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hurtincolorado posted 7/25/2013 21:38 PM

Anyone else feeling so unbelievably unattractive or having a need to feel wanted outside the relationship? I was a very desirable man until she cheated. Never put off vibes or encouraged any subtle advances. Now I feel dumpy and unworthy. I have a need to feel wanted but don't want to put off same signals that she obviously did nor do I want to violate my promises. I just am torn between feeling a need to be desired and not trusting her and being the man I have always been. Thoughts?

LosferWords posted 7/25/2013 21:58 PM

Try not to let your wife's actions change the image that you have of yourself.

I have had self image issues as well. One thing that helped me was immersing myself in the practice of martial arts. I lost weight, got in shape, and learned how to kick some major ass! I'd recommend martial arts, or any other type of physical activity to increase those good endorphins, and get you feeling better about yourself again.

And always remember, the best and most authentic validation comes from within yourself.

Hang in there...

Loyalty2Liberty posted 7/26/2013 05:27 AM

A quick fix thing that helps a lot of people untill the exercise benefits fully kick in is sprucing up. It's harder to feel unattractive when you look good on the outside for some reason.

Time to hit a fancy barber shop, get a snazzy new (different) haircut or a luxurious shave or something. Or maybe treat yourself to fine new clothes if you can afford it, or dig up your Sunday best to wear any old day if you can't.

Looking at yourself looking different will help you see your attractiveness with fresh eyes.

You can take your new appearance and use it to go out with your male friends and do something dignified and manly. No need to interact with women or put out vibes. Take pics to remember how cool it was. Acting attractively will help you feel better.

blakesteele posted 7/26/2013 05:55 AM

Rejection sucks.

A word of might FEEL dumpy and unattractive, but other women wont necessarily see you that way....this can be a dangerous time for you personally.

A kind comment from a waitress could enter into a flirty exchange...and it WILL make you feel instantly will want more of that. Pay the bill and leave.

I see you are aware of this and that is good...but we have moments of to develop plans during our stronger times.

For instance...I know I am vulnerable to temptation...when I enter I restaurant I choose to sit close to other patrons, NOT at a table that is by keeps the conversation light and polite as it should be.

I have always gone to lunch with at least 2 coworkers when one is a woman...temptations after my wifes A have been to drop this boundary. I have not.

I would caution you also on really good days....where you feel like your old self. It seems women in particular pick up on this cool vibe and will be drawn to you. Pre-A I enjoyed the attention but temptation were not a part of that. That changes after DD.

Longish post I know. Just trying to get you to really embrace your character and not sacrifice it for a cheap ego boost. It IS cheap...but oh so tempting.

God be with you.

nomistakeaboutit posted 7/26/2013 06:01 AM

Yes, I understand. Self esteem is hard to maintain when someone betrays you.

If she broke your trust,,she needs to start earning it back. Is she doing that? No contact with OM. Full transparency with all passwords, etc., IC, MC, providing reassurance to you, etc.

In terms of desirability, you're probably not very desirable right now, frankly. That's because of this:

Happy, confident = attractive

Sad, self doubting, suspicious, needy, uncertain = unattractive

The trick is to figure out how to be happy again. It's hard to be happy when someone is sneaking up behind you and hurting you.

Best to you. (Note: it might be good to post some of your story in your profile. It provides people with some frame of reference for their replies to your posts!)

Spideysense posted 7/26/2013 08:22 AM

Blakesteel such wonderful insight....i believe that is exactly how my BH felt after my A, unfortunately he succumbed to that temptation. Now i feel it. I went shopping with DD the other day, was excited about it, then it was just miserable because i am never going to be like the tall very young blonde that tempted him away. Yes, OP be very very wary of that temptation at a time like now.

womaninflux posted 7/26/2013 08:24 AM

BS said it all...and if you read through the stages BS/P go through, this is one of them. Suddenly, everyone looks like a potential AP for you (or potential dating material if you separate). It's part of the revenge feeling you go through

If you FEEL unattractive, start taking care of yourself because YOU want to put yourself as a priority for once. You are supposed to take care of yourself anyway. Work out, get a massage, try out a new hair cut place, get a spray tan. I don't know...just DO stuff that will take the focus off of what someone has done to you and instead put it on what you are doing for yourself. It is really helpful for the healing process.

