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Reconciliation
User Topic: Need input from men; spouses of older wives
scaredyKat
Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 5:43 PM, July 17th (Wednesday)

I'm embarassed to post this, but am desperately looking for answers. My story is in my profile if you need more gory details. Short version, married 34 years to an SA, D-Days multiple, he's been sober for several years...I was in the dark about his 20+? year acting out, but he was verbally and emotionally abusive, and claimed ED issues for many years so our marriage had been sexless unless I managed to "trick" or seduce him once in awhile. He'd like it to be not sexless now but I have serious issues.

My IC is trying to convince me that it is possible that he does find me desirable, all for me. Even now, old, wrinkled and flabby as I am. He ignored and rejected me when I was younger (we are talking 39ish-55) firm(er) actively working out, etc. Not only did he ignore me and run rapidly to screw and court other women, he was vicious and verbal in his rejection of my, using words like "disgusting, corpse-like, and necrophilia" to describe my body and my sexual performance. He claims now that those words were just designed to stop me from asking why we weren't having sex, to keep me at arms length and off guard, to stop me from asking questions and finding out about his hobbies. The last time he said anything nasty was while we were in bed together, and I guess I just wasn't responding the way he wanted me to. It was about 2 years ago and I won't let that happen again! I just will not allow myself to be tortured like that. He beats himself up, apologizes, does everything he can to try to fix it, but I am so scared he'll slip and once again do it. He says he is an asshole, a horrible person, a addict, he wishes he had never said those things, he didn't mean them then, he doesn't mean them now, and he loves me and thinks I am sexy and beautiful.

How can I possibly believe him? How do I unhear all the things he said? Is it possible for him to like my body now? I just ISN'T as good as the one he rejected for so many years, gravity happens and the stress of these years has played a BIG toll on what used to be a pretty nice package. I am not overweight, I do work out, but I am 59 years old and NOT an athlete. I look my age.

And my body surely isn't as good as the 20 somethings he was lusting over at strip clubs nor as good as his two OW who were significantly younger than I.

It's sad because I used to like sex, A LOT. I was not terribly experienced, but I was very willing to experiment with my own husband. I tried to introduce new things and he acted as though I was disgusting even then. So I figured he was happy with routine stuff and so was I. Until he wasn't.

So, I guess my questions are twofold.

Is it possible for him to like this old, nasty body when he didn't like the better, younger version or is it just lust because I am now the only game in town?

Is it possible he really didn't mean all those horrible things?

I would really appreciate your input. I am confused and still scared, hence the username.


Me-BS-60
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 3459 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
doesitgetbetter
Member
Member # 18429
Default  Posted: 8:20 PM, July 17th (Wednesday)

While all things are possible, the only thing that is certain is your pain and the very realness of that pain at the hands of your husband. It doesn't matter if he lied all those times he said those horrible things to you because while he was saying them, to you, they were real. It doesn't matter if he feels that you really are sexy and wonderful because, to you, he's been telling you the truth for 20 years and now just wants to get some action. Whether that's his reality now or not doesn't matter, he has harmed you significantly.

I am so very sorry you had to deal with that for so very long. He's done a great deal of damage to you, and I believe that he could spend the next 20 years telling you how amazing you are and it would pale in comparison, and be met with disbelief each time.

I can also tell you that he's dead wrong. You were never any of those things, those were just his sick, evil thoughts and ways to control you to do whatever he wanted you to do, or not do, and in the process of controlling you he has hurt you deeply. I know that no matter what we look like, there will ALWAYS be someone out there who finds us sexy and appealing and gets them all worked up, heck, even Honey Boo Boo's mom has someone that's all hot for her. (sorry to the Honey Boo Boo fans)

(((Scaredy)))


DDay - Dec '07
Me - BS
Him - FWS
Us - Committed
May 18, 2010 - I forgave him fully!
"Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." Isaiah 48:10

Posts: 3859 | Registered: Feb 2008
ladies_first
Member
Member # 24643
Default  Posted: 9:03 PM, July 17th (Wednesday)

At best this is projection, at worst it's both sexual and verbal abuse.
"disgusting, corpse-like, and necrophilia"

Let's look at this objectively:

Are you dead? Since you authored a post at 5:43 pm, you're neither dead nor corpse-like.

So you don't look as good at age 59 as you did at 20? Ummm, that's the rule, not the exception.

It's sad because I used to like sex, A LOT. I was not terribly experienced, but I was very willing to experiment with my own husband.

Yes, this is sad; No, this is not "disgusting."

