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ReluctantEmu ( new member #82500) posted at 1:08 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

I think you’ll find that as the fog wears off, the detail of so-called "sexual compatibility" with AP will be a mirage itself that you generated to keep up a fantasy of a rosy life with him. And you’ll see even the sexual side of it for what it was, a lie.

Let me ask you Ellie, how often did you sleep with AP? Maybe 10-20 times at most? It’s easy for us WWs in our foggy state to see the dopamine hit given to us from the A as something sexual in nature but it’s just that, a false dopamine rush that makes us see things as more pleasurable and exciting than they actually are. I know you say that it’s been ages since you’ve been intimate with your BH, but in a long term marriage, excitement and fuzzy feelings aren’t the goal especially when it comes to intimacy.

I don’t aim to be as excited with my BH as I was with my AP, but I know my relationship
with my BH is amazing because he actually is skilled as a lover and knows what I want there and that’s without the fog covering my eyes or any sort of emotional ties to the A (or rather the dopamine given by the A). It’s just like a drug addiction.

Try to get in the right mindset for this. You’ll see what I mean.

Me: WW (33),Him: BH (33)

LTA from Nov 2020-Feb 2022

In recovery

posts: 13   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2022   ·   location: Australia
id 8838990
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 1:57 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

Thank you. I would like to talk about the sex if that's allowed bc I know what you mean. We did probably have sex about 10x. The interesting thing is he was a horrible kisser when he first kissed me. It was very forceful and reminded me of over zealous hs boys. But bc I was already emotionally in I taught him what I liked and then it was amazing. Then when we had the time for more involved touching (not sex) he also needed some help and when he got it, it was also amazing. We are also both into kink and explored that when we could. It was like having someone who was up for anything you could think of and all those feelings I thought were gone were awakened by this man. Are these things I could've tried with my husband? I'm sure he would've indulged me, but I was angry and hurt and not turned on by him and I had been sex starved for so long I thought I had become effectively asexual. I had always been a very sexually adventurous person. I'm polyamorous and was wild in my 20s. Before we got married, I told him I may need to have sex outside our marriage and he said "I know". While we were married, my outlet was mostly women and the few men I made out with was tolerated. Then we started a family and all those feelings were dampened by raising babies. I thought (hoped in a way bc it's too complicated) that part of me was gone. I see now that it wasn't but I wasn't running it by my husband like I would've in the past bc ik he'd say no and also be disappointed I was having those feelings again. There is also the superficial component of how ap and I look. He looks like a GQ model (not what I normally care about and also not why I fell for him) and I used to do print modeling in my 20s and we would spend as much time as possible admiring our "perfect bodies". Gross, ik. I always had my mind on this isn't sustainable, people get old, what if one of us was marred, etc... He swore he loved me for more than that and Ik he does but I couldn't really believe the same for myself. Idky these feelings started for me all of a sudden when my marriage was so messed up from day 1. I never thought to be with someone else, I thought to divorce first. So many times I could've done this and it never even entered my mind so I'm trying to figure why now and why ap. I do think sex with my husband became a way to have children and then when we were done in that department I was also done. It's a lot to unpack that I hope my therapist can help me with.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8838991
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 2:38 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

You are doing well being honest with us. I hope you can translate that to your husband.

I’m not going to lie, what you just laid down contains elements of some of the worst fears of a betrayed husband. A sexually adventurous woman who avoids that with her husband, leverages him for kids and stability, buried him under layers of resentment, and then has mind blowing, kinky sex with another man.

You need to be honest with him, but this is going to obliterate him. And unless you are prepared to stop the resentments and really see him as an exciting, sexual man, you will be dead in the water.

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 2190   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8838996
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HellIsNotHalfFull ( member #83534) posted at 2:58 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

You keep saying how bad your marriage is, but I have to ask, you married him, and if remember correctly you’ve been married 19 years. 19 years and 3 kids. Couldn’t have been that bad then.

You weren’t sex starved, by your own admission you rejected your husband for 3 years. I cannot overstate how that is your problem, and your responsibility.

Your BH knew who you were when he married you and allows for you to have sexual adventures outside of the marriage. Yet you made the choice to reject him for 3 years.

