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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 1:01 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

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".

In the moment, I felt like it was both. It was certainly the latter though--she wants to be committed to doing anything for me to help me heal.

- 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.

The way she explains it now, she did want to use handcuffs--restraints/control is a turn on for her in both directions. She started the night by tying a blindfold around his eyes and giving him a BJ. The next sex session included him handcuffing her.

During that session, she requested he put it in her ass. She claims she didn't "want" anal sex (and maintains she doesn't enjoy it), but she requested it to keep him interested in her. She has discussed it at length, saying he had a small penis, so she felt it wouldn't hurt too bad (I think she thinks this makes me feel better--it does not), and that she felt she needed to push boundaries with him or he'd stop seeing her. She thinks its a reflection of her horrible self-esteem.

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.

Yes, she has been pushing boundaries with me post-affair. We've had anal sex twice; she used a toy on herself for the first time the other night; we've fooled around in every room of the house, including under a blanket on the couch while kids played, etc. It feels like a combination of things--some of that (risky sex under the blanket) is stuff she's into; other stuff (anal) are things she thinks I want to do.

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".

When the dam broke and the truth poured out on March 18, she described Feb. 24 as the best sexual experience of her life. Largely she claims it was for the taboo of it--it was secretive, boundary pushing, hotel sex, where she could be totally free with no responsibilities. Since that point, we've had several very fun sex sessions--something we have not really ever done in our marriage--I'd have to go back to college to recall a time we've had sex this freely and fun. And in addition, we also have a significantly deep emotional connection right now that we've never had before. She has greatly enjoyed much of these last two months--combined with the fact that she no longer associates the affair sex as a positive experience.

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.

I find it exceedingly difficult to identify what is what.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 1:12 PM, Friday, May 27th]

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 8737388
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 1:10 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.

Agreed--the reality is I'm happy she is being truthful, but I'm hurt by the truth. There's also the possibility that she made a bigger deal out of this than necessary--that's in the back of my mind--as she finds ways daily to turn the focus back on her and make herself the victim. I have no idea if that's what is happening here, but it's all I see now (to me it's similar to her being hurt by the mean things she read on this forum).

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.

There's some truth to that. The first time they had sex on Jan. 4, AP put his hand around her throat and lightly choked her--she hated that and asked him to stop. In most of the other submissive moments with him, she was the one in control of it (topping from the bottom). When I grabbed her by the hips yesterday, it gave her a bit of a shock potentially. Though objectively, it really wasn't THAT aggressive--it was firm, and certainly I was in control, but it really feels she's making it out to be more.

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).

Ultimately, I think this is where I have to be. Take the good and throw out the bad. The surrounding context makes it difficult because she's selfishly manipulative so often that it's hard for me to feel like I'm reacting appropriately all the time. I want to be sensitive to her feelings while also calling out her bull shit.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 1:13 PM, Friday, May 27th]

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 8737389
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 2:07 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

that she made a bigger deal out of this than necessary--that's in the back of my mind--as she finds ways daily to turn the focus back on her and make herself the victim.

I think she is used to playing the victim and turning all the attention back on her, much like a 5 year old hanging out with older siblings and they want some attention. She has to find something, anything, where she can get the focus back on her and her needs. It is SOOOOOO immature and matches with everything you have shared. She should be working on this. It is not attractive and it is not how a healthy grown person behaves.

Also, don't be so hard on yourself. You do not owe her any grace or patience or bonus points for doing something right or better. She should be acting that way all the time with no promise of reward so it is not on you to recognize "oh well today she didn't act like a total asshole in this situation so I better show her my appreciation."

posts: 307   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8737430
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 2:09 PM 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.

Simplest answer is she views sex inside of marriage as different. It's easier to be sexually free with someone you don't really care how they end up viewing you. To really let go and experiment. It's not an uncommon disfunction in either men (madonna-whore complex) or women. I think some women have their own spin on madonna-whore where they fear showing their wild sexual side to thier spouse as that's not what a wife and mother should be. I also think other women struggle with wanting to be supported and equal and wanting to be dominated. Healthy people figure out how to fulfill both needs and roles with their spouse. Unhealthy people separate the love and sex and sometimes seek them from different sources. It seems that your wife is getting the sex back in the marriage, but she still casts it as different than what she expected from AP. More things she, not you, needs to poke at.

[This message edited by grubs at 2:11 PM, Friday, May 27th]

posts: 1367   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8737431
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 3:04 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

I think she is used to playing the victim and turning all the attention back on her, much like a 5 year old hanging out with older siblings and they want some attention. She has to find something, anything, where she can get the focus back on her and her needs. It is SOOOOOO immature and matches with everything you have shared. She should be working on this. It is not attractive and it is not how a healthy grown person behaves.

Also, don't be so hard on yourself. You do not owe her any grace or patience or bonus points for doing something right or better. She should be acting that way all the time with no promise of reward so it is not on you to recognize "oh well today she didn't act like a total asshole in this situation so I better show her my appreciation."

@clouds777

I agree with you entirely. I raised this issue here to explore the idea that my thinking could be limited. I've reached a point where solving and defining the issues has not only sometimes been unhelpful, but it's also worked against me. I plan to keep that approach because on the whole--it's been largely valuable for me in navigating all of this--but I'm actively trying to be open-minded enough to see it from the other side of things.

Gun to my head, you (and me) are 100% right on this. But I appreciate the dissenting feedback from others nonetheless as it's allowing me to see some additional layers that may be at work.

Simplest answer is she views sex inside of marriage as different. It's easier to be sexually free with someone you don't really care how they end up viewing you. To really let go and experiment. It's not an uncommon disfunction in either men (madonna-whore complex) or women. I think some women have their own spin on madonna-whore where they fear showing their wild sexual side to thier spouse as that's not what a wife and mother should be. I also think other women struggle with wanting to be supported and equal and wanting to be dominated. Healthy people figure out how to fulfill both needs and roles with their spouse. Unhealthy people separate the love and sex and sometimes seek them from different sources. It seems that your wife is getting the sex back in the marriage, but she still casts it as different than what she expected from AP. More things she, not you, needs to poke at.

