IMO, You don't need a sex therapist. Your H is messed up. He’s looking at porn everyday because he has no clue how to attract a woman. And you cannot force him to change. He needs to make that choice.
When you do get back into a loving sexual relationship..
We men need help from woman too. You must guide us on how to make you orgasm. My wife has become very good at it… She will take my hand and place it in the right spot.. or tell me.
First things first… If you think you cannot somehow overcome your issue… YOUR issue about disgusting thoughts.. IMO, It’s best just to leave your H unless you are OK without a sexual marriage. Because let me tell you something. I think you will have these memories forever. For me, they don’t bring on feelings.
[This message edited by trynhard at 7:21 AM, June 10th (Sunday)]
I get what you're saying...my thoughts are my own problem and I'm just not sure how to get over them. I don't want a sexless marriage. Sex is one of the perks of a committed relationship and helps to maintain a close intimate relationship I believe.
The MC says that I need to stop protecting him at the expense of myself about the 'when' we are intimate again. I worry that if I don't get to a place where I can again and soon that it will break us further. But, I do fear because of the porn and the A that I am not what he really wants even though he says otherwise. I can't get it through my head that the A isn't a reflection of his disinterest in me in that area.
I don't know how to take the step back into that part of our relationship when I feel so disgusted with him.
Obviously my self esteem has taken a big hit. How does one get past that part?
Sex is one of the perks of a committed relationship and helps to maintain a close intimate relationship I believe.
I'm just not sure how to get over them.
You are making the choice NOT to love your husband with sex. For men, I read statisticlly it account for 25% of a man feelings when receiving love. This is something you must make the choice to fix or you are breaking your vows. It is up to you to try hard to keep your vows. After infidelity, sometimes we just cannot and owe it to our spouses to leave them if we cannot keep it. A woman of good values does this.
I have read about and think I understand why you are here. Women have an intimacy imperative. These are powerful chemicals that might be doing the opposite of what your MC is saying … what they are doing is keeping YOU protected. You are protecting your self from more mental pain. You can make the choice and risk it. IMO, If you don’t take a risk, you will stay in misery. And if something does not work out like you plan, hey you can always make the choice to choose a new partner later.
Every marrige goes through a time of struggle. You are in the misery phase. You are going to have to let all that past go... let go means.. Accept. My H made a mistake that hurt me. Now I am here. We all have that inside ourselves. Only you and your H can make it to the awakening phase. It is a becoming a beautiful thing for me, I wish it for you too.
No reason to think you cannot guide your H. “Honey, I want to be in a loving, nice, intimate and sexual marriage. I want those feelings again we once had for each other. For me to have them again, you can do things, say things, but I will know if they are real or from your heart. I cannot tell how, or exactly say what to do, but I will be listening”
As for you.. From experience this works. Why not start with some non sexual touches… When he walks by just allow your hand to glance his arm, start to hug adn grow it to hugs everytime you greet, and some slow kisses... and over time slowly build to longer kissing.... These are all choices by you. Touch is very powerful. You say to yourself, I'm going to do it for me, and then do it.
I think you must plan ahead. If rejected, Do not get rattled, do not fight, but make sure you communicate to your H that you are not going to be in a non-loving, no-intimate, not nice marriage. Then go for a walk.
Your plan is... I am going to be a woman who wants to be happy and will do all within my power to make it happen. I will have courage to not control my H, but to communicate clearly. In General, Woman have this ablity to seem to know what the other is thinking, saying with non-verbal means.. men cannot... A woman must be very clear when saying things to a man... That is my thoughts for you.
It's OK to work on ourselve after all this. If we make ourselves better after going through all this trauma.. it's rewarding to be a better person than you were before. Work on yourself... Start reading every book on what a man needs... every internet recommendation.. then give it to him by your own choice... allow your H to make his own choices. In time, with the proper safe gudiance, he will not want porn because sex with you will be much more rewarding. What you might discover is the Law of Reciprocity will kick in. This is working for me.
[This message edited by trynhard at 6:52 AM, June 12th (Tuesday)]
>You are making the choice NOT to love your husband with sex. <
Yes because I'm not there yet.
>This is something you must make the choice to fix or you are breaking your vows. It is up to you to try hard to keep your vows.<
You're kidding right?! You're talking about my dedication to my VOWS?!
>A woman of good values does this.<
I would like to think its not my values that are questionable in this situation.
Definitely made a mistake posting here. Lesson learned. SI's a safe place to talk about personal struggles with a spouses infidelity my ass.
Husbro and I have not had a meaningful sexual encounter for over a year - one lame quickie and two epic fails.
