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Just Found Out :
My Wife had an Intense, Highly Deceptive Affair

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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:22 PM on Friday, April 15th, 2022

I still feel she had to be carrying a lot of anger toward me to do what she did.

I think there's a step in there that should not be missed. That is, it's more likely that your W did not address issues as they came up and built up an image of you that was different from the real you. She was, maybe still is, angry at her image of you, not at you.

I spent many hours in MC sessions hearing my W describe someone I just wasn't. My W stifled herself because she thought I didn't like the real her. She changed the very characteristics that drew me to her because she thought I didn't like those characteristics. In fact, it was she who didn't like herself, and she projected that thinking onto me.

I don't mean to project, but I think you can assume, for the moment, that your W wasn't angry at you; she was angry at some inaccurate image of you that she created for her own purposes.

*****

I think she may very well have cheated because she didn't think she deserved to be loved.

Some people see explanations as excuses. I don't. I see a big difference between the 2.

If the proposition is given in a way that supports maintaining it, it's probably an excuse.

If the proposition is given as a problem that needs to be solved, and if steps are taken to solve the problem, it's probably a reason.

So look at what your W does with her words - if she acts to change herself, she probably has found a valid explanation.

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.

posts: 27082   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8729969
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MickeyBill2016 ( member #56459) posted at 6:04 PM on Friday, April 15th, 2022

She didn’t look at sex with me as being any different than some drunk hookup in college, it’s all just physical fun.

Damn, that's a tough thing to hear from your wife. But it is brutally honest.
I don't know how I would respond to my wife saying that our sex was not something special... I have known couples in open marriages who felt that but they both felt it and it was their thing.

I haven't kept up with your whole thread but did she have CSA or something in her past that would teach her that sex was a quid pro quo...or maybe she is just wired differently. Sorry Doc.

9 years married.
13 years divorced.

posts: 1230   ·   registered: Dec. 17th, 2016   ·   location: West of the 405 North of the Mexican border
id 8729981
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 7:12 PM on Friday, April 15th, 2022

The secret to what’s wrong with your marriage. A power struggle. Who has it and who does not have it. You have to get that fixed ASAP and that does come under the heading of marriage counseling. If it is a holdover from either of you from childhood helplessness then that next to be fixed with individual counseling.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 3296   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8729992
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:04 AM on Saturday, April 16th, 2022

I think there's a step in there that should not be missed. That is, it's more likely that your W did not address issues as they came up and built up an image of you that was different from the real you. She was, maybe still is, angry at her image of you, not at you.

I spent many hours in MC sessions hearing my W describe someone I just wasn't. My W stifled herself because she thought I didn't like the real her. She changed the very characteristics that drew me to her because she thought I didn't like those characteristics. In fact, it was she who didn't like herself, and she projected that thinking onto me.

I don't mean to project, but I think you can assume, for the moment, that your W wasn't angry at you; she was angry at some inaccurate image of you that she created for her own purposes.

*****

I think she may very well have cheated because she didn't think she deserved to be loved.

Some people see explanations as excuses. I don't. I see a big difference between the 2.

If the proposition is given in a way that supports maintaining it, it's probably an excuse.

If the proposition is given as a problem that needs to be solved, and if steps are taken to solve the problem, it's probably a reason.

So look at what your W does with her words - if she acts to change herself, she probably has found a valid explanation.

Good post. And I made that point to my wife—that she created an image of me to hate. In her mind, she’s unsure, but she doesn’t want to settle for the idea that I’m perfect and it’s all her fault. I don’t think that anyway, but I do think her lack of communication allowed her to fester with a false image of me. There’s still plenty for me to fix, especially when dealing with her as she’s more sensitive than most, but she needs to address things as they arise and not sweep everything under the rug allowing anger to grow unchecked.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8730024
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:08 AM on Saturday, April 16th, 2022

I haven't kept up with your whole thread but did she have CSA or something in her past that would teach her that sex was a quid pro quo...or maybe she is just wired differently.

No CSA, but our CT is convinced that her issues in our marriage stem from a combination of two things: her desire to not upset her father as a child and her "sexual abuse" in earth college when she was in a series of low-value sexual relationships.