@grubs

My wife doesn't want me, her husband, to treat her like a whore. My position is that not only was I not treating her as a whore, the fact that she's my wife and I love her should eliminate the feeling of me treating her as a whore from her mind. It's also complicated by the fact that she is objectively a whore--it's not anyone's opinion; it's a statement of fact right now. So with that in her mind, I suspect she is fighting to shake that label for herself (and projecting her feelings onto me).

She also convinced herself that AP wasn't treating her like a whore during the A--it's hard to fathom how, but I think that's the truth. So now looking back, she (rightfully) identifies herself as a whore throughout the A and she's redefining the entire saga in her mind.

It's complicated stuff and I feel like I'm spending my days psychoanalyzing her--it's exhausting and I can't break free of it. At least once a day her issues take center stage. And they don't live in a vacuum--they all directly affect me. There's nothing we can do not affected by her issues, including any of her attempts to support me (like this example).

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 3:05 PM, Friday, May 27th]

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 8737466
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 3:57 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

My wife doesn't want me, her husband, to treat her like a whore. My position is that not only was I not treating her as a whore, the fact that she's my wife and I love her should eliminate the feeling of me treating her as a whore from her mind.

Sorry, I in no way meant to imply that. The madonna-whore disfunction isn't so much that the spouse necessarily sees his wife as a whore, but doesn't see the mother of his children as a sexual being at all. That there's wrongness in her having sex. I've also seen the women version called Supporter-dominator. Where it's not so much the whore-madonna conflict but the conflict with a partner being overly agressive or dominating sexually versus a supporting and loving partner who treats them as an equal partner. In both cases it's the unheatlhy disconnect between love and sex. That you can't be yourself, or be fulfilled, sexually with someone you love.

She's uncomfortable with you in that aggressive role or at least you crossed over a line in her mind with how you were acting this morning. It could be that comes from rememberances of things she did with AP. It could be just plain agression level if that's not something she's felt like you've done before. Keep in mind whatever she grimanced about was in her minds worldview not necessarily reality. Just as you have conflicting feelings that stem from what she's done, she does also. I was just trying to point out that love-sex disconnect, and I think the story of your marriage demonstrates she has signs of that disconnect, can explain the differences in what she's comfortable with you and what she was ok with with the AP. Again this is something she needs to delve into with her IC. Talk to your IC on what it means to you. Bring your concerns up in MC if you want. Doesn't make it right. Doesn't make it easier on you. But could provide some "rationale". Hell, it may just be she's not into what she sees as aggressive sex and for whatever reason that was she was feeling that it was this morning. It really isn't your problem. It really isn't necessarily a problem to be solved. At least by you. You're in hyper vigilant mode. Breath. Not everything is going to look or feel perfect.

[This message edited by grubs at 4:01 PM, Friday, May 27th]

posts: 1367   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8737489
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 4:10 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

Sorry, I in no way meant to imply that. The madonna-whore disfunction isn't so much that the spouse necessarily sees his wife as a whore, but doesn't see the mother of his children as a sexual being at all. That there's wrongness in her having sex. I've also seen the women version called Supporter-dominator. Where it's not so much the whore-madonna conflict but the conflict with a partner being overly agressive or dominating sexually versus a supporting and loving partner who treats them as an equal partner. In both cases it's the unheatlhy disconnect between love and sex. That you can't be yourself, or be fulfilled, sexually with someone you love.

She's uncomfortable with you in that aggressive role or at least you crossed over a line in her mind with how you were acting this morning. It could be that comes from rememberances of things she did with AP. It could be just plain agression level if that's not something she's felt like you've done before. Keep in mind whatever she grimanced about was in her minds worldview not necessarily reality. Just as you have conflicting feelings that stem from what she's done, she does also. I was just trying to point out that love-sex disconnect, and I think the story of your marriage demonstrates she has signs of that disconnect, can explain the differences in what she's comfortable with you and what she was ok with with the AP. Again this is something she needs to delve into with her IC. Talked to your IC on what it means to you. Bring your concerns up in MC if you want. Doesn't make it right. Doesn't make it easier on you. But could provide some "rationale". Hell, it may just be she's not into what she sees as aggressive sex and for whatever reason that was she was feeling that it was this morning.

No need to apologize! I’m sorry if I came off defensive.

I think selfishly I expect her to want her to carry through on her commitment to do anything to help me heal from this. I don’t think I’m abusing that offer—in fact, yesterday morning was the first time I "took" her for my pleasure; ever. It was the day after her promising to do anything I wanted; and moments after asking me to do what I wanted.

Her gesture feels hollow to me. And I feel badly that she felt used. Instinctively, it makes me not want to go near her physically right now. I feel like it was her charity—and quite honestly, fuck her. I just don’t want to feel worse about myself than I already do right now.

It seems like all her attempts to heal push me further from her. I’m just losing interest in this entire play. Every step forward is met with an equal step back.

And I know what’s coming—I need patience. Understood. But I don’t have any and this is a hell of a time to try to learn.

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 8737493
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truthsetmefree ( member #7168) posted at 4:13 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

Some people subconsciously equate vulnerability as feeling victimized - particularly if they’ve had past experiences where their vulnerability is what allowed them to be victimized.

If it’s emotional investment that is making them vulnerable - well, then that explains a lot in this situation. All the way around (ie, on both sides and in regards to all topics relevant).

I can explain more if needed but it probably will serve you better if you can make the connections yourself without us getting mired in the minutia of the actual details of this one particular situation.

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 8737494
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 5:35 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

Man, I’ve walked this path for four years, Dr. Strangelove.

I would offer you this reframe: don’t look at these things as "forward and backward." Time is moving forward, inexorably. Reframe these events as a zig and a zag, a step in the direction you prefer and a step (forward) that AT THIS MOMENT does not feel like where you want to be. You are never going "backwards." You are always going forwards, sometimes toward the end game you currently desire and sometimes toward some other result that may, or may not, ultimately prove to be "the right place." Every moment like the one from this recent sexual encounter is an OPPORTUNITY. You both did something new, and vulnerable, and you’re probably better equipped for that right now, ironically. Take some of your conclusions out of this and debrief with her in a safe setting. See if upon reflection you two can come to understand each other’s experience as it happened in that moment, and then see if you can reach agreement on what you’d both like in your sex life going forward.