Sounds to me like you're a victim of PTSD and negative conditioning.

Are you familiar with the work of Byron Katie?
1. Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.)
2. Can you absolutely know that it's true? (Yes or no.)
3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought?
5. Turn the thought around.

My IC is trying to convince me that it is possible that he does find me desirable, all for me.

scaredyKat, Do you find your husband desirable, all of him?

[This message edited by ladies_first at 9:04 PM, July 17th (Wednesday)]


"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." ~J. Campbell
"In the final analysis, it is your own attitude that will make or break you, not what has happened to you." ~D. Galloway

Posts: 2143 | Registered: Jun 2009
scaredyKat
Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 9:26 PM, July 17th (Wednesday)

Thank-you both for your considered responses. @doesitgetbetter, your answer was very validating, you put in words what I was unable to.

@ladiesfirst, oh, yeah, he did a great job conditioning me. Of course I know intellectually that he was wrong, but the abuse was gradual and subtle.

I turned my sex drive off long ago. His claim was that he had ED, it wasn't going to be discussed, so I had to accept it, much as I would have to if he had any other disease.

Right now, I have turned off my sex drive. In the beginning of recovery, 4 years ago or so, I had high hopes, but recovery isn't linear as I found out, and sober doesn't mean recovered, hence his nasty comment 1.5 years ago, leading to my current shut down. I simply don't trust him not to hurt me again and I am not someone who can have sex without trust.


Me-BS-60
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 3459 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
TrustGone
Member
Member # 36654
Default  Posted: 8:53 AM, July 18th (Thursday)

I know what you mean. I am not the cute little Mama I used to be either. Unfortunately gravity over time has a way of catching up with us. The last thing we need is some asshole telling us what our bodies look like to them, unless it's a good thing.

You are 59, so what? You look 59, so what? After all the years of abuse it's a wonder you don't look 90. It is not what's on the outside that matters. If someone truely loves you it's what's on the inside that they see. Sure we would all like to look young, but it's not happening unless they invent a age stop pill.

Your WH is a very abusive man. At 62, does he look like he did at 30, 40, 50. No!! I would tell him to kiss my ass and no I would also not want sex with him either, ever again!!! Why does your IC think he has changed? Just because he now beats himself up because he stuck his foot in his mouth and had his head up his ass? Now he wants what he can't have is his problem. Typical SA behavior if you ask me. Is he in SA therapy?? What is he doing to try to help himself so he doesn't continue to abuse you?? Words are cheap. Actions tell you if they are truely remorseful for the pain they have inflicted.

Once you hear something, unfortuntely there is no way to unhear it. With that said, I will tell you what happened to me a few months ago. I went to the local WallyWorld to get groceries. As I was turning my buggy, an older gentleman almost bumped into me. We both apoligized and I started on my way. He said " Can I tell you something without you thinking I am an old pervert." I said, "Yes, I guess." He then said something that made my day and made me realize that I am not just an old aging 50yr old woman, but someone that other men besides my husband find attractive. He said, "You are a very beautiful woman. I can tell that you are beautiful on the inside as well, just by the way you carry yourself." "If I were younger, I would love to have a woman just like you." I was stunned and just said, "Thank you". He said "You are most welcome" and went on his way. He was an old farmer and he was not trying to flirt with me. He just thought I would like to hear what he was thinking.

Do not put yourself down or allow anyone else to make you feel bad about yourself. You are not too old to dump his ass and I am sure you could easily find a replacement for him if you wanted one. There are good men out there that would not say these things to you, so don't ever think that you have to continue putting up with this abuse. (((HUGS)))


BW-50
WH#2-51
M-9 yrs T-11 yrs
4 children-none together
DD#1-9/5/11 LTA 2yrs
DD#2-7/3/12 False R
DD#3-4/29/13 (OW broke NC)
Status: Your guess is as good as mine.

Posts: 2420 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: Texas
tushnurse
Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 9:18 AM, July 18th (Thursday)

Yes it is possible that he didn't mean a word of it, or that he actually believed it when he said it,as he was in an addiction cycle. Drunks tend to say awful things when they are drunk too. KWIM?

My view on this may be a bit different than other responses. What about you?
How do you feel about you?

Do you think you look good for your age? Are you happy with who are? Are you comfortable in your wrinkles? Are you proud of the marks of time, and wear them as a badge of survival?

You need to be happy with who you are, you need to find that within yourself before you can worry about what your H thinks. My point being that if you firmly believe that you are a great person, and you look good, and have survived things that would have killed other people, and know that makes you awesome, then you won't give a shit what he says. You won't need his validation. Strangely enough when you get to this point they usually find you even more attractive because you exude a stron confidence.

