Cookies are required for login or registration. Please read and agree to our cookie policy to continue.

Newest Member: Arcangel

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

default

 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 8:10 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

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.

My concern with separation is that it will have unintended consequences and it's not something I'm ready to jump into with my wife opposed to it. I'd be asking her to move out and live elsewhere--it might be the wake up call she (and me) needs to sort her mind out or she might shutdown entirely devolve into a worse version of herself. I understand the argument that puts that on her, but I don't know that I'm ready to put all that on her. Just the act of her moving out would have significant effects on me, my children and our families. I need her to feel like that's the best course as well or me to feel like it's our only choice.

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 8740011
default

 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 8:12 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

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.

I assume the person I've lived with my entire adult life is the authentic version of her. The question for her is if she can change that. I don't see why she can't do two things at once: dig deep to untangle herself and adhere to my requirements for R so I stop feeling like a POS. If that's too much to ask of her, then as some have suggested, we'll need to temporarily separate.

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 8740012
default

hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 8:39 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

I have limited time and now am without a keyboard.

Please understand everything you are saying is so normal. You have just been traumatized in ways even you have yet to understand.

I did know you ham gave some requirements and for the most part you have a good list going here. I personally think the sex one is very normal in especially a bh/ww dynamic but for me, and this is just personally, that is a a build a new marriage request, not a requirement see if you want to R.

At the same time I know how many bh’s feel about this, including my own. For many you all, there is some belief there is a tie between what we will do sexually and how much is tied to how much we love you.

For most of us ww’s there is no correlation. Sex and libido for us is much more relevant, and all I am trying to say is she likely has a low one right now. I am not asking you to defend your position on it, only providing other ways of looking at it.

And yes I agree early on it’s very hard to separate the waiting to decide to r and dealing with living with one another. It’s a very tricky time, so everything you are saying makes sense. I said things to your wife she will find hard to grasp right now too.

At some point, maybe after some time passes, you will realize this marriage is already gone. In order to create a new one you will have to put that on hold until you see she is truly remorseful and grasping things she can’t yet right now grasp. But what do you do to feel better or more secure? That is the million dollar question that you will find the answer to in time.

The answer that is hard to relate to is you have to find a way that you give yourself that security you are craving. You have to focus almost completely on you. The more you practice the better the oscillation will get because you will have a confidence and love for yourself that she can not penetrate. That is basically the goal but I am not saying you won’t flail and sputter he whole time you are trying to get there. Once you have that, you will see your wife a little more objectively and hopefully by that time she is giving you something different to look at.

All I am trying to say to you is you all can’t rely on each other so well right now for these things. You can not be her healer, and she can not be yours. Comfort, yes. And if sex is a comfort to you then so be it. Just know you are putting a band aid on that right now for yourself but it may feed into some of her core issues. It’s in actuality doing nothing to heal the relationship at this point. If she is amicable with what you are asking then good deal. If she isn’t there may be big issues that she needs to address that make this seem like marital coercion to her. Like possible sexual abuse in her past. She learned sex was transactional from somewhere.

I understand that’s a harsh way of looking at it - we should want to have sex with our spouse and express our love freely in this way. But for women, sex often flows with connection and that’s up and down right now added to her shame and depression. So her desire is going to be as well.

She needs not only to redefine her relationship with sex, but love and what that means as well. Personally, when my h cheated that was most important to me- that he understands what real love is and looks like. But all of this is reconciliation stuff.

Your marriage is at ground zero while a lot of us have been healing for years. No one expects you to be able to apply any of this today. We just keep describing it because it will slowly evolve and you will see it too. It’s nice just to have the roadmap of what you are trying to do. No one comes here knowing how to do this shit, and with the loads of pain heaped on top I certainly understand your responses.

Is reconciliation possible? Yes if you both work hard and want it. Right now, all you can gauge is effort. If she gets to the place of remorse this will all be more workable but just like what you are experiencing is natural, her not being there yet is not unnatural either.

I am not questioning your choices or what you want to see. My h’s lost looked pretty much like yours other than I don’t have spending issues. But most of us have addiction and that might be another one your wife has. The same character flaws that cause her to cheat cause her to overspend that’s where her resistance may be coming from.

Keep going, you are doing way better at navigating than you think. My posts here were not meant to critique or question- more to provide some food for thought and some spots on the map. I wish both of you the best.
Oh and yes, 4 months of hell feels like an eternity. It is really way earlier than you think though. You likely will grow that perspective yourself after more time passes.

[This message edited by hikingout at 8:57 PM, Monday, June 13th]

5 years of hard work
Reconciled
WS & BS

posts: 6083   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8740016
default

Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 8:53 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

Doc, most likely over time, with ur WWs IC, then eventually MC for the both of you, your M will hopefully improve. In MC of course you will discuss the sexual issue.

It’s thus highly probable that you will both come to a mutually acceptable idea of what constitutes a satisfactory sex life. I think it seems insurmountable to as you’re living it in the moment, but from the outside I think you’re most likely much closer to figuring this out than you think. That’s my gut feeling.

Thus, I think you can continue to pursue R while the sex issue develops. As it develops, either way, your sex life has objectively improved from pre A days. And, as you have already made perfectly clear to your WW, if the sex issue doesn’t eventually get resolved to your satisfaction, you reserve the right to discontinue R.

As others have pointed out, you’re only four months post D day. Give it some more time. In the meantime, with regard to sex, I recommend faking it until you make it. It’s not an entirely unpleasant process while you’re figuring it out. And, you reserve the right to let your WW know along the way whether you think she’s getting closer to what you consider acceptable or not.

posts: 442   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8740017
default

sundance ( member #72129) posted at 8:53 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

drstrangelove,

certain types of questions seem odd for me to answer (as a former wayward wife), because my married sex life (pre d.day) seems drastically different from how you describe your pre d.day sex life with your wife. my affair sex also sounds very different from how you describe you wife's affair sex. i'm not even sure i think or feel that the difference in the sex matters much to me at all, but i understand that it seems vastly important to you.

you said: We all can agree that her sex life was horrifically unhealthy

i can agree that you think her sex life was horrifically unhealthy. personally, i have a problem with the word 'horrifically'-- seems a little harsh. but okay, you think her sex life was/is horrifically unhealthy. do you think your wife was only behaving horrifically unhealthy towards you in regards to sex, or do you classify as what she was doing with AP as horrifically unhealthy?? btw, asking hypothetically.

you said: 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.

wine and a bath! ... heaven. i have so much to say about those 2 paragraphs above, and about how all of ^that can be such a negative impact on one's sex life, but i fear that's not really what you asked, or what you hope to hear.

you asked: 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?

well, i am pro-marriage/pro-recovery in the majority of situations, so yes, i would like to see you accept your wife back and work towards a more fulfilling marriage. i do not, however, think you have to accept a "painfully hollow sex life." i also don't think sex should be regulated, monitored, or bargained for in either a marriage or in an affair. imho, when you start to regulate, monitor, bargain, etc.-- that's when sex becomes unhealthy (whether it's married sex or affair sex). but yes, more sex in the marriage. honor each other's love language-- The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, by Gary Chapman.

