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Lack of healing

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JimBetrayed62 posted 12/11/2019 10:30 AM

Hi, former member of this forum but could not remember old email. JiiminTexas was prior username.
I'm nearly 14 years after DD and am finding that I'm not sure we ever touched all the bases in reconciliation. I'm going to tell me side of the story and would appreciate any perspective others can offer.
It was a 4-year affair. I had to force a confrontation through use of PI after both WS and AP denied it completely.
Wife still tried reaching out some a year later, and I discovered, exposed, confronted AP, and then call his wife and told her I had a PI report and DNA evidence and offered it to her if she wished. She declined. I hope she peeled his face off at that point. As far as I know, no contact since. But I wonder.
Our reconciliation consisted of counseling which focused almost exclusively on me getting a few facts answered and then her describing all of the reasons why she had the affair - the upshot being I was such a horrible husband because of a host of issues. (This by the way after five children and 20 years of marriage.) Counselor at one point notified us she was moving to Hawaii and was no longer available, so counseling ended. I thought we'd accomplished most of what was needed.
However, it never reached a point where my wife owner her behavior and felt - as far as I could tell - the kind of remorse that connected with the realization of my pain and what she had caused.
While we "reconciled" intimacy did not return to our marriage for a long time (probably four years after end of affair). And even then it's been inconsistent.
So my question - is it possible the frequent issues with sexual intimacy, and the lack of any expression of true remorse on her part, request for forgiveness, etc. - indicate any warning signs to you? Frankly, We're going through another one of the spates where she is just not into me. After a four-year affair that I can only imagine featured copious amounts of sex (she admitted after counseling one day that yes, the sex was great - probably to hurt me for forcing her to confront all this) - I'm beginning to wonder now If I was just an idiot. Perhaps the affair lingered on underground for years later.
We had issues in our marriage. I struggled with toxic anger, and her frequent lack of intimacy became my excuse to resort to porn at times. She has struggled with intimacy with me since Day 1. Meanwhile, she apparently found it quite easy to be intimate with her AP - and found it satisfying. I think that's the thing that kills me most.
Probably this is way too much to even respond to. If someone sees something that rings a bell however let me know. Since all of this, I've done the work on myself. I've curbed my anger. We treat each other well, and have a good partnership/working relationship as man and wife. Our kids are out of the home. I'm questioning whether I need to force us back into counseling, or whether I can just heal this up on my own somehow - and maybe that's what I need to do. But it still hurts that she's never connected with my pain, shown the full remorse/brokenness I had assumed would always come, and that our relationship still struggles with intimacy - especially now that I have my full imagination to deal with as to what their sex life was like.

survrus posted 12/11/2019 10:44 AM

Jim,

Sorry 4 solid years of sex are alot to overcome.

I think at least part of the issue is that your WW holds on to OM in some way.

Your WW needs to write out a detailed timeline for you and take a polygraph there are tons of things she has omitted or minimized. Rugswept details continue to stink even after decades.

Is there anyone in your life who knows and can emotionally support you?

[This message edited by survrus at 10:46 AM, December 11th (Wednesday)]

survrus posted 12/11/2019 10:48 AM

Jim,

Although the answers to your questions might scare you, they do me too, I think it is what you need to either, really recover or divorce and be with someone who loves you wholeheartedly.

hikingout posted 12/11/2019 11:01 AM

I am the wayward in my situation, I have some clarifying questions:

So, the affair was 12 years ago. The first 4 years intimacy was strained, and then it was intermittent.

At what point did the toxic anger stop? When did your relationship improve?

The reason I am asking is because by this, you have been married 32 years. I would think that would put your wife in a menopausal state at this point. Could her lack of interest now be related more to that than a statement of you? And, the intermittent intimacy, can you find patterns of - we were getting along at this stage, but when it was better that was better and when it was worse it was worse?

I can understand that sometimes people stay married for a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with what we ideally all want.

Your wife's affair had nothing to do with who you were as a husband or a person. She had other choices than to have an affair, we all do. When we have affairs, especially in a situation like yours where she obviously had feelings for him, it takes a while for us to see that those were not based on anything good. The highs of the affair can make a lot look appealing that we would not think was appealing under other circumstances.

I would recommend talking to your wife about this. Find out how she sees the affair now. I know for myself, I see it as the AP was a piece of shit, and that anything that happened between us was the worst set of decisions I ever made. How she answers should give you some insight.

I would also discuss with her your feelings. It sounds like to me you have some serious residual issues with the idea that maybe you feel compared or less than in the sexual aspects of your relationship. That is understandable. But, without talking to her about what is happening with the ebb and flow of your sex life, you will never know. And, as a woman, I can just say ebb and flow is so normal and has nothing to do with my husband. Hormonal changes, sometimes we don't feel as good about our body, I have had bouts of depression...a lot of things can effect her sex drive that has nothing to do with how she sees you or wants you. I think it's best you try and have some very calm, open, and honest communication. Anything we tell you would be sheer speculation.

