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

Topic is Sleeping.
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 2:58 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

I’ve been following your thread since you started posting on JFO. This is a painful, hopeful, convoluted journey, and you have covered a lot of ground since March. I wanted to share a few things that have been working for us.

My WH has been stunningly immature, self-absorbed, entitled, defensive, disgusting, and destructive, much like your WW. Because you said you’re interested, our story is that we’ve been together ten years, married for six (a second marriage for both of us). WH had multiple EAs in place before we even met, and it took me years to catch on. I was suspicious but distracted by how wonderful he seemed. When I finally had hard evidence, I confronted him, but he minimized and TT’d. We went through a couple false Rs, more Ddays, and I thought we were in R, but when covid hit, he went underground and used a hookup site to meet and pay women for sex in hotels during his workday. He got sloppy with his burner phone, and I busted him. I stayed with him at the time because, looking back on it, I was too traumatized to have any clarity about D. I finally did IC (brainspotting) which helped me shift enough trauma out of my brain so I could formulate my plan, and take back my power.

Key realizations for me:

1. Security: Love and happiness cannot exist in the absence of security. WH and I are building security and trust now, and hoping love and happiness can follow in due time. Hierarchy of needs.
2. Self-love: For my own health and sanity, I purposely step away from this betrayal quicksand every single day into activities where I experience joy to the degree that I do not think of WH for a good chunk of time. The betrayals cannot be allowed to consume your soul. Slow down and tune in to your own voice.
3. Power: I stand tall in my power and maintain firm boundaries. WH forfeited his power when he broke our marriage. My requirements are crystal clear so he has no loopholes. And, no manipulation or defensiveness is allowed. If he is about to say something defensive, he needs to stop himself. Full stop, because I will not tolerate being hurt anymore. I am not his helper: He must fix his own issues, and seek outside support to do so.

The third realization occurred after we listened to a podcast re: betrayal trauma with therapist and researcher Stan Tatkin, who says: "When you mess with trust, you’ve messed with everything. That has to be put back together piece by piece, not by saying, not by words — only showing. Only showing and demonstration can undo what was already demonstrated."

He says the betrayer’s role is to dig deep and learn why s/he has been operating as pro-self only, to determine what was lacking in his/her character and principles, and to replace immaturity and impulsiveness with being an interdependent, sensitive, fair, and secure partner. (A tall order, I know, but we BSes deserve no less.)

A fully empowered BS is the key. Everything hinges on the BS saying, "You do this or you’re gone."

Speaking of empowerment, you told your WW to not read your SI posts, and her response was to betray you. Yet again. This is an old destructive pattern for her: She justified her actions in order to break your clear boundary, then had the audacity to badger you with a close-minded complaint. Would you consider placing a much higher value on her betrayal of your request, and less value on her complaint? She seems ignorant of the impact of her betrayals on you. She is not trustworthy if she keeps breaking your trust…. As you already know, her only option is to consistently demonstrate changed behavior. If you haven’t already, please protect yourself by providing her with your absolutely clear boundaries. It sounds like you are the only mature adult in your household right now.

Thank you for this post. Your point on power and rebuilding trust really struck me.

I'd say her defensiveness is her most common crime and I'm calling it out immediately--sometimes she recognizes it and resets, but others she can't get out of her own spiral--she becomes too emotionally charged in the moment and loses all self-awareness.

As for rebuilding trust, you're spot on and I've made that exact point to her a dozen times. She has limited opportunities to prove she's trustworthy and she has done far more to break my trust further than things to proactively repair it. I don't quite know how to fix it--I'm not big on ultimatums and I feel like I'm passed that point now. She will either be better or not.

I think what would really help me most is if she was more proactive in sharing things with me that I don't know rather than only answering honestly when asked a question. I want her to volunteer reasons for me to trust 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: 972   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737208
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sundance ( member #72129) posted at 3:06 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

original poster: Gaining perspective on her thought process from people who can verbalize it better than her would be invaluable.

Her thought process is her own.

Knowing my thought process as a former wayward might not help you/your situation at all.

Again, give her the chance-- the grace and the space-- to figure this out and to properly verbalize it to you when she/herself is clear. Clarity takes time.

Resist the temptation to allow others to force-feed her/you the answers.

