You have a PM.
"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."
See, I thought I was different, special even. Well it turns out I was just another statistic.
I'm still bridging the chasms I created two years ago but one of the things that rankles is that I willfully blinded myself to reality. I simply could not see that my AP was not Lara or Scarlet O'Hara but just another lying user with a bag full of issues. the healing started when I realized I was too.
For the record, I cringe when I see a movie that extols infidelity and try to avoid them. The problem is that they are hard to avoid. Who knew for example, that the girl with the dragon tattoo series had one of the main characters engaging in a casual A?
I wonder how many As a kid sees on tv as a child. I bet the number is so high it's frightening. Parents used to worry about violence, but bad behavior seems much higher.
Mine was a type of revenge affair. It was revenge for my husbands fierce determination to behave as if he weren't my husband (lack of intimacy, companionship, respect, cooperation, etc.) I would respond to the extreme periods of neglect with complaints and get stonewalled. Every. Time.
Had I not gotten pregnant on my honeymoon, I would've left. I guess. I hope I would've been wise enough.
But why did I do it, really? What's wrong with ME? Well, first off, due to maternal abuse, physical/emotional, I developed a strong urge to remain forever and always a victim. This is what drove me to all my relationships. I was H's victim, and, surprise-surprise, became OM's victim as well.
There was a strong sexual component for me. I'm not sure if validation is all I crave, though OM's compliments were a nice countermeasure against H's low libido (sex w/H was good but very infrequent--like it took him the whole month to decide if he liked me enough to wanna be intimate with me.) I felt repulsive and OM, who was sexy, made me feel beautiful.
I was not just into flirting/teasing---the actual sex part was important to me though OM withheld that (out of guilt, he said.)
It was crazy...all through my 20's and 30's sex was never a problem, I still look good, am fit, and yet no one was f*cking me! I became obsessed with breaking through MM's guilt and proving that turning 40 and having kids hadn't rendered me sexually irrelevant. I didn't want to be put out to pasture...other men wanted me...the validation didn't matter, I wanted to "plug in" to the sexual Matrix.
Oddly enough when we had sex, I wasn't into it. I was awash in guilt and the hotel room grew dark and ominous like the final scene in Sid and Nancy when they wake up in a hotel bed in pools of blood. It felt THAT dirty and dark and gross. MM had little to say to me after, and I left feeling suicidal for weeks.
He still pursued and pursued. I guess lame as$ is better than no as$. For me it was over. My quest to prove I was not sexually irrelevant had failed, and I slowly began to extricate myself from the A with much resistance from MM and no change in the M. So I confessed.
I'm facing imminent D with some MC currently, for good measure. I still dream if sex with xMM. This is such a powerfully perverse road that I am SO sorry I went down. I wouldn't wish th A experience on my worst enemy.
For myself the actual "WHY" is hard to answer. But fast backward.. Married 30+ years ago, had our first child after 3 years of marriage, things were good, we were very active and with a child were busy parents. second child 5 years later. Ahh yes the child rearing years.. As the kids got older and became more independent it gave us more together/alone time. That is when our problems with Intimacy/Sex/Affection started. For me any way. I always had a much stronger desire and need for both physical intimacy affection and sex than BW. For many years it was the same argument that would emerge time and again. We'd talk but in the end thats all it was. In all our years of marriage i can think of maybe 2 occasions where the W initiated sex. And both were after the argument came up. In her words "Sex was not a big deal to her and she could live without it." I was treated like i was some sexual deviant because i hoped we could be intimate a couple of times a week. For many years i filled the emptiiness with my activities (hiking, cycling, kayaking). Not a perfect solution but it helped. Keeping a long story shorter.. i just got to the point where the hurt, rejection, and feeling undesired and un loved had me frustrated and angry. Months would go by between any intimacy, then many months, and i felt like i had to chase her and bother her based on her reactions and comments. So i gave up.. I cant say thats the total WHY, but living in a sexless marriage was a biggie.. I think wondering if there was something wrong with me was an issue as well. I am not and never was abusive or anything like that. If you asked people we would appear on the outside as a perfect couple. BUt we know what we see in relationships is really an illusion to the reality :-).Even as i write it there is so much more to the story but time does not permit.