My wife’s affair was over three years long with my best friend. They had sex in places I’ve been. I don’t have to imagine anything, I can see it in my mind’s eye.

It’s been excruciating to try to explain to my wife that I am convinced because of what she did that she preferred him as a sexual partner, and that she has now “settled” for me. She claims otherwise, but we talk past each other a lot on this subject. She cannot understand how I would actually like for her to tell me once in a while, literally during or after sex, something like “he never fucked me like that.” It’s fucked up, I know, and she cannot even conceive how that wouldn’t be a disaster, mentioning and comparing sex with him to sex with me. But whether she believes it or not, it is what I fucking need to hear. I will not stay in this marriage if the best sex she ever had was with him. But she cannot bring herself to initiate that conversation, which leaves me to either wonder or be the one to bring it up, which puts her into a shame spiral and leaves me very frustrated that I have to ask AGAIN.

It’s fucked up. No way around it. I’ve found it falls on me to be the one to go directly at the problem because on balance it is the best way for me to get at least some of what I need. If I stay all up in my head and create narratives about what she did with, how much she enjoyed it with him, I get really twisted. When she engages, even if it was because I asked about it, she can most of the time muster some kind of relief for me. It’s far from enough, but it beats the mind movies and the doubt.

[This message edited by Wiseoldfool at 5:43 PM, Friday, May 27th]

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: 234   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8737501
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 6:26 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

My wife’s affair was over three years long with my best friend. They had sex in places I’ve been. I don’t have to imagine anything, I can see it in my mind’s eye.

It’s been excruciating to try to explain to my wife that I am convinced because of what she did that she preferred him as a sexual partner, and that she has now "settled" for me. She claims otherwise, but we talk past each other a lot on this subject. She cannot understand how I would actually like for her to tell me once in a while, literally during or after sex, something like "he never fucked me like that." It’s fucked up, I know, and she cannot even conceive how that wouldn’t be a disaster, mentioning and comparing sex with him to sex with me. But whether she believes it or not, it is what I fucking need to hear. I will not stay in this marriage if the best sex she ever had was with him. But she cannot bring herself to initiate that conversation, which leaves me to either wonder or be the one to bring it up, which puts her into a shame spiral and leaves me very frustrated that I have to ask AGAIN.

This just points out how ill-equipped BSs and WSs are to deal with their situations. Both are pushed onto uncomfortable new territory and are constantly making mistakes. I, of course, relate to you--not specifically, just in that you're expecting something from your wife that she is refusing to do. And you think: well why is it so hard for her to do the thing I need her to do? And I suspect she's thinking: How could I possibly ever do the thing he's asking of me?

You mentioned being four years in but still clearly don't feel very good about any of it. I constantly wonder if that's the life I'm signing up for. The truth is, I'm certain that if I went with D, I'd look back in 10 years confident I made the right choice--but that also could be because the current situation is such shit that virtually anything would be better. But then I think about you--and countless other SI members in R--and wonder if the situation will always be shit and I'll just live with it.

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 8737507
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PowerWithin ( new member #80349) posted at 7:43 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

I can hear your pain, and I know how overwhelming it can be…. the despair and confusion and utter waste of everything you thought was real. I’ve been there, too. Our brains have experienced massive trauma, and our survival systems get kicked on and stay ramped up for a while, trying to assimilate this new and horrible reality that we had no part in choosing. Is your IC or MC a specialist in betrayal trauma? If not, you might find some validation and hope in Dr Jake Porter’s work. Very supportive and practical science-based approach.

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

posts: 40   ·   registered: May. 25th, 2022   ·   location: Midwest
id 8737522
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 8:09 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

We had an explosive CT session earlier today--typically the tone of the sessions is often us calmly reporting back what happened since our last visit, but our CT is becoming increasingly more active (she explained at first she recognized she needed to be more passive because we had so much to say).

There was a lot of conflict all over the place. The CT became fixated on my wife's decision to betray my trust by reading my thread while my wife seemingly kept trying to get off the subject by bringing up things I did (she can't stop deflecting no matter who she is talking with)--I largely observed their dance--the CT never bit on her distractions.

I found it interesting as the CT expressed that her decision to do that could have ended the marriage--she noted that many people in my shoes would have taken that as a final sign to walk away. I asked if she felt that my wife may think I'm bluffing with D--that I'm unwilling to walk away. The CT didn't think that, but she thought my wife simply couldn't help herself or get out of her own way.

I got the sense that the CT was concerned that I'd walk away from this all soon--my wife keeps telling me that too, so maybe they see something I don't. Maybe I am just warming myself up for D. It's a depressing thought if true as I'd like to think I'm giving this my all and a fair shot.

I explained to the CT that I was more focused on my wife's childish reaction after reading the forum than the betrayal of her reading it anyway, so we dove into that. The CT expressed to my wife how angry I clearly am and it's largely because she can tell it's impossible for me to understand how this can be so hard for my wife--how she keeps fucking things up daily is a source of big frustration for me (very true).

The CT did point out that she thinks my wife is trying as hard as she can; but pointed out to my wife that sometimes just trying hard is not enough. That she needs to do more to be supportive of me while in parallel working through her issues in IC.

Ultimately, it was largely a lot of anger from me and a lot of agreement from the CT. It was not an easy session for my wife to sit through.

It does have a positive effect on me though--saying all the things I tell my wife all week and seeing her actively not registering them is brutal, so seeing my wife sit there and take harsh criticism from the CT is (quite literally) therapeutic.

**

After the session my wife and I also had a chat about the sex from yesterday. She agrees that she has an issue doing slutty things in the bedroom with me because she thinks it'll change my feelings for her outside the bedroom. She agreed to work on that in IC.

