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Just Found Out :
Can't get over him being in love with her

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 neverwithoutmychildren (original poster new member #83268) posted at 3:19 PM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

Hello,

This is my first post and I am not totally ready to share the whole story yet so I hope my post and questions are okay here like this for now.

I discovered my husband had a 6 month emotional affair, it was with someone at work so they spent all day together, though it did not get physical. He says he would not have gone there, I don't believe him at all and think he would have if it had been possible (both married, worked in a kitchen and employees didn't have a separate place to go, her husband picked her up right after work, they seemed to think that if there was nothing physicial it was okay etc).

The last month since I discovered (by questioning, and he had this look about him like he was in love or something, it was so weird to see!) has been intense and really tough. He was horrible with me at first, yelling, blaming me, saying the most horrendous things, he looked like a yelling volcano or something, and just seemed like a complete stranger to me.

I couldn't believe he would do something like that or blame me for it.

From reading here, I realised it was "normal" behavior when (some) people cheat and so I continued refusing blame and asking questions. It took me the most courage I have ever had in my whole life to get through these last weeks where he then started trickle-truthing, then yelling again etc and now finally for about 2 weeks has been doing all the actions to repair and tell the truth.

I still can't get over how much he fell for her, I found her pics online, she is younger, prettier, just so dainty that I call her his Disney princess.

The problem is that because they kept it "clean" no contact outside of work (except a few "friendly" emails - I have read them, he has deleted and blocked), no touching (except by "accident", they work in a kitchen, so that probably happened frequently), and both being "happily" married, he was able to grow an intense emotional relationship. He seems to know so much about her and was fantasising about things (the future, what it would be like to be living together, even having kids, something he has NEVER wanted - not that they talked about that, but he thought about it ALL THE TIME). And I see his eyes when he talks about her, I don't think he has ever felt or looked at me that way (we have been together for 9 years, married for 7, both in our 40s).

He really is doing everything right (now), I have studied these boards like crazy and I can't deny it, he is remorseful, will answer any question without getting angry etc, taking actions, quit his job, found a new one, came up with some "rules" so I can always check or know what he is doign and where etc

Of course he still has a HUGE way to go, he will still act and speak in a self-centred way, for example even though he is starting to show that he gets how I feel, I think he is still mostly overwhelmed by shame and guilt (so more focussed on him for now).

he has been crying all the time, being super emotional and expressing gratitude etc, things I have never seen him do.

He knows I am expecting top shape behavior and that he has to be all in, though I am not making any major decision right now.

What gets me and keeps me from sleeping, eating, working is how much he was into her. We talked about it and even i can tell he feels a way he never did for me. He went through a huge heartbreak when he quit and sometimes I still see him sad about it (there is this look in his eyes and when i ask he does confirm).

I can't get over my husband being in love with another woman :-(

Plus how could it be worth it with no physical contact? I know that there is a big imaginary part of it too... but he seems to genuinely care about her, think about her, and really love her.

I think he really cared for her and liked her and actually fell in love (in a messed up kind of way, not sure I can write the actual words I am thinking in this forum), and it was serious enough that he knew very well it could be the end of our marriage.

I am not sure I can get over him being in love with another woman and how he would have risked our marriage for something so "superficial" (on the outside, intense on the inside and I guess between then in their "contactless so okay" relationship). When I found out she had just been moved to another location for work so he continued working there for a while. It took a few weeks before he went NC and quit his job. After she came back to the location and found out he had left, she tried reaching out (in a mellow shy text but still out of what i would consider appropriate for a married woman). He didn't answer and he deleted it along with her contact info (after yelling at me and telling me if was my fault, that was a few weeks ago when we first starting talking about it, he REALLY regrets using it against me now and apologises often about that incident).

I have never cheated but when I am in love, i want physical contact. It's true that my husband does not seem to be wired that way (he did fantasise about sex with her and find her attractive but he does seem to have more of a preference for the emotional side, I can't say that makes me feel any better though!).

I guess I just can't believe he did that.

How do I move forward ?

[This message edited by neverwithoutmychildren at 3:40 PM, Wednesday, May 3rd]

Heartbroken / Married 9 years / BW 47 / WH 44 / 6 month EA / DDay 19Mar23

posts: 16   ·   registered: Apr. 28th, 2023
id 8789400
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 5:26 PM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

Generally, when distance isn't an issue, it's also a sexual affair.

They thought they were in love,and adults who feel they are in love have sex.

Cheaters are sneaky. It's highly possible she told her husband he had to work, her husband dropped her off,and then she and your husband left and found somewhere to have sex. Not just possible..it's likely.

My sister works at a restaurant. She's told stories of employees sneaking off to the freezer, the stock room,and even he bathroom, to have sex.


Have you spoken to her husband? He deserves to know.

If your husband were remorseful, he would be doing the work to become a safe partner. And,he would have realized he didn't love her. He was addicted to the feeling a bright shiny new toy gave him. What, exactly, is he doing to be a safe partner? Is he in IC to figure out why he cheated?

[This message edited by HellFire at 5:28 PM, Wednesday, May 3rd]

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6711   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8789422
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 7:33 PM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

Hi neverwithoutmychildren,

I'm so sorry you find yourself here, but I'm glad you found us. We're the best group of people no one ever wanted to join.

I say this in the gentlest possible way, but two weeks of "good behaviour" is hardly anything in the grand scheme of things. It's obviously a good step, but I think you'd be wise to be cautious for now to consider 2 weeks of good behaviour "true remorse". Particularly if, as you say, he's still incredibly focused on his own shame. You've also already experienced trickle truth so you know how Waywards, almost instinctively go into self-preservation mode. None of this is to say that the steps he's taken, such as quitting his job, aren't

"We didn't have sex" is one of the most common lies that Waywards tell. I obviously don't know that your husband is lying here, but even with everything you indicated about how it was not possible, I'm certainly skeptical. Where there is a will there is a way. My own spouse (who was also militant about not texting OW when he was at home) managed to conduct a PA (physical affair) in an office building with all-glass walls and in the backseat of OW's car. Where there is a will cheaters will find a way. By the way, I've also worked in restaurants in the past, and I know of staff-on-staff hookups that took place in the walk-in coolers, stock-rooms, janitor's closets etc. Please know that I don't say any of this to be cruel or to discourage what limited optimism you may be able to muster at this point, I'm just trying to protect you and your heart from another emotional blow.