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

posts: 142   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2019
id 8737209
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 3:17 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

My wife claims she thought if I found out, I'd leave her immediately. But she also felt I didn't love her. And she also thought it was an impossibility that I discovered the affair.

You do realize she was reframing everything in your marriage during the affair right? That doesn't just undo itself immediately. I would suspect that the marriage worked for her very well Pre-A. Not perfect, but perfectly good anyway. Then her selfishness and desire for something new and exciting took her down the road to betraying her family. No one is the villain in there own story. The deeper the betrayal is the more rationale is needed. The first person a wayward lies to and betrays is themself. What I'm doing is wrong, so their must be a reason. Then they proceed to bend reality and history to fit the reasons or even to create them out of thin air. That explains the true love with someone she deep down knew was scum. That explains the unfair resentment. That explains the illogical thought that they would end up together. That explains why she thought you didn't love her. So you have a WW who is desperate to stay married and still hasn't unwound the reframing. Is it any wonder that she's confusing as hell to deal with.

posts: 1367   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8737210
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 3:20 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

Many WS are not remorseful or don’t get it because they categorize themselves as a good person who did a very specific bad thing, for a limited and specific amount of time.

Why should my entire life be judged based on one bad decision, one mistake? I’ve been a great spouse for X number of years and I only had an affair for two months, so why does my BS view the entire marriage as tarnished?

My feeling is that most WS’ can’t move past this narrative they’ve created for themselves, resulting in D, false R, or a marriage in tact but the BS is not healed snd white knuckling it through the rest of the M, for a myriad of reasons, a major one being young kids of course.

Doc, have you asked your WW how she views herself in light of the above?

She has told me she views herself as a thoroughly bad person throughout the marriage. Does she believe it? Probably.

I think more likely she's fighting the urge to assign blame on me as well. I wasn't perfect either, so why does she have to be the sole bad guy? She has lived her life feeling unjustly judged and treated, so I can't imagine that's not a common thought for her now--but she's doing her best to ward it off thus far.

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: 972   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737212
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 3:22 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

Her thought process is her own.

Knowing my thought process as a former wayward might not help you/your situation at all.

Again, give her the chance-- the grace and the space-- to figure this out and to properly verbalize it to you when she/herself is clear. Clarity takes time.

Resist the temptation to allow others to force-feed her/you the answers.

Very fair. 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: 972   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737213
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 3:24 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

You do realize she was reframing everything in your marriage during the affair right? That doesn't just undo itself immediately. I would suspect that the marriage worked for her very well Pre-A. Not perfect, but perfectly good anyway. Then her selfishness and desire for something new and exciting took her down the road to betraying her family. No one is the villain in there own story. The deeper the betrayal is the more rationale is needed. The first person a wayward lies to and betrays is themself. What I'm doing is wrong, so their must be a reason. Then they proceed to bend reality and history to fit the reasons or even to create them out of thin air. That explains the true love with someone she deep down knew was scum. That explains the unfair resentment. That explains the illogical thought that they would end up together. That explains why she thought you didn't love her. So you have a WW who is desperate to stay married and still hasn't unwound the reframing. Is it any wonder that she's confusing as hell to deal with.

That's what my IC was getting at yesterday. I don't know why it's taken me nine weeks to realize that's what is happening.

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: 972   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737214
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 3:34 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

By reading your posts, even after you asked her not to, she basically gets the answers to the test. She didn't even use that to her advantage. She picked out what she didn't like and was ballsy enough you whine about it. I just continue to be blown away by the absolute selfishness on display. Your probably sick of everyone pointing out watch her actions and not her words, and this is a perfect example. She says I want to communicate and be honest but given the opportunity, she didnt.

If you wanted to explain how she could potentially break your trust intentionally and prove that she doesn't get it, this is what she could do. It must be absolutely infuriating for you.

I know you're not hiding things from her and it may be fine that she reads your posts but she did it even after you asked her not to. She could have communicated that she wanted to and worked through it but, again, she took your power and just did what she wanted without a care in the world for what you asked for. One of the things youve been working on is communication and transparency and she couldnt even do that here, to ask if it would be ok to read your threads. She had an opportunity to practice what she said she would do and she didnt. And it was a pretty small thing. Clearly she wont do it for big things either. She didnt want you to have any power to tell her no because then she wouldnt get what she wanted. So she just decided for you, just like she did during the affair. Just, ugh.

