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The sex matters

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 flang (original poster new member #82908) posted at 9:37 AM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

I'm surprised when I read how some BS are able to dismiss their WS sex with their lovers and seem to say it's the emotional betrayal that bothers them more. I don't know, maybe they're one and the same. Let me ask, what is marriage if not a promise of fidelity? If sex isn't exclusively for your spouse what is the point? Makes the BS no better than any other friend.
So getting past my wife having sex with others has been near impossible for me. I found out about her affair when I read some emails between them. I suspected for while before then, but there it was. The emails were graphic and left no doubt how eager she was to do things with him that she denied me. Some have described it a mind movies, picturing them together. Our sex life did pick up for a while then and I hoped we were going to be OK but there were comments she made at times that revealed she still wanted him, stuff like " her friend saying she had a big clit, how her toes curled when she had an orgasm" or how her friend was rougher than normal one time.
That was years ago. We are still together but it hasn't been good. I don't know how long they were together. Could have been as long as 2 1/2 years, he retired from the Air Force unit they were both assigned to.
Which also means it is possible she would have continued seeing him but couldn't.
Back to the sex part, can't help but feel her reasons were she loved sex with him. And knowing how eager she was to be with him, contrasting that with her indifference to me, that hasn't gone away.

posts: 27   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2023
id 8781694
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 1:25 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

You need to ask yourself some questions. Do you enjoy being with her? Is she a caring, giving person? Is she thoughtful? How often are you thinking about her behavior and her cheating? If your life is full of sadness you need help dealing with it because it sounds like you are not truly into R.
This is your one life. You need joy and contentment in it. It does not sound like you do.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 4209   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8781703
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 1:46 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

Your various posts bring to mind that old adage: "If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting."

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 2:45 PM, Saturday, March 11th]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 4179   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8781705
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 1:48 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

I don't think I've ever seen a BH here say that they don't care about their wife having sex with someone else. I have seen many who say that the sex was the worst part, and fewer who say that it was the emotional attachment, but not one who said that the sexual aspect of the affair was inconsequential to them.

I'm frankly appalled that your BW told you those details unless you asked her to give you specifics (and that seems unlikely when she hasn't even disclosed the time frame of her affair). Volunteering sexual memories in a casual or nostalgic way indicates a total lack of remorse, IMO.

WW/BW

posts: 3625   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8781706
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DobleTraicion ( member #78414) posted at 1:56 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

So sorry youre facing this.

As to your question, some can get over/through/past the sexual betrayal aspects of an affair, most through brutally long, hard work (therapy, emdr, etc.). Many others, like myself, cannot. The mind movies, rage, frustration, and ambivalence formed an endless cycle that I could not break. That and her issues formed a toxic brew that devestated our intimate life for almost a decade (I admittedly smoked "hopium" for much of that time, believing it would improve and it never did...only got worse. We also had young children at the time). I have had an incredible relationship in my new marriage, now early in its third decade, and could not ask for better in the intimacy department. What I lost in that decade of my first marriage has been made up to me 10 fold. It is a wonderful thing. My wife, also a survivor of a horrible betrayal, agrees with me wholeheartedly.

What concerns me about your story is statements like this:

I don't know how long they were together. Could have been as long as 2 1/2 years, he retired from the Air Force unit they were both assigned to.

Assuming youve required all the information about the affair, how is it that she has not told you how long it went? This puzzles me. Did she refuse? Were you afraid to ask? I dont see how you could ever move forward with R without knowing this basic information. Can you elaborate?

And this:

I hoped we were going to be OK but there were comments she made at times that revealed she still wanted him, stuff like " her friend saying she had a big clit, how her toes curled when she had an orgasm" or how her friend was rougher than normal one time.

She made this comment to you, or did you read that in an affair email? If she said that to you, again, I dont know how you get past that. As toxic as this issue was in my first marriage, she never ever made any comments like this indicating that her sex with him was fabulous/superior. Had she done so, it would have been the immediate death knell of our attempted R.