But she also noted that she prefers/enjoys more sensual sex in general--so I lost my shit. She had caring, sensual sex with me anytime she wanted it at home, but left our marriage to get fucked like an animal in a hotel and used in a dirty parking garage by a guy who didn't care about her. That's the sex she sought out, so it's obvious bull shit for her to now tell me she's not interested in it--she risked everything for it!

It's been a hard few days. I'm hoping this weekend is a chance to reset and breathe so we can bring down the tension. I feel like I'm constantly in fear of the next defensive/selfish thing she's going to say or do and I'm really just hoping she gives me a few days off from her bull shit. On my end, I'm going to probe less and talk about the A less for a couple of days maybe--we'll see if I can.

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 8737525
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 8:27 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

So my facts are different than yours, in some ways "better" and in some ways "worse." I "quote" those because it’s all horrific and awful and the worst thing I’ve ever been through by a lot. Bear with me while I explain, it’ll circle back to you in a moment.

My wife’s affair was "worse" in that it was much longer, happened much closer to "home" (it being with my best friend who was regularly around my family and in our homes), and involved my wife treating me with complete contempt for several years while literally accusing me in marriage counseling of EXACTLY what SHE was IN FACT then doing. She alleged I was hiding money, having an affair, lying to her, spending too much time on my phone, ignoring her, and so on. She distorted our past, distorted our present, vilified me, lionized him, and told him - but not me - that she wanted to divorce me to be with him.

My wife’s affair was also "worse" in that even after I learned of the affair, she lied to me about what she did during the affair with him for over two more years post discovery, and that was damn near by itself the reason I came within one pen stroke of divorcing her (I’m a trial lawyer, I’ve done divorce work for thirty years, I could prepare my own divorce complaint in five minutes). Her omissions and cover up lies were always to diminish the intimacy, both physically and emotionally. For example, she claimed for months to have always used condoms, she eventually admitted what I knew in my gut: they never did. She denied they ever had sex in our vacation home only to admit later that they did more than once. She minimized the number of times they had sex only later to admit it was many more times than she had first confessed. She admitted later that she’d given him money when he was broke. She minimized and distorted the degree to which they had been emotionally intimate long before they became physical. And so on. It was this prolonged deceit post discovery that damn near caused me to divorce her.

It was November 2020 before I finally told her "I’m done, you get one last chance to make a full and honest confession." She knew I was done for real, and she took that opportunity and made the full disclosure. We worked with a counselor to do the disclosure properly, as if we’d never had any disclosure discussions, and in a "safe" space that didn’t get emotionally derailed. What I learned in that full and final disclosure was 90% confirmation of what I had already surmised on my own, her confessions were mostly confirmations of what I’d told her the evidence I had pointed at, and there were another handful of disclosures that did come as a surprise to me but were not deal breakers (turns out my wife’s AP had a fetish for sucking her toes - which made her cringe then and more so now. When she told me that I literally laughed at her and told her "well, y’all can keep that one.")

My wife’s affair was "better" in that I did not learn of it until it was over for five years, he was long gone from our lives, and in those five years she had done EVERYTHING the collective wisdom of this board suggests is required to reconcile, with the obvious exception of telling me about the affair so I could make my own choice about the marriage. But in those five years of ignorance, she became not only the wife I always wanted but the wife most men hope to have. Totally honest, devoted, cooperative, basically the complete opposite of what I’d experienced for the three years of her affair. I believe that if I had discovered the true nature and extent of the affair during the affair I’d likely have divorced her. It’s hard to know for sure, of course. My kids were adolescents at the time and I was a very, very involved dad (for example, my sons did not play a baseball or football game I did not coach until they were playing for their schools). They are adults now, and they are better off for the time I spent with them when they were younger.

The time between the end of the affair and the day I learned of it allowed her to show me what kind of wife she could be. I was not confronted with divorcing a woman who was having an affair, I was confronted with the impossible dilemma of reconciling with or divorcing a woman who had spent five years being an AMAZING wife (but for the omission of a voluntary confession, which of course is not a small thing). I would never have been able to divorce a woman acting badly in the present, I’d have been divorcing a woman for what she did many years ago that I learned about only much later and quite by happenstance. She never had the "fog" and I never had to give the "no contact" ultimatum or enforce it. So the delayed discovery is a mindfuck all its own, but it’s in some sense "better" than the people, like you, who discover the affair essentially during the affair.

Now, back to something you might find helpful. I do not find that my wife "refuses" to offer me what I need. I have come to believe that she is constitutionally avoidant of shame and conflict, and she has become hyper averse to risking the marriage (again). If she gets a whiff of affair related disruption, she will feed me, fuck me, send me off to play with my friends, anything to steer very clear of revisiting the affair. She would rather double down on making the marriage better by acts, gestures, concessions, and so on than risk one minute of affair disruption. But it’s not rugsweeping. She never has insisted and does not insist that we never talk about it. She does not demand or even suggest or insinuate that I "get over it" (and if anyone wants to call it rugsweeping fine, but she’s been interrogated by a professional interrogator (me) for hundreds of hours, we’ve been to many, many counseling sessions, she’s never run from it or tried to bury it, she’s stood in the storm whenever I’ve asked).

Her fear is that if the affair is causing me a problem on a random Tuesday, I might sign that divorce complaint that afternoon. Her preference, therefore, is to not be the person who brings it up. It’s as if she thinks, "well, we are having a great week, must not be on his mind, better not remind him I slipped and fell on another man’s dick for three years." Meanwhile, she’s feeding me, fucking me, making a great living and stashing all her income in a joint account (we live on my income), co-parenting (to the extent one coparents adults), supporting my hobbies and interests, planning trips for us, and so on. She will, sometimes randomly and sometimes because she is tuned in to me, ask "how are you?" Or say "checking in…." In a way that clearly connects to the affair, not just an inquiry in the air.

