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Wayward Side :
Taking responsibility can be tough

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 MyLife2020 (original poster New Member #76067) posted at 10:36 PM on Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

I'm new here but have read quite a number of these threads. As some background, I am a 51 year old male, married for 25 years. I have two daughters, ages 16 and 18. I am going to relate my story, and I realize that when someone is hurt, the magnitude and severity probably mean very little, but my story is not nearly as involved as some on here.

Please understand that anything I say here is not to minimize, but for better understanding. As for my marriage, I would say it's "okay" and can be good at times. My wife likely has asperger's or something similar. She shies away from affection, and simply appears incapable of initiating anything physical. This includes hugs, kisses, or sex. When I kiss her, she pulls away after a second or two. If I hug her, she pushes me away fairly quickly. Sex happens at most twice per month, but usually only once. The ONLY time she says I love you is if I say it first, and then it's always just "love you too". Sex is fine when we have it, through she hates oral sex (giving or receiving) and thinks it's disgusting. I personally love that.

My children have suffered from this as well (not the sex part). She rarely offers anything resembling affection and her typical response is to push for more. When a child says "I made a 90 on my test!" her response is, "okay, why not a 95?" In this regard, my children have always relied on me for that. Hugs, positive reinforcement, etc. almost always come from me. In some ways, the relationship is almost the exact oposit of the cliche' aloof/stoic dad and the tender mother figure. My children have suffered from this, and one had to seek counseling for it.

My wife has some very good traits too. She is a hard worker. We co-own a company and she is a great boss and is very good at what she does. She is also very good at sewing and taking care of things that the kids need from a material perspective. We share the cooking and cleaning roles equally.

I have my faults too of course. I am not the best with money. I can get a little hotheaded sometimes. I also am a procrastinator by nature. This drives her crazy since she is the "get it out of the way" type. Her love languages are "acts of service and quality time". Mine are "Words of affirmation and physical touch". Both of mine ranked at the bottom for her.

One of my biggest hobbies is playing and recording music (guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass) and singing. I can't say I'm great, but I'm not bad. I have a home studio and record my own songs (I write songs as well). My wife never compliments this and has never been supportive of it. The reason I mention this, is because this is where the OW comes in. When I play something I have recorded for my wife, she usually just says "it's okay" or "I don't like that!" For someone who puts that much effort into something, it's frustrating to get zero support from your spouse.

Two years ago, on a large (non-dating) online forum, I met a nice lady in another country. We became penpals and eventually I shared my music with her and she immediately thought it was awesome. Over the past two years, we have grown closer through email and through Kik. She would help me write songs and then would offer support. I have never met this person in real life and had no intention to do so. Again, she is an ocean away. Through this time, she and I started sharing emojis, smiley faces, etc. then hearts, then eventually I love you was said, and we both said it. I did/do love her as a friend, but really not as a partner.

My wife saw a conversation that included "I love you" and some hearts and went ballistic. And rightfully so. It crossed a line in the sand that should never be crossed. My daughter (18) heard the argument and was pissed that I would do that and that I would put our family in jeopardy. I apologized to my wife and to my daughter, and I immediately contacted the OW and let her know that we cannot talk anymore. I deleted Kik and any other forms of communication.

But now I feel "empty". I guess the ego kibbles of having someone to really talk to, to share my passion for music with, and to get support from really filled a void in my life. Even though we were never sexual or met in person, it was nice to have someone to give me affection of that kind. Just someone who appears to truly like what I do and what I create? DD was yesterday and I'm very much working with my wife for her needs, although she isn't good at expressing them. I have also discussed with my daughter and she is okay. But I still feel helpless and empty. Thinking of spending another 25 years with no affection, very little sex, and no words of affirmation is really hard to bear.

Maybe in a few years when the kids are out of school, I might consider moving on. But I know that would hurt my wife too, and it would also likely end our business. Also, even though they would be mostly out of the house, it would still hurt my kids. I know it's selfish of me, but I feel like I am constantly giving for this relationship and I get very little in return. I felt this way even before the "friendship".

So, that is my story. It's not overly exciting and I typed a LOT here. I realize that I am projecting onto my wife and acting as if she caused what I did. I guess in some ways I feel that way. At some point, a person starved of attention has to find it somewhere. We have had talks about this and she never changes. I have asked for counseling (marriage) and she refuses because she has a fear of being told she is at fault. I know I will miss my friend, and I have a strong urge to reach out to her. But, that would be wrong on many levels and I will resist. I anticipate that in time that desire will ease. And, to be clear, I do love my wife very much.

