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My Wife Had an Intense, Highly Deceptive Affair, Part II

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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 1:14 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

As a former wayward wife, i didn't want my AP or my H (or any man) touching my painful breasts the week prior to my period.

Perhaps your wife wasn't yet at that level of intimacy with her AP to request gentleness from him, or deny his requests.

She may have acted like a trick pony while involved in her A (as some WSs often do/will), but that doesn't mean the circus should continue at home. Especially if the acts are/were not who she really identifies with as being her true self.

I’m interested in hearing more of your perspective on this as a WW.

My WW was open to being AP’s sex toy anytime he wanted—physically or via text. And then she often pushed sexual acts with me at home both because she was so horny from her interactions with AP and because she felt guilty. I don’t know your situation, but was it similar?

We all can agree that her sex life was horrifically unhealthy—so what does a better version of it look like? My outlook on sex is to virtually always be sexually available for my wife—I love her and want her to feel loved, validated and sexually desirable. I also want her to feel good and positive about sex.

Of course there will be situations where offering myself to her sexually could be a bridge too far—perhaps I’m sick or in a horrible mood and can’t get out of it. I reserve those situations to politely decline.

So I think this is a question of where that line should be drawn. When my wife is on her period, she feels gross, has cramps and often won’t feel sexy. Seems reasonable to postpone sexual activity.

The week before her period, her breasts hurt—so much so that it can be painful just walking up the stairs. That too seems like a reasonable time to say no.

My wife commutes to work 3x a week and often comes home exhausted—she can feel mentally and physically drained and want nothing more than to zone out in front of a screen before going to bed.

On weekends my two children are in loads of activities—often 2-3 each, not counting for any birthday parties they attend or family/friend engagements we participate in. By the end of a typical Saturday, sometimes all my wife wants to do is enjoy a glass of wine and have a bath.

At the end of a month, my wife might be eager to have sex with me once; and perhaps begrudgingly go along with it a few other times.

Now, I’m writing all that out to point out that I think it would be better for our sex life to ignore all of that—to take priority—rather than rot a relationship by making a partner feel rejected and a lower priority.

I understand many people just go with the flow of life and fit in sex where they can; or they schedule weekly date night’s to ensure sex 3-4x a month. I’ve done that and I was deeply unhappy doing it. So I’m now asking my wife to prioritize sex in our relationship.

And that’s all without me pointing out how horrible I feel about her affair.

My position is I want sex to take priority in our life. Alternatively, I’m ok separating. Now, I recognize that’s an extreme position—we have kids, a house, a marriage together that should be more durable than a sex life. But she already tossed those things out the window. None of it meant anything to her—she threw them all away for sex. Perhaps she’ll decide to win them all back by re-thinking how she views sex.

How do you see it though? Do you think a BH should accept a WW back and move forward with the same painfully hollow sex life?

Additionally, I highly recommend that you discuss your list of needs for recovery in both MC and IC.

Agreed.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 1:16 PM, Monday, June 13th]

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8739943
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 1:40 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

We can debate the efficacy of the recent encounter all day. We all have agency over our bodies. I don’t think it’s out of line to ask for what you want / say what you don’t want from your spouse and have a discussion. My husband had serious back issues and was on medication that lowered his sex drive. We had honest, not always easy conversations and found our work around. How can these questions, discussions not devolve into victimhood/entitlement?

In a healthy marriage you have physical intimacy.

The degree, amount and acts are something couples work out together. Each partner deserves to feel desired, and be comfortable showing vulnerability with your partner. We aren’t naturally equipped with the skills to navigate a healthy sexual relationship. It’s learned... for most of us....through trial and error.

Your wives transactionalizing intimate acts has injected toxicity into what should build your closeness and connectivity. Instead, you are served shame and rejection. You must have felt very alone, hurt and confused.

I don’t think you are going to get to far with demands that she be available sexually. That’s the whole point, she is not. Available, empathetic, authentic, vulnerable or generous. At least not now.

I am afraid that you are just going down the same rabbit hole you’ve been in, just a new version. Before she dictated the parameters, now you want to. Are you sure she’s not going to say she felt she had to do a, b and c because of the boundary you set? That’s just more of the same.

You tend to believe you are dealing with a rational partner. Your wife has all her pre A issues plus the fact that it took her time to get in the mindset to have an affair and it’s going to take some time to walk that back, She has a long road ahead.

It is a process. Give yourself a break. Get some sleep. The answers aren’t mined through one persons efforts, Sometimes there are no answers, just acceptance.

It’s easy to say, hard to do. Focus on your own work. You. She’s either going to get on board or not and her actions will show you soon enough. I know you’ve read this hundreds of times now. But it’s going to keep being said because it’s true.

The amount of time I spent talking about our sex life with her is truthfully too vast to properly explain--but however much you think I discussed it, know that it's more. I was talking to a wall--she did not care. And we can assign all kinds of reasons now for why that was, but I'm not ok resuming those empty discussions. Her actions spoke for her--so whatever issues she has to work through regarding physical intimacy are for her to deal with and bring back to me in a positive, constructive conversation.

In the interim, I'm not comfortable committing to R with her--allowing myself to re-bond with her--all to find myself back in a moment begging for her to not make me feel like a POS about sex. I need her to extend the olive branch while she finds her inner balance and be sexually available.

I understand your point about how I'm just flipping who has control, but I'm not asking for anything I think is unreasonable. I understand she disagrees, so at this point in time, it's a matter of if she feels more passionately about control over our sex life or R with me. Perhaps this is a fair test as well--how much does she really want R with me?

I know we've spent the last couple of pages talking about sex--it's a fun topic and there are a wide array of viewpoints on this forum--but I still have a nagging question of whether or not she really *wants* R with me or if she's jumping on the easiest path for herself. I spent 15 years being sexually available and enthusiastic for her--and I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that our sex life largely revolved around me eagerly giving her oral sex--so it may just not be feasible for me to relate to a perspective of sexual availability and enthusiasm being a bridge too far for her. That's the bridge she needs to cross to get back into this relationship.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8739947
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 3:22 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

We all can agree that her sex life was horrifically unhealthy—so what does a better version of it look like? My outlook on sex is to virtually always be sexually available for my wife—I love her and want her to feel loved, validated and sexually desirable. I also want her to feel good and positive about sex.

