fwh has been completely open and honest within the past year. Giving well over 100% towards helping us healing from the destruction he has caused our marriage, which was done the first 10 years of our relationship. I know he has matured over the years and us both going to IC and MC for the past has helped our communication 100%.
I think the problem I am having is we have been together over 30 years. We were both each others first and I have never had another sexual partner, while he has had 7 others.
I find myself still wondering if they were better at sex then me. He always acted totally satisfied while during his infidelities ( which actually there was only 1 while he was not on military deployment, so during those times we were not together) Even while he was gone he would write everyday and all seemed so normal.
I have always had men look at me, come up to me with comments and such. I have been a SAHM for 18 years so there has not been any men I see or had to work with on a regular basis.
fwh worries about a revenge A because he said I have been blessed with aging gracefully and have always looked amazing.
I say that it is easier when you have more money. Money was always tight on a military salary.
I find myself, gosh even yesterday, shopping at home depot, looking at other man, wondering what it would be like to have a PA with them.
This feeling is everyday. I have never been with another man. Am I really a good enough love? is my body really as awesome as my fwh says it is?
Could I make another man feel so good he wouldn't cheat?
And, the worst part is....I feel the only reason I have not had a revenge affair is because any man can say he is single and if I did something and found out he was married it would crush me. I never want another women to feel the pain of infidelity.
What can I do to get these feeling out of my head??
Healing myself is now my top priority.
[This message edited by rachelc at 6:42 AM, May 10th (Friday)]
4 kiddos in lower 20's
“Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace."
I even flirted with a long ago BF on FB and SAWS knew it.
There was about a week that I was seriously considering it, then I realized that not only am I not a cheater, but no matter what my SAWS has done to me, I wouldn't really want any other man but him.
Two wrongs never make a right and at least I am still the one with my marriage vows intact and my loyalty.
[This message edited by Tiredofthepain at 7:04 AM, May 10th (Friday)]
It's quite natural to have these feelings once you become aware of your H A.
Before my first D-day, I never thought or dreamt of being with another man. All of my desires and passions were for my H only.
However, after my first D-day, something was awakened in me and it seemed that I noticed men looking at me or coming at me or me wanting to flirt with men that I never thought about before.
I think it's a natural desire to want to be wanted after having gone through such a painful rejection. I think it's also a defense mechanism to feel like you are protecting yourself by getting revenge when in actuality, you are opening yourself up to more pain and heartache, let alone disease or other issues such as being with a married man that you truly just don't want to deal with. You also wouldn't want to be with another man because you really want to be with him. You will be using him to make your own self feel better and in turn, may break his heart. That is not right either.
Not only that, after working through your pain and what's happened with your H, you may just want to try to save the M, but now, instead of you having to deal with your H A, he will now have to deal with yours and that just may be too much for you both to handle.
If you find that you can't stay faithful after what your H did, it'd probably be better to go your separate ways bc two wrongs don't make a right, even though everything in your heart and soul will tell you it will.
You may get even, but it doesn't mean it will make things better for you in the long run!!!!
Once a spouse breaks the bond in the M, it does leave the BS open in a way that we never were before...however, it's so important to get a handle on what you are going through right now. Maybe go to IC or even work through what you are going through with your H bc if you are trying to R, it's better for you both to be honest with each other and avoid more heartache than not.
Keep looking up!!! You are not alone.
[This message edited by h0pe4ul at 9:30 AM, May 10th (Friday)]
In all honesty though, I would have to force myself into having a revenge affair. It wouldn't be about love so how good would it really feel. In the end you and I would both probably be hurting ourselves more then our wayward husbands. And we feel shitty enough as it is already.
In the end it's some of my choices I regret. Either I should have had a little more fun prior to marriage or I should have looked for someone with similar sexual values.
In the past I would never let flirting get to the next level. I still don't. It's not my style. I'm a one man woman and I always will be. R A sounds fulfilling in theory, but the great people at SI have educated me otherwise. It would be like shooting yourself in the other foot. Totally not worth it. Plus, we BS are NOT the ones that are broken with issues. We have a strong enough self esteem to not betray our S. And, believe me, "I" should have been the one to cheat! But, I didn't. I value the little angel on my shoulder too much.