So she doesn’t "refuse" to give me what I need. She has literally "refused" me nothing in the four years since DDay. Nothing. Any kind of sex, any thing I wanted to buy for myself, any time I wanted to go do my hobbies, anything. She has offered me 100% of what comes naturally to her, too. I’ve gotten the best version of my wife since the affair and we’ve been married for thirty years, so that’s saying something. So it’s not that she "refuses" to give me what I want/need. It’s that she doesn’t trust that if she is the one who initiates it, if she brings it up, if she says those things, that somehow that moment will be ruined, that it will be that moment that is the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. And I understand that risk assessment, and I also see that there is a healthy dose of selfish self-serving convenience in it, too. If I’m honest about it, I would be even worse at her role than she is. I would lie, obfuscate, minimize, and be terrible as a wayward spouse. When I say, "there’s something I need to ask you, please tell me when is a good time to do that…" she knows what’s up and she’ll make it happen. So she doesn’t "refuse" to give me what I need, I just have to ask for it, which is not as good as if she would volunteer it without being asked.

Now, to the second part of your remark, about where would you be in ten years. I actually do feel better, far better, about where I am now than when I was only a couple of months removed from the discovery. We are now in a very open, transparent, honest, highly sexual, mutually supportive marriage that is actually a better marriage than before the affair, in spite of the scar she put on my heart. There has been a huge improvement over the four years during this very painful and difficult joint effort. So I encourage you to give yourself some time, you cannot know where you will be in a month, six months, a year, or four years. You do not need to make a decision now. You can, but you don’t have to do that.

And think pragmatically, too. I know you’re superlative at that. You can no longer have the marriage you wanted. You can no longer have the marriage you probably deserved. It took me a long time to accept that. It took me a long time to accept that I would not get the "prom to grave" love story we could have had. And that was crushing, but it was also a relief. So, to the present. If the marriage I promised her and that she promised me is forever unavailable, what is the next best thing that I can get. For me.

And that requires a cold comparison of what I have vs what I could perhaps get. I have a wife who loves me, who adores me, who does all things I’ve mentioned above.

What could I get? Well, without being too obnoxious and conceited, the simple truth is this: I would have the opportunity to spend time with many high value women. And let’s don’t get tripped up on my use of "high value" - I am intentionally using that in a 100% subjective to me and me only way, when I say "high value" I mean "women I would find attractive for all their qualities." I know I would have these opportunities because I’ve gotten hundreds of them a divorce, I know what the "market" is. I’ve been propositioned, sometimes completely inappropriately and sometimes in a more "well, if you’re ever not married call me" way.

And dating, and having sex with, high value women sounds like a lot of fun. A lot. But, I know myself. That would be fun for a while, kind of like going to a theme park - you go there to have fun, but you don’t live there. Soon enough, I’d be navigating a very complicated world with one woman who had her own past, her own trauma, her own separate family, her own wants and needs, her own eccentricities, her own reactions to my many eccentricities, and so on. And that negotiation, if it made any progress at all, might or might not ever put me in as good or better a position than the one I have now.

So, Dr. Strangelove, we cannot know the future. We can roughly know the past. We can interpret the present, but we need to do so with full cognizance of our filters, our biases, our pain.

Your head is awash in grief and pain but your compass works. Give it some time to settle down. Observe your wife over time, do not rush to a decision hoping that you can extinguish the pain or gain some closure or create the complete solution, either way.

Breathe. Enjoy that which is enjoyable. Look the pain in the eye and receive it. Know that your fears, your anxieties, your struggle is all perfectly normal. And know that you have time. You, me, either of us can divorce our cheating wives tomorrow without any further justification. And in that freedom is power.

[This message edited by Wiseoldfool at 8:28 PM, Friday, May 27th]

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: 234   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8737526
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 9:15 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

So my facts are different than yours, in some ways "better" and in some ways "worse." I "quote" those because it’s all horrific and awful and the worst thing I’ve ever been through by a lot. Bear with me while I explain, it’ll circle back to you in a moment.

My wife’s affair was "worse" in that it was much longer, happened much closer to "home" (it being with my best friend who was regularly around my family and in our homes), and involved my wife treating me with complete contempt for several years while literally accusing me in marriage counseling of EXACTLY what SHE was IN FACT then doing. She alleged I was hiding money, having an affair, lying to her, spending too much time on my phone, ignoring her, and so on. She distorted our past, distorted our present, vilified me, lionized him, and told him - but not me - that she wanted to divorce me to be with him.

My wife’s affair was also "worse" in that even after I learned of the affair, she lied to me about what she did during the affair with him for over two more years post discovery, and that was damn near by itself the reason I came within one pen stroke of divorcing her (I’m a trial lawyer, I’ve done divorce work for thirty years, I could prepare my own divorce complaint in five minutes). Her omissions and cover up lies were always to diminish the intimacy, both physically and emotionally. For example, she claimed for months to have always used condoms, she eventually admitted what I knew in my gut: they never did. She denied they ever had sex in our vacation home only to admit later that they did more than once. She minimized the number of times they had sex only later to admit it was many more times than she had first confessed. She admitted later that she’d given him money when he was broke. She minimized and distorted the degree to which they had been emotionally intimate long before they became physical. And so on. It was this prolonged deceit post discovery that damn near caused me to divorce her.

It was November 2020 before I finally told her "I’m done, you get one last chance to make a full and honest confession." She knew I was done for real, and she took that opportunity and made the full disclosure. We worked with a counselor to do the disclosure properly, as if we’d never had any disclosure discussions, and in a "safe" space that didn’t get emotionally derailed. What I learned in that full and final disclosure was 90% confirmation of what I had already surmised on my own, her confessions were mostly confirmations of what I’d told her the evidence I had pointed at, and there were another handful of disclosures that did come as a surprise to me but were not deal breakers (turns out my wife’s AP had a fetish for sucking her toes - which made her cringe then and more so now. When she told me that I literally laughed at her and told her "well, y’all can keep that one.")

