Here is what is going on in my head:
I think the language sometimes used here, specifically regarding sex/PAs, may impede recovering/surviving the infidelity. While I am only a few months out, I feel there are sexist/shaming undertones that carry over into what could otherwise be productive interactions. Several of the books and articles I've read have started with definitions of terms as well as explicit discussion regarding why the author chose those terms. For example, infidelity vs. adultery vs. betrayal. etc...
In my experience, of the three main emotions (anger/sad/happy) anger is the biggest initial emotion I felt as a BS, followed by sadness. I believe anger is incredibly valid and important to feel. I believe the anger is healthy. I believe anger is the first step in recovering from and surviving the fallout of infidelity.
However, I am not good at expressing or dealing with my anger. I am in fact terrible at processing and expressing my anger. I do not like the person I am when I am angry and I am working on this.
In another post I confessed I frequently regress into a sarcastic (usually passive-aggressive) asshole. To say this impedes conversation is an understatement.
In my case, I am not violent but I frequently use my words to express the anger, and when/if motivated I try to twist my verbal knives to hurt more. My IC has referred to this as verbal aggression and verbal violence. To clarify, I do not threaten physical violence or damage but instead through IC, I've realized I try to impart the pain that I am feeling. To this end sometimes I will knowingly exploit my WWs internal fears. While it does indeed cause pain, instead of evoking empathy I get wrath and resentment.
I attach my anger to the words I choose during these periods.
My biggest regret during confrontation, was calling my WW a whore and I completely meant it when I said it.
She has and always has had extremely poor self esteem, and I did more damage with that one word than perhaps anything else I could have done. I regretted it immediately and I've apologized for it. Despite this, when we've fought she has stated "Whatever, I know you think I'm just a whore!" I finally stopped this by interrupting her during one of these tirades to inquire if money had actually changed hands. WW was temporarily stupefied by this and hasn't repeated it since. Whore is a derogatory noun for a prostitute. I do not believe my WW to be a prostitute. I wish I hadn't used the term. Slut is the other term that I see frequently used. It is a pejorative for woman who are sexual. I don't think a sexual woman is a bad thing. Both are sexist terms that have recently been adapted to address men as well (man-whore/man-slut). I believe these words still carry these undertones and they are especially multiplied when expressed with anger.
While I regret my word choice, I also know that it is entirely normal. I do not intend to shame those who have used derogatory words, especially in angry moments. I know everyone here is working on themselves. At this point for me, and in my opinion, holding on to and continuing to use these terms requires holding on to the anger behind them. If reconciliation is being pursued, I think this anger would be detrimental to forward progress.
My logic is this; Affair behavior if the WS was not already in a committed relationship is typically called 'dating.'
I was advised by friends, parents, siblings, acquaintances and even clergy to:
"Play the field," "See what's out there," "Sow my wild oats," etc...
These are simply socially accepted ways of saying date/sleep around.
If flirting causes road side fire crackers of dopamine and serotonin and all the other chemicals to be released, sex can be the full professional fireworks display.
And why not? Sex is fun, healthy and normal. Being a sexual being makes one human.
Sex is the closest people can get to each other and when trust is involved you can achieve true intimacy.
To that end, I do not think sex itself is wrong in any capacity.
Personally, I do not care what straight/bi/gay consenting adults do with one another.
I recognize there are open/polyamorous/monogamous/etc... and they are all types of relationships where people are cheated on.
Any relationship has to exist with communication and rules. If either is broken, so is the relationship.
To me, that is where the line is drawn. Informed consent. The lack of consent is what is killing me. The lack of honesty.
Numerous posters have come to say that the sex doesn't bother them, the deception does. I believe that is what I am realizing too.
My WW is not a whore. I do not wish to label her a slut either.
I want my WW to enjoy sex. I wanted her to enjoy it with me and I did my best to make that happen.
I do not condone what happened, nor am I trying to justify any of the affair behavior.
I do want to use more accurate words that actually highlight where my problems lie.
She is broken. She is a liar. She is a cheater. She is manipulative.
She is weak. She made horrible choices. She was incredibly reckless and lacked judgement.
She lost her integrity. She may be an addict. She has problems.
I think APs are likely the same. Perhaps I am far too optimistic...?
However, after the betrayal, how can I stay sex positive when sex itself has become a trigger? HB ended a while ago. We barely touch now.
If we R or D, I am concerned future relations will be affected.
I've realized if I stick to pejorative derogatory terms my WW will only hear my anger, and I won't move past it.
If I can say what I am actually feeling and pinpoint where my problems lie, we might be able to address them.
I apologize if I may have rattled off topic here; Is it possible to remain sex positive after having been betrayed?? Have any of you?
[This message edited by totalheartbreak at 6:56 PM, February 4th (Tuesday)]
I'm not really certain what the rest of your post has to do with your question of remaining 'sex positive', which I assume means continuing to enjoy sex?
I will say this - over time the meaning of words change. a 'Whore' is no longer just a prostitute. Each person may have their own barometer of what makes someone a whore, but it doesn't mean prostitute any longer.
I don't have any advice but I think it is great that you are mindful of this. Staying aware is the best you can do.
I think the way an emotion is expressed can be very impactful. It's one thing to call someone a whore. It's quite another to say 'I'm furious that you (did) ....'
The first attacks another person and evokes defense mechanisms. The 2nd shares something about yourself; it's not an attack, and it's less likely to evoke defenses. (After the revelations of an A, the 1st seems pretty normal, for a while; then, if R is to be a possibility, the 2nd way of expressing anger needs to take hold.)
