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Men: devastated at first and then a confusing mix of feelings

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Bloomsday posted 8/11/2013 20:03 PM

I wish this site was around 7 - 9 years ago when I was experiencing disturbing events with my now XWW similar to those described here by other men (and women). Interestingly enough, although my experience did eventually result in divorce, on my own I did manage to stumble upon many of the same issues, techniques, and decision-points that the SI community espouses. Even now, it is somewhat comforting to know that I did some things “right”, even if the outcome was not what I had hoped.

Back then, I found a stash of letters my now XWW and OG had exchanged. They apparently thought letters would actually be more secure than email and texts. Most were written by OG, but a few were letters my WW had started but then presumably decided needed to be re-written and so were not sent. The letters spelled out the arc of their relationship, OG’s attempted seduction of WW, her refusal, then reluctance, and eventual complicity, as well as the graphic detail in which OG recounts their trysts (almost like a sports announcer providing a re-cap of an exciting game’s highlights). Due to the detail (what she wore for him) and dates provided, I was able to piece together the precise circumstances of their meetings - - mostly at out-of-town business meetings - - even one time that I had called WW at her hotel just as OG apparently arrived for a hook-up. She had to hang up quickly because "room service" was there (which might be funny if this were a cheap sitcom and not a marriage). The best part was that I did not really need or care to hear her version of events as I had few questions unanswered.

But things do get better. Eventually, the upsetting dreams ceased and the movies in my mind stopped playing. We live in a society where a man with a cheating wife can be whipsawed by ill-informed and ultimately destructive notions of “cuckoldry”. While one may logically know that cheating wives rarely do it for the sex, it may be hard for men to get past both the self-questioning and concerns regarding what others must think. I may be wrong, but I don’t think that there is a precise corresponding concept for women to a man’s feelings of being cuckold. There may be some similarities… but the crazy range of emotions that men may iteratively experience - - from pain and devastation, to an odd (almost perverse) fascination with what transpired even to the point of feeling excitement, to self-doubt and guilt over that interest, and back to pain and devastation seems to be uniquely male.

Now, with several years (and miles) of distance, new relationships, rewarding work, friends and family, I can look back and appreciate the healing process that slowly unfolded and continues to unfold. Much of it aligns perfectly with various posts and suggestions that I have read here. Yet there is one relatively minor aspect of my experience that I have not noticed mentioned here at SI (maybe I missed any such similar threads; if so, this post may belong there). Some men may appreciate finding that they are not alone in feeling first devastated and later also a little turned on after discovering their WW’s infidelity. For men who may be wrestling with similarly strange feelings, I can tell you that the same letters I originally could not bear to look at soon began to read like those old letters to Penthouse Forum, only… a) They are true; and, b) I knew the woman. The way I rationalized this odd fascination was that although my XWW took quite a bit away from me when she made her very poor decisions, she also (inadvertently) left me something. So I decided to periodically peruse a letter or two, enjoying what little pleasure XWW could still provide me even if it was perverse. Frankly, I figured it was the least she could do and I also felt like I was forcefully reclaiming something from her that she had taken. It seemed to help. So if there are men who feel likewise conflicted about their strange emotional reactions to a WW, be aware that you are not alone and it need not be a sign of weakness or wallowing in misery. Although counter-intuitive, such practices may function (in an odd way) as a healing mechanism of sorts… a curious and (I suspect) uniquely male method of making lemonade out of lemons. Oh, btw I also sent a copy of the letters to OG’s W. That felt good too.

hallelujah posted 8/12/2013 11:30 AM

Interesting post. My situation was similar, but really opposite. We started out with my husband having a cuckold fantasy which he encouraged me to pursue, but when I did in real life, it fell apart. Since then, I have come to realize there is a huge segment of the porn industry dedicated to cuckold fantasies. It has been a struggle for us, because in the initial aftermath of DD, it was a crazy roller coaster of, "You evil woman how could you do this to me!" to "Do it again, do it again!" Which became unbearable and almost unmanageable. I understand there are other people here who have dealt with some of the same issues but I have never really connected with them. I have wondered whether the cuckold fantasy is somewhat similar to the concept of HB.

MoreWould posted 8/12/2013 11:45 AM


It must be true, because there is a whole subset of the porn industry devoted to it. I'm glad it was good for you.

In my case, after my WW's A I spent some time there trying to see if I could get turned on by it. Didn't work for me, I must not be wired that way. It wasn't for lack of trying, or diligent practice!

On a different note, my gay brother spent years trying to convince me that guys were so much easier to get along with than women, I should change teams. He was probably right about women's thought processes, but that wasn't remotely appealing to me either.

Bloomsday posted 8/12/2013 13:47 PM

Thank you for your comments. My reference to "ill-informed and ultimately destructive notions of cuckoldry” was actually targeted at the porn industry and similar distorted notions suggesting that cheating wives can somehow be just another kinky activity among consenting adults. What is depicted in porn or an "open marriage" or swinging doesn't entail the devastation that real cheating brings and should not be confused with infidelity IMO. No one in their right mind would want to risk losing their spouse, house, kids, dogs, and way of life. This relatively recent idea that modern culture is trying to sell - - that an actual real cheating wife, with all the lying, deceit and pain - - can be a fun thing, is so misguided.

I suppose that my approach is closer in purpose to some of the techniques I have seen here about ferreting out the ugly truth no matter how painful, facing the betrayal head-on, over time having that betrayal gradually lose its strength and ability to hurt, and eventually seizing back the power, even if only symbolically. Now that I think of it, I probably could have made a voodoo doll in my XWW's likeness and stuck pins in it to accomplish the same thing.

Admittedly, it's a confusing mix of feelings.

[This message edited by Bloomsday at 1:55 PM, August 12th (Monday)]

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