"You'd figure that in modern times, people wouldn't feel the need to get married if they didn't agree with the agenda"

~ lascarx

posts: 294   ·   registered: Mar. 2nd, 2021   ·   location: South
id 8781708
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SI Staff ( Moderator #10) posted at 2:06 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

SI does not endorse any form of infidelity, including revenge affairs or self-declared "open marriage." Advice of that nature violates our mission statement, and members should refrain from offering it.

posts: 10033   ·   registered: May. 30th, 2002
id 8781710
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Lurkingsoul12 ( member #82382) posted at 2:47 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

For me, emotional betrayal is far more difficult to deal with than physical one. You can have sex with anyone you want, even with a stranger. You enjoy it or not, it is a different thing altogether. But you can't have an emotional connection with anyone you want. It's not that easy. Emotional bonds are far worse to break than pure physical ones. Sex in affairs is usually romanticized because of that emotional bond that exists prior to sex. It's the emotional bonding that builds the fantasy part of an affair. Stronger the emotional bonding, stronger the affair fog. People who quit marriage they do that not for sex but for emotional connection. But affairs are usually both emotional and physical. So, it shouldn't matter which one should hurt you more.

posts: 457   ·   registered: Nov. 12th, 2022
id 8781713
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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 4:49 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

It doesn't sound like you have both dealt with the infinity in a meaningful way. Maybe you need to go back to the beginning and start from. Square one. Full confession, timeline, etc., all the boiler plate advice e that newly minted BSs are given here.

There is also the sunk cost fallacy that keeps many people stuck in situations that they should walk away from. I'm a big fan of Journaling as it gets my thoughts down on paper in a perminant way. Then I can reread my entries and look for patterns or flags. It keeps me objective.

I'm an oulier in my positions.

Me:55 STBXWW:55 DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off and filed. Denied having an affair in court papers.

Divorced 20

posts: 1779   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8781720
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:56 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

Remember: sex can be a gigantic issue and still be less of an issue than the emotional betrayal.

An example, through MC with my W's IC (which I don't recommend unless the MC is highly skilled and highly confrontational and starts with the A, placing responsibility for cheating firmly on the cheater's shoulders), I learned that my W had 'put someone else's face' on me from the beginning of our relationship. She could look at me and fear I was like her abuser. That's a hell of a lot more hurtful than her fucking some bitch for 4.5 months.

But the sex was most assuredly a problem for me. I'm with you - she vowed to forsake all others, and she broke that vow. I certainly did not dismiss that.

I, too, am concerned that you say you're missing some info about your W's A. It's impossible to R without complete honesty, from bot BS and WS, and if you don't even know how long the A was, you're missing some info. I can understand being very unhappy with your W.

Gently, you're the one with the pain. You're the one who needs to change what you're doing. You'll stay unhappy unless you take some action to get happy, or at least to get out of unhappiness.

What's holding you back?

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 29800   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8781721
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:25 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

Healing a relationship from infidelity takes a lot of concerted effort in the ws’s part to gain perspective over why they did what they did, making significant changes to themselves and helping the bs to see and understand the shift in their values and and that they have the ability to see the damage they caused.

If I am understanding correctly, you don’t even have the full story. She hasn’t given you the bare minimum.

I say all of this because not getting over the sex is the tip of the iceberg of the issues at play here.

Lie bsr said I don’t recall ever hearing that the sex wasn’t important, but for some there are things that may bother them more. But I don’t think anyone here doesn’t think of the severity of their spouse being with another in such an intimate way, dishonoring the spirit and commitment of the marital vows.

Now, with all that said. I want to share a couple of things, but know I am not minimizing the sex. I am just offering some perspective. You said that you can’t help but think the sex is because she loved it. That simply isn’t the only motivation.

I notice when the higher sex drive parter is the betrayed and the lower sex drive partner is the cheater, it often causes some interpretations that are not usually true.

The person with the higher drive thinks in terms of "if I were going to cheat it would be for the sex, but I didn’t and I wouldn’t" so that person becomes preoccupied with why the ws was this way with another person but not with them. The bs then projects what they believe their driving motivation for an affair would be on the cheater.

But if the drive for extra and new sex isn’t enough for you to cheat, then you have to think there is much more at play here. Lack of integrity for one, entitlement, and perhaps more psychological drivers rather than purely physical ones.