It "works" it just doesn't work for me. (his manhood). Porn has messed him up for life, and I too do not want to have sex with someone who is fantasizing over all the paper ladies in his head, no thank you.
This was the final nail in the coffin for me - after eating all the lie cake he served up, his suspected affair, his addiction and his porn use, this was the biggest best cake topper in the world.
I have an at times insane sex drive because it is a life long out let for me - he doesn't care that I literally stay in the house lest I am tempted beyond what I can bear.
It's a tough spot -= there are no easy answers - I will most likely not ever have sex with him again - a) I won't initiate because of the total amount of rejection I get and b) I know for whatever reason he doesn't want me - there fore it's off the table, I'd rather be celibate then pitied.
Let me begin by saying, the "breaking the vows" with not having sex really speaks volumes. I not only disagree but find that position absurd and possibly abusive. I don't believe being married is the "key" for ANYONE to be forced to have sex. And to use any manipulation to gain sex from your spouse is sick and abusive. I'm also not religious so the promises I made when I married were to my spouse and not anyone or anything else. He broke HIS promises to me. I didn't.
So we haven't had sex in six months. I don't see that changing. I cannot have sex with him. I have NO desire. I have zero sexual energy where he is concerned. I don't' care if he masturbates daily as long as I'm not part of it. He is, at the moment, a friend and nothing more. He knows NOT to ask for sex. Not to expect sex. Not to look to me to have sex with him.
Some may feel that me withholding sex is me using sex as a weapon. Couldn't be more wrong. I'm withholding sex because it is the healthiest choice for me. I don't care that he isn't getting his needs met. He wasn't meeting my needs when he was cheating. Not only were my needs not being met he didn't even care or give me a second thought.
he can stick his need for sex and his vows right up his bum!!!
I say you must do what you have to for YOU. Your emotional/mental/spiritual and sexual wellbeing is way more important than his needs at the moment.
A good woman is one who knows how to be self sufficient and maintain self respect without compromising her self esteem. She is more than a tool to please her cheating ass husband. That's my 0.02.
You certainly did offend me. But I can appreciate that you see things differently. I just don't see having trouble with sex after being cheated on by ones spouse as not living up to my vows or a defect in my values.
Smokenfire and dragonflydreams,
Thank you for your comments. It's nice to know that there are other BSs having serious issues in the area of sex with their WSs. Makes me feel like I'm not alone in my struggles. If my WS can't wait for me to feel interested again then I'll help him pack his bags and he can find it elsewhere. I already know he's capable of finding it outside of our M while I was interested and available for intimacy. I'm through playing the OW in my own $% M.
[This message edited by Betrayed76 at 1:47 PM, June 20th (Wednesday)]
I'm a man whose FWW had a 4 year LTA and I feel just like you do. I'm actually growing less and less interested in intimacy with FWW as time goes by. Just wanted to let you know you are not alone.
I guess its one of those things that when things are fine everything seems fine and when its not, it seems as if it never were.
Then again I cant really account for our sex life this past year. The only good thing was HB, until he destroyed that up with some asshole anwsers to my questions and worse yet, the non-answer/non-truth.
I was still able to get aroused but less and less so. Now its a struggle, but compounded by his ED problems. I really do not feel wanted by him. Its humiliated to get turned on or have an O and find out the other person was pretending to be into it, but cant even get hard. Or loses an erection INSIDE me. What is worse than that?
When I bring up having sex later or make flirty comments I can SEE the look of panic that comes into his eyes. I thought men get turned on by the thought. He sure as hell got turned on by thoughts of fucking everything else that moves!!!!!!!!! Everything. Seriously sat and looked at photos of "real women in our area" for hours lusting. I truly wish I could post some of the god-awful women he "wanted". And/Or fucked. On top of it, had mind blowing orgasms and couldnt last with them. Nice.
I digress. He likes to hug and cuddle. He likes to "fool around" which means grab my boobs before we go to sleep. Without the pressure to actually do anything. I feel like its some half assed way of proving hes attracted to me. It does the opposite.
I dont know. I might be pms'ing but Im completely sick of this shit. Should I cut off affection?
Betrayed and smoke.... I feel ya.
With OM, it was "what is the maximum amount of sex I can have with him without losing my marriage?"
With me, it is "what is the minimum amount of sex I can have with him without losing my marriage?"
Just wanted to add my 2cents
Circumstances and feelings vary wildly depending on whether the sex was blown before or after the infidelity and who did the cheating.
I'm in a relationship not with my original SO that brought me here and we had a fantastic sexual connection until recently. Frankly I'm at the point as a BS that I understand people stepping out on their marriages. Actually I still don't understand the lying part but I do understand the heartbreak from being denied over time and finally just reaching a breaking point. I consider it to be neglect which is a form of abuse.