The CT thinks the college sex taught her that sex had nothing to do with love—it was just a pleasurable, mechanical experience. The issues with her father led her to avoiding conflict with me and sweeping all her anger with me under the rug. She then allowed that anger to manifest in our bedroom as they was her transactional leverage.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8730025
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:19 AM on Saturday, April 16th, 2022

Wow Dr. That's a lot to unpack. I seriously doubt your WW has changed overnight. I know the HB has been great especially given your past, but based on your talk, it sure looks like it's just transactional. I give you great sex and you stay and I get to keep my marriage and lifestyle.

So I don’t think that’s it, though I understand why you’d write it. She feels like for the first time in her life she’s have "emotional sex"—and I believe her. It’s just upsetting to me that she hasn’t felt this throughout our relationship.

But our sex this passed month has been different—it’s been passionate and fun. And it’s obvious she’s into it for more than just the mechanical pleasure.

The question becomes what happens as time passes. Others have mentioned as we get to 3-6 months, I’ll be able to gauge better. So we’ll see if she loses the passion and emotional connection or not.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8730026
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:21 AM on Saturday, April 16th, 2022

I'm not sure that all waywards know the truth themselves close in to dday. They spent so much time spinning things in their mind to excuse what they know is wrong they really don't have a good truthful reason anymore.

Yea, I really don’t think she knows why she cheated and I can tell it’s legitimately tearing her up. She doesn’t understand why she was so self-destructive and looking back to her it seems completely insane. My fear is when she finally finds the answer, it won’t be pleasing to either of us though. As others have mentioned, her lack of sexual desire for me was obviously very real, regardless of the reason.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8730027
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DoinBettr ( member #71209) posted at 12:29 AM on Saturday, April 16th, 2022

Oh yes. The whole, sex is just a physical act and means so little excuse.
Ask her if you are allowed to have sex with anyone else? If she would feel hurt if you enjoyed sex more with these other women you had sex with?
This question I bet would be met with her saying it is different for you and she wouldn't want that. Your wife is grasping at excuses.
The only true thing she told you is that she would hold onto resentment and then punish you.
The fact that she thinks she loved you down deeper, is her way of saying she pushed away your love and affection. My wife didn't want to admit she stopped loving me until I asked, while she was have sex with another guy, was her mind thinking about how this would make me feel? If not, then that isn't love and she stopped loving you in that moment.
Love is a verb, not an adjective. It isn't a noun. It is something you actively do. She stopped actively doing that. There was a post about this on the general forum when there were a lot more WS around. The argument eventually ended with some concession, but WS hate admitting they are bad people. They need to see themselves as 2 people. The person they were during the marriage before and who they want to be. If they can't say those are different people, then they aren't candidates for R. They need to hate who they were when they hurt you. Not just hate what they did to hurt you.

posts: 701   ·   registered: Aug. 7th, 2019   ·   location: Midwest
id 8730028
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 4:41 PM on Saturday, April 16th, 2022

I would like to address what you wrote, and what others have noted, about what to do when the passion wears off in 3-6 months.

The A is your WWs fault, plain and simple. However, not maintaining passion in the relationship prior to the A is both of your fault’s. You get married, have kids, work and life stresses, etc.

I firmly believe that the husband/BF has a particular role to play to keeping passion alive in a long term relationship, which is one of the relationship recommendations that comes out of Esther Perel. I don’t agree with Perel about much of anything, except this recommendation, which to me is not A related at all.

Women want to be chased. They need to feel that they are desired sexually by their partner. A positive and fun sexual tension needs to be developed for a woman to feel stimulated, because she feels that intense sexual desire from her male partner.

However, most men don’t do any of this in a long term post children relationship. They tap their wife on the shoulder at bedtime when they want to have sex.

This simply is not the way things work. The man needs to lust after her, sext her when at work, paw at her, make her tell you to stop touching her inappropriately (not going too far obviously) around the kids, st home,in public, etc, while she’s obviously blushing and enjoying the attention from you.