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

i'm very far removed from my role as a WW, but appreciate the chance to help you reflect and heal. so, thank you for that! i should also point out that i felt lucky that my husband chose immediately to recover our marriage-- so we worked together, going forward, knowing that healing was our goal. united and strong. i know it's not popular here to start in recovery, but it is an option.

p.s. please be careful with faulty thinking-- ie: my wife had an intense, highly deceptive affair. << makes it sound as if your wife's A was way worse than most. it wasn't. it sucked just as bad as every other affair.

Rusty: You scared?
Linus: You suicidal?
Rusty: Only in the morning.

posts: 127   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2019   ·   location: USA
id 8740018
default

 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 9:31 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

I did know you ham gave some requirements and for the most part you have a good list going here. I personally think the sex one is very normal in especially a bh/ww dynamic but for me, and this is just personally, that is a a build a new marriage request, not a requirement see if you want to R.

That seems like a distinction without a difference. My old marriage is dead. In fact, I've even considered D but still moving forward as a BF/GF--because as of now, my wife has proven marriage means nothing to her, so why are we still bound by a contract that only I care about?

At the same time I know how many bh’s feel about this, including my own. For many you all, there is some belief there is a tie between what we will do sexually and how much is tied to how much we love you.

For most of us ww’s there is no correlation. Sex and libido for us is much more relevant, and all I am trying to say is she likely has a low one right now. I am not asking you to defend your position on it, only providing other ways of looking at it.

I understand she was hornier waking up next to AP than me, hence the eager BJ at the sound of his alarm; I don't understand why she can't be moved to give me a morning BJ at the sound of her alarm because she loves me.

We discussed the sex requirement a bit earlier today and she said her response to it was that she felt I wanted her to be my whore. That's the lens she sees sex--she thinks her doing a sex act with me degrades her.

At some point, maybe after some time passes, you will realize this marriage is already gone. In order to create a new one you will have to put that on hold until you see she is truly remorseful and grasping things she can’t yet right now grasp. But what do you do to feel better or more secure? That is the million dollar question that you will find the answer to in time.

The answer that is hard to relate to is you have to find a way that you give yourself that security you are craving. You have to focus almost completely on you. The more you practice the better the oscillation will get because you will have a confidence and love for yourself that she can not penetrate. That is basically the goal but I am not saying you won’t flail and sputter he whole time you are trying to get there. Once you have that, you will see your wife a little more objectively and hopefully by that time she is giving you something different to look at.

All I am trying to say to you is you all can’t rely on each other so well right now for these things. You can not be her healer, and she can not be yours. Comfort, yes. And if sex is a comfort to you then so be it. Just know you are putting a band aid on that right now for yourself but it may feed into some of her core issues. It’s in actuality doing nothing to heal the relationship at this point. If she is amicable with what you are asking then good deal. If she isn’t there may be big issues that she needs to address that make this seem like marital coercion to her. Like possible sexual abuse in her past. She learned sex was transactional from somewhere.

I understand that’s a harsh way of looking at it - we should want to have sex with our spouse and express our love freely in this way. But for women, sex often flows with connection and that’s up and down right now added to her shame and depression. So her desire is going to be as well.

She needs not only to redefine her relationship with sex, but love and what that means as well. Personally, when my h cheated that was most important to me- that he understands what real love is and looks like. But all of this is reconciliation stuff.

Your marriage is at ground zero while a lot of us have been healing for years. No one expects you to be able to apply any of this today. We just keep describing it because it will slowly evolve and you will see it too. It’s nice just to have the roadmap of what you are trying to do. No one comes here knowing how to do this shit, and with the loads of pain heaped on top I certainly understand your responses.

I agree that the marriage is gone and that we both need to heal--the topic at hand now is how she can relax and I can stop being triggered by her various comments and actions. Ideally, we'd both like to avoid separation right now, but I sense we are both gradually becoming more amenable to it if it prevents us from spinning in circles.

Is reconciliation possible? Yes if you both work hard and want it. Right now, all you can gauge is effort. If she gets to the place of remorse this will all be more workable but just like what you are experiencing is natural, her not being there yet is not unnatural either.

I am not questioning your choices or what you want to see. My h’s lost looked pretty much like yours other than I don’t have spending issues. But most of us have addiction and that might be another one your wife has. The same character flaws that cause her to cheat cause her to overspend.

Keep going, you are doing way better at navigating than you think. My posts here were not meant to critique or question- more to provide some food for thought and some spots on the map. I wish both of you the best.

Gauging effort is tricky because I have a tendency to not know what I'm supposed to react to. Am I letting her be too comfortable letting things slide or am I making mountains out of mole hills--I can feel both ways multiple times in the same day. I've never felt so untrusting of my own mind before and she feeds off me--when I'm relaxed, she's bubbly and happy; when I'm angry or depressed, she's terrified of saying the wrong thing. I feel like both of her extremes are triggering for me.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 9:31 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 8740020
default

 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 9:37 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

Doc, most likely over time, with ur WWs IC, then eventually MC for the both of you, your M will hopefully improve. In MC of course you will discuss the sexual issue.

It’s thus highly probable that you will both come to a mutually acceptable idea of what constitutes a satisfactory sex life. I think it seems insurmountable to as you’re living it in the moment, but from the outside I think you’re most likely much closer to figuring this out than you think. That’s my gut feeling.

Thus, I think you can continue to pursue R while the sex issue develops. As it develops, either way, your sex life has objectively improved from pre A days. And, as you have already made perfectly clear to your WW, if the sex issue doesn’t eventually get resolved to your satisfaction, you reserve the right to discontinue R.

As others have pointed out, you’re only four months post D day. Give it some more time. In the meantime, with regard to sex, I recommend faking it until you make it. It’s not an entirely unpleasant process while you’re figuring it out. And, you reserve the right to let your WW know along the way whether you think she’s getting closer to what you consider acceptable or not.

That's a fair and reasoned response and I appreciate it. And you're right that the bumps along the way don't have to be Armageddon.

With sex it's been difficult because while she's initiating more than usual, I still feel like that pressure is largely on me to do so, and then the feelings of me forcing her into it overtake the moment. Sure, I can pretend I don't feel that way and just enjoy it, but I'm on the edge, so a rogue comment from her that enforces my feelings sets off an alarm.