I think one of your WW issues is that she learned that her looks gave her a way to get what she wanted from men. Mix that in with the golden child syndrome and she's never stood fully on her own. She's always been able to have her parents or random KISA give her what she wants. Either by playing the damsel in distress or flirting and seduction. That's a pretty unhealthy pattern. In a way she was manipulating and using the AP as much as he was using her. AP didn't care that she grimaced or wasn't fully on board with it . He was just thrilled about the sex.
In a healthier place you have sex with a person for the purpose of having sex with that person, not to keep them happy or to get what you want. You requiring sex on demand no matter what makes it worse not better. That's reinforcing sex is transactional which is part of her brokenness. She wants to stay married so she needs to keep you happy sexually at all times.
You need to heal you. No matter what your WW does. You seem to be avoiding that distinction by saying that she needs to do X before you can heal. That makes your healing dependant on your WW, and neither of you are anywhere close to the point were that is a realistic expectation.

posts: 1204   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8739953
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 4:14 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

You requiring sex on demand no matter what makes it worse not better. That's reinforcing sex is transactional which is part of her brokenness. She wants to stay married so she needs to keep you happy sexually at all times.

You need to heal you. No matter what your WW does. You seem to be avoiding that distinction by saying that she needs to do X before you can heal. That makes your healing dependent on your WW, and neither of you are anywhere close to the point were that is a realistic expectation.

I'm doing my best to unpack my healing vs. what I need from her. For me, as I understand it, I need to resolve the trauma from her having sex with AP and all the badmouthing she did to me. Those are things that happened and damaged me--she's apologized for them--now it's on me to see if I can move passed them. I don't know how to do that or if I can do that, but I'm going to do my best in IC to try--and that's for my health, no other reason.

As for my sex requirement, I see it through a positive lens. I want to be in a relationship where both people *want* to often be sexually available for each other--I want sex to be a priority in our relationship. It's how I view sex and I want my partner to view it that way too.

The pushback I'm getting from some of you is that my wife is not capable of looking at sex in that way. She has a broken view of sex and it's purely transactional for her. I genuinely don't know if that's entirely true, and if it is, if she can ever fix it. I do know that I'm not ok resuming a sexually unfulfilling relationship with her while she figures that out.

So if my wife is who you (all) say she is, it leaves her with two options: one, continue a transactional view of sex with me until she can sort her inner demons out and form a healthier relationship with sex; or two, use this as her out from the relationship under the framing that I'm being unreasonable in my requirements for R. There's no third option where we both acknowledge she's broken and I go on miserable for a few more years while she unpacks her issues--I'm not offering that to her.

**

Every morning I wake up thinking about Feb. 24 (her second hotel stay). I think about it a lot, but especially upon waking. At first, I assumed it was because that was the boundary pushing session with anal and handcuffs. But I keep thinking about it and I don't think that's the reason. I've arrived at two other thoughts:

1. Feb. 24 was not impulsive. We can argue the kissing sessions in Dec. were impulsive; we can argue that her first hotel stay on Jan. 4 was impulsive; we can even argue the first few sexting sessions and garage meetups were impulsive--but at some point the A stopped being impulsive. I don't know when precisely, but I do know that Feb. 24 was 100% not impulsive. They had been planning it for more than a month--first her period forced them them to cancel, then AP caught COVID, then it was V-Day and AP ghosted her that week, then my WW and I had a vacation--so by the time they got into that hotel room on Feb. 24, it was very much pre-meditated. I don't know how she can ever explain that to me.

2. AP set his alarm for about an hour earlier than he needed to--why? He wanted a BJ and sex from my wife; he needed to shower; and then he needed to drive back home to get his kids off to school.

Every day I wake up 1-2 hours before my wife's alarm and think about the Feb. 24 encounter. I'm repulsed by her, but I try to cuddle up to her and feel if I can rekindle back some of that love I once had. Then her alarm goes off: sometimes she'll cuddle into me, other times she'll hop out of bed to start getting the kids ready. She never leans over to give me a BJ like she did for AP after his alarm went off on Feb. 25. Why?

I suppose the answer is that she's not in the mood to do that. I don't know how I'm supposed to feel about that, but I do know how I feel about it. I feel really similar to how I've always felt: unloved, undesired and unwanted.

I'm hurt by all of it--her pushing boundaries with him that I wanted her to push with me; her giving him everything and always holding something back with me. So what am I going to do about it?

I still don't have clarity on that answer, but I am certain the answer isn't going to be to sit back and let her continue to dictate our sex life based on her mood. That's very simply not a relationship I'm interested in saving.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 4:34 PM, Monday, June 13th]

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8739962
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 4:20 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

I think many are over complicating what Doc is saying re sex snd R. To me it’s very simple.

Before he fully commits to R he needs to see behavioral changes with his WW. One of these R conditions happens to be sex. Watch the WS actions snd not their words, as is always posited.

I don’t see how this requirement of R is different than any other, except that it involves sex. Why would Doc commit to R if his WW continues to weaponize sex? He needs to heal himself, and a positive sex life with his WW is a major way to heal himself, according to Doc. Why contradict this?

Remember that his WWs weaponization of sex is the one area Doc said made him unhappy in an other wise happy M pre A, from his perspective. It’s only logical from his perspective that his WW fixes this problem before he commits to R.

posts: 442   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8739964
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 4:48 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

I think many are over complicating what Doc is saying re sex snd R. To me it’s very simple.

Before he fully commits to R he needs to see behavioral changes with his WW. One of these R conditions happens to be sex. Watch the WS actions snd not their words, as is always posited.

I don’t see how this requirement of R is different than any other, except that it involves sex. Why would Doc commit to R if his WW continues to weaponize sex? He needs to heal himself, and a positive sex life with his WW is a major way to heal himself, according to Doc. Why contradict this?

Remember that his WWs weaponization of sex is the one area Doc said made him unhappy in an other wise happy M pre A, from his perspective. It’s only logical from his perspective that his WW fixes this problem before he commits to R.

Thank you for that, Dude.