I know, it sucks. It will get better with time. Such a cliche, but it's the truth.
The thing is it seems like a RA would be the perfect thing, balances the M again and fixes a broken ego.
The thing I have to tell myself many times over is that doing that is not who I am. I need to keep my sense of self intact. I should not let this experience take anything more away from me. I want to think of myself as honorable and decent. Adding a RA to mix makes me seeing that much harder.
I literally looked in mirror at times and said that to myself. It sounds corny, but it did/does help me.
The thing is be proud of who you are always. You are faithful. You can live the rest of your days without the guilt, remorse and special pain that comes from knowing that you really hurt somebody that loved you, trusted you.
This A crap has a chance to be removed from your active memory completely one day (see healing). Yes you will remember it, but it's cause is external. You can look at your H and he can apologize and remind you that he hurts for making you feel all those things. By having a RA you just make space for it to have a permanent home in your head and any comforting words from your H lose their effect.
Remember that there can be a bright, beautiful future without the pain that comes from crossing that line. You owe it to yourself to give yourself a chance at that bright beautiful future.
FWIW- I talked through this with my IC some. It also helped a lot.
DS 1, DD 6
Dday 8/31/11. ONS that occurred 3 years earlier. Lied to for 3 years.
Every truth comes to light in a long enough timeline.
Could I make another man feel so good he wouldn't cheat
Well, knowing that the WS cheats because they are broken and not because of their BS, then I can say unequivocally that you are NOT capable of making someone feel so good that they won't cheat. No one is. The WS can only make themselves feel so good that they won't WANT to cheat. So put that one to rest. Even porn stars get cheated on, and they are PROFESSIONALS in the bedroom.
And, I would have to say that if you are entertaining having an RA at 3 years out, then you are far more damaged by this infidelity than you have made steps to repair. I'm not blaming you, I was in great pain and very damaged as well. But by 3 years out, I was firmly planted in R and was ready to renew my vows with H. I stopped thinking of an RA around 5 months into R or so. What have you done to heal yourself? Have you been in IC? Books?
I know it's painful to think that WS has more experience, and you don't have any but him. I get that. But to still have that great of a pain this far out is troublesome. Have you forgiven him for his betrayals? I would guess not, and that might be something else that could be worked on with IC.
And I can promise you that sex is really no better with other people. I've been with other people in my past. There were terrible ones, then there were ok ones. Most of them fall in the "ok" category. My H fell into that category when we met as well. But with time and getting to know each other and what each liked, we became amazing together. That came through us knowing each other though. I've had ONS's, I've had long term relationships. The ONS's were always cruddy, and the long term relationships were the ones that finally started to get pretty good. But by far, my H is the best. We've known each other for so long, we know what each other likes and what we like from each other. It took a long time to get there though.
We're angry that we were treated this way. Insecure because we were second choice for a time, and wonder what it would be like to be "picked first" by someone. Afraid of the future because things we believed to be true are not, and that makes planning for tomorrow steering blind.
We can even feel entitled because our WS got to have things with the OP that we were both supposed to give up accepting from anyone but each other. It's not just that the special feelings have been tarnished, but it can feel like we are diminished in some way when it comes to experiences and connections with others in the world. So entitlement can come from feeling that it should be balanced out.
The line between self care and selfishness is worrisome for a lot of us too. We worry that taking care of ourselves and making ourselves safe will divert attention away from others, dampen empathy and let that door open when it should stay shut. All of these things together, they're hard to juggle.
The difficult thing is that, like I said, many of our WS felt those things when they chose to cheat. Rather than deal with these things responsibly, or come to us, they self soothed in a destructive way. That destruction often incorporated deceiving themselves as well as others around them in order to maintain that self-soothing affair. The longer the lies go on, the more it destroys,and the core problems just fester and get worse and it's all the harder to fight against if they ever stop lying to themselves and really try to heal.
So I think it's normal to feel like that, wanting revenge, wanting the validation of someone that doesn't know us and hasn't betrayed us, hiding behind the anger because the hurt is so fucking blinding. It's also still just infidelity if it happens, the same as any other affair. Selfish and entitled behavior in a moment of anger, fear, hurt or confusion.
