Did sex matter? I am a BS, and I have been doing a lot of soul searching. My question for the WS is how much did sex (or lack thereof) play in your decision to stray? If you had been having great sex with your BS, no matter what else was going on in the marriage, would you still have strayed?
Sex had nothing to do with it. As a matter of fact, sex with xOM was not very good at all. Sex with my H was and still is incredible, not compairing, but my H always made sure I was happy. Yes, I probably would have still strayed. I needed some excitement to get my mind off some terrible things that had been happening in my life. Things had been so overwhelming for me, I just wanted to drink, xOM did that with me. I wanted somebody to make me smile for a while, he did that. I didn't feel I could talk to my H and tell him how bad I was hurting. For me it was more of an emotional connection and every time I tried having sex with xOM, I was always left disappointed and pissed at myself because it wasn't worth it. Wasn't worth risking everything. The sex was awful. But I continued on with it because I had this connection. I now put all that energy toward my M. I work really hard and think about what I will do if I am faced with that situation again, I must have a plan in place. I have to make my H listen to me. Because I never want to do this again.
So my problem is that he won't look at me in the eye lately. Even when I am standing right in front of him with my arms around him he will look around me at the tv or window or whatever. I don't get it.
My question to you WS's is did you ever have a time when you wouldn't look at your BS and if so why? Was it from guilt of the affair or because you had broken NC?
He still says he loves me but not like a few weeks ago now I get a weak kiss goodbye and I will say I love you and I usually hear the you to part but thats all.
I understand all situations and people are different but if any WS's would care to help me with their story I would surely appreciate it.
I also want to thanks those who replied to my "Does sex matter" question. You expressed the same things my H had said, and it helped to have the validation. He also said sex with the OW wasn't good - he said he couldn't "perform" with her because he felt so guilty, but the emotional connectiion was what he stayed for. Hopefully, I am providing that emotional connection now, and the sex is great again. Just like when we first started dating.
Happiness is found along the way, not at the end of the road.
did you ever have a time when you wouldn't look at your BS and if so why?
More than one. And each time it was for the same reason.
I was so ashamed of who I allowed myself to become that I could not find the strength to look in the eyes of the person I needed most, yet harmed the deepest.
It's gotten easier over time. But even now a year and a half out I still have moments where I wonder just what kind of person I could have been to turn away from the one person who matters most in my life.
So in my case, it hasn't been out of guilt. It has been out of shame.
Last week, he gave me the last piece of the puzzle that I was needing to make sense of this whole thing. I can now live comfortably with what happend & have told him so. Wrote a letter, then ended up reading it to him because I wanted him to hear the words exactly as I meant them when I wrote them.
He said that it was a relief to hear my words and that it mirrored exactly how he feels about me and our relationship. Now, here is where the strange part comes in --- or am I being overly sensitive?? Honest responses, please!
Ever since that night, he seems like he's taken a step back from me. It's not that he's stopped telling me he loves me, or stopped staying in touch during the day, or never touches me, but to me, it seems like there has been a perceptible decline in the intensity of the emotion & affection he was showing me previously.
Is that a natural response now that he feels like he doesn't have to "prove" so much to me? Maybe he's exhausted from having to put out so energy much while I was so angry & questioning everything & needing every last detail? I want to ask him about it, but at the same time, I don't want to be making a mountain out of a molehill.
Me BF 47
Him WF 46
Working daily on R - more good days now than bad.
If it were me, you answered your own question:
Maybe he's exhausted from having to put out so energy much while I was so angry & questioning everything & needing every last detail?
Even without an A, it is impossible to keep a consistently all out intensity in long term relationships. We go in waves because we cannot sustain that level of intensity without recharging somehow.
We have had may ebbs and flows in our relationship both pre and post D-Day. Some peaks have been very intense, and over time the lulls have smoothed out. Looking at things over time, we have had far more up moments than down. And none of that changes the fact that I am deeply, totally, madly in love with my BW.
I guess I'm wanting to hear from WH whether if the sex had been great in the marriage, would they have doen more to work out the other issues or still strayed?
I'm not a WH, but a WW. In my first marriage the sex was great. And this lasted for 10 yrs. I can't recall more than a week's worth of nights when we slept in the same bed that we didn't make love. But there were other horrible issues in the marriage, so I divorced him.
In my now-married state, my H cheated first. Then he cheated again and again and again. My response to that was "why didn't you tell me we had an open marriage?" I never could make myself go through with sex with either of the 2 xMM. But the EA's were all about sex. I felt unwanted (no kidding, right? H was doing someone else for most of our marriage) and our sex life was infrequent and unfulfilling for me. I assume it was for him as well. Someone else mentioned that having someone want her that much was the key contributor to continuing the A. I'm sure that's what it was for me. It wasn't right in any way, shape or form, but I was so desperate to be wanted (not loved, but WANTED) that I participated in not 1, but 2 simultaneous EA's. The really screwed up part is that they each knew of each other but that's another story.
What I learned from this is that I probably should have just worked out the problems in my first marriage or settled for the emotional abuse I thought I was enduring. That was NOTHING compared to having an H who cheats non-stop and ultimately resorting to my own A's.