Did you ever ask your BH for kink stuff? Doesn’t sound like it. Why not? It’s very common in affairs for there to be uninhabited sex, which is also a huge roadblock to R might I add, because for some reason married couples don’t communicate their sexual needs. It’s easier with AP because AP is just a fantasy and doesn’t have any obligations.

Me mid 40s BH
Her 40s STBX WW
3 year EA 1 year PA.
DDAY 1 Feb 2022. DDAY 2 Jun 2022. DDAY 3/4/5/6/7 July 2024
Nothing but abuse and lies and abuse false R for three years. Divorcing and never looking back.

posts: 503   ·   registered: Jun. 26th, 2023   ·   location: U.S.
id 8838998
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 3:09 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

Yes, I agree the sex starved was completely driven by me. Sex starved for something/someone else. Honestly, the way we got married was weird, almost like a why not type of thing. Neither one of us ever wanted to be married or even have children. We were drunk in a bar one night and thought hey let's get married LOL. We had some friends who were and I remember thinking I could get married or break up. So it started very unromantically to say the least. 2 cynics getting together basically. Issues were never addressed but we just resigned ourselves to staying together while putting in no work to make it good. He will look at it much rosier than I but man it's been tough. Then I wanted kids and he went along with it. I think he would've been fine either way. We've both been terrible to each other over the years and it really should've been over but who wants to start all over again, divide the family up, only see their kids half the time, and struggle financially if you don't have to. I could see being good friends with him but idk if I can ever get the sexual feelings back. My therapist also agrees with me on that one.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8838999
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 3:26 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

My therapist also agrees with me on that one.

Your therapist agrees on what? That you can never recover sexual feelings for your husband? Ellie, if you are going to believe that and use your therapist as an echo chamber to stand firm on that, you should just stop now. Your husband deserves to have a say in his sex life, and if you don’t want to even listen to him, particularly after a betrayal like this, you are so far off it’s hard to even communicate. And I’m stupefied that a therapist would confirm something like that.

This is a huge sign that you are not close to ready for MC. And if your IC is fortifying you in positions that are unnecessarily marriage hostile, that is a choice you are making. My wife made that choice, it ended things for us.

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 2190   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8839001
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 3:39 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

I think you should just get a divorce. Using him for financial stability and not really wanting intimacy and connection is abuse. Infidelity is abuse. Two people who abuse each other make awful role models for kids. You have a chance only if you can recognize your own toxicity. You are two toxic people married to each other. At least your husband went to IC over the last year to work on himself, and it sounds like you go to IC to build a case that keeps you from looking at your part of this.

I am sorry that I don’t have better advice, some people need to cling to the chaos and if you are looking for an echo chamber to say "go be with the ap" that will never happen here. I would tell you get in Ic and stay out of relationships until you can see they aren’t just a tool to get what you want from them.

Affairs are traumatic, the process of reconciliation is long and arduous. To get though that it’s gonna take empathy and purpose and desire and resolve. You have none of these things for him, I think you are just going to spend this time twisting the knife. Better to stop the cycles now.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839003
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 3:41 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

I was surprised, too, but I've never been in therapy, so... I think I can get it back with time and he's been patient enough, I'm not willing to believe that's true. I do get a vibe that, while she thinks working on the marriage is of course my choice, she wants to make sure I'm going in eyes wide open and not with unrealistic expectations. Maybe I should try someone else? Ik they're supposed to be validating but it also feels like agreement but maybe that's just me misunderstanding.

[This message edited by Elliebellie at 3:42 PM, Sunday, June 9th]

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839004
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 3:57 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

If you deeply want the marriage and you feel your IC steering you away from it, that’s a problem. The therapist should not be directing the conversation in a specific direction in that regard. With the abuse allegations, it complicates things in that your therapist might be trying to open your eyes to things there.
You have a lot to think about here. I can’t recommend strongly enough that you do NOT drag your husband into MC with the attitudes you are currently communicating here. You risk destroying any chance of recovery, if you actually even want that, which is really hard to tell from what you are writing. It would be far better for everyone for you to take the time you need to decide whether you want to try R, whether you are prepared to be 100% honest and humble, and that you will aim for the new marriage you said you wanted, which would necessarily include emotional and physical intimacy with your husband. If you don’t want those things, and if you don’t have the resolve to work incredibly hard for years to get it, then take hikingout’s advice and call it.

