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WH wasn't attracted to the OW

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sunvalley posted 4/3/2014 12:18 PM

So I already touched on this a little on another thread, but it wasn't the focus of my question there. I am struggling to find information and support for the type of As my WH had...feels like no one else is in my boat. I pasted some background info from my other post which was about the OW below:

I'm fairly new here. DD was July 2013 of a PA that went on for most of 2012. After a couple months of TTs, MC and IC I discovered 3 other PAs and additional online encounters. Two PAs were still going on until the day in July I was told about the one that was over already (guess it was easier to tell me about the one that had already ended first, but he did email the others later that night to say he wanted to end it and focus on his family). I asked him to move out for a few days in Oct when he was still refusing to stop lying, so I could get my head straight and in that time got a lot of information from the OW (they were all married as well and knew he was). He finally came around, realized that he wasn't protecting me by lying and we have been in R ever since. He has been nothing short of amazing, transparent and remorseful in that time which has helped a ton, but I am dealing with PTSD as well as the typical rollercoaster.

One of my biggest struggles still however is that these PAs were not about sex for him, in fact he had performance issues with them many times because he wasn't attracted to them. They were all much older and he felt the sex was a chore to get what he was really addicted to, which was validation. He has extremely low self esteem, had some undiagnosed issues prior to this and his IC has told him this was a way of punishing himself because he felt unworthy. He purposely chose people he wasn't attracted to - women who messaged him and were attractive or younger were too good for him in his eyes and he refused to meet them in person. I have a hard time understanding how he was so willing to risk everything that made him happy (he has never denied we have a loving and passionate marriage still) for people he didn't even like to be around, and who weren't even offering him 'fun and adventurous' sex (ie if the emotional wasn't there I just assumed the physical must be) He really can't tell me what they had to offer him, it was just 'all bad' in his eyes...yet he did it time and again and he's not denying that...I know that may sound weird and I am thankful he didn't care about them or that this wasn't a sex addiction, but it also made me feel like his boundaries were so frail that literally anyone could break them, even people he wasn't attracted to or enjoyed the company of, if that makes any sense.

The IC has been very supportive on my end, and he has seen 3 different ones who have all felt the same things about what this was for him. But they have also been 'hard on me' in that they feel I should be thankful that he never cared for these people and wasn't even attracted to them or ever in the 'fog'. I realize all that, but the bottom line is he still had PA with these people, whether he enjoyed it or not and I'm not willing to just downplay that like a fool...he still did this..the As still existed regardless of why. The grass is always greener no matter what the situation and there's a part of me that wishes it was younger women he was attracted to, so at least it felt 'worth it' in some way to him at the time...I wish it didn't feel like he just prostituted himself to whoever was willing to be an enabler for his disease. His IC feels I should be over it by now or at least able to move on happily knowing how much he loves me and never wanted this secret life he was leading, but I'm less hung up on the wanting it part then the fact that it just happened...I actually told her once "can I not just be upset and feel betrayed that this happened, even if it's because he was ill?".

Has anyone else been in this type of situation where WH was not attracted to or interested in the OW in any way and basically used them? I'm sure SA affairs are very similar, but his addiction wasn't the sex. I feel bad complaining when I know so many are going through much worse situations, but I also feel like there is no one who understands ours and it's been very frustrating. It's ruined my relationship with MIL because she attacked me when she realized his IC was focused on his upbringing and childhood, so she lashed out on me instead saying I caused the As and was an abusive wife (not once I have talked down to that man and he has no relationship with MIL at the time because of those accusations)...easier to point the finger at me I guess. Just feeling alone eve in reading the books or browsing through the I the only one who's WH wasn't even attracted to the OW?

Bigger posted 4/3/2014 12:27 PM

All this info from his ICís; where do you get that? Do his ICís call you and update you on the situation or does he kindly share this info after the sessions.
And why three ICís already? As a rule then switching this often indicates heís looking for one that supports his theories rather than deals with his issues.

