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Emotionless Infidelity Part 4

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marji posted 6/3/2019 22:35 PM

Elizabeth The basic tests for SA are free and on line; he should probably be taking them. He will have a good idea if he answers the questions with full honesty. SA isn't really something someone else can decide since it's so much about the internal thoughts and feelings of the person who engaged in the possibly SA behavior.
SANON is for anyone who has been harmed by the sexual behavior of someone they are close with. The qualifier does not have to be a certified SA. A good group gives support and understanding; it helps the loneliness and shame that we as partners feel upon learning of their behavior--it also helps with the shame we might feel by continuing to stay in the relationship.

If you continue to feel bad, then traveling to a good group may be worth the effort but if really not possible there are also telephone and Skype groups.

You say you have to navigate your anniversary; actually all that's best to be doing right now is working on your recovery from the shock and the trauma that your H has caused. It sounds as though you are trying to help him to feel better about what he has done. If that is what is happening that's probably because you are a very nice, very caring person. But try not to be too solicitous and try not to put much energy and thought into navigating anything.

Not sure if you are also working with an IC but it might be a very good thing to do and your therapist might even be able to help you find a support group.

Sadismynewname posted 6/4/2019 20:54 PM

I guess I had better edit this

[This message edited by Sadismynewname at 9:05 PM, June 4th (Tuesday)]

Perdita1 posted 6/10/2019 00:26 AM

Just checking in to see how everyone is doing. Had a rough couple of days myself. 15 months out from d-day and things are tricky. Iím sure Iíve read somewhere on SI that the second year is hard and it definitely feels like it now.

We had a couples therapy session last week that descended into chaos. The therapist said it was the closest we had come to divorce (personally I think heís wrong - I was probably closer in the few weeks after d-day, but I was following the advice I was given not to make any decisions in a hurry). But yes, it was a really difficult session. Basically it came down to heís really trying and if itís not good enough for me, then itís just not good enough. I guess that means that the infidelity really was a dealbreaker, despite all the trying.

The therapist tried to get me (us?) to reframe - that the incidences are in the past, although weíll always carry them with us. Forever stained, WH said. I feel like that shows he got that it will never go away, right? One of my big blocks has been that I feel he wants to shove it in the past and never look at it again, whereas I just canít do that.

Iím so...I donít know what I am about it all. I blame him for putting us in this position - it was his choice, his actions - yet apparently I have to stop talking about blame? I think he should take it, but he says he canít take talking about the blame anymore.

I donít get any of this. Apparently my morality is too rigid - according to the therapist WH has done a lot to change, but nothing seems to make a difference to me. Maybe SI can help me - if divorce doesnít follow, what consequences does a WS have to bear for what they have done?

Perdita1 posted 6/10/2019 00:41 AM

Oh, I forgot to add that the other night WH told me that it would be hard for me to find someone else if I divorced him. I am mid-30s with three young kids. So yes. I get the logic but ouch, what a horrid thing to say. Is he trying to say itís harder for a woman? After all he would be a mid-30s cheater with three young kids.

Superesse posted 6/10/2019 09:41 AM

Perdita, first things first: you need a different counselor. Horrible attempt at "bargaining" away YOUR concept of what your marriage meant, into something subject to constant revising, just because your WH "has done a lot to change." As if he can earn his way back to a happy marriage, just by cleaning up his mess?

This makes me angry, for you! It is obscene when an MC employs negotiating tactics to categorize this level of betrayal as just part of your new marital landscape.

(I'd probably have replied, "Sure, and you should have wanted to live in Vienna Austria, about 1944....a bombed-out rubble of what once had been a beautiful city. Is that fair enough?")

No, please find your own IC.

I won't even guess at what your WH needs, but I can see that MC right now is harmful for YOU, and is ALSO taking the focus off the kind of work your WH needs to be doing ON HIMSELF. YOUR acceptance of his problems should NOT even be the battleground, right now. Period! Please don't go along with that agenda.

And no, your morality doesn't need to be more flexible...good grief. Just because so many people seem to be cheating these days, doesn't make it acceptable. So very sorry, but unfortunately, many of us have experienced this kind of MC, ourselves. NOT good.

Consequences are all they understand, Perdita. Talk - his, your, or a counselor's - does nothing. Repeat: talk does nothing to change what's inside their heads. They need real life consequences. It is up to you what those consequences will look like, but his attempt at tearing you down about your options, as he sees you struggling with the hand he dealt you, is just disgusting. Please shut your ears to that noise.


marji posted 6/12/2019 07:30 AM

Perdita Just want to ditto just about every wise word Superesse offered here.