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 8740023
default

sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 9:47 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

'Safety' - human beings decide to feel 'safe' or 'unsafe'. Sure, when we deal with the question of feeling safe with a person, we do so on the basis of evidence garnered from the person's behavior - but that doesn't change the fact that each of us decides for themself to feel safe or not.

In expecting your W to 'make' you feel safe, you are giving up your power and your agency. In expecting your W to make you feel safe, I think you are again refusing to take responsibility for yourself. I suggest asking your MC and/or IC what they see in your posts.

You can't heal without taking responsibility for yourself. I suggest asking your IC or MC about that, too.

I’m very aware of how defensive I was to your post—and how defensive I am being now.

There's a zero point zero chance you'll enhance your probability for successful R by allowing yourself to do exactly what you refuse to allow your W to do.

The narcissist in you ....

Have you forgotten that pointing one finger at a someone else generally leaves 3 pointing back at yourself?

You've clearly triggered, and you've lashed out in print. Aside from any guideline violation, what words or ideas did you trigger on? What's underneath your anger? Again, I suggest asking your IC or MC.

IMO, you need IRL feedback from someone who can receive your non-verbal communications. Your verbal comms keep you from pinning yourself down and healing yourself, at least IMO.

Let me be clear: you have to do something different to heal. You respond to posts very easily. I recommend you hold your responses to this post in, think about them, and talk about your thoughts and feelings with your IC or MC.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 9:54 PM, Monday, June 13th]

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: 27290   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8740024
default

 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 9:53 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

i can agree that you think her sex life was horrifically unhealthy. personally, i have a problem with the word 'horrifically'-- seems a little harsh. but okay, you think her sex life was/is horrifically unhealthy. do you think your wife was only behaving horrifically unhealthy towards you in regards to sex, or do you classify as what she was doing with AP as horrifically unhealthy?? btw, asking hypothetically.

I think her view on sex is horrifically unhealthy, objectively. She's had significant issues with sex dating back to her introduction to sex in high school. She views it as a tool or weapon she can use to manipulate and control outcomes--and has viewed it that way since the moment she began to understand it as a teenager.

And of course her sex life was horrifically unhealthy with her AP. I may be misunderstanding you, but she was a married mother giving another married man blow jobs in a dirty parking garage. Sure, I suppose things could always be worse, but it's bad enough to feel comfortable calling it horrifically unhealthy.

well, i am pro-marriage/pro-recovery in the majority of situations, so yes, i would like to see you accept your wife back and work towards a more fulfilling marriage. i do not, however, think you have to accept a "painfully hollow sex life." i also don't think sex should be regulated, monitored, or bargained for in either a marriage or in an affair. imho, when you start to regulate, monitor, bargain, etc.-- that's when sex becomes unhealthy (whether it's married sex or affair sex). but yes, more sex in the marriage. honor each other's love language-- The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, by Gary Chapman.

I agree with you in principle. Anytime we've tried to regulate our sex life historically I've been deeply unhappy with the results. Regulating it now from a position of leverage (because she was unfaithful) seems like an objectively poor choice--so I agree with you and others in that regard.

However, I do not see another avenue here. I'd prefer her voluntarily be eager to have a fun sex life with me--I'd prefer my sex requirement be entirely unnecessary--but even now, she's unable to give me the sex life she freely threw at her AP. She has a million excuses as to why ("newness" of the affair; long gaps between seeing each other/not living together; feeling sexually desired and turned on; the taboo of the secrecy of the affair, etc.)--and I have no doubt that they're all true, but none of them help me much. When I consider all the energy and effort she was putting into being sexual during the affair and contrast it to the energy and effort she's putting into me now, it's hard to take her seriously.

I need more effort from her. Thus far, I've rejected her sexually twice post-DDay--the first time she threw an insane tantrum and felt unloved; the second time, two nights ago, was because she showed no enthusiasm for doing it. I would like to live in a world where our sex life is not dictated by whether or not she's in the mood for sex or to reject me.

p.s. please be careful with faulty thinking-- ie: my wife had an intense, highly deceptive affair. << makes it sound as if your wife's A was way worse than most. it wasn't. it sucked just as bad as every other affair.

I won't argue whether or not her affair is worse or better than anyone else's, but I stand by framing it as intense and highly deceptive--if your criticism is that all affairs deserve those attributes, that's fine. I will add though that her badmouthing of me to family and friends elevates this passed many other affairs I've read about--including the one with her AP and OBS. She went scorched earth on my reputation and I still have no idea where to begin to heal from that.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 9:55 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 8740028
default

Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 9:57 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

"Do precisely for me what you did for him!" is a recipe for disaster.

I can't speak for you, but the mind movies as I tried to "reclaim" certain acts/positions/etc. overwhelmed my ability to enjoy the moment. You can't hope your wife will essentially recreate what she may now see as the most shameful moments of her whole life for you while you white knuckle your way through knowing she is doing this as some kind of fucked up proof of love or penance, and even if you could enjoy it, your wife's shame spiral will be kicked up exponentially.

There aren't any great options here, Dr. Strangelove, but putting your wife through a bucket list of whore acts is definitely not one of them.

That said, what I suspect you really want, what I wanted and want still, is for my wife to SHOW me that she WANTS me by word and deed. What act, orifice, or position that manifests in is irrelevant. You want to feel the desire from your wife that you assume she had for the AP. I get it. Been there, got the tshirt.

But focus on what it is you really want, not the minutiae or the method of "proof." It's not about a blowjob at dawn, it's about feeling that you are the one she wants.

Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.

posts: 227   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8740030
default

 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 10:03 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

"Do precisely for me what you did for him!" is a recipe for disaster.

I can't speak for you, but the mind movies as I tried to "reclaim" certain acts/positions/etc. overwhelmed my ability to enjoy the moment. You can't hope your wife will essentially recreate what she may now see as the most shameful moments of her whole life for you while you white knuckle your way through knowing she is doing this as some kind of fucked up proof of love or penance, and even if you could enjoy it, your wife's shame spiral will be kicked up exponentially.

There aren't any great options here, Dr. Strangelove, but putting your wife through a bucket list of whore acts is definitely not one of them.

That said, what I suspect you really want, what I wanted and want still, is for my wife to SHOW me that she WANTS me by word and deed. What act, orifice, or position that manifests in is irrelevant. You want to feel the desire from your wife that you assume she had for the AP. I get it. Been there, got the tshirt.

But focus on what it is you really want, not the minutiae or the method of "proof." It's not about a blowjob at dawn, it's about feeling that you are the one she wants.

Hah, we agree--and good to hear from you again!

I don't want the morning BJ because she gave him a morning BJ, I want the morning BJ because it shows desire and generosity toward me. Truthfully, I *think* I've made good progress on healing from her specific sex acts--they dominate a lot less of my thoughts than in the early days after DDay. Now I just want her to show desire for me sexually because that's the relationship I want to build.