I for one wouldnít find any comfort in knowing my spouse cheated with someone they didnít fall for per se. Several reasons for this:
First of all Ė itís generally acknowledged here on SI that infidelity happens because two people are open to cheating. Has relatively little (if anything) to do with how the other person looks or his/her personality or whatever. This is probably why so few infidelity-based relationships last. So yes Ė your WH didnít select them for their looks, he selected them for their availability.
Second: If he decided to cheat with any random person irrespective of how they emotionally charged him heís basically saying he risked everything for a very low price.

painfulpast posted 4/3/2014 12:44 PM

Your story is basically the same as almost all
As out there - its not the person, it's the attention. WSs like the attention. The AP could be anyone.

I wouldn't feel so alone really. I'm not certain where the idea came from that As were about love or lust, but mostly they're about attention for a broken, needy WS.

That said, I'm not sure where all of these ICs are 'hard on you' and think that because he wasn't in some fog (not sure I'd buy that completely) that you should be overjoyed. Your WH did what most WHs did - found someone(s) that would shower them with attention and adoration and give them a nice ego boost.

Why does your WH keep changing ICs, and are they the ones telling you this insight, or is this him relaying what happened during his appointments?

No A is good. Whatever the reason, a betrayal is a betrayal. You were betrayed multiple times. That's pretty bad. Based on you saying that 'others have it much worse', I think you might be downplaying this. This is why I ask if you're getting the IC comments from your WH. If so, you are probably getting the pieces he wants you to get to justify his behaviors. That's really standard too.


EDIT: What is his illness? I'm really confused if the As are being blamed on an illness that isn't SA.

[This message edited by painfulpast at 12:47 PM, April 3rd (Thursday)]

sunvalley posted 4/3/2014 12:45 PM

He went to 3 IC because we are on a plan that allows for free IC and the first two weren't good fits and I was the one who initiated the switch (one told him cheating was ok for men, the 2nd wanted to meet in coffee shops and public places at times but did provide a ton of insight so it was a decision we made together). The one he has now is great in some ways but there are things I don't agree with and that's fine...she's not my IC but we have done MC through her as well. She has shared with me because she asked him if she could so that we could each see her in IC before we did MC, he has shared with me because he wants to...I don't question what this was for him, I have heard it from all the ICs based on the long hours they have spent with us both, they are all on the same page (mine as well) that this was something within him where he needed to punish himself and he did not enjoy the As the way I imagined that he would (ie if you don't enjoy it, why do you keep doing it). I do understand what you're saying about them being available, etc however he declined attractive women who were equally available because he felt that was protecting his real world in some he was selective to a sense, just not the way I would have anticipated. He wanted ego boosting, he wanted people who would tell him how amazing he was and did not want an equal partner - he wanted praise and gifts, more than he wanted sex so he chose women who were older and insecure and felt he was out of their league. As you said, he risked everything for a low price and that's hard to come to terms with but the IC is blaming that on his longterm issues that went unresolved. It's been a hard 8m of trying to understand this all, but I don't question what he is telling me or the ICs...I just question if anyone else has been through similar and can relate because it is not what I expected when I heard "I've had an A". Even when he went on road trips with them, they paid for the hotel and gas so he didn't have to and then he would go off on his own the whole time and not spend any of the trip with them at all...he used them, and yet in his real world he is not selfish or an ego in the least, so there was an escape aspect to it where he felt the need to be a jerk and in control, and it was more about that than the PA.

Dare2Trust posted 4/3/2014 12:55 PM


I'm asking a similar question as BIGGER:
Are you getting your information from your WH's 3 Counselors - OR, is your WH "telling your what his Counselors SAID?"

Personally, this is my opinion: -- If you're being TOLD all this information by your LONG-TERM-CHEATING-HUSBAND:
---I'd probably discount a lot of his denial that he wasn't attracted to HIS OTHER WOMEN. That makes little, or no sense to me.
--I'd also discount his denial that his affair weren't about sex-- OTHERWISE: Why didn't he simply keep the affairs on the level of EMOTIONAL AFFAIRS, rather than allowing the affairs to evolve into Sexual Affair.
Many, many people engage in Emotional Affairs, that never evolve into engaging in sexual encounters.

