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Newest Member: Daughterofthemosthigh

Reconciliation :
Intimacy is hard


 Jskw458 (original poster new member #84974) posted at 6:03 AM on Sunday, June 23rd, 2024

About two years into reconciliation after DD and finding out about several years of infidelity and several men my wife had been with (though it’s mostly been one). We survived through hard work, therapy, and clinging to each other and rebuilding the love and bonds. Most days now things are good between us. Scanning this forum, I see a lot of familiar patterns - sometimes there are steps backwards and some old habits and "old us" are showing up that lead to us falling apart in the first place. But we can recognize it and move back on the path of fixing.

That said, the physical intimacy has been strange the past 6-10 months. Not as frequent as it was on average before (we’ve been married for about 20 years), and we both experience things in our heads that leads to sex becoming a weird wedge and a source of anxiety, especially for me. It was wild and better than ever for a while after we started reconciling (which I understand is common) and now a lot of scar tissue is showing up for both of us.

I’m not at all worried of another case of infidelity but I also feel like my needs are not being met and it has me worried for the short and medium term. Will they ever return to normal and natural?

Any of you has gone through these periods before? What worked and didn’t work?

Would appreciate any thoughts on this sensitive topic.

posts: 6   ·   registered: Jun. 23rd, 2024
id 8840608

Dandelion2024 ( new member #84791) posted at 8:11 AM on Sunday, June 23rd, 2024

Hi, I am by no means an expert, but an expert did recommend this book to me called "Come As You Are" by Emily Nagasaki. It’s written more for a woman, I think, but IMO every human on earth should read this to get an understanding of the physiology of sex and of all of the emotional and situational components of sex (the context) that we are probably unaware of. And I work in women’s reproductive health and had no freaking idea about 90% of this stuff! I wonder how cool it could be to read it together and start finding things in the book that either make sense for you guys or totally don’t. She talks a lot about "brakes and accelerators" that can make people act on sexual desire or not or just not feel it. I’m not doing it justice here, but if you are willing to try something, this could be a good place to start:)

posts: 16   ·   registered: Apr. 27th, 2024
id 8840613

 Jskw458 (original poster new member #84974) posted at 2:20 PM on Sunday, June 23rd, 2024

Thank you. We are reading this book together, I agree, it’s a good one.

posts: 6   ·   registered: Jun. 23rd, 2024
id 8840623

Dandelion2024 ( new member #84791) posted at 5:59 AM on Monday, June 24th, 2024

Oh good! I was worried I was a weirdo!!!! laugh

posts: 16   ·   registered: Apr. 27th, 2024
id 8840671

Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 3:15 PM on Monday, June 24th, 2024

Firstly, I agree it’s challenging. Captain obvious here. We had the same as far as crazy intense sex for a long while and then more recently kind of a lull. It got me worrying in a similar way to what it sounds like you are doing. From the reading I have done it sounded like a frequent suggestion was pausing, even in the middle of stuff, to share what you’re feeling. In fairness, I did not do this for the first year. I just kind of stuffed it down and tried to move forward through the sex and usually was able to forget about the images that were coming into my head. But now that things are moving more slowly it seems harder to do.

So anyway, last night I could tell something was probably going to happen because you know men usually get nicer when things are headed in that direction. So after he suggested turning out the lights I paused things to say I had some thoughts and worries about whether the kissing with the "Other Person" was more emotionally charged or sexually charged. My worry was that these were emotional kisses, although they were happening in the middle of the day in the office with folks outside the door. I guess his answer isn’t really important but I shared my concerns, he addressed them and then it was like a clean slate. When we started kissing my head wasn’t stuck in those thoughts because at least we both knew what was in the other person’s head. So at least OUR kissing felt like emotionally connected and close and that was what I wanted.

Up until now sex has been fine but kissing has been a problem, because of these thoughts I’ve been having. So the net net is that in my case this helped. I’m not sure it would work well for everyone and might even be kind of weird for many. But, we’ve been dealing with this for many years now so the idea of the topic coming up is not all that dramatic. He’s gotten kind of used to it, though probably (definitely) doesn’t like it.

I did share with him that appreciating his kisses has been probably the only benefit to this whole thing. I am generally openly hostile to the idea that anything good can or has come out of this deeply traumatizing event. But, I did take his kissing for granted in the first 17 years of our marriage. Not in a mean way but just in the way that I think many long time married couples do. Now I don’t take that for granted. I see what an incredibly special thing it is to share this stuff with just one person. Yes, ironically I will never have that thing that people who haven’t had infidelity have - where they know that from the first time they kissed there was never another. But in that "perfect" relationship I did take this for granted. I highly doubt other BS’s would share this feeling. All of these experiences are so personal and idiosyncratic. What hurts one doesn’t hurt another as much and so on. But for me this appreciation has been an enriching thing in my life. (Some of the pain in my case is probably lessened by the fact that after we had been together for a couple years I broke up with him for a month and during that month got physical with someone else - most definitely not cheating and I was totally honest about it. But, he also could never feel like after we first kissed there was never another kisser in the mix).

posts: 393   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8840681

Ladybugmaam ( member #69881) posted at 11:23 PM on Monday, June 24th, 2024

It truly is. Post A a few years on…..I WILL say we have a greater intimacy than we ever had pre-a. But, that is only because we both went all in. Intimacy always goes through ebbs and flows.

EA DD 11/2018
PA DD 2/25/19
One teen son
I am a phoenix.

posts: 473   ·   registered: Feb. 26th, 2019
id 8840731

 Jskw458 (original poster new member #84974) posted at 5:55 PM on Sunday, June 30th, 2024

@ Stillconfused2022 thank you so much for your honest post and for everyone else that chimed in. In my darkest moments I think it’ll never be the same and will only get worse as we "settle" just to stay together because splitting and going our separate ways isn’t good for anyone of us, including our children. I don’t want to accept this, and then my mind spirals that maybe there’s something better I deserve. At the end of the day, sex is still a physical need, I’m told men (and I’m a man) tend to have higher need for it, and for all the years in our marriage, was how I felt closer to her. And just like with food, depravation isn’t usually healthy.

But chances are, I’ll never again find that innocent person with no infidelity baggage, or that they won’t create that baggage themselves.

And in those darkest moment a thought of revenge come in. Maybe I should experience this so I have more empathy and less "this was so unfair". But that’s just hurting myself more and hurting her more.

So I’m glad to hear what I’m feeling isn’t abnormal.

posts: 6   ·   registered: Jun. 23rd, 2024
id 8841211
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