I appreciate you guys taking the time to read all of this. What do I want here? I guess some will power not to reach out to the OW and also maybe I need a smack in the head for wrongful thinking about all of this. I'm just at a loss.

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Trapped74 ( Member #49696) posted at 11:56 PM on Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

I'd put a stop sign on this, if I were you.

Many DDays. Me (BW) 46 Him (WH) 49
Happily detached and compartmentalized.

posts: 168   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2015   ·   location: Oregon
id 8620575
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Shehawk ( Member #68741) posted at 12:18 AM on Wednesday, December 30th, 2020

I applaud your willingness to look at yourself and your actions. I am sure others will be along and chime in.

I am a betrayed spouse.

Nonethelesss,I really learned a lot reading a book entitled "not just friends" that talks about what I think of as keeping a fence around a marriage.

And the whole kind of slippery slope thing.

That said, I believe marriage is like a box. For me the marriage box has things in it (sexual intimacy,deep emotional intimacy as a couple of things) that other relationships do not.

Then there is energy. If I am in a marriage I invest my primary energy in my spouse and don't spill or divert it to other people sexually or emotionally.

I do know how much it can hurt when a spouse withholds when we ask. It can make it harder to stay in my marriage box. I may end up telling my spouse that their refusal to engage is a deal breaker for me. (And that is something I waited way too long to do.)

But ultimately I am responsible for my own responses in terms of my own integrity and my own behavior.

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JBWD ( Member #70276) posted at 9:21 PM on Thursday, December 31st, 2020

I have asked for counseling (marriage) and she refuses because she has a fear of being told she is at fault.

Considering you spend several paragraphs rationalizing an illicit relationship with how your BW has “wronged” you...

For someone who puts that much effort into something, it's frustrating to get zero support from your spouse...

My wife likely has asperger's or something similar...

Just someone who appears to truly like what I do and what I create?

-I’d say I can see where she’s coming from.

You describe how she didn’t support you, can you say that you supported her? And on a comparable, emotional level, not “I put food on the table, did Dad stuff...” etc.

I think my real question is- Do you want to reconcile? You’ve really painted a grim picture of a woman who as you describe, cares little for you, and has done grave psychological harm to your children.

I challenge you to think about these statements, because I suspect there’s a lot of rationalizing behind them. If you continue to examine them and can honestly reaffirm those answers, then why are you staying?

Me: WH
(Multiple OEA/PA, culminating in 4 month
EA/PA. D-Day 20 Oct 2018 41 y/o)
Married 14 years
Her: BS 37 y/o at D-Day
13 y/o son, 10 y/o daughter
6 months HB, broken NC, TT
SUCKED at growth and rebuilding

posts: 907   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2019   ·   location: SoCal
id 8621021
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Lucky77 ( Member #61337) posted at 9:44 PM on Thursday, December 31st, 2020

Why did you marry an Aspy?

WS
1 year PA/ 2 Yr EA
Oh the depths of the betrayal

posts: 331   ·   registered: Nov. 7th, 2017
id 8621025
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marriageredux959 ( Member #69375) posted at 1:37 AM on Friday, January 1st, 2021

Betrayed wife here.

I am the more emotionally available partner.

My husband can be quite sensitive, but it is often on his own terms.

He is highly compartmentalized, has perfectionist tendencies, tends to 'shut down' in response to stress, and he and his family of origin (FOO) have about a molecule of empathy to share between the lot of them.

His entire family is high octane judgmental.

His parents are *both* narcissistic: one is an overt, obvious, grandiose narcissist. The other is a manipulative, passive aggressive covert narcissist.

My husband had a single physical, sexual indiscretion IRL that was a one off. He kinda fell backwards into the circumstances of it but once in the situation, he rationalized it and enjoyed it. He didn't shut it down or walk off.

So there are some significant differences in our scenarios.

You will, no doubt, eventually run across works by the therapist and writer Esther Perel, if you've not run across her already.

Most of this forum disagrees with Perel's premises. That's putting it mildly.

I am a bit more Perel-y than most here, but I am not a die hard advocate of her perspective.

Nevertheless, I believe that much of what she writes will resonate with you.

Here's the thing:

I *do* believe that the prevalent weather in the relationship, or in life in general, can make either spouse more vulnerable to bids of all types.

In your case, it was positive attention and validation. It was an emotional connection. It sounds like you had an emotional affair.

And to my ear, it sounds like you were starved for some emotional connection.

And to my ear, it sounds like your wife is either incapable or unwilling to extend to meet your legitimate emotional needs.