To be fair, I'm aware that I've stumbled onto something a bit larger than myself on this topic. There's a reason many women on the forum are posting about how awful I'm handling this request and many men are PM'ing me with opposing advice. It's an interesting dynamic for sure, so I appreciate you writing your thoughts in the thread so I don't look like the lone psycho with my view point. :)

My two cents on the topic are that because sex is handled so differently by men and women in a marriage, it's no wonder an A tends to divide us in similar ways. When a man cheats on a woman, it's often because he's convinced himself that he's not getting enough sexual attention at home--he thinks if only his wife had more sex with him, he wouldn't have to stray (I can relate to that feeling, though I never considered an A). So when the man is caught and comes back home, the BW doesn't feel jealous that he fucked some other woman in the ass instead of her--she didn't want to get fucked in the ass in the first place--she does feel betrayed and devalued for sure though.

However, when a WW leaves her home to go have kinky sex with an AP, she's doing all the things the BH wanted her to do with him. The BH would have happily handcuffed her in a hotel room and fucked her ass--all she had to do was ask! So then when the WW is caught and comes back home, the BH feels sexually slighted, as I certainly do now.

So I understand the gender divide and I respect both positions--I genuinely find them interesting to discuss.

But ultimately, as Dude points out, I need to pursue a relationship that I want to have. With or without my wife, my sex life will be different than it was the last 15 years. I'm certain I can achieve the sex life I want with other women. So my wife can change her behavior with me or roll the dice and hope to maintain her behavior with another guy (though her vindictive personality would likely lead her to giving her new guy a BJ twice a day to spite me). I accept no control over her choice--it's on her.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8739972
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 5:13 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

First of all, let me make it clear, I agree with you. I'm one of the few women here that believe if she made herself completely available, sexually, to OM, she should do the same for you.

But..man. That last post of yours. You just attempted to totally minimize the pain,and feelings of inadequacy, rage,and jealousy a BW goes through when they find out their husband fucked some whore. And,yeah,I know that word has gotten a lot of attention on this thread. I also know there have been many a BW here who have said a whole lot worse about the OW in their marriage. Regardless, fuck yes I was pissed my husband gave what was MINE to another person. Fuck yes, if he had given her something,let's say oral for arguments sake, to this other person,after denying it to me for years, I would want him to want to give that to me. If he had previously told me he didn't like it,and I found out he was doing that with OW, it would DEVASTATE me. And,Hell yes, I would want him to want to do that with me,if he wanted to attempt reconciliation. And if he didn't? We would be divorced.

I am not the only BW devastated by the sex her husband had with that bitch.

Also, no, not all husbands cheat because they feel they aren't getting enough at home. That's proven to be true,time and time again,on these forums. My husband had the lower sex drive in our marriage. He got it plenty. He had a wife who would do anything,except invite other people into the bedroom. No. He cheated because he wanted variety.He cheated because he wanted to have sex with other women. He cheated for the same reason your wife cheated. He wanted to. He didn't think he would get caught. So he did.

So..as to your sex issue. You want her to want you. All the time. There's not a thing wrong with that. The problem is, she doesn't. Again..it's interesting that this sudden supposed lust for you didn't start until she was faced with being a single mom. She's told you she didn't want that,because she didn't know how to take care of everything by herself. So now she says she wants you. But her mask keeps slipping. It's been pointed out that she is using sex to get what she wants from you. But,there are times she grimaces, or acts like it's such a chore. You are hurt,she makes excuses,and does a better act of showing you she wants you sexually. She is using sex to get what she wants. Still.

But,behind all of this..you WANT her to want you. You can't make this happen. And it sure as Hell isn't something any wife who loves her husband should have to work on. Either she does, or she doesn't.

posts: 4386   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8739974
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numb&dumb ( member #28542) posted at 5:27 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

Dr, it is clear you have a talent for the written. I think that does you a disservice here.

You are 3-4 months from Dday with a WW that clearly was in the fog and was very cruel in the immediate aftermath. You are very new at this and everyone from all sides (WS and BS alike) need to remember that. No, you can handle yourself and I am not saying you can't.

Your posts sound like you are in control, but thinking back to myself at that stage. . .I am horrified by some of these assumptions and comments.

Finding out my W had an affair with someone else felt like the biggest rejection I have ever experienced. To me it make sense that any rejection, especially in the physical senses just adds to feeling of being rejected especially in the bedroom. I get it. It happened to me with disasterous results during R.

The main take away here is that you feel how you feel. You take that to IC, but it is still hurtful to be told your feelings are wrong or invalid.

Before a anyone jumps on me. . .No I am not saying anyone sshould feel coerced into physical intimacy. However I will say that that incident could have been resolved differently in that moment. It sounded like an equally intimate covo about the topic could have defused the rejection you felt and would have helped your wife how hard it is to be vulnerable. Asking after you've been betrayed in this was is a hude opportunity to heal. I get your wife can't get out of her own way here. Maybe she needs to assume less and ask more when tjis topic comes up.

I am going to go out on a limb and say that most of your sexual intimate times with your wife have been transactional to her in your time together. Like I said that was there long before you were. It is a means to an end i.e. to keep you emotionally invested. However to you it meant something deeper that the act. She needs to understand and believe that. Further she should be free to say no. It means if she initiates then she wants it then it is easier to believe it. Easier, but still hard for you because you are not comfortable being vulnerable.

I am not trying to make it worse, but building off of the idea of what the MC is probably working towards. Your wife needs unlearn her skewed views on sex and physical intimacy.

In that moment if you had shared how her A and the thousands of other choices she made and how they made you feel rejected. No commentary just sharing hoe you feel. Yes sbe will likely be defensive and play the victim role. The next day you share how hurtful her reaction is when you try to be vulnerable with her. She can then do damage control. Her making it right is the real test. In R that kind of dynamic is one we did thousands of times. Talk to your respective therapist avout that incident.

The point is you want an enthuiastic partner that is willing to put in great effort to have a healthy physical and emotional relationship. Sex is nice, but it ain't everything. Se vi?

Hang in there. You need soneone to talk to right now. IC is best, but they are not available all the time.

At the point you are at right now I had very few people I could talk to about this. We never told family or friends because you get a lot of unhealthy and belpful advice that way. Plus people can forgive, but they will never forget. Use IC as much as it feels helpful, but SI can be good too. Be extra careful about certain choices you might make. EVERYTHING comes through the lens of, "My wife cheated on me do....," just be extra careful about impulsive decisions or one made while angry.

I am rooting for you to get out og the hell you fing youself in right now.

