Feelinghopeful79 Show full post »
ssix6pack
That is the hardest for me - thinking of the other woman. Our situation is kind of unique, being that it was a ONS, I had very limited info as did he. He knew TWO possible first names and where she worked. She gave the men at his table two names and told them to “guess”...it was flirtatious and apparently worked well. 

I, a bit obsessively at first, googled both names plus her workplace and found her. Dh confirmed it based on a tattoo but I never showed him the photo, nor told him her real name (or the other details of her life that he had no clue about...)They spent a few hours together, max. Yet, my brain goes into panic mode that my every move is being compared to hers. I have chosen to only stop intimacy if it’s too much to handle, which I’ve only done once. Usually I’m able to settle myself by reminding myself what is true. I just pray he remembers (vividly at least) very few details...I’m horrified of comparisons. He says they don’t occur. He says he doesn’t revisit that evening, past the bar where he met her and he felt the warning that he shouldn’t be there...and the shame that follows. I don’t know. 
Betrayed female
2/11/18, d day #1. 
1/2019, d day #2.
Over a decade of unfaithfulness. 
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BorealJ
Keepabuzz wrote:
I used to feel very connected to my wife when we would have sex. Since d-day, it doesn’t make me feel connected. I could honestly live without it. It feels ruined for me. She doesn’t feel this way at all, and it’s difficult for her to know that I have little to no interest in it. I have no idea what to do to fix it, or if it even can be fixed. 
It can be addressed.  You'll probably want some help from a sex therapist. I know Esther Perel is not your favourite author, but if you're up for the challenge, Mating in Captivity can shed some insight into the complexities of sex and how a sex therapist might go about finding the tweaks that will help restore a meaningful sex life. 
Also, have you done some of the work around vulnerability and intimacy? Tim gave us some good stuff on vulnerability (The Brene Brown Ted Talk) and some activities to explore it. My wife is terrified of it.  Which is awesome because she has just acknowledged that it is powerful and a necessary exploration for her growth and healing but is quite the opposite of her natural inclinations.  Anyway, if you are struggling with the connection part, the vulnerability aspect might be a good place to start looking.  It has been helping me to identify some of the ways I want to move within my relationship. 
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Feelinghopeful79
BorealJ wrote:

After rereading your posts here, there are similarities between your situation and mine. The biggest period of emotional and sexual disconnection for us was when my wife had made a clear decision to work towards our marriage but was still haunted by the affair ghosts and the lingering feelings for her AP.  I think this time was very confusing for her and it made her feel like she was failing or getting it wrong because the feelings wouldn't just turn off.  This is where the shame took its strongest hold of her.  The more she sat in shame, the more futile efforts to connect were.  I experienced a lot of distress in that time period.  Sex was a holding place on this journey, a safe landing space for reprieve from the immensity of the task of reconciliation.  It was also connection that I longed for.  Her inability to feel connected in this period was very stressful. It lasted a long time.  She made progress though.  She is connecting again. 

It sounds like what your wife went through is exactly what my husband is going through. He has told me repeatedly that he’s confused, and more recently that he still has feelings for the AP. He has told me he feels like a failure, and I think he was hoping that the feelings would just go away, or he could force them. Even though he sees her every day at work. But I think this all gets even more complicated for me, as a woman. I’ve had two children, which changed my body a lot, and made me feel very insecure. Even before the affair, I worried that my husband wasn’t attracted to me sexually. It was really hard. Then, he goes and has an affair with a voluptuous 26 year old (12 years younger than me, 16 years younger than him). She has large, perky (and quite possibly fake) breasts. I discovered his affair by reading text messages between them, which included a detailed description of what his thought about her “amazing” body and breasts. I saw pictures of her on her Instagram, which left little to the imagination, and now I can’t get those images and his words out of my head. That is something I really wish I could forget. It has further destroyed my self-image, and my ability to feel sexy with my husband. So I can’t even imagine wanting to have sex with him again. 
Yesterday, I told him to move out. I don’t know how long we’re going to be separated for. He didn’t want to go, but wants to accommodate my needs. I’m hoping some time apart will give us both some clarity. 
BorealJ, thanks again for your insights, they have been very helpful. 
Female BS
D-day January 1, 2018
Separated and getting divorced
Healing and Happier than ever
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Trinity

