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Reconciliation :
WW says affair partner is better at initiating sex

Topic is Sleeping.
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 Akeru (original poster new member #65963) posted at 2:56 PM on Monday, January 30th, 2023

I haven't posted in awhile but something my WW said this morning really hurt. We've struggled with intimacy since her affair. Here affair included explicit and demeaning setting. Prior to her affair I always initiated, she was always sexual reserved. Since her affair I've asked for the serial attention her affair partner received and asked for her to initiate sex with me. She did initiate that last Saturday but I wasn't feeling up to it (our region got hit with a lot of snow and I'd been out all day at my job clearing it so was in some physical pain). The next day she didn't bring it up and wasn't affectionate at all. We went to bed without discussing it and I woke up this morning triggered by it.

Her affair destroyed me. As part of reconciliation I've asked for her to initiate, at least for awhile, because feel too emasculated to risk the rejection. I've also asked for the attention the affair partner got. I'm okay if she communicates that she's not in the mood as long as we talk about it and she intiates in a few days of feeling better but ignoring the elephant in the room builds me up to a trigger. I've said to her that if I have to ask for it (sexual attention) I don't want it, feels like she's just checking a box.

This morning I brought it up and she blamed me for not initiating on Sunday after she did on Saturday. She then said that her affair partner got the attention from her because he was "more involved" and would initiate with her. I lost it at this point and resorted to yelling and some name calling which is something I continue to struggle with when triggered. She always has said she didn't find anything more attractive about the affair partner but I think the fact she feels he was "more involved" counts.

Am I asking for too much in asking for her to initiate with follow through, at least for a period of time? How should I respond to how she compares me to her affair partner? I feel that the fact I'm still here and willing to try (mind movies and all) is more love than anyone has shown me.

posts: 8   ·   registered: Aug. 24th, 2018
id 8775351
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FunHouseMirror ( member #80992) posted at 4:00 PM on Monday, January 30th, 2023

You're not asking for too much at all. She should be doing everything she possibly can to bring you back to a place of peace and comfort. She's not even doing the bare minimum. I hope you find your way out of infidelity, whatever that means to you.

posts: 235   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2022
id 8775364
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 4:06 PM on Monday, January 30th, 2023

You're not asking too much at all. Sounds like the bare minimum, and she can't manage to do that.

She is comparing you to OM,and he is coming out on top.

What she said was cruel,humiliating, and demeaning.

I'm sorry,but this is not how a WS who wants reconciliation acts,or speaks. At all.

What work is she doing to become a safe partner?

I read your profile. The affair was years ago
.Is she NC? Have you investigated to see if she's having another affair?

How should you respond? 180. Consequences for her affair. See an attorney to find out your rights. Don't do the pick me dance. Pull back. Watch her actions.Her actions will tell you of she is R material. So far, those actions are screaming no.

[This message edited by HellFire at 4:11 PM, Monday, January 30th]

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6628   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8775365
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 4:16 PM on Monday, January 30th, 2023

Since she is a serial cheater, it wouldn't be surprising if she is cheating again.

Something in your profile is confusing..it says she hasn't had sex with anyone other than you. Yet in this thread you say she said OM was better at initiating sex..

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6628   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8775367
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 Akeru (original poster new member #65963) posted at 5:13 PM on Monday, January 30th, 2023

Thank you for the reply. As far as I know she didn't have physical sex. She passes that question on a polygraph but also told me later she got in a car with him and got out when he tried to kiss her. I guess it's semantics put I consider sexting as sex, certainly intimate just like I consider the affair to have gone physical once he put his lips on hers in his car.

As far as what she's done to help me feel safe, she's completely transparent with her phone, tablet, and whereabouts. She hasn't drank in years and I see no obvious signs of continued cheating. She expresses remorse at times but I think she struggles with empathy because of her csa and we talk about this. We do manage to have sex but she is inconsistent, her attention drops off after and we seem stuck in this cycle of me being hurt and her getting defensive.

I've made moves to separate. I was a stay at home dad and got a job two months ago. I've looked into divorce and know I would most likely get financially screwed but I'm doing what I can anyway. My wife and son are the only family I have left in the world and I love them both. I'm guilty of putting all my eggs in one basket but to be fair, one basket is all I ever had. I just don't think I can survive starting over at 47 with no family, close friends, or career. It's what killed my father at 52 when he took his life, it's like history repeating itself. I still love my wife, doing the 180 at this point feels more like just giving her the silent treatment (which I have done in the past but if seems counterproductive).

