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

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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 2:57 AM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

If I misinterpreted, I apologise.

Doc, the problem is that she feels obligated. No wife,whether BS, WW, or wife, should feel obligated to have sex with their husband. That she feels that way,IMO, tells me all you really need to know.

You can want this and that. And she may want to stay married to you. That doesn't change the seemingly obvious fact that she has no desire for you. The sex now may be great. But it's transactional. It serves her purpose. But, she feels obligated to do this or she will ne a single mom. And she's said she doesn't want that.

posts: 4386   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8740069
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Mamabear312 ( member #59811) posted at 3:02 AM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

"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."

^ I think this is what you should tackle if you're going to continue going to Marriage Counseling. So far, she has shown that she really cannot handle this level of multi tasking (for lack of a better word), which is why many of us keep saying separation might help. It doesn't seem like she'll be able to do this until she has her people-pleasing under control. And I think it's up to you if you can tolerate the whiplash for however long that takes.

"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."

^This confused me a bit. Doesn't every one who has a partner have a sex life determined by their partner being in the mood (or not)? Having or rejecting sex with a long-term partner isn't indicative of their love or liking for them, but on a million different factors (you alluded to some of these likely factors to your wife when you spoke of her commute and emotional/physical labor of raising young children). Your preference seems to be that she has passionate sex with you because she loves you, despite any outside factors impacting her sex drive/even if she does not want to. But then the sex becomes transactional again, which continues her unhealthy patterns, which you also don't want.

Maybe the question is-- can she say no to sex without you feeling like she's rejecting you in this new relationship you hope to build?

[This message edited by Mamabear312 at 3:02 AM, Tuesday, June 14th]

posts: 87   ·   registered: Jul. 24th, 2017
id 8740070
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Never2late ( member #79079) posted at 4:47 AM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

If love includes being treated like Doc in the bedroom for 15 years and not being loved gets you what AP got....I know I'd rather not be loved.

posts: 56   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8740079
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DictumVeritas ( member #74087) posted at 12:09 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

If love includes being treated like Doc in the bedroom for 15 years and not being loved gets you what AP got....I know I'd rather not be loved.

You and me both. But then again, if I were DrStrangeLove, the thread would have been about custody, dividing assets and burning her world to ashes.

It takes every character to make the world go round I suppose.

Your life is but a flicker to the cosmos and only the brightest flickers are recorded by history for good or bad. Most of us just want to live our lives without being interfered with.

posts: 257   ·   registered: Mar. 22nd, 2020   ·   location: South-Africa
id 8740089
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 1:47 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

In your JFO thread, I and others warned you about making sex the centerpiece of reconciliation. Hysterical bonding is unsustainable. It also gives the wayward the impression— which your wife clearly had— that having sex a couple times a day means everything is going great.

The problems that you had with sex— both pre and post affair— are merely symptomatic of the fact that you are married to a person who doesn’t respect you and needs to have the upper hand in every interaction she has with you. A woman who respects you would never say "Fine, but make it quick!" A woman who wants to be on an equal footing with her partner wouldn’t feign enthusiasm for sex but then engage in psychological warfare immediately afterward.

On a last note, have you noticed how in this case she has once again made herself the victim? Instead of asking herself "how can I make my husband feel valued and appreciated inside and outside the bedroom?" she’s focusing on how exasperated she is by your demands. She’s also making you do the effort of telling her how to act in these situations instead of trying to figure it out herself.

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 781   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8740101
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 2:05 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

So I'll give an update on last night and respond to a few posts.

My wife was behind on work due to the vacation, so I handled dinner and getting the kids to bed so she could work. I then went off to read and respond to some of the other posts on here while she worked. Around 8 p.m. or so she asked me if we could talk, so we sat together on the couch.

I could tell she was upset and likely had been crying, so I probed as to what was going on. She told me she was reflecting on her IC session earlier in the day--she told her IC about her ongoing unhappiness that began around the time of my tumor in early 2019, but then it got better after I recovered and then started again more severely after the pandemic began in 2020.

The IC suggested that it sounded as though she was describing depression and probed her feelings and if she had them before (my wife cited the aftermath of her car crash in 2013 as another time in her life when she felt similar).

I then saw my wife's anger start to grow--a gradual transition from sadness to rage. She pointed out that she had told me that she felt she might have been depressed for the last few years and I wasn't supportive of her and now her IC was telling her the same thing she thought.

