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Hysterical Bonding

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Underserving posted 4/19/2021 10:35 AM

Iím curious, for those who experienced HB, how long did it last? At what point is it no longer considered HB, but maybe a new normal?

Since about a week post d-day my husband has been obsessed with me. We have sex on an almost daily basis, and the weekends itís usually a few times a day. (I have a high sex drive so Iím more than okay with this)

For those unfamiliar with my story, our sex life was beyond pathetic for YEARS. He would initiate maybe once every month to two months, with me doing the bulk of the initiating, but was often rejected. About a year after his affair, he started initiating a lot more often, and we were having sex about 3-4 times a week. It stayed that way until d-day.

I guess Iím afraid this is still HB, will eventually wane, and what that would mean for me. I think Iíd be ok with returning to the 3-4 times a week, but anything less than that I would not be ok with. Maybe in a ďnormalĒ marriage that hadnít experienced infidelity, it wouldnít be such a big deal to me, but now it is. I suppose Iím not willing to ever go back to a mediocre marriage with mediocre sex.

So a little over 16 moths out, could this still be HB?


ETA: I did a quick little search on the topic, and it seems hysterical bonding is mostly done on the side of the betrayed. Theyíre the ones wanting to have more sex as a way to hold onto their spouse, reclaim them, or even as a way to pick me dance. So can a wayward also experience HB? Almost as a form of desperation to keep your partner? Curious to hear from waywards also, and what their experience with it was.

[This message edited by Underserving at 12:26 PM, April 19th (Monday)]

Tanner posted 4/19/2021 12:31 PM

I think for us it was phases of HB. I couldnít for 6 weeks. I thought of the AP every time I touched her.

When I was ready for sex I put a lot of pressure on myself to be great at it, regardless of my own needs. I thought her A was all about needing better sex, so I was going to show her. We were at it multiple times a day but I really wasnít getting anything out of it, other than a lot of work and stress.

When my shock lifted and anger hit it was very selfish, angry sex (not abusive) just my needs only and no connection. We were still having good HB sex but I stopped trying to impress and took some pleasure in it, although I still had MM half the time.

The phase now is a more mutual enjoyable sex, although not multiple times a day, itís still daily or skip a day here and there. This is when I started to feel safe with her. I started feeling we are in true R, this also evolved with my self esteem and confidence.

So to answer your question I donít think we are in HB anymore because I donít have an agenda we are just enjoying each other. Itís relaxed stress free sex. Honestly even with the less frequency, itís better now.

Tanner posted 4/19/2021 12:40 PM

Just saw your edit. I think that is exactly right. I was trying to reclaim her.

This0is0Fine posted 4/19/2021 13:20 PM

HB was about a month long for me.

I'd be pumped to keep up 1/day schedule, but I'm fine with 2-3/wk which is where it had been for a long time prior to the A.

Unhinged posted 4/19/2021 14:11 PM

"Deriving from or affected by uncontrolled extreme emotion," says the all powerful and all knowing internet.

Do you feel hysterical?

ETA: I was run over by a freight train of hysterical bonding. It lasted about two months. My FWW's constant blame-shifting derailed it.

[This message edited by Unhinged at 2:13 PM, April 19th (Monday)]

JoVCT posted 4/19/2021 14:26 PM

I am 11 mos post DDay. We are doing well, he has been all the things he should be if he wants us to stay together. The HB in the beginning was kind of crazy and a shock to me - I had not felt that sexual in years. It has calmed down just a bit, but it still happens more than it ever did in our marriage - even more than when we were in our 20's (I am late 60's now.) Not only is there a lot of it, it is different, and I am enjoying it more than I ever did before. Yes, in the beginning, I believe that I was trying to wipe his memory of that bitch out of his mind, but now I am doing this because I want to. I hope it doesn't stop.

ladyphoenix posted 4/19/2021 15:25 PM

For me, HB was entwined with the pick me dance I started the day before I found out. Our sex life was the source of argument in our M. I was always the one rejecting him, leaving him feeling unwanted. Cue the AP interest....

