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VoodooChild
This is an area that I'm really struggling with right now. I forced myself to be physically intimate with him fairly quickly after learning of the affair because I could feel the disgust building at the thought of what he'd done. I wanted to replace the thoughts that she was the last body he'd touched. It was also the only time I could feel good about anything and that was purely physical. Two months out, the images are worse and more frequent. I find myself needing reassurance of my abilities or position as his "chosen" partner which is completely unlike me. I was so self assured and confident before this mess. Now I'm an empty shell. Of coarse he can't reassure me. He has no idea what to say or how to respond. To me it seems obvious...if I feel insignificant, tell me how significant I am. If I feel that what you if with her was awesome, assure me otherwise! It bothers me to think that he most likely provided her this reassurance and said terrible things about me to her, but can't give reassurance to me even when I spell it out. If our marriage doesn't succeed, it won't be because of the affair but because he's unable to meet my needs emotionally. I tolerated it before the affair, I won't tolerate it after. I've endured enough.
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kaleidoscope7
Voodoo, I think it's natural that we are able to process all this only incrementally and as we go along in time. Two months seems really fresh to me. I am still processing betrayal that happened in 2014, and finding new insight each time the feelings or memories come up.

This was trauma and enormous loss -- of trust, of safety, of our ability to rely on our own perception or intuition, the comfort of believing we could take our WS at their word. Of innocence. It's such a terrible shake up. I'm currently hammered with grief over my situation, and I'm going to venture here that because this was so traumatic, you may have unconsciously and reflexively "put it on hold" in some aspects, until such time that you felt safe enough again to let down the guard and feel the hard feelings. I hear vulnerability in your words this morning and I want you to know that vulnerability is courageous. We do lose something of our own identity when these betrayals happen. All I can say is that the You that emerges from this pain, will be amazing. She -- the restored Voodoo -- is amazing. You are amazing. Maybe think of this as a forced growth, the way gardeners force bulbs in the winter. This version of it feels like torture. But trust that it is for your best result.

I hope that you keep your husband always informed on your feelings and vulnerability. But love him too, and I know it is hard as hell, but trust that you are first in his heart and in his thinking. Trust that he wants you, and your happiness and sense of safety, most of all.

You might not be able to ask him to rebuild your confidence, as I don't think he fully grasps how in the hell he managed to damage it so badly. Ease up with him a little on this -- yes he should remain accountable, and yes, he should remain conciliatory and readily willing to do whatever it takes to restore your trust in him. But give room for inadequate emotional intelligence. Simplify. Maybe there is another way he can reassure you. In my case if WS can't manage the right words, I am ok if he will just hold me in his big arms and let me cry it out without saying anything at all.

In absence of that this time, I took up weight training with a personal trainer. It seems like such an airy shallow alternative, but through the worst it kept me focused a few hours a week on self, structure, discipline, and visible evidence of strength, self-care, and positive change. This or yoga or other form-structured exercise can be of benefit just because of the neuroscience, but also because it physiologically shapes your posture to a more confident stance. The stance helps. Fake it til you make it. I hated that whole saying before I put it to use and [wink] found that it worked.

Your husband loves you. Have faith that you two will make it. I'm praying for the restoration of your best perception of yourself. The short version goes,

Dear Heavenly Father, please show Voodoo again how beautiful and amazing and incomparable and valuable she is. Please show her the love in her husband's repentant heart; Amen.
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Virtual
Kaleidoscope- will you say that prayer for me too?
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LLL2015
Intimacy after the affair...I've read many different BS responses and can identify with some and understand all as a BS. I really believe sex post affair depends on many variables within a relationship that it's difficult to provide advice. By sharing our stories, perhaps we can open our minds to different perspectives and go from there.

In my case (7 months post DDay)...initially, similar to many BS, it was difficult to get the image of "them together" out of my mind. It wasn't so much the idea of him with another woman as it was that it was him with another woman after committing himself to me (marriage)--you know, the betrayal. And, the idea of him being pleased by another woman...ouch. We never had an issue of not enjoying sex together, but like many couples together for 20 years, we had our ups and downs. Anyway, I would say I was in a fog myself. And because I had my own needs, I forced the image out of my mind so I could receive pleasure. The sex was not at all what it had before the affair...in ways it was much better and in ways it was worse. So as not to offend anyone, I won't go into detail about the better. However, I do what to share my story of caution. I had sex with my WH prob a month from the 2nd DDay. It continued for a couple of months, and as pleasurable as it was, it wasn't healthy (for me). I believe I objectified myself. I had sex without any loving feeling, yet I was with the man I thought I knew. Trusting he had told me the truth about the affair & since he was remorseful at that time, I suppose I told myself this would help me heal. However, I had not stuck to my initial boundary of having him get tested for an STD. I rationalized that it didn't matter because he had already been with me before I knew of the affair, so therefore if he did have something I would already know. And, I trusted him when he said he used protection. Two months later, I discover him hiding sores on himself. He had contracted an STD that can be transmitted with or without the use of condoms. He not only hid this from me, but lied about using protection and (in my eyes) purposefully exposed it to me. With this disease, unfortunately, an STD test would NOT have tested for it because the CDC does not require it. Yet, they require you to inform future sexual partners of having it because it's not curable. It can lay dormant for up to 3-4 months and in some cases, years before a person shows symptoms. A blood test specifically testing for this exact STD has to be done to know if a person had been exposed (if no physical symptoms are present) , which is only reliable after 4 months from initial exposure. And, most doctors won't do this test because insurance companies usually won't cover it unless there are physical symptoms! I, unfortunately, was positive. So...whatever you decide to do in order to bring yourself sexually closer to your WS, please don't follow my way of thinking.
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sunflower07
I have the opposite problem. I developed "Hysterical Bonding". We have more sex now than we've ever had in 20 years of marriage. It's been almost 4 months since d Day. I thought there was something wrong with me until I discovered this when I tried to figure out what was wrong. My husband had an affair for about a year before I finally found out although I suspected all of the time. He says he's committed to our marriage and is showing remorse. I suspect she is still contacting him but I've learned that she was emotionally abusive to him during the affair. She " loved bombed" him at the beginning and then proceeded to devalue him. I think she is a narcissist. I'm not making excuses for him by any means but there were many things I did wrong in our marriage. I blame both of us for our circumstance. I've been following Mort Fertel's Marriage Fitness. This has helped me a lot to focus on the future and not the past. This site is helping too. I definitely think it helps to think about it as a 2nd marriage with the same spouse. Thanks for listening!
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UrbanExplorer
So funny - I just read the term hysterical bonding for the first time in another article today. I had no idea that's what I experienced (on the receiving end).
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