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Newest Member: May28

Reconciliation :
Attraction to AP

Topic is Sleeping.
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 Livingingrief (original poster member #79723) posted at 9:52 PM on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

My H still swears he was never attracted to his AP. I find that extremely hard to believe considering she was our neighbor and he seen her everyday and they had sex once. Can anyone give their thoughts on this topic??

posts: 83   ·   registered: Dec. 29th, 2021
id 8792244
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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 11:22 PM on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

I've had sex with someone I didn't find attractive. Their appeal was that they were into me and gave me attention. I think a lot of affairs have that same dynamic.

Remove the "I want you to like me" sticker from your forehead and place it on the mirror, where it belongs. ~ Susan Jeffers

Your nervous system will always choose a familiar hell over an unfamiliar heaven.

posts: 1291   ·   registered: Mar. 10th, 2023
id 8792257
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iamjack ( member #80408) posted at 9:38 AM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

Dear Livingingrief, I understand what you're feeling right now. And if you haven't, you should really read the post https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/topics/558762/honey-they-always-affair-down/ by Eddie.

The thing is, it's very possible he wasn't attracted. At some point, his inner flaws made him seek validation outside your couple, and this is exactly what he was longing for. Not the OW per se, but what she gave him (compliments, reassurance, validation, etc.)

He may have thought during the time of the A that this was attraction, but it wasn't. That was just a fog...

Speaking from a man's point of view also, I'd agree with SacredSoulSister : before the A, my wife had already described the soon-to-be AP as an "old, fat, stooped and depressed balding man working in IT for a school". No wonder I wasn't afraid something might happen between the two of them ! laugh She sometimes told me about this "buddy" she took the train with to go to work. I wasn't suspicious at all. And one day, I guess one or two months before the EA started, he completely vanished from her conversations. You can never know what this means until you have been betrayed by your spouse... yet it almost always means something fishy is happening, something that can't be told...

Anyway, she never found him "attractive", but he gave her the validation her broken self needed at that time, and she rewarded him for that with the first thing he was looking for : sex.

[This message edited by iamjack at 9:40 AM, Wednesday, May 24th]

posts: 77   ·   registered: Jul. 6th, 2022
id 8792288
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Devon99uk ( member #82658) posted at 9:54 AM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

I totally understand how hard it is to believe as my husband said the same thing, but I know the AP and have eyes... She WASN'T very attractive, she was an overweight single mum with bad teeth, her personality was average at best... But what she is extremely good at is showering men with attention and sexual banter/sexual texts which for a man is exciting regardless if that woman is very attractive or not. Any woman could talk sexually to a man or grab their groin area without asking, and I suspect the majority of men would feel turned on. It's a very bitter pill to swallow but that's the truth, so I believe your husband is infact being honest about this.

posts: 72   ·   registered: Jan. 2nd, 2023   ·   location: South of England, UK
id 8792289
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Hannah47 ( member #80116) posted at 1:16 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

In my late teens I went through a horrible traumatic event which caused a lot of mental damage. During that time, I wasn’t myself and I slept with a guy I didn’t find attractive. Objectively, he wasn’t attractive. However, he was very kind to me and in that moment that was all I needed.

That being said, my husband claimed for 5+ years he wasn’t attracted to the OW. That was easy to believe because she objectively isn’t attractive. Then when he finally admitted he wanted to have an affair with her, he told me he wasn’t attracted to her, but he wasn’t repulsed by her either – she looked "good enough". He was aware of her physical flaws, but he liked her in general. It took months more for him to admit he was, in fact, attracted. That is, he remembers occasions when he looked at her and thought to himself: "She looks good". He also told me that during that time he thought she looks better than me, and that was enough for him. Today I believe that the positive feelings he had for her made her look good, and the negative feelings he had for me made me look bad. That is, made her look better than me.

I’m familiar with your story, and I’m sorry to say but I believe your husband is simply lying about his attraction to the AP. It is possible the affair excitement clouded his vision at that time and made her look better than she really looked. It is possible he’s aware of that now and he’s ashamed to admit he was attracted to someone unattractive. It is possible he’s lying because he knows it would hurt you to hear that. It is possible he’s lying because he doesn’t want to piss you off even more.

No one here can tell you for sure whether he found her attractive or not.