[This message edited by hikingout at 11:03 AM, December 11th (Wednesday)]

JimBetrayed62 posted 12/11/2019 11:32 AM

Thanks all. I donít think there has been any contact for a long time - my concern is more about latent feelings. I never heard my wife say that in retrospect he was a POS - and in some ways he is my superior, especially in terms of finances.
I dealt with my anger years ago - I would say I had begun to really get control mid-way through the affair.
My wife couldnít have sex with me on our wedding night. She wasnít a virgin / she just emotionally could not. I have often felt like she married me for comfort, not out of passion. While we did develop a sex life - a three-month dry spell or even longer is not unusual. So when I compare all of that to what I was told ďthe sex was greatĒ you can imagine how that makes me feel. The AP made more money and they had better sex.
I know the only solution is either to talk this out either with or without a counselor, or for me to find a way to cope on my own - or divorce. We have five grown kids and I donít really want a divorce. I just want a passionate, wholesome marriage with confidence and trust that all is behind us. Thanks for your input.

BluesPower posted 12/11/2019 11:38 AM

Sorry to say, but it kind of sounds like you rug swept the whole issue.

And frankly, she may have stayed but only because he was too chicken shit to leave his wife for her.

And 4 years for half assed sex to come back into the marriage? Really?

You need to file for divorce and move on. From your short description, I believe if you were not doing your version of mate guarding, and the pick me dance, you would have realized this 14 years ago.

Why Stay????


[This message edited by BluesPower at 11:39 AM, December 11th (Wednesday)]

AbandonedGuy posted 12/11/2019 11:41 AM

The best chance we have of recovering from cancer is to remove the tumor.

Marz posted 12/11/2019 11:43 AM

Sounds like you just stayed together. No R.

Our reconciliation consisted of counseling which focused almost exclusively on me getting a few facts answered and then her describing all of the reasons why she had the affair - the upshot being I was such a horrible husband because of a host of issues.

MC probably did more harm than good like a lot of them

[This message edited by Marz at 11:45 AM, December 11th (Wednesday)]

JimBetrayed62 posted 12/11/2019 11:53 AM

I do also recall my wife rewrote our marriage history - amplifying the not good and minimizing the good - and we never quite made it far enough in counseling for her to acknowledge all the good that preceded her affair. So yeah - I think recovery may have gotten shortcircuited with the counsellorís departure. After all this time - not sure whether to even open that can of worms.

Cooley2here posted 12/11/2019 11:54 AM

If your wife was not interested in sex with you from the beginning then she either married through guilt or subtle coercion. Not necessarily by you but by general expectations. Or she canít feel deep attachments so sex without emotions might be why she cheated. What kind of mother is she? Hands on or stand offish. Look at her whole demeanor and actions to get a true answer of why you were relegated to second best. There is nothing you could do to make her desire you. She either did or didnít. Sexual desire in marriage is the glue that gets people over the rough spots. You sense something because there IS something. Read The Gift Of Fear. He talks about why we shouldnít ignore our gut feelings. They are trying to tell us things arenít right.

hikingout posted 12/11/2019 12:48 PM

Many of us rewrite the marital history, that's a common way we deal with the justification of everything.

I think it sounds like you should sit down and revisit that. I think it would do a lot of good if she expresses her change of heart. And, if there isn't one, I think you really have to consider if that's acceptable to you moving forward.

Can you elaborate on your wedding night detail - how long after the marriage did you have sex? Did she say why she wasn't emotionally ready?

I would agree with the others sex is an important aspect of marriage, but I don't think this is going to get resolved unless you all have some serious communication about that. Are you hesitant to bring it up? Without getting her side, you will never understand what her perceptions are or be able to share how hurtful it is to you when you have these dry spells.

I definitely think she needs to know that with the way your sex life has been, that the affair really damaged things further in the way that it was a slap in the face to have something you always wanted with her being freely given to someone else. Without a conversation this will all fester. It could be that she just doesn't connect these dots, if given the opportunity she may work to correct it. And, if not, you are left to decide if that's acceptable or if a divorce really does need to be in the cards for you. It's not too late to find that type of companionship if it's important to you, and especially if your wife can not work to help you quell some of these insecurities.

How did you deal with the anger? Did you just manage it on your own or did you go to IC? It might help if both of you revisited some therapy and possibly tried a better marriage counselor who might specialize in infidelity. Infidelity is trauma, and right now it sounds like you have left that trauma widely unresolved. Just because of the time period that has passed doesn't mean it has to be left unresolved.

You absolutely deserve to have a marriage that you are happy in, but give it the best shot by trying to communicate to her what that is.

sisoon posted 12/11/2019 13:12 PM

What do you want, Jim?

I agree that it looks like you rug-swept, with the help of a toxic WW and a toxic MC. Your W didn't cheat because of M issues - she cheated because of her own issues.

IMO your best approach is to figure out what you want from your M, lay out your desires, and see if your W agrees. If she does agree, R is possible. If she doesn't, it's not.

