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Am I being irrational?

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Neveragain1221 posted 2/3/2014 21:55 PM

I cheated, my H found out, and long story short, we've decided to reconcile. One of our biggest things is being completely open and honest with each other. One of the subjects we've been talking about is other people we're attracted to, and what my H is telling me has really, really bothered me.

He asked me if I ever felt threatened by any other girls, so I listed off a few of my friends. Every single one I listed he said he was attracted to. He never saw them unless I was there, and he never flirted or did anything like that, but it shook my confidence. Then today, I remembered a girl in one of his gaming groups that had an obvious crush on him. We both gamed together (we're in our 20's), but I didn't go as often as he did. The times I did go, however, I noticed this girl always stealing glances at him, or getting herself put in the same group as him, and generally being obvious about her attraction. I mentioned it back before D-day, and he denied having any feelings for her, saying she was unattractive and he didn't think she liked him at all.

Today, I brought her up again and mentioned that she used to flirt with him. He then told me he was extremely attracted to her, and if he wasn't with me he would most definitely be pursuing a long term relationship with her. He said from the first moment he saw her photo on the groups website, he was attracted to her and he tried to get put into groups with her. He also said that, even though he did that, he never tried to see her outside of the games. He's never looked her up on Facebook, or talked to her privately or anything, but it's still left me feeling extremely threatened.

I guess the reason I'm so threatened is that he was attracted to her from the first time he saw her, and he hid it from me for a long time. When my H and I first met, we also had a very strong attraction to each other right off the bat, and to know he felt the same way with another woman after we got married is tough. Especially since she so obviously likes him the same way.

He says he hid it because he didn't want to talk about other girls with me because it would make me jealous. We did not communicate very well before D-Day, so I do believe that. Both of us avoided talking about anything that was uncomfortable or we thought would make the other upset.

H has not been to this game in a long time so he hasn't seen her. He said he hasn't thought about her in a long time, but I'm worried that if he goes back and sees her, all the feelings and attraction will come back. I'm worried that because of the situation we're in, he'll be more receptive if she makes an advance. He assures me he won't leave me for her, and he doesn't want a relationship with her, and I believe him, but I'm still extremely bothered by it.

So am I being irrational? I am the WS in our relationship. I'm fixing myself, and my H and I are working hard to rebuild, but now I'm feeling blindsided by a new threat I never knew about. Is there a way for me to get past this jealousy and feel more secure? Or am I right to be concerned about her? Is it normal for a WS to feel this way?

Cornbread posted 2/3/2014 22:15 PM

Is it possible he was setting you up? Is it a bit odd that he expressed an attraction to every woman you mentioned? My BS is not convinced that I understand how she feels and how my infidelity has affected her. Maybe your BS is trying to make a point.

20WrongsVs1 posted 2/3/2014 22:18 PM

A feeling doesn't have to be rational, to be valid.

We feel what we feel. If you feel jealous and threatened, then you have every right to tell BH. As long as you are taking personal responsibility for your feelings, and not blaming him for causing you to feel that way.

Or am I right to be concerned about her?

Concerned about her...what? Stealing your man? It takes two to tango, and you're saying you trust him.

I'm feeling blindsided by a new threat I never knew about.

Bet I know someone who can relate to that. Your husband.

Badhurt posted 2/3/2014 22:54 PM

I am not sure if irrational is the right word. You betrayed your husband. Own it. He may have been attracted to this other woman, but he did not act on it like you did.
If I were you I'd count my blessings that he has not dumped you and continue your R. You should concentrate on yourself and your apparent inability to resist temptation. Maybe worrying a little about him will help you

Wayflost posted 2/3/2014 23:27 PM

Badhurt - I think she is saying that feeling of jealousy has increased post A because he changed his tune and stated that he was in fact attracted. It isn't about the affair, but about the lying.

Neveragain - This is absolutely a great time to identify the feeling, and show your husband empathy and compassion. I agree that you should own what you did, but that does not mean that you do not have a right to set a boundary. While he may not have had a PA, it sounds like he may be admitting to an EA with this girl. I am not saying this is the case. BUT, it is absolutely something worth exploring more. And in any case it sounds as though he has also engaged in poor boundaries during your relationship.

Perhaps framing the conversation in the form of identifying how you understand through this lens what he must feel as a result of your A. The insecurity, the fear, the dislike of the AP etc.

[This message edited by Wayflost at 11:29 AM, February 5th (Wednesday)]

2yrsblind posted 2/4/2014 04:48 AM

EA? Wouldn't that take communication on some level?

Neveragain, you were involved with another man for a major part of your relationship. Finding out about this has changed the way BS views you and the marriage.

I have a vastly different opinion about this then most of the people here. Your actions have indeed opened him up to "SEE" other women.

I was a part of a support group for BS, this was a topic that came up and all but 2 or the 23 men in the group said they became attracted to women in a different way after dday. For me it was a friend of my exWW. I had never given this woman much thought. After dday over the next month or so I became strongly attracted to her. And started to think of her sexually.