Then again, I have 2 beautiful, brilliant babies I would have missed out on, and I wouldn't trade them for anything. Certainly not for a better sex life. I'm just learning to do without.
My WH, Detached has posted on the Wayward Side.... He says he has to edit a few things, but he told most of this story finally. ( He left out a few major details about a couple of the A's..... they were much more than h made them out to be. He also left out that I have a few "assignments" that he has really almost refused to do over the last 13 months.... posting here regularly was one. He has posted a few times and never followed up on it. THere is a bit more, but I will leave it to him to edit.
He NEEDS support guys & gals.
He is just not getting it.
Please respond to him. I know it is long....but if you have the time.....
It would be greatly appreciated.
Just posted on his thread. He also has an invite from me to PM anytime he's not comfortable putting an issue out in the open.
[This message edited by srb1608 at 11:33 AM, September 12th (Friday)]
I also posted in General, but not sure how many WS venture in there.
Oprah covered infidelity on her show today... here is the link to a quiz on why men cheat. What are your thoughts on the answers? IS this good information? I have to say that it left me feeling crappy and inadequate.
Best post EVER ---> http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=324250&AP=1&HL=
If he takes those steps, there's hope.
It totally missed the key point. We all have reasons our M's stumble and need work. But there are alternate courses of action. There's counseling. There's separation. There's even D. The choice to have an A resides with the WS, and is due to flaws within them that allow them to think an A is an acceptable answer to their problems.
You should not feel inadequate at all. You are in no way responsible for the A.
So, things have been getting much better. I still feel the pain here and there, but I see so much good in our relationship and so I'm able to push it aside.
But last night, I got a bug up my butt and realized I know so much about OW that I could probably obtain her passwords. I don't worry about fWH too much anymore, he's been so transparent and accountable. Yes, it still comes to mind, but like I said I can pretty much push it aside. But she has friends by us (she's in military too) and I have been so scared that she's been talking to them spreading our business around his command (we know she did with 1 girl). AND when I found out I asked her to take down a bunch of pics of them on her myspace page, she did. But then a while later she put several back up. She half-heartedly cut him out, but he was still recognizable. And she put up several other pics too from their times togethe(and she has plenty of other pics with others friends - I know). It's been a thorn in my side.
So, I simply deleted her myspace and email account. I din't post anything rude or contact anyone (and I could have re: her drunken adventures). I happen to know she has others - but these contained stuff re: fWH.
I told fWH and he isn't worried about her, but he got so sad about what he did and kept asking me if we're gonna be ok. I kept trying to tell him that I know he's a different person now and that I just felt this was something I wanted to do - no real fireworks about it. I even finished cleaning and played with the kitties afterwards. He came home and was sure I'd be in such a horrible mood I think he got himself all worked up (he was at work). I reassured him a bunch, but I think he'll feel better when he sees this won't turn into a big fight.
Anyway, just sharing...thx.
One of the hardest things to rebuild as a FWS is self esteem. For many like myself, it was already low - that's part of what made the allure of an A so strong. And now, we've just tossed our whole character out the window too.
So any time our BS triggers, it cuts a little more inside our soul. Because we know we put that trigger there. It's all on us.
The way I've worked on it is through IC, finding ways to rebuild my own self esteem. After about 9 months of IC, I entered another 6 months of executive coaching to build my career confidence again. I'm reading The Purpose Driven Life, The Assertiveness Workbook and Reclaiming the Fire to try to restore my energy and passion.
At this point, the best thing you can do is to highlight that his low as we result of your focus on OW should be explored in therapy to see why he is not confident enough in himself yet to know he is a good husband for you.
wannabenormal -- I hear your Qs and I am sorry all over again for the pain I caused my husband and the xOM's wife. I am truly disgusted with my actions. I did the same "I can't remember". I don't even have a good answer for you to this day. I really think I was in the FOG...complete shock that this was my life -- of my own ill-doing. on one hand I genuinely did not want to cause an ounce more pain. not one more ounce. also talking about the details made it all so real. I was so disgusted with myself. it made me trick my mind that the xOM and I were "in it together" and were the only people who knew what it was like to be so under seige. sick, I know. but it's how I felt at the time.
I support you in your effort to have him read 'After The Affair'. It was THE eye opener for me. It started me on my path to reality. out of the fog. out of the brainwashing I had fallen into by my own actions/lies and by the xOM's actions/lies
maybe if you could just ask him to read one chapter a week? maybe even one chapter a month?
I wish you all the best....
oh well, my answers are earnest nonetheless...best to all
Thank you so much. He is in IC, but he only goes every other week due to his work sched - I wish he could go more. I think he's finally starting to want to take care of himself - until now he felt as if he couldn't heal until I'm all healed and, of course, it doesn't really work that way.
Also, I want to try to stop triggering and, more importantly, acting out on those triggers, because I feel like I'm the stronger one at this point. I felt sooo bad when I realized it hurt him by bringing it up again.
I'm going to show him these posts and show him the books (he's a registered user, but he hasn't posted anything yet). Maybe you can PM him - his username is been.
Thx so much :)