Fate whispers to her, "You cannot withstand the storm."
She whispers back, "I am the storm."

posts: 369   ·   registered: Mar. 21st, 2022
id 8792298
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Diva19 ( member #83232) posted at 2:05 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

It is hard to believe or not believe that he was attracted to her. My husband said the same thing he wasn't attracted to her physically just emotionally when he thought about her it wasn't in a physical way it was what she was giving him to his ego boost. I myself have a hard time believing that however I know it's possible for them to be with a person for attraction of emotional feelings only. So as I am trying to do and it's difficult but don't think about the attraction it just makes you crazy I know it's hard but think more that your husband probably as mine was just a idiot looking for attention because they are egotistical at times and I wasn't giving him atta boys at home 24 hours a day. What a awful wife right?

posts: 86   ·   registered: Apr. 20th, 2023
id 8792305
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Ladybugmaam ( member #69881) posted at 2:43 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

Diva19.....you raised an interesting point to me. I was giving FWH atta boys at home. But, from where he was.....he said he just thought that was something I did because that was what wives are supposed to do. He didn't absorb or appreciate what I was doing at the time because the AP must mean it more somehow.

I had to re-read "they always affair down". They do. FWH described her as "dumpy". Said she was utterly unattractive to him....until she was. And, from where I was....I could feel that shift happen in my gut, but didn't recognize it and certainly wanted to believe his lies at the time. I do know that she validated FWH. She was very unhappy with her very nice, stay at home dad H. I'm sure she saw and validated FWH as a provider. In my mind, my FWH was an "easy button" for her. It really felt like she was trying to waltz in on the life that I helped to create - without realizing the effort it takes to create such a life.

In the end. I know I can't be the end all be all for FWH in terms of attractiveness. Just as he isn't for me. But, we can choose to lean into each other and choose what we want to build as our future together. And, if it doesn't work out, I'm sure there will be someone out there for us both.

EA DD 11/2018
PA DD 2/25/19
One teen son
I am a phoenix.

posts: 470   ·   registered: Feb. 26th, 2019
id 8792316
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Luna10 ( member #60888) posted at 2:46 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

I’d be careful with WSes that state they didn’t find the AP attractive, there was nothing there, it meant nothing. It sounds like minimising to me…

Now the AP in my husband’s affair was by no means a model. I won’t go into full description mode as it is irrelevant after all, but bottom line, when I first saw her in reality I wanted to shout "seriously?!?". There was no doubt in anyone’s mind, including his, that he affair’ed down from any perspective he looked at it, physically, emotionally, intellect or career success wise.

And yet he was capable to admit that "when someone strokes your ego and treats you like a God their flaws instantly disappear and they become really attractive".

There was no doubt that he could see her flaws, in fact in the first week or so post dday I asked him to describe her to me and he did such an accurate job of it, to the point where I struggled to believe him as I thought he was trying to make her look physically unattractive, however he also told me how much time she was spending "making him happy" ie. pandering to him.

Personally I’d push back on such statements because the idea that my WH sacrificed his entire family and my mental and emotional health for absolutely nothing is even more insulting than actually admitting to what drove them into the affair and work on that.

Dday - 27th September 2017

posts: 1848   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2017   ·   location: UK
id 8792318
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Hopeful0729 ( new member #67614) posted at 7:13 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

My fWH affaired down so shockingly I still can't believe it. She was also annoying and not very interesting. He also claims that he wasn't attracted to her, she pursued him (coworker) and he was going through a tough time with his ego (poor baby), he had been a CFO making great $ then had to go back to public accounting, his 1st job in his 20's at half the salary. I was raising 4 kids and working full-time as a hospice nurse so I had no extra energy to kiss his ass and soothe his ego. AP honed in on his neediness and told him how amazing and wonderful he is and how he is so under-appreciated at home barf
So, OP I don't doubt that he wasn't attracted to her physically. It's all for the validation. Also think of the type of woman that seeks out a married man.
Diva19- you nailed it.

Me 44
WH 60
4 kids
D-day 8/27/18
Reconciled
WH had PA with former COW

posts: 46   ·   registered: Oct. 24th, 2018   ·   location: Richmond, VA
id 8792371
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cedarwoods ( member #82760) posted at 8:33 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

Being "attracted" can mean a lot of different things. One can be attracted physically, emotionally, or chemically.

I am physically attracted to a handsome guy even though he’s a jerk.

Or I am emotionally attracted to a guy who makes me feel beautiful, important, etc. even though he might not be good looking.

Or I am chemically attracted to the dopamine rush from having sex with him even though I don’t find him physically or emotionally attractive.

Think of those blind dating shows. Some contestants fall for someone they haven’t even seen because they develop an attraction that has nothing to do with physical appearance.

Your Ws had to have been attracted to his AP in some way- maybe jus not the way he defines attraction. Humans do not do things that we are not attracted to. We eat things that are pleasant to to our taste buds. We buy things that we find beautiful. We go to places that make us feel happy. You know what I mean?