It sucks so much. Sorry you are going through that right now. Work towards healthy coping strategies and don't compromise your own boundaries and eventually that stuff will ebb away enough that struggling against destructive short cuts is easy, or even gone altogether.
My vows, morals, and values aren't for sale.
I'm 8 years out and thought about a RA early on in R and just recently as well. I'd been doing so well for so long and then BAM the affair reared it's ugly head again. The stress of other stuff over the past year triggered me back and I just started questioning everything about my life and marriage. Did I make the right choice to stay? What do I really want out of this life? What would it be like with another man who hadn't cheated on me? Etc.
Just because you're 3 yrs out and in a bad spot doesn't make you any less normal or healed then the rest of us. We all have our own timelines in recovering from our spouses' affairs.
This is a general statement but sometimes I wonder if it's harder for spouses who haven't been with anyone other then their spouse to get over their spouse's affair???
Add me to the list of those who can definitely relate. DDay for was in 12/09 -- so it's been a while. In the immediate months after the A (summer of 2010), I was very tempted -- feelings of hurt, low self esteem, etc. etc. but I knew then that two wrongs wouldn't make a right (although two Wrights make an airplane ). Further, I feared (something that FWW later thought was probably accurate) that if I had an RA, she would have been tempted to go back to OM.
Fast forward, 3 years (or however many years to the 3rd antiversary. I've been feeling even more tempted now. Part of it is because, since I consider FWW and I to be R'ed it would not be about revenge per se, but more of a "me too." Sort of a "you got to have some fucking hot sex with a stranger and ended up with a better marriage, what about me?" I know how tempting the idea of the RA can be.
But at the end of the day, I simply cannot/could not/would not go through with it. It just isn't who I am.
Even more, I believe that if I had a RA, it would mean the OM won. It would turn me into him.
So, I accept that these feelings will wash over me from time to time. Just as I accept that feelings of depression/resentment/anger/hatred/etc. about the affair will wash over me as well. But I also know the feelings are transitory and soon will be gone. I find journalling to be very helpful in providing a more healthy outlet when (what I call) "my demons" appear.
I think fantacizing about sex with another man is natural. If you want to do that you can leave your marriage and be single, or you can discuss the issue with your spouse and be honest. There are "monogomish" marriages or open marriages, where both partners establish boundaries/rules for these types of relationships. There is nothing wrong with doing that as long as both partners agree. It spares everyone from the pain of an affair.
There are plenty of single men/women that are looking for a no strings attached sexual relationship. There are even websites out there for individuals looking for that.
If you can examine your motivation, you can find an honest way to get your needs met. If it is just a fantasy, that's OK too! Or if it a revenge fantasy, there is nothing wrong with that either. I am sure all of us consider a variety of revenge tactics during our recovery. We may not act on them, but sometimes it feels good to consider them! I know I think about slashing tires, but I would never do that!
I never had feeling for another man in the 30 years I have been with fwh. While he was deployed for 7 months at a time, sure I missed sex, but it was the intimacy with my fwh, I did not have any feeling of just going out and finding someone to have sex with.
I dont drink, never have so I never went to bars, while we was a big drinker when we were young.
I did not even think of a revenge A close to the Ddays.
I take comfort knowing many of you relate to how I feel. I know we all have our own opinions and situations. Thank you for taking the time to respond.
I truly believe, I could never have a revenge A because I don't want another man, I want the feelings I had for the man I feel in love with 30 years ago, amazing man I thought I had.
I guess I am just curious how it would be with someone else. The communication with fwh is great now, and I have talked to him about my feelings.
His response was, why lower yourself to the disgusting things I have done. He said he lives in shame everyday, while he was unfaithful and the 18 years since he stopped, everyday looking at me knowing if he said someone it would break by heart.
He said one of my best qualities was I have always been a classy woman, with morals.
I would never want my children to think of me any less as well.
Thanks all for letting me know there is nothing wrong with me thinking these thoughts.
And to answer a response...I am damaged. When I will feel whole again, and have my self esteem back to normal??...well I guess only time will tell!
I'm pretty amazing in bed (if I do say so myself). Didn't keep FWS from cheating. Just saying.
Don't compromise your integrity. Be proud of who you are and what you are.