I told her I could absolutely relate--and I feel the same now--as though happiness is an impossibility. I do support her and we can discuss it. I told her it's an issue from inside her, not external forces. Everyone went through the pandemic, but she got depressed--she needs to figure out the trigger points within herself.

So she then said that so much extra weight landed on her during the pandemic with the kids and house cleaning--it made her feel like she was in a prison. She felt trapped. That she asked for my help and I wouldn't give it to her. (We suspended our cleaning service when some people didn’t; I point out lots of people don’t have a cleaning service, etc.)

So I probed, not recalling any such conversation--she responded by saying she asked me a couple of times to help with the kids, putting them to bed, etc., and I did nothing. I told her I did not recall such a conversation, but I admitted she did handle the bulk of putting the kids to bed and getting them on Zoom calls.

I also pointed out that she was activity blaming me for her depression, which apparently resulted from my near death medical experience and a global pandemic. I further pointed out that I was in what appears to be a depression now and her support hasn't always been the best.

She then responded by telling me that she had been in a depression "longer than me."

At this point I started to panic a bit--it *felt* like I was talking to an insane person. The look in her eyes and the madness of the conversation was a lot to process. She so clearly needed to paint herself as a victim that she couldn't recognize the mental gymnastics she was tumbling through.

I stayed calm and asked if she felt the length of her depression made it more significant than what I was currently dealing with. She said of course not and apologized for her confusing point.

I told her I'm always there to listen to her and suggested she keep digging into it in IC (she is going to IC again this week).

The first two hours of the conversation were largely bizarre and I was so thrown through most of it I don't have a good recollection for the specifics and chronology, but I can note that my sex requirement took up most of the time.

She told me again that me asking for her to be more sexually available, initiate more, etc. made her feel like a whore. I told her that I felt awful she felt that way and was deeply hurt to know that being more sexual with me, her husband, made her feel so degraded. She said she didn't mean to make me feel that way, but I wasn't doing enough to understand how she felt.

Ultimately, I told her it's entirely her choice if she wants to be more sexual with me--it's my ask and for her to decide if she can do.

She pointed out again that our sex life has been great the last three months and she felt she was putting in the effort to make it so—pointing out that it wasn’t like she was just having constant orgasms and it was only about her, that I was enjoying it.

That's when the conversation really spiraled.

She became fixated on anal sex. She conflated my request for her sexual availability to me expecting anal sex from her all day long, every day. Again, I was taken aback, but it is a common debate technique (to take an opposing position and frame it in the most extreme light to be less favorable). We went around in circles on anal sex with her not understanding why I'd want to do something that puts her in pain and noting that I never experience pain sexually so I shouldn't ask her to.

At that point, it took every ounce of my strength not to stand up, ask for a separation and walk away. She kept apologizing while I stared off into a corner processing how to respond.

I ultimately just told her that having anal sex wasn't about me wanting her to be in pain; it was about her willingness to do a loving, generous act for my pleasure. I really don't care all that much about anal sex though, so I needed to move the topic and I did. I did (jokingly) offer to let her peg me if she thought it would help with the equity of it all, but she flippantly just told me I’m into kinky things and would probably like it.

I went through the same speech about her being sexually available, initiating more and showing desire for me are all things I need to feel safe and loved in this relationship. Without them, I'm left initiating and feeling like she isn't receptive to my sexual advances, leaving me feeling rejected even when we do have sex.

I *think* she understood that.

The only other topic of significance was alcohol. Last Monday our MC suggested she stop drinking alcohol entirely for now and when we discussed it later that day, my wife agreed she would. The MC felt anything to lower her inhibitions and limit her ability to be mindful in a conversation was a bad idea, so alcohol was an obvious mechanism she was using that could be bad for us.

That lasted one day--at dinner on Wednesday night she ordered a glass of wine and then ordered wine every night on the trip. No incidents arose, but my wife asked how I felt about it and I told her I was disappointed in her lack of intestinal fortitude--she had agreed to not drink and then broken that agreement in less than 48 hours. She got defensive, saying after a long day of dealing with the kids, alcohol calmed her--it was an important coping tool for her anxiety. I told her that's not what she should be drinking alcohol for. She then said she also enjoyed it--she had steak with dinner on Wednesday and wanted to enjoy a glass of wine with it.

Again, I told her I didn't really care about her lone glass of wine at dinner--it's on her--but if she cares about about alcohol more than our R, it says a lot. She didn't think they were connected. She felt like she needed something in her life and that I was treating her like a child and "taking away her coloring book and crayons and telling her to sit quietly." I reiterated that I was not taking away anything and she could do as she pleases.

