After two years of weekly discussions, sometimes coming up with fresh topics can be a challenge.  I discovered yesterday that believe it or not, our weekly topic has never centered around the topic of sex and infidelity.

Dr. Robert Huizenga says “…usually there is a very high level of sexual intensity between husband and wife.  The affair stirs up sexual intensity and sexual feelings. Often both have a strong desire to engage in sex, and some people say that sex is better now than it’s ever been.” Furthermore he states, “If you enjoy sex, it’s mutual and you’re having a great time, then there’s nothing wrong with sexual activity.”

We thought that it would be interesting and could be a good learning experience to get an idea of how the typical sex life has transformed during the various stages of infidelity.

Let’s first set the general stages from which to compare.  If you haven’t made it through all of the stages, that’s okay.   Just respond based on your own situation:

Stage 1:  The weeks prior to discovery of the affair (or when you suspected the affair started).  In other words, the time before there was no affair going on.

Stage 2:  The time when the affair was going on.

Stage 3:  After discovery of the affair and either the affair came to an end or it continued.

Stage 4:  The weeks immediately following the end of the affair.

Stage 5:  Long term after the end of the affair – perhaps several months to years after.

See also  Open ‘Mic’ Discussion #14

Obviously, we don’t need to necessarily know the down and dirty stuff.  (Though it could make things more interesting.)  You don’t even need to necessarily follow the stages above.  Rather, try to offer a general idea of how your sex life has transformed from prior to, during and after the affair.

Factors to consider:

  • Frequency
  • Intensity
  • Desire
  • Initiating sex
  • Satisfaction
  • Performance issues
  • Having intrusive thoughts during sex
  • Thinking that you are/were undesirable
  • Changes in usual sexual patterns and/or techniques
  • Other factors I can’t think of…

Please remember to respond to each other in the comments.

Thanks for your input!

 Linda & Doug

    43 replies to "Discussion – Sex and Infidelity"

    • Greg

      Our sex life was actually one of the factors that led up to her affair. I’ve always had