[This message edited by numb&dumb at 5:45 PM, Monday, June 13th]

Dday 8/31/11. EA/PA. Lied to for 3 years.

Bring it, life. I am ready for you.

posts: 5020   ·   registered: May. 17th, 2010
id 8739976
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 5:29 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

First of all, let me make it clear, I agree with you. I'm one of the few women here that believe if she made herself completely available, sexually, to OM, she should do the same for you.

But..man. That last post of yours. You just attempted to totally minimize the pain,and feelings of inadequacy, rage,and jealousy a BW goes through when they find out their husband fucked some whore. And,yeah,I know that word has gotten a lot of attention on this thread. I also know there have been many a BW here who have said a whole lot worse about the OW in their marriage. Regardless, fuck yes I was pissed my husband gave what was MINE to another person. Fuck yes, if he had given her something,let's say oral for arguments sake, to this other person,after denying it to me for years, I would want him to want to give that to me. If he had previously told me he didn't like it,and I found out he was doing that with OW, it would DEVASTATE me. And,Hell yes, I would want him to want to do that with me,if he wanted to attempt reconciliation. And if he didn't? We would be divorced.

I am not the only BW devastated by the sex her husband had with that bitch.

Also, no, not all husbands cheat because they feel they aren't getting enough at home. That's proven to be true,time and time again,on these forums. My husband had the lower sex drive in our marriage. He got it plenty. He had a wife who would do anything,except invite other people into the bedroom. No. He cheated because he wanted variety.He cheated because he wanted to have sex with other women. He cheated for the same reason your wife cheated. He wanted to. He didn't think he would get caught. So he did.

You're 100% right. I rushed that last post and mistreated a complicated topic with a few sentences. Truthfully, I almost didn't post it, but I was in a rush--I should probably delete it, but I'd rather leave it up along with this apology.

And your example on oral sex is very fair--that was my OBS's big issue for her, that he gave my wife oral (and also that he ate my wife's ass before retuning home to kiss her).

I shouldn't have generalized it by gender as people land on all sides of the spectrum. I have noticed the opposing view on this topic largely comes from women, but that's anecdotal and probably irrelevant.

Bottomline: you're right, I'm wrong here.

So..as to your sex issue. You want her to want you. All the time. There's not a thing wrong with that. The problem is, she doesn't. Again..it's interesting that this sudden supposed lust for you didn't start until she was faced with being a single mom. She's told you she didn't want that,because she didn't know how to take care of everything by herself. So now she says she wants you. But her mask keeps slipping. It's been pointed out that she is using sex to get what she wants from you. But,there are times she grimaces, or acts like it's such a chore. You are hurt,she makes excuses,and does a better act of showing you she wants you sexually. She is using sex to get what she wants. Still.

But,behind all of this..you WANT her to want you. You can't make this happen. And it sure as Hell isn't something any wife who loves her husband should have to work on. Either she does, or she doesn't.

That does seem to be the problem, which is why I'm happy to force this requirement/issue as far as it needs to go. She'll either come around or not and we'll D. As you've probably learned about me through this saga, I like things clear--this issue is so very clear to me that it makes action on it easy.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8739977
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 6:11 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

I am going to go out on a limb and say that most of your sexual intimate times with your wife have been transactional to her in your time together.

I agree, which is why I'm so suspicious of her motives now when we do have sex. My suspicion just makes her angry. No matter what I say in regard to our sex life, she responds: "I thought our sex life was great these passed three months and obviously you disagree." She's said that a dozen times probably. She's not listening to me. In fact, her emphasis on all the HB only makes me think it's more likely that it is to be transactional for her.

Further she should be free to say no.

The issue is the line she draws for saying no--for her it's most of the time; in my view it should be rare. And further to the point, I want our sex life to not revolve around me asking her for sex and her deciding if she wants to reject me. I want her to ask me for so much sex that rejecting her becomes the norm.

Your wife needs unlearn her skewed views on sex and physical intimacy.

I agree; I'm just not willing to wait around for that to happen (or not happen).

In that moment if you had shared how her A and the thousands of other choices she made and how they made you feel rejected. No commentary just sharing hoe you feel.

I can't count the amount of times I've told her how rejected and unloved she has made me feel. Her response is that we've been having a lot of sex so she doesn't understand why I feel that way now.

Hang in there. You need someone to talk to right now. IC is best, but they are not available all the time.

Yes, two weeks without IC hasn't been good for me (due to the vacation). I go again on Wednesday.

just be extra careful about impulsive decisions or one made while angry.

That's good advice. I have a habit of focusing in on whatever the issue of the moment is and lose sight of the bigger picture. This entire ordeal is beyond my abilities to navigate well.

I'm so angry with her now that it never fades--even when she's acting perfectly wonderful, I'm often overwhelmed by repulsion for her. And then when she slips up, it's a spiral of hell for days.

The sex topic seems like a good one because it seems so binary to me. Either she can or can't be the person I want her to be sexually--it's my standard, no one else's. My gut tells me HellFire is right and she can't be that person.

And from her perspective, I think she may take this as her out--she can defend herself to her IC and family that I'm just a sex crazed asshole unwilling to reasonably R with her. A part of me thinks she wants an out and this will be her best shot at one. I'm betting she takes it, but we'll see.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8739982
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 6:34 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

So if my wife is who you (all) say she is, it leaves her with two options: one, continue a transactional view of sex with me until she can sort her inner demons out and form a healthier relationship with sex; or two, use this as her out from the relationship under the framing that I'm being unreasonable in my requirements for R. There's no third option where we both acknowledge she's broken and I go on miserable for a few more years while she unpacks her issues--I'm not offering that to her.

But there is a third option where she continues the transactional approach to sex forever and never forms a healthier view of it. That's the most likely outcome of this setup, IMO.

There's not much point in sending her to Wayward so we can teach her how and why to stop lying and pretending, only to have you tell her that if she wants to stay married, she needs to do a better job of lying and pretending. So assuming she makes the deal and you get the sex acts you want, will you be ok with that as a permanent status quo?

