Thank you chico. When you said this yesterday something really clicked for me. I have been uncomfortable with h's changing recollections of his feelings during his A.
story 1 was he didn't want her didn't fancy her, he did it all for attention only.
Story 2 - he did fancy her, he did want her, he took everything she offered as his golden opportunity.
Now I know, based on their own experiences, most members would believe story 2. I didn't completely because that story only came about after I threatened to leave him if I didn't get the full truth as I saw it. BUT when I questioned him on these answers they fell apart. He admitted he was just telling me what he thought I wanted to hear.
Story 1 was false because he was telling me what he wanted to be true and what he thought would be easier for me to deal with. So we have both minimised the feelings during the A and we have both decided things must have been much more simple than they were and he did it all out of lust.
I have a real problem with black and white thinking. If he fancied her he must have loved the sex and not fancied me anymore. If he wanted her then he didn't want me and never had etc etc. This made it very hard for him to tell me the truth and for me to hear it.
I don't want a debate on whether he is still lying, I am sure this is the truth as best as he can explain it and I can live with it so we are settling on this version and focussing on the future together and building a better marriage.
Story 3 - The truth.
Will try and keep this concise.
1) he fell for her emotionally big time. BFF! HE idolised her, put her on a pedestal. She was confident, popular, had all the answers to his problems (do what you want when you want!)and threw attention and validation his way constantly.
2) because of this he was very mentally attracted to her, like a fly round shit. Even though he didn't fancy her, this did make her more physically attractive after a while, and especially when she started coming on to him. At this point add together slight physical attraction (ok looking but no more - acceptable) to the huge mental admiration he had for her and you get a situation where she was good enough for him to desperately want her to want him.
I never believed he could want her to want him unless he wanted her too. He really struggled with admitting this one.
3)The lighter down top and kissing - bravado, look at me being the big man and not under the thumb (mine). trying to impress her. Wanting to see if she wanted him physically. At this point he did want her. He did want to kiss her. At this point she was at her most attractive. Coming on to him, loads of attention, just what he wanted. BUT after the second kiss (1st was a peck only) he realised he really didn't want her physically, he came out of the fog to a degree. Cos she hadn't kissed him back he thought they would just carry on with EA. He hated the kiss and it gave him a shock.
4) the front seat - no one will believe this but I do. He took the lift cos he wanted to spend time with her, have a chat and a laugh. He thought he was safe cos she hadn't kissed back so they were back to their intense EA. He believed they were going to talk things through as he had tried to put her off the physical side by saying if they didn't knock it off he was going to have to leave me cos of what they were doing (he should never play around with reverse psychology and passive aggressive confusing messages when he is just too bloody weak to say NO!)He thought she might have something planned but if anything physical happened he could stop it. He is a man after all and he thought he was in control and could stop things going 'too far' but it was her who was in control. He thought he would see what she wanted, get his ego boost and stop it. But when she made her move he realised he had led her on he decided it would be the EASY option to just say yes. He was curious and tempted. Never crossed his mind that he might not like it. He told himself he had got himself into the mess and had to see it through but YES there was temptation and curiosity. However, when he touched her she felt horrible and he really woke up. He was disgusted by what he was doing and stopped. He has told me exactly what they did and how and all the reasons it felt nasty. I won't go into them here but they are too precise to be made up. It was mainly the mental awakening though. He finally realised what he was actually doing.
5) the sex - he weakly protested that they didn't have a condom because at that point he told himself he may as well do what she wanted cos he had already gone way too far and he saw all the boundaries he had smashed and that I would never forgive him. So again he tool the EASY option and just said yes. He thought he may as well keep her happy but by this point the rose tinted glasses had come off and he had to masturbate to get in then went soft and stopped. Again he thought it would be ok and got a shock when his conscience kicked in and she felt horrible (probably cos he realised what he was doing was so wrong rather than anything physical about her.
Then 3 more weeks of passive aggressive behaviour to her, but still answering all her texts. Too weak to say no, too weak to end it. Still taking the EASY option. There was however no more physical stuff and he didn't want her anymore but wanted her to end it cos he has never had the nerve to dump anyone in his life and was scared if he ended it she would tell me. Then he took the weakest move of all and brought her here to meet his wife to get her to back off. It worked but how screwed up can you be.
So that's that in a nutshell. a big nutshell granted, sorry for that.
He did want her for the EA - desperately, he was obsessed. He liked the IDEA of the physical stuff cos she was offering it and she was attractive enough for him to want to say yes rather than no. Every physical act between them was a disappointment but they kept trying. Each failed physical contact woke H up a little more to what he was doing but he was so hooked on her emotionally, looking up to him, the attention, the validation that he just didn't want to lose her or the attention so he did everything she wanted as she was attractive enough. He was too weak to say no, it was EASIER to go along for the ride and hope for the best. Instead he got a sexual experience that has changed his views on everything. Especially me.
He see me now, values what he has, is changing his attitude hugely, shows me total love every day. we are both now fully committed to R and hopefully I will never feel the need to type this lot out again!
It sits as the painful truth with both of us. He really didn't want to admit this stuff.
Maybe I shouldn't have posted this cos it's so similar to most of my posts but I needed to write it down after our discussion.
Please feel free to ignore it, it's just for me to 'get it out'. I feel more content now the story makes more sense and he has apologised for not having the nerve to tell me this stuff. That's why his letter to me has taken so long. Cos he wasn't being honest with himself or me. I didn't make it easy for him to be honest though if I am fair.
Today he talked because I told him I realised him finding her attractive in any way doesn't mean she meant more to him than me or that he MUST have enjoyed the sex, which has been a big sticking point between us. Apart from story 2 which fell apart when I asked questions he has never said he enjoyed the sex. He has always told me the same things. He did like the idea of it but not the reality. That's almost as bad to me as it was only chance that they didn't click sexually. Maybe if it had played out differently, if she had been more responsive or touched him they would have enjoyed it but the experience was actually a huge disappointment and as a result he woke up pretty quick.