The thing is, I was ok with her past it was the present that really bothered me. She gaslighted for years to the point of chewing my ass for even thinking such a thing about her. There were times that I would think I was lucky to have her faithful in spite of her busy past.
There is a special kind of messed up feeling to believe I wasted monogamy on this. It seems to me there is a pain all its own to have someone so “busy” trick you into believing otherwise just to find out 20 years later that in fact she was playing you for a fool the whole time. But, I can definitely see how had I been her only the devastation I would feel for having left something so incredibly special for meaningless sex.
I am not so sure there is any infidelity that is less bad than another. The common denominator is they all have some sort of severe emotional pain associated with them in spite of the unique and dynamic situations.
I may not know exactly how you feel, but unfortunately I have a pretty good idea that it isn’t pleasant either. I hope you find peace with this somehow very soon.
I enjoyed that fact, no one else had known his body, what he looks like when he is finishing, I was the only one he had the pleasure to experience.
BOY WAS I DEAD WRONG. It seems after about a year and a half, he just couldn't WAIT to try out other people. Now that everything has come out, he asks me "Haven't you ever wondered what it is like to have sex with another person?" and I say "Of course I do and did. However, I NEVER placed that above or anywhere near my love and respect for you and my marriage."
So now, he has had many partners, and even though I was his first and his first wife (obviously) I am not even the only woman to know what it is like to carry a child of his.
The pain is very real. I feel extremely embarrassed now because of my 'inexperience', jealous, ashamed that I went on believing and enjoying what I thought was true for so long, enraged that in his mind he felt he was entitled to try other people because he hadn't, and enraged that he took something that was special about us and just stomped all over it and allowed those other people a go right after him. I also hate that he gets the luxury of having a wife who is 'virgin' to anyone but him and doesn't have to worry about me comparing him to my other lovers or past partners, while he just gets all these new experiences to marvel over. Sometimes I NEVER want to have sex with him again because it makes me so angry and disgusted.
I don't think if we hadn't been our spouse's first and stayed true to them, that it would really be that much less traumatic for us. However, I do feel like it is one more layer thrown onto the big pile of shit that our WS's threw ontop of us...if that makes sense.
I also agree with a post way above me. To me, I equate sex with love and it is something special and I don't understand sex without emotion or love. That makes R that much harder, because I feel like there is no way he just did it to get off and then didn't really enjoy it or feel any kind of feelings. I guess it also doesn't help that he did have an EA/PA, and with that, at the very least, there are emotions during the fog. The 'I love you's', the cuddling after, and the talks of future plans after the act. It eats me up inside. It was something very special to me, and even if I leave him, I will never have that 'we were each other's firsts and onlies' ever again.
[This message edited by Tired05 at 8:10 PM, July 5th (Friday)]
Now after R and healing and time I can look at things differently. Yes I took great pride in only having sex with my spouse. Now I can say honestly, at the time when we got married it was a big deal. But during his A he wasn't himself. He was broken and messed up. Do I think we lost something by losing this level of special? Not really not anymore. Few people go through life with only one partner. Had this whole shitstorm not occurred I'm not confident that we would be nearly as happy and healthy as we are today. We certainly have a great sex life and our intimacy is at a level I didnt know was possible prior to dday.
So I guess my point is yah it sucks for everyone. I'm not convinced its more painful than others who are married that had someone before. After all they were commited when their partners chose to have an A. I think anything can be a bigger deal if you choose to make it one, the trick is keeping perspective and focusing on the here and now and the future.
I never thought I would have to think about him with someone else. I loved that I was the only for so many things. Before me he had only kissed a few girls nothing more and I had kissed one other guy. Everything else was just for us. I used to feel our connection was so strong when we were having sex and i knew that was only ever shared between us. The connection isnt nearly as strong now. Now everything is shared with her including the phrase "I love you" makes me sick.
I hate that she knows what I know. That everyone knew we were onlies (we were pretty proud about it) now everyone knows we aren't. I hate that for 8.5 years I was all he needed and then suddenly he needed more. He couldn't resist her. I'm so much prettier then her...I look at her and I think "her? Really? She's the one that you gave it all away for? The one that was worth losing everything about us that was special?" I don't get it :(
He says he never wanted to only be with one person. He always knew he would need to know what being with someone else was like. I must have missed that part of our wedding vows. He never told me that, he always said he was glad we were onlies. I asked him several times about it over the years.
He is so happy now. Happier then ever before. I feel like there is no happy left for me anymore. I'm not happy with him and I know I wouldn't be happy without him. I love him but I hate him. It's so conflicting.