((((and strength))))


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 8229 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
scaredyKat
Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 3:52 PM, July 18th (Thursday)

How do you feel about you?

Do you think you look good for your age? Are you happy with who are? Are you comfortable in your wrinkles? Are you proud of the marks of time, and wear them as a badge of survival?

Ah, there's the rub. I am intelligent, educated and accomplished, and yet, like so many other abused women, let him define how I felt/feel about myself. It was a long process, complicated by FOO issues of course, but what the mind knows isn't what the visceral reaction is.

When the abusive comments would happen, he would often try to backtrack, apologize and "lovebomb" me for awhile. I would convince myself that his words were a result of stress, of anger, of impulse, that he didn't really mean them. When the truth came out about his affairs, the multitude of strippers, it was like a lightbulb moment, "OMG! He really DID mean all that horrible stuff!" Didn't help that disclosure was really him being found out and screaming that he had had sex with them because he needed a "real" woman and I wasn't one.

I don't think any of us LOVE aging, but I hate the idea of being intimate with someone who (I believe) would constantly find fault with me, not to mention, I would always think it was, once again, as I believe it was for so long, just pity sex.


Me-BS-60
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 3459 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
PinkJeepLady
Member
Member # 37575
Default  Posted: 4:23 PM, July 18th (Thursday)

Do not put yourself down or allow anyone else to make you feel bad about yourself. You are not too old to dump his ass and I am sure you could easily find a replacement for him if you wanted one. There are good men out there that would not say these things to you, so don't ever think that you have to continue putting up with this abuse. (((HUGS)))
100% AGREE!


Me: BW-54. Him-FWH 54. DDay June 1st 2012 cheating with prostitutes overseas
R-ing
"Not everything that counts is counted. Not everything that is counted counts." Albert Einstein

Posts: 478 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Out West
sisoon
Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 5:26 PM, July 18th (Thursday)

1) I'm with tushnurse - how do you see yourself? You're a full-fledged human being, loving, lovable, and capable, and you deserve to treat yourself that way - and you deserve to have other people treat you that way, too.

The one thing I'd add, because it's what allowed my W some peace about how she looks, is that time adds 'character' to one's face, and character counts a lot once we're pastour youth.

A lot of people have told me I look younger than I am, but I'm still 68, bald, and fat. Even if your H is tall, thin, and distinguished looking, even if he has all his hair, are you telling me he hasn't deteriorated himself? If he's entitled to a 20 year old, so are you.

2) I KNOW my W is 68, and she looks it to me, but my brain has an immense number of images of her stored and accessible. When I look at her, I see her at every age since she was 20, when we met. Another thing - I don't like her stretch marks from pregnancy visually, but they represent a big part of relationship emotionally - a visual sign of he length and depth of being together.

3) I think it's very possible he never meant the nasty things he said, especially if he knew he was addicted - if he knew he was effed up, he could easily have blamed others for making him so.


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 9991 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
scaredyKat
Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 10:56 PM, July 18th (Thursday)

Ahh, Sisoon, I am a fan and hoped you'd give me some wisdom! No, he's not the Adonis he was a 30. The stress has done it's share to affect him as well. However, I never looked elsewhere to replace him, so the comparison falls flat.

And me with a 20 year old would just be creepy.

I am not so certain he has those fond memories of me at a younger stage, remember, this has been going on for a very long time. He's been angry with me forever.

I guess I am just completely unable to picture ANYONE thinking this aged body could have any sex appeal. Especially since he has shown that he was so easily distracted by cheap eye candy.

[This message edited by scaredyKat at 10:58 PM, July 18th (Thursday)]


Me-BS-60
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 3459 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
crossroads2010
Member
Member # 30213
Default  Posted: 8:19 AM, July 19th (Friday)

First, I am just a few years younger than you and the OW was 4 years my senior...an old gf of his. Amongst other things, one of his comments to her in the emails I read was that she was the most beautiful woman on earth...he has never said that to me, not even in our younger years...we have been together for almost 40 years.

After dday, I lost a lot of weight...couldn't eat and started trying to stay healthy, exercising...was really scared I was going to have a stroke and felt so sick. I started paying more attention to make-up, hair, etc...those words he wrote to her rang in my head and still do. I got a LOT of compliments from others...including men.

Is it possible he really didn't mean all those horrible things?

My fWH still never said anything positive. His comments were negative...I looked drawn, my tan that next summer made my skin look leathery, my hair was too dry....things that he never said before. He would usually realize after he said something that it was not nice, but....