Thanks again for the replies, feels like it's helping just to get it out there. Sorry for any confusion.

posts: 8   ·   registered: Aug. 24th, 2018
id 8775380
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 5:29 PM on Monday, January 30th, 2023

If she is comparing you in any way to AP - this is a huge problem.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home) Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS 2018 Cease & Desist sent spring 2021"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3775   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8775382
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 5:32 PM on Monday, January 30th, 2023

Thanks for the clarification. You get to decide what you feel is a physical affair. IMO, sexting is absolutely physical, so I agree with you.

It sounds like she's done very little to heal the damage she's done. Transparency about her whereabouts, and with her phone are the absolute bare minimum. She stopped drinking, which is great. But that is something an adult who is an alcoholic should do anyway. It's really not part of the work she should be doing. She sounds like she has very little remorse, and no empathy at all. Both of those are key.

The 180 isn't about her. Its about you. You focus on yourself. Your healing. You detach from her. You work on yourself. Tell her what you need,if she wants to continue to attempt reconciliation, and then watch what she does. She is not treating you like a husband who she has hurt. So you should detach,and stop being all in on this "reconciliation." Speak to her, but be polite, not overly loving.

[This message edited by HellFire at 5:34 PM, Monday, January 30th]

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6628   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8775383
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 6:24 PM on Monday, January 30th, 2023

One of my requirements fr R was for my W to initiate sex. Initiating sex is the best way to show she desired sex with me. smile I also wanted my W to treat me better than she treated her ap.

In M, IMO, a 'no' to sex means, 'this one time, no.' I don't hear or say 'no' very often, but when I dowe show each other that we would participate if we could. Neither of us behave as if asking once was enough to show desire.

I'm definitely concerned about your W's commitment to rebuilding herself and your M.

I also wonder if you're stifling yourself. Among other things, 47 isn't old, and D usually ends in joint custody with the children with each parent 50% of the time. OTOH, you might be getting anxious about approaching age 52. And for sure, if I refuse sex because I didn't feel well enough, I would express an interest as soon as I felt good enough. What kept you from initiating sex or from asking your W to initiate later?

Are you aware that you're the prize? Are you in IC? Have you considered it? I think a good IC can help.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 29809   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8775399
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 Akeru (original poster new member #65963) posted at 7:40 PM on Monday, January 30th, 2023

Thanks again for the replies. I think what keeps me from initiating with her is fear of rejection. I have abandonment issues from my father's suicide which have been compounded. I feel like I could initiate if she would consistently for a period of time. I almost always respond positively if she initiates, last Saturday being an exception. I also feel that I may be testing her desire for me before I feel safe enough to be the initiator, I don't know. I try to talk to her about it, tell her how I feel then sit back and wait for her to make a move. If I bring it up again I feel like I'm spoon feeding it to her and she's just checking off a box. Maybe I need to rethink this (part of why I'm posting). It just seems to me I'm not asking for that much in the face of so much unfairness.

I think approaching 52 is messing with me. I remember my dad sitting at the kitchen table about a month before he died saying, "I know what I need to do, I just can't make myself do it." I feel like that's where I am at. I get motivated in fits and starts and end up overwhelmed. I've managed to get back into the work force and saving money but it's slow going and I don't want a divorce (even though I probably should). It's hard working for something I don't ultimately want.

IC is something I've done. I was abused by counselors as a child but was willing to try again after d-day and had more negative experiences. The last time I tried was two years ago. I was charged $400 dollars for a 20 minute intake that ended with suggesting I join a support group, something I would find humiliating. I sometimes feel like trying IC again but I'm terrified of it at this point and feel if my wife would just help me through this I could be relatively okay.

My wife and I were together for 20 years before she cheated. We went through a lot together, her mom's brain injury, my father's suicide, her father's alcoholism. I felt we were strong. She cheated after her dad died who sexual abused her. She never told me about the abuse until we were in therapy for her infidelity. Her lying and cheating all seem to stem from the negative coping she learned to survive the abuse. I also think this plays a role in her lack of empathy and defensiveness now I just don't know where to go from here. If I'm polite and cordial with her she seems fine to continue that way without intimacy. It goes against my grain to ignore the elephant in the room, I want to address problems head on and work through them. She spent her formative years living a facade and still seems all too comfortable there.

posts: 8   ·   registered: Aug. 24th, 2018
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 8:44 PM on Monday, January 30th, 2023

My wife and I were together for 20 years before she cheated.


Her lying and cheating all seem to stem from the negative coping she learned to survive the abuse.