Was cheating the solution? Obviously not.

In my husband's case, I think it's fair to say, he didn't *need* the outside sex. We did NOT have a dead bedroom. I had NOT 'let myself go.' Etc.

But, we married young, we had babies like, 22 seconds after we married, and we took on a LOT of responsibility at an early age.

Long story, won't get into it here, but my husband has long struggled with needing and getting more validation than I as one human being, as a female and as a wife, can realistically give him. This damage is straight from the FOO.

When he found himself faced with an 'exotic opportunity' while 'out with the guys' in a new and exciting city, far away from (sick with a virus) babies and a pending close date on the first house and a young wife with a full time job and career of her own, well, he punched the fool button.

It was *absolutely* a reflection of his immaturity, of his ability to compartmentalize and dissemble (what I didn't know wouldn't hurt me, right?) and the ambient weather, not in our marriage in particular, but in our current state of life.

What Husband *needed* was a 'recess' of sorts. He needed a break. He needed 5 minutes to be a young man with much less responsibility and commitment.

Unfortunately, me and the kids? We continued to exist. As did that pending real estate contract. And our careers. And that damned virus, LOL.

Cheating was *obviously* not 'the answer,' it was like throwing a toxic hand grenade into the middle of an already challenging situation.

Husband regretted it *immediately.* (In fact, his own intrinsic guilt outed him.)

Was he vulnerable due to life circumstances?

Was he vulnerable due to the immediate circumstances?

Sure.

Was cheating the solution?

Obvs not. It just added a layer of unmitigated fucked up to an already challenging situation.

If I hear you correctly, part of your rationalization for partaking was that this situation wasn't 'real.'

I get that.

That was part of Husband's rationalization as well:

It wasn't 'real.' It wasn't 'an affair.' He didn't stick his dick in anything. (Sorry about the graphic language. Welcome to SI, LOL.) Therefore, it wasn't really 'sex,' so it wasn't really 'cheating.' Etc.

Of course, to me, it was devastating.

It was a litmus test of our whole relationship, of Husband's commitment to me, of his commitment to the marriage, of his commitment to the pretty damned big deal of a legal contract we were about to sign with a chunk of debt attached to it, of his commitment to our life together.

And it was a stark repudiation of all of the above.

At the time (this was years ago) I responded (after a handful of days of awkward whir grind and an eventual much sanitized disclosure) by declaring that I would not sign the closing papers on the house.

In that *both* of our incomes were required for the mortgage, this was a big deal. It was a Come to Jesus Moment.

I basically called his bluff.

Hubs had to decide if he was in or if he was out. And if he was in, he had to convince *me* to come back and be in as well.

Obvs my husband found himself pulled off in a different direction by competing interests and unrequited need.

Cheating was not the answer.

Walking off was not the answer either. Husband didn't want to lose me, nor the babies, nor even that house.

But that didn't mean that he was magically, automatically happy with where he found himself in life at that moment, nor that he was ready to be where he found himself at that moment of indiscretion- either in terms of the marriage/parenthood/home ownership, nor in terms of being faced with an 'occasion of sin.'

So basically, we compromised.

He grew the fuck up in a hurry. It wasn't perfect but he never cheated again.

I stayed with a guy who cheated on me at a critical juncture and at a sensitive moment. It wasn't perfect but he never cheated again, lol.

None of this means that the ambient weather at that moment in our relationship wasn't real.

None of this means that his angst at finding himself in over his head in life wasn't real.

None of this means that my anguish wasn't real.

Your needs are real.

They are valid.

They are realistic.

Honestly, you do not need to argue them nor defend them.

But obvs, cheating, while it *seemed* at the time to 'solve the problem' without upsetting the apple cart,

ultimately blew up the apple cart.

Either you are going to have to learn to live on a sparse starvation diet in terms of affection,

learn to sublimate into something else that doesn't threaten your wife (and this may be a challenge, you may find that you receiving validation and affection from *any* source challenges her)

or your wife is going to have to learn to extend some of what you need to you, and that's not IMHO an unfair ask, if she wants to continue to be married,

or the two of you can settle on a hopefully amicable divorce, and go your separate ways to live your separate lives and have your needs met elsewhere/otherwise.

It doesn't sound like an 'open' or 'don't ask/don't tell' marriage will work for the two of you.

Cheating just throws a layer of bullshit on top of the problem that created the vulnerability to the cheating.

Your needs are valid.

Cheating is not.