[This message edited by clouds777 at 3:40 PM, Thursday, May 26th]

posts: 307   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8737215
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 3:39 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

I want to thank you all for the replies overnight--I replied to most of them and I greatly appreciate reading them.

I had a rough morning and I thought I'd give everyone an update. But it occurs to me, in most of my posts, I'm calm and rationale. I'm sure I strike most of you as put-together and reasoned--and I often am. But I've had a darker side since DDay as well--emotional beyond what I thought I was capable; crying; confused.

So instead of reporting on the events of my morning in a rational way, I thought instead I'd share with you all the email I sent to my wife a couple of hours ago. It's raw and unfiltered, but it'll give you a better window into the other side of me.

**

In Dreams

A candy-colored clown they call the sandman,
Tiptoes to my room every night;
Just to sprinkle stardust and to whisper,
Go to sleep, everything is alright.
I close my eyes then I drift away,
Into the magic night, I softly say:
A silent prayer like dreamers do,
Then I fall asleep to dream my dreams of you.
In dreams I walk with you,
In dreams I talk to you;
In dreams you're mine all of the time,
We're together in dreams, in dreams.
But just before the dawn,
I awake and find you gone;
I can't help it,
I can't help it,
If I cry,
I remember that you said goodbye.
It's too bad that all these things,
Can only happen in my dreams;
Only in dreams,
In beautiful dreams.

**

Roy Orbison wrote "In Dreams" in 1963 and it's been playing in my head all morning. It traveled for nearly 60 years to get there. I suspect it doesn't mean to me what it meant to him when he wrote it, but as I navigate my new world, everything seems to be redefined daily--even if just slightly.

A few days ago I told you about my dream of us on the raft in the south pacific--we were near the island when I dove off the raft and was swept away by a supernatural current. I shared it because it felt so metaphorically heavy-handed; but also because it was so unique. In the dream you were stoic, lifeless, staring at me without emotion throughout, even as you vanished from my view. You asked me if I have had similar dreams before. I lied and told you that I rarely dream.

In truth, I awake most days from a dream between 4 - 5 a.m. You're central to every dream--and interestingly, before the affair was revealed, I don't recall dreaming much, nor do I recall dreaming about you. Unlike the anomaly dream with you stoic in the south pacific, you're happy in all the others: usually laughing, but sometimes smiling, joyfully chatting or even orgasming. The time periods of the dreams change--sometimes it's during the affair and you're texting on your phone with a friend; sometimes you're laughing and kissing [AP], but then in others it's years ago and we're happily together. The situations change, but you're happy in all of them.

In the more current ones, you're often being deceitful too--like in last night's dream you were sending long texts to [a friend] about how much fun you were having in your affair behind my back. You were sending the text in front of me, smiling and laughing. I'm often stoic in these dreams; you're full of life. You looked at me and joyfully said: "I'm sorry, but this is just so much fun." I couldn't read the texts, I just saw the heart emojis at the end.

I woke up, tears already welling up in my eyes: it was 4:38 a.m. For the first time I can remember, my initial thought wasn't of your hotel stay on Feb. 24. Instead I thought about last night--it meant a lot to me: us cuddled for so long chest-to-chest--skin-on-skin. The comfort. You suggesting we try the new sex toy: it was fun, adventurous. It felt like our moment. Making love to you: I was present, not once thinking of you and [AP]. Afterward I fell asleep and my heart felt full.

I moved closer to you in our bed; you were still soundly sleeping. I wrapped my arm around you and our hands clasped tightly. Within a few minutes I felt the familiar urge to pull away. A repulsion for you creeps over me and I want you nowhere near me. I didn't move this time though, I stayed in the flames. The repulsion grew with my resolve and tears began to flow. I stayed embraced with you for about 50 minutes, crying nearly the entire time. I didn't even unclasp our hands to wipe away the tears.

I finally broke and pulled away, running to the bathroom to wash my face and collect myself. I remembered to breathe.

Back in bed, it was nearly 6 a.m.; I kept my distance from you and tried to rest my eyes, but the tears kept coming. I don't know why I was crying--truly, I couldn't figure out what was happening.

Your alarm went off at 6:30 a.m., blaring from your phone. You turned it off and rolled into me to cuddle. I lasted less than a minute before I became emotionally overwhelmed. And there it was--I knew I couldn't run from it much longer. Images of his phone alarm on the morning of Feb. 25 and you slinking close to him to greet him with a blow job. I thought of the word: "blaring" when your phone went off--that was the word you used to describe his phone alarm. I'm sure I've cried as hard before, but I can't recall ever crying harder.