Of course, if you’re doing all of these things, snd fostering the emotional connection at the same time, snd your wife/partner is putting you off, saying she’s too tired, etc., then it’s your job to call that out and have an honest conversation. You might need to demand MC because you have very clearly stated that your needs aren’t getting met. However, most men won’t do this. They become resentful, then their wife becomes resentful, and it all goes down hill from there.

All of these things I just discussed are not A related in the slightest. If you disagree with me fine, but I can assure you from personal experience it’s the proper formula. And, as I previously mentioned, it’s the one thing that I think Perel gets right.

posts: 401   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8730104
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 11:37 PM on Saturday, April 16th, 2022

I would like to address what you wrote, and what others have noted, about what to do when the passion wears off in 3-6 months.

The A is your WWs fault, plain and simple. However, not maintaining passion in the relationship prior to the A is both of your fault’s. You get married, have kids, work and life stresses, etc.

I firmly believe that the husband/BF has a particular role to play to keeping passion alive in a long term relationship, which is one of the relationship recommendations that comes out of Esther Perel. I don’t agree with Perel about much of anything, except this recommendation, which to me is not A related at all.

Women want to be chased. They need to feel that they are desired sexually by their partner. A positive and fun sexual tension needs to be developed for a woman to feel stimulated, because she feels that intense sexual desire from her male partner.

However, most men don’t do any of this in a long term post children relationship. They tap their wife on the shoulder at bedtime when they want to have sex.

This simply is not the way things work. The man needs to lust after her, sext her when at work, paw at her, make her tell you to stop touching her inappropriately (not going too far obviously) around the kids, st home,in public, etc, while she’s obviously blushing and enjoying the attention from you.

Of course, if you’re doing all of these things, snd fostering the emotional connection at the same time, snd your wife/partner is putting you off, saying she’s too tired, etc., then it’s your job to call that out and have an honest conversation. You might need to demand MC because you have very clearly stated that your needs aren’t getting met. However, most men won’t do this. They become resentful, then their wife becomes resentful, and it all goes down hill from there.

All of these things I just discussed are not A related in the slightest. If you disagree with me fine, but I can assure you from personal experience it’s the proper formula. And, as I previously mentioned, it’s the one thing that I think Perel gets right.

I think it’s obvious I didn’t do enough to keep the flame burning, but I do think I tried—I would compliment her and often steal touches and kisses around the house. I’d take her to nice dinners, vacations and buy flowers for Valentine’s Day, etc.

One thing she pointed out months ago was my lack of attention to physical appearance throughout the pandemic—I’d walk around the house in PJs mostly and it bothered her. Quite frankly, I didn’t care—I wasn’t interested in wearing dress pants to sit in my home office. But I think she had a point—I think dressing up puts you more in the moment even working virtually and has value; and it’s also obvious that it’s more appealing to your partner—I obviously enjoy when she is all made up as well.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8730149
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EmergingLady ( member #79881) posted at 12:17 AM on Sunday, April 17th, 2022

Doc,

When you said "I think it’s obvious I didn’t do enough to keep the flame burning, but I do think I tried"

I can't argue with this as I don't know you, don't know what you did and didn't do etc.

I do know it takes two though.


Does your cheating wife think she did enough to keep the flame burning with you?

Do you think she did enough to keep the flame burning with you?


Whether she did or didn't doesn't minimized that you didn't do enough to keep the flame burning, but it does take two.

Relationships take work, effort. Things wax and wane throughout the years. There are times when one partner has to do more, carry more of the load. That's life, things happen, it shouldn't be that way for long though. There are ups and downs.


Leaving this example aside now, to me, it's far more important that she shut down, turned inward and shut you out.

It's hard for you to keep the flame going when she's not being honest and truthful with herself, let alone you. If she won't open up, doesn't like herself, won't accept things for what they really are, won't work with you honestly then it doesn't matter.

Under those circumstances, even if you DID do enough to keep the flame burning, it would NOT have mattered. Why? Because in her mind it wasn't enough.

As you and others have mentioned before, she built up an image of you in her mind that wasn't real, wasn't honest and that means even if you did enough, it wouldn't have mattered.

When a person, like your wife, has issues with herself and she rewrites marital history and creates resentment and allows it to fester, build and to grow, even a spouse who is doing the right things won't get through to their spouse. They can't because their spouse isn't dealing with reality.