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 8740031
default

sundance ( member #72129) posted at 10:08 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

I won't argue whether or not her affair is worse or better than anyone else's, but I stand by framing it as intense and highly deceptive--if your criticism is that all affairs deserve those attributes, that's fine.

yes, it is my POV that most affairs are intense and highly deceptive. and no, i'm not looking for an argument.

it's cool.

Rusty: You scared?
Linus: You suicidal?
Rusty: Only in the morning.

posts: 127   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2019   ·   location: USA
id 8740032
default

PowerWithin ( new member #80349) posted at 10:32 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

I’m guessing people pleasing has already been mentioned but not sure? I used to tell my husband my requirements for R, and I would get frustrated when he would frequently say "yes, of course" and then repeatedly not follow through….. he was saying "yes" to please me. Our post Dday relationship already had too much conflict for him - he didn’t want to add more, and still had no idea how to maturely address and resolve conflict.

It took many months post Dday for my husband to realize the real fallout of his tendency to people please. For him, people pleasing was a way to avoid conflict, and it was the norm in his childhood home. Someone would ask him to do something, he wouldn’t want to but would agree anyway, then to the first person's surprise, he would voice his complaints later and blame whoever he had initially tried to please. This is learned behavior that requires self-awareness and conscious effort to change. He needed (and still needs) time to learn who he really is, what he really wants, and how to represent himself while respecting others’ needs and perspectives. There’s a big learning curve between "It’s the other person’s fault that I was forced to speak or act in a certain way", and "My words and actions reflect my integrity, and I will honor the needs of my partner and myself as we collaborate on a solution that works for both of us."

Currently in R.
"The next time there’s no ground to stand on, don’t consider it an obstacle. Consider it a stroke of good luck." - Pema Chödrön

posts: 32   ·   registered: May. 25th, 2022   ·   location: Midwest
id 8740036
default

HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 11:50 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

putting your wife through a bucket list of whore acts

What the Hell??

I've not seen one single thing he wants,sexually, from his wife, that comes close to degrading her,and treating her like a whore.

Giving oral sex to your husband, doesn't make a wife a whore.

Having anal sex with your husband, doesn't make a wife a whore.

Desiring those things from your wife, does not mean he is degrading her.

Wanting to feel wanted by your wife, in the same ways she wanted her AP is not treating her like a whore. If ANYONE in this situation treated her like a whore, it's the OM. Let's get that straight.

Wanting your wife to enthusiastically initiate sex,is not treating her like a whore.

Having reasonable expectations about your intimate marital relations is not treating her like a whore.

So let's refrain from saying he is treating her like a whore. That's absurd.

She basically used him as a personal vibrator throughout the marriage. She PURPOSELY denied him sex,knowing he desired her, but invented reasons to deny him.

That's messed up to the nth degree. He doesn't want to go back to that. He refuses to do so. Good for him! He shouldn't be shamed because he no longer wants to be used and treated horribly.

[This message edited by HellFire at 11:53 PM, Monday, June 13th]

posts: 4386   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8740043
default

hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 12:12 AM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

I did know you ham gave some requirements and for the most part you have a good list going here. I personally think the sex one is very normal in especially a bh/ww dynamic but for me, and this is just personally, that is a a build a new marriage request, not a requirement see if you want to R.

That seems like a distinction without a difference. My old marriage is dead. In fact, I've even considered D but still moving forward as a BF/GF--because as of now, my wife has proven marriage means nothing to her, so why are we still bound by a contract that only I care about?

The contract question is a question only you can answer as it goes back to your own belief and value system. As for the distinction part, I think it is natural it doesn't have a distinction for you yet. My point of view comes from 5 years of failing/succeeding/failing succeeding.

I can only share how I have come to believe that you separate the process a bit into parts that sisoon often cites as ws heals ws, bs heals bs, together they heal the marriage.

When my husband cheated, my discovery of it was 3 years past my own dday. So, I said, look, I would like to talk about reconciliation in the future. I love you, and I know I would like to spend my life with you if it can be monogamously, happily, and in a better way than what we spent our last couple of decades. I am going to continue to show up and work on myself for that end as it will prepare me for any outcome. But, I am not going to agree to spend a great deal time working on our relationship until you get to a place that you are able and fully willing to do so.

So, I sent him to therapy, gave him some of my thoughts of what I wanted to see, and that's it. I left the rest really for him to figure his shit out. I mean, I wanted to know what he was coming up with but I didn't steer him that much. It's like any addiction or affliction, he could only become what he was willing to become. I was only willing to stick around to see what that was going to be.

I felt like you, I didn't want to separate or live separately. So, that is the conundrum. I called it treading water. We will tread water until I feel like it's worth my effort to work on the relationship. Sex is part of the relationship, so that's why I sorted it as something to consider putting away as a requirement only for the time being. I also believe if she does the other stuff that will start to fix itself anyway.

However, after my dday I didn't have that experience at all that I am suggesting to you. There is a large percentage of BH's here who equate sex and love. I am not saying women don't love sex, or want that to be a requirement of R, but it's definitely shown itself to be a largely (some, not all) male perspective that there is proof of sex acts or quantity of sex being proof of love. I only challenge you on that idea because 1) you report your wife has traditionally seen sex more as transactional. 2) you say she doesn't love the AP, yet report she had a lot more sex or more vigor for him. I am only asking you inspect that.

I am not saying this can't be a requirement that you would like to see now. I am saying consider the quality of that request and how much emphasis you give it over other things.

That being said, my H put the same request to me (though we didn't have a dead bedroom, we were maybe at 1-3 times a week for the last few years prior to my A), and I complied. Greatly mixed results. It helped him for a while, but eventually he went out and started his own affair. We were still having sex almost daily when his affair started. It didn't heal him at all, it temporarily made him feel better. As for me, it lessened my desire for him because I felt like out of all the ways he wanted me to show my love, that's the only one he really chose strongly and he was very focused on it. Also sex on demand when you are depressed, feel horrible about yourself, and half the time are fighting is very difficult. It made it more of a chore and harder for me to get to that place he was wanting to see.

On the other hand, as a remorseful woman at this point, I felt like my difficulty in trying to keep up with this was a small cut compared to ripping his heart out. So, again I have mixed feelings. I can understand that enthusiasm for him and the relationship was all he wanted. At the end of the day it's not really what brought us together. It was when we were at a point that we were vulnerable enough with each other that the connection was restored. It helped when he became more tolerant of affection outside the bedroom. I was so happy as that started to emerge, and it definitely corrected my sex drive with him. Prior that time, I spent a lot of time working on loving him in other ways and I think that's what began the true healing for him.