Anyway I finally had to give an ultimatum.. and I hated having to do it. I don't want to feel like I'm blackmailing anyone.. you'll do this or else I'll leave you and I don't want mercy sex either it won't cut it and isn't good enough. I just said I can't stay in this if it stays this way. She asked if I was giving her an ultimatum. I said no I'm saying that I have to be true to myself and who I am and I am a sexual person and I thought she was too. I knew we had some real difficulty and I wanted things to be good between us again but I can't keep going the way things have been going. It's too painful and not fair. since then I've been cut off completely from any form of love or affection, being slept next to or acknowledged. So I'm moving out and do not feel loyal to this relationship any longer (meaning I discuss details with my friends that I won't with her and am no longer protective of this relationship). Its truly sad. It makes me sick to my stomach and actually is a major trigger for me as I go through my 6th dday antiversary months. I was doing really well this time last year but this year I have tanked a bit due to this issue. I find I resent her deeply for this because she knows this about me and just doesn't care, I'm sure its not even on her mind.. since I seem to not be that important at all.
It is not dissimilar from the way I was cut off by WSO who kept me at a distance and had pleasant conversations with me but cut me off from all meaningful communication, sex, and affection during june-august of 2006.
I'm thinking anyone who would sign up for a marriage like this knowing it in advance is just deluding themselves. We had talked about getting married.. and I just can't do it. And I don't think my needs are crazy.. I know things slow down from the beginning. I'm fine with 1-2 times a week.. and understand life gets in the way or here are lulls.. but it became 1x every two weeks and then 1x a month.. and that is when I started to really come unhinged.
I don't think anyone deserves to be cheated on but I have no idea how a refuser can seriously expect their partner to willingly submit to fidelity with no sex baring a major health issue. I'm not trying to push anyone's buttons saying that.
I know this is different that losing one's sexual appetite for a spouse who has cheated on them and going through quite a bit of time trying to reconcile and see where one ends up. I think that is a different issue where clearly trauma is part of the picture.
[This message edited by Syzy at 6:02 PM, July 4th (Wednesday)]
I was in one other relationship like this but the sex went south pretty early on we only stayed together for 2 years and even that was due to some logistics of having moved several states away otherwise I would have left sooner.
It drove me crazy and I swore I'd never sign up for anything like that ever again.
I'm doing okay in my head about it all though at times I still feel really confused. I feel like how on earth could I have ever been loved when the switch gets thrown like this? (which is what is triggering all the previous infidelity stuff though I don't think that is what is going on and if it is well I'm not taking one bit of that on) We had a really great sex life and a really great friendship and they both feel like they are in the crapper.
I'm in the process of looking for another place and hoping to be out by next month.
I get that there have been some problems in this relationship. I didn't think it wasn't anything that couldn't be worked though. It mostly seemed to be around communicating when upset, not at other times, but when you are upset or hurt is when it is most critical. Other than that I was actually happier with her than I'd been in a very very long time in any relationship. I really loved us. But I do love myself too.
I've been trying to decide if the diminishing of sex was motivated by the difficulty of the last 6 months or if it is a pattern. I've concluded they aren't exactly mutually exclusive and I'm not sure ultimately it matters. Baring there being some abuse or infidelity I'm not sure I'm willing to accept excuses for sex every couple of weeks. Especially 1.5 years in. That just isn't long enough to be experiencing this stuff no matter what else is going on imo. And the way I'm built I can still have sex with my partner when there is difficulty and find that in and of itself bridges communication and empathy.
So yeah being in a relationship with sex issues is not something I want to take on.
[This message edited by Syzy at 7:19 AM, July 7th (Saturday)]
I have learned that it is very common for survivors to be able to conduct a relationship "normally" (as it appears to the other participant) to the point where they feel safe. Once they feel safe and no longer have to "earn" the right to be with you, they relax into whatever level of intimacy feels comfortable for them. As it turns out, the emotional and physical intimacy at the beginning of my own relationship--and in essence the woman I fell in love with--were her "relationship self;" the person she presents in order to "get" a relationship, and then she becomes "herself" and it's a test to see if you stay. Which of course you do because you want her to know you love her for herself...no matter what.
It is highly disordered thinking. What's sad about it is that the "sham" she thought she was putting on was really more real than the limited, guarded person she regards as her real self. Because she was "acting," she was not guarding, and as a result, her responses and reactions were much more genuine, even with the fronting. I see glimpses of that person when she's with very young children or people she won't see again, but her damage is such that when she "loves" someone, that person is de facto a kind of enemy, and must be held at arms length lest they injure her in some way.