[This message edited by marriageredux959 at 7:44 PM, December 31st (Thursday)]

I was once a June bride.
I am now a June phoenix.
The phoenix is more powerful.
The Bride is Dead.
Long Live The Phoenix.

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id 8621061
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Thanksgiving2016 ( Member #63462) posted at 3:16 AM on Friday, January 1st, 2021

so what attracted you to her besides sex? obviously you fell in love with her. so why so unhappy now? a coworker once told me he thinks his wife has ADD and that he cant stand her erratic behavior. I said I bet that shit was hot and exciting when you were dating, not so much in a wife huh. he had no words. I don't understand how people are attracted to this shit while dating but then want them to be someone else after they marry. Or someone who dates a woman who loves going clubbing and then gets married and is like oh she just wants to go out every night. Well, yeah that's what she did when you were dating. IT MAKES NO SENSE. You got who you dated and now you want them to change. it's like when someone has kids and they complain the wife is so interested in being a mother, guess what dude, she is a mother. forever. so aggravating.

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Dignitas ( Member #75678) posted at 8:15 AM on Friday, January 1st, 2021

People have divorced over far less than what you've written here. You sound like half functional business partners, not a loving married couple. Your wife sounds borderline asexual, and some of the details of how she treats your children are slightly disturbing.

I still feel helpless and empty. Thinking of spending another 25 years with no affection, very little sex, and no words of affirmation is really hard to bear.

I'd feel the same way in your shoes. Pity sex twice a month with a woman who thinks oral both ways is 'disgusting' sounds like my worst nightmare. There are women out there who can and will treat you better, reflect the love and effort you put forth, and be into you sexually.

The real question that some have already echoed is: if she was always like this, why did you marry her? You set yourself up to fail. Unless she pulled a bait and switch and magically became a different person after you got married, this is largely on you.

At the end of the day though, if sunk cost fallacy is the only thing keeping you around, you already know the answer.

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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 5:51 PM on Friday, January 1st, 2021

Taking responsibility is the only way to lead a good - or even just livable - life.

Have you talked with your W about what is lacking in your M? (It looks like you have, but I need to check.) What as she said?

If you don't have a match, if your M doesn't serve both of you, why stay? It's not going to be a perfect match, but if something big is missing, that's a big problem. Is lack of sex big enough for you to end your M?

If you think it is big enough to end your M in the future, I strongly recommend looking at that in detail and in depth. It may be better to act now than to wait.

*****

Rejecting affection is often a consequence of being abused. Being on the spectrum may not be the reason your W can neither give nor receive affection.

Having said that, lack of affection hurts relationships, no matter what the reason for the lack of affection.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

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Timeforhelp ( Member #74605) posted at 6:58 PM on Friday, January 1st, 2021

Firstly I would like to applaud you for having the courage to post your story here, especially as soon after dday as you are. However.........

As a BS who experienced the justifications of why my WS felt the numerous OW were because of issues with me or the marriage I want to call bulls&*t on a number of your points.

1. As others have said, your wife hasn’t suddenly developed Aspergers (or something similar) and has likely not changed in her demeanour dramatically over the course of your relationship. Therefore she either has always been more physically stand-offish and it didn’t bother you before, or you have pulled away emotionally and she is being tarred with an unjustified brush.

2. Your marriage is ‘okay’! I genuinely hope you have never said this to your BS. No one gets married to the ok person, unless it’s some kind of transaction, so as you have been married for 25 years I put to you that if you look back on your marriage without your WS tinted glasses this is another unjust slight on your wife.

3. You say your wife doesn’t support your musical aspirations, again I call bulls&*t! Ok she may not have Simon cowels insight into what is or isn’t good, or you just might not be as good as you think. But as you yourself have stated you aren’t good with money, I assume given the cost of having your own recording studio your wife supported you hobby financially. She also gave you time to part take in your hobby, I’m sure anything that you have composed took a large amount of your time and energy away from your family.

So unless she kept you away from your hobby out of some type of personal spite, not because of your home responsibilities. She supported you in the way she could.

4. You grew close to the OW not just because of your shared musical interest, as you had been messaging her via numerous media prior to sharing your music. You had been having an affair before you showed her your creative side, so in the fake world of the affair of course she would tell you she liked your music! A prostitute will tell you your dick tastes good if you pay her to!

Come on man, you need a heavy splash of reality. You are the cause of your affair, you chose to do it, you chose not to discuss intimacy issues with your wife thus preventing her having the option to work with you.

You feel empty! How the hell do you think your wife and daughter feel after finding out you LEFT THEM for another woman.