So, when I say the quality of the request, I don't mean sex isn't included, but I think you should maybe consider the other soft parts that need to be shown. You aren't ready for that because you are not ready (and shouldn't be) to be vulnerable with your wife. It makes you feel temporarily better, but it's not going to provide you back with any security, or trust. This is really why the distinction to me exists that this is a relationship request befitting a couple who are actively reconciling. In order to say I will now work on reconciliation with you, means that you feel things have stabilized enough and she is remorseful. That usually means your connection is starting to flicker on and you are actively working on building a new marriage together. But, again, this is my perspective and you do not have to defend yours. I think this is a common issue especially in the WW/BH arena.

At the same time I know how many bh’s feel about this, including my own. For many you all, there is some belief there is a tie between what we will do sexually and how much is tied to how much we love you.

For most of us ww’s there is no correlation. Sex and libido for us is much more relevant, and all I am trying to say is she likely has a low one right now. I am not asking you to defend your position on it, only providing other ways of looking at it.

I understand she was hornier waking up next to AP than me, hence the eager BJ at the sound of his alarm; I don't understand why she can't be moved to give me a morning BJ at the sound of her alarm because she loves me.

Okay, but why was she hornier with the AP? Because she loved him? No. IF she was in fact hornier with the AP it's because of how she felt about HERSELF. Now, should she have felt great about herself? NO, fuck no. She was out cheating on her husband and family. But, that's the self adulation piece. There was nothing authentic happening to the AP because of him or her feelings about him. I have seen this hang up take down many marriages here over the years.

Again, I am not arguing that you shouldn't have lots of sex, or that you are wrong for wanting that attention and affection from your wife. In fact, I empathize with you more than you could ever tell by what I am saying here. I am just pointing some things out simply because I have seen this perspective can be a pitfall that prolongs the pain and helps very little with the healing.
I am actually a huge proponent to the idea that sex enhances a marriage and connection. So, have the sex and work on things, but maybe your expectation of seeing that sex life blossom to what you are hoping for it to might happen more gradually as your wife comes to better terms with the amount of damage that she has done. I don't think how much she has sex with you or how she has sex with you is indicative of any future result. I sure didn't fuck my husband back into anything that went anywhere.

We discussed the sex requirement a bit earlier today and she said her response to it was that she felt I wanted her to be my whore. That's the lens she sees sex--she thinks her doing a sex act with me degrades her.

I don't think that's what she is saying. I think that is what you are understandably hearing. I am not sure you can hear anything different right now, and that doesn't make anything wrong with you. If she was someone who had shown you nothing but love and had never busted your trust, you might hear her saying a requirement about having sex on demand is demeaning. I can understand that perspective as easily as I understand yours.

I know, I know. She didn't mind the AP demeaning her. But, in that case it was transactional too. She wanted the validation that she was the best thing since sliced bread. Very much the Trick Show Pony thing that Sundance was talking about. I know because I was extremely sexual with the AP in my situation. I have already told you I was having sexual dysfunction at this same time. How do the two things coexist? I wanted the admiration. Your wife is a black hole of need, and she does what she needs to in order to get what she wants. Not because you aren't a great husband, she would be this way in any relationship. However, the good news is that can be fixed a lot of the time if the person is willing to work at building a new framework.

At some point, maybe after some time passes, you will realize this marriage is already gone. In order to create a new one you will have to put that on hold until you see she is truly remorseful and grasping things she can’t yet right now grasp. But what do you do to feel better or more secure? That is the million dollar question that you will find the answer to in time.

The answer that is hard to relate to is you have to find a way that you give yourself that security you are craving. You have to focus almost completely on you. The more you practice the better the oscillation will get because you will have a confidence and love for yourself that she can not penetrate. That is basically the goal but I am not saying you won’t flail and sputter he whole time you are trying to get there. Once you have that, you will see your wife a little more objectively and hopefully by that time she is giving you something different to look at.

All I am trying to say to you is you all can’t rely on each other so well right now for these things. You can not be her healer, and she can not be yours. Comfort, yes. And if sex is a comfort to you then so be it. Just know you are putting a band aid on that right now for yourself but it may feed into some of her core issues. It’s in actuality doing nothing to heal the relationship at this point. If she is amicable with what you are asking then good deal. If she isn’t there may be big issues that she needs to address that make this seem like marital coercion to her. Like possible sexual abuse in her past. She learned sex was transactional from somewhere.

I understand that’s a harsh way of looking at it - we should want to have sex with our spouse and express our love freely in this way. But for women, sex often flows with connection and that’s up and down right now added to her shame and depression. So her desire is going to be as well.

She needs not only to redefine her relationship with sex, but love and what that means as well. Personally, when my h cheated that was most important to me- that he understands what real love is and looks like. But all of this is reconciliation stuff.

Your marriage is at ground zero while a lot of us have been healing for years. No one expects you to be able to apply any of this today. We just keep describing it because it will slowly evolve and you will see it too. It’s nice just to have the roadmap of what you are trying to do. No one comes here knowing how to do this shit, and with the loads of pain heaped on top I certainly understand your responses.

I agree that the marriage is gone and that we both need to heal--the topic at hand now is how she can relax and I can stop being triggered by her various comments and actions. Ideally, we'd both like to avoid separation right now, but I sense we are both gradually becoming more amenable to it if it prevents us from spinning in circles.

You won't relax for some time, you have been traumatized. Your world just blew up. She can't do anything to relax you in any permanent way because you can not trust her. You should both lower your expectations, self-judgment, and just know you are going to be at this for a while. Of course you want to be out of pain, and you want the quickest exit. Nothing does that. Nothing. Time, work, intention, it will come but not tomorrow, not next week, not next month. It will gradually get better though if both of you are dedicated to that as the ideal.

I don't think you have to separate to work it out. But I do think maybe try working on being a bit more detached, maybe read a little bit of the 180 and apply some of it's principles. She seems to be trying on her end, so I wouldn't maybe say go full 180 on her. But, I would say it may help if you can find a way to give each other a little room to work on yourselves. Make a schedule if you have to. A little further down the line, as things become more stable, we put aside a date weekend (our kids are grown so you might have to be more conservative on how much time) where we put everything aside and went and had fun together. This would probably be difficult for the two of you right at the moment, but add that at the earliest opportunity.

This back and forth roller coaster will go on for a while yet. Assuming she throws herself into this (because make no mistake, it's HER that HAS to be doing the heavy lifting), then she will get better at knowing what triggers you and how to comfort you with it. She is not there yet. I don't think she is going to get there faster by separating, though H and I did do a short term in house separation for a short couple of months towards the end of our first year. The reason was because we were ten months in and I wasn't doing what I needed to do. I was spiraling out of shame and kept being defensive and generally still too wrapped up in myself. He had also initially not wanted the details of the affair and I gave them to him around this time so it was like we had a second dday. (I confessed my affair without prompting, so this wasn't trickle truth, but it had the same effect)

Four months in, you both are disoriented. I don't have any advice on how to make that better other than she needs to be going to IC and doing a lot of reading, reflecting, etc. She is going to fail a bunch. Failure means she is trying something new. The only thing I can tell you is it's normal, not indicative of future results. It's a shit sandwich for sure.