 I discovered his affair by reading text messages between them, which included a detailed description of what his thought about her “amazing” body and breasts. I saw pictures of her on her Instagram, which left little to the imagination, and now I can’t get those images and his words out of my head. That is something I really wish I could forget. It has further destroyed my self-image, and my ability to feel sexy with my husband. So I can’t even imagine wanting to have sex with him again. 
 


There are a few posts in the forum on how much should you know about the affair.  Do you think that "IF" you did not have the visuals or the context of the messages that you may be in a different place in your healing/reconciliation and self image ???

I found out through txt message too BUT, I did not want to read them.  It was super easy to find out what "she" looked like because she posts everything, everywhere, all the time BUT, I only dug as far as I needed to see what she looked like and that is where it stopped.  I just knew that if I had too much information It would crush me and I would just be torturing myself.  It would have given me way too many images to direct a whole Lifetime Movie in my head that would have the potential to replay frequently and destroy my path to reconciliation.   

Does it really matter "if" they are younger, more attractive, taller, more fit, blonde, exotic etc. ???  I think one of the important lessons that a BS has to remember is that the cheating/affair has SO MUCH MORE to do with the outlook and self esteem of the cheater than it ever has to do with us.  (Abusive relationships aside)  Do we have a part in it, YES that is obvious but is it the starring role, NO !!  It is my belief that the WS was already heading down that road for a while, way before that opportunity presented itself.  The answer is only inside that person as to the "why" they decided to go down that road...... that is why I say it is more about them than it is about us.   

Self-image is so strong.  I wish that you did not have self image issues  🙁  but I surely know how an affair can tear down your self esteem and distort your self image.  I hope you do not stay in that mindset.  So what she has big breasts, does that make her better than you ?  So what she is younger, does that really give her an advantage over you ?  So what she post provocative pictures, you can do the same... does that really make her better than you or more desirable than you are ????  Don't let her steal YOU !!! Now is when you have to hang onto your self more than ever.

"T"
BS - DDay July 2017

O GOD, take me, break me, make me. 
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ssix6pack

It sounds like what your wife went through is exactly what my husband is going through. He has told me repeatedly that he’s confused, and more recently that he still has feelings for the AP. He has told me he feels like a failure, and I think he was hoping that the feelings would just go away, or he could force them. Even though he sees her every day at work. But I think this all gets even more complicated for me, as a woman. I’ve had two children, which changed my body a lot, and made me feel very insecure. Even before the affair, I worried that my husband wasn’t attracted to me sexually. It was really hard. Then, he goes and has an affair with a voluptuous 26 year old (12 years younger than me, 16 years younger than him). She has large, perky (and quite possibly fake) breasts. I discovered his affair by reading text messages between them, which included a detailed description of what his thought about her “amazing” body and breasts. I saw pictures of her on her Instagram, which left little to the imagination, and now I can’t get those images and his words out of my head. That is something I really wish I could forget. It has further destroyed my self-image, and my ability to feel sexy with my husband. So I can’t even imagine wanting to have sex with him again. 
Yesterday, I told him to move out. I don’t know how long we’re going to be separated for. He didn’t want to go, but wants to accommodate my needs. I’m hoping some time apart will give us both some clarity. 
BorealJ, thanks again for your insights, they have been very helpful. 