Perdita, the MC you are describing is the very reason that we are advised not to go to an MC. People with MC certificates are not normally experienced nor trained to deal with the trauma of betrayal. There may be other types of marital problems the typical marriage counselor can help with but this is not one of them. Please try to find a good IC for yourself; one who is trained and experienced and skilled to help you heal from the trauma your H's choices have caused.

Perdita1 posted 6/16/2019 11:27 AM

Thank you both Superesse and Marji for your replies. Iíve looked up an IC specializing in trauma and have got on her waitlist.

I am just so down. Some days itís hard to just put one foot in front of the other. WH doesnít know what to do to help. He gets defensive and says hurtful things. Granted, I say hurtful things when iím hurting too. What a mess.

Iím currently unable to sleep because iím so upset. Heís asleep. Donít know how he can when iím so upset.

I canít stop thinking about the whores. WHís answer is that all men go to strip clubs ďwhat do you think happens on a stag do?Ē he said to me. That does not help.

I canít cope with much more. I need this to stop. I need him to do something...something

marji posted 6/16/2019 14:00 PM

WH doesnít know what to do to help. He gets defensive and says hurtful things. Granted, I say hurtful things when iím hurting too. What a mess.

Perdita You say he doesn't know what to do to help--really? Surely he knows that being defensive and saying hurtful things is not the way. There's a world of difference between not knowing how to help --maybe not knowing what to say or do-- and being defensive and saying things that are hurtful. He doesn't sound awkward as some are after discovery; he sounds angry and mean.

You say you say hurtful things too but you and your husband are not playing on an even field and this is not a fight between equals.

You have not betrayed your vows; you have not engaged in depraved activities; you have not abused your H and your marriage. You have not caused your husband trauma. Your reason for saying hurtful things is completely different than his. He's not saying hurtful things because you have hurt him. There's no equal blame here. The blame is all on him.

Perdita Not all men go to strip clubs. If your H thinks that that is normal and if he's expecting you to accept that as normal and accept that that this is what he does and has a right to do then maybe this is not the man for you. I don't remember how long you have been with this person or if you have children but if he is not thinking there is something deeply wrong with what he has done, if he is not showing deep remorse and taking every opportunity to change into a healthy, trustwoth person who deserves you in his life then maybe you want to rethink this relationship and use your therapy sessions to explore other possibilities.

Perditayou seem like a very thoughtful, smart and kind person. You seem like someone who has an easy time communicating. You seem like someone who deserves someone at least as good as you if not better.

In your earlier post you mentioned divorce in terms of consequences for your H--you asked if there's no divorce then what consequence is there for them? I suggest that you not think about consequences for him but only about consequences for yourself--as in how will you be happiest, how can you best live your life as your best self. The less you think about this person who has so abused your relationship, the less you think about this person who seems so comfortable about what he likes and what he's done, the more you think instead about Perdita and what she needs in life to thrive the better things will be.

Also, I think you should try to find a therapist who is able to see you and not have you on a waitlist. I'd also try to find a support group that deals with betrayal. Some therapists have such groups or know of some so I would try to find a therapist to work with asap as well as finding a group. Don't know if your H might be an SA but SANON groups can be extremely helpful and it only requires a member to be someone who has been hurt by the sexual behavior of a relative or friend. No proof of anything else is needed and SANON has telephone groups as well as many meetings.

Perdita1 posted 6/17/2019 21:36 PM

Marji - thank you for your posts. They really help.

Another day, another fight. I'm trying to work out in my head what to do. It was a bad one. I've told him that I've told him before what to do to help. It's not enough to say that he doesn't know when I have already told him. You were right about that marji.

I broached the subject of the MC not working out. We've been seeing this MC for over a year. Maybe we'll see someone else. I'm looking and looking for a trauma counsellor but they seem to be few and far between in this part of the world. And I'm hesitant now too to talk to any more people.

I did mention the fight to a friend last night. She told me to look forward, to look at what I do have. This when I was basically saying I'm not sure if I should stay anymore given how bad the fight was. I find that hard.

I've got three young children with him so he's going to be in my life for a long time. I hate that, there cannot be a clean break.

Maudlin posted 6/18/2019 10:51 AM

Oh! I am so glad to find this thread, it is where I fit in. Since all has come to light, Iíve had a few people say ďoh but itís better, he didnít love themĒ.

No. No it is NOT.

We have daughters. Sex work is rife with exploitation and danger to women and he took advantage of that system...I really, really want to ask him if ever asked any of them how many times they had been raped or beat up? He is contributing to a framework of oppression for those women...and we have daughters.