[This message edited by cedarwoods at 8:33 PM, Wednesday, May 24th]

posts: 211   ·   registered: Jan. 20th, 2023   ·   location: USA
id 8792383
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 8:40 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

I think this is "Schroedinger’s Denial."

It is both true and not true.

He clearly was "attracted" to her, he became sufficiently entangled with her to wind up naked with her.

He now regrets that (I presume) or at least knows it is unhelpful to admit now, but it could be true that he has become repulsed by her.

Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.

posts: 337   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8792385
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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 11:16 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

Didn't your WS also make fun of your friend's body and then text her that her "ass is looking so good in those shorts that I'm gonna find myself in trouble"?

He just tells you whatever you want to hear.

What sort of work is he doing, Livingingrief? Is he in IC? Reading books? He needs to figure out why he chases other women and then lies about it, always make them out to be the instigator.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 11:20 PM, Wednesday, May 24th]

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5870   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8792399
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survrus ( member #67698) posted at 4:36 PM on Thursday, May 25th, 2023

There's also an effect where the longer your in contact with a person the better they look. It can go the other way as well.

When we first see a person they are all appearance.

When in contact with someone you learn other details of their life, their confidence, interests, self-reliance etc which add in to their attraction.

I also find it really minimizing when cheaters say they were never attracted, especially when they feel unattracted to their spouse. Do they also claim they never had an orgasm with their affair partner?

It's a cute story to tell to get the betrayed to stop talking and the cheater to stop feeling bad.

posts: 1477   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018   ·   location: USA
id 8792472
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CFme923 ( member #82955) posted at 1:42 AM on Tuesday, May 30th, 2023

I think it can be a thing. Affairs are more often than not started with typical cake eating. It's about the mirror the AP is holding to them, not about the AP themselves.

I saw the texts between my WH and his AP (they worked together) and aside from a half dozen nudes she sent him, he often told her to stop bothering him with stupid shit all day, told her she was rude and disrespectful, and never responded to the photos sent.

For him, it was about being needed and wanted. Not about her.

posts: 97   ·   registered: Feb. 27th, 2023
id 8793029
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:42 AM on Tuesday, May 30th, 2023

I am a ws and I don’t feel I was attracted to the Ap specifically either.

I was attracted to:

-An audience that validated this person I was pretending to be.

-The narratives and escapist fantasies in my head.

-his willingness and availability ro go down the rabbit hole into fantasyland with me.

-the chaos and dopamine highs.

Most affairs are about ego and self adulation. If I were a single, functional person I would have never given this person the time of day. I can say this all honestly.

If you look at AP’s they could be attractive, but it seems like 8 times out of 10 (or more) on this website the bs and ws report the unattractive physical aspects and the lack of what the ap really had to offer. Ws often put lipstick on a pig because we need someone to make us feel better about our life.

My husbands AP- phew, she was a piece of work. It is unbelievable to me he could even be with her. I believe he didn’t find her attractive. He found her as a soft place to land and a way to avoid the painful reality of our marriage. I am sure aspects seemed thrilling and fun but empty and dark, no different than my experience.

Affairs go so much deeper than chemistry or attraction. They are unhealthy manifestations of a dysfunctional person and that’s why am innocent bs would not be able to connect with it- because it’s toxic dysfunction. Someone who has never cheated can only project the reasons they would cheat, but without going that low can’t imagine the darkness that it’s enveloped in.

Affairs are not often like a new legitimate relationship and how and why the person is chosen isn’t either. I am not saying that it could never happen but I don’t think it’s common at at all.

[This message edited by hikingout at 7:51 AM, Tuesday, May 30th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7143   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8793053
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 8:00 AM on Tuesday, May 30th, 2023

Do they also claim they never had an orgasm with their affair partner?

It's a cute story to tell to get the betrayed to stop talking and the cheater to stop feeling bad.

I have to disagree here.

First of all, women often do not have orgasms, especially with someone new. In an affair there is a lot of numbing going on.

Secondly, an orgasm has nothing to do with the level of betrayal a bs feels. Have one or don’t, that’s not going to make a difference in what you did.

In my situation, I had sexual dysfunction due to an emotional breakdown. I wasn’t having orgasms alone or with my husband, the physical affair was brief, and it’s a fact an orgasm didn’t occur. But it wasn’t what I was seeking anyway. I am sure some people risk their marriage for an orgasm, but I risked my marriage for different but equally destructive reasons.

I don’t think it’s minimizing, the facts are just the facts, the outcome for my husband is the same. Affairs are multifaceted and more than what you are assigning to them.