Wish I could give you a hug, that’s all. My husband was with a woman in her early 20’s, and while I still personally feel beautiful in my own right, it really crushed me emotionally, and I wrestle with the signs of aging and having 4 children. But, it wasn’t about her, not really. It was a selfish pursuit of self gratification, and she was merely a willing vessel to be used. He didn’t value her. She wasn’t his dream woman, just available. 
Betrayed female
2/11/18, d day #1. 
1/2019, d day #2.
Over a decade of unfaithfulness. 
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Feelinghopeful79
ssix6pack wrote:


Wish I could give you a hug, that’s all. My husband was with a woman in her early 20’s, and while I still personally feel beautiful in my own right, it really crushed me emotionally, and I wrestle with the signs of aging and having 4 children. But, it wasn’t about her, not really. It was a selfish pursuit of self gratification, and she was merely a willing vessel to be used. He didn’t value her. She wasn’t his dream woman, just available. 


I think it limerence, but he calls it love. My 42 year old husband thinks he loves the 26 year old girl who still calls herself a student on linked in. He actually told me that it wasn’t about looks, but of course it isn’t consciously about looks, but subconsciously, his cave man brain would say otherwise. I just don’t know how I can repair this damage, to my self-esteem and my relationship with my husband. I can still feel beautiful sometimes, but not with him. I think that’s maybe the saddest part. 
Female BS
D-day January 1, 2018
Separated and getting divorced
Healing and Happier than ever
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Damaged
My H’s AP is 27 years younger than us. He was 53 and she was 26 when the A started. She has long blonde hair and big boobs also. Initially I felt pretty inadequate. I even got a face lift 5 months after D day. The MC and my H both tried to talk me out of it. I’m glad that I did it and I’ve been very happy with the result. I’ve since gotten over my feelings of inadequacy.                                     It’s not about you , it’s about him! You will start to feel better about yourself! I feel really good about myself now! There will always be someone prettier or younger or with a better body. You just have to be the best you can be! I think self confidence makes people more attractive. Do things for yourself! Be self confident! Show your H what he’s missing!
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anthropoidape
Here's what I consider a key point. Whatever issues your H may have (and imho anyone getting with someone that much younger does have issues, at a minimum stupidity), you can guarantee that out there in the world there are tons and tons of men who (a) are much more appealing than your husband in looks, character, life experience, kindness, decency, and personality and (b) would desperately like to meet you and treat you right. 

Guaranteed. 

So, he should be very worried given what he's done to his own level of appeal. You should not.

Speaking of the sex thing more generally... I figure this probably varies between cases even more than other stuff but I am reaching the conclusion that a down period was probably normal and necessary in my case. Immediately after d-day we had sex quite a bit, then it was upnand down, and then it kind of went to nil. The "nil" period coincided with  big increase in my wife holding me or needing to be held during the night, but all kind of chaste. My libido was not down but desire for her was really low - like, I feel pretty horny but I can't be bothered with the effort. Not a usual feeling for me.

I feel like that period might have been a necessary reset, so that there can be a clear emotional line between our sex life together and the affair sex. Because otherwise when I have sex with her it is kind of just part of the continuing story of her sex life including with him, and that's not okay with me, perhaps not okay with her either. Of course none of this is conscious, it is just how I am looking at it to try to make sense of it.

The post-drought period sex did feel different, too. Which I also think is healthy. 
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Feelinghopeful79
Here's what I consider a key point. Whatever issues your H may have (and imho anyone getting with someone that much younger does have issues, at a minimum stupidity), you can guarantee that out there in the world there are tons and tons of men who (a) are much more appealing than your husband in looks, character, life experience, kindness, decency, and personality and (b) would desperately like to meet you and treat you right. 

Guaranteed. 

So, he should be very worried given what he's done to his own level of appeal. You should not.

Speaking of the sex thing more generally... I figure this probably varies between cases even more than other stuff but I am reaching the conclusion that a down period was probably normal and necessary in my case. Immediately after d-day we had sex quite a bit, then it was upnand down, and then it kind of went to nil. The "nil" period coincided with  big increase in my wife holding me or needing to be held during the night, but all kind of chaste. My libido was not down but desire for her was really low - like, I feel pretty horny but I can't be bothered with the effort. Not a usual feeling for me.