I can't get over my husband being in love with another woman :-(

There is no way to take the sting out of this. I'm so sorry. You have been heard and please know that you are amongst friends who know first-hand precisely how devastating this is.

I WILL say that whatever they had wasn't real. I mean, how can you actually love someone you've never spent any REAL time with outside of work. They may have believed it was, it sounds like your husband still does. But real love is built on honesty, and vulnerability, and intimacy, and commitment, built over time - it is based in REALITY. This was not that. This was likely infatuation/limerence. Around here we often call it the "affair fog" - because it isn't a rational state of mind. During limerence, the brain is flooded with dopamine (which is the neurotransmitter in the brain associated with reward and motivation) and this feeling is associated with feelings of euphoria and pre-occupation of the object of one's desire (ie. the AP). Dopamine feels really good. It's like a "high", and in fact, it literally activates the same parts of the brain as cocaine does. There are plenty of reformed former Waywards here who talk about how they felt "addicted" to their AP during the A. And just like in drug addiction, limerence tends to be more about how the other person made them feel, rather than how they actually felt about the other person. Does any of this make you feel any better? Probably not, but I'm hoping it might help you make sense a little bit of sense of something that looks so... bizarre.

You mention that the OW is married. Has her spouse been notified about the A? Notifying the OBS (other betrayed spouse) seem like a scary thing to do at the moment but it is absolutely the right thing to do. 1. The OBS deserves to know the truth about his life and letting him know gives him agency over his situation. 2. Nothing breaks the affair fog faster than real life and real consequences. In my scenario, within hours of notifying OBS, my husband and the AP (after realizing that they were both prioritizing their marriages over one another) began selling each other out REAL fast. After seeing her true colours in the stark light of day (without that affair fog haze), my husband soon came to despise his AP and stopped romanticizing it. 3. If OBS knows, there will be a second set of eyes on the AP making extra sure no-contact is not broken. This is a big one.

I still can't get over how much he fell for her, I found her pics online, she is younger, prettier, just so dainty that I call her his Disney princess.

To the extent that you are able, please stop comparing yourself to this woman. It's a natural thing to do - I've certainly been there. First off, the images posted on social media are carefully curated and in many cases do not reflect reality. 2. Only a deeply insecure, deeply flawed person would be willing to trade in their marriage, their morals, their integrity, and their ethics in order to be a part-time side piece.

I hope some of this was helpful to you. The road to healing from this is long and there are no simple fixes. I hope you'll keep reading and sharing. Best of luck to you.

Me: BS. Him: WS.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Happily reconciled.

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id 8789436
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Tanner ( Guide #72235) posted at 8:15 PM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

I’m sorry you find yourself here, you are among a group of people that understand and have walked the same path.

I agree with others there is more to the physical side of this. "Accidental" touching is such a minimized lie. They work close together, there was more physical contact.

He is also TT you. He is telling you bits and pieces to cover his ass, he will say it’s to protect you, but it’s right from the cheaters handbook.

You need to inform her BH and compare notes. You will find there is more to this story.

Again I’m sorry you found us, stick around you are safe here.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R BH M 32 years

posts: 3458   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
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NorthernMSB ( member #69725) posted at 8:21 PM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

Hi, I'm sorry this happened to you.

Number one, as someone else said, it is 100 percent possible to find places to have sex as staff at a restaurant, not usual but possible depending on the restaurant layout. I beg to differ about having sex in the cooler or freezer...NO ONE ever did that thank God!

I've seen many emotional connections from in my over twenty year career as a chef. People know EVERYTHING about everyone, constant flirting and teasing, long hours, and pressure. It is an extremely intense work environment and people form tight bonds that usually break apart when they no longer work together. Some of those bonds are not appropriate like in the case of your husband.

Number two, are you sure this whole thing wasn't more on your husband's side than the woman at work? Older guy, younger woman (usually in the kitchen but mostly a chef/server dynamic). I've seen it so many times, guys thinking they were in love (but weren't), making asses of themselves while slobbering over pretty girls. Make sure this was a mutual EA before blowing her life up. And I am usually ALWAYS 100 percent on the tell-the-OBS side of every affair. But I've also seen SO many younger women in my kitchens who thought they were just talking to men who thought something else. Conversations were had to straighten everything out, people fired/transferred, and in two cases restraining orders issued. Messy business.

Your husband crossed a line here and you need to take care of yourself. Don't compare yourself to anyone, and hand in there.

Me: BW-54
Him-WH-58

Too many Ddays now to count, all with the same LTAP ex-girlfriend (or I guess current) except the brief fling November 2018-Christmas Eve 2018 with another ex-girlfriend

I'm tired

posts: 492   ·   registered: Feb. 10th, 2019
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Diva19 ( member #83232) posted at 9:50 PM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

I am sorry to hear about your story. I too am facing a familiar situation only 6 months ago my husband had a affair. He is a chef she was a server and younger and single she gave him his ego boost. Because they work together he was being admired by a younger woman telling him how great he is and he fell for it hook line sinker it's an awful feeling I have tried to not compare myself with her as well but it's hard to wonder why? I keep asking him why her and like others have said he only gives me some pieces of truth he still says he didn't want to be with her he just liked the attention and she understood his job unlike me. I also got blamed and yelled at. I will tell you finding this forum has helped me see others stories and been given helpful advice as I hope you do as well. I'm still trying to understand so much and not make a decision to quickly but the pain is hard. I was given advice to have him take a polygraph test and still going to do that for the truth because as others stated and I know first hand they lie and keep lying to protect themselves even if they want forgiveness. Mine told me just yesterday he lied because he didn't want to hurt me. I said you can't hurt me anymore than you have already and all I asked for was honesty they just can't do it at least not in the beginning maybe as it goes on but I felt like he cheated on me all over again by lying to me all this time. Just know you are strong. Just take care of yourself and keep posting here and remember as I have learned it isn't your fault he cheated.

posts: 86   ·   registered: Apr. 20th, 2023
id 8789448
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 neverwithoutmychildren (original poster new member #83268) posted at 3:42 PM on Thursday, May 4th, 2023

Hello again,

Thank you to everyone who has responded, it is all very helpful!