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 2190   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8839006
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 4:08 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

I think you should just get a divorce. Using him for financial stability and not really wanting intimacy and connection is abuse. Infidelity is abuse. Two people who abuse each other make awful role models for kids. You have a chance only if you can recognize your own toxicity. You are two toxic people married to each other. At least your husband went to IC over the last year to work on himself, and it sounds like you go to IC to build a case that keeps you from looking at your part of this.

I agree. Two unhealthy ppl got married and this is where we are now. I do not want my kids to have this marriage. Tbf I didn't withhold sex as punishment. My desire just plummeted and I thought it was age or hormones or something. My intention was not to find validation in the affair. Ik that was wrong and I hate that I did it. The therapy was to work through the resentment I have for my husband and then it took another direction. Ik we both abused each other in many ways. I think that's where the codependency comes into play. We just can't imagine not being with the other person so much that we're willing to stay together even when it makes no sense. And then the kids are just here and it's really just a terrible situation for everyone involved. I don't expect anyone to say go to ap. That's not even what I want. I cheated bc I didn't respect my husband enough to be honest with him. It's not all about financial stability. He also benefits from someone who cooks and cleans, takes care of the finances and the children and smooths things over when things get heated. It's definitely a two way street.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839008
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 4:56 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

Listen, I pushed you to hear any explanation that made sense. I was hoping you would fight me on it, and you did.


The arguments you have are not strong, but they exist. That’s not all that abnormal.

Prior to my affair I was also very unhappy and went through a period of sexual dysfunction.

I am glad you can see the codependency.

I am not saying you don’t enhance his life in ways like domestically. But domestic ways is not going to get you where you are trying to go. You need to deeply challenge yourself here if this has any shot in hell. So if sometimes my remarks seem harsh, I am just trying to challenge you on what is hard for you to challenge yourself.

But make no mistakes, your marriage is not just where it is because of him. I would never encourage someone who is in abusive situation to stay. It’s dangerous. I have some feeling the situation isn’t dangerous or you wouldn’t be staying. How is his anger right now?

What do you hope to gain in continuing to hold the ap is high regard, when that whole situation is completely working against this said desire to try and work things through with him? Are you hoping in some ways for your husband and you to heal enough that you can coparenting so you can go? Are you saving face from it being said that you left him for another man?

Those might seem like rude questions but you have to frame it as I have been in your shoes. Maybe not to the extreme you seem to be at but I know what post dday looks like and the ways we are controlled by our shame. How we don’t want to be the villain in our own story.

I have compassion for you, but I think you are flossing over a lot of fundamental things that if you don’t examine them it’s going to become a bigger mess.

Polyamorous people are generally ethical about it. They sit down and create ground rules, they believe in total honesty and compassion. I am not sure it’s compassionate to tell your new husband that you feel like you need to sleep with other people. Do you think that’s where some of his need to control gets engaged?

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839010
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 4:57 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

By the way how did he find out about your affair and what was his reaction?

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839012
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 5:57 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

I do feel like I was honest before we got married. If he had said I will never let you be with someone else I would've moved on. I think he hoped I'd change. And I think I hoped he'd change wrt to poor attitude about the world and ppl in general. Like I could soften him. We pretty much had all the same friends, too, still do. He may be demanding but not controlling. At least I don't see it. I said pages back I told him the marriage counseling is not necessarily to stay together but to heal. He agreed with that goal. Of course I don't want to be seen as the villian (maybe only to myself) and I don't want my husband to be seen that way, either. We are very protective of each other in that way. Being poly has nothing to do with the affair. I chose to do that on my own, which is not how we would do it in the past. Then, we would go to parties and I'd make out with ppl (sometimes he would, too) and there was zero emotional attachment.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839017
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 6:05 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

By the way how did he find out about your affair and what was his reaction?