I then thought of your last fuck with him to end the night on Feb. 24. When you were ready for bed, but his "hands began to roam" for a fourth session--you told me you begrudgingly went along with it even though you were dead tired--"I couldn't say no then obviously..." And then how afterwards, when he'd covered you with yet another orgasm, you jokingly told him to "Now stay away!" so you could get some sleep. I can see that so clearly--your laugh, your smile, your playfulness.

I spiraled to my inevitable breakdown and ran back to the bathroom to collect myself again. A shattered man looking back at me from the mirror.

Last night was one of the bad dreams. But perhaps tonight's dream will be better.

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: 972   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737217
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sundance ( member #72129) posted at 5:08 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

original poster: Last night was one of the bad dreams. But perhaps tonight's dream will be better.

Don't just hope it's better. Make it so.

IMO, the sooner you release yourself from victim-mode, the closer you'll be to healing yourself. But just don't take my word for it-- discuss it with a professional in IC or MC.

You have the power to free yourself.

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

posts: 142   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2019
id 8737234
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 6:08 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

So instead of reporting on the events of my morning in a rational way, I thought instead I'd share with you all the email I sent to my wife a couple of hours ago. It's raw and unfiltered, but it'll give you a better window into the other side of me.

Sadly, sounds very, very normal to me.

I had a few hundred similar nights over the first two years.

And, the fact you’re writing it down and communicating to your wife is also very healthy. Too many BS keep it bottled up, and that, in my estimation slows the recovery down.

Writing, venting, feeling all the feels are critical to healing.

I had a file of over 600 pages of songs, notes, rants, and key quotes from SI copied and pasted into that near endless document I referenced for four years. I think I finally deleted that last summer. But man, I needed it early and often, just for some semblance of sanity.

The flip side of me not understanding my wife’s choices is her not able to understand the depth of pain she created.

I got good at trying to show her the damage, and it nearly overwhelmed her efforts in R (in fear she could never do enough). Ultimately, venting it all out and asking 5 billion questions, showing how I felt really helped me figure out what I would need, and what would be enough to at least stay together.

Raw and unfiltered is good.

FWIW, great Roy Orbison tune, despite it’s ability to haunt a soul on a tough day.

[This message edited by Oldwounds at 6:09 PM, Thursday, May 26th]

Married 34+ years, together 40+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived
Restoration takes time.
"Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself." ― Epictetus

posts: 4408   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8737242
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 6:34 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

Don't just hope it's better. Make it so.

IMO, the sooner you release yourself from victim-mode, the closer you'll be to healing yourself. But just don't take my word for it-- discuss it with a professional in IC or MC.

You have the power to free yourself.

That's the thing about dreams, my friend; they're a subconscious reflection of one's waking moments, not a DVD one selects to enjoy before falling asleep. If I want to change my dreams, I'd need to change my reality--and unfortunately I don't have a clear path to do that right now.

I could force an R and rug-sweep all the glaring issues today, but I suspect that wouldn't change my dreams much. I could divorce and "free" myself, but I'm not there yet either. So here I rot, waiting to see the things that I need from her.

FWIW, I agree with you entirely, on general principle. But I've never been in a situation like this before. I'm not in "victim-mode," I'm a victim...who is still being assaulted daily.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 6:35 PM, Thursday, May 26th]

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: 972   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737247
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truthsetmefree ( member #7168) posted at 6:35 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

Oh, DrS…what you’ve described calls out to that part in my spirit that understands it all completely…like a wolf’s howl that I could only once hear but now, through experience, understand…like it is its own language.

Sometimes I wonder if this is not the singular most isolating aspect in reconciling a marriage shattered by infidelity. Not matter how remorseful a WS, there’s always this separate place - from the affair itself and all the things you just simply cannot know (on that deeper level and why we keep asking the same questions over and over again) to the shifting kaleidoscope of feelings and thoughts as you try to find your footing in your own internal but now unfamiliar landscape. It truly is a shattering experience. (And since you seem to connect to music, you might give "Shattered" by OAR a listen. It spoke so much to the conflict and contradiction of feelings I was experiencing.)