I totally agree with those of you who said that grown adults in affairs find creative ways to get sex.

I don't know why I stated working in a kitchen as the reason they didn't have sex. I worked in a lab and I definitely know that people can get it on absolutely anywhere!

What I meant to say is I don't think they had sex but for more personal reasons that I know about my husband (confirmed by his sexual history and past partners). He is not sexually attracted to the people he gets feelings for. He can fantasise about sex but IRL he has trouble getting aroused especially if he has feelings for that person. He can still have sex if he wants to, it's just not front of mind for him. So sex is possible but doesn't really "do much" for him.

And I do believe that given the chance and space he needs to get things moving in that direction (and most of all if she had wanted to...) he could/would have made it physical.

So I have decided to consider it as if he had cheated physically as well in the way I am dealing with what happened (because even though he says it did not happen, how can I be sure?).

On the other hand one thing that has surprised me tremendously in this whole thing is how much the emotional connection hurts me more.

I always thought 100% that cheating physically is the worst possible thing ever, and had never really understood how emotional affairs could be as hurtful.

But knowing my husband developed a relationship in all other aspects with another woman is devastating for me, especially knowing how he values that over sex in relationships. It's like he gave or more truthfully tried to get what he cares about most in a relationship, but from another woman than me.

I also agree that it was more on his side than hers. I have read the few emails she wrote him (I sneaked into his computer and phone for the first time ever) and they are very PG13 though I still feel they are not appropriate for a married woman.

The way it looks is a totally blown up "crush" on his side, but to a devastating degree and way more of an emotional connection than should ever exist with another woman. He just drank her in and I believe he was in a fairytale with the attention she was giving him, he helped her out with a lot of stuff and sounds like he was playing prince-charming on a white horse.

It's terrible because at home he was being cold, mean and saying horrible stuff to me, he was just horrible to me on so many levels.


It's true that 2 weeks of "good beahavior" are nothing when compared to what happened and how long it all lasted, how much he hid, and to me it's the lying and hiding that are the most hurtful too. It just feels good after all the TT and lies, yelling, blaming, being downright mean with me.

I told him I cannot trust a friend that does that, that he is no longer my best friend (and clearly wasn't) and that anything we build is a new relationship, nothing from before counts to me anymore (I don't think he got to that point only just recently with this emotional affair, he had to have been "open" before that, he even says he felt like he had still been "searching" for his soulmate even though we were together!).

He has a LOT of work to do!

I am not making any major decisions right now, though I am open to R, if he does the work (and if the relationship still works for me!).

Someone asked what actions he has taken, here they are:

-Quit his job
-Looked for a new job and put some financial solutions into place to replace the lost income
-Found a new job and started this week
-Made a timeline of all his sexual relationships before me (I found out he had not been truthful)
-Got an STD test (because of the above)
-Blocked the OW from all his social media, deleted messages, didn't answer when she asked where he was as he left work abruptly
-Been truthful (over several weeks, after yelling and arguing etc, then "let go" and started being more direct 2 weeks ago): he answers every question, shared his thought process etc, showing remorse, said he is extremely grateful I am giving him a chance and does not expect me to stop asking questions or to trust him at any given time in the future, he says he will probably need to be repairing for at least the "next 75 years"
-Created some "rules" (not sure how to call them): for example that he will text me if he is alone with a female coworker, will not carpool with women from work, etc. I added some from the boards here: give me access at anytime to any of his electronic devices..
-is looking for rings online and wants to renew our vows (he has never wanted to wear wedding rings before)
-We now have sex every day, something I have always wanted, he is more of a 3-4 times a year guy

I am not saying he is a wonderful husband right now, not at all. We have gotten very close in the last few weeks and I am seeing him in a totally different way (not the "perfect" guy I thought he was, and some parts I hate like the lying and cheating, some parts I love, it's like he is starting to open up for the first time). But he is still in his own pain a lot, feeling bad about what he did and has a long way to go to become a compassionate human being who can totally be there for me.

I don't think I would tell the OW's husband as it stands right now, I think he was stupidly infatuated with a woman who gave and got attention from him. I think he had a very one-sided emotional affair and until I have any reason to be sure of anything else, I don't plan on contacting her or her husband.

Like I said for myself I will not have any of my decisions depend on believing 100% they did not have any physical contact (except all the "accidental" touching at work), but I won't bring someone else in unless I have a solid reason to believe it.

Unfortunately I am now sure that if had had an opportunity (and it takes certain conditions for him to be able to get it up, as he is not directly aroused by another person, even if everything works perfectly when it does), he would have done it. He was angry and blaming me about everything in his life, I think he hated me enough to justify cheating on me physically to be honest.

Please advise me, I am very intuitive and at the same time a scientist by training, so I overanalyse everything and I am pretty sure my posts are a bit long, descriptive and probably boring. If you can read through the lines and help me with any questions or advice, I want to move forward, I am open to R and don't want to be fooled again. I truly love him but I have been through a lot and want the best for myself and for both of us, and don't want to rush into anything.

Thanks again to everyone answering, it really means a lot and helps me get out of my own head, it's hellish in there right now!