I don't know why he felt the need to put me down then...it eventually stopped. Now he still doesn't say anything nice...just nothing critical.

I can't explain this behavior...maybe it has to do with their feelings about their own appearance and lack of confidence, but it doesn't matter to me anymore. When I start feeling uneasy about myself...like now I have gained more than a few pounds back... I try to step up and make sure I am exercising and eating healthy, taking care of my aging skin and hair and put on some make-up every day. I also try and work on my talents and abiities...it IS all about making YOU feel good about YOU...we can't get rid of all the sags and bags...but taking care of yourself goes along way...

His opinion CANNOT count anymore!!

Is it possible for him to like this old, nasty body when he didn't like the better, younger version or is it just lust because I am now the only game in town?

Wrong attitude...carry youelf with confidence...I know it is hard, but I find that others view that confidence (when I have it) as attractive which makes me feel more confident...etc...

Just rambling, but i know how you feel.



Posts: 579 | Registered: Nov 2010
sisoon
Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 8:36 AM, July 19th (Friday)

I guess I am just completely unable to picture ANYONE thinking this aged body could have any sex appeal.

Um...exactly. That's your thought. You could instead 1) see yourself as having sex appeal, and 2) accept that some people do, in fact, think you're sexy.

You raise this issue - that means you're interested in sex, and being interested implies at least part of you thinks you have appeal. That's the part that sees life accurately, that's the part to nurture.

Sex appeal is a lot more than appearance. I once went drinking on a college afternoon with a woman of 21 - she was legal, I wasn't. She was maybe 5' tall, built like a barrel - no discernible waist, weighed maybe 200 lbs, not pretty. (OTOH, she was also intimidatingly smart and adventurous.)

She promised that she, another guy who came with us, and I would drink for free. Sure enough, guys buzzed around her offering to buy her drinks. She always said, 'Sure, if you'll buy my friends here drinks, too.' They did. I think she went home with 2 of the guys. She didn't look great, IMO, but she sure had sex appeal. (Once was enough - she scared me! )


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 9991 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
tushnurse
Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 8:55 AM, July 19th (Friday)

What Sisson hit the nail on the head.
You have to believe in who you are first and foremost. If you exude confidence then the rest will come.
Trust me. The women he was involved with it wasn't because they looked better or were better in bed, it was simply what was handy.
The horrible things he said to you aren't what he believed, it's a projection of his own unhappiness and dissatisfaction with who he is as a person, very little has to do with looks.

I am nearly 43, I have more than my fair share of gray hair (which I don't hide), wrinkles, scars, and stretchmarks that are sooo bad my OB still is amazed by them. I'm also technichally obese, and have horrible hands (arthritic 90 year old looking hands) But you know what?
I don't give a rip. I am happy being who I am. I may be a bit overweight (ok a lot), but I get to enjoy good food and wine without fretting. I may have some gray's but I consider them natures highlights. These things make me who I am. I am a pretty cool lady. I can tell you I don't go out of my way to get fixed up to go to work, or out to the store, and can be frequently found in a ball cap and worn out clothes. Does this mean I am unattractive, hell no. I seem to draw attention of men more now than I ever did in my youth. Seriously.
When I was in my 20's-30's I was always worried about how I looked, and compared myself to others, and was my own worst critic (thanks mom some foo issues there). I was too fat, not fashionable enough, had crappy hair. BLah Blah Blah.....Well that feeling of never being enough was what I exuded, and it allowed me to be overlooked by men as far as being attractive, it also held me back in work, I was overlooked for jobs because I wasn't confident, even though I was extremenly competent.

You can't find your happiness and validation in others. That has to come from within for you to really find true happiness.


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 8229 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
scaredyKat
Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 9:29 AM, July 19th (Friday)

I hear you all. I'm working on the me part. I recognize that I can't get back the 25 year old body, and am working on enjoying life to the best of my ability. I think your advice is wise and should be a big part of my focus.

I also think this discussion has helped me realize that SAfWH is simply NOT doing what I need to feel safe enough to even consider being sexual again. He avoids any difficult discussions (I forgot) his go to reaction is either defensive or offensive, and he still lies about small but stupid stuff.

I don't want him to work his program because I'm dictating the rules, he wears that kind of resentment like a badge of honor. And I can't feel safe in a relationship where I believe the potential for relapse and major slips is a factor.
I'm not looking elsewhere, either, that's not me.

You guys are the best.


Me-BS-60
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 3459 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
Topic Posts: 14