Is reconciliation possible? Yes if you both work hard and want it. Right now, all you can gauge is effort. If she gets to the place of remorse this will all be more workable but just like what you are experiencing is natural, her not being there yet is not unnatural either.

I am not questioning your choices or what you want to see. My h’s lost looked pretty much like yours other than I don’t have spending issues. But most of us have addiction and that might be another one your wife has. The same character flaws that cause her to cheat cause her to overspend.

Keep going, you are doing way better at navigating than you think. My posts here were not meant to critique or question- more to provide some food for thought and some spots on the map. I wish both of you the best.

Gauging effort is tricky because I have a tendency to not know what I'm supposed to react to. Am I letting her be too comfortable letting things slide or am I making mountains out of mole hills--I can feel both ways multiple times in the same day. I've never felt so untrusting of my own mind before and she feeds off me--when I'm relaxed, she's bubbly and happy; saying the wrong thing. I feel like both of her extremes are triggering for me.

This is so normal. I know I keep saying that, but what you are saying most of us so relate to. So many of us have all been in this same stage doing these same things.

Here is what I read in "Am I letting her be too comfortable, letting things slide or am I making mountains out of molehills?"

You have to do what feels right to you. This sounds like a punitive/control perspective. And, understandably you are trying to gain some control over this run away train. You can't control what she does really, you can only control what you will or will not tolerate, your boundaries. When H and I were having a fun time together, the next few days he would be distant and moody. I walked on eggshells and racked my brain on what I did wrong when we were having fun together that made him mad at me.

I mean, I really was that clueless.

What was happening was a vulnerability hangover. He needed me to be reminded things weren't okay yet. He needed to put up his armor in fear that I was going to turn around and hurt me again. We would have these glimpses of maybe we do still like each other, maybe this could work. It terrified the fuck out of him.

And, her reaction is also very normal too. I would react to his reaction as if I didn't cause the reaction. I didn't understand his reaction. I didn't know which way to move or what to try. What I had to learn was to be okay with being uncomfortable, that takes some work after a couple decades of marriage where I always felt comfortable with him. After I had figured out how to put my own shame away and show up for him in those moments, we slowly got a bit better. I had to come to some acceptance over what I did and why things were the way they were. I had to stand up as a full grown woman and own that, and show up in those moments. It will take some time for your wife to feel that strong. I wish that was not the case, you do not deserve it to be the case but this is not something that will go away over night.

Right now, it sounds like there is productivity in the spinning. It's a good sign she is in IC, starting to post here (though that will be difficult sometimes when you all are at odds together, I expect to see her at some point starting to post for your benefit, as we have all been in those phases - desperate to win back our BS but having no clue that most of what we have to do is so counter-intuitive to what we think we should do)

I don't know if your wife deserves a second chance, nor does anyone here. I do know (and I think this is what sundance was alluding to when she was saying this is an affair, like any other affair or however she put it) that everything you both are reporting has been said here 1000 times with likely 1000 different results. At this point, I would say you are ahead of the curb in that you seem to feel like you have the details, she is NC with her AP, she is willing to go to IC, she is trying to meet your requirement despite her feelings of trepidation on a few of them, from a very distant anonymous position it looks to me like you are both moving in the right direction.

5 years of hard work
Reconciled
WS & BS

posts: 6083   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8740047
default

 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:29 AM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

I’m guessing people pleasing has already been mentioned but not sure? I used to tell my husband my requirements for R, and I would get frustrated when he would frequently say "yes, of course" and then repeatedly not follow through….. he was saying "yes" to please me. Our post Dday relationship already had too much conflict for him - he didn’t want to add more, and still had no idea how to maturely address and resolve conflict.

It took many months post Dday for my husband to realize the real fallout of his tendency to people please. For him, people pleasing was a way to avoid conflict, and it was the norm in his childhood home. Someone would ask him to do something, he wouldn’t want to but would agree anyway, then to the first person's surprise, he would voice his complaints later and blame whoever he had initially tried to please. This is learned behavior that requires self-awareness and conscious effort to change. He needed (and still needs) time to learn who he really is, what he really wants, and how to represent himself while respecting others’ needs and perspectives. There’s a big learning curve between "It’s the other person’s fault that I was forced to speak or act in a certain way", and "My words and actions reflect my integrity, and I will honor the needs of my partner and myself as we collaborate on a solution that works for both of us."

That's something I've discussed in this thread and even more with her offline (daily)--it's my last and most important requirement for R: "Stop agreeing to things you don't agree with."

She does it constantly--and as you suggest, her reasoning is selfish. She doesn't want to have a conflict and she wants to R, so she thinks she can just say yes to everything and then hope it all works out. The conflict is especially an issue for her because it's a major weakness for her--she has strong feelings on various topics, but rarely examines them and often has difficulty verbalizing them. The result is me cornering her position and "winning" the debate.

Using the recent "breast" incident as an example (I know we've beaten it to death, but I'm just using it to make a different point), she told me she wasn't in the mood to fool around because her breasts hurt. So I immediately challenged her position on two fronts:

1. Why does her breast hurting prevent her from fooling around with me if I don't touch her breasts?

2. I noted the examples of when she serviced AP when her breasts hurt or during her period and asked how she could defend doing those acts with him and stand by her position to not do them with me?

So in her mind, she has no idea how to confront that conflict. She knows she doesn't want to fool around with me, but also accepts my points as fair counterpoints to what she said.

Of course, the answer is her breasts hurting have nothing to do with anything--if it was the AP, she'd let him swing from the chandelier hanging onto only them (we don't have a chandelier). So the harsh truth is I'm just not moving the needle for her like AP was (for a variety of reasons), but she knows she can't say that because it would sound too mean. So the argument ends with her feeling like she "lost" and me feeling entirely terrible because she both rejected me and led me to the obvious truth as to why without saying it out loud.

Those interactions between us happen often. She feels like I'm winning arguments and I feel like I'm getting kicked in the crotch. So she then moves to avoid having a conflict with me, but to do that she has to agree with things she doesn't agree with.

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 8740049
default

 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:34 AM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

What the Hell??

I've not seen one single thing he wants,sexually, from his wife, that comes close to degrading her,and treating her like a whore.

Giving oral sex to your husband, doesn't make a wife a whore.

Having anal sex with your husband, doesn't make a wife a whore.