If that was true,that her lying and cheating are coping mechanisms to deal with her CSA, then those coping mechanisms would have been present throughout your marriage.

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6628   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8775426
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 Akeru (original poster new member #65963) posted at 10:08 PM on Monday, January 30th, 2023

I've had the same thought Hellfire but, unless I consider her not telling me about the abuse as lying (which I have when triggered) I can't find anything else like this in our history. She lived a facade with her father, they seemed close, especially after her mother's brain injury. They would talk almost every evening on the phone. I figured it was because her dad didn't have anyone to talk to with his wife being brain injured, she was difficult to be around.

I don't know. Her therapist have said his dying was a triggering event and whatever unhealthy stability there was in their dynamic unraveled and all came crashing in on her once he was gone. I do think she always had the capacity to lie before (in retrospect) but maybe didn't have a reason until she started cheating? I've not found any evidence she even had a friendship with the guy she cheated with. She claims her sexting was an attempt to feel in control of the abuse (in the absence of her father),to confirm she was responsible and more than one of her therapist have validated some version of this. Saying that he was better at initiating was really the first positive thing I've heard her say about the ap. Other than that, she's described him as "like a nonperson" dumb and someone she thought she could manipulate and control.

posts: 8   ·   registered: Aug. 24th, 2018
id 8775436
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:45 PM on Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

Why would being in a support group be humiliating? After all, everyone else in any therapy group is there for a reason.

One thing that helped me stop suicidal thoughts (long before my W cheated) was the knowledge that my W and child would think they contributed to my suicide - even though I wanted them to know that they helped keep me alive as long as I lived. The only way I could think of to not have them blame themselves for my suicide was not to commit suicide. I'm very sorry your father didn't realize that.

To R, you need to get down into the nitty-gritty. You need to ask your W if she really wants you, and you need to deal with any answer she gives. You need to learn the difference between a 'no' to sex and a 'no' to you. And you need to learn that you're good with either type of 'no'. We don't mesh well with everyone. Some people will reject you. That's OK. It really is.

I know it's scary to seek emotional help. It's always possible that you are the first human being in history who can't heal. I thought I was that person for a long while. The fact is, however, that you CAN heal. You really are lovable, loving, and capable. You may have chosen a partner who isn't a good fit for you, but that doesn't change the fact that you are lovable, loving, and capable.

Life with a CSA survivor is difficult. If your W is anything like mine, she hates herself. She, too, is afraid of being rejected as a person. She may see herself as totally unforgivable because of her A. She may assume you don't want her.

I urge you to take some risks. Tell your W that you want her, and ask her if she wants you. If you want each other, figure out what you can and will do to show it. Find a good IC and get help finding and loving yourself - because as I said, you're loving, lovable, and capable.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 29809   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8775525
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 Akeru (original poster new member #65963) posted at 1:10 AM on Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Intellectually I know I shouldn't feel humiliated but that understanding doesn't stop the feeling. I live in a smaller city and feared people in our community finding out (if I can't trust my wife how can I trust strangers). I was really look more for one on one help with PTSD and grief counciling. I got the feeling the therapist was pawning me off to a group because she was intimidated by how much trama I've been through.

My son is what has kept me alive. I know what it feels like to lose your father to suicide and I don't want to do that to him. Prior to my wife's infidelity it was the most painful experience of my life. I was twenty-two when my dad died and my son is now seventeen. I'm not, however, convinced suicide is a choice. I think suicide is what happens when our pain exceeds our ability to cope with pain. I'm not angry with my father, I just miss him.

If my dad were here he would tell me to fight to keep my family together, he wasn't given that choice. My wife and dad got along well and if he ever had know about my wife's father abusing her he would have killed him.

I think you're probably right about my wife hating herself. I know the things I've said when triggered haven't helped. Sometimes I think she triggers me on purpose, subconsciously, as a form of sabotage. I hate what infidelity has turned me into. I know I've healed since d-day but it seems so far from what I once was.

I appreciate your insight sisoon. I don't post often but I do read fairly frequently. This forum has helped me through more days than I can remember and I've often found your words helpful.

posts: 8   ·   registered: Aug. 24th, 2018
id 8775601
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 6:36 PM on Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Oh, man! I urge you to stop fighting to keep your family together and start fighting to make a good life for yourself, for your son, and for your @, if she's willing to do the work of R.

How many jokes have you heard about betrayed men? How many jokes have you heard about the guy who is so lousy at sex that he drove hos W to have sex with women? Shame hits us (BSes) all. I was very hesitant to post here. I really feared being attacked. No one attacked me on the basis of my W's ap's gender. No one.