Heartbroken / Married 9 years / BW 47 / WH 44 / 6 month EA / DDay 19Mar23

posts: 16   ·   registered: Apr. 28th, 2023
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Tanner ( Guide #72235) posted at 5:17 PM on Thursday, May 4th, 2023

I don't think I would tell the OW's husband as it stands right now, I think he was stupidly infatuated with a woman who gave and got attention from him.

They are at a minimum standing at the top of the slippery slope. They are pushing and testing boundaries. Most cheaters think they can dance around it and flirt with infidelity, and then it’s too late, they fly right into an affair.

If you could ask most cheaters, one week before they crossed the final line, if they would ever cheat, they would adamantly say no.

Her H should know that she is at a minimum seeking validation outside the marriage, she is on the slippery slope.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R BH M 32 years

posts: 3458   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
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Tanner ( Guide #72235) posted at 5:19 PM on Thursday, May 4th, 2023

-is looking for rings online and wants to renew our vows (he has never wanted to wear wedding rings before)

I would absolutely scratch this from the list. It’s not appropriate now.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R BH M 32 years

posts: 3458   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8789581
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 12:30 AM on Friday, May 5th, 2023

What is he doing to figure out why he thought infidelity was ok? What is he doing to fix what's broken inside him?

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6711   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8789627
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ThisIsSoLonely ( Guide #64418) posted at 7:29 AM on Friday, May 5th, 2023

For me (at least) this would not (and did not) matter:

They thought they were in love,and adults who feel they are in love have sex.

Cheaters are sneaky. It's highly possible she told her husband he had to work, her husband dropped her off,and then she and your husband left and found somewhere to have sex. Not just possible..it's likely.

People used to say this to me all the time and I honestly did not care about the sex. anywhere near like I did the rest - it was at the bottom of my list of concerns. The sex (which definitely happened in my WH's A) was the least of my worries as sex you can get anywhere - the feelings - that was the killer to my self esteem and to the whole marriage really. I recorded a phone call of my WH and the AP where he said he loved her or I love you or some form of love for her at least 5 times and that killed me. I personally was so much more hurt by two things you are describing: 1) the lies, and 2) the "love". I would have been far happier had it been some random sexual hook up, even multiple random hook ups. The emotional part of it was the worst for me. As it turned out the sex was far less frequent than I imagined (I paid to have his phone forensically recovered and there are multiple texts from her counting the days, weeks, months since they last had sex and it didn't make me feel any better. If anything it made ne feel worse as he did all this to me WITHOUT sexual contact with her for almost a year)

I just wanted you to know that if you are feeling crushed by the emotional part, you are not alone.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 7:33 AM, Friday, May 5th]

You are the only person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with. Act accordingly.

Constantly editing posts: usually due to sticky keys on my laptop or additional thoughts

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 neverwithoutmychildren (original poster new member #83268) posted at 4:54 PM on Friday, May 5th, 2023

Hello and thanks again for the answers.

I never realised before how intense it is to post and read people's responses. It takes me a little while each time to feel ready to read and answer back again.

I appreciate even the answers that I didn't "like" as they make sense and help me feel more grounded by at least considering all advice that is given.

It means so much to read everyone in this thread as I feel like it's the only space that feels true and real for me right now.

Not sure how to quote and tag people yet, I'll take a try:

@tanner

They are at a minimum standing at the top of the slippery slope. They are pushing and testing boundaries. Most cheaters think they can dance around it and flirt with infidelity, and then it’s too late, they fly right into an affair.

I agree and this really expresses how I feel about the fact he says they did not have sex. It may have been possible, could have happened, but definitely he might have even if it hadn't happened yet. HE put HIMSELF on that slippery slope. It just doesn't even matter to me as I thought it would if they did have sex or not (and I am taking precautions as if he did though leaning on the side of believing he didn't).

What hurts the most is the emotional connection. It's like I don't care if it was fake or all that...he thought or thinks he felt something strong and was willing to risk everything with me for that. The way he looked when he first told me about her, I honestly don't remember him ever speaking or talking or looking like that about me, ever! imagining a baby when he never wanted children (it's my second marriage and I already have children from my first marriage so it was a common decision).

It seems like a huge mountain to accept he felt or believed he felt that way and jumped into it with someone he saw everyday, the lies, the fantasy, it's crazy and so cruel.

@tanner

I would absolutely scratch this from the list. It’s not appropriate now.

I agree here as well, he was looking for rings and wanted to renew our vows. I took it more for him to wear one as he didn't want to before. I see how renewing our vows would not be timely now, I do want him to committ to change his ways and he suggested having a ring to see and wear everyday as he knows I have always wanted that. He knows I am not making any major decisions right now.

@thisissolonely

People used to say this to me all the time and I honestly did not care about the sex. anywhere near like I did the rest - it was at the bottom of my list of concerns. The sex (which definitely happened in my WH's A) was the least of my worries as sex you can get anywhere - the feelings - that was the killer to my self esteem and to the whole marriage really. I recorded a phone call of my WH and the AP where he said he loved her or I love you or some form of love for her at least 5 times and that killed me. I personally was so much more hurt by two things you are describing: 1) the lies, and 2) the "love". I would have been far happier had it been some random sexual hook up, even multiple random hook ups. The emotional part of it was the worst for me. As it turned out the sex was far less frequent than I imagined (I paid to have his phone forensically recovered and there are multiple texts from her counting the days, weeks, months since they last had sex and it didn't make me feel any better. If anything it made ne feel worse as he did all this to me WITHOUT sexual contact with her for almost a year)

I just wanted you to know that if you are feeling crushed by the emotional part, you are not alone.

Thank you so much! I am having difficulty expressing how I feel as I always thought the physical would be worse for sure and that is not at all how I feel now that I am in the situation of a BS. It's so painful, worse than anything I have experienced before probably because of the betrayal too. I appreciate your response and so sorry to know you understand though as that means you are /have been suffering the same.