Desiring those things from your wife, does not mean he is degrading her.

Wanting to feel wanted by your wife, in the same ways she wanted her AP is not treating her like a whore. If ANYONE in this situation treated her like a whore, it's the OM. Let's get that straight.

Wanting your wife to enthusiastically initiate sex,is not treating her like a whore.

Having reasonable expectations about your intimate marital relations is not treating her like a whore.

So let's refrain from saying he is treating her like a whore. That's absurd.

She basically used him as a personal vibrator throughout the marriage. She PURPOSELY denied him sex,knowing he desired her, but invented reasons to deny him.

That's messed up to the nth degree. He doesn't want to go back to that. He refuses to do so. Good for him! He shouldn't be shamed because he no longer wants to be used and treated horribly.

I agree with you entirely, but in wiseoldfool's defense, I don't *think* he was putting a "bucket list of whore acts" on me, it was just a general statement of what not to do. I think it was just confusion as to why I was interested in receiving a morning BJ. Ultimately, I agree with him that if I asked her to do for me all the whorish things she did for AP it would be unproductive/unhealthy.

To all your points, your spot on. I wish she saw the world through that lens. But to her, feeling like she is obligated to be sexual with me makes her a whore--and certainly something like anal, which is painful, makes her feel degraded. I can't for the life of me figure out why her view of sex with me, her husband, is the same as her view of sex with anyone else. It's really hurtful for me and she has zero empathy for how awful it makes me feel for her to say that.

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 8740050
default

 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:50 AM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

The contract question is a question only you can answer as it goes back to your own belief and value system. As for the distinction part, I think it is natural it doesn't have a distinction for you yet. My point of view comes from 5 years of failing/succeeding/failing succeeding.

I can only share how I have come to believe that you separate the process a bit into parts that sisoon often cites as ws heals ws, bs heals bs, together they heal the marriage.

When my husband cheated, my discovery of it was 3 years past my own dday. So, I said, look, I would like to talk about reconciliation in the future. I love you, and I know I would like to spend my life with you if it can be monogamously, happily, and in a better way than what we spent our last couple of decades. I am going to continue to show up and work on myself for that end as it will prepare me for any outcome. But, I am not going to agree to spend a great deal time working on our relationship until you get to a place that you are able and fully willing to do so.

So, I sent him to therapy, gave him some of my thoughts of what I wanted to see, and that's it. I left the rest really for him to figure his shit out. I mean, I wanted to know what he was coming up with but I didn't steer him that much. It's like any addiction or affliction, he could only become what he was willing to become. I was only willing to stick around to see what that was going to be.

I felt like you, I didn't want to separate or live separately. So, that is the conundrum. I called it treading water. We will tread water until I feel like it's worth my effort to work on the relationship. Sex is part of the relationship, so that's why I sorted it as something to consider putting away as a requirement only for the time being. I also believe if she does the other stuff that will start to fix itself anyway.

However, after my dday I didn't have that experience at all that I am suggesting to you. There is a large percentage of BH's here who equate sex and love. I am not saying women don't love sex, or want that to be a requirement of R, but it's definitely shown itself to be a largely (some, not all) male perspective that there is proof of sex acts or quantity of sex being proof of love. I only challenge you on that idea because 1) you report your wife has traditionally seen sex more as transactional. 2) you say she doesn't love the AP, yet report she had a lot more sex or more vigor for him. I am only asking you inspect that.

I am not saying this can't be a requirement that you would like to see now. I am saying consider the quality of that request and how much emphasis you give it over other things.

That being said, my H put the same request to me (though we didn't have a dead bedroom, we were maybe at 1-3 times a week for the last few years prior to my A), and I complied. Greatly mixed results. It helped him for a while, but eventually he went out and started his own affair. We were still having sex almost daily when his affair started. It didn't heal him at all, it temporarily made him feel better. As for me, it lessened my desire for him because I felt like out of all the ways he wanted me to show my love, that's the only one he really chose strongly and he was very focused on it. Also sex on demand when you are depressed, feel horrible about yourself, and half the time are fighting is very difficult. It made it more of a chore and harder for me to get to that place he was wanting to see.

On the other hand, as a remorseful woman at this point, I felt like my difficulty in trying to keep up with this was a small cut compared to ripping his heart out. So, again I have mixed feelings. I can understand that enthusiasm for him and the relationship was all he wanted. At the end of the day it's not really what brought us together. It was when we were at a point that we were vulnerable enough with each other that the connection was restored. It helped when he became more tolerant of affection outside the bedroom. I was so happy as that started to emerge, and it definitely corrected my sex drive with him. Prior that time, I spent a lot of time working on loving him in other ways and I think that's what began the true healing for him.

So, when I say the quality of the request, I don't mean sex isn't included, but I think you should maybe consider the other soft parts that need to be shown. You aren't ready for that because you are not ready (and shouldn't be) to be vulnerable with your wife. It makes you feel temporarily better, but it's not going to provide you back with any security, or trust. This is really why the distinction to me exists that this is a relationship request befitting a couple who are actively reconciling. In order to say I will now work on reconciliation with you, means that you feel things have stabilized enough and she is remorseful. That usually means your connection is starting to flicker on and you are actively working on building a new marriage together. But, again, this is my perspective and you do not have to defend yours. I think this is a common issue especially in the WW/BH arena.

**

Okay, but why was she hornier with the AP? Because she loved him? No. IF she was in fact hornier with the AP it's because of how she felt about HERSELF. Now, should she have felt great about herself? NO, fuck no. She was out cheating on her husband and family. But, that's the self adulation piece. There was nothing authentic happening to the AP because of him or her feelings about him. I have seen this hang up take down many marriages here over the years.

Again, I am not arguing that you shouldn't have lots of sex, or that you are wrong for wanting that attention and affection from your wife. In fact, I empathize with you more than you could ever tell by what I am saying here. I am just pointing some things out simply because I have seen this perspective can be a pitfall that prolongs the pain and helps very little with the healing.
I am actually a huge proponent to the idea that sex enhances a marriage and connection. So, have the sex and work on things, but maybe your expectation of seeing that sex life blossom to what you are hoping for it to might happen more gradually as your wife comes to better terms with the amount of damage that she has done. I don't think how much she has sex with you or how she has sex with you is indicative of any future result. I sure didn't fuck my husband back into anything that went anywhere.

**

I don't think that's what she is saying. I think that is what you are understandably hearing. I am not sure you can hear anything different right now, and that doesn't make anything wrong with you. If she was someone who had shown you nothing but love and had never busted your trust, you might hear her saying a requirement about having sex on demand is demeaning. I can understand that perspective as easily as I understand yours.