When a friend told me about being betrayed, I didn't think about the jokes - I thought only about a friend whose W did them dirt. My mind went immediately to: she's to blame.

If your W's infidelity gets out, my bet is that you'll get support.

Your W fucked up because of her issues, not because of issues with you or your M. Alas, your dad did what he did because of his issues. Love for you probably kept him alive longer than if you weren't born. At least 2 terrible events have colored your life, but the problem never was you.

You've always been the prize, but you don't realize that yet. Again, a good IC can help.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 29809   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8775683
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Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 5:33 AM on Friday, February 3rd, 2023

Can you handle it differently when you decline her offer? She did initiate so in her way she is trying. Instead of just saying no, agree to a time the next day you’ll meet and be intimate. Let her be part of that decision. Agree to a time and agree ahead of time that you’ll both be up for it then.

Maybe not always possible but at least it will include discussion which is better than leaving it to chance.

I’d talk to her about it now, say "we need a better way to approach this if I do t feel up for it. How about next time it happens we agree on a time the next day that we both will meet for intimacy".

Just a thought.

fBBF. Just before proposing, broke it off after her 2nd confirmed PA in 2 yrs. 9 mo later I met the wonderful woman I have spent the next 30 years with.

posts: 3594   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2017
id 8775891
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 12:12 PM on Friday, February 3rd, 2023

I'm going to respectfully disagree with Stevesn. With all the trauma interwoven in your sex life now, I think promising to be up for sex at a specific time is priming you both for failure. One or both of you is highly likely to be forcing yourselves into it, which just builds more hurt and resentment.

I want to be clear that nothing I'm about to say is an excuse for cheating. Cheating is always a choice. It is often an avoidance technique for facing something else that's going on inside the WS. We can be sympathetic to their trauma and still be furious and devastated at how they chose to cope with it. As has been observed here many times, whatever a WS's trauma, there's always someone else who experienced the same thing and didn't cheat, just as there's always someone who experienced it and didn't cope with it by abusing substances, or inflicting physical/sexual violence, or any of the myriad ways that hurt people hurt their partners.

The problem you have, from my viewpoint, is that the very thing you need from your WW is the same thing that caused her trauma: an expectation that she needs to offer sex to prove something to you. I am not blaming you for feeling this way. It is, as sisoon says, an entirely natural and valid reaction to an affair. That feeling nevertheless does not exist in a vacuum. It interacts with your WW's trauma in a way that could be very damaging for both of you.

Depending on how the sexual interaction with her father occurred, the expectation of proving love by offering sex may be exactly the message your WW got from him, explicitly or implicitly. As a CSA survivor myself, I can tell you that it's not always a black-and-white case of an adult who forces sex on a terrified child. Grooming can create very conflicting feelings. I was young and just waking up to my sexuality. My predator realized that and abused his position of trust to make me feel powerful, like what we were doing was a consensual act between two equals who were important to each other. Only in retrospect did I realize what a massive abuse of trust this was. I felt angry at him, and then I felt disgusted with myself because I hadn't been terrified. I had been flattered. I sought it out. If he was in his basement workshop alone, I went there alone too, on purpose. Surely, I thought as an older teenager when the memories resurfaced, that meant I was just as complicit as him? What kind of victim indulges her abuser? I had so much guilt mixed in with the anger.

My mother was sexually abused by her father. Her situation sounds like it may be even more like your WW's. My grandmother was institutionalized, and at age 10, my mom was basically promoted to housekeeper and nanny. It didn't occur to me until later that she might have been promoted to substitute wife as well. Unlike me, she was powerless to stop it. I believe she worked it around in her head to where it was a terrible act but forgivable because of the stress her father was under. Because she was trained to make excuses for him, she made excuses for my abuser when I finally told her (many years later) what he had done. I never felt such betrayal as that, the knowledge that she wasn't angry on my behalf, but immediately tried to find a way to take the blame off him. It wasn't until I learned what happened to her that I was able to understand and forgive her.

Anyway. My point is that it is not realistic for either of you to approach sex as if it exists in a vacuum independent of your own traumas. Whatever your WW was doing with the AP, it was deeply unhealthy and had nothing to do with him personally. It was about suffering and avoidance and power and possibly grieving, all wrapped up in sexual dysfunction like a ball of barbed wire. You feel understandably betrayed and broken, on a roller coaster of drawing close and pushing away. If you don't want inauthenticity -- and I believe you that you don't -- then you can't expect to set all that aside and promise to have passionate, validating sex at 3:30 tomorrow afternoon. It is going to be a lot of trial and error even if you are both on the same page about wanting it to work. Neither of you have that kind of control over your triggers. I doubt anyone could.