I also tend to keep the Drama Triangle in mind. (Search the web on karpman drama triangle, since Karpman is the developer of the concept.) So maybe your W is genuinely distressed by being called a whore, but maybe she's feeling sorry for herself.
I think sex after betrayal and after HB may need a real sense of connection. I think both parties need to agree to work on their M or commit to R for sex to happen naturally.
And both partners need to start to heal for sex to happen.
Is it possible to remain sex positive after having been betrayed?? Have any of you?
FWH and I have achieved that, and, here we are, years later, still 'sex positive'.
However, I do have to have to admit, that the road there was difficult initially. H gave me his sweeties STD, (I normally say 'whore' because, she was one). Repairing a marriage after that is a very VERY bitter pill to swallow. So, needless to say, initially, I was very 'sex negative' for quite a while.
Then, one day, I just decided that, you know what, why should I deny myself the comfort, and healing aspects of a healthy sex life because he was a temporarily insane idiot? I need sex, I want sex, and as long as there is proper remorse and positive steps toward R, why deny myself? (Of course while practicing safe sex, and continued STD testing).
We have both found it to be extremely healing, and at the risk of sounding corny, sex is the language of love, and communicating sexually can only help as long as BOTH partners are on board with it.
Just start with cuddling, massages, kissing, holding hands, romantic dinners, etc, and move on from there when it feels right.
I actually started typing up a post on that exact topic a few days ago, but stopped bc I feared I couldn't do it justice (yes, I have perfectionist issues--working on that! :). I've never considered the women my husband had sex with to be "sluts" or "whores." Morally challenged and broken? You bet.
I'm so glad you recognized how damaging the insult you used to hurt your WW might be, and that you've taken steps to remedy that hurt.
I think it's totally understandable that people have these kinds of thoughts about WW and OW--after all, this is the way society teaches us to think. But I also believe that when our society engages in character assassination based on holding an entire gender accountable to one standard of sexuality while giving the other gender a free pass, we ultimately contribute to the systemic shaming of women as sexual beings.
And I think that can play into unhealthy sexual dynamics in marriages, in many ways--the most obvious being men who seek OW to do things in the bedroom they couldn't dream of asking their wives (aka: Madonna/whore complex)
[This message edited by SpotlessMind at 5:45 PM, February 4th (Tuesday)]
Sex positive...in my community this means celebrating all forms of sexuality expression
I guess I need to go back and specify that I am 'sex positive' within the confines of a monogamous relationship.
As far as the issue over using words like slut and whore, I have no problem with. If someone behaves like a slut or whore, I have no problem calling a spade a spade, and yes, I consider someone that has sex with my husband to be a slut:
Definition of SLUT
chiefly British : a slovenly woman
a : a promiscuous woman; especially : prostitute
b : a saucy girl : minx
Definition of WHORE
: a woman who engages in sexual acts for money : prostitute; also : a promiscuous or immoral woman
: a male who engages in sexual acts for money
: a venal or unscrupulous person
These words are spoken here by people that are suffering extreme pain, and I think we need to give them a break. Now, if we continued to call our formerly wayward partners these words, yes, that is wrong, and definitely not conducive to healing for the WS or the BS.
[This message edited by painpaingoaway at 7:05 AM, February 5th (Wednesday)]
To a point a WS must take their medicine like a grown up on D-Day. This would be yelling, crying, and name calling at a start. Getting kicked out is not out of the question. And if they're street-smart they should be ready to be punched. The power of this news is overwhelming as we all know and can cause violent reactions. Maybe the cowards on the OP threads think differently, but everything isn't about them.
I would advise you to not let her hold what you said that day over your head. It's drawing attention from her deplorable behavior and deflecting it onto you. My WS has tried that, and while I'll listen to her gripes about me, I tolerate nothing of what I said or did on D-Day.
I was never deceived. For some reason my WS doesn't lie to me. It helps that I've been trained in lie detection and have manipulated the truth out of her when I can see she's resisting it. Plus the coward OP lives in another state and I work from home so quick rendezvous are tough.
The not knowing if you've gotten the whole truth I can see would be torture. But the actual act of sex really killed me... especially since OP is butt-faced fucking ugly. I wanted to measure my dick right after I found out to see how lacking I am, but know full well it's not about that.
In regards to how many act on here to save their marriage, I'm a bit of an iconoclast. I typically say if you want to save your marriage, then do it. That may mean having a 1-night stand yourself if your wife isn't ready to love you right now or is still in the fog. Or perhaps just trying your best to get into sex and hugging her to make her feel loved. Some of the things you may need to do may be sacrificing yourself. But try to think of your goal, and how to achieve that. If your wife thinks you were an angry, cold husband, then try not to be that even though right now it makes sense to since you've got good reason to.
As for the other person involved, the names are fitting for them as well. My husband's ONS is absolutely a disgusting whore. I don't know anything about her, other than that she knowingly seduced a married man who was minding his own business trying to go to sleep on a couch. My husband is also a selfish disgusting asshole for not telling her to F off.
It has been my experience that nothing good comes from casual sex. I firmly believe that a going out/ONS/casual sex mindset from his single days kind of took over my husband (along with his hormones) while we were living apart and he was going out more than a married father should. I believe that if he had had more respect for sex itself when he was single, that he might have been in a stronger position to turn it down when it was offered to him on a silver platter. He agrees.
Sex culture today is disgusting. I had a month in college where I was casually "talking to" two guys, and had sex once with each of them within the same period cycle. I was HORRIFIED with myself and my slutty behavior that if God forbid I became pregnant, I would not know who the father was. I felt disgusting. Felt like a slut. I had acted like a slut.
I don't think there's any need to be PC about inappropriate sexual behavior. Just call a spade a spade.