WW/BW

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TheWorldYouWant ( member #78447) posted at 6:34 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

I was gonna say that I agree with HellFire...I'm a BW whose husband was getting plenty of sex, I have always had an equal drive. We spent two decades literally having sex every day--because I decided we should do that, so we could stop having minor disagreements about how long it had been since the last time. My husband didn't have sex with prostitutes because I wasn't putting out, he had sex with prostitutes because he's messed up, entitled, a liar, and didn't want to work on fixing himself or anything in our sex life or life together. (I have ALWAYS been the partner who does all the fixing when it comes to sex and everything else, AND all the initiating.) It's just easier to go have fun elsewhere than it is to do the difficult work of confronting oneself and one's life.

I poured my whole heart and soul into making sure that our sexual relationship was as good as it could be, for decades, and it never mattered; he has cheated repeatedly and sexually acted out in all kinds of ways. But he disregarded all of my efforts and instead indulged himself, because he's selfish and secretive and entitled. He put me in danger so he could do what he wanted.

I don't think you're WRONG to have sexual requirements for R. I would too, if I were trying for R. (My requirements would be that my husband needs to initiate instead of waiting for me to do it and then moping that I'm not doing it often enough; that he needs to be more fun and adventurous and passionate; that he needs to make me feel wanted; etc.)

But you're not in R at this point, you're trying to decide whether to try for R. And you see sex as being about sex, but your wife doesn't experience sex as being about sex; to her it's about power. You will not be able to negotiate this with her until she understands that it's about power for her, and until she determines within herself to give up using sex as a tool/weapon.

I recommended before but I believe it got buried: Passionate Marriage by David Schnarch is a book about the power dynamics of the marital sexual relationship. It could help you understand what is going on in your sexual relationship, and what your healthy options are. (You actually have only one healthy option, which is to self-differentiate, hold onto your own self, and ask for what you want in an adult manner...then if she doesn't also self-differentiate and come to understand the power dynamic, you will have your answer.)

Me, BW: 50s. WH: 50s. Kids: 3 great young adults.

1998-2021: DDays without end. Porn, cam girls, online EA, dating and cheating websites, actual dating, online sex games, prostitutes, more cam girls. And that's only the stuff I know.

posts: 97   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2021   ·   location: CA
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:45 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

Your posts sound like you are in control, but thinking back to myself at that stage. . .I am horrified by some of these assumptions and comments.

Yes, I feel the same way.

The best perspective I can give you is a wayward spouse doesn't just go from being the person who just callously cheated to someone who is a phenomenal healthy spouse. Four months is nothing in personal change or growth. Both people upon DDAY are disoriented for a long period of time. You are likely still in the shock phase, or not far from that.

You may not be willing to wait to see what she does. I have no idea if it's appropriate for you to wait or not, so much goes into this answer. Right now, it's natural as the BS to be basing your opinions on the day, the hour, the minute you are in. After all, there is faith in little else, understandably.

It would be my advice that for most couples letting go of the outcome for some period of time can be truly helpful. You are in a tremendous amount of pain, things may not be clear for some time. Pressuring yourself for a decision based on daily data is not helping towards your clarity.

As for her, I will share my experience as a WS at this stage mostly because I think there are some really typical psychological responses that happen for most of us. I am not writing this to gain sympathy or empathy for your WS, but moreso to provide information.

At four months out, I didn't know my ass from a hole in the ground. I was filled with shame, guilt, and depression. WS get their dopamine hits from the affair and withdrawal from that is not a controllable reaction outside of trying to get proffessional help, start to read a bit to understand where we are, etc. She has little to offer you that she wasn't offering while she was in the affair itself - take that in.

But, as withdrawal starts to subside, and she has the room to take in what is happening, she may very well reach remorse. You can R with a remorseful spouse if that is your desire. I am not trying to talk you into that, I don't think you should even really be thinking you are trying to R right now. Make a bit of space for yourself and make some requirements for her to work towards.

Personally, I am usually suspicious of a WS who comes on acting remorseful early out of the gate. I have a hard time feeling it's authentic. I think it does happen, but I think there is great rarity in that.

The sex, yes, of course you want a spouse that wants you. Yes. You are looking for proof of life here. At this stage, H and I were in hyperbonding. It was a manipulation on my part. I didn't understand that then, but I do now. Your wife has spent her entire time in her affair brainwashing herself. That's not going to unwind overnight. On top of that the guilt, shame, and depression doesn't make us exactly feel we are sexually peaking. Instead, we are overthinking continuously. Hard for a woman to let go in that state, but that has nothing to do with your desirability. Looking to her for that at this point is an exercise in self-punishment.

I am not saying it should be that way, or stay that way, but sex drive and depression don't go well hand and hand. I 150% understand why you are taking it as further rejection. I truly have no issue with a BS saying during reconciliation "here is what I want to see in our marriage for me to be happy moving forward" and saying they want more sex out of the new marriage they are creating.

What I AM saying is you can't create a new marriage with someone who is in early stages of grief, and the other who has a lot of work to do on themselves. If you want a new marriage with her, or even not with her, you are still going to be spending the foreseeable future trying to heal. Same thing for her. If you want to change a marriage you have to change the components. Her component is broken, and no matter how hard she works, it will still be broken for a while. Some folks here believe that's a cop out. I have been there, she has damaged herself significantly with her actions and she will have to repair some of that before you can even start judging whether she can or can't do it.

I can tell you, that I was probably the foggiest WS who ever arrived on this site. Completely clueless, self involved, numb, then depressed, I had no idea how to change any of it though I desperately wanted to. I was 10 months in before I even started curbing towards remorse. I am not excusing it, I am actually quite ashamed to say that. But, I think I was pretty normal in the spectrum of what was going on.

Anyway, my overall advice is that you outline some requirements you want to see from her to consider R in the future. I would stop trying to evaluate whether you can R right now or not, and make sure that she is doing the work that will make her both worthy and capable of it. It's hard to be in limbo, but both of you need a bit more space to try and get to a more stable place before you can expect this relationship to even resemble stable. Put the judgments of yourself aside.

There is no shame of going straight to Divorce, if that's your choice. If you are unsure (which I think you really are and probably oscilate hour to hour) then take the pressure off that part of it. Noone is guaranteed any sort of outcome here, and in my opinion it's way too early to even be trying to draw a conclusion on that. What you are likely doing is normal, you are trying to gain control of a situation because you have lost all your security. Your security is going to take a long time to return, so you need to focus on yourself so you can give yourself that security.