Another thing...her cheating has nothing to do with you being desirable or undesirable. I just recently lost close to SAWH still won't come near me. It's his fear of intimacy - real intimacy - not just sexual - with another human that is behind this. At least that is what I think at this point. Cheating/not cheating - it's a choice. Your BS made the wrong choice and so did mine.

[This message edited by womaninflux at 8:33 AM, July 26th (Friday)]

Lonelygirl10 posted 7/26/2013 08:32 AM

This feeling will pass. I sought attention right after Dday, just because I wanted to feel good about myself again. Now, I'm back to not noticing other men.

My advice is to try to find something that makes you proud of yourself on your own, rather than seeking that from someone else. Join a gym, or take up a new hobby. And know that your feelings are normal.

JanaGreen posted 7/26/2013 08:51 AM

((HUGS)) I understand exactly how you feel.

One of the things I did after my H filed for divorce (long story; it's in my profile) was join an online dating site. Which, seeing as we were heading for divorce, probably wouldn't be viewed as wrong by some, but my motivation was not actually to find someone to date (way too early) but to get validation of my attractiveness from others. Thing is, after I corresponded with some of the guys, it didn't make me feel better. It made me feel wrong and guilty, because I was only using them to make myself feel better. And that's not the person I want to be. Be the person you always have been, and try to get that validation from yourself, not others.


luv_lost posted 7/26/2013 08:59 AM

hurtin - I understand how you are feeling. After my WH's A, I felt like an old hag, used up and well, ugly. Especially after I saw a pics of the OW...and no, she's NOT pretty, fit, thin, nothing attractive. So for was like, damn how bad am I that he chose to pursue this "relationship" with her over me? It was a real hard hit to my self-esteem.

I guess I'm feeling that hit so bad that I just can't imagine/picture anyone else wanting/desiring me. Sometimes I think that I'd give anything to feel desired or wanted, but then I actually think about it and no, I wouldn't. I wouldn't sacrifice what means the most for some cheap thrill. We're better than that.

For me, I try not to focus on it by keeping myself busy and occupied. When I'm idle, that's when my mind starts going so find something that interests you or that you enjoy.

blakesteele posted 7/26/2013 10:15 AM

Sideysense and womaninflux...thanks for the support of my post.

Womaninflux...You mention in your post that your WH has a true fear of intimacy..real intimacy.

How did this come to light? Was it something he uncovered or something that you have pieced together through less direct routes?

I am wrestling with where my wife is really at on this. Our conversations about this have left me with a vague feeling.

At one point we both thought she had a deep intimacy with her AP. Since then we have both realized how false that assumption was (dang those "emotional truths of the moment"!).

I am asking in an effort to define all of our that we can go about tending to them....or at least recognize them and see if we both have a desire to tend them. KWIM?

I am also wanting to see if I have a fear of real deep intimacy due to my modes of operation (namely fear of abandonment).

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 10:17 AM, July 26th (Friday)]

womaninflux posted 7/27/2013 16:16 PM

Blakesteele in repsonse to your inquiry of :

"...You mention in your post that your WH has a true fear of intimacy..real intimacy.

How did this come to light? Was it something he uncovered or something that you have pieced together through less direct routes?"

This came about through therapy and eventual dx of SA. Sawh has childhood issues (attachment disorder, witness to a trauma, parents with dysfunctional "separate lives" marriage) which contribute tonthis intimacy issue.

blakesteele posted 7/29/2013 14:09 PM

Thanks womaninflux. My wife comes from an alcoholic home...after her parents divorced her Dad was almost non-existent to her, I come from a divorced home, my dad had an affair, after their divorce my Dad was non-existent until I flew out to see him when I was in my early twenties.

Our Dads are now a part of our lives...but most of that relationship is us reaching out to them.