I thought I could gut this out, but I'm starting to see some changes in my children and now that they are no longer tiny I'm starting to see her do some of the same things she does to me, to them. Our son believes she hates him. Our daughter is afraid to cry in front of her. I'm not sure what to do because she won't go to counseling or allow them to, and she's made it clear she'll take them away from me if I leave. But that's an issue for a different board--I think my point here is that prolonged celibacy in a marriage is an indicator of terrible damage, and needs to be approached as a marital emergency, not endured for years. That's not to say that patience and sensitivity are not critical, particularly if the loss of intimacy results from infidelity or events actually occurring within the marriage (as opposed to FOO or childhood). But if there is no movement, no communication, no sense that it is an important problem that must be solved, then I think it is important to get out sooner rather than later. In my case it looks like her abuser is going to have caused incredible secondary and tertiary damage before it's all over, and that's something I could have prevented if I had understood sooner.
As for me - he's claimed 100% control over sex, and I have claimed 100% control over leaving.
It is very possible though that some people misrepresent their desire initially to get the relationship and once it settles down their actual default setting begins to show itself. Some people don't want to want their partner. Too vulnerable too messy too scary. So it may well be that. However she doesn't have a lack of desire she takes care of herself pretty regularly. She just doesn't want sex with me.
I have the benefit of not being married and no kids so it isn't something I have to sign up for as sad as it makes me to have had this be the outcome. I am dealing with the fact that she feels betrayed by me and that I ruined our relationship even though I certainly did not cheat on her. Our relationship is complicated by the fact that I'm a BS and she is a former WS. Crazy that I went there I know. However this is a WS that fully gets the wrongness of her actions, has apologized to her exwife, tried to salvage their marriage and cut the OW off completely. She also gets that cheating is ultimately an act of damaging oneself. So she is still processing some of that and I am further out from my BS status. She occasionally suffers from the doubts a WS suffers from.. (If I'm capable of X and I thought I wasn't what is everyone else capable of???- when you lie you see liars, when you cheat you see cheaters etc)
She did not trust me or my judgement when it came to friends that I had and it became a problem. I'm in agreement with many people here about having friends of the relationship even if they aren't mutual friends. I had a friend that became attracted to me, cared about me and still was able to maintain being a friend of the relationship and not work with an agenda. Never hit on me and understood I was happy where I was. This can get complicated in a gay world.. often our friends are the same gender and have the same sexual preference so it makes the boundaries harder to be cut and dried about. My gf was very threatened and didn't trust me and that was really hard because on the one hand I'm the trustworthy party and two I've been with controlling people and didn't take to kindly to being told 8 weeks into dating I wasn't to hang out with this friend that I had who at that point had said nothing about being attracted to me at all that came about 6 months later. (I met them both about the same time) I tried to honor her and honor myself. She has more fun superficial friendships, I'm more of a one on one person and I like a greater amount of connection in my friendships. My two best friends in the world I've had for 22 and 14 years and our relationship is quite like that. All of this was really a problem and marred the first year of our relationship.
I feel very conflicted about this.. I try to look at what I could have done better outside of just getting rid of my friend and saying sorry my gf doesn't want us hanging out which some here may agree is what I should have done. However I don't have boundary problems, I've never cheated in a committed relationship and I have had opportunities to do so. when a "friend" has hit on me while with someone I know they aren't any real friend at all. Its just something I'm not interested in doing to myself or my partner ever even when I'm unhappy. I've also been with some controlling people and so while I understood her difficultly with the situation I also had to stand up for myself in it and say hey you know this doesn't feel right to me even though I understand it. My friend eventually told me, "hey listen this is what is going on with me and I'm going to take some time to deal with it and in the mean time I need some space to deal." I said I get it thanks for explaining let me know when you feel more comfortable hanging out again. About 3 months later we started to hang out again and that is when everything just hit the fan with my gf. And there was a lot of really mixed messages coming from her. I started to feel crazy regarding what I was allowed or not allowed to do. I'd hear something was fine for me to do and then the next day she'd blow up about it. So a month later I just told my friend look obviously I have to deal with my relationship and what is going on here. I'm sorry but we cannot hang out. We didn't really talk or see each other for 8 months until it became clear she was leaving the state. I talked it over with gf and she seemed okay at this point with us hanging out on occasion so I did. Now in the last two months, friend has moved and was one of my only friends here that wasn't just an acquaintance, my cat has died, and gf seems content to barely talk or interact with me. I've lived here almost 4 years and am somewhat established here but don't have a ton of friends or family anywhere near by.