I cautioned your wife of this too, sometimes this site is especially hard when both people are here. If you are going to commit to that as an arrangment, expect there are people who are going to project their situations onto you and your spouse. (Heck, even I just did it and I know this is a pitfall of an anonymous site where we really don't know you or your wife)

Both of you should go to IC, forget MC until she is remorseful, you are only wasting your time and money and it's often proven to be more detrimental. Repair the parts and then see if those parts can work together to create a working engine. Since you have children you have to do that even if you aren't going to stay married because for the foreseeable future you are going to need to be a working engine for your kids.

[This message edited by hikingout at 6:51 PM, Monday, June 13th]

5 years of hard work
Reconciled
WS & BS

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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 6:57 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

So assuming she makes the deal and you get the sex acts you want, will you be ok with that as a permanent status quo?

First off, I should note that I don't think she makes the deal--I think it's more likely than not that my sex requirement leads us to separation. Of the eight requirements I shared with her (again) that I also posted here, she questioned two of them:

1. Sex: Why should she feel forced to have sex with me?
2. Money: "How big of a purchase does it have to be for me to have to discuss it with you?"

On both, she's missing my point by a mile. She's good with all the rest--even though she fucks them up routinely--so she's good with them because they're more grey; she can live in the margins and fuck up without consequence. With sex and money, she's not sure where the margins are so she's off balance.

But to your question, no, I'd prefer we develop a deeper understanding and she finds a way to look at sex through a healthier lens. I'm just not willing for her journey to come at my expense.

This is perhaps TMI, but I'm an open book. I can't even jerk off to porn anymore--it does nothing for me. I see it and just imagine her AP fucking her. It's hard to imagine seeing a gorgeous woman having sex and not being aroused by it, but alas, that's my life right now.

On one hand, getting rid of porn in my life is awesome, but on the other hand, it doesn't give me an alternative to my wife right now.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 7:00 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

I was gonna say that I agree with HellFire...I'm a BW whose husband was getting plenty of sex, I have always had an equal drive. We spent two decades literally having sex every day--because I decided we should do that, so we could stop having minor disagreements about how long it had been since the last time. My husband didn't have sex with prostitutes because I wasn't putting out, he had sex with prostitutes because he's messed up, entitled, a liar, and didn't want to work on fixing himself or anything in our sex life or life together. (I have ALWAYS been the partner who does all the fixing when it comes to sex and everything else, AND all the initiating.) It's just easier to go have fun elsewhere than it is to do the difficult work of confronting oneself and one's life.

I poured my whole heart and soul into making sure that our sexual relationship was as good as it could be, for decades, and it never mattered; he has cheated repeatedly and sexually acted out in all kinds of ways. But he disregarded all of my efforts and instead indulged himself, because he's selfish and secretive and entitled. He put me in danger so he could do what he wanted.

I don't think you're WRONG to have sexual requirements for R. I would too, if I were trying for R. (My requirements would be that my husband needs to initiate instead of waiting for me to do it and then moping that I'm not doing it often enough; that he needs to be more fun and adventurous and passionate; that he needs to make me feel wanted; etc.)

But you're not in R at this point, you're trying to decide whether to try for R. And you see sex as being about sex, but your wife doesn't experience sex as being about sex; to her it's about power. You will not be able to negotiate this with her until she understands that it's about power for her, and until she determines within herself to give up using sex as a tool/weapon.

I recommended before but I believe it got buried: Passionate Marriage by David Schnarch is a book about the power dynamics of the marital sexual relationship. It could help you understand what is going on in your sexual relationship, and what your healthy options are. (You actually have only one healthy option, which is to self-differentiate, hold onto your own self, and ask for what you want in an adult manner...then if she doesn't also self-differentiate and come to understand the power dynamic, you will have your answer.)

I agree with HellFire too. My post on the topic was shallow and poorly thought through.

As for my wife's view of sex as power, we agree. I don't know why she can't see that and I don't know that she'll ever see it. I keep telling her how I view sex, but I get a blank stare. I suppose that's my answer?

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8739993
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:05 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

As a former wayward wife, i didn't want my AP or my H (or any man) touching my painful breasts the week prior to my period.

Perhaps your wife wasn't yet at that level of intimacy with her AP to request gentleness from him, or deny his requests.

She may have acted like a trick pony while involved in her A (as some WSs often do/will), but that doesn't mean the circus should continue at home. Especially if the acts are/were not who she really identifies with as being her true self.

I didn't look back through to see who wrote this, but YES> this is so true.

In an affair, we are really just trying to "win". We are so inauthentic because we are just chasing validation. We know how to get the validation, and it's all just a show. Trust me, if your wife left and had a relationship with the AP the picture would change 100 percent.

Prior to my affair, into my affair, and for about 6 months after my affair I essentially had sexual dysfunction. You talking about not being able to masturbate...I was completely unable to finish most of the time outside of a few times with my husband after the A. Any finishing in the A was completely absent.

That will be controversial especially among some of the men here, but I don't want to hear it. It's how it was. When you numb your bad feelings, you numb your good feelings.

As I healed, and as we repaired our relationship, sex flowed fine. No power plays, no fakeness, nothing. Even still today we make love 4-5 times a week. But, we are very connected emotionally now, and have done a shit ton of work on ourselves. Again, nothing wrong with your requirement for R, but right now that probably does come a bit from left field for her.

[This message edited by hikingout at 7:22 PM, Monday, June 13th]

5 years of hard work
Reconciled
WS & BS

posts: 6083   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:21 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

Sorry for the additional post. I had one additional thought. It is it easy for you to believe your wife uses sex transactionally with you, or as a tool for her own power. And (while normal) you have a harder time believing it was the same with the AP?

It’s because of the fervor maybe, but I doubt it was any less transactional or manipulative with him. Not looking to debate, just pointing it out as possibility. Doesn’t make it any better either, I realize, but it might at least begin to sort her mindset.

I think she used the tools that she thought would work to get whatever it was she was seeking?

5 years of hard work
Reconciled
WS & BS

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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 7:32 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

Hikingout, thank you for your posts. It was insightful to read. I'll do my best to respond.

The best perspective I can give you is a wayward spouse doesn't just go from being the person who just callously cheated to someone who is a phenomenal healthy spouse. Four months is nothing in personal change or growth. Both people upon DDAY are disoriented for a long period of time. You are likely still in the shock phase, or not far from that.