And yes you have LEFT as no one who is still emotionally in a marriage says crap like

[/Maybe in a few years when the kids are out of school, I might consider moving on. But I know that would hurt my wife too, and it would also likely end our business.

Wake up!

posts: 54   ·   registered: Jun. 16th, 2020
id 8621290
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Hippo16 ( Member #52440) posted at 9:48 PM on Friday, January 1st, 2021

MyLife2020

cannot add much to what has been posted so far

but just a comment/perspective

A marriage can be not so good and there will be problems that both spouse have to deal with.

Life is not always going to be peachy and sometimes some part of a relationship has to be accepted. Being unfaithful is not on the list as you know.

However, one sure way to muddy the creek (100%) is to bring in a 3rd person.

Life is hard enough for a person with Asperger syndrome - adding the emotional memory of your EA is piling onto their array of life challenges.

Wondering if you knew of her having Asperger before you married?

Get the book "Not Just Friends" and maybe also "Cheating in a Nutshell" - the knowledge there in will help you with your perspective.

Wish you well moving forward in 2021 -

Not Just Friends

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 MyLife2020 (original poster New Member #76067) posted at 3:47 AM on Monday, January 4th, 2021

Hello everyone and happy 2021! First off, I appreciate each and every response. I have read each one multiple times and have considered every thought and question. I would like to give an update first and then will try to answer some questions.

I am not in touch with the OW and all is fine on that front. My wife has been asking some additional questions and I have been answering them truthfully. I give her support as I can and give her space when needed. This culminated in a long talk last night that really left me rather upset.

We discussed some aspects of our marriage that need to improve. That part was good. She then told me that at no time in our 27 years together (25 married) has she been sexually attracted to me. She said maybe in the first few months, there were a couple of times where she was horny, but for the remainder of our dating, engagement, and marriage, sex was simply to maintain the relationship. She has been with 2 or 3 other guys before me and I asked her to tell me honestly if she was sexually attracted to them. She said no. She had sex because she felt like it was necessary to maintain the relationships.

I then asked her if at any time has any coworker, friend, TV/movie star (of either sex) ever made her "lust" after them in a sexual way. She said no, never. I asked if not even a really hot movie star? Nope. I am now fairly comfortable in the fact that my wife may be asexual. She said the thought of being with another woman was definately off the table, she finds it disgusting. So, even through she has two lesbian aunts, she obviously is not hiding THAT from me.

How did this make me feel? Well, honestly, I feel duped. She KNEW from the begining that she was not interested in me in that way. And yet, she accepted my proposal and we got married, and have been this way for 25 years. Sex is moderately rare, and in all instances it's "just to make me happy". She said she would be perfectly happy never having sex again. This may be TMI, but she regularly orgasms when we have sex and I try my best to spend as much time as she may need on foreplay and the act itself. She says that having an orgasms means nothing to her and it never leads to "wanting more".

I feel like I have been robbed of 25 years that I could have spent with someone who actually enjoys having sex with me. Someone who could have loved me for more than a companion? Does that make sense? Have you ever played a board game with someone who just didn't want to be there? Try having sex with such a person!

As to the question of why I married her... Remember that I had no idea literally until last night how she felt. I knew her libido was low, but there was always a "maybe" or "if" involved. "Maybe if we were married I would feel more comfortable?" "Maybe, if we had our own house, I would feel more at ease?" And, of course there was a bit of a bait a switch too. Oral was done by here during dating and engagement, then into the marriage maybe a year or two. Then she just said that she wasn't into that and finds it disgusting. When I would ask on discussion boards about this (later) I was always told that I need to do what SHE is comfortable with and not push anything else. Some women just don't like that and since she doesn't, then we find "other ways" to enjoy sex. So, I always tried not to push the issue and just resigned myself to never having oral sex.

On the upside, she did talk about wanting to be more present in the marriage. She talked about trying to be more like what I need. However, we have talked about THAT part before and it NEVER lasts more than a few weeks.

I simply do not see myself leaving my wife at this point. As much as it pains me, I do love her, and I do want to continue to keep my kids in a typical family situation. My oldest is almost 19 and will probably move out this or next year. She is already discussing apartments (although she has no clue about any of it). My youngest is 16 and a junior in high school. I expect I have a good 3-4 years before she moves out.

On a side note, I told my wife I have zero interest in an open relationship, but how did she feel about it? She said that althouhg she can't provide me with what I want sexually, she still would be absolutely against me getting sex anywhere else. She also is not interested in marriage or sex counseling. So, here I am. This is what I know now.