If you didn't do enough to keep the flame burning, that's something for you to work on going forward, but you need a spouse who is your partner, working with you and not against you for your efforts to work, to bear fruit.

She wasn't working with you on your relationship, but against you and because of that your efforts didn't matter.

posts: 65   ·   registered: Feb. 3rd, 2022   ·   location: America
id 8730156
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 12:50 AM on Sunday, April 17th, 2022

One thing she pointed out months ago was my lack of attention to physical appearance throughout the pandemic—I’d walk around the house in PJs mostly and it bothered her. Quite frankly, I didn’t care—I wasn’t interested in wearing dress pants to sit in my home office.

Dude the ridiculousness of thos statement confounds me. She is your spouse she sees you when you shit, when you have zits, when you are sick. If she can't get excited about you and what you bring to the relationship because you wore comfy clothes for months, that is on her, not you. Especially if she didn't say anything.
I too went from dressing nice traveling regularly to working from home. Hell there was a period of time I didn't know where my bras were.

This is a bullshit answer and if you dont push back on the ridiculousness of it then you are doomed to rugsweepjng this whole thing.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19250   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8730157
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redbaron007 ( member #50144) posted at 9:26 AM on Sunday, April 17th, 2022

I think it’s obvious I didn’t do enough to keep the flame burning, but I do think I tried—I would compliment her and often steal touches and kisses around the house. I’d take her to nice dinners, vacations and buy flowers for Valentine’s Day, etc.

One thing she pointed out months ago was my lack of attention to physical appearance throughout the pandemic—I’d walk around the house in PJs mostly and it bothered her. Quite frankly, I didn’t care—I wasn’t interested in wearing dress pants to sit in my home office. But I think she had a point—I think dressing up puts you more in the moment even working virtually and has value; and it’s also obvious that it’s more appealing to your partner—I obviously enjoy when she is all made up as well.

To your credit, you tried to keep the spark alive, but not only has she not reciprocated your gestures, she has ridiculous expectations. It's your f*cking home so you can wear PJs all the time. I'm sure you did NOT wear PJs when you took her out for those nice dinners, and I'm sure you dress well when the occasion demands.

So from having no sexual desire for you, she's now having fantastic "emotional sex" for the first time in her life and you believe her? What changed - have you started wearing a suit around the house, told her you're Batman? If someone could just switch on this "emotional sex" switch at the drop of a hat, well, I'm drinking what they are.

Just live in the present and enjoy the HB now without having ANY expectations of this fun, passionate "emotional sex" being a long-term thing. If it does, great. If not, well you still enjoyed the brief interlude when you felt sexually desired.

[This message edited by redbaron007 at 9:30 AM, Sunday, April 17th]

Me: BS (44)
She: WS (41)
One son (6)
DDay: May 2015 (OBS told me)
Divorced, Zero regrets, sound sleep, son doing great!
A FOG is just a weather phenomenon. An Affair Fog is a clever excuse invented by WS's to explain their continued bad behavior.

posts: 247   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2015   ·   location: West Coast
id 8730185
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 11:56 AM on Sunday, April 17th, 2022

Dude the ridiculousness of thos statement confounds me. She is your spouse she sees you when you shit, when you have zits, when you are sick. If she can't get excited about you and what you bring to the relationship because you wore comfy clothes for months, that is on her, not you. Especially if she didn't say anything.
I too went from dressing nice traveling regularly to working from home. Hell there was a period of time I didn't know where my bras were.

This is a bullshit answer and if you dont push back on the ridiculousness of it then you are doomed to rugsweepjng this whole thing.

Sorry, to be clear, she hasn’t mentioned it post-affair. I just recall it was something she said months ago. Her critique was that I should look better for my virtual meetings, but I recall interpreting it as being more personal.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8730192
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:05 PM on Sunday, April 17th, 2022

So from having no sexual desire for you, she's now having fantastic "emotional sex" for the first time in her life and you believe her? What changed - have you started wearing a suit around the house, told her you're Batman? If someone could just switch on this "emotional sex" switch at the drop of a hat, well, I'm drinking what they are.