My wife’s affair was "better" in that I did not learn of it until it was over for five years, he was long gone from our lives, and in those five years she had done EVERYTHING the collective wisdom of this board suggests is required to reconcile, with the obvious exception of telling me about the affair so I could make my own choice about the marriage. But in those five years of ignorance, she became not only the wife I always wanted but the wife most men hope to have. Totally honest, devoted, cooperative, basically the complete opposite of what I’d experienced for the three years of her affair. I believe that if I had discovered the true nature and extent of the affair during the affair I’d likely have divorced her. It’s hard to know for sure, of course. My kids were adolescents at the time and I was a very, very involved dad (for example, my sons did not play a baseball or football game I did not coach until they were playing for their schools). They are adults now, and they are better off for the time I spent with them when they were younger.

The time between the end of the affair and the day I learned of it allowed her to show me what kind of wife she could be. I was not confronted with divorcing a woman who was having an affair, I was confronted with the impossible dilemma of reconciling with or divorcing a woman who had spent five years being an AMAZING wife (but for the omission of a voluntary confession, which of course is not a small thing). I would never have been able to divorce a woman acting badly in the present, I’d have been divorcing a woman for what she did many years ago that I learned about only much later and quite by happenstance. She never had the "fog" and I never had to give the "no contact" ultimatum or enforce it. So the delayed discovery is a mindfuck all its own, but it’s in some sense "better" than the people, like you, who discover the affair essentially during the affair.

Now, back to something you might find helpful. I do not find that my wife "refuses" to offer me what I need. I have come to believe that she is constitutionally avoidant of shame and conflict, and she has become hyper averse to risking the marriage (again). If she gets a whiff of affair related disruption, she will feed me, fuck me, send me off to play with my friends, anything to steer very clear of revisiting the affair. She would rather double down on making the marriage better by acts, gestures, concessions, and so on than risk one minute of affair disruption. But it’s not rugsweeping. She never has insisted and does not insist that we never talk about it. She does not demand or even suggest or insinuate that I "get over it" (and if anyone wants to call it rugsweeping fine, but she’s been interrogated by a professional interrogator (me) for hundreds of hours, we’ve been to many, many counseling sessions, she’s never run from it or tried to bury it, she’s stood in the storm whenever I’ve asked).

Her fear is that if the affair is causing me a problem on a random Tuesday, I might sign that divorce complaint that afternoon. Her preference, therefore, is to not be the person who brings it up. It’s as if she thinks, "well, we are having a great week, must not be on his mind, better not remind him I slipped and fell on another man’s dick for three years." Meanwhile, she’s feeding me, fucking me, making a great living and stashing all her income in a joint account (we live on my income), co-parenting (to the extent one coparents adults), supporting my hobbies and interests, planning trips for us, and so on. She will, sometimes randomly and sometimes because she is tuned in to me, ask "how are you?" Or say "checking in…." In a way that clearly connects to the affair, not just an inquiry in the air.

So she doesn’t "refuse" to give me what I need. She has literally "refused" me nothing in the four years since DDay. Nothing. Any kind of sex, any thing I wanted to buy for myself, any time I wanted to go do my hobbies, anything. She has offered me 100% of what comes naturally to her, too. I’ve gotten the best version of my wife since the affair and we’ve been married for thirty years, so that’s saying something. So it’s not that she "refuses" to give me what I want/need. It’s that she doesn’t trust that if she is the one who initiates it, if she brings it up, if she says those things, that somehow that moment will be ruined, that it will be that moment that is the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. And I understand that risk assessment, and I also see that there is a healthy dose of selfish self-serving convenience in it, too. If I’m honest about it, I would be even worse at her role than she is. I would lie, obfuscate, minimize, and be terrible as a wayward spouse. When I say, "there’s something I need to ask you, please tell me when is a good time to do that…" she knows what’s up and she’ll make it happen. So she doesn’t "refuse" to give me what I need, I just have to ask for it, which is not as good as if she would volunteer it without being asked.

Now, to the second part of your remark, about where would you be in ten years. I actually do feel better, far better, about where I am now than when I was only a couple of months removed from the discovery. We are now in a very open, transparent, honest, highly sexual, mutually supportive marriage that is actually a better marriage than before the affair, in spite of the scar she put on my heart. There has been a huge improvement over the four years during this very painful and difficult joint effort. So I encourage you to give yourself some time, you cannot know where you will be in a month, six months, a year, or four years. You do not need to make a decision now. You can, but you don’t have to do that.

And think pragmatically, too. I know you’re superlative at that. You can no longer have the marriage you wanted. You can no longer have the marriage you probably deserved. It took me a long time to accept that. It took me a long time to accept that I would not get the "prom to grave" love story we could have had. And that was crushing, but it was also a relief. So, to the present. If the marriage I promised her and that she promised me is forever unavailable, what is the next best thing that I can get. For me.

And that requires a cold comparison of what I have vs what I could perhaps get. I have a wife who loves me, who adores me, who does all things I’ve mentioned above.

What could I get? Well, without being too obnoxious and conceited, the simple truth is this: I would have the opportunity to spend time with many high value women. And let’s don’t get tripped up on my use of "high value" - I am intentionally using that in a 100% subjective to me and me only way, when I say "high value" I mean "women I would find attractive for all their qualities." I know I would have these opportunities because I’ve gotten hundreds of them a divorce, I know what the "market" is. I’ve been propositioned, sometimes completely inappropriately and sometimes in a more "well, if you’re ever not married call me" way.

And dating, and having sex with, high value women sounds like a lot of fun. A lot. But, I know myself. That would be fun for a while, kind of like going to a theme park - you go there to have fun, but you don’t live there. Soon enough, I’d be navigating a very complicated world with one woman who had her own past, her own trauma, her own separate family, her own wants and needs, her own eccentricities, her own reactions to my many eccentricities, and so on. And that negotiation, if it made any progress at all, might or might not ever put me in as good or better a position than the one I have now.

So, Dr. Strangelove, we cannot know the future. We can roughly know the past. We can interpret the present, but we need to do so with full cognizance of our filters, our biases, our pain.

Your head is awash in grief and pain but your compass works. Give it some time to settle down. Observe your wife over time, do not rush to a decision hoping that you can extinguish the pain or gain some closure or create the complete solution, either way.