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HellFire ( Member #59305) posted at 2:45 PM on Monday, January 4th, 2021

I feel duped

feel like I have been robbed of 25 years that I could have spent with someone who actually enjoys having sex with me. Someone who could have loved me for more than a companion?

Nearly every BS feels this way.

You robbed her of 25 years with someone faithful,and someone who loved her. You can not cheat,and say you love your spouse. Love is an action,and you are not actively loving when you are cheating.

You cheated on her. Yet these posts are all about blaming her. Blaming the low sex marriage. I'm sure you will find many members who will help you continue to blame her. But not all of us. If she is asexual, it's who she is. She isn't doing it to you on purpose. Anymore than when you one day need the help of an erectile dysfunction med to get an erection. It will simply be who you are.

Not everyone with a low libido spouse cheats. You did. You say taking responsibility is tough,but I haven't seen it happen here.

And you won't get a divorce. So you will cheat again,and blame her. It's inevitable.

It's been low sex for 20 something years. This is nothing new for you. You chose to cheat. It has nothing to do with your wife, or marriage. You should go to IC and figure out why.

[This message edited by HellFire at 8:46 AM, January 4th (Monday)]

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JBWD ( Member #70276) posted at 1:00 AM on Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

Think about framing this problem for yourself.

1) Your BW has always had a low libido.

2) You had an emotional affair because your BW didn’t sufficiently support your music hobby.

3) She has now explained that she derives no pleasure from sex and she felt she had to engage in it to sustain relationships that she valued.

4) You don’t want to divorce.

Your options

1) Divorce your BW and ultimately find a partner who is sexually available to you.

2) Reframe your relationship with your BW to find satisfaction in other facets of the partnership.

3) Change nothing.

My only “con” in any of these options is the continued hostility and resentment you subject your BW to if you pursue Option 3. She gave you an honest answer on just how she perceives and values sex and intimacy, and your response is to remain in the relationship and demand that she change.

Final thought is your OP was all about how your BW’s unsupportiveness and emotional unavailability drove you to betray her. Now we’re parsing her sexual unavailability. Which is it?

Me: WH
(Multiple OEA/PA, culminating in 4 month
EA/PA. D-Day 20 Oct 2018 41 y/o)
Married 14 years
Her: BS 37 y/o at D-Day
13 y/o son, 10 y/o daughter
6 months HB, broken NC, TT
SUCKED at growth and rebuilding

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Underserving ( Member #72259) posted at 4:40 AM on Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

I know what it’s like to have a spouse withhold physical intimacy from you. We had a dead bedroom for years, and I was absolutely miserable. The rejection you feel when your own husband doesn’t want to have sex with you more than 1-2 times a month (if that) is overwhelming. Being a woman on that side of things added a whole extra layer of humiliation and feelings of inadequacy. The thing is, I didn’t seek out another person to fill that void in me. Was it ever tempting? Did I ever find myself wondering if I’d be happier with someone else? Absolutely. But I never crossed that line.

My WH felt like I was disrespectful, angry, and controlling. I was all of those things, I’ll admit it. He didn’t want to be intimate with me because he didn’t feel appreciated or cared for by me. He ended up seeking out the validation he was missing from within himself, and from me, with another woman. He DID cross that line.

Two people in the same marriage, neither one of us getting our needs met, and only ONE of us cheated. Whether you physically acted out or not, there is no justification for your actions. Are you justified in asking for a divorce? YES! In fact, after the most recent revelations I’d say it’s probably for the best. You are not justified in lying, cheating, or sneaking around talking to other women while in a marriage.

If my marriage became even a resemblance of what it was for so long again, I’d be out the door. Please know I understand how lonely it is to feel like you’re not wanted by your spouse. It doesn’t change the fact there are numerous other, and way more dignified, options than going down the dark and painful road of infidelity. Best wishes.

BW (32)
Found out 3 years post end of A
D-day 12-9-19
Meh-ing through R

Infidelity brings out the cuss in me. I’m not as foul mouthed in real life. ;)

posts: 647   ·   registered: Dec. 9th, 2019
id 8622125
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hikingout ( Member #59504) posted at 4:20 PM on Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

So there is a lot that needs to be separated out here.

First, you didn't cheat because you are unhappy with your wife or your marriage. You cheated because you let the resentments build and then used it as an entitlement to have another relationship. I know that's very blunt, but I did the same thing.

Through that, you continued to justify your behavior by reinforcing to yourself all the negative aspects of your wife and your marriage. It's classic re-writing.

