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olwen posted 9/24/2013 12:53 PM


I expect I am starting to sound like a broken record. One minute we are trying R the next I am questioning everything he has told me and really resenting him.

My question is, Is it possible H really had his A for no other reason than for the attention she gave him, how she made him feel? And that she was a distraction from the stress of real life?

He swears he was using her. Didn't fancy her, didn't want to be with her rather than me but as an 'add on' to make him feel good. He says he didn't set out to have sex but went along with it when it was offered on a plate.He says he spent as much time trying to end the A as he spent in it.

He says he was low, still loved me but was overwhelmed by our problems and pressures of work etc. As he got closer to her at work he started to feel better.

They developed an EA very fast. She text him round the clock and he replied to them all. I have no record of the content of these texts but he says they were day to day trivia about tv work etc. They never even acknowledged they were in an affair, both insisting they were 'just friends' to each other.

That's how H got so drawn in, he thought being married he was safe to play these games cos she insisted they were doing nothing wrong. He has always had very low self esteem and has flirted with other women just to see if they would want him. He loved the attention. They became best friends and he hid it all from me - obviously.

He swears this was the part he wanted. A woman other than me falling all over him, telling him how great he was and how good he was to put up with me. He loved moaning to her about me and how demanding his responsibilities were. Of course she fed him all the you should be free to do what you want when you want, think about yourself etc. He started getting confused about his feelings for her and whether he wanted to be single or stay married to me, when she made a pass at him, but he swears that only lasted a day or two til he kissed her then he woke up to what he was doing. Didn't want to end the EA though just knock the physical stuff on the head, he wasn't comfy with it poor thing

He says his doubts weren't wanting to be with her, it was whether he still loved me if he could get so swept up in another woman wanting him. He actually considered being single rather than being with either of us.

He says he was fishing to see if another woman would want him and he didn't want to lose the attention she gave him but he got so caught up in it and confused that he didn't refuse when she drove him to a car park and offered him sex. He did it cos he was too tempted to refuse and wanted her to stay quiet about the A but hated it and stopped very quickly.

They never touched again but the EA continued, he wanted her to end it co he thought she would keep quiet then. She didn't though, she kept texting and asking him to run errands with her at lunch, she got very stroppy if he didn't do 'as he was told' and he got very p'd off very fast. He had realised what they had done and hated her from right after they had sex. Eventually, in desperation he brought her here for me to do her nails. HE thought if she met me she would back off. It worked but I got suspicious and the rest as they say is history. He was very relieved it had ended. The whole thing lasted 6 weeks with the ons bang in the middle. He only enjoyed the A up to the 2 kisses he gave her one day. The rest he says he hated.

I sometimes wonder if he has a brain at all! Why have an affair if you don't fancy the person or want to be with them? Could a man really just do it for the ego boost?

Of course now he is in bits, madly in love with me and totally remorseful. He actually made himself ill during the A. Lost 2 stone and developed high BP. He swears he know why he did it and will never ever even look at another one let alone try and find out if they like him. He says his life Is totally with me and hates himself for being so weak and selfish and for devastating me. He does seem to 'get it' and is so dedicated to me now but of course I find it hard to believe.

why cause so much destruction just for a bit of attention?

[This message edited by olwen at 1:07 PM, September 24th (Tuesday)]

Lovedyoumore posted 9/24/2013 13:12 PM

Your situation was similar to mine. Here I was asking him to take out the trash, how much will it cost to fix the car, why don't you talk to me any more, can you come home on time for dinner tonight, ect. She was telling him how wonderful he was, how fit and good looking, how excited he made her, how he should follow his dreams, how good they were together, how they were made for each other and he deserved more than an old SAHW.

I think they get caught up in the swirl and then need it like a drug. It gives them a high they have long forgotten with you. It is sad that now your relationship is uneven because he has had that first new love tingle and you have not. It is one of our biggest hurdles.

We process and turn it over and over in our minds. Why did they do it? I know why my H did it and it does not hurt any less. Finding out the why's are for the WS so they learn what not to do going forward. He should be the one digging on this, for you. No glossy, shame, I am sorry, veil to deflect truth. the two of you need to set the boundaries and he needs to let you know anytime he even ventures close to the edge.

bionicgal posted 9/24/2013 13:29 PM

Same song as my H, different verse. My H's affair did progress to a PA - but got into for many of the same reasons. . .needed an escape, wondered if anyone else found him desireable, had low self-esteem (which he would have NEVER recognized previously), and just wanted the attention. If you knew my husband, you'd be shocked -- he is/was a good an honorable person. It is absolutely crazy that this happened. For him it also happened very quickly.

But, he was incredibly self-centered, and we are working on that in therapy. But yes, they do it for the ego boost. . . especially men of a certain age. I hate to say he was so typical, and he hates it too. I wish he had been smarter about the dangers of crossing boundaries - I do know he was shocked to know he was capable of this, as I do know he loves and values me a lot.

In my H's case there were FOO issues that fed into it as well - and it is my understanding the people are often in a lot of pain before they embark on an affair. It might be helpful to look at it that way -- happy-go-lucky, satisfied people don't usually go looking to blow their worlds apart. They do it to feel better - it is an escape.

roses303 posted 9/24/2013 13:37 PM

Your DHs sound so much like mine as well. His excuse is that he was drawn to her because she "desired me". No obligations. No stresses. No day to day stuff to deal with. Just constant flattering attention feeding into his self esteem issues.

strongerdaybyday posted 9/24/2013 13:40 PM

Similar scenario in my case. My H and I were fighting constantly and our sex life was lacking (sorry if that's TMI) we were going through the motions of a marriage without the feelings. Then she popped in - she made him feel special and needed

When he realized she was trying to replace me (she would ask him for help w/bills, fixing her car etc.. you know boyfriend/husband stuff) he split - he did not see her like that she was just someone to fuck and boost his ego. In his exact words to her "you were just convenient. we were never going to be a couple." (read this in text that I saw when snooping day after dday.)

olwen posted 9/24/2013 14:07 PM

Thank you all for your responses. It seems pretty typical! Yes, my H just hit the big 40 2 months before the A. Also I had been diagnosed bipolar and we had drifted apart, each dealing with our own shit not wanting to put on the other. Then the resentments built up yadda yadda, you all know the story. He had also just started working for a brand new company that had many teething problems. Plus he had never worked with a woman of around the right age before. And she was younger, just cliché.