Breathe. Enjoy that which is enjoyable. Look the pain in the eye and receive it. Know that your fears, your anxieties, your struggle is all perfectly normal. And know that you have time. You, me, either of us can divorce our cheating wives tomorrow without any further justification. And in that freedom is power.

Wiseoldfool, thank you for that post--sincerely. You're of course right across the board and I enjoy hearing context of other poster's stories. I really can't fathom any of your experience--to me an affair of that length would be a sure-fire deal-breaker, but the gap of five years makes it so incredibly complicated that I suspect I'd have been willing to R, just like you.

As you suggest, I need to figure out what my best possible path is right now. My planned life is gone and a D would lead me to the unknowns of other women and hosts of new problems in my life. The devil you know...so to speak. Is the devil I know capable of giving me my best possible life? I still think it's possible, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't losing faith.

And freedom is power--I've felt that, but I struggle with it too. At times I feel like I can use the A as my cudgel, and I'm deeply opposed to that. I don't want to carve my wife into the partner I want--I want her to want to be that partner and I want to prove it to her by being the partner she wants. We're not there yet though. There's too much pain right now and quite honestly, she's making too many mistakes. I need her to do better before I start to soften.

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 8737535
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 9:41 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

I feel that.

I have intentionally not wielded, or at least not abused, the power that this affair shifted to me. I, like you, do not want an obsequious wife under my thumb, I want a wife who WANTS to do what I would like for her to do.

In fairness to your wife, she is experiencing a substantially similar disruption in her world. It is her fault, of course, but it doesn’t change that what she thought her life would be like in May 2022 is not at all what it is, and she didn’t even ever conceive of what it would actually be when/if her affair was discovered. Neither did my wife. My wife has flatly, and convincingly, told me "I didn’t think about the consequences." My wife made A LOT of terrible post DDay mistakes (both in the nature of deceit about what she had done, and in the nature of not intuitively knowing what I needed from her, as well as basically hitting exactly the WRONG note at the WRONG time, not saying what seems obvious to me that she should say). But all of these mistakes, they were driven by fear, selfishness, distorted thinking and not by outright malice, if that makes sense. It took her a long time to trust that what I already knew was more than enough reason to divorce her, it wasn’t likely that one more blowjob confessed would make any difference to me. It took her a long time to accept that I was entitled to know what I wanted to know so that I could, like she had, decide whether to go or to stay. It has still not come to her how to know what I need her to do or say and deliver it without being asked, that part is a work in progress. And we are four years removed from DDay. Your wife, caught in the act, with a long history of distorted thinking and so on as you’ve described, is not going to reinvent herself quickly.

You’ve extended more grace to your wife than she was entitled to, and good for you. My wife would say the same about me. She is grateful every day I stay here with her in the fucking mess she made of my life. On a good day, I love her and I try to forgive her and I try to understand how she got to what she did and we can laugh and enjoy each other’s company and have great sex. On a bad day, I imagine myself sifting through the box of broken toys that is the land of divorced women in my age group (again, a subjective and cynical observation not to be taken at 100% face value) and I think, this one knows what I like for breakfast and what I like in the bedroom. On a good day, I know she’s deeply remorseful and horrified at what she did and she’ll never stop doing the right thing now, and I can be grateful for the effort. On a bad day, I remember that it was her who was by my mother’s bed when my mother passed (it could have been me, my father, or my sister, but it happened to be her "shift" at hospice, so it was her) and I am comforted by the fact my mother’s "other daughter" was there, I know my mom was at peace with that, and I know that no other woman could ever be that to my mother, or my father when the time comes.

And so partly because what my wife did in her affair is an anomaly, a product of a perfect storm of bad circumstances and terrible choices by her, and only a fraction of our 36 years together, and something I know in my bones she could never do again; and partly because I know my best interest, my happiness, my selfish wants and needs, are most likely going to be met here, with her, and not with some other as yet unidentified woman, that I wake up every day and put off for at least one more day signing that divorce complaint. And so it goes.

Hang in there man, one thing I do think I can say about you is this: you might obtain some temporary relief from some of what you’re experiencing if you acted decisively and divorced her right now, but you might very well come to regret that, too, if you later believed you did it prematurely. Better that you give her every chance to rise to the occasion and be the wife you want, the wife she says she wants to be, before you cast her out. You are no where near being able to know that two months out from DDay. The only decision I think you should make is to defer your decision. Men like us, in positions such as we are in, we aren’t used to this. We generally know exactly what to do, and we do it, and most of the time we get the outcome we set out to get. This infidelity stuff, it isn’t like that, it doesn’t lend itself to our standard operating procedures. If you are like me, not acting is harder than acting. The social pressure to burn the witch, to recover your masculinity, to restore your pride, to crush the skull of the intruder, it’s all so hard to resist.

A wise friend of mine who knows my story posed this to me: "maybe your job here in this moment is to show compassion and unconditional love to your wife so that she can heal her soul in this life." And that stopped me in my tracks. Maybe my strength is not in smashing my former best friend’s skull, maybe my show of strength is to love this broken woman now in spite of what she did. Maybe there is no justice in that, no compensation awaiting my efforts. But maybe there is, and regardless it does feel like the right thing for me to do right now.

[This message edited by Wiseoldfool at 9:47 PM, Friday, May 27th]

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: 234   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 10:02 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

Hang in there man, one thing I do think I can say about you is this: you might obtain some temporary relief from some of what you’re experiencing if you acted decisively and divorced her right now, but you might very well come to regret that, too, if you later believed you did it prematurely. Better that you give her every chance to rise to the occasion and be the wife you want, the wife she says she wants to be, before you cast her out. You are no where near being able to know that two months out from DDay. The only decision I think you should make is to defer your decision.

That's a fear I have and I've noted it a few times. I only have this moment now. If I D, I need to be reasonably sure it's the best choice.

A wise friend of mine who knows my story posed this to me: "maybe your job here in this moment is to show compassion and unconditional love to your wife so that she can heal her soul in this life." And that stopped me in my tracks. Maybe my strength is not in smashing my former best friend’s skull, maybe my show of strength is to love this broken woman now in spite of what she did. Maybe there is no justice in that, no compensation awaiting my efforts. But maybe there is, and it does feel like the right thing for me to do right now.