AP stopped by while my husband and kids were out and they came back early and he saw us kissing through the window. Idk how we didn't hear him but thank God the kids did not see. He yelled and screamed at me, called me a cunt, I ran upstairs after him pleading for him not to take my babies and by that night we were sleeping in the same bed (I had been sleeping in the guest room for over a year). Later he told me he had suspected, too, and had been trying so hard to put the thoughts aside, poor guy. I failed him on so many levels.

The night after he found out, he said "things are going to change around here. You are moving back in our bed and all phones will be kept downstairs and out of the bedrooms." I think it was just his way to control the situation.

[This message edited by Elliebellie at 6:08 PM, Sunday, June 9th]

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839018
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 6:10 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

You don’t need to go to MC to heal individually. How do you envision going to MC furthering individual healing? Like you will be able to finally convince him to acknowledge his flaws and you get that catharsis?

I will say, regardless of whether you decide to try to save the M, if you care about that man at all, give him a truthful description of what happened. His brain is traumatized and desperately seeking to fill in the holes. It’s truly awful, he doesn’t recognize his own life anymore. Knowing what happened helps him heal. Maybe you can be less intimate and graphic if you are walking away, but still give the father of your children the respect of the truth of his own life.

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 2190   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8839019
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 6:26 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

If I say to wait on marriage counseling will that make this all seem worse, like I don't want to work on it? I thought we could go together and talk about the affair and the therapist could give us tools to reconcile or...?

I asked him if he wanted to talk last night and he said no. Sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't. Ik something he wonders about is how we were communicating.

I'm fine with shelving marriage counseling. I only suggested it bc I thought it could help us figure out if we wanted to stay together. I definitely never planned to use it to highlight his flaws or manipulate the situation. He already knows his flaws, that's why he agreed to therapy itfp.

[This message edited by Elliebellie at 6:28 PM, Sunday, June 9th]

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839021
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HellIsNotHalfFull ( member #83534) posted at 6:34 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

I want to challenge on more point to your history especially with AP.

Since AP was only your friend, dig deep into your past relationship with him and really ask yourself when did the very small lines start getting crossed? This didn’t happen overnight.

Is there a correlation that you and AP start becoming really close friends and you and your BH stop? Look, it’s not a coincidence that prior to your Affair being in no doubt an affair, lines where crossed long before that and it happens to coincide with you rejecting BH for sex and built up resentment.

Happened to me as well. AP was definitely more WWs friend then mine, and interestingly enough, about a year/year and a half prior to A being in no question an A, she and I started having major problems. But not like things that are serious like abuse or booze.
More of "you don’t love me" or "how can you think I’m beautiful". Things like that. A major shift in our relationship that had been very strong before that.

I think you should explore deeply the affect of your relationship with AP prior to A and the damage done to your marriage.

Me mid 40s BH
Her 40s STBX WW
3 year EA 1 year PA.
DDAY 1 Feb 2022. DDAY 2 Jun 2022. DDAY 3/4/5/6/7 July 2024
Nothing but abuse and lies and abuse false R for three years. Divorcing and never looking back.

posts: 503   ·   registered: Jun. 26th, 2023   ·   location: U.S.
id 8839023
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 6:36 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

Betrayed husband here. My WW did a lot of terrible shit to me during and after her affair. I’m a resilient man and I’ve worked hard for years to reconcile.

I couldn’t reconcile with you.

Divorce him.

Have at least that much respect for him.

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: 346   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8839024
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HellIsNotHalfFull ( member #83534) posted at 6:48 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

MCs rarely if ever will say Divorce, they will never tell you if you should or shouldn’t. That’s not the purpose of MC. A good MC will explore why you think you want a D, will help you if that is the path you choose, but they will never say "yes you should divorce".

Me mid 40s BH
Her 40s STBX WW
3 year EA 1 year PA.
DDAY 1 Feb 2022. DDAY 2 Jun 2022. DDAY 3/4/5/6/7 July 2024
Nothing but abuse and lies and abuse false R for three years. Divorcing and never looking back.

posts: 503   ·   registered: Jun. 26th, 2023   ·   location: U.S.
id 8839027
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:52 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

Do you want a monogamous marriage?

The reason I ask is after infidelity some of these extracurricular activities would need to be off the table.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839028
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