My wife and I both have intimacy issues...working to figure out the extent to which they exist and figure out a path through that boundary.

thanks again,

[This message edited by blakesteele at 2:10 PM, July 29th (Monday)]

ArableSands posted 7/29/2013 14:15 PM

I work in an industry where every now and then I'm surrounded by gorgeous models. Because of the chaotic nature of their work many of them are single. I had to attend a photo shoot last week and it took every fibre of my being not to flirt with one of the models there (who was a little more than half my age) who was showing some interest. I felt like I was on top of the world for a brief few minutes. But I knew that wasn't right -- I am still married and am working towards R. This is a major challenge when it's this early after day zero. I was exhausted emotionally for the rest of the day.

ifinallyfoundme posted 7/29/2013 14:22 PM

I just am torn between feeling a need to be desired and not trusting her and being the man I have always been. Thoughts?

Faithfulness is very sexy. Don't go spreading yourself around like a $2 ho. It's not worth it.
As someone else has stated you are very vulnerable now. Use that extra energy to ramp up your fitness and diet will take the edge off as well as making you more confident.

ArableSands posted 7/29/2013 14:53 PM

I echo what finallyfoundme said. Being the man you have always been CAN NEVER BE RECOVERED if you break your vow. NEVER. You will always have that stain on your life. It can't be undone. And for what? A few minutes of pleasure and perhaps an hour of vindication?

Not worth it my friend. Be good to yourself, not just now, but your future self as well.

tushnurse posted 7/29/2013 15:03 PM

It is normal to feel this way. Understand that. Even though it's normal, you also need to understand that her choices had nothing to do with your appearance, or how you are in bed. It's hard to accept that at a deep level even thought it makes sense.

I ALWAYS had self esteem issues, I was too thin, too fat, not smart enough, whatever. I always felt like it wasn't enough for everyone else (horribly codependent much). Anyway the whole infidelity thing blew away my self esteem, Not the actual DDay but the time leading up to it. My H projected his unhappiness onto me by using my weakness of always trying to be the best by telling me I was a bad mom, housekeeper or whatever. That being said just before Dday I cut off all of my hair, I had always kept it long becuase he liked it that way. I had lost a ton of weight due to the infidelity diet, and when I finally started to get my head clear, I looked in the mirror, and realized I was pretty freaking awesome.

You too will eventually feel that way. I do think that you have to figure that out on your own, you can't rely on others telling you that you look good to feel good about who you are. You have to look at your sum total.
I do think a new hairstyle, some new clothes, perhaps a size smaller due to some unexpected weight loss, can help you realize that you are the total package.

Don't let others make you believe that you are an attractive person, and that you are enough. Sure the compliments help, but real true happiness whith who you are has to come from you.

blakesteele posted 7/29/2013 18:57 PM


Love your statement....faithfulness is very sexy.

Interesting to ponder the opposite....

HopeFloats2272 posted 7/29/2013 19:01 PM

I went through a few variations of what you are going through. Right after dday I couldn't even do my hair and makeup without sobbing and wondering why I should even bother. I have always taken care of myself for me but I started seeing myself the way I perceived he saw me and it crushed me. Most of his AP's would be considered "hot" (in a slutty porn star kinda way) and I constantly compared myself to them.

When I was finally able to pull myself together and go out with girlfriends I got plenty of attention. I commented to my girlfriend that I must be giving off a vibe because guys were staring at me. She said that guys have always checked me out but I just never noticed them. That's when I realized I was vulnerable because I had never paid attention to my surroundings and now I was "looking" which says "I might be available even though I'm wearing a wedding ring." For a split second it felt good to be noticed but really it was disheartening to have guys approach us despite the fact that we both had wedding rings on (and some of the men did too )

It's best to stay away from that scene until this phase passes. The gym can be a dangerous place too. It's a meat market. My therapist says that so many affairs start at the gym and always recommends a home gym to those that have had affairs or may be susceptible to an affair and still want to work out.

The desire to seek validation from others is normal but you don't need it and it can be a slippery slope. It's great that you are aware of it. Try to remember that the affair had nothing to do with you or your physical appearance. (I don't always practice what I preach : ) It's about 2 people with low self esteems and poor coping skills.

I'm mostly back to my normal self (it just takes time) although I don't feel attractive in his eyes, probably never will. Sadly, whenever he pays me a compliment I say things like, "whatever" and "sorry my boobs aren't big enough for you." I know it's not healthy to say those things but I think it's just a defense mechanism to keep me from opening up to him.

You said yourself that you WERE a desirable man until she cheated. You are STILL that man and even more desirable for not compromising your morals! Hang in there!

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