Tushnurse I don't believe that it is more painful (I apologise if that's how it came across) it's just a layer of pain that others who have had previous partners would not experience... much like the women who are betrayed while pregnant or those whose spouse has an OC as a result of an A. That's not a pain I have felt and, reading here, I am sure it's a special kind of hell (we all have our own "special" hell from this, most have more than one kind of hell) This is one of mine.
It's not 'worse' just... different and perhaps because a couple being "one and onlies" is a bit unusual these days (e.g. neither of my adult children will ever be able to be in a "one and only" relationship with anyone... not now, that ship has sailed for both of them)it feels as though no one can understand that particular loss.
It's comforting (and at the same time very sad) to know I am not alone in that feeling of loss. I'm not crazy for feeling that it IS a loss just because my WH doesn't feel the same.
"Unhappy marriages don't cause infidelity. Being unfaithful causes infidelity."
Nope, not yet. Perhaps some day someone's perspective will click for me, but for now this is one area that remains open I am sorry to say, especially for all those dealing with this aspect as well.
As for pain, I agree, it is not "more" painful or tramatic, degrees of pain and trama are individual IMO, not necessarily universal, some aspects of infidelity that cause others here deep grief and in some cases are their personal deal breakers were not an issue for me, and vice versa.
The only "solution" I have found for this issue for me, is to realize my "why" behind this being onlies was special. And to question why it was special, why it meant so much to me, should it have? what does/did it say about me and who I am/was or who I wanted to be? Why did I really remain faithful? Is this issue one that truly makes me special or not special? What really is "special" and can another instill speciallness in me? Do I want to leave that area of "speciallness" to another to have control over whether I am special or not? Does he really have that kind of power?
I too bought the being "onlies", and the being married X number of years as special and something of value, I have had to examine it and question it. Have come to some thoughts on the matter , but it is not "settled" but it is not a huge weight of pain and shame as it was before, but it is not gone yet, there is still work to be done imo for me in this area, it might be that I need to change more of my perspective, or it could be simply that it was something important and I just have to grieve it as I have grieved so many other things lost due to infidelity.
Saw the thread yesterday and just passed it over, but today, I saw two pages and decided to check it out hoping someone would have that nugget which would make this aspect "click" for me.
With that said, I think being married under that shroud of emotional security regarding sex causes one to be much more capable of exposing themselves to the misconception that "my spouse would never" mentality. So when it does happen, its not just the betrayal, its taking back the gift. The sad part is that the gift isn't taken the day one strays, its taken from the moment they were onlies. I can see that having an emotional trauma all its own.
Some new thoughts for me because of this.
1. I still have my vows intact. While I have natural sexual urges and have fantasized...I did not act on them. Not feeling self righteous about that...but no longer feel as if I somehow missed out on something intoxicatingly exciting...that is having sex with someone other then my wife. I say this because the actions my wife displayed after her A died resembled to me that of an addict....leaving me to feel as if I had missed out on something...seeing her desire at such a strong level even with being faced with hurting her husband and her daughters and her self respect--it made me wonder just how great the experience could be for me. As time has gone by I am comforted by my choices...not feel trapped by them or somehow at a disadvantage. A comfort I would lose if I had chosen to have an affair of my own in response to urges I have had. Thank you SI for letting me see how that adds another layer of issues to work on!
2. The importance I put on this part of my marriage set me up to be blind to the dangers out there. I knew guys had temptations to deal with and I took actions to keep my boundaries firm...but never thought women needed them because I incorrectly thought they were not tempted. I am blind no more...and will find seek opportunities to set the relationship foundation of my young daughters up differently then I did my own. I don't know if this is to encourage premarital sex...as some have suggested...but will put this on my to-do list. Of course, the importance I put on this part of our marriage DID help me set up firm boundaries as mentioned before...so some weight is needed (and this is where I am going to examine further over the next years).
3. This is serious trauma...at this level I guess it doesn't really matter if I had 1 or 20 partners...the betrayal is betrayal. I would do good to stop trying to quantify and compare my experience to others.
Thank you again for so many thoughtful and differing posts.
God be with us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 7:34 AM, July 7th (Sunday)]
I was his first and he was mine, but to find out now that 6 months later while he was in college he had a second.
His first duty station in the military, he had #3, 4, and 5.
That was all before I married my one and only!
It continued for many years. How did he it make him feel when he heard me saying, so proudly, we were HS sweethearts?
I feel ashamed to be part of this marriage. I feel stupid that I didn't see the signs, or was just young and in love and ignored them.
I feel that my whole married has been a lie. There must have been nothing special about me to keep disrespecting me, except for the fact that he knew I would always be there for him, support him and love him.
He have been in R for a long while, but have decided I will never be able to trust him again.
I am working on healing myself and walking with my self confidence again, which I never had lack of before this mess.
Healing myself is now my top priority.