So maybe that makes my gf's position about me clearer. My friend actually has just moved 2400 miles away because I encouraged her to go to a better school than one here locally. I was her instructor at one point and am in the same profession she is going into so was my suggestion was based on professional stuff not personal so much (as in get out of town) My gf was also very unhappy with me that it took me 5 months to get my work situation straightened out. I never borrowed money from her but I was around the house too much. I was cut down in hours from 3 days a week to 2 days a week and wasn't very proactive about getting more work though I was looking. Its hard to find work in what I do. Simultaneously my 20 year old cat was dying during this time and needed my help for the last 4 months of her life. I also didn't want to go back to working nights or weekends because I didn't want to give up time with my step children. So I appeared lazy and unmotivated you see. And this is what she told me made her unattracted to me. In any case it sure is a far cry from the love and friendship that started us out. She doesn't trust me, doesn't think I deserve trust, doesn't trust my judgement, and I have found that my concerns don't seem to carry as much weight or matter as much. Anyway I don't agree with her position but it doesn't much matter that is how she sees it how she feels and I find that I have no idea how to fix anything and a have lost being interested in her version of me.
It is very upsetting that your children are starting to have that experience with their mother. For your son to feel that way is disturbing. Does she know this? It seems like that would motivate her to look at herself in a way that maybe your issues with her would not.
I don't think withholding sex after an affair is breaking one's vows. I think that is a complicated state to be living in.. having lived it myself. The damage can be unreal. But it clearly is part of what makes a marriage worthwhile to most people especially since we sign up to not have that with anyone else. Refusing it regularly in a relationship where this hasn't occurred is a good reason to divorce.
[This message edited by Syzy at 3:55 AM, July 10th (Tuesday)]
My story isn't uncommon. We had a good, not great, sex life long ago and far away. When I, early on. suggested some slightly more inventive activities to enhance my experiences, my fWH reacted with anger, and mocked me. He was totally threatened by the idea that he wasn't "enough" for me. I reassured him and back off. Probably set us up for what followed. Fast forward 5 years. Kids, life, we scheduled sex. It was fine. I still had trouble climaxing, but I had fun. Mostly I did the planning, but that's my nature anyway, no problem. But eventually, as his career took a downward turn, so did our sex life and our life in general. He became critical, irritable, with me. There was little I did right. If he picked on me, or didn't show up when he was supposed to, or just completely dropped the ball on any of the house and kid responsibilities on top of picking on me, and THEN made moves toward me after coming to bed HOURS after I finally fell into an exhausted sleep (he'd spend hours on the computer) there was NO WAY I was interested in sex. Then he started having ED problems. I would plan romantic getaways or kid-free evenings and he wouldn't be able to climax. Eventually, he completely lost interest in me. At the time of life when I was feeling GREAT, healthy and strong and sexy, he rejected me. He told me repeatedly that I wasn't any good in bed, that my body disgusted him, etc. I learned in 2009 that he had had 3 affairs, 1 EA, 2 PA and had spent countless hours and money at strip clubs, lap dances and had developed relationships with a slew of strippers. He thought they were his good friends because they listened to him better than I did. When I found out about the PAs, and asked him why, his response was "I needed a REAL woman!"
So here I am. Old, wrinkled and saggy. I was cheated out of a normal sex life for 20+ years of my life. I am staying in a marriage that isn't awful, with a man that is a good friend, remorseful and working hard to make it up to me. He is actively working in a recovery program and is being treated for bipolar depression.
I cannot erase those horrible words from my ears. I cannot unhear that I am a terrible lover, that my body (it was a very NICE body back then!) disgusted him. I cannot feel his hands on my breasts or legs in a sexual way and not think that he touched whores IN THE SAME WAY while treating them respectfully and lovingly while abusing and traumatizing me. I would LIKE to do this! I would LIKE to get past this! I would LIKE to think that my life isn't over!
Your husband sounds like he is threatened by your eroticism and had no intention of validating it whatsoever. Why do it when he feels it comes at his expense and provokes his anxiety? That isn't to say its your fault its frankly his problem to confront. But why face himself when instead he maintains control by shaming you.. and then proceeds to eventually start losing his erections (because everything has consequences and costs).
I'm sorry he said the things to you that he did, it awful but its likely not the truth. He goes for affairs most likely so he can control the content as well as punish you behind your back for some imagined transgression and at the same time get some temp bump in his ego. Normal Marital Sadism is what David calls it. Anyway the book helped me understand the dynamic a lot better.
[This message edited by Syzy at 8:34 PM, July 24th (Tuesday)]