I TOTALLY agree with the "I was used to the attention" concept. I was one of the popular guys in school. Never had trouble getting girls. Was a player in college, etc.
Iswt2...I am glad someone else besides me is able to admit the whole "heck, I even love a mirror" concept. I don't like that reflection right now, but man, when this stuff was going on...absolutely agree with this.
Another factor was entitlement. We were married, 2 very young kids, I was doing ALL housework, 40 hour week, etc., but still wasn't getting any attention from my wife, so even though I didn't go out with the conscious intention of cheating, I think maybe subconsciously I knew what would happen and did it anyway.
This may sound like bullshit, but the first affair 7+ years ago while still dating...I think (because it was so long ago and I buried a lot of it) I was feeling stuck. I "loved" my then gf, but wasn't sure I was ready to move onto the next step. I had never had that serious a relationship - pretty much all the others prior w ere just about sex. This led to me feeling like I needed a "kick". It worked, but at a terrible cost.
I do think, like others, I suffered from elements of OCD and Sex Addiction, but I am not willing to place any blame on that. The blame falls squarely on my shoulders. I made the choices to do what I did. I had opportunities to stop and I didn't. I chose to continue, knowing full well what I was doing was wrong.
I was a complete asshole, and a completely selfish narcissist. I feel differently about myself today, but the guilt and shame I feel over what happened is still very much present, and frequently overwhelming. The worst part for me is putting any focus on that guilt, because what right do I have to consolation for what I did. I am trying to focus entirely on others (it's about time) but guilt takes up a lot of space and medication only helps so much).
One of those times a time machine would be really handy...
DDay1: 7+ years ago
DDay2: 1.5 years ago
"The truth shall set you free, but first it will make you miserable."
Right on with the movies. Shows and music too for me.
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne
"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?
Our focus is on the here and now, not on what our actions will produce tomorrow, next week, or years down the road.
We are selfish, and sinful!
We are selfish, and sinful!
This sums it up in a lot of cases. I don't want to oversimplify or undercut postings or much less devalue legitimate psychological issues, but my logic and experience (from both sides of the infidelity issue) tell me affairs are, in a lot of cases, just a night, or month, or year, of selfish "I want to screw now, and this guy/girl is the one to do it with becase he/she is here right now".
Selfishness, horniness, alcohol, peer pressure, discomfort with the relationship, blah blah. Some people are just inconsiderate, horny, over-introspective fuckers, both male and female.
[This message edited by instantkarma at 12:38 AM, May 15th (Thursday)]
BH always had some anger issues. He also had periods of extreme anxiety and what I now recognise as depression. Everything was ok, I was able to support him. Then we moved country, we went from a really fun life with lots of friends around to a totally different and much less easy life. After I had my second kid, I was depressed for a year afterwards. BH swears he tried to help me but I felt totally unsupported and that he just wanted me to snap out of it and get on with things. Then BH had another period of depression. This time I was too overwhelmed with the kids etc to help him and we stopped being able to communicate. No communication, no sex...it wasn't good for either of us. I really felt like he no longer cared about or loved me, all he wanted me for was to clean his house, do his admin, take care of the kids. I also had a lot of my own family issues going on at this time, which I couldn't talk to BH about as he would get really angry.
Then I met someone I was attracted to, we started emailing each other, it got more and more flirty until we met and started an A.
Another factor is that I live in a country where infidelity is almost accepted as the norm and I came to believe it was ok.
BH and I were both in the same difficult place though and only I had an A. I think because my environment growing up meant I had very very low self-esteem. I always felt unattractive and truly believed no one would ever want me. Also I don't speak up for myself and avoid difficult situations. I tried to speak to BH when we were having difficulties but I didn't try hard enough. And then of course going to BH and saying look I'm attracted to someone else, please let's sort this out, was just beyond me. Being an expert compartmentaliser certainly helped as well.