I did crazy things in the aftermath. I frequently curled into a fetal position in the bottom of my closet - the darker and tighter the space, the better. I drove long, winding, unknown roads late at night - with absolutely no idea where I was going or where I was. I frequently slipped to the other bedroom in the middle of the night - for no reason than it was just too painful to lay beside him. I filled volumes of journals….I came to literally view the ink itself as my tears, my vomit, my blood on paper. I started physically cutting. Thankfully that was short lived…but I also gained a new understanding for why others see that as a coping tool. I cannot tell you how many thunderstorms I stood out in. Sometimes screaming at the gods and taunting for that lightening strike. Other times, spread-eagle, flat on my back in the grass…just relieved to have so much stimulation that my pain couldn’t scream over. I know the wail - whether it is actually vocalized or not. I know the darkness.

You’re starting to recognize your "breathe" part (ie, slowing down)…but there’s another even more important intention to also work toward: **Lean in.** To ALL of it. ❤️

Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are. ~ Augustine of Hippo

posts: 8919   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2005
id 8737248
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 6:46 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

Oh, DrS…what you’ve described calls out to that part in my spirit that understands it all completely…like a wolf’s howl that I could only once hear but now, through experience, understand…like it is its own language.

Sometimes I wonder if this is not the singular most isolating aspect in reconciling a marriage shattered by infidelity. Not matter how remorseful a WS, there’s always this separate place - from the affair itself and all the things you just simply cannot know (on that deeper level and why we keep asking the same questions over and over again) to the shifting kaleidoscope of feelings and thoughts as you try to find your footing in your own internal but now unfamiliar landscape. It truly is a shattering experience. (And since you seem to connect to music, you might give "Shattered" by OAR a listen. It spoke so much to the conflict and contradiction of feelings I was experiencing.)

I did crazy things in the aftermath. I frequently curled into a fetal position in the bottom of my closet - the darker and tighter the space, the better. I drove long, winding, unknown roads late at night - with absolutely no idea where I was going or where I was. I frequently slipped to the other bedroom in the middle of the night - for no reason than it was just too painful to lay beside him. I filled volumes of journals….I came to literally view the ink itself as my tears, my vomit, my blood on paper. I started physically cutting. Thankfully that was short lived…but I also gained a new understanding for why others see that as a coping tool. I cannot tell you how many thunderstorms I stood out in. Sometimes screaming at the gods and taunting for that lightening strike. Other times, spread-eagle, flat on my back in the grass…just relieved to have so much stimulation that my pain couldn’t scream over. I know the wail - whether it is actually vocalized or not. I know the darkness.

You’re starting to recognize your "breathe" part (ie, slowing down)…but there’s another even more important intention to also work toward: **Lean in.** To ALL of it. ❤️

Well, that did it. I've read every word written in my 50+ pages, but your post finally got me. I played the song (hadn't heard it before) while I read your post. Crying like a baby as I write this.

Thank you. And I'm so sorry for the pain you went through.

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: 972   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737249
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truthsetmefree ( member #7168) posted at 7:06 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

((((DrS))))

I am deeply grateful for all that the pain taught me. It had an immense purpose beyond what I could have ever imagined. smile

Tears are good. They are the language of your heart.

[This message edited by truthsetmefree at 7:09 PM, Thursday, May 26th]

Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are. ~ Augustine of Hippo

posts: 8919   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2005
id 8737253
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PowerWithin ( new member #80349) posted at 7:18 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

sundance: You have the power to free yourself.

^^^This.

As a BS, I didn’t understand this concept for a long time. The only way I was able to embody it was by (a) doing IC and brainspotting (similar to EMDR) and (b) then pursuing this idea to its core, and applying it to myself from the inside out.

DrS, you might not fully understand how to move out of the victim role right now, which is absolutely understandable - Dday was barely two months ago, and you are still reeling from your wife’s past betrayals, and her continued daily failures. This not only feels victimizing, it is legitimately victimizing.

For me, part of freeing myself from that soul-sucking loop was learning to respond, instead of react. Responding for me means tuning into my thoughts, and then adding an action step: "I never wanted or deserved any of this nightmare… AND what can I DO about it now?" Give yourself the time, grace, and space to figure it out, and you’ll know when you are ready to shift up into your power. You’ll know because you start to feel the thrum of your own vitality again, wherever you feel it in your body - perhaps your chest, your arms, even in your brain. You’ll know when you start to feel like "you" again.