For me, it was not the sex that I was after. Most women can get sex, there is little mental payoff in that. Whereas a lot of men believe there is a chance of scarcity there for them. It’s a fundamental difference in gender, and while it’s not always true, it’s typical enough.

The motivation for me was to feel younger, sexier, more interesting. I wanted to escape who I was. The sex was a byproduct of the affair but for me it was just part of believing that I was succeeding in being this person I was trying to be.

Most often affairs are about escapism. A pain pill. Wanting to be seen a certain way becomes a desperate addiction to having the AP validate it for us. The AP is full of shit, so is the ws.

However, without your wife doing any work you can’t know her motivation. Without her telling the full truth you don’t know what you are accepting.

If you want to be happy with your one and only life, you have two choices. You issue an ultimatum of her going to therapy and filling in the blanks so you can see if acceptance is even possible. Or, seek a divorce. A ws who isn’t giving the bare minimum is one you will never be able to invest in and you will not heal until you learn to prioritize your own happiness.

Best wishes to you.

[This message edited by hikingout at 6:36 PM, Saturday, March 11th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 6955   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8781729
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 flang (original poster new member #82908) posted at 6:27 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

I'm frankly appalled that your BW told you those details unless you asked her to give you specifics (and that seems unlikely when she hasn't even disclosed the time frame of her affair). Volunteering sexual memories in a casual or nostalgic way indicates a total lack of remorse, IMO.

I know, right. She mentioned these things voluntarily, as if I'd be happy for her having so much fun with this guy.

Assuming youve required all the information about the affair, how is it that she has not told you how long it went? This puzzles me. Did she refuse? Were you afraid to ask? I dont see how you could ever move forward with R without knowing this basic information. Can you elaborate?

I questioned her but she denied whatever I could not prove. So I am not sure how long the affair lasted or if it was the only one. As for her sharing the details, no, I didn't ask for specifics. When this started I was in the Air Force stationed in Illinois, she was in Georgia and was in the Florida Air National Guard. Her AP was the commander of the guard unit. Anyway, after first finding out, when I thought we were trying to work things out, I had some sexual phone conversations with my wife, it was during these conversations she volunteered sexual details of her and this guy. And as far as how long it went on, she denied it at every step until it was clear I knew and it was beyond doubt. I knew when it started, I knew it was still going on 6 months later. After that I could't prove anything.

I hoped we were going to be OK but there were comments she made at times that revealed she still wanted him, stuff like " her friend saying she had a big clit, how her toes curled when she had an orgasm" or how her friend was rougher than normal one time.

She made this comment to you, or did you read that in an affair email? If she said that to you, again, I dont know how you get past that. As toxic as this issue was in my first marriage, she never ever made any comments like this indicating that her sex with him was fabulous/superior. Had she done so, it would have been the immediate death knell of our attempted

She volunteered the information, and that's one of the things that bothers me, what was she thinking, I would be happy she enjoyed sex with him so much?

I, too, am concerned that you say you're missing some info about your W's A. It's impossible to R without complete honesty, from bot BS and WS, and if you don't even know how long the A was, you're missing some info. I can understand being very unhappy with your W.

Gently, you're the one with the pain. You're the one who needs to change what you're doing. You'll stay unhappy unless you take some action to get happy, or at least to get out of unhappiness.

What's holding you back?

That's the big question. This all happened a long time ago, 1999-2003. I know she was cheating between Dec. 1999 and June 2000. She saw this guy on her ANG weekend duty once a month. He was stationed there until Sep. 2002. So the affair could have lasted 2 1/2 years. After that, was there someone else? I don't know. She retired from the ANG in April 2004, opportunities after that would have been tricky.

Now it's on me, I stayed with her, I guess I thought once we got past this, after 2004, we could get over it all. Hasn't worked out that way. Maybe it's on me now, not being able to forget. But part of it is our relationship has been distant, sex infrequent, no passion, nothing to compare what I suspect, and to a degree, know what she had with him.