[This message edited by neverwithoutmychildren at 4:55 PM, Friday, May 5th]

Heartbroken / Married 9 years / BW 47 / WH 44 / 6 month EA / DDay 19Mar23

posts: 16   ·   registered: Apr. 28th, 2023
id 8789824
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BoundaryBuilder ( member #78439) posted at 6:19 PM on Friday, May 5th, 2023

It's true that my husband does not seem to be wired that way (he did fantasise about sex with her and find her attractive

Unfortunately I am now sure that if had had an opportunity (and it takes certain conditions for him to be able to get it up, as he is not directly aroused by another person, even if everything works perfectly when it does), he would have done it.

He is not sexually attracted to the people he gets feelings for. He can fantasise about sex but IRL he has trouble getting aroused especially if he has feelings for that person

And I do believe that given the chance and space he needs to get things moving in that direction (and most of all if she had wanted to...) he could/would have made it physical.

We now have sex every day, something I have always wanted, he is more of a 3-4 times a year guy

Hello NWMC. I'm so sorry your partner made such selfish choices. And so sorry you're here struggling with the fallout. But glad you found SI. Folks have offered some good advice. Triaging your immediate situation is the priority, but don't lose sight of what YOU want this new partnership to look like if you do decide to stay. IMHO, in addition to his intimate betrayal, another dynamic in your marriage that could be (eventually) explored is sex - by both of you. Especially if reconciliation is seriously on the table.Your comments above really jumped out at me. Yes, arousal and desire are tricky human behaviors difficult to quantify or categorize. Everyone is different, everyone has different expectations/needs re: physical intimacy within a committed parnership. It appears your sexual needs weren't a priority before the A. It's interesting that everything is working fine for him in that department when he's intently lovebombing you into staying! His fantasy vs. real life arousal seems important here when looking at the emotional investment he put into the EA. Agreed that the emotional fantasy, the " searching for his soulmate" stuff is significant and especially hurtful to you if sex is not his thing. Follows that his "love" for her, while a fantasy, is what you are struggling with the most. Makes sense doesn't it?

NWMC, it's not your job to untangle him. It only works if he's willing to untangle himself. If he's serious about staying, seems individual counseling for him should be on that list of things he's doing to become a safe partner. Yes, he's got a lot of work to do. HE needs to take the initiative to figure out WHY he made the choices he made. Love bombing, willingness to be monitered, etc. is not enough IMO to sustain true reconcilliation. He DEFINATELY needs to untangle what this willingness to get lost in fantasy is all about. Is porn use part of his life?

I am not making any major decisions right now, though I am open to R, if he does the work (and if the relationship still works for me!).

Good for you. Guess I'm encouraging exploring what is up with his sexual intimacy patterns (fantasy vs. real life) into his "work" so that there can be a realistic sustainable compromise. Work with a certified sex therapist maybe? Hopefully if you do decide to reconcile, a relationship that "works" for you will include physical intimacy that meets both of your needs. Hysterical bonding, while gratifying, doesn't last forever.

[This message edited by BoundaryBuilder at 7:14 PM, Friday, May 5th]

Married 34 years w/one adult daughter
ME:BW
HIM: 13 month texting EA with high school X who fished him on Facebook 43 years later
PA=15 days spread over final 3 months
D-Day=April 21, 2018
Reconciled

posts: 216   ·   registered: Mar. 4th, 2021
id 8789831
default

 neverwithoutmychildren (original poster new member #83268) posted at 7:14 PM on Friday, May 5th, 2023

Thanks @boundarybuilder

Hello NWMC. I'm so sorry your partner made such selfish choices. And so sorry you're here struggling with the fallout. But glad you found SI. Folks have offered some good advice. Triaging your immediate situation is the priority, but don't lose sight of what YOU want this new partnership to look like if you do decide to stay. IMHO, in addition to his intimate betrayal, another dynamic in your marriage that could be (eventually) explored is sex. Especially if reconciliation is seriously on the table.Your comments above really jumped out at me. Yes, arousal and desire are tricky human behaviors difficult to quantify or categorize. Everyone is different, everyone has different expectations/needs re: physical intimacy within a committed parnership. It appears your sexual needs weren't a priority before the A. It's interesting that everything is working fine for him in that department when he's intently lovebombing you into staying! His fantasy vs. real life arousal seems important here when looking at the emotional investment he put into the EA. Agreed that the emotional fantasy, the "soulmate" stuff is significant and especially hurtful to you if sex is not his thing. Is porn a part of his life?

It's so funny and insightful of you that you mention all that, I found out when he confessed to the EA, with a lot more questioning from me, that he has been masturbating almost daily (particularly in periods of stress) and thinking about women. This was so weird to me as he is not physically aroused by me or anyone (women or men) in general. So how did the whole masturbation thing work? He says that he would think about women from his past, or some of his exes but not about me. The scenarios mattered (women initiating particularly) but not the bodies or body parts (I don't get that at all!!!). He also said he didn't think about his OW from the EA or anyone he has feelings for while masturbating (he "tried" but it didn't work). It took many hours and days of us discussing this and him breaking down many times to tell me all of it.

I was very angry he hid and lied about all this as well. In the almost 9 years we have been together he had always told me he was not very into sex, never had sex much with previous partners and was not attracted to me or anyone (confirmed by previous partners!).

Which I guess factually is kind of true but still very far from his intimate sexual reality with all his fantasising and apparently feeling really bad about never experiencing truly satisfying sex. He said he wondered if he has the right partner or if something was wrong with him. And that in a sense he thought he could not experience great sex with me so had written me off (but never thought to mention it to me, or maybe actually committ and try for it, or leave the marriage to find satisfaction elsewhere!?!?!).

I was very upset, it sounded so immature and ridiculous to go through life living like that, playing the victim and never taking any action to go for or create what he really wants in life, all while being married and "committed" to me. It makes me feel stupid, naive and as if I never really knew him at all!

I let him know just how messed up I think he is and how he has messed everything up, his job, our relationship. our life everything!