If your WH is being honest -- and he did engage in several Sexual Affairs with women who truly disgusted him; simply because they "validated him in other ways" and because they were "simply available"....
I suggest the following to you:
-- You have a long, hard road to Marriage
Reconciliation ahead of you...especially if your WH continues to change Counselors; and does not find a Counselor he likes, and trusts...and STICKS TO ONE COUNSELOR to help him with his many issues!
---I hope you are seeing your OWN Individual Therapist to help you with your struggles - since your say your are dealing with PTSD.
---In reference to your other post: I hope you can come to terms with your turmoil over these OWs your husband cheated with. Eventually the goal should be --That your feelings towards these WOMEN is "indifference"....not revenge.

Edited to add:
We were posting at the same time.

You explained that your WH's Counselor had permission to reveal WH's information to you from their sessions.

SO: It appears to me... your WH choose these AFFAIR OW; because these Women were easily manipulated, and used by him.
AND - He was attracted to WHAT HE COULD GET OUT OF THEM!

To answer your question:
NO - I haven't been in your situation. My WH claimed "to love" the women he had his secret 2 year affair with; and he claim to highly enjoy his adulterous sex with her.

[This message edited by Dare2Trust at 1:05 PM, April 3rd (Thursday)]

SisterMilkshake posted 4/3/2014 13:00 PM

But he was attracted to them sunvalley. Maybe just wasn't physically attracted to them. However, he was attracted to them. They gave him what he sought. That was the attraction.

Jrazz posted 4/3/2014 13:01 PM

Has anyone else been in this type of situation where WH was not attracted to or interested in the OW in any way and basically used them?

FWH's AP was categorically unattractive. I'm not saying this out of spite - it's more baffling than anything. She was rude, mean, a felon, and looked like someone had hit her in the face with a hot sack of nickels. When his coworkers found out, they were astonished.

It's always about what's going on inside the WS in the end. I can completely vouch for a PA having little or nothing to do with what the AP looks like. Unfortunately.


[This message edited by Jrazz at 1:25 PM, April 4th (Friday)]

painfulpast posted 4/3/2014 13:10 PM

I just question if anyone else has been through similar

Again, most of us have. Affairs are about attention, not sex. This isn't unique. My H had an EA, because it was safe. He didn't want sex, he wanted attention, so he found someone far away. That way, there was no chance of sex. Sure, they'd plan to meet in this city or that, and she even went, but he didn't.

I think your scenario is much more like most than you want to admit, or are aware of. Affairs aren't about getting sex, or the best looking person. They are about getting attention.

Ascendant posted 4/3/2014 13:11 PM

To add to what Jrazz and others have said:

...sometimes the thing that's so attractive about the AP is that they are:

1) Interested in the WS. This feeds the self-esteem monster.

2) Available...meaning they bare willing to have sex with a married person. Again, sometimes the breaking of those taboos makes the WS feel more desirable because the AP is having to overcome social hurdles in order to 'want' the WS. Again, feeds the self-esteem monster.

3) Reassuring. They usually tell the WS whatever they want to hear about the good or bad of the affair...this goes both ways though, as the WS is usually returning the favor. They help to justify.

You'll notice that I didn't mention looks in there once. You ever heard that expression "A 2 at 10 is a 10 at 2"?. When the brain is in a chemically-altered state, physical attractiveness becomes relative to other traits.

Jovie posted 4/3/2014 13:23 PM

I wanted to chime in as a WS to reiterate what everyone else is saying. My A was not about being attracted to the AP. It was about seeking out validation and attention. And the reason I sought it out in the form of an A was due to my low self esteem. The attention I got from AP made me feel good. And to think about it now, he probably "fed" me a lot more of what I "needed" than someone who was better looking than me would have. It makes sense when you think about it in that context that a WS would enter into an A with someone lower than them on the looks spectrum.

Regarding the IC telling you that you should find comfort in that is a little crazy. ALL As are hurtful.

[This message edited by Jovie at 1:24 PM, April 3rd (Thursday)]

olwen posted 4/3/2014 13:58 PM

Same here, mine wasn't 'physically' attracted to her. He was attracted by her attitude and the way she made him feel. He has said he wouldn't have gone for her had she been more attractive, closer to him in age or intelligence, he was using her, she was easy, she was available and she gave him what he wanted - made him 'feel' wanted. That was all he wanted, a little lapdog to adore him.