It is just too gross for words.

I am in court selling specifically for this aspect, I just have a really, really hard time with it. The girls know he cheated and we are divorcing, but not those details (they are 18 and 21). I could not bear them to know. Maybe they should know.

Such a small entitled man baby, who thinks women are just maids, receptacles, props, mirrors. I a, so disgusted I spent so long with such a loser.

Perdita1 posted 6/20/2019 00:04 AM

Hi Maudlin, welcome to the thread and sorry you're here.

I have a daughter too, and I've really struggled with the exploitation of women part as well. WH has pulled the line of 'it's better, he didn't love them' on me too, and doesn't understand why the exploitation part makes me want to vomit. Apparently he thought about about having a traditional affair but chose the emotionless infidelity route as he was always emotionally committed to me. Er, thanks?

At one point in therapy WH was encouraged to look into charities that work with sex workers. But he came back from that talking about human trafficking and saying that those he frequented were not like that. They 'just needed the money' but weren't trafficked. I really felt like he didn't get the point.

Sorry, I'm rambling. How is it going in court Maudlin? Are you able to bring up this aspect of his behaviour? I've wanted too, in terms of - especially at the beginning - feeling that someone who engages in this behaviour is not fit to be around my children. My children are really young though, and I can't see a court agreeing to keep the children from their father 'just because' he engaged in this kind of behaviour. Which is pretty weird in itself. How is it society is ok with exposing children to people who do this?

marji posted 6/20/2019 04:40 AM

Perdita and Maudlin I felt the exact same way. It was a whole other layer of disgust; a whole other matter of losing respect. My H talked about my "hurt" but it was more disgust I felt then hurt. Hurt would have been if he had had a traditional affair--if there had been love-It would have been extremely hurtful--that's the stuff they make movies about with the sad and beautiful music I the background-it's betrayal but it's the kind that people associate with love-This was total exploitation of all of us. This was pathetic and ugly. No one makes movies about men going off to massage parlors twice a week to get hand jobs. It meant I was married to a heartless robot who; a person who had no feelings.

It took my H a long time to accept that these women were horribly exploited. His pathetic need for what-for escape? for thrills? for a sense of power? for what? Creepy beyond words. And I live in a state where conversation turns about making that stuff legal. Horrible.

Perdita1 posted 6/24/2019 00:36 AM

Thanks to this discussion, I brought up the disgust point in our last therapy session. Feel like I've made my point, at least for now. I told him I want him to be that person who, if he ever walked into a one of those places again, would be disgusted at the exploitation going on, quite apart from the fact that he would be hurting me. I told him that I wanted my boy to grow into the kind of man who would be disgusted by these places. The therapist was somewhat surprised by my 'venom'.

I am sad today. Maybe because the weather is awful, maybe because I'm stuck with no-one to talk to IRL today. Going to put on some music and hopefully pull myself out of the mire.

marji posted 6/24/2019 16:01 PM

Perdita Yes, I would like if my H became someone who would be disgusted by such places; someone who would want to help those women get away--not use them.

The therapist we went to, not an MC, but a therapist who thought it would help if I were present, asked my H if he ever asked anything personal of the women -did he ask if they had children-anything. My H said no. I would have been surprised if he had said yes since he never asked anyone questions about themselves; he showed no interest in others.

My H says he now feels disgust when he passes by the places--of which there are many here in the city. He thinks he can tell which are legitimate parlors and which the brothels. I wonder if he is disgusted really. Who knows. And maybe it no longer matters. But Im glad someone else here feels the way I do.

Shocked123 posted 6/25/2019 20:59 PM

Marji and Perdita1,
I'm sure I've shared this before with you but I feel the need to express myself tonight.
I am completely DISGUSTED by massage parlours. I actually peaked into one recently.opened the front door and tried to open the inside door but of course it was locked. What I saw was a type of waiting room with a row of 4-5 chairs. At the back of the parlour there were 3 doors, all closed.
A women sat at a makeshift desk.
I walked away thinking about how men go into these places and actually sit down and wait for the next avaialble woman? Is this similar to going to the barber who finishes one customer's cut and yells "next'? Where there is more than one man waiting on the chairs, do they chat? How does one walk into such a place and have the nerve to walk up to a desk to ask for services. The entire process is absolutely absurd.
To think that my H called such places regularly for years to make appointments (because he asked for specific women who were not pushing services on him--apparently). These regulars knew his body and what he liked more than his own wife. He told them what he wanted but never communicated that to me.
It's sick. Sick behaviour by sick men being serviced by women who are probably living difficult situations.
We have two daughters. When I asked him how he could support such a business he said he ever really gave any thought to our girls.
He also saw 3-4 women in their homes for many years, a couple up to 10 years each.. LTA's of a different kind. Did these women feel special in any way given the fact that he saw them for so long? What did he know about them? He claims absolutely nothing. He went to their homes but knew nothing about them? Said hello and goodbye. How does someone remain so distant to another person who is satisfying him sexually? How can anyone seek such a personal service, have no inhibitions regarding nudity and experiencing an orgasm in front of a person who does this all day long? EWWWWW......
It is beyond my understanding and it disgusts me.
I am married to a man who is able to do all of this.
15 months from D Day and I'm still in shock.