I had about reached my limit by 10 p.m. though and I said we need to take everyone's advice and talk less--I need to give you space to do your own digging because these conversations are not helping us R at all. I suggested she spend more time alone so she can read and do some introspection.

I stood up and told her I was gonna go to bed, but she grabbed me and asked me to sit again. She began to apologize profusely and recognized that the last two hours were awful. She didn't understand why she was saying most of what she said. Her attitude changed rather suddenly--things were lighter.

We talked for another 90 minutes--discussing some posts on SI and how she felt she could handle all my requirements. She wanted to be all in.

It was a good conversation, so I don't mean to write less about it than the bad part because they were equally bad/good, but nothing specific from it really bears sharing. We ended the talk in a long hug and I felt close to her.

Then we went upstairs and got into bed. She was happy and bouncy--normally she's diving for the light to go to bed, but this time time she sat up in bed and began to chat more. We discussed a birthday party upcoming for one of the kids and other everyday housekeeping items.

She then pivoted to this Thursday--I had suggested we not bring our son to his graduation picnic because it was being organized by AP (his last act as part of the PTA) and my wife thought it was a good idea and we could bring our son to the toy store instead (he's only "graduating" from 1st grade, so it's not too big of a deal). She noted again how awful she felt about it being her fault we couldn't attend on Thursday and she thought she might want to let him get two toys.

I asked if we could not talk about it again, especially right before bed, as it was a trigger for me. She apologized and said of course, and then pivoted back to her IC session.

She said her IC talked more about her impulsive behavior, noting that she said the IC also thought her having unprotected sex with AP was impulsive. Again, I reiterated that I didn't want to talk about her unprotected sex with AP right before bed. We came up in a positive mood and I didn't want to deal with the triggers. She apologized saying she just wanted to share more about her IC session.

We then turned out the light. And at that point, I could have happily gone to bed, but it also seemed bizarre to me that she wasn't going to attempt to initiate sex with me. Even if I said no, it seemed like she'd have to be completely insane after the last 4~ hours to not *try*.

So I asked why she wasn't and she apologized and said we should fool around.

Things went very badly.

Her breasts were no longer sore, so we began fooling around as usual--making out, me caressing her, her giving me a HJ. She very much seemed not into it. My attempts to get her wet were unproductive, so I went to give her oral, but she stopped me and said she didn't want that. I asked what she wanted and she responded: "Whatever you want."

So at that point I was a bit lost--it seemed clear she didn't want sex and I didn't want to ask her for a BJ or force sex with lube, so I felt kind of trapped. I ended up just letting her finish me with a HJ.

I finished and she got really pissed off and angry. I'd say at this point I was bordering on a panic attack. I felt entirely lost and really had no idea what was going on in her head. I gently asked her to tell me what happened.

She replied: "You don't see what just happened?? Like, why didn't we have sex? You just cared about you getting off."

I heard the words coming out of her mouth, but I felt like I had departed Earth. I told her that I thought she didn't want to have sex and explained what had just occurred as it was a very obvious conclusion to draw. She argued for a couple of minutes before caving, saying she should have communicated better.

She began to apologize more and more, realizing how I interpreted everything and recognizing it was on her, but at this point I felt entirely broken.

I began to lightly cry--but it was a weird, brief cry. For really the first time I can remember I felt entirely inadequate--it was a purely emotional response. Everything about the experience felt like it was her actively trying to make me feel awful and I couldn't see it from her perspective. How we could have the talk we did, the sexual activity we did, and then how she could react the way she did.

I collected myself quickly, recognizing that the entire night was insane and ultimately, as many of you have reminded me, every incident doesn't have to be that big of a deal--it's just one night.

She felt really awful having realized what she did and I did my best to de-escalate the situation and we cuddled into each other.

It felt like the right opportunity to fool around again (FYI: I recognize that all of my instincts are shit).

She was very receptive to that--I think we both felt it was a chance to correct the mess that just happened and end the night on a positive note. I began to use my fingers and she suggested we use her toy (we both enjoy when she does that). She got close to an orgasm, but wanted to have sex, so we did. She came.

I kept going, but quickly I recognized that she was very much no longer into it--so again, I'm in an awkward spot. I'm having sex with her and she's lying there very distant. All I wanted to do was get off quickly to get out of the growing disaster--but the fact that I had cum already combined with the feelings of the affair (her having kinky sex for hours with AP and her barely being able to feign enjoyment with me now) was a bit overwhelming.

Ultimately, it ended poorly and I felt like a POS again.