Are there issues with your marriage? Yes, I can see there are. But, the bigger issue you must first address is why did you do this instead of working to constructively work on your marriage? Cheating was easier. Instant good feelings. You feel flat because you became addicted to the dopamine hits the interactions were providing. Again, this is very blunt, but I have been in your shoes and did the same.

So, right now you are finding yourself at the end of your affair in very similar shoes as me. Basically, you did this subconciously to blow up your marriage because you couldn't be the bad guy and just end it. And, you didn't want to put in the work, because you don't think there is a way to enhance your relationship.

You are focused on what your wife is saying about attraction, but you are talking to a woman who just found out that her husband cheated on her and has shown little regard towards her.

So, here is the map out.

1. Figure out your whys. Why did you do this instead of taking the other roads? How did you feel comfortable doing it (I suggest IC). This was a painful awakening for me that I needed to take responsibility for my affair, but also for any way I contributed to the pre-A issues.

2. Clean up your side of the street first. If you focus just on how you could improve your coping, communication, and self understanding, the way through to reconnecting with your wife will show up. I also suggest read "How to help your spouse heal from infidelity". It's a quick read, but you are still doing a lot of damage because you are (just like me and most WS) still mostly focused on yourself and your feelings.

3. This process of cleaning up your side of the street will take a long time. Completely focus on it, the work is great. Don't ask your wife to make changes at this time, she needs to be able to heal and trust you in order for her to be all in on fixing the pre-A issues. You have to deal with the bomb you just threw into the marriage first. Triage the wounds, and worry about what was wrong with the battle plans. I would suggest 6 months to a year of IC before doing any kind of MC.

4. It's up to you to help re-build a connection. Figure out a plan for that. For us, we did a date night each week, I planned a weekend away once a quarter. We worked on doing some things we had in common and I worked on finding things to surprise him with. We also did a couples retreat workshop one weekend about a year in. The reason this is so important is your feelings will follow your effort. Butterflies for someone is generally because you are doing things to actively love them.

WW/BW BH/WH
Turnthepage
My Affair DDAY 9/1/2017- 2 month EA/PA
His Affair DDAY 10/10/2020 - 18 month A - EA?/PA

posts: 5914   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8622218
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gmc94 ( Member #62810) posted at 4:51 PM on Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

FWIW - my takeaways:

You cheated on her. Yet these posts are all about blaming her.

She gave you an honest answer on just how she perceives and values sex and intimacy, and your response is to remain in the relationship and demand that she change.

my thoughts exactly.... I find it odd that the title of this thread is "taking responsibility", yet most of what's written is - IMHO- the exact opposite.

Final thought is your OP was all about how your BW’s unsupportiveness and emotional unavailability drove you to betray her. Now we’re parsing her sexual unavailability. Which is it?

Good question....

the bigger issue you must first address is why did you do this instead of working to constructively work on your marriage?

Yup. And that means.... TAKING RESPONSIBILITY for your choices and your actions, regardless of whatever was going on with your BW or your M.

It's up to you to help re-build a connection

I can see how that could be really difficult when your BW is on the spectrum.... but it's still up to you.

The ONLY thing you can change is yourself.....

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3367   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8622232
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newlife03 ( Member #56527) posted at 5:19 PM on Wednesday, January 6th, 2021

BW here.

Your needs were not being met and you found validation elsewhere. You know it's wrong and you've cut off communication. As a BW I think that's awesome.

Everyone is asking why you married someone who was not going to satisfy you. At this point I don't think the 'why' is relevant because it already happened. You've raised your family and conducted business together for a long time. It's today that you need to focus on.

You already know what your wife cannot/will not give you. If that is acceptable to you, then stay as is. If you need more (which we all know you do) it may be time to sever ties. Yes, it will hurt and yes, it will destroy the business. But is staying in a loveless marriage (even though you love her you may not be 'in love' anymore) the way you want to live out your years? The temptation to cheat will present itself again when you're feeling the need for love and attention. What will you do then? As you already know, cheating is never an acceptable decision.

Have you been in individual counseling? It might help you to get clarity on your situation and guide you into making the best decision for yourself. Staying with your wife for any reason other than true deep love isn't fair to her nor to you. You both deserve better.

Edit to add: I didn't see the original date of the first post and just read the follow-up.

She will not be able to satisfy your needs so you have some decisions to make. Stay and hope for the best or not. Your daughters are not living in a stable home if they know you and your wife are not loving partners. IMO living this way only shows them how NOT to be in a loving relationship. My therapist once told me it was better for my kids to be from a broken household than to be LIVING IN one. If one of your girls were to tell you what you've described, would you tell them to suck it up, buttercup? Or do whatever it takes to be happy. Your resentment could mean years of turmoil for you both, and hopefully you both have a lot of life yet to live.

