Hi, I am a former BS, 3+ years into R.
I so relate to some of your feelings! I too, have gone there myself in the first two years of our R. The thoughts of comparisons, asking why’s, asking about the sex they had, their intimacy, trickle truth etc.etc.
Sex during an affair. Ugh!
During the affair, the "infatuation" between AP and WS puts them on a pedestal for one another. Usually, the spouse is a non-entity.
It’s great with the newness, the excitement that develops. That was the case with my husband during his affair and during our separation when he was living with her. 17 months of excitement, viagra, both enablers for mutual heavy alcohol intake. She is three years older, a professional retiree with lots of money and single at that time. Very proud of her own slim body ( no children) and her sexuality according to my husband. She also engaged in stalking my husband/our home during the first two years. Year three, silence.
Some graphic here: she would whisper into his ear at a restaurant that she had no underwear on. She would wear his dress shirt, with nothing underneath to greet him in the evenings in her house. Oh and let me add, and I do not wish to offend any readers: she had a lasered/shaved pussy. Well to some men, like my husband this was definitely a turn on! And absolutely he enjoyed fucking her! She made him feel young, exciting, wanted, desirable etc. etc. That is the reality in many affairs.
Gently. This was normal infatuation behaviour. I was not angry, nor pissed off at him for feeling and experiencing sex/intimacy.
I was hugely disappointed and so hurt by his lies and his abandonment. And his heavy drinking.
AND it had nothing to do with ME! I know my worth, my value. I am on the heavy side having had three children a very long time ago. I wear my wrinkles proudly. I love my grey hair. That in no way diminishes who I am or what I want.
My husband started answering honestly in year three. I don’t know how I found the patience for this man-child of mine. Does he remember the sex escapades? Yes, but in time those memories become fuzzy. Does he compare today? I don’t care to know, His actions show how much he enjoys our intimacy. That is what is important to me.
Scared to open up fully to a man who feels like a stranger? Yes. My husband in some ways is a stranger to me. I will keep part of my vulnerability/love to myself. That is one consequence of his cheating. He knows it.
I have learned to accept that I will never have full answers to my questions. My therapist helped me understand how to live with this uncertainty.
But I value his honesty above all. He is staying with me. He is trying to change and his change efforts sometimes fail, as do mine. We persevere. We are a team. Though sometimes we act as if we were on opposite teams…and that’s OK. I no longer fear arguments nor conflicts. He still does. But for now I trust my gut, and my gut says stay the course. My gut tells me keep validating myself, my resilience, my patience, my body. I do it for me primarily and it spills out into our marriage.
What I have seen with my experience, is that it is impossible for two spouses to heal the same way, in the same timeframe, with the same tools, with the same intensity and with the same efforts. What is critical is the honesty and commitment of both spouses to keep on trying. It does not matter who puts in "more effort" or "less effort" as long as both spouses recognize genuine effort.
And as a former BS, I will never again allow myself to be hurt, be diminished, be invalidated, be abused through his actions or comments or answers to my questions.