I guess the main part if my question is did any of your H's NOT fancy the other woman and do it SOLELY for the attention. Is that even possible??? That's what is really niggling me today - something different every day at the mo. Why have an affair if you don't fancy the person?The best he said about her in the thick of the fog was 'well, she's not exactly ugly'.

It's like it didn't matter who she was, what she looked like, he claims to have not even wanted their ons just gone through with it cos he realised he had led her on and was scared she would tell me about their EA if he didn't. Great logic huh. But he has at least finally admitted to me that when she made her move he was tempted and that played a part in his decision to actually touch her and have sex. He denied that for the longest time. He says that as he made the decision he was tempted and curious what it would be like with someone new after all these years but only once he had justified it to himself and made the decision to go ahead, not why he made the decision. also he stopped very quickly cos he said it felt wrong and alien and just plain nasty, like sex with a prostitute.

I asked him if he had slept with women he didn't fancy before and he said yes, most of his ex gf's!!!! They were willing and wanted him, that's all he cared about!

So is it really possible to have an affair solely for the attention side of things, surely there must be some attraction there - or could he really have been that self absorbed and shallow to have used her for his own ego boost as well as using me as a mug through his A?

olwen posted 9/24/2013 14:41 PM

I really am losing the plot, just realised I have already asked this exact question before

Sorry for repeating myself

SoAngryAndHurt posted 9/24/2013 17:04 PM

I struggle with this too. My H claims he was not attracted to the OW at all. Which I believe because we had many conversations about her appearance prior to them becoming "friends". He said he would picture her a certain way in his mind when he emailed her but always felt disappointed when he would see her face to face. He says he went through with the PA because he wanted her to continue boosting his ego and he did it cause its what she wanted from him. Makes me sick. I struggle with it too. I mean how could you if you weren't attracted to her. He says it wasn't her and it could have been anyone who put him on a pedastal. So selfish!! So very selfish. Was it worth it? Of course not. If he had to do it all over he would never had done any of it.

[This message edited by SoAngryAndHurt at 5:06 PM, September 24th (Tuesday)]

happierdays posted 9/24/2013 17:46 PM

I can totally relate to everything you've written. My WH claims the reason he had the A is because it was an ego boost. I read several of their email exchanges and they dripped with OW's praise for him, you're so hot, sexy, gorgeous, you run so fast, you're so athletic, blah blah blah. His A lasted about 18 months, it was off and on as far as I can tell from the bits and pieces I've put together. I also had a realization this weekend, we had some reality to deal with on Friday regarding our daughter and he more or less shut right down. I'm certain that if the A was still going on it would have been a day like that he contacted OW.

He turned 40 last year, ironically dday came a week after his surprise 40th birthday party, perhaps the time in his life figured into it as well.

I get how wonderful the rush of feelings are at the start of a new relationship, it's lovely to feel desirable and smart and sexy, I totally get it. But at the end of the day I still can't wrap my head around the fact he'd jeopardize our marriage and family for someone he claims he was never attracted to.

I have not faith in the fact my WH will ever do the self reflection or digging to figure out just why he did it.

topperoff22 posted 9/24/2013 18:23 PM

All this sounds like my husband too....always wanted someone else to find him desirable but so far he's only had two women do that because he went right back to the woman who shattered him 15 years ago when he was in his 20s. I don't get that one at all. SHe trampled him, cheated on him and then he cheated on me with her....after I picked up all the pieces. :( It's very confusing and while he seems like he wants to work on things it does bother me that he had this "excitement" and these little secret conversations and a one night stand or whatever while I sat at hmoe worrying about him, taking care of our kid and the house and just having a very boring life while dealing with health issues :(

herongirl posted 9/24/2013 19:55 PM

I can totally relate to this. My husband's FB EA/phone sex was 100% ego-stroking fantasy, as he had never even seen a photo of her! Along with drinking, eating & spending to excess, talking to her was just another way to try to fill the gaping hole within himself. It didn't matter at all what she looked like, as long as she kept the compliments coming. This was especially hurtful to me, that he could risk everything we had together for a complete stranger. Thankfully, he has now (8 months post-DDay), finally started to recognize his unhealthy coping mechanisms, of which looking for external validation is just one. Viewing his AP as just another of his "tools" to make himself (temporarily) feel better has helped me a lot to get over the idea that she had to be special or attractive to him. It was never about her at all, she was just convenient.

bionicgal posted 9/24/2013 23:04 PM

No, my H did not do it solely for attention. That is why it started, but for him after the initial "You are so strong, smart, funny, etc. . ." he had to feel something for her, but it wasn't about her looks.

(She is fit, and marginally attractive, but no one that would *ever* turn a head on the street. . .which I think was her issue, along with aging.)

I know her, so I never really asked him what he thought about how she looked. I probably don't want to know. He must've thought she was attractive enough! The main factor for him was he eventually thought he was "in love," (after 2 weeks of emails), so that covers a multitude of flaws, I am afraid.

So, started with ego-inflating and just really blew up from there.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 11:05 PM, September 24th (Tuesday)]

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