That speaks to my soul: to be that selfless, that evolved. I think I wrote about that early on in my thread. Having children changed me (I suppose it changes everyone)--I thought about who I was and became focused on who I wanted to be as I knew my influence was paramount on my children.

I want to be the person that can forgive her and can heal our bond--I want to be strong enough to do that. I see a future where I'm proud of that man. But it's hard to keep that centered and in focus--it's easier to feel ashamed for staying married to another man's whore. I try to remind myself that history has already been written and she has an opportunity to redefine herself in this moment. I'm giving her that opportunity and have no plans to D before I'm convinced it's my best option.

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 8737545
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faithfulman ( member #66002) posted at 11:45 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

Dr. S, if your wife requested that another man handcuff her then ASKED him to fuck her in the ass, it's because she wanted his dick in her ass.

I beg of you not to buy into the "I really didn't like all the sexual shit I not only did willing and enthusiastically, but actually requested" line of bullshit.

Ah, but she really only wants "sensual" sex with you - except she didn't want it before she was busted, right?

Don't try to swallow obvious bullshit, it eventually makes you puke rage.

Dr. S, we are all guilty of this, but you are over analyzing; sometimes, even most times, things are what they are.

She was having an exit affair, she wasn't having an exit affair, who knows and do you really give s fuck? Does that change the way she defiled your marriage?

Like I wrote in the last thread, you gotta decide what you can live with. Can you accept that your wife GAVE EVERYTHING sexually to this man after denying you for years?

Can you live with the fact that she appears to have the emotional maturity of a 13-year old?

Can you live with her lack of empathy and utter selfishness? Disloyalty? Capability to stab you in the back?

Yes, I know - therapy. I am not a huge proponent of therapy as an antidote to these types of behavioral characteristics. I believe some people simply are assholes.

And yes, it is possible to change. But don't believe the hype, the kind of turnaround you are looking for is rare, and really only accomplished by people who are personally motivated to the extreme to change themselves.

And let's say that does happen. Go back to the initial question of what you can accept. Some can accept the burden of betrayal, quite a few cannot.

The longer this goes, the more I see the pain setting in for you, coming through in your posts.

Keep your options open. You appear to have committed to reconciliation, and I believe your wife knows this and has no problem using this to her advantage.

posts: 944   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2018
id 8737562
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 12:23 AM on Saturday, May 28th, 2022

True enough, for many people what Mrs. Strangelove did would be the end, period, no quarter. And any man who feels that way under the same circumstances has my complete understanding and respect.

I would say, however, it is not always possible to know the answer to that question ("can you live with what she did with that other man?") when you might like to know it.

And to the extent that Dr. Strangelove is still pondering on that question, I would say this.

Mrs. Strangelove has a long history of bad coping behaviors, self-centered thinking, and using sex for manipulation. Those are hard habits to break.

So imagine if I were a self-taught golfer with a very, very high handicap because, of course, I never learned how to play golf properly, I just floundered around and whacked golf balls and some things worked but most didn't work very well. I spent a lot of time in the rough, or fishing my balls out of the water, and taking penalty shots.

For me to become a good golfer, I would need professional instruction, first to root out my bad and deeply ingrained habits. I would need to rebuild my swing and learn how to look at a course altogether differently. I'd need to spend time on the range with an instructor, and still more practicing on my own before I could hit a course and play it well with my colleagues.

Dr. Strangelove's wife is a very bad, self-taught golfer, if you will. It will take a long time under the instruction of a very good instructor to make her any better at golf. Meanwhile, Dr. Strangelove desperately needs her to get better quickly, but there's simply no shortcut here. She's got to do the work.

Now if she refuses the instruction, or won't practice, or bends her clubs over her knee in frustration and flings them in the lake, well, Dr. Strangelove will rightfully conclude she'll never be the golfer he needs. All the wishing it were different or happening sooner won't change anything.

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: 234   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8737567
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 12:38 AM on Saturday, May 28th, 2022

I strongly believe that IC can be extremely effective, whether for A related issues or otherwise.

I personally have a type A personality, which has helped me immensely professionally but has oftentimes hurt me personally.

What has helped me immensely, snd I think would help your WW equally, is mindfulness. Not the type of mindfulness that is thrown around by the self help people and the kumbaya types. It goes like this - before you respond your usual way to something that normally triggers your negative personality traits to include defensiveness, anger, being critical, being judgmental, etc, stop, take a breath, think about your response, then respond.

My personality hasn’t really changed - I’m still prone to anger, being critical, judgmental, harsh, etc. The difference is that what comes out of my mouth is different.

My guess is that even with IC, the bulk of your WWs negative personality traits will essentially remain relatively intact, based upon what we know about her. What needs to change is how she says and behaves around you and towards you.

Just my opinion.

posts: 573   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8737568
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nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 1:13 AM on Saturday, May 28th, 2022

But she also noted that she prefers/enjoys more sensual sex in general--so I lost my shit. She had caring, sensual sex with me anytime she wanted it at home, but left our marriage to get fucked like an animal in a hotel and used in a dirty parking garage by a guy who didn't care about her. That's the sex she sought out, so it's obvious bull shit for her to now tell me she's not interested in it--she risked everything for it!

I think there is some truth to what she is saying about feeling used vs sensual. However the WAY she is communicating it to you is not okay. She has demonstrated that she is capable of asking for specifically what she wants by making a clear and explicit request to OM. She could be making clear and explicit requests of you. She could have before DDay too. Instead, she prefers to hold this power and control over you by asking for vague things, contradicting herself, and placing all of the responsibility on your shoulders to do it exactly how she wants it to be done but also refusing to tell you what to do. Does she expect you to read her mind? Why can't she just ask you to do X, Y, and Z? I suspect you'd care less about what she did or didn't do with OM if she was putting as much effort into communicating with you about sexual things as she did with him and she acknowledged that she shared responsibility in the state of your sex life pre-A.

posts: 5165   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 8737570
Topic is Sleeping.
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