What he didn't realise was she was playing the same game.

For me it's a double edged sword. I am grateful he didn't really want to be with her or love her BUT then you have the fact he could betray me just to get his kicks with anyone who was interested and 'good enough'.

[This message edited by olwen at 2:04 PM, April 3rd (Thursday)]

meplusfour posted 4/3/2014 14:09 PM

Have you read the thread "Honey, they always affair down" in JFO? It touches on some of your thoughts here. It is not about the way the OW looks, or even the way you look. It is about the what is broken inside him and what he was doing to try and fix it.

I would be worried about the comments by your WH about why he cannot tell you what they had to offer him. This is what he needs to be addressing in IC with a skilled IC, that specializes in addressing infidelity and infidelity related issues. If he has been in IC since July 2013 and if you are not seeing any progress, I would be worried.

hummingbird8 posted 4/3/2014 14:23 PM

I touched on this in another post and know a lot of people won't agree, but I don't buy the he wasn't attracted to them or he couldn't perform or finish crap. I think they say it to make the BS feel better. If he had sex with her, he was physically attracted to her. Was it about attention? Sure, but I also think there is attraction.

sunvalley posted 4/3/2014 14:26 PM

thank you all for your comments. I am very much not in the dark here about any of this. This has been a huge life changing discovery that has changed every aspect of my life. I am in no way downplaying it or saying my situation is lesser than anyone else's. He has been seeing the same IC for over 6m, so he is in no way jumping from place to place as some have implied. I made him change IC because I had issue with the first 2, and he fought me about leaving the 2nd one because she was good...he has always wanted consistency and to get better, he truly hit rock bottom with all of this and has done nothing but seek help since then.

I realize that the As don't have to be physically attractive...I wasnt' implying that they do. But when there's no chemistry and you can't keep it up for them - is that normal??? He literally prostituted himself to grandmothers, so I'm sorry but whether they were physically attractive or not is not the issue so much as the fact that he couldn't even stay sexually aroused by them, yet he went back for more. I understand it was about validation and attention, I understand that he could have just kept that part online ...oh how I wish he had! That part is where I feel I relate to others and our situation is not so out there, he wanted reassurance, self esteem and validation as many do. These people did pursue him to meet in person and he did make the stupid move to agree to it - he made that choice, no one forced him to. I still do not feel he was 'attracted' to them - we're just using the same term to represent different things...yes he was drawn to being bad, to keeping secrets, to becoming someone he wasn't in his real life, but he was not attracted to these people specifically...they could have been anyone and to him if he was attracted to them it was a deal breaker.

Perhaps I worded what I'm feeling and after incorrectly, but I'm not concerned about his IC, nor looking for diagnosis of what this was about for him or if I should stay or go...those parts I get and I'm confident in knowing exactly what this was, even if I don't understand why. But is there anyone else who finds themselves wishing their spouse was at least attracted to the OW to make it 'worth' the risks? It just really feels more wasteful knowing that he didn't want to spend time with these people, didn't enjoy them sexually or even emotionally, and that basically they were nothing to him, yet he did it anyways. Like I said grass is always greener, and I know this logic is probably not healthy for me, but it just feels so much more wasteful knowing that even in the time he didn't 'enjoy' any of this or have any 'benefits'...this was his dark side, this was his rock bottom, I get that but it's so frustrating to feel like he wasted everything and he can't even say it was for a reason like 'she understood me', I was attracted to her, I felt like I was, it's I hated myself and I did it anyways because it was easier than killing myself.

sunvalley posted 4/3/2014 14:48 PM

OW have all confirmed that he went limp, faked migraines and left on repeat doesn't get much more definitive than that IMO.. No OW wants to admit he couldn't keep it up for her, but they all did. He even had to start using sprays to keep it up...Not trying to be blunt, but I'm not blind sided here folks and I came for support or a feeling of being a normal BS. We are in R and I'm not looking to rehash whether what he has told me was truth, and if/how IC had handled this is valid... I was looking to see if anyone has been through similar, that all.

sunvalley posted 4/3/2014 15:04 PM

olwen - thank you, that's the exact sense I get as well with my situation - relief that he wasn't wanting to 'be with' them, but equally questioning why then?