However the same impulse control and thoughts of how it would damage my partner before dday prevented me from crossing the line, I came real close.

Point is, your not being irrational. You know your husband better then anyone here. However its unfair to assume he would be involved, because it was so easy for you betray lie and hide your A.

Neveragain1221 posted 2/4/2014 06:22 AM

I don't believe he was hiding an EA. I also think some of you are confused about the timeline of events. H was attracted to these other women well before D-day or knowing of the A. He never did anything, but he was thinking of them in sexual ways and hiding it from me for years.

I guess I am concerned because I have only ever been sexually attracted to one other person beside my H, and that was my AP. I have male friends that I think are physically attractive, but I have no desire to have any sort of relationship with them, whether I was single or not. He has never acted on his feelings, but he not only thinks these women are attractive, he's saying he would be actively pursuing them if he wasn't with me. To me, that speaks of much deeper feelings for them than just a physical attraction. I can understand physical attractions. I'm threatened by the level of emotion he puts behind the feelings.

Before anyone says it, I know it's hypocritical. He's attracted to multiple women and never acted. I was attracted to one person and did act. I regret it with every fiber of my being. There were many reasons I broke down and had the A, but there are no excuses. I am certain I am projecting onto him, but our MC/IC says that is pretty normal since our relationship is so fragile right now.

I know feelings and attractions can change. Almost 2 years before D-day, I had stopped seeing AP and noticed any feeling of attraction for him fading into disgust and shame. By D-day, I wanted nothing to do with him and avoided him whenever I ran into him. He tried to get me to come back to him multiple times, but I ignored the texts and kept any in person interaction short, pointed, and formal.

I do trust him not to pursue these girls. We've stopped contacting most of them, but I'm worried about the one he told me about yesterday, and about one of his ex girlfriends. When she talks to him, she tells him that she still loves him and she regrets leaving him and she wants to be together again one day. She's been saying this stuff to him for our entire relationship, and he hid it from me and never told her to stop. Even before he knew about the A, even before I started the A, he was allowing another woman, an old flame, to profess her love and feelings for him.

He says next time they talk he'll tell her to stop talking to him like that. I believe he will, but the jealousy is there. How can I stop it? Does it just take time?

[This message edited by Neveragain1221 at 6:39 AM, February 4th (Tuesday)]

20WrongsVs1 posted 2/4/2014 06:39 AM

You're feeling concerned and threatened. Identifying your emotions is a good first step.

Now, what are you needing, to alleviate those fears?

Are you wanting BH to *stop having sexual attraction* to other women?

Are you wanting him to stop telling you about it?

What do you want?

Neveragain1221 posted 2/4/2014 06:48 AM

I'm not sure really. I don't want him to stop telling me, that's for sure. I'd rather know than not know. I guess I'm wanting him to stop thinking about other women in a "If we weren't together, I'd totally be with her," sense. It makes me feel like he's keeping a list of girls around to replace me with if he decides rebuilding is too hard. It makes me feel like he thinks of me as an obstacle stopping him from being with people he actually wants.

He says that's not the case, and he's never been as attracted to someone as he is to me, but that's small comfort knowing how strong he lets feelings for other women get. You don't just instantly want a long term relationship with someone you just met. He had to look at other women, get to know them, and then let the feelings of friendship develop into much stronger ones. That is what bothers me most. I know first hand the dangers of letting feelings like that run unchecked. He doesn't see a problem with how he feels because he's never acted on them.

bionicgal posted 2/4/2014 07:13 AM

I don't know if this helps, but I admitted some passing attractions to my H after DDay. One was a little more pronounced, but still nowhere near crossing any boundaries. Before DDay I would have sworn that I didn't have attractions -- I think I even believed it on some level. But, after going through what I/we did, I had to get real. I was human too, and protecting my H and myself from somewhat normal feelings wasn't healthy for us. It is better to talk about the attractions, and deal with them as a couple.

I do also believe that we tend to not feel those things as strongly (at least I don't) when things are going well at home. I may recognize that I "click" with someone, but it doesn't go any further than that. I have good boundaries, and hopefully your H does as well. Because good boundaries and communication are what keep us safe -- not never feeling attracted to anyone.

Merlin posted 2/4/2014 07:23 AM

Attraction does not switch off the day you get married.

So what?

Fidelity is a decision.

cl131716 posted 2/4/2014 07:34 AM

BS here. I think he's trying to make you jealous and in a way say "see I was attracted to all these women but I never acted on it." Attraction is normal, it's less of a threat if he's honest about it. My WH denied attraction to his COW. "COW? She's old!!! I'm not even attracted to her. I'm just being nice." Well she wasn't old and unattractive enough to not talk about how he'd go slow and easy so she could get hers first a week later. Hiding it is a huge red flag. It sounds like your BS is hurt and lashing out.

[This message edited by cl131716 at 7:35 AM, February 4th (Tuesday)]

20WrongsVs1 posted 2/4/2014 07:44 AM

I guess I'm wanting him to stop thinking about other women...