I know this post is incredibly long, so I'll leave it there. And I know the responses coming to this one, but I'll post it anyway.

I don't want to separate right now, but I also recognize that things are really fucked up. My plan is to give her more alone space and keep pushing for her to do more IC sessions. I'm certain nothing she did last night was intended to be malicious. She is just *incapable* of empathy. If I felt for a second it was intentional cruelty, I'd file for D today--but I see us both as broken people. Her far more so than me, but in my current state, I can't do much to help her.

I do plan on addressing how awful she made me feel and how that's unacceptable. Ultimately, I recognize that it's difficult for sex to be light and fun after these long conversations, but I need her to do more to stop making me feel so horrible.

Currently, you’re having more sex then 99 percent of the population.

That gives me little comfort, but I understand your point.

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.

That's correct--but she really *shouldn't* feel that way. I need her to recognize that I'm her husband, not a ONS looking for quick fun.

Doc, the problem is that she feels obligated. No wife, whether BS, WW, or wife, should feel obligated to have sex with their husband. That she feels that way,IMO, tells me all you really need to know.

That's how I feel, but the hope is through IC she can mend her broken view of sex. Maybe not though--in which case our relationship certainly can't work.

If love includes being treated like Doc in the bedroom for 15 years and not being loved gets you what AP got....I know I'd rather not be loved.

Agreed. I'm unreceptive to the idea that I need to keep being treated this poorly so she has space to "heal."

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 3:36 PM, Tuesday, June 14th]

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 8740102
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3peatkid ( new member #79235) posted at 3:14 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

Hey doc. I've been following your story for a while man. I'm not super experienced in life and struggling in my own relationship right now, so maybe this should be taken with a grain of salt. But I after reading your most recent update, my heart aches so bad for you I had to comment. 15 years of sexual humiliation and manipulation is just way too much damage to reverse in a few months. particularly when that 15 years is capped by a brutal affair where AP got *seemingly* everything. The horrible back and forth about between you guys regarding anal sex and her constant instance that the last three months have been great shows a underlying shallowness to her ability to to empathize. Like sure maybe it's been great compared to the previous DECADE AND A HALF where she choose shit sex and you shrank/molded your desire to fit that. But damn, that's a pretty low bar to clear. Certainly doesn't reach the heights of the damage that must've been done to your ego or sense of self by the bad mouthing + affair sex. But gently brother, I don't know if continuing to fuck her is the right idea. Her relationship with the subject is so warped, and I don't know if sex with her (at least right now) is going to be the kind of authentic desire you want. It may be some time man.

You're pegging (at least some) of your sense of self to having sex with someone who has shown her ability to express desire is faulty. Weather its you or AP, sex has ulterior motives for her. Yeah compared to him you got the raw end of the deal, and its natural to want to correct that imbalance with the woman you married immediately, I get that. But maybe you should think about this: who do I want to have sex with? Someone with a childish and withholding view of intimacy who mires you and herself in anxiety around sex? Or someone who is liberated and fun to be with, who looks forward to sex like you do and isn't going to leave you with regular feelings of inadequacy? Maybe that latter person can be your wife, but that's going to take time. Hell even if its someone else that's going to take time too, you don't seem like the type to divorce on Sunday and be chasing a new chick by Monday. In that time, I really think you should work on building yourself up to be the best doc you can be. You're already a smart guy with strong ethics so it seems you've got a headstart in that department. Put as much energy into you as possible. You talk so much about Mrs. Doc I can't help but wonder if your own fulfillment as an individual is lacking and maybe has been before the affair. Idk if I would go so far as to say a 180 is needed but you really need to be investing more of that concern about whatever's going on in her head into figuring our how you can better your own life. That includes your sexual relationship with yourself, as opposed to the person who has thoroughly smashed that corner of your mind. I know that porn has been unwatchable due to mind movies, but there's definitely other porn adjacent stuff you can try out. Regardless I hope this post hasn't come off as presumptuous in any way and maybe something I said can be useful. I'm truly rooting for ya man.

posts: 2   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2021
id 8740115
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 3:24 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

In your JFO thread, I and others warned you about making sex the centerpiece of reconciliation. Hysterical bonding is unsustainable. It also gives the wayward the impression— which your wife clearly had— that having sex a couple times a day means everything is going great.

The problems that you had with sex— both pre and post affair— are merely symptomatic of the fact that you are married to a person who doesn’t respect you and needs to have the upper hand in every interaction she has with you. A woman who respects you would never say "Fine, but make it quick!" A woman who wants to be on an equal footing with her partner wouldn’t feign enthusiasm for sex but then engage in psychological warfare immediately afterward.