If you don't think you can do that, I recommend finding a good therapist to help you figure out what you want and find the resources that are already inside you to bring your desires to your W.

You can do this, Jim, and you'll be happy you did.

JimBetrayed62 posted 12/11/2019 13:14 PM

Hiking out: biblical counseling cured my anger - realizing much of my anger stemmed from fear or selfish frustration. Faith in God and developing that faith was the antidote. In addition, the perspective of middle age. I agree that some topics just need to be broached to see where we are. If the reply indicates some perspective and hope then we will have a way forward.

As for initially, a few months into the marriage She claimed to have struggled with pain in sex. That seemed to disappear particularly after our 3rd son who was born naturally as opposed to C-section. Now any resistance to sex is based on a host of other things.

However I never understood the pain issue as she was not a virgin and had a previous sexual relationship.

Butforthegrace posted 12/11/2019 13:20 PM

I just want a passionate, wholesome marriage

Based on what you've told us, it doesn't sound like you have a path to that in your current marriage.

If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting.

fooled13years posted 12/11/2019 13:21 PM

JimBetrayed62

I just want a passionate, wholesome marriage with confidence and trust

Most people I know do also.

hikingout posted 12/11/2019 13:26 PM

I have heard that pain during sex is a common issue. That sounds more like being physically not ready than emotional. Was there a rape or sexual abuse in her past? Tensing up or not being lubricated enough can be a common way the pain occurs. If that was her experience before you, she may not have understood how to enjoy sex prior to you despite her lack of virginity? Going into your wedding night, if she had bad experiences prior it could have led to a lot of anxiety and apprehension.

There are a lot of blanks here that it seems like need filled in for you.

She may be frigid by nature as well (typically there is an underlying reason for this). Sometimes in an affair it's easier to pretend to be someone you are not. I played a role in mine that wasn't totally me. This "fantasy world" may have allowed her to suspend her frigid nature. Suspend whatever it was that was causing it.

Honestly, prior to you fixing your anger in middle age, that might have played a big part in the intimacy issues. She can not blame her affair on it, but certainly you could see it still created tension. If someone is often angry it's hard to connect emotionally with them. Many women need emotional connection to be open to physical connections. I know at times if H and I were having a bad day of not getting along, I certainly wasn't feeling generous when it was time to go to bed. This was more rare in our particular marriage but I can understand how it could play out of if there was a lot of toxicity in it.

[This message edited by hikingout at 1:28 PM, December 11th (Wednesday)]

cocoplus5nuts posted 12/11/2019 14:08 PM

I just want a passionate, wholesome marriage with confidence and trust that all is behind us.


It sounds like you never had a passionate M. Ypu can't force or manufacture passion, imo. It's either there, or it isn't. You may have to give up on that if you plan to stay in this M.

Whether or not you can have confidence and trust depends on your CW. She needs to be willing to own what she did, all of it, without any blameshifting, even if you were the worst husband ever. She needs to confess everything. She needs to care that she hurt you. Then, she needs to work on why she allowed herself to betray you. If she doesn't do those things, you can't R and have a wholesome M.

You rugswept before. Sounds like you allowed the MC to focus on M issues rather than focusing on your CW cheating. You'll have to go back to square one.

Or, rugsweep. Or, divorce.

JimBetrayed62 posted 1/4/2020 18:43 PM

I broached the subject recently - she withdrew from me physically a few months ago. I attributed to stress since Iím going through a job transition and things are tight. I finally asked her what was going on and whether she had been in contact with David (the OM). It was interesting the look on her face. It was like a look of shock/horror and she said absolutely not. She kind of shrank into herself and then said I donít know if I would even recognize him if I saw him on the street. I felt like what I was seeing was the shame she felt. Thatís good, I suppose. Weíve never really talked about the affair ever except for those few counseling sessions where at least the counselor let me ask some questions to get some facts on the table about the affair. I now believe that after that contact started again and the affair went underground for a year until the final confrontation and disclosure to OMís wife - who called my wife and gave her an earful. So I suspect my wife is dealing with shame and perhaps the burden of knowing the affair continued for a year and she has never confessed. As far as I know she has never done an individual counseling. So Iím going to have to bring this all into the open for discussion I guess, perhaps head back to counseling and see if this is salvageable. We stayed together because of five young children at the time. We managed to parent them to adulthood and they are all out of the house now. I need to get this fixed. I canít go any longer in a marriage where I believe Iím the Plan B that simply made sense to stick around with.

JimBetrayed62 posted 1/4/2020 18:47 PM

Oh I forgot to mention that sometime in the past few months she came across a CD where I had saved some of my journaling and copy of a divorce petition that was never filed plus the PI report and DNA report. She had read or at least looked at the files she said when I asked if she had been in contact with OM. So perhaps some of this withdrawal is her stumbling across this CD and bringing all those memories back. Who knows? Last child home for Christmas is leaving Monday so we can deal with it then I suppose.

nekonamida posted 1/5/2020 06:44 AM

Jim, you have access to her phone, email, social media accounts, etc. Right? Do you ever still check them?

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