[This message edited by hikingout at 8:02 AM, Tuesday, May 30th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7143   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8793055
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CaptainRogers ( member #57127) posted at 12:30 PM on Tuesday, May 30th, 2023

I take a little different approach to the whole "attractiveness" idea. While our spouses may not have been attracted to the AP's looks (the conventional definition of 'attractiveness'), there was something the FOUND attractive about the AP.

More often than not, it was the emotional attention they received. We can call it validation, ego kibble, etc. Regardless, outside of a drunken one night stand, there was SOMETHING that the wayward found "attractive".

In my case, the AP was the "shoulder to cry on" about how "horrible" Cap was to her. And the AP was a divorced guy in his 50s (10 years older than her at the time), working 3 jobs to support himself, single because he cheated on his ex-wife (and most recently on his longtime GF), and a grandpa. But hey, he would listen about how terribly mistreated she was and gave her comfort.

So yeah, your H is lying about not finding AP "attractive". Maybe he didn't/doesn't find her attractive physically. But something was attractive. Otherwise, he never would have begun the A.

That, however, is something HE needs to figure out as well because that's all part of becoming a safe partner again. If he doesn't know what was "attractive" about the AP, he is prone to falling into infidelity a second time because he doesn't know how to assess the issues that led there in the first place.

It's OK for him to admit what he found attractive, as well. That helps you to be on the lookout as an additional set of eyes. It is actually very freeing to know what to be on the lookout for. Otherwise, you're on high alert for everything, and we all know how exhausting high alert is.

He needs to be honest with himself so that he can be honest with you. We are all attracted to something. Looks are only one potential piece of that puzzle. More often than not, it's more about what the other party gives emotionally.

BS: 42 on D-day
WW: 43 on D-day
Together since '89; still working on what tomorrow will bring.
D-Day v1.0: Jan '17; EA
D-day v2.0: Mar '18; no, it was physical

posts: 3355   ·   registered: Jan. 27th, 2017   ·   location: The Rockies
id 8793065
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survrus ( member #67698) posted at 6:35 PM on Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

Hikingout,

Secondly, an orgasm has nothing to do with the level of betrayal a bs feels. Have one or don’t, that’s not going to make a difference in what you did.

Yes it very much does matter especially when the BS feels that the WS had lost attraction and arousal for the BS. It is a problem if a WW has multiple orgasms, quicker orgasms, wetter orgasms with her affair partner in comparison to her BS. There are levels of betrayal.


I don’t think it’s minimizing, the facts are just the facts, the outcome for my husband is the same. Affairs are multifaceted and more than what you are assigning to them.

Yes I likely should have been less absolute in my statement, however BS are also multifaceted and are hurt by different aspect of the affair to greater or lesser degrees.

posts: 1477   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018   ·   location: USA
id 8793265
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:34 AM on Tuesday, June 6th, 2023

Survus-

I stand corrected. That response from me lacked empathy.

I need to evaluate why I feel triggered when this comes up. I believe many times in this site I have been told why I had an affair and had many accuse me of minimizing the sex. And I am to the point where it just causes me to see this one way, when it isn’t.

my apologies, it’s not my responsibility to tell anyone what hurts them the most. I sometimes wish others would understand it’s not their responsibility to tell me I am lying about my experiences. That isn’t necessarily about you, but it’s been my experience so vastly on items like that it causes me to want to rail against it. I will work on it.

[This message edited by hikingout at 6:34 AM, Tuesday, June 6th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7143   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8794085
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iamjack ( member #80408) posted at 11:53 AM on Tuesday, June 6th, 2023

hikingout,

Thank you for clarifying, I was going to add to what survrus said.
My wife always had orgasms with me, never needed to fake either as she can be really fast to reach them. (like 1 minute 1/2 sometimes). So when she said "I didn't come very often with him", knowing that they had sex 20+ times over the course of the A, this really sounded like a fairytale.

So yes, every story is different, however knowing there were many orgasms with the AP can be really painful. To me these are the most intimate moments, much more intimate than sex alone, moments where you share something precious, a feeling that reinforces love and bonding between two people.

I was attracted to:
-An audience that validated this person I was pretending to be.
-The narratives and escapist fantasies in my head.
-his willingness and availability ro go down the rabbit hole into fantasyland with me.
-the chaos and dopamine highs.

You're definitely right. Reading back what I wrote here a few weeks ago, I have to stand corrected : my wife DID find the AP attractive. As you very well put it, she was attracted to what he gave her, to his story, to what they shared. Attraction isn't only physical or sexual...

posts: 77   ·   registered: Jul. 6th, 2022
id 8794109
Topic is Sleeping.
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