On a last note, have you noticed how in this case she has once again made herself the victim? Instead of asking herself "how can I make my husband feel valued and appreciated inside and outside the bedroom?" she’s focusing on how exasperated she is by your demands. She’s also making you do the effort of telling her how to act in these situations instead of trying to figure it out herself.

You're right across the board.

The question of respect is a bizarre one though as she feels like *I* don't respect and value her (some of her early justifications for the affair).

The only admission of lack of respect for me from her revolved around her feelings about our sex life--she clearly saw me as this pathetic loser willing to jut give her oral sex all the time. Honestly, from my perspective, none of what she's saying makes sense because I really never know what she's thinking and she never communicates.

However, my recollection is much of her negativity and disrespect for me in the bedroom came before our sex life entirely devolved in recent years. It's hard to plot the exact timeline though and I know current events are painting everything darker.

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 8740118
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 3:52 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

3peatkid, thanks for posting. This grabbed my attention:

You talk so much about Mrs. Doc I can't help but wonder if your own fulfillment as an individual is lacking and maybe has been before the affair.

Looking back to before the affair, I can see the issues my wife talks about were there. There was an emotional divide between us. My instinct about my fulfillment as an individual is exactly opposite of what you're suggesting though--I feel like so much of my life experience had nothing to do with her.

We were physically near each other all the time, but we were never really engaging with each other. I found fulfillment so many places other than with her (family, friends, work, kids, etc.). The balance issue was seemingly that we were too unconnected.

**

My wife recognizes that she began last night on a negative, victimized spiral and it took her those first two hours to get out of it, but she was then in a bad/vulnerable frame of mind setting us up for failure the rest of the night. She also feels like we're often talking passed each other--she recognizes that she very rarely understands what I'm telling her and that she feels like I'm not listening to her.

It's all the more reason for us to communicate less--we're just not doing it effectively.

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 8740123
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 4:07 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

Agreed. I'm unreceptive to the idea that I need to keep being treated this poorly so she has space to "heal."

Since I have been a bit of an advocate for you BOTH to find some Space to heal and get more stabilized I would like to address this.

The detachment I recommended was mostly for your benefit. Your wife just spent however long escaping her life and her feelings with this affair. We shut our emotions off until we are numb by justifying our actions over and over until we believe our own bullshit. She is still under the brainwashing she did in order to deal with her cognitive dissonance.

Your wife is not a safe partner for you right now. That is why I say give her space to "heal" it’s really she has a lot of shit she needs to work through that this anxious attachment energy is going to overwhelm you and hurt you more because she doesn’t get it yet. It’s still "poor me" because she has all these big feelings and no soft place with you to land. But those are the consequences of her actions.

She is going to keep dragging you down because she is still focused on herself more than you. You have to focus on yourself more because at this point you are both still focusing on her more and she is a mess.

I have been that mess. I didn’t know how to stop. My people pleasing led to huge resentments. I had lost all empathy for my husband prior to my affair and then in the affair made it worse by using those resentments to fuel my entitlement. Pure cognitive dissonance.

So when I started to wake up to the fact that I just destroyed my marriage and was going to have all these rigors to deal with I would have mental breaks like the one you described your wife as having.

You can’t really be there for her for these things. The detachment is to help you say "this is unproductive, making things worse, I need to get out of here for my own sanity" and call it off. This does two things - preserves your sanity and makes it clear to her there will be no reward (attention) for this behavior.

Your wife can’t self sooth, she is missing many coping mechanisms. When she is overwhelmed, she is demanding attention like a child. Her other go to is escapism- the affair, the compulsive purchases. She didn’t get what she was seeking so she didn’t even bother to try to assure you in what you were seeking.

I do not know how to make you see the sex thing is the least of your problems, but your focus on it is making it worse for both of you. It is not prof of love and it is demeaning to feel like you have to have it in demand no matter how you feel at the time the request is being made.

I understand that’s where you feel your wound is. But logically you know she uses sex as a tool. She is too wrapped up in her big feelings and at the root of that is shame.

Until she manages the overwhelming shame she doesn’t have the specs for you that you need. And right now you are looking at every thing for proof of something (soooo understandable) and that is creating a pressure cooker that is not going to allow her to get calm enough to start sorting through her bullshit. And certainly that is going to keep creating pain and heartache for you.