LOL. Well, I’ll point out that the affair wasn’t emotional sex; it was the taboo and secrecy of it all that made it such a turn on for her. And I’ve pointed out how hurtful that is—the idea that the source of her great sexual experiences was the deception of the person who loves her.

Just live in the present and enjoy the HB now without having ANY expectations of this fun, passionate "emotional sex" being a long-term thing. If it does, great. If not, well you still enjoyed the brief interlude when you felt sexually desired.

Sadly, that’s exactly how I’m looking at it. We’re having the best sex of our relationship now—I’ve been averaging about two orgasms a day, which is fairly absurd (and exhausting). And she’s seemingly having a blast as well.

I also spoke with her about updating our pre-nup (a post-nup), to ensure it covers everything we can so that a separation is fairly straight-forward should she fail in her redevelopment or betray me in some way again.

So I’ll take this ride and see where it goes for now.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8730193
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:07 PM on Sunday, April 17th, 2022

Does your cheating wife think she did enough to keep the flame burning with you?

Do you think she did enough to keep the flame burning with you?

Of course not. She understands now she was poisoning our sex life by passive aggressively stuffing all her anger toward me into our bedroom.

I don’t think she yet knows how to resolve that, but it’s something she’s been discussing with her IC.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8730194
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 12:52 PM on Sunday, April 17th, 2022

Why did you need a pre-nup, and now I assume a post nop as well, if your WW makes significantly more than you? Did you come into the relationship with assets, is the house jointly owned?

posts: 401   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8730195
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 7:18 PM on Sunday, April 17th, 2022

Why did you need a pre-nup, and now I assume a post nop as well, if your WW makes significantly more than you? Did you come into the relationship with assets, is the house jointly owned?

Yea, in the couple of years before we moved in together, my grandfather died and left me some money. I also spent a year+ out of college living with my mom and saved everything I made. Between the two, I had enough to put down enough to buy a small apartment.

I also had a small piece of property left to me that we eventually built our home on. Essentially, the prenup was protecting the capital I got from selling the apt and the property.

She’s always made more money, but our spending is night and day, so she’s always spent her money as she makes it regardless of her earnings in the moment. The result now is that I have significantly more money saved, largely in stocks. Her capital went into her wardrobe.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 7:19 PM, Sunday, April 17th]

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8730233
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 11:37 PM on Sunday, April 17th, 2022

In the event of D, your prenup should be pretty solid. Once you invested the capital into your now jointly owned house, you effectively commingled assets, so without a prenup your WW would have been entitled to half, so the prenup was an excellent idea.

Before diving into a postnup, I would speak with a lawyer and find out how those usually get adjudicated in your state in case of D. In many instances, they don’t hold up.

However, I think there is efficacy in a postnup regardless, because it hammers home to your WW the egregiousness of what she’s done, and sends her a message about how serious you are. Just the nature of going through this legal process should make her even more disappointed in herself than she already should be, as well as feel some shame snd embarrassment of having to sign a postnup. I would not relent on the postnup.

posts: 401   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8730265
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DoinBettr ( member #71209) posted at 3:48 PM on Monday, April 18th, 2022

Dr - I would say you took her to freaking Italy before the affair.
There is nothing you could have done more to spur her sexual desires then take her to your honey moon!
This is all about her trying to exert power in the relationship. Most women immediately turn to the thing they have the most control over, a guy's sex rations. If you aren't limiting her spending and still taking her on amazing vacations. Still having nights out, which you said before you did. You have stayed in decent shape and maintain yourself.
Everything she thinks is wrong is all about her not knowing how well she has it. I know the second you put yourself on the market again you will see she has to bid for your love. The bids will be high!
You are the prize here. That is why even the OBS kind of threw you a line. I am sure there are others. Your covid PJ time isn't what turned the bedroom icy. It was all about her little things that made her mad. Then she wanted to control those things, so she cuts back on sex time. Eventually that frustrates you, then you get used to the lowered sex time and stop engaging. Then both sides have reduced expectations. It is the problem with trying to punish the other person instead of talk to them in a relationship.

posts: 701   ·   registered: Aug. 7th, 2019   ·   location: Midwest
id 8730335
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