The reason we are having sex every day right now is that he has known for a while now what that means to me and has never made the effort before (he was angry and blaming me for everything!). Many years before meeting him I left a domestic violence situation and for these last few years I was a witness in a criminal trial against my ex-husband from before WH (for sexual assault and physical violence against me, for physical violence on our children). My ex husband (not my WH) is in prison now and still harrasses us. It's been a horryifying experience to say the least!

My WH has been through it all with me, my strongest & best supporter and - I thought - my best friend. He said he found the stress of it too much, ended up resenting me and for a while now has been building horrible feelings towards me. He recognises now that he was so angry and at wits end (he "couldn't take the pain of knowing what I went through with my ex husband and couldn't stand to see me suffer as much as I did through the whole criminal process" huh?? sounds like a great reason to cheat on me and add to my pain?!?!?!) and that the masturbating & then EA etc is how he "coped" with it all.

I felt devastated because he knows more than anyone what I went through and I also pointed out that his "coping" mechanism was there way before he met me and he is just using me as an excuse, which is irresponsible and disgusting.

So the sex everyday is his commitment to me. I am not saying he doesn't enjoy it, obviously he does too (parts of it, once we get into it). But he is never aroused before we have sex, by anything, anyone, ever. He apparently was truthful about that. I am not sure how to explain it well here, but we have to "work" at it to be able to have sex. He "functions" fine (to me) once we do.

With all of this and my millions of questions to him (with my background as a scientist, reading the boards here and following my intuition), a lot has come out. He has been facing a lot about his sexual past and patterns. He wrote out a whole timeline of his past sexual experiences and I asked him to be honest about each.Then we talked about how he has experienced sex while being with me.

He says he tried to fantasise about the OW and sex with her but it "didn't work" in his mind, he says he can't with someone he cares about. He also said it was a fear of his that even if they could have gotten together sex would have been as much of a let down as it has been for him so far in his life (or that he would not perform well...or something like that). Which I told him proves he thought about it!

I let him know how crazy weird and messed up all this is, it's the first time he tells anyone and he didn't want to tell me while I was in the whole criminal process (so i guess he kept it as a nice suprise cherry on the top for afterwards?!?!).

I realise how bizarre this all seems, I think he is asexual but doesn't know it? Asexuals seem to be able to have sex but are not physically attracted to people.

So the sex once a day as odd as it sounds is his commitment to me while we work on that. No masturbating, he leaves the bedroom and bathroom doors open and is working on not fantasising about anyone anymore.

He is very gentle, and kind (physically) and for me sex with him is very fulfilling, it is honestly what helps me the most in my own sexual healing from my past and he knows it. I also feel reassured in our relationship. I realise that may still be hysterical bonding so it's only for the time being.

Oh and I forgot to answer someone who asked before about IC and what he is doing to work on himself (@hellfire).

In his new job one of his benefits is insurance for therapists etc, it will take effect in 2 months, he also turned to a counsellor for now in the meanwhile. This is not someone who will condone his sexual infidelity, quite the opposite!


Please keep the questions and advice coming, it means the world to me!

Heartbroken / Married 9 years / BW 47 / WH 44 / 6 month EA / DDay 19Mar23

posts: 16   ·   registered: Apr. 28th, 2023
id 8789839
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 7:51 PM on Friday, May 5th, 2023

The truth is..he's a liar. So anything he has told you about how he feels about sex..and that's leading you to think this wasn't physical..needs to be set aside. Cheaters lie. The truth is, you don't know him. Because the husband you knew would never cheat. Yet, he has.

Schedule a polygraph. You can not consider reconciliation, unless you have a foundation of truth.

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6711   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8789843
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BoundaryBuilder ( member #78439) posted at 7:58 PM on Friday, May 5th, 2023

Hey NWMC, I added a couple of paragraphs to my post and you responded at exactly the same time. My heart goes out to you and your children as you continue to suffer at the hands of your abuser. Is IC for YOU part of the plan to take care of YOU now as well?

So glad he's seeking IC, but your latest post backs up the ETA recommendation in my first post to include working with a certified sex therapist as part of his recovery. Yes, HIS (not your) RECOVERY. It's admirable that the two of you are wading through his muck right now, but you can't do this alone or sustain this. THE HELP HE NEEDS IS ABOVE WIFE PAY GRADE. There's a lot for him to grapple with if he's serious about reconcilliation. And, he needs to dig deep and look at his crap to show he's a safe bet for reconciliation BEFORE offering reconciliation. His long standing masturbatory behaviors are concerning, and in my humble opinion, are a part of the BIG picture here. It's likely there's more to the BIG picture than what he told you, or (perhaps) want's you to believe....."he says he can't with someone he cares about" is a big red flag- my spidie senses are tingling. If this is true, does it follow that he CAN with someone he doesn't care about? Is he hiding decades of porn use (could explain his past behaviors with other partners)? Has he used prostitutes? Or were there PAs WITHOUT emotion? Sorry NWMC, my mind is going there. Doesn't make it so, but seemed worth noting.

NWMC, at the very least, assuming he's told you all the truth about his hidden sexual basement, he'll have to work long and hard to undo years of ingrained/learned behavior. You're under no obligation to stick around while he unpacks his baggage! He lied, hid and misrepresented his sexual behaviors for years! Lies of omission are still lies. He pleasured himself regularly while withholding (?) sex from you and indulged himself emotionally (and physically?) with the co-worker. Can he be a safe partner? To close, I'm no therapist BUT (my standard SI disclaimer :-) seems a truly asexual person wouldn't fantasize about OW and masturbate on the daily. Hellfire's last post strikes a chord. Something doesn't fit here. Maybe he's STILL lying. And you can't safely reconcile with with someone who continues to lie. Hugs to you, NWMC.

[This message edited by BoundaryBuilder at 4:40 AM, Saturday, May 6th]

Married 34 years w/one adult daughter
ME:BW
HIM: 13 month texting EA with high school X who fished him on Facebook 43 years later
PA=15 days spread over final 3 months
D-Day=April 21, 2018
Reconciled

posts: 216   ·   registered: Mar. 4th, 2021
id 8789844
default

 neverwithoutmychildren (original poster new member #83268) posted at 2:49 AM on Tuesday, May 9th, 2023

Hi, so I am back again.