[This message edited by newlife03 at 11:29 AM, January 6th (Wednesday)]

Me - 50
Kids 25, 22, 18
1st DDay in 2006, 2nd in 2007
D in 2009
Happily Committed to SO since 2011

posts: 657   ·   registered: Dec. 22nd, 2016   ·   location: ID
id 8622575
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Phantasmagoria ( Member #49567) posted at 1:36 AM on Thursday, January 7th, 2021

At some point, a person starved of attention has to find it somewhere.

Why?

posts: 474   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2015
id 8622678
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NotMyFirstRodeo ( Member #75220) posted at 8:39 PM on Saturday, January 9th, 2021

ML2020, I can sympathize with you on how hard it is to be denied physical touch and affection by a wife for a long time. My wife was very affectionate towards me up until we were about 3 months into our marriage and I felt as though she hit me with the old bait n switch.

Like in your case, my wife refused to offer an "I love you" and would merely reply with "love you too" when provoked by my offering it to her. She limited me to a peck on a cheek and NEVER allowed a real, passionate kiss(ing) on the lips. The extent of variety in our sex life was one position. Where I enjoyed and wanted to "make love", she just wanted it over with. For me to take more than 3 minutes was for me to flirt with being chastised while having sex. I believe she saw me as a deviant because I enjoyed giving and receiving oral attention...it used to be fine, good and okay but it suddenly changed without reason.

Sex became a thing that happened every 2-4 weeks with many instances where she would withhold for 2-3 months. Not a completely dead bedroom but only because I was relentless in my ignorance.

Want to hear something funny/sad in that regard? She convinced me that her monthly cycle was abnormally long and hard; lasting 2 or more weeks at a time. The reality was/is her cycle typically affects her for 3-4 days but she just didn't want to be intimate with me and she knew that I respected how she felt about having sex while she was on her cycle.

Like you, I play/sing music. Zero interest from her. Zero kind words even if she knew I was excited about something and shared it with her. But there was an abundance of complaints about where, when and how loud I was.

Our marriage was void of any kind words about my looks, my body (which I took care of), any of my accomplishments, etc. Me to her? Before experiencing changes to my personality over the last 2 years, I naturally leaned towards being a lover and giver so I put real effort into giving her genuine and well thought out praise regularly. For example there's a part of her body that she has always been very self conscious about and I'd make it a point to speak in a kind, gentle and pleased way about that area(but not in an over-the-top way which would be disingenuous or be flattery).

I've always been reasonably flexible with her wants in 19 years of marriage but, historically, I can't say I feel she's ever seen my needs or wants as worthy of consideration. I noticed how disproportionate the kindness in our marriage had been but I drank the koolaid she was feeding me that it was just the way she was.

Much of what you wrote resonates within me. But I am gonna have to lay it out for you. My W was the one who cheated on me despite her treatment of me. You're wrong in saying a person starved for attention must find it somewhere. I was starved for attention for almost 20 years and never got involved with another woman.

If your wife showed you a different side prior to getting married and then became cold and unkind, I'd lean towards believing that she just doesn't like you or has resentment for you as my wife did for me. It's not impossible that she has experienced some kind of mental shift that is out of her control but having seen so stinking many examples of the story I lived and the feedback the H's have in hindsight leaves me feeling as I do(in general, people operate from the same playbooks). But in any case, whether the H or the W being unkind to the other, we all have a choice to remain faithful or not. There is nothing she could have done that would authorize you to have an emotional affair with another woman. Your choice to get involved with another woman has severely worsened your marriage and it wasn't a "whoops!" accident.

You're giving excuses that don't hold water my man. If you don't intend to hold up your end of your vow to her you should just tell her and give her the agency to make whatever choice suits her. Admit to yourself if it's that you're now just so angry or resentful towards her that you'll jump at using false reasoning to justify your acts or intentions moving forward.

My recommendation is that you be honest with yourself about your marriage, how you see your wife and go from there. Believe me when I say that I understand the frustrations involved in feeling as though you were deceived by someone you love so much and feeling as though everyone else in the world comes before you to them. But none of it excuses your own actions and it's healthy for you to own that.

[This message edited by NotMyFirstRodeo at 2:43 PM, January 9th (Saturday)]

If, to date it's been accurate, trust your gut and not your ears.

posts: 204   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2020
id 8623378
Topic is Sleeping.
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