So if you think the space is for her, it’s not. It’s for you. She isn’t in a place you can work on your relationship and that is going to keep ripping you to shreds. She can’t even begin to look at what she’s done to you because she is so lost in her shame and guilt that she can’t bear it. Shame and guilt are very natural for a ws but they have to put that away and realize as much as they hurt your pain is so much worse.

These big overwhelming feelings you both have is exactly why you can’t really work on your relationship right now. You have to work on yourselves. You need to put down this narrative that you are supposed to allow yourself to be mistreated while she heals.

What I said and others actually said is that you have to PROTECT yourself because she has no idea how to get her shit together right now. The other stuff I said about how she was feeling was to provide insight on her lack of stability right now.

Consider making "more sex" the requirement. She is meeting this requirement by both of your accounts. The "on demand" aspect is enforcing her feelings of lack of worth and her refusal to provide it is creating these moments for you that are like another betrayal. It’s unsustainable.

Detach, have sex when it’s authentic and build on that. Creating a great sex life is creating an authentic sex life. Feeling like you might lose your marriage everytime you don’t want to put out is not a great position. It makes it feel like that’s all she is worth. And for you it’s even worse - more rejection on top of the heaps of rejection and abandonment you are already facing. Of course you want retribution, proof, love, desire. But what you are seeking will only start to happen when both of you are a bit healthier. She seems very good with the more sex requirement - and if that can become a positive thing for both of you then I imagine that to be a better way to get the passion you do deserve to have in your marriage.

Best of luck - I know it’s hard because your lizard brain wants to protect yourself from further hurt but some of the narratives you are creating for yourself is truly not in YOUR best interest.

[This message edited by hikingout at 4:21 PM, Tuesday, June 14th]

5 years of hard work
Reconciled
WS & BS

posts: 6083   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8740125
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 4:11 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

My wife recognizes that she began last night on a negative, victimized spiral and it took her those first two hours to get out of it, but she was then in a bad/vulnerable frame of mind setting us up for failure the rest of the night. She also feels like we're often talking passed each other--she recognizes that she very rarely understands what I'm telling her and that she feels like I'm not listening to her.

It's all the more reason for us to communicate less--we're just not doing it effectively.

Yes! This is a good thing for her to recognize. And I wish I had seen this before I went into that last post. This is part of figuring it out. You don’t maybe see it as positive, but sometimes you have to fail and start again more intelligently.

5 years of hard work
Reconciled
WS & BS

posts: 6083   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8740126
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 4:11 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

Doc. I’m not sure why you think after four hours of talk it was insane for your WW not to initiate sex.

I don’t want to diminish or discount any of your pain snd feelings regarding your WW and sex, but I really think you seriously need to work on your sexual issues in IC.

posts: 442   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8740127
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PowerWithin ( new member #80349) posted at 4:13 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

You can’t fix her, Doc. I know you want to…. I know the heartbreak and desperation and fear and loss. It’s difficult (maybe not possible?) to change your mindset just three months after Dday…. your brain is literally overwhelmed, and it’s hard to pull yourself away from wanting to fix this nightmare reality. It can be almost an obsession to think that if you just say this or do that, maybe she will get it…. this time….

I spent a long time thinking that if I could present my ideas in a certain way, my husband would understand and change. That was a dead end every single time. I was desperate for change because life felt so out of control. Control….. I was trying to control him, and it was futile. Every time I explained, complained, presented what seemed logical to me, tried to make a point, reasoned, lectured, repeated myself, etc., it all failed. I was reacting, instead of acting. I can’t change him. I can set and maintain boundaries, collaborate if I choose to, make requests, stay true to myself, keep myself safe, make choices that represent my values… I can focus on my life and the way I want to live.

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 8740129
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 4:22 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

She continues to weaponize sex. She continues to make herself the victim.

You really need to stop having sex with her. Until she gets her shit sorted out,you will have more horrible, traumatizing sexual experiences with her. It is damaging your possibility of reconciliation.

She is abusing emotionally abusive. She is horrible, and cruel, and when you go silent she lays on the apology. It's bullshit. Emotional abuse is just as bad as physical abuse. Imagine if you spent 2 hours beating her up,and when she started to cry and want to leave, you said you were sorry, you didn't know why you did it,and you will work on not doing it again. What she is doing is just as damaging.

I've been thinking all along that a separation wasn't a good idea. Your update has made me change my mind.

Separating,amd making her stand on her own two feet, might be what she needs to grow up.

posts: 4386   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8740133
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 4:56 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

Since I have been a bit of an advocate for you BOTH to find some Space to heal and get more stabilized I would like to address this.