It's tough being here. And I keep wanting to continue to post and then just struggling to find words.

I have been reading the boards here and everything I want to write is just so similar to what other BS's post or answer etc. And I can tell for others when they are off-track or holding to hope for R without any real basis (from reading their posts and answers from more experienced posters), but for me to see it for myself is just so hard. All I can see for sure is I am answering in a way that is somewhat defensive or wanting to protect false hope or maybe not just face it all so strongly and squarely right away.

I just can't reconcile anything of what I have known about my husband in the almost 9 years together and any part of what I am learning about him now. It's definitely the end of what I thought we had together and all of our history seems fake or filtered in black and while or something like that. I am super loyal in thoughts and actions, I never even fantasise about other guys!

For now I'll stay on the boards and try to keep posting, it's really tough but so so helpful. Posting is for sure on another level than just reading other peoples' threads!

@BoundaryBuilder

Thanks so much for your responses, again you are very perceptive. A few years ago he did confide in me that he had seen prostitutes when he was in his early 20s (in Amsterdam where it's legal, though it still shocked me and he thought I was going to leave him when he told me). Most of his sexual encounters in general were mostly casual (ONS etc) until his mid-20s. He did have a spiritual journey and after that he stopped the casual sex (stopped drinking and smoking too and has been sober ever since) and then only 2 long term partners (1-2 years) in between that and meeting me (we have been married and together for almost 9 years).

What he told me when we met was that he was very inexperienced in relationships (compared to me who had been in a long term relationship for 18 years) and had only had a few partners and had partied a lot when he was much younger. That is somewhat true but in the way he presented in then and what he is telling me now are actually very different. It took me a while after he told me he had seen prostitutes even in if was over 20 years ago and particularly that he had not told me before (he had not been honest even though we talked many times about his sexual past). It seems like he was ashamed he had done that.

And now for the last month with everything that has come out, I am seeing him in a different light, the hiding, masturbating and now his EA with his coworker. He still says even if he was attracted to her he did not think or want sex with her. He describes his attraction to her as something strong, deep, like a "love at first sight", soul-mate type love (the typical WH crush) but not sexual. It's still very weird to me but this does fit with a lot of his behaviors with me and what he has said about past long term partners, they had sex maybe a few times a year...

He has done most of the work of telling the truth, showing remorse, made a timeline (of his past sex history and the very recent EA), tested fro STDS, quit his job and found a new one, taking steps to become a safer partner (new job gives him benefits so he can get a therapist, full transparency on all electronic devices, deleted messages after showing me and blocked OW, wrote and committed to a set of rules about being around or alone with women and always letting me know if it happens, as I was stressed he would start over again at his new job, he also tells me daily if he has any "popups" of things that happened or that he felt or thought about her, he answers my questions endlessy, anytime and without getting upset or impatient).

...but this is only recent behavior (2 1/2 weeks) and happening after weeks of questioning, arguing and all the TT and lying in my face that it took to even just get it all out, I am starting to feel numb...at first he yelled and blamed me and said horrible things ( I swear a demon took over his body!).

I started the 180 and he has been breaking down and insecure and trying to do everything for me to want him back. I basically told him our old relationship is over and I was open to reconciliation at first but my patience has worn thin over the last few weeks. The reason I didn't want to make major decisions (R or Leave) was because I feel I deserve and need the time for myself, he doesn't get to do something stupid and then I have to upend my life immediately (either way I go it's a major decision requiring time, effort, etc).

He knows he will have to leave the house if I decide not to R because the house we are living in is the one I raised my children in and we had always said if he ever separated he would be the one to go.

I gave him until June to get out, and that he has a chance to show me he is serious about making a change and I will not make a decision until then. Maybe he will even have to leave and we can see later if I want to try.

I guess one reason I try to make it sound (more) positive (than it is) when answering here is that I feel I will look stupid or something to anyone reading to even consider R, I am ready and open to being alone again, I did it purposefully for many years before meeting him (after my divorce from my ex-husband) so it's not out of codependency or anything like that.

In some weird way what he is telling me even if horrible finally explains a lot of stuff I felt was missing about or with him and reassures me that my gut feeling is right after all as I felt some things never lined up with him.

And he is opening up and talking and acting in ways I NEVER saw him before. We have been talking literally for hours everyday, sometimes until early morning! (except now as I am doing the 180). He says he never told anyone about the casual sex, prostitutes in his youth and how he always felt unsatisfied sexually but didn't know why (duh!). He says he is now understanding (from my no B-S approach to the situation, and my questioning) that he has always searched for validation from others, acted like a knight-shining armor, and was always on alert to "find the one" even after committing to me. He didn't even realise that about himself. He sees that he has been extremely selfish and self-centred.

He has also felt more in love with me, etc (and acting like it!!) but I told him that a month ago he felt that for someone else and feelings should not be leading what he does, committing to a long term relationship is much more than just going with what you feel or depending on that. I really like the him that seems to be coming out, that he never showed before, he was like the tin woodman he was so closed up, but how to know if this is real or long-lasting?

I don't know exactly where I am going with this post, just writing here like a kind of diary I guess, trying to stay on these boards as it seems to help people and I REALLY NEED HELP. I am a scientist and need structure, a plan etc and right now I just feel completely lost. I am doing the 180 now because it gives me something to do. The pain is huge, constant and I am just bewildered that any of this is even real or actually happened.

[This message edited by neverwithoutmychildren at 2:59 AM, Tuesday, May 9th]

Heartbroken / Married 9 years / BW 47 / WH 44 / 6 month EA / DDay 19Mar23

posts: 16   ·   registered: Apr. 28th, 2023
id 8790159
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 3:48 AM on Tuesday, May 9th, 2023

The feeling of being completely lost is normal. It's your brain trying to process the trauma. First, realize that his thought process is disordered, or dysfunctional. You won't be able to apply logic because it is an illogical situation.