JRazz - completely agree, this was what was going on within him and IC is trying to get to the bottom of that

Jovie - thank you, your words have reassured me that these As can occur when the attraction just isn't there...I believe him on that, but some of would have me believing I'm a fool for trusting that, so I do appreciate the insight as another WS.

meplusfour - he has provided insight, and the IC is getting to the bottom of it, but he is 'kicking himself' in the sense that he feels like logically he just doesn't understand what drew him to do these things when even at the time he was disgusted with himself and them...he very much says it was something to do with becoming the low person he felt he was inside. I agree that if IC isn't working it's time to switch, I don't care if it's 3 or 10 as long as he finds the right fit to get healing...I would hate for him to stay with 1 IC...if he had, the first guy told him men should have sex 3-5x a week and if he's not getting it, demand it and if he's still not, then he's validated to get it elsewhere...OIY

Scubachick posted 4/4/2014 18:49 PM

My husband wasn't physically attracted to the OW either and I believe him. He said he had no feelings for her at all, which I don't believe.

Lionne posted 4/4/2014 21:52 PM

You are trying to make sense of insanity. Where infidelity is involved, there is a lot of crazy.

My husband is a sex addict. Acted out for YEARS. And yet, the times he actually had intercourse with his two PA women, women that he had engaged in long-term EAs with, (really better characterized as extended flirtations) was FIVE. He screwed "only" two women five times during a 20+ year time period. And he had lots of opportunity. It really isn't always about sex. When I asked him why he took it to that level, he said they expected it.

They were attractive women. But not good people. When I said this to him, he commented, "do you think I was looking for GOOD people?" He, too, suffered from low self esteem, these people served to validate a persona that he invented to keep himself from severe depression. It doesn't stick.

You are in the early stages of trying to process this. Read what we have written. Sit on it a bit. Eventually you will be able to internalize it and understand it better. And live with it. Not forget, but accept what happened.

And if that IC is really saying that you should, in ANY WAY feel "good" about any of this, well, he/she has obviously never been in our shoes.

sunvalley posted 4/4/2014 22:06 PM

scaredy - you hit the nail on the head saying 'making sense of insanity'....even he has said to me, a sane minded person can't understand why I did the things I did because I wasn't well at the time. I struggle with the understanding 'why' - I have told my IC I realize that I may never have a 'why' in his case, because he doesn't fully understand himself yet and she agrees. As you said, this isn't about the sex and I do know that with his case as well...he has voiced similar, they expected the sex and he wasn't going to get what he was after (the validation of the 'fake persona' or escape personality he created for himself) without giving them the sex.

His IC is not IMO the best he could get (I adore mine), but we are trying to keep consistency and not switch yet again. Thankfully after their appointment yesterday she referred him to psychiatrist to get to the bottom of the personal issues she believes this stems from so at least it will be an additional perspective.

absolut posted 4/5/2014 08:48 AM

I see these threads constantly and I'll keep it real this is total bullshit.

He wasn't attracted to her for sex, but he had sex with her to feel validated? How can a man feel validated, good about himself, etc, by a woman so gross he really doesn't want to have sex with her? That same woman somehow is an ago boost just by making herself sexually available? The woman who is so ugly he doesn't want?

Um no.

This is a lie that doesn't even make logical sense.

And if he was cruising sex sites and "turning down pretty girls" (and how can you confirm this?) for ugly ones and telling himself he had a psychological reason I think he is still delusional. 99% of the pretty girls on hookup sites are just cam girls, escorts, scam sites etc trying to divert traffic to their pages. Attractive young females don't need to troll the internet trying to give away free sex.

Also, OP have any of your therapists actually said to your face that you should feel lucky? I would find that shocking. Also I think being an IC to one person and then MC to the couple is no bueno. I've been seeing the same therapist for a year, love him, and I would never even consider asking him to be MC if that situation ever came up (not married just hypothetical). It would be a disaster for our relationship as therapist-patient and just not worth it.

I hate to be so blunt and this isn't directed at the OP or any one person but when he was with his mistress he was talking so much shit about his wife that you don't even want to know. So was he lying then about how he feels about you? Or is he lying now about how he feels about her?

Liars. Suck.

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