The detachment I recommended was mostly for your benefit. Your wife just spent however long escaping her life and her feelings with this affair. We shut our emotions off until we are numb by justifying our actions over and over until we believe our own bullshit. She is still under the brainwashing she did in order to deal with her cognitive dissonance.

Your wife is not a safe partner for you right now. That is why I say give her space to "heal" it’s really she has a lot of shit she needs to work through that this anxious attachment energy is going to overwhelm you and hurt you more because she doesn’t get it yet. It’s still "poor me" because she has all these big feelings and no soft place with you to land. But those are the consequences of her actions.

She is going to keep dragging you down because she is still focused on herself more than you. You have to focus on yourself more because at this point you are both still focusing on her more and she is a mess.

I have been that mess. I didn’t know how to stop. My people pleasing led to huge resentments. I had lost all empathy for my husband prior to my affair and then in the affair made it worse by using those resentments to fuel my entitlement. Pure cognitive dissonance.

So when I started to wake up to the fact that I just destroyed my marriage and was going to have all these rigors to deal with I would have mental breaks like the one you described your wife as having.

You can’t really be there for her for these things. The detachment is to help you say "this is unproductive, making things worse, I need to get out of here for my own sanity" and call it off. This does two things - preserves your sanity and makes it clear to her there will be no reward (attention) for this behavior.

Your wife can’t self sooth, she is missing many coping mechanisms. When she is overwhelmed, she is demanding attention like a child. Her other go to is escapism- the affair, the compulsive purchases. She didn’t get what she was seeking so she didn’t even bother to try to assure you in what you were seeking.

I do not know how to make you see the sex thing is the least of your problems, but your focus on it is making it worse for both of you. It is not prof of love and it is demeaning to feel like you have to have it in demand no matter how you feel at the time the request is being made.

I understand that’s where you feel your wound is. But logically you know she uses sex as a tool. She is too wrapped up in her big feelings and at the root of that is shame.

Until she manages the overwhelming shame she doesn’t have the specs for you that you need. And right now you are looking at every thing for proof of something (soooo understandable) and that is creating a pressure cooker that is not going to allow her to get calm enough to start sorting through her bullshit. And certainly that is going to keep creating pain and heartache for you.

So if you think the space is for her, it’s not. It’s for you. She isn’t in a place you can work on your relationship and that is going to keep ripping you to shreds. She can’t even begin to look at what she’s done to you because she is so lost in her shame and guilt that she can’t bear it. Shame and guilt are very natural for a ws but they have to put that away and realize as much as they hurt your pain is so much worse.

These big overwhelming feelings you both have is exactly why you can’t really work on your relationship right now. You have to work on yourselves. You need to put down this narrative that you are supposed to allow yourself to be mistreated while she heals.

What I said and others actually said is that you have to PROTECT yourself because she has no idea how to get her shit together right now. The other stuff I said about how she was feeling was to provide insight on her lack of stability right now.

Consider making "more sex" the requirement. She is meeting this requirement by both of your accounts. The "on demand" aspect is enforcing her feelings of lack of worth and her refusal to provide it is creating these moments for you that are like another betrayal. It’s unsustainable.

Detach, have sex when it’s authentic and build on that. Creating a great sex life is creating an authentic sex life. Feeling like you might lose your marriage everytime you don’t want to put out is not a great position. It makes it feel like that’s all she is worth. And for you it’s even worse - more rejection on top of the heaps of rejection and abandonment you are already facing. Of course you want retribution, proof, love, desire. But what you are seeking will only start to happen when both of you are a bit healthier. She seems very good with the more sex requirement - and if that can become a positive thing for both of you then I imagine that to be a better way to get the passion you do deserve to have in your marriage.

Best of luck - I know it’s hard because your lizard brain wants to protect yourself from further hurt but some of the narratives you are creating for yourself is truly not in YOUR best interest.

You're right (and I'm getting used to that after your last few posts). I think last night things somewhat clicked for me--her issues/damage are really more severe than I'm acknowledging. Looking back at last night I recognize how insane it was--she's deeply unwell right now and I can't do anything about it.

And I arrived at the same conclusion on sex--fairness to me really has no place in the equation right now because there is no relationship to build if she can't wake up. I keep thinking every day she's going to snap out of it and stop saying crazy things, but then shit just gets crazier and I'm left speechless. And I know *everyone* has been pointing that out to me, but I've just been unable to accept it.

I'm going to back off.

**

Yes! This is a good thing for her to recognize. And I wish I had seen this before I went into that last post. This is part of figuring it out. You don’t maybe see it as positive, but sometimes you have to fail and start again more intelligently.