The pain from infidelity is the worst pain imaginable. It hurts constantly and healing can take years.

You may find The Body Keeps Score by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk. It isn't infidelity related, but is trauma related. You may find it helpful. If you have trouble concentrating and reading, the audio book may be the way to go.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3476   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8790164
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 11:24 AM on Tuesday, May 9th, 2023

I am glad you explained more. Your husband used prostitutes instead of an addiction to porn but the outcome is the same. They are both addictions. He stopped the ONS but the addiction is still there. Yes, he needs a therapist who is an expert in sex issues BUT he also needs something like EMDR because it brings up hidden traumas. Our brains do a pretty good job of hiding painful experiences from us but often times to our detriment. We need to have help bringing those memories to light. They don’t go away but their power over us is diminished. There might be something in his past(childhood) that controls his thoughts but he is unaware of it.

I often think it must be such hard work, and so painful, to have addictions.

I wish you well, and hope he finds how he became this person.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 4257   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8790192
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BoundaryBuilder ( member #78439) posted at 10:18 PM on Tuesday, May 9th, 2023

I discovered my husband had a 6 month emotional affair

Made a timeline of all his sexual relationships before me (I found out he had not been truthful)

I found out when he confessed to the EA, with a lot more questioning from me, that he has been masturbating almost daily

And that in a sense he thought he could not experience great sex with me so had written me off (but never thought to mention it to me,

A few years ago he did confide in me that he had seen prostitutes when he was in his early 20s (in Amsterdam where it's legal, though it still shocked me and he thought I was going to leave him when he told me).

That is somewhat true but in the way he presented in then and what he is telling me now are actually very different.

In some weird way what he is telling me even if horrible finally explains a lot of stuff I felt was missing about or with him and reassures me that my gut feeling is right after all as I felt some things never lined up with him.

He's full of surprises, isn't he? Are there more surprises to come? Porn abuse? A kink or fetish he hasn't come clean about? One wonders about his assertion that sex is "disappointing" and "never experiencing truly satisfying sex". Compared to WHAT? You seem to enjoy physical intimacy with him! There may be more he is still hiding. Lies of omission are still lies. This is your new reality - wondering and anticipating when or if the next shoe may drop. That trust - once lost, will never be the same. Nor should it be. Yes, he's contrite and weepy and love bombing the heck out of you right now. Please continue to be cautious and continue to see it for what it is. Only repeated, consistent reliability demonstrated over time can be believed. And, trust should be offered only AFTER he's dug deep to sort himself out. Which, sorry to say, may take years.

NWMC, one way to interpret your statements above........... he married you under false pretenses. He defrauded you. And he trickle-truthed and gas lit you during the entire marriage. He pushed your boundaries around what is and isn't acceptable, and twisted your expectations around what reciprocity looks like. Seems you made your needs smaller and smaller to accommodate HIS needs. Did you know sex a few times a year was part of the deal when you married him? Are there other areas of your marriage where he's the "taker" and you're the "giver"?

And now for the last month with everything that has come out, I am seeing him in a different light, the hiding, masturbating and now his EA with his coworker.

I am seeing him in a totally different way (not the "perfect" guy I thought he was,

It's not surprising you are beginning to see him in a different light. Because he misrepresented himself. He is NOT who you thought he was.

Do you want to reconcile with the man in front of you right now? You can't reconcile with the great guy/best friend you think you remember, the man in your mind. Did he ever exist? Is the good guy persona a mask he puts on? You're seeing behind the mask. Are you okay with what you're seeing? Sorting this should be a priority - after you've recovered your footing and nurtured yourself a bit.

I gave him until June to get out, and that he has a chance to show me he is serious about making a change and I will not make a decision until then. Maybe he will even have to leave and we can see later if I want to try.

Following your lead on this - would a trial separation help to more clearly recognize the new reality? Separation will give space to grieve the loss of the good guy in your mind, and time to ascertain who the real man is. Having space from HIS needs and HIS emotions (and his love bombing) could be just the ticket to help with this necessary reckoning. You need to observe and figure out if this version is someone you want to be with. And .......CONSEQUENCES. Swinging immediately for reconciliation without experiencing consequences could be enabling him. He lied to you for the entire marriage! Without consequences, it's possible he could play nice and placate you for a while and then go right back to his maladaptive behaviors - he could assume you'll just forgive him again. Separation allows you to operate from a position of strength where you're in charge of you - not constantly reacting to his behaviors or supporting his recovery at your own expense. If you want to work on reconciliation while separated, okay. But he should prove he's changed (with measurable outcomes) before considering reconciliation. A trial separation would give him space to work on himself as well, time to finally take responsibility for who he really is. Space to focus on HIS recovery. Dear NWMC, you are not his therapist, or his savior. He is not the Tin Woodsman. Not every frog turns into a prince, no matter how many times they're kissed. Could a separation be a win win for both of you - to help decide next steps?

ETA:

Wondering about your home and finances. This is your second marriage, and you both have careers. If you didn't put a pre-nup in place when you re-married, maybe a post-nup is a good idea. Whether you stay or go. ASAP. Right now, he's contrite and willing to prove worthiness anyway he can. Could be a good opportunity to get a post-nup to protect yourself - if needed. Talk to a lawyer or two about your situation, what it would look like if you divorce, legally separate (if available in your state) OR reconcile. Knowing your legal options is crucial. Please take care of yourself emotionally AND financially!

[This message edited by BoundaryBuilder at 6:12 AM, Thursday, May 11th]

Married 34 years w/one adult daughter
ME:BW
HIM: 13 month texting EA with high school X who fished him on Facebook 43 years later
PA=15 days spread over final 3 months
D-Day=April 21, 2018
Reconciled

posts: 216   ·   registered: Mar. 4th, 2021
id 8790250
Topic is Sleeping.
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