[This message edited by flang at 6:34 PM, Saturday, March 11th]

posts: 27   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2023
id 8781731
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PSTI ( member #53103) posted at 6:34 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

In my opinion, fidelity isn't solely or even primarily about sex. I understand that as a non monogamous person that my perspective is going to be different, but I could never get over the dishonesty because that prevents having a deep emotional connection; there will always be a wall.

Sex is just sex. It doesn't have to mean anything. Honesty is exponentially more important to me.

But we are all different and some things matter more to some than others, and that's okay. You get to decide what's important to you.

That being said, I would urge you to at least consider the idea that sex makes the BS no better than a friend. Is your marriage really just a friendship with sex? What about all the other elements that are part of a marriage? I assume you aren't romantic with friends. You don't plan to share a life with your friends, or have joint finances. You don't raise a family with your friends, or invest the same level of deep, everyday caring.

Marriage is much, much more than sex. Sex is a part of intimacy and connection, but if it's the only thing that differentiates a friendship? I think you are missing out on a great deal.

Me: BW, my xH left me & DS after a 14 year marriage for the AP in 2014.

Happily remarried and in an open/polyamorous relationship. DH (married 5 years) & DBF (dating 4 years). Cohabitating happily all together!! <3

posts: 913   ·   registered: May. 6th, 2016
id 8781732
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:37 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

Sorry for the edits, I had a few more thoughts.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 6955   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8781734
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 flang (original poster new member #82908) posted at 6:45 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

Sex is just sex. It doesn't have to mean anything. Honesty is exponentially more important to me.

But we are all different and some things matter more to some than others, and that's okay. You get to decide what's important to you.

That being said, I would urge you to at least consider the idea that sex makes the BS no better than a friend. Is your marriage really just a friendship with sex? What about all the other elements that are part of a marriage? I assume you aren't romantic with friends. You don't plan to share a life with your friends, or have joint finances. You don't raise a family with your friends, or invest the same level of deep, everyday caring.

Marriage is much, much more than sex. Sex is a part of intimacy and connection, but if it's the only thing that differentiates a friendship? I think you are missing out on a great deal.

You are correct, marriage should be more than sex; but here we differ. Sex is fundamental to a marriage to me. If sex isn't solely between the married couple, well, what's the point. And yes, I'm sad to say I've felt little more than a friend to her for many years.Sex has been infrequent and not very satisfying. As I said, it's been a long time, and now, well, how important is sex? I'm 65 years old, she's 67. Which is why I doubt I'll leave her now, it's been too long, cheating now is very unlikely, the cost doesn't warrant leaving her.
It's the memories, knowing I wasn't satisfying her then, it won't go away.

posts: 27   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2023
id 8781735
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MalibuBayBreeze ( member #52124) posted at 7:23 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

The sex matters to me a lot. When I have mind movies of my WH and his LTA AP that still occasionally pop into my head randomly it's never about them professing feelings towards each other, it's always about them having sex. My mind will conjure up images so graphic and so real it's as if I'm standing in the room with them and it hurts even now 7 years past Dday.

To me sex between a married couple is supposed to be the one thing that is exclusive to your relationship. I always held that fact in high regard, no other man was touching me because I have boundaries and wouldn't share an intimate act with an outsider and stupidly thought he believed the same.

Did he ever tell her he loved her? I don't know and never will but at this point I don't believe he is capable of loving anyone. It was a self serving, ego kibble, fantasy bubble with a married ex-girlfriend who was low hanging fruit. I've lost my attraction to him which was once quite strong because I'm not interested in having her sloppy seconds which is how I look at him now and it disgusts me.

A man or woman telling the truth doesn't mind being questioned.

A liar does.

posts: 3606   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2016   ·   location: Somewhere in the NorthEast
id 8781739
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 flang (original poster new member #82908) posted at 7:36 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

As to why I stayed with her, I don't know. There are many factors. We were in the military, moving every few years, starting again as it were. So this happens. I'm in Illinois, she's in Georgia going to Jacksonville Fl. every month, she has Guard duty, and that's where they hook up. I guess I hoped once we got past her guard obligations and these separations things would be better.
There are the other reasons I stayed with her, financial being a big one. Starting over again in your mid 40's, or later, is going to include a big financial hit, no way around it. And that may be the only reason we are still together.
We went thru the changes, careers, and ended up in retirement, dependent on each other, but not, I think, in love. We've had a weird relationship, co-dependent, sexless, neither willing to leave. So here we are. Truth is I'm not sure I want a sexual relationship with her anymore. It feels desperate, like I need to prove myself. Still, I can't forget what happened, and how she was willing to risk our marriage, give it up, just to have sex with this guy. How she wanted to be with him so much I didn't matter.

posts: 27   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2023
id 8781740
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 7:37 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

Would it help to accept that you are where you are and that it's not abnormal for a trauma to take a long time to work into a traumatized person's awareness?