I was kinda hoping you'd say that.

You can't control him. You can only control yourself.

He doesn't see a problem with how he feels because he's never acted on them.

C'mon, you gotta admit he has a great fucking point right there. You have a problem with how he feels, because you did act on them.

You need to feel safe in the M. I get that. But stop looking at BH for reasons you're not feeling safe in the M, and look deeper inside yourself.

Neveragain1221 posted 2/4/2014 08:26 AM

I didn't say I wanted him to stop thinking about other women. Everyone thinks about the opposite sex. I said I wanted him to stop thinking about other women in a wishful, "What if I was with them instead of my wife?" way. That's completely different, and wanting to be in a long term relationship with someone is beyond attraction. He's fantasizing about having a full-blown relationship with someone else. He's thinking about what it would be like building a life with them, opening up to them, and being emotionally, romantically, and physically involved with someone. That is where the danger is, and that is what I want him to stop. You CAN control feelings like that. Feelings like that don't develop towards someone unless you want them to.

The fact that he has never acted on them makes me feel better, but they're still a major problem and obstacle on the road to R. I may have been the one that screwed everything up in the first place, but he's been feeling this strongly towards another woman for a long time, and he brushes it off with excuses like "I can't help how I feel about her" and "Yes I feel strongly for her, but I haven't done anything so I don't think it's a problem."

It is. The problem is letting a physical attraction for someone move into romantic territory. I know all about the dangers of letting that happen, and I will never let it happen again. I didn't think there was a problem with feelings like that when I started my A, and knowing he doesn't think it's a problem makes me worried that he won't try very hard to resist an A in the future if he sees her again and the temptation is there.

SandAway posted 2/4/2014 08:34 AM

But stop looking at BH for reasons you're not feeling safe in the M, and look deeper inside yourself.


Even though you feel you are taking responsibility for your A, your not. I hear a 'but' behind your post.Yes, your allowed to be bothered by his 'attraction' to other women and your allowed to let him know. But you have to work on why you let yourself act on your attraction to another man.

We all find other people attractive, it's perfectly normal. Its when we take that attraction to the next level - that is where the issue is.

SandAway posted 2/4/2014 08:39 AM

What if I was with them instead of my wife?"

Has he said that? Was he fantasizing about other women? Was he feeling that way before DDay?

Neveragain1221 posted 2/4/2014 08:45 AM

Yes. Before D-day he began feeling very strongly about this woman. He admitted yesterday that he did wonder what it would be like to be with her, not just in a sexual way, but wondered what a full blown relationship with her would be like.

It was beyond feelings of "she's hot, I'd do her if I wasn't married". It was "She's hot, I'd like a house, a life, to share my hopes, dreams, and desires with her."

That is what I'm distressed about. Everyone has the "I'd bang him/her" feelings. Everyone does NOT have total romantic feelings towards people they meet.

EDIT: I finally got him to admit that having feelings that strong towards another woman was wrong and was a problem. He admitted that feelings like that don't just come around overnight, and that he did think about her romantically. That makes me feel a lot better. I was worried because he kept defending his feelings for her and saying they weren't a big deal, when they were. Him so adamantly defending his full-blown romantic interest in another person had me worried that he would eventually act on his desires. Even if he hadn't yet, the fact that he was so protective of how he felt made me think he would. We just got off the phone, and he did see things my way and agree to email our MC about what to do about his feelings.

[This message edited by Neveragain1221 at 8:54 AM, February 4th (Tuesday)]

SandAway posted 2/4/2014 09:08 AM

He may have gathered those feelings because of the disconnect he felt in your M. Just read through your old posts and your AP was always 'there' because you both rugswept your A.

I suggest you both read 'Not just friend's' as well as 'Emotional infidelity'

2yrsblind posted 2/4/2014 09:27 AM

Sexual attraction happens, as one said it doesn't go away when you marry. The difference between you and your BH is he has acted with honor towards you and the M, while you???

I don't know your full situation, but this feels like deflection on a high level. Almost like your saying "well he was attracted before he knew I was cheating so..." insert blame shifting.

Also, as another said this focus your putting on this is allowing you to not take full ownership for your multi year affair. REALLY? He has shown and proven faithful, and this is your focus?

NoGoodUsername posted 2/4/2014 11:26 AM

Neveragain, you are NOT being irrational.

I'm going to go against what several people have said already because I recognize some of your partner's behaviors from my own experiences and I did cheat. It was even with a woman from our gaming group.

Your H may not intend to cheat and may never have cheated, but he is playing with fire. He is enjoying the titillation and the attraction of these sub-threshold behaviors and not creating good boundaries. I did the same thing my entire adult life (I'm 43 now) and I didn't transgress for decades- until I did and ruined my marriage, my gaming group and most of my friendships.

He is laying the groundwork for someone to hop right over his poor boundary and start an EA that turns physical. Ask me how I know.

I'll check in later, I have to get back to work now.

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