I know, I know. She didn't mind the AP demeaning her. But, in that case it was transactional too. She wanted the validation that she was the best thing since sliced bread. Very much the Trick Show Pony thing that Sundance was talking about. I know because I was extremely sexual with the AP in my situation. I have already told you I was having sexual dysfunction at this same time. How do the two things coexist? I wanted the admiration. Your wife is a black hole of need, and she does what she needs to in order to get what she wants. Not because you aren't a great husband, she would be this way in any relationship. However, the good news is that can be fixed a lot of the time if the person is willing to work at building a new framework.

**

You won't relax for some time, you have been traumatized. Your world just blew up. She can't do anything to relax you in any permanent way because you can not trust her. You should both lower your expectations, self-judgment, and just know you are going to be at this for a while. Of course you want to be out of pain, and you want the quickest exit. Nothing does that. Nothing. Time, work, intention, it will come but not tomorrow, not next week, not next month. It will gradually get better though if both of you are dedicated to that as the ideal.

I don't think you have to separate to work it out. But I do think maybe try working on being a bit more detached, maybe read a little bit of the 180 and apply some of it's principles. She seems to be trying on her end, so I wouldn't maybe say go full 180 on her. But, I would say it may help if you can find a way to give each other a little room to work on yourselves. Make a schedule if you have to. A little further down the line, as things become more stable, we put aside a date weekend (our kids are grown so you might have to be more conservative on how much time) where we put everything aside and went and had fun together. This would probably be difficult for the two of you right at the moment, but add that at the earliest opportunity.

This back and forth roller coaster will go on for a while yet. Assuming she throws herself into this (because make no mistake, it's HER that HAS to be doing the heavy lifting), then she will get better at knowing what triggers you and how to comfort you with it. She is not there yet. I don't think she is going to get there faster by separating, though H and I did do a short term in house separation for a short couple of months towards the end of our first year. The reason was because we were ten months in and I wasn't doing what I needed to do. I was spiraling out of shame and kept being defensive and generally still too wrapped up in myself. He had also initially not wanted the details of the affair and I gave them to him around this time so it was like we had a second dday. (I confessed my affair without prompting, so this wasn't trickle truth, but it had the same effect)

Four months in, you both are disoriented. I don't have any advice on how to make that better other than she needs to be going to IC and doing a lot of reading, reflecting, etc. She is going to fail a bunch. Failure means she is trying something new. The only thing I can tell you is it's normal, not indicative of future results. It's a shit sandwich for sure.

**

This is so normal. I know I keep saying that, but what you are saying most of us so relate to. So many of us have all been in this same stage doing these same things.

Here is what I read in "Am I letting her be too comfortable, letting things slide or am I making mountains out of molehills?"

You have to do what feels right to you. This sounds like a punitive/control perspective. And, understandably you are trying to gain some control over this run away train. You can't control what she does really, you can only control what you will or will not tolerate, your boundaries. When H and I were having a fun time together, the next few days he would be distant and moody. I walked on eggshells and racked my brain on what I did wrong when we were having fun together that made him mad at me.

I mean, I really was that clueless.

What was happening was a vulnerability hangover. He needed me to be reminded things weren't okay yet. He needed to put up his armor in fear that I was going to turn around and hurt me again. We would have these glimpses of maybe we do still like each other, maybe this could work. It terrified the fuck out of him.

And, her reaction is also very normal too. I would react to his reaction as if I didn't cause the reaction. I didn't understand his reaction. I didn't know which way to move or what to try. What I had to learn was to be okay with being uncomfortable, that takes some work after a couple decades of marriage where I always felt comfortable with him. After I had figured out how to put my own shame away and show up for him in those moments, we slowly got a bit better. I had to come to some acceptance over what I did and why things were the way they were. I had to stand up as a full grown woman and own that, and show up in those moments. It will take some time for your wife to feel that strong. I wish that was not the case, you do not deserve it to be the case but this is not something that will go away over night.

Right now, it sounds like there is productivity in the spinning. It's a good sign she is in IC, starting to post here (though that will be difficult sometimes when you all are at odds together, I expect to see her at some point starting to post for your benefit, as we have all been in those phases - desperate to win back our BS but having no clue that most of what we have to do is so counter-intuitive to what we think we should do)

I don't know if your wife deserves a second chance, nor does anyone here. I do know (and I think this is what sundance was alluding to when she was saying this is an affair, like any other affair or however she put it) that everything you both are reporting has been said here 1000 times with likely 1000 different results. At this point, I would say you are ahead of the curb in that you seem to feel like you have the details, she is NC with her AP, she is willing to go to IC, she is trying to meet your requirement despite her feelings of trepidation on a few of them, from a very distant anonymous position it looks to me like you are both moving in the right direction.

Hikingout, that post is phenomenal. I can't thank you enough for taking the time to write it.

I don't even want to respond to it as I normally would because it felt more like something for me to absorb rather than discuss. I read it twice and I'm likely going to have my wife read it.

Thank you.

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 8740052
default

Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 1:14 AM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

Doc. It’s really a losing battle to complete against the AP. Your WW was in la la land at the time. Husbands get pushback APs don’t, snd it’s really as simple as that.

I said it earlier and HO as well. As your WW fixes herself snd the M improves your sexual compatibility will improve. How could it not.

You’re justifiably hyper sensitive right now to any hint of sexual rejection, which is totally understandable. However, as wise old fool said, look to what you want. Your sex life right now is 10,000 times better than pre A. Currently, you’re having more sex then 99 percent of the population. Also, part of your issue here is your sexual kink. That issue is no doubt interfering, or st a minimum casting shade, with progress.

The part you still want cannot be fixed overnight because your WW is still broken. So I’m back to recommending you ride the wave right now. You wanted to see improvement post A re sex between you snd your WW snd you’re getting improvement. It’s going to take a lot of time to get to where you eventually want it to be but you’re no doubt moving the needle forward.

You said your WW was great on vacation snd I think you said has scored well on 80 or so percent recently on your requirements for R. I would focus more on that right now. However, again it’s hard because you’re sensitized re the sex issue.

I recommend you step back snd analyze where you are now versus four months ago.

posts: 442   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8740054
default

Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 1:37 AM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

So let's refrain from saying he is treating her like a whore. That's absurd.


I'm not saying he is in fact treating her like a whore, I am reminding him that his wife has told him when he does these things she FEELS like a whore.

[This message edited by Wiseoldfool at 1:42 AM, Tuesday, June 14th]

Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.

posts: 227   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8740059
Cookies on SurvivingInfidelity.com®

SurvivingInfidelity.com® uses cookies to enhance your visit to our website. This is a requirement for participants to login, post and use other features. Visitors may opt out, but the website will be less functional for you.

v.1.001.20220428 2002-2022 SurvivingInfidelity.com® All Rights Reserved. • Privacy Policy