The only that's 'wrong' here is that your W's infidelity is painful to you. Sure, you would have probably been better off if you had gotten here 20 years ago, but this is trauma. There are patterns in how trauma manifests itself, but there are no rules.

I'm sorry you're in pain. I hope you find a way to resolve it. Sticking around here may help.

As for sex and infidelity, my experience was that sometimes the worst part was the sex, sometimes the lies, sometimes my W's connection, sick though it was, with ow. Does it really matter? It all is awful.... And if sex ends up as the worst part for you, that's all you need to say.

IMO, people are sharing their experience because you asked a question. I think we've shared our experience, which isn't yours. We're telling you about us. We're not really saying anything about how you should feel. However you feel, you're a member in good standing.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 29800   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8781741
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 flang (original poster new member #82908) posted at 8:05 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

IMO, people are sharing their experience because you asked a question. I think we've shared our experience, which isn't yours. We're telling you about us. We're not really saying anything about how you should feel. However you feel, you're a member in good standing.


I appreciate your comment.
One thing, if it was solely sexual, how does one get past knowing they weren't able to satisfy their spouse? Feeling inadequate, it sucks. But I wonder if that's what it boils down to with my wife and I. I was in my mid twenties when we met, had only a few, brief relationships before meeting her. Inexperienced to say the least. I think that was a big reason she was unhappy. Our sex life didn't satisfy her. I can't explain it any other way. She was with him for the sex.

posts: 27   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2023
id 8781743
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DobleTraicion ( member #78414) posted at 9:15 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

One thing, if it was solely sexual, how does one get past knowing they weren't able to satisfy their spouse? Feeling inadequate, it sucks. But I wonder if that's what it boils down to with my wife and I.

Again, this is very very hard. Brutally difficult in fact. There was a WW who posted here years ago who literally told her BH that sex with her AP was far better than with her BH.

They actually went on to R but it was one of the most awful, gutwrenching processes I have read on this site.

So, the question is, how long will you invest monumental effort in someone who seems to me to be nowhere near remorse?

We are still together but it hasn't been good.

Life is short. Sometimes you have to cut people loose and let them be "successful" (sarcasm implied) with someone else.

[This message edited by DobleTraicion at 11:06 PM, Saturday, March 11th]

"You'd figure that in modern times, people wouldn't feel the need to get married if they didn't agree with the agenda"

~ lascarx

posts: 294   ·   registered: Mar. 2nd, 2021   ·   location: South
id 8781752
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PSTI ( member #53103) posted at 11:41 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

One thing, if it was solely sexual, how does one get past knowing they weren't able to satisfy their spouse?

Again chiming in from that different perspective but maybe you'll find it helpful?

Sex with different people is just that- different. It doesn't mean that sex with one person is unsatisfying. I do honestly joke that sex is like a menu. I can be in the mood for different kinds of sex and different sexual energy. Doesn't mean that I don't like whatever option I didn't pick at the time. Variety can just be awesome.

That being said- when someone agrees to be monogamous, they agree to give up that option to go and have sex with other people, so they've made the choice to have sex with only one person forever. I'm not in the least justifying their decision to go and get it elsewhere.

But I don't think that just because a person seeks out someone else for sex that it means their sex life with their spouse was inadequate. It is certainly not why I have multiple partners.

Me: BW, my xH left me & DS after a 14 year marriage for the AP in 2014.

Happily remarried and in an open/polyamorous relationship. DH (married 5 years) & DBF (dating 4 years). Cohabitating happily all together!! <3

posts: 913   ·   registered: May. 6th, 2016
id 8781762
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