I feel like that period might have been a necessary reset, so that there can be a clear emotional line between our sex life together and the affair sex. Because otherwise when I have sex with her it is kind of just part of the continuing story of her sex life including with him, and that's not okay with me, perhaps not okay with her either. Of course none of this is conscious, it is just how I am looking at it to try to make sense of it.

The post-drought period sex did feel different, too. Which I also think is healthy. 


Thank you for sharing that, all of it. It makes sense. I’m experiencing a lot of what you have described. My husband also wants to hold me in bed at night, and we would always fall asleep with him curled around me, that is until I asked him to move out (about a week ago). After him telling me he was still having “deep, deep feelings” for her, admitting he still “loves” her, I had to draw a line in the sand, for myself. I couldn’t live with him, share a bed with him, and act as if everything is normal or okay on a daily basis. I’m hoping that some time apart will give him, and also me, some clarity. And sometimes we need a break from all of this. 
Female BS
D-day January 1, 2018
Separated and getting divorced
Healing and Happier than ever
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anthropoidape


After him telling me he was still having “deep, deep feelings” for her, admitting he still “loves” her, I had to draw a line in the sand, for myself. I couldn’t live with him, share a bed with him, and act as if everything is normal or okay on a daily basis. I’m hoping that some time apart will give him, and also me, some clarity. And sometimes we need a break from all of this. 


Well, that's one of those things (there are many) that will be really hard to get over if you do reconcile.
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Alexay02
Trinity wrote:
KEEPABUZZ - I really hope that you can find a way to heal that part of your relationship.  I think that you will in time.  Do you think that there is anything that your wife can do to help ?  

It is interesting to read the posts on this subject because they are on every part of the spectrum.  

My sex life was not disrupted one bit by the affair.  I don't feel any different about having sex with my WS, everything is the same in that department, actually it's slightly better.  I can only speculate why it has not been affected.

I have always really enjoyed my sex life with my husband, we are very compatible in that department and after D-day I remember saying to myself...  "She just about destroyed every aspect of my marriage,  Ill be damned if I'm going to give her my bedroom too !!! "  AND I never did and never will.  Also I feel it necessary to say that even though I do think of the cheating just about every day, it never ever has entered my mind while intimate, and it never will.  

"T"


Trinity, you're definitely one of the lucky ones.  Since D-day, I have been unable to feel any type of physical desire for my WS so no sex or intimate contact since then.  His escapades with the AP affected our sex life for sure.  I remember clearly the last time we had sex and how robotic it was because he was unable to connect with me at all.  He was simple going through the motions and I don't want a repeat of that.  But I have to admit that I am on the road towards divorce, so that may also have something to do with my lack of attraction for him.
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Kalmarjan
To be clear here...

This isn't about him loving her. It's all about him, and how she makes him feel. He is just mistaking it for "love."

Been there. Bought the shirt. Messed everything up, and had a rocky way back to reality. 

I agree with all the sentiment here that there needs to be absolutely no contact, and that's non-negotiable. This is about reestablishing boundaries, and you need to make it crystal clear to your WS that you will not accept his limerance and remain with him. 

Maybe your marriage counsellor thinks you should work it out, but are they savvy to the continued contact? I don't believe any counsellor would advocate for staying together while that was happening. 
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Sorry
The annual leave idea is great. It would be a sign of meaningful effort too.

I do not see much value in the "it's only limerence" idea. Every fresh relationship, affair not, is to some extent "only limerence". Some evolve into something lasting, some don't. The fact that it's limerence doesn't have any predictive power.  Then again, it is true that the grass is rarely greener. 


I think people in affairs often view their experience as love, yet nothing about their actions or thoughts is in any way loving. Loving as in what is in the best interest of the other person.

Affairs destroy, they destroy people, lives, family, safety and security. They financially and emotionally ruin people directly and indirectly.

Think of a vindictive AP, how on earth is this any Kind of display of love. Affairs are purely selfish and self driven. 

Love does not enter the equation unless it is a self gratifying nassisistic love...and thats not love either.
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