I agree. I was happy to hear her acknowledge that as well.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 5:08 PM, Tuesday, June 14th]

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 8740140
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 4:59 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

Doc. I’m not sure why you think after four hours of talk it was insane for your WW not to initiate sex.

Because the 90 minutes preceding us going upstairs were very positive. She was talking about being all in and eager to prove she could do all the requirements. Things were light and flirty from 10 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.

My logic at the time was it would be insane for her to talk about how she wants to eagerly do all the requirements and then not eagerly do the requirement we had been discussing in that moment. What I *clearly* missed was that she was simply wearing a mask to get through that second half of the conversation once she recognized that her real self was scaring the shit out of me.

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 8740141
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 5:01 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

You can’t fix her, Doc. I know you want to…. I know the heartbreak and desperation and fear and loss. It’s difficult (maybe not possible?) to change your mindset just three months after Dday…. your brain is literally overwhelmed, and it’s hard to pull yourself away from wanting to fix this nightmare reality. It can be almost an obsession to think that if you just say this or do that, maybe she will get it…. this time….

I spent a long time thinking that if I could present my ideas in a certain way, my husband would understand and change. That was a dead end every single time. I was desperate for change because life felt so out of control. Control….. I was trying to control him, and it was futile. Every time I explained, complained, presented what seemed logical to me, tried to make a point, reasoned, lectured, repeated myself, etc., it all failed. I was reacting, instead of acting. I can’t change him. I can set and maintain boundaries, collaborate if I choose to, make requests, stay true to myself, keep myself safe, make choices that represent my values… I can focus on my life and the way I want to live.

It feels as though I'm echoing your experiences, so it's good to see I'm not alone walking this path. I realize you're right and her issues are bigger than I can fix--all I'm doing is trying to force her to behave differently.

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 8740142
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 5:04 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

She continues to weaponize sex. She continues to make herself the victim.

You really need to stop having sex with her. Until she gets her shit sorted out,you will have more horrible, traumatizing sexual experiences with her. It is damaging your possibility of reconciliation.

She is abusing emotionally abusive. She is horrible, and cruel, and when you go silent she lays on the apology. It's bullshit. Emotional abuse is just as bad as physical abuse. Imagine if you spent 2 hours beating her up,and when she started to cry and want to leave, you said you were sorry, you didn't know why you did it,and you will work on not doing it again. What she is doing is just as damaging.

I've been thinking all along that a separation wasn't a good idea. Your update has made me change my mind.

Separating,amd making her stand on her own two feet, might be what she needs to grow up.

You're right regarding the emotional abuse.

As for separation, I feel like the weight is on me now. I *have* to back off. Way off. I've said that before and I've failed at doing it--I keep getting sucked into stuff. I need to really do it now and I'm not entirely certain I can. If I can't, a temporary separation may be required at least until we can get through these early days.

It's on me to see if I can let her figure herself out without being there to catch her.

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

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8740143
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faithfulman ( member #66002) posted at 5:10 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

All I wanted to do was get off quickly to get out of the growing disaster--but the fact that I had cum already combined with the feelings of the affair (her having kinky sex for hours with AP and her barely being able to feign enjoyment with me now) was a bit overwhelming.

Now imagine that going forward for a looooong time, if not forever.

Imagine how this behavior of hers generalized to the rest of your life - even if you weren't aware of it.

***

She begged the AP for anal sex. For you she is making that her sexual line in the sand. That is her body and her right. You decide what that really means.

Your right is to decide whether any of this behavior is acceptable.

By the way, you are allowed, despite what some may express to you, to require whatever you want, emotionally, sexually, or otherwise in your relationships. This was always true, not just after an affair.

[This message edited by faithfulman at 5:10 PM, Tuesday, June 14th]

posts: 924   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2018
id 8740145
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PowerWithin ( new member #80349) posted at 5:38 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

I *have* to back off. Way off. I've said that before and I've failed at doing it--I keep getting sucked into stuff. I need to really do it now and I'm not entirely certain I can.

It’s not failing - I think it’s learning how to respond in this new reality. You have counted on her in many ways for many years. It becomes automatic, and it feels unnatural to do otherwise. At first, I felt like I was abandoning my husband/my marriage, but really, he had abandoned me and our old marriage, and I was abandoning myself by reacting to his choices instead of acting on my choices.

You can’t save her, as much as you wish you could. I get it…. I know how utterly sad that is. You can save you.

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 8740152
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