I had to stop forcing my husband through those tough conversations that kept resulting in neither of us getting what we needed, and both of us feeling less secure and more hopeless. We were both desperate to reestablish safety, but trying to force it through confrontation was futile for us. We would both feel attacked, confused, frustrated, and shocked at how selfish and cruel each other seemed, and we just kept repeating the same trauma cycle. We were both stuck in self-protective mode, which is natural and okay at first, but ends up inhibiting insight and growth.

I realized my WH’s lack of introspection and objectivity couldn’t be addressed by me because we would both just trigger each other. What finally worked was me backing off, and him agreeing that he needed to be in a safe space with professional support to do his own work. We are working effectively on our relationship together, but we can’t psychoanalyze each other’s individual journey.

"The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment." - Pema Chödrön

posts: 40   ·   registered: May. 25th, 2022   ·   location: Midwest
id 8737255
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:32 AM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

I thought I would build on to my earlier post (the letter to my wife about my morning). It left out how the morning ended, which has developed into some conflict. It’s going to be fairly sexually graphic as I don’t think there’s a way to discuss this in generalities.

My wife held me as I cried a bit this morning and she started kissing me. I was emotional, but began reciprocating. It became passionate and aggressive as we made out. She began to *initiate* as she saw I was aroused and smiled to me: "what do you want?"

I asked for a BJ and she didn’t hesitate. She was into it and it felt like we were on the same page. After about five minutes, I leaned up and pulled her pants down. She got them off and I pulled her on top of me. I noticed a slight grimace on her face for a split second and asked if she was ok—she said she was great, and she leaned in and we had sex cowgirl. A bit later I flipped her over to missionary until we both had orgasms.

We both were seemingly happy when it finished and we got up to get the kids ready for school.

This afternoon I decided to ask her about the grimace and it led to a conversation I wasn’t prepared for. She said everything was good, but she felt a bit "used" in that moment—she quickly pointed out that it is ok because it was for my healing and she ultimately had an orgasm and enjoyed it anyway.

I wasn’t upset initially, but I probed to see why she felt used. She told me I was a bit more aggressive than usual and she didn’t feel loved by me, just used for my gratification.

That upset me as I found it hard to relate to her viewpoint. She’s my wife; I love her—I was emotional in the moment and more aggressive than usual, but it felt natural and passionate to me.

On a deeper level though, it bothered me more because she spent all day yesterday telling me she was all in for my healing (she offered anal sex every day if that’s what I wanted—I don’t want that). A few hours later, slightly aggressive sex was upsetting her.

Further more, I asked her—out of curiosity—why she enjoyed being used by a man (AP) who didn’t love her, but felt being "used" by a man who did love her was hurtful (and again, in no way did I feel I was using her—it’s a hypothetical). She told me that was different because I’m her husband so I’m not supposed to want to use her or treat her like that.

The logic had me spinning.

She’s been moody since the conversation and told me she keeps thinking about it and how upset she was by it. She told me she thinks it’s an issue of her self-esteem (the prime topic of conversation with her IC)—that she can often feel used during sex if the tone is off for her.

I told her I loved her—something she can tangibly prove simply by my presence in this house with her right now—so the idea that I was using her solely for my gratification was a bit insulting. And it’s obviously made worse knowing POS AP was choking her, handcuffing her and treating her like a whore for three months.

At the same time, I don’t want to be insensitive to her issue. If we do R, I want her to trust me and feel safe with me—always. I feel like I’m in a bit of a bind here though because she cited my passive nature in bed over the last several years as a big turn off for her.

If I’m being truthful, it really just feels like she doesn’t like me—at least sexually. I feel constantly rejected by her and always have felt that way throughout our relationship. As I wrote about in my first thread, she’d often make a point to make sure I knew she didn’t enjoy sex with me after we finished—just little comments to twist the knife after a session. It was a major issue of contention for us as I’d always tell her how hurtful the comments were and she’d keep doing them.

I could be misreading the situation, but today gave me a flash back to our history. She initiated sex this time, asked me what I wanted, we had fun sex that she ultimately enjoyed, but she still took an opportunity to make me feel bad about it. At the same time, perhaps she is just being honest and I don’t want to fault her for 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: 972   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737308
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RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 6:59 AM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

I could be misreading the situation, but today gave me a flash back to our history. She initiated sex this time, asked me what I wanted, we had fun sex that she ultimately enjoyed, but she still took an opportunity to make me feel bad about it. At the same time, perhaps she is just being honest and I don’t want to fault her for that.