I had started feeling like a blow up doll. Just a place for him to get off.

I wanted to get our M back on track and build a connection with him. I agreed to every day. (It had been 1-2 times a week at most). The next day I discovered the A. We decided to stay together, I decided to hold up to my word from the day previous. I didnít find out until almost 4 months later that it had been a PA and by then I was committed to my agreement. We would fight for hours and then HB every night, sometimes twice. That lasted about 6-9 months. TT helped to fuel the HB.

After the first year, I told him that I was done with the agreement. I didn't want to feel pressure from myself. Itís still almost every day, but there are days where we just hold each other and cuddle.

Our sex life has changed immensely. We are more open and interested in enjoying each other. We talk about everything and make sure we are both feeling needed and desired.

I still have mind-movies of the A, but they are not debilitating and we usually discuss them right away.

Underserving posted 4/19/2021 17:46 PM

Do you feel hysterical?

I do not believe so. I guess Iím wondering if maybe my husband does. If his desire for sex so often stems from some sort of desperation not to lose me. Or if itís as simple as weíve communicated about sex more, and are both enjoying it more than we ever have. If itís the former, that desire could decrease the more secure he feels that I wonít leave him. And then what? I did the dead bedroom for way too long at way too young of an age.

Maybe Iím thinking too hard about this. Itís a legitimate fear I have, though.

ladyphoenix posted 4/19/2021 19:46 PM

Underserving,
I too have the same fear. I am not ok to go back to the way things were. I am hopeful that the communication and mutual enjoyment are whatís keeping it going, not the novelty and feeling of insecurity/desperation. It feels genuine and real.

It seems to be a new chapter in our lives filled with more authenticity and vulnerability.

It doesnít feel hysterical to me any more either.

BraveSirRobin posted 4/19/2021 20:01 PM

We both felt HB. Like five times a day, I-need-you-like-air HB. It lasted for several weeks and then crashed when the mind movies resurged. After that, we were still on a daily schedule for over a year, but it wasn't that same unsustainable madness.

Honestly, we're kinda jealous of the people who had it for months, but I don't know how we'd ever have gotten anything else done.

Tanner posted 4/19/2021 20:50 PM


I did the dead bedroom for way too long at way too young of an age.

Our dead bedroom was before the Aís. It was due to her lack of confidence and self esteem. She was 240 lbs, extremely depressed and didnít feel sexy or desirable, Iíve always thought she was beautiful no matter what, I would tell her and she would scoff at it.

When she lost her weight (125 lbs) and got fit she was more sexually confident. My sex drive increased when I found my self esteem and confidence.

My point is, the confidence and bad ass you have discovered within, should help maintain the sex life you have now.

I hope that makes sense.

sisoon posted 4/20/2021 11:53 AM

You have to talk about it with your partner.

I did a lot of reclamation sex, which is different from HB, IMO.

I made sex a requirement for R. We found out we both wanted more sex than we'd been having. She thought that we had as much as I wanted and that I didn't want more. I thought we were having more than she wanted because of her CSA. We talked about a lot, but not about that, until after d-day. What a waste!

So talk about what you want. Ask your H what he's doing, especially if you have concerns.

hikingout posted 4/20/2021 12:03 PM

Agree with Sisoon.

We had some HB after my affair, but we had major HB after he decided he didn't want a divorce (almost a year in). We had a short week or two of maybe HB after his but actually we have had more abstinence. Boundary for me is that I need to feel connection and safe, we are working on that. Whatever it is you need/want you just need to figure out what that is.


I look back and I think I did sex bomb him in the earlier days. I did not realize that was a thing, but I saw sex as something that was helping with our connection so I used it as much as possible. Looking back I would have handled it differently. But, I don't regret the sex we did have because even if it wasn't the right way to go about it, I genuinely was trying anything and wasn't purposefully manipulating.

