that he was able to see that I had redefined the way I was throwing the word love around

I recently had a go round here about whether or not I was a good mother. Oh, talk about feeling defensive - I felt defensive for sure. I was an excellent mother. But, during my affair, I didn't consider my children's well being or feelings about what I was doing to their father. When I could put myself in their shoes, I could see that wasn't a loving act.

I can understand why you feel defensive, and I feel completely fine with whether we agree to disagree. It doesn't change the way I see you, it doesn't change my heart in the future if I want to support or help you. I have compassion for you as I have compassion for myself. These things I am pointing out to you are meant to help, and if they didn't, they just didn't. But, I am not trying to get on some high horse and take you down or anything like that. That would be ridiculous considering we've essentially done many of the same things, and have been in the same places. I am trying to offer some insight that may change your perspective because of what I frame as healthy or not healthy. But, I am not here to say who is right or who is wrong or who is good or who is bad, that stuff isn't for me to say.

[This message edited by hikingout at 12:51 PM, October 9th (Wednesday)]

FoenixRising posted 10/9/2019 14:45 PM

Again HIO, I think you are mistaking my confidence in my own feelings as me being defensive. I donít feel attacked. I donít feel that Iím being judged. I simply feel that you are wrong. And sometimes thatís ok! We donít have to agree. I appreciate you nudging me to dig deeper on this bc I know itís coming from a place of care in your heart. I simply donít agree.

Iím not saying that what I did to her was awful. The double betrayal of her and someone sheíd consideted family. The fact that all she ever provided me and my family with was love support and kindness. She had my back. She had my kids back. Iím aware of the detriment I threw violently in her face. She and I sat together and cried and hugged after I was released from the hospital. It was the hardest conversation Iíve ever had to have in my life. Trying to explain to someone you love how you coukd just stomp on them. She wasnít the only victim. Obviously my BS (whom I will agree I did not love at the time) My children, her child, other friends, other children. I loved them all too at the time of my A. I didnít love myself though and the only thing that made me feel a little good then was AP. Do drug addicts not love their families when they are using?

Again, Iím not being defensive... Iím explaining how you are wrong in your diagnosis of MY feelings. Kindly, you werenít there so stop acting like you were HIO. Iím not you. Youíre not me. Our paths are not the same. Itís ok to agree to disagree. Itís ok that we arenít seeing the same color on a dress that clearly only has one color. You see white. I see blue. Why canít it be both colors?

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