It'll actually be three months on Wednesday, and your point echoes others in that we're still incredibly early. I think it's fair to say I'm still in the shock phase and move around from anger, disgust and depression.

You may not be willing to wait to see what she does. I have no idea if it's appropriate for you to wait or not, so much goes into this answer. Right now, it's natural as the BS to be basing your opinions on the day, the hour, the minute you are in. After all, there is faith in little else, understandably.

I'm willing to wait. Ultimately, I like to imagine a world where we can R. I just have to believe R is possible.

It would be my advice that for most couples letting go of the outcome for some period of time can be truly helpful. You are in a tremendous amount of pain, things may not be clear for some time. Pressuring yourself for a decision based on daily data is not helping towards your clarity.

That's exactly what I keep doing: daily data. It's a rollercoaster of awful. I haven't figured out to just be--to just be in the moment and let time pass. I don't feel pressure to make a decision on D or R though, but I do feel helpless wandering in limbo. And my lack of commitment for R is very much messing with my wife, who feels like she's walking on egg shells because at any moment she thinks I'll D her. I try to explain that just like I'm unwilling to impulsively R, I'm also unwilling to impulsively D; but I also understand why she may feel that way at times because of the negative spirals her comments and actions can sometimes lead us down.

At four months out, I didn't know my ass from a hole in the ground. I was filled with shame, guilt, and depression. WS get their dopamine hits from the affair and withdrawal from that is not a controllable reaction outside of trying to get proffessional help, start to read a bit to understand where we are, etc. She has little to offer you that she wasn't offering while she was in the affair itself - take that in.

But, as withdrawal starts to subside, and she has the room to take in what is happening, she may very well reach remorse. You can R with a remorseful spouse if that is your desire. I am not trying to talk you into that, I don't think you should even really be thinking you are trying to R right now. Make a bit of space for yourself and make some requirements for her to work towards.

She has my requirements, which we've discussed for months. I just posted them in this thread yesterday and I'll repost here:

1. Take 100% blame for the affair and dedicate your immediate future to healing me from the trauma you caused me (through IC, find your whys so I can feel you’re a emotionally and physically safe partner for me again).

2. No more defensiveness or attacks on me for unrelated issues; address conflict in a timely-manner to avoid any need for passive aggressive behavior or longterm resentment. Do not allow conflict on one topic to affect the rest of our life together.

3. Open and honest communication; no more lying. Build back your trustworthiness.

4. Proactive transparency on all external communication, electronic devices and activities outside of our home. Respect me in all communications; no more badmouthing me on any topic, with any person, for any reason.

5. No more impulse spending. All large purchases for either of us are discussed together with a built-in desire to conserve money. Marriage/Children > Self.

6. Sex:

-Sexually open to new experiences and exploring our interests/kinks.

-Sexually available to each other (virtually always).

-Remove negativity from our sexual interactions.

-Initiate sexual activity more frequently.

7. Be proactive in solving issues in our marriage; i.e. If you want to take a vacation on a beach, put in the effort to plan for it (both logistically and financially).

8. Do not agree to things that you do not agree with.

The sex, yes, of course you want a spouse that wants you. Yes. You are looking for proof of life here. At this stage, H and I were in hyperbonding. It was a manipulation on my part. I didn't understand that then, but I do now. Your wife has spent her entire time in her affair brainwashing herself. That's not going to unwind overnight. On top of that the guilt, shame, and depression doesn't make us exactly feel we are sexually peaking. Instead, we are overthinking continuously. Hard for a woman to let go in that state, but that has nothing to do with your desirability. Looking to her for that at this point is an exercise in self-punishment.

I am not saying it should be that way, or stay that way, but sex drive and depression don't go well hand and hand. I 150% understand why you are taking it as further rejection. I truly have no issue with a BS saying during reconciliation "here is what I want to see in our marriage for me to be happy moving forward" and saying they want more sex out of the new marriage they are creating.

This is a big point of contention for us right now. She feels our sex right now is not a manipulation on her part and she's hurt and offended by any insinuation that it is. Logically, I feel like it must be, though admittedly I wish I were wrong. As *everyone* seems to agree, my wife has a horribly unhealthy relationship with sex and she is painfully unaware of it.

And that's an interesting point on me looking to be desired and finding only depression instead. You're almost certainly right, but I'm not sure how to deal with that.

What I AM saying is you can't create a new marriage with someone who is in early stages of grief, and the other who has a lot of work to do on themselves. If you want a new marriage with her, or even not with her, you are still going to be spending the foreseeable future trying to heal. Same thing for her. If you want to change a marriage you have to change the components. Her component is broken, and no matter how hard she works, it will still be broken for a while. Some folks here believe that's a cop out. I have been there, she has damaged herself significantly with her actions and she will have to repair some of that before you can even start judging whether she can or can't do it.

People keep saying that to me, so I know it must have value; I'm just not sure how to act on it. I'm going to IC in the hopes that I heal from the trauma, but I'm also still living with my wife, the source of my trauma. I've given her what I need from her and let's just be fair and say it hasn't gone exceptionally well. Our MC seems to think she can't do much better right now, so I then just need to deal with it, which is what I'm doing. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to change.

Both of you should go to IC, forget MC until she is remorseful, you are only wasting your time and money and it's often proven to be more detrimental. Repair the parts and then see if those parts can work together to create a working engine. Since you have children you have to do that even if you aren't going to stay married because for the foreseeable future you are going to need to be a working engine for your kids.

That's been the prevailing advice on the forum. The issue is we both like the MC and going does seem to help. We raised with her the idea of one of us keeping her on as an IC and stopping MC, but she strongly advised against that. She said MC and dual IC is the best path.

The one negative to it is it seems my wife often looks at MC as a chance to convince a third party that she's right. Anytime a conflict arises, she will eagerly point out that she wants to discuss it in MC so that the MC can tell her she's right and I'm wrong. It never quite happens that way and it's like my wife is dejected from it. I keep trying to convince her that none of this is about winning a fight against me, but she very clearly can't grasp that. I have no doubt that the next MC session will be her trying to get sympathy on my sex requirement--but ultimately I don't see the point of any of it. Regardless of the MC's opinion on it, my view won't change.