I think you need to be aware it could be that as well. I think sometimes it's the adrenaline of almost losing someone as well. Now that you know what he's capable of, you will for sure feel let down if it wanes. When or if it does, try and work through that. Come up with what you will be happy with and don't sacrifice whatever that is.

Thumos posted 4/20/2021 12:15 PM

will eventually wane

It will.

Underserving posted 4/20/2021 12:34 PM

Sometimes I donít know why I post the shit I do. But then I always find myself digging a little deeper, and it ultimately helps me.

We are both probably using sex as the barometer for how our reconciliation is going. There does appear to be a bit of desperation on both sides. I know I start feeling like something is wrong if we miss a few days. I know he gets insecure if Iím not in the mood, even if we did it 3 times the day before. (Heís never pushy I can just tell it makes him nervous or something) Thereís insecurity for both of us, and we seem to be relying on sex a little too much.

Maybe itís time for some MC now that we are further out. Thoughts on that?

hikingout posted 4/20/2021 13:18 PM

We had MC after I had been in IC for a year. We had a good experience with it, though we didn't go for very long.

I generally think that we were using sex as a barometer too, and it isn't. But I am still pretty sure that it helped. I would have maybe handled it differently as I said, but I mean by adding more discussions and such with it. Sex is a connector for many of us. For my husband it's something needed to feel the connection, for me I need the connection and it lends to the sex. Just be aware and discuss both your needs and internal world, all of that is still helpful for R. It just can't be the main thing. I generally think it helped him to feel pursued, and I see that helps you as well. Nothing wrong with that.

Unhinged posted 4/20/2021 13:20 PM

"Using" sex to keep R moving forward isn't necessarily a bad thing. If it's the only thing that's keep R moving forward then I'd say you're definitely missing something.

Are you spending as much quality time talking to each other, or just chilling, making dinner together or whatever?

Notaboringwife posted 4/20/2021 16:47 PM

For us, the HB lasted about one year. The sex was intense, fun, intimate, daily. It began almost from the first day he moved back in with me.

I recall he was unsure of his performance, as he admitted to using viagra with his ex AP for the duration of the affair and our separation so a total time of 15 months. But as we grew in intimacy fairly quickly, he never had to use viagra again.

We are entering year three, no more HB from my part or his. I donít miss it, as I feel what we have now is still fun , the intimacy strong, and the HB desire evolved into an attraction for one another. We see ourselves as sexy. : My husband does miss what he calls the passion of HB, on the other hand , heís grateful for our second chance together.

We keep the spark alive and well. Itís important to us as we both refuse to fall back into the same old patterns of the past.

I am the ex BS, I wanted sex for me, not necessarily to keep my husband. Selfish, maybe, but hey it worked!

sisoon posted 4/21/2021 12:10 PM

I agree with Unhinged. Sex is good for connecting, but if it's your only connection, I think the relationship has problems that need to be addressed.

A good MC is likely to help. A lousy one may hurt.

I think C always works better if you have a goal. What would your goal be?

Underserving posted 4/21/2021 12:56 PM

Iím probably overthinking the whole sex thing. I guess it stems from us having a dead bedroom for so long, and now itís the complete opposite. Sex every day, or at least most of the time itís every day, isnít going to be attainable forever. We will settle into a new normal eventually, and I suppose Iím unsure of what that will look like, or how I will feel. Being a woman who was constantly rejected by her husband sexually for such a long time, then discovering he had sex with someone else, has left a mark on me.

I have talked to him about it. He has said almost losing me did cause him to feel some desperation to hold onto me, but also made him realize how much he doesnít want to be without me. That it has made his attraction for me, desire for me, and overall love for me even stronger. Is that all bullshit? I donít freaking know. If itís not, will it last?

We do a lot of date nights and he calls me just to talk ALL the time when he has downtime at work. We spend a lot of time together, and enjoy each otherís company.

I think being in this stage of R is just really fucking weird. Not quite reconciled, still some reeling from the A, but getting closer to being out of the woods. Itís knowing that a new normal will happen eventually, and having no idea what thatís going to actually look like.

If any of that makes any sense...

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