Maybe you Ladies can help me.
On one level I would/will say we are firmly in reconciliation.
Hubs is being accountable in every way.
I have no doubts about now,
And I have few doubts about the period in between the infidelity and now.
He *swears* that *nothing* 'happened' in between the infidelity and The Now Times.
On one hand, for many reasons, including his own genuine personality, preferences and limitations (I choose that word specifically over 'boundaries') I believe that.
On the other hand, for many reasons, including his own genuine personality, preferences, limitations, damages, selfishness and immaturity, during those interim years he often behaved in excrutiatingly myopic and selfish ways, and he now freely admits that, he created doubt out of thin air. He did that. He left enough room for doubt about his behavior and choices and activities *because he was so self absorbed he couldn't comprehend any reality beyond the nose on his face* that it takes practically an act of God to believe that he wasn't once again taking advantage of my trust and simultaneously bullying me into trust that he'd already blown sky high, and latitude that was inappropriate, regardless of and especially considering, prior behavior.
He was, and still can be, incredibly myopic. Self absorbed. Self centered. Honestly, acting out as an emotionally damaged child.
I feel like my husband has fallen backwards into my grace, largely because I'm giving and have been giving him A HUGE FUCKING PASS, because he is a bumbling emotional fucking idiot.
We can't change the past.
We have only now, and however we approach, and whatever we are investing in the future, and why.
He's behaving now.
And it irritates the living *fuck* out of me that I am phrasing my relationship with my husband, and I'm describing my very marriage, in childish terms, in terms of behaving.
I am trying to step back and give him, give *both* of us, a chance to 'adult.'
He's 'adulting' just fine at this moment.
So, reconciliation. That feels OK. OK enough at this moment.
I see how we got here.
I *think* I see a way forward.
There's this, *thing.*
Like all of us, my husband has his own sexual imprinting. He has his hot buttons, his turn ons.
They are primal, they are basic, they are constant, they are predictable. I would go so far as to say that they are 'fixed.'
The woman with whom he cheated punched those buttons big time. He admits that, and he admits that's what caused him to react, that caused him to respond, that caused him to step over that line.
There they are, those hot buttons, those turn ons. Baked into the OS.
To me, the litmus test of basic physical and sexual fidelity is recognizing one's own hot buttons and turn ons, owning them, and simultaneously acknowleging one's vow of fidelity,
and as opposed to reacting to, and then responding to, and then facilitating and participating in, a randomly offered hot button opportunity, *simply because it occured,*
One *sacrifices this very self-centric opportunity* on behalf of the relationship in which one is engaged and from which one is benefiting.
Even if that opportunity is as rare as rare air.
Even if one's spouse ain't a disco ball of sexual novelty. Who the fuck is, after a certain point? in time? in a relationship?
And even if Said Random Opportunity *is* The Glorious Fucking Disco Ball of Sexual Novelty,
one simply doesn't abandon one's spouse to (once again) Atlas Up the entire fucking relationship.
Unless One Does. =(
Gah. Fucking Man Child.
All that is background.
Coming back to that trigger.
My husband has certain, 'things.'
Certain hot buttons.
Certain turn ons.
Certain 'ways' of 'doing things' because those stimuli punch his buttons.
We've delved far enough that I know, *it is established,* that he did those things with her.
He did those things with her, because she punched his hot buttons in precisely and specifically those ways. She turned him on enough to step over that line.
So he did those things with her.
He literally flipped a switch,*he chose to flip that switch,* and for a relative few moments in our marriage, he jumped tracks.
Whatever it was that she had, and I have a pretty good idea of that by now, it was enough for him to throw the switch and create a complete circuit with *her,* and I was, however briefly, on the outside.
I know it.
He knows it.
And honestly, now *everything* we do, we try to do, we attempt to do, in terms of reconciliation, is a process of either putting aside that this interlude had/has an impact (I believe we have blown the rug-sweeping 'it didn't really happen/it doesn't really exist out of the water)
Or we are trying to shove it aside and 'replace it' with something, anything, that is equally as sexually and erotically and primordially essential, central and defining.
Or, something, anything, that is 'more essential' than that.
And honestly, that is NOT working for me.
Long Story Short:
Husband has certain turn ons.
Husband has personal, characteristic, built in OS responses to those turn ons.
Husband employs those, things, when interacting with me, sexually and physically.
I know them intimately.
I know them sexually.
I know them physically.
I know that he touched and interacted with *her* in this manner, specifically because *she* turned him on in that specific way, he wanted her, she turned him on enough such that he stepped over that line.
And every. single. time. he touches *me,* in that context, in that way, because he wants sex,
All I See is HER.
It *floods* me.
I want to crawl out of my skin.
I want to crawl away.
I want to die.
I want to die.
I want to die.
Instead, I slap a fake fucking smile on my face and wriggle away through some, mechanism.
He knows it.
I know it.
In fact, in our sex life, where the physical sexual interaction actually happens, I've largely stopped trying to turn him on.
Fuck if I want to get mired down in *that* swamp again- which has largely to do with his workaholism and general previous unavailability.
I'm a receptive and non-judgmental partner. Honestly, I don't judge his turn ons (and they are pretty fucking pedestrian.) Whatever. Whatever works. He's not trotted out anything that's beyond my boundaries.
But honestly, to this day, it's still so further 'Other Focused' that I wonder why I'm still here-
Or am I allowing it to be Other Focused,
or even promoting the Other Focus,
because I haven't healed from the damage of the betrayal,
and I do not even want the focus on ME?
All my husband has to do is touch me in a certain way, and ^^^ ALL OF THAT BULLSHIT rolls down on my head. =/
I am struggling.
I feel like I am struggling over something stupid and trivial...
...but, it's not. =(