My guess is that it could well be a misreading of the situation. Like the topic of Tone of Voice (TOV) in your original thread. The grimace could have been a flashback of your WW to her A, where she did debase herself.

In her mind she could have debased herself for her AP because she 'chose' to. She was in control. In the instance you raised, she was not in control, as it was not 'her choice', but it was a fleeting thought of the past, but she then brought her mind to the 'present'.

In her A, your WW could 'control' her AP, almost like breaking in a wild stallion. The thrill of having control over something/someone that could hurt/destroy you. Power/Control. She had 'power' in her A, now she feels 'powerless' and is trying to deal with it.

You cannot cure stupid

posts: 1027   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2016   ·   location: South East Asia
id 8737333
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jujuchrist ( member #78594) posted at 8:52 AM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

She began to *initiate* as she saw I was aroused and smiled to me: "what do you want?"

If I’m being truthful, it really just feels like she doesn’t like me—at least sexually.

I may misread here, but there's a difference between :

- "she smiled and asked "what do you want?"". When she does that, she positions herself "at your service". At this moment, is she doing this because she really wants to, or for your healing only. Like "It's not what I really want but I will do it for your healing".

- that 24 feb night, you wrote that she REQUESTED handcuffs and anal sex. That was what she WANTED. She wanted this guy to do this with her.

Did she request anything from you sexually recently? Like : "I really want you to do X please"? That is desire.
Or does it look like "I'm doing things because I love you and want you to heal, and even if I do not want anal sex I will do it for your healing"? That's not desire.

You said that 24 feb was her best sex experience ever. Has she planned to have some kind of better sex with you? Something she would describe as "wow, THIS is my real best sex experience, much better than this 24 feb".

My point : you should not accept sex if you do not feel real desire from her. Even if you want sex, your sex will be much better if you're convinced she desires you. If you have to be the one who refuses as long as you don't feel true desire then it's OK, it means you can raise your standards.

Julien

posts: 68   ·   registered: Apr. 1st, 2021   ·   location: Marseille, France
id 8737337
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:26 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

The grimace could have been a flashback of your WW to her A, where she did debase herself.

The grimace came exactly after I pulled her by the hips on top of me. I asked her about the grimace and she told me it was because she felt I was being too aggressive with her and it felt like I was using her for sex.

As I’ve learned, she could be lying, but that seems like a strange lie.

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: 972   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737385
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Lalala12 ( new member #79196) posted at 12:28 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

DrS, I truly think you are kind of misreading the situation here, too many emotions at play. First, I don't think her telling you that she felt a little used was wrong and that it necessarily fits into her old passive-aggressive patterns. If I read correctly, she didn’t tell you on purpose but only when asked. This is certainly triggering for you, but I think she was honest and open and I see this as a positive sign.

That upset me as I found it hard to relate to her viewpoint. She’s my wife; I love her—I was emotional in the moment and more aggressive than usual, but it felt natural and passionate to me.

Further more, I asked her—out of curiosity—why she enjoyed being used by a man (AP) who didn’t love her, but felt being "used" by a man who did love her was hurtful (and again, in no way did I feel I was using her—it’s a hypothetical). She told me that was different because I’m her husband so I’m not supposed to want to use her or treat her like that.

As someone else said, I think she felt in control with the AP even if playing the submissive sex slave role or whatever that was. She was doing it for herself not for the AP. With you it’s different - it’s the power of the connection that is new and fulfilling during sex, not the role play. So my guess is that there was a sort of disconnection at some point that morning.

My guess is that it could well be a misreading of the situation. Like the topic of Tone of Voice (TOV) in your original thread. The grimace could have been a flashback of your WW to her A, where she did debase herself.

Agree - if she is looking back at sex with AP with regret and shame, it might have triggered bad emotions in her.

Again, I think her being honest with you is a good thing and I would focus on that more than the disappointment of not having been completely in synch on this one. Don’t be too hard on yourself (or on her, this time).

posts: 22   ·   registered: Jul. 29th, 2021
id 8737386
Topic is Sleeping.
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