Ultimately, I'm not sure how to handle it. I think if I push to cancel MC, my wife would take it as a sign that I'm leaning toward D and she'd shut down further. Everything is her trying to figure out what I'm going to do so she can protect herself.

In an affair, we are really just trying to "win". We are so inauthentic because we are just chasing validation. We know how to get the validation, and it's all just a show. Trust me, if your wife left and had a relationship with the AP the picture would change 100 percent.

Prior to my affair, into my affair, and for about 6 months after my affair I essentially had sexual dysfunction. You talking about not being able to masturbate...I was completely unable to finish most of the time outside of a few times with my husband after the A. Any excitement/finishing in the A was completely stupid.

That will be controversial especially among some of the men here, but I don't want to hear it. It's how it was. When you numb your bad feelings, you numb your good feelings.

I suspect that is true, but I don't see that it changes anything. If she could muster the inauthentic behavior for AP, it should be a minimum with me. Ideally, it would be authentic, but if she's incapable of that right now, so be it.

Additional post below:

Sorry for the additional post. I had one additional thought. It is it easy for you to believe your wife uses sex transactionally with you, or as a tool for her own power. And (while normal) you have a harder time believing it was the same with the AP?

It’s because of the fervor maybe, but I doubt it was any less transactional or manipulative with him. Not looking to debate, just pointing it out as possibility. Doesn’t make it any better either, I realize, but it might at least begin to sort her mindset.

I think she used the tools that she thought would work to get whatever it was she was seeking?

I do think it was transactional with AP--she never loved him and I have no doubt about that (maybe I'm naive though). My point is he got the better end of the transaction lol. I had years of humiliation and emasculation and he got three months of kinky fun.

I don't understand the view that I should continue feeling rejected by her because calling it out is only going to force her to pretend further. Why is it not possible for her to hear the words coming out of my mouth and adjust her behavior to be a loving wife? I can't relate to the level of broken you're ascribing to her.

I'm not ok feeling worse than I do already eating this shit sandwich, so it means I want her to do everything in her power to make me feel better about it.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 7:56 PM, Monday, June 13th]

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8740001
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Mamabear312 ( member #59811) posted at 7:39 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

I'm going to mostly skip all the sex stuff because I think we're beating a dead horse by now. I think there are many different perspectives and we can debate if they're gender-based or based on our own personal sex drives or how we view sex in a relationship. When you replied to my post, you disagreed with me and basically stated if your wife doesn't agree with you, you're likely just incompatible. So, as of right now, safe to say you are incompatible. And it will stay that way until your wife has time and space IN THERAPY to examine how she views sex.

But this comes back to what some of us keep trying to say. Your wife has NO IDEA a healthy view of sex. She has no idea what a healthy relationship looks like, or how to adult in many ways. And she does not have the time or space to figure that out because every day she's too busy trying to do the right thing and then fucking it up. You should stop telling her what you need (she definitely knows) and give her time to figure out if she can actually give you these things. Again, you want behavior change and then insight. It is really really clear your wife needs the insight to make meaningful changes to her behavior. Or you'll just have continual mask slipping because what she feels/who she is do NOT MATCH the outside behavior. Your wife is super messed up, and needs to spend time working on that in therapy. She is not a candidate to R until she does that, and you're just going to keep banging your head into a wall.

Change the conversation with your wife: "I'd like to reconcile. But right now, the change I need isn't happening. It's frustrating and exhausting and I think our best change of reconciling is separation so you can work on yourself as a person and I can get some relief from this anxiety and anger by working on my own healing. The sex issue makes every thing cloudy and we both have work to do in individual therapy about our own needs and kinks and non-negotiables, so we should table that too until we are both in a healthy place with that."

Also, please keep reminding yourself that you can't control this process. It sucks because post affair we want to feel like we have some control, but anything other than controlling yourself and your own actions is just a facade. You want her to heal YOUR WAY (which is understandable) on your timeline. But the thing is, to save a marriage after an affair you have to let go of the outcome. To save your marriage, you must be willing to lose it. The goal is HEALING and if reconciliation ends up being a part of that, cool. But if it doesn't, you'll be just as whole and healthy once you've processed your divorce. Your wife will be healthier too. And THAT is what's best for your children.

^ Listen, that paragraph sucks. It's part of the shit sandwich of being a BS. I know that's not easy to swallow. It took me 9 months, a legal separation, and lots of intensive individual therapy to get there. Trying to help you cut that timeline down and stop spinning in circles. But I know it's awful to hear, especially for an analytical, dominant personality.

You seem overwhelmed by this, so start at the beginning.
- Consult an attorney. Understand separation and divorce in your state.
- Ask how you'd protect yourself from her spending $$$ (some states have a legal separation that prevents big purchases, etc).
- Ask how custody agreements work if you aren't divorced.
- Ask if there are implications if you move out of the home (or if she does) in regards to custody.
- Understand both you and your wife's responsibilities in terms of child support, spousal support, and division of assets if you do end up divorcing.

^ Knowledge is power. You will leave this appointment with understanding, which will lessen the anxiety of actually doing something different. These steps DO NOT mean you're giving up on reconciliation, they're simply you acknowledging that reconciliation isn't working out right now. Then you can create a plan with your wife (and your MC if you're doing that) on how the separation would look, and how you would both know it's time to try reconciliation again.

Good luck.

posts: 87   ·   registered: Jul. 24th, 2017
id 8740003
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farsidejunky ( member #49392) posted at 7:49 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

There's not much point in sending her to Wayward so we can teach her how and why to stop lying and pretending, only to have you tell her that if she wants to stay married, she needs to do a better job of lying and pretending. So assuming she makes the deal and you get the sex acts you want, will you be ok with that as a permanent status quo?

Dr. S:

This bears repeating.

Authenticity is reality. You have to be able to hear (and share) uncomfortable truths to establish true intimacy with your partner. Not doing so means you are reconciling with whatever image or mirage she is sharing with you, versus finding out who your wife ACTUALLY is.

You may find out she really is nothing more than a damaged person who is unable to be emotionally intimate with anyone. Or...you may find out that underneath her dysfunction, there is a person worth investing in. It is hard to say because your wife carefully hides who she is behind sex and desperation.

Either way, you want to ACTUALLY know with whom you are trying to reconcile...the real her.

“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”

-Maya Angelou

posts: 606   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2015   ·   location: Tennessee
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