One last piece of advice. My H suffered greatly from mind movies. Sex between us was a crapshoot. Sometimes it would start off hot and passionate and connected, and then a MM would hit. He tried to hide it from me because it was so important to him to make sex work, both for himself and out of fear that I'd stop trying because I was hurt by rejection. Over time, we learned that we both had to accept the potential of sex being bombed by a trigger. It became an opportunity for him to process the trauma and for me to support him, as well as an opportunity for him to reiterate that he still wanted to keep working through it. Sometimes that meant stopping, and sometimes that meant continuing with an acknowledgement that the dynamic had shifted. But until we stopped white knuckling it, it was like being told not to think about pink elephants. The fear of a trigger made us almost doomed to fail.

I'm so sorry this is happening to you. You didn't deserve any of it, and I'm not telling you what I think you "have" to do. I just want to offer my perspective from my own experience. If you can't or don't want to work though this, you are under no obligation to set yourself on fire to keep your WW warm.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 12:15 PM, Friday, February 3rd]

WW/BW

posts: 3625   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8775904
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Trdd ( member #65989) posted at 1:46 PM on Friday, February 3rd, 2023

Putting the complexity of your issue aside, you might consider scheduling time to be together at a frequency that meets your needs. Or maybe more than needed so if you don't feel up for it today it's also scheduled for two days from now or whatever. So, date night on Wednesday and Saturday every week. And decide what date means. Is it just sex or also going out? Maybe Wednesday is sex, Saturday is going out and then sex. It tskes some of the pressure off and allows both to be focused on that day.

Then, during date night, she should be treating you in a way you feel desirable.

posts: 943   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8775919
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Howcthappen ( member #80775) posted at 3:40 PM on Friday, February 3rd, 2023

I am a BS. It’s weird the whole initiating sex dilemma.

We had an issue post DDay which was weird because even during the affair he would initiate sex with me all the time. Then we where hyper bonding sexing all over the place. Then the more discussions and talks came up it got weird.

My husband felt dirty and shame and that he didn’t deserve to get pleasure with me because of how he violated.
I told him he needed to get over that or it was going to make me feel like it was just him covering up for a preference for tge AP.

One thing I know about what happens in these affairs is-

Their time is limited and one of them is in it for the sex and so they are faking everything else just for the sex….with limited time for acting…they get right to it.

It’s all they have between them and they engage in the stupid foreplay in dumb text messages sexting before the event——

I think most times the WS needs the kibbles and uses sex to get the desperate for attention/affection AP.

Then it feeds on itself. I’m not jealous of the sex they had because it was pathetic and desperate and degrading—— exact words of my FWH.

I hope it gets better for you. I

Three years since DdayNever gonna be the sameReconcilingThe sting is still present

posts: 200   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2022   ·   location: DC
id 8776032
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DobleTraicion ( member #78414) posted at 12:19 PM on Saturday, February 11th, 2023

"She then said that her affair partner got the attention from her because he was "more involved" and would initiate with her."


Stunning. Talk about pouring heaping amounts of salt in an open, gaping wound. My god. Her capacity to betray, demean, and inflict pain knows no bounds apparently. She is far, far, from true remorse IMO.

Listen, youve got some hard hard thinking to do. I know this is the reconciliation forum but man, how do you build bridges when your wayward continues to lay down satchel charges to blow up the span? How? This statement is every betrayeds nightmare....beying compared sexually to their fbuddy. IMO this is the worse hurt and damage that can be inflicted by a wayward to their betrayed post affair. It is the opposite of empathy.

This, the "most unkindest cut of all."

"You'd figure that in modern times, people wouldn't feel the need to get married if they didn't agree with the agenda"

~ lascarx

posts: 294   ·   registered: Mar. 2nd, 2021   ·   location: South
id 8777263
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 8:55 PM on Saturday, February 11th, 2023

Sorry but for me if my cheating spouse ever said the AP was better at anything, I hope he had his bags packed.

Because he wasn’t coming back home to get anything left behind. That’s a "one and done" move for me.

Sorry your spouse doesn’t see how that type of comment is horrific and should not be verbalized to a betrayed spouse.

She then said that her affair partner got the attention from her because he was "more involved" and would initiate with her. I

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13863   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8777333
Topic is Sleeping.
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