ElizabethC posted 6/26/2019 17:10 PM

Had a couple of good weeks emotionally, and now I'm spiraling down again. I start thinking about the many positive aspects of our relationship, and how he really is a great husband. But then.... NO, how could a great husband do something like this? How could he spend several years paying prostitutes to rub him down and jerk him off, lie to me, deceive me, betray me, etc, etc, etc. I believe him when he says he loves me, that he compartmentalized, that this had nothing to do with me. But that's a whole heck of compartmentalization to actively not think of me and go out and do this. Quite unloving, breaking the vows he promised me. Using these women for his own pleasure. Because he became curious. Because he was broken. Because he wanted a "different" touch. And even though I "know" it's not about me, it doesn't stop all the insecurities I now have.

I want reconciliation. We're headed in that direction. He's doing the right things. Honestly he is. I think he hates what he did, and he hates himself for doing it. He's trying to be empathetic (although he's not always successful - counselor says it may take a while and lots of practice as he spent so many years being the opposite of empathetic). How do I let go of this though? And why is it that I yell at him in my head, but never out loud? Because I don't want to hurt him. Because I'm a conflict avoider. Just trying to deal with my own feelings myself.

marji posted 6/26/2019 20:10 PM

Shocked I really like you. I admire your courage in going to one of the places; there were two others here some years ago who did the same as you. I see the parlors but have never tried going in.

And yes, it is disgusting and pathetic and yes, I do believe that a man can go repeatedly and not have any interest whatsoever in any type of relationship with the servicer. I think that maybe that kind of distance, that very lack of anything more, is part of the appeal. I think it really is just about getting serviced. I think that, in some crazy way, they feel nurtured; not unlike some women who go weekly to a beauty parlor to have someone focus on them and tend to them.

I know, it's a crazy analogy but one that's occurred to me. I think it occurred when he said that after the hj they wiped him up. Hey, that's what infant caregivers do for infants. These pathetic women and girls were taking care of 50 and 60 year old infants!!!

I've thought that in some way the massage and the happy ending were all part of a satisfaction that only an extremely undeveloped, extremely immature man could receive from such an activity over and over again. And pay for over and over again.

Shocked I hate spending time analyzing my H. But I knew his mother and she was a very cold, a very emotionally, shall we say, restrained person. She told me once she had read in Dr. Spock's baby book that a parent shouldn't hold their baby. That is not in Spock or any other baby book I've ever seen. Soooo, maybe there's a connection between parental neglect--what some call a form of complex trauma--and a man wanting and liking that kind of activity and willing to risk employment, reputation, marriage, self respect to do it.

But so what? Even if there's some connection between that early childhood, early infancy, experience and later life depravity, it doesn't make it any more stomachable; it doesn't make him any more fixable.

Im not at all sure my H delving deeply into himself (which he never does) would really make any difference to my feelings. It's almost four years later and I think I would feel different if it had been a traditional affair--I can understand love and attraction; I can understand human connection; to be sure that would have been extremely hurtful but maybe forgivable. This type of betrayal is so creepy it seems that the very concept of forgiveness just doesn't apply; in some sense it seems like there is nothing to forgive. It's more about stomaching--and who knows; maybe in 4 more years I'll feel different.

Rideitout posted 6/27/2019 19:47 PM

It's almost four years later and I think I would feel different if it had been a traditional affair--I can understand love and attraction; I can understand human connection; to be sure that would have been extremely hurtful but maybe forgivable.

I have no idea if my input it wanted in this thread, but, I'll give you some insight into how I look at this and, having plenty of male friends who take part in this "service" what it looks like from the other side.

First to the quote above. I know you read about those kinds of affairs here. And I know that they do occur. But in all of the affairs except my WW's that I know about personally, the best analogy is a massage parlor without paying (and often without condoms). Love's got nothing to do with it. Yes, I think men often lie and claim they were in love because women understand that and can relate. But, it's just not a part of some, IMHO, most male affairs. It's sex, in the case of a "typical" A, it's "sex for free" or "sex for words", in the case of prostitutes and/or massage parlors, it's sex for cash. It's really not that different, there's no desire for human connection in these affairs. I can't count the number of times I've heard an AP's sexual skills bandied about over drinks, but I've literally NEVER heard the word "love" or even "give a shit about" used when discussing an AP. I follow this thread with some interest because, one of the questions I always think when I read it is "aren't all male affairs EI's"? Now, I know it's not "all" and maybe not even "most", but it's a lot of them. So much of it comes down to "did you get it for free or did you pay".

In a lot of ways, I see "getting it for free" as a lot worse. You're "stealing" with words, just like a slick salesman does. Yes, if you meet that mythical woman who's just DTF and that's all she wants, maybe it's mutually beneficial, but, if you read the WW stories, a lot of them have some/significant element of "paying for it" with sex. It's not much of a leap from "paying with words" to "paying with sex".

As far as the "gross" factor, well, I can't say I disagree with you. It's kind of nasty. It's a bad job, I wouldn't want it for my daughter, but, honestly, it's a LONG list of "bad jobs" that I wouldn't want her to do/have to do. Sex work is rather high on that list, but it's not at all the top of the list. The funny analogy I thought of is a proctologist, sticking his finger up men's butts all day. No, not for pleasure, and better paid and more respected position, but.. If you gave me the choice of masturbating women to orgasm or sticking my finger up their butts, well.. I'm going with "rather work in a massage parlor".

The final thing I'll say, in some circles, this is totally normal/accepted behavior (NOT good/correct or acceptable behavior, but common). If you travel to Asia, it's a common thing for men to do after dinner/drinks. I know, that doesn't make it any better, I guess the only reason I say that is because what your H did doesn't mean "he's sick", it means "he can't keep his word". I hate it when people turn this into a discussion about SA or some other "disease".. It's not, it's just the "common bullshit" syndrome that seems to afflict about every AP that has ever existed. In most of these situations, I think to myself that the real probably isn't that "he paid for sex", lots of men do that, one way or the other, throughout their lives. The real problem is the same as any other A, he's a liar and a cheat. I suppose one complication in an EA, it's so available, so, in some ways, it's more like a female A; my WW could have a line of guys around the block for sex with a post on the Internet, just like your H could have a line of girls around the block if he had the cash to pay them all. And that's scary as hell, I get it, and I sympathize with it. But don't let him spin this into "I'm sick", no.. You're just an asshole that can't keep his word. Pretty much like every other AP that's ever existed.

ElizabethC posted 6/27/2019 20:50 PM

Rideitout, thank you for your perspective. I suppose many have affairs for the sex, and not due to any emotional connection with the AP. Part of my WH's rationalization for why this didn't "count" as an "affair" was that there was no emotional connection. He was jolted in a counseling session when the counselor called it an affair. He also rationalized that it didn't really count because it wasn't full blown intercourse.

I looked through his phone while he was out mowing the yard this evening. Found a link in his browser to an ad on skipthegames. I know he used usasexguide in the past as well. Confronted him about it, and he said that it was just "curiosity" and that he hasn't gone anywhere in like a year. I'm still upset. We agreed early on in accountability that if he visited any of those websites, he would tell me, tell the counselor, and tell his accountability partner. None of that has happened until I just found it.

Superesse posted 6/27/2019 21:10 PM

Well, very brave of you, RIO. So since you're here, may I ask you a crazy question that occurred to me, after reading the same post to which you have just replied? Maybe you can shed some light on this aspect.

This is so basic, yet I never thought of it before: one big difference existing between the male and the female of the species - specifically in the anatomical department - could perhaps be significant in this discussion.

Every time a man needs to use the bathroom, he has to touch his "member," which ALSO is meant to be reserved only for his most intimate relationship. Often, he has to do this in the presence of other men, even...like "No big deal. Just taking a whizz." I recently realized this lifelong reality for men is something women probably don't really connect with, as our plumbing is internal, so we rarely have to touch our most sexually-sensitive member(s!) with our hands, every time we need to urinate. Is that perhaps why it's relatively common for many males to consider "paying" a woman to touch, what they themselves handle so often, every day? (A simple yes or no response would probably satisfy sensibilities here....)

You made a salient point about how men think they pay for sex in many ways. I've heard this before, myself. If a man is doing things "for" sex, yes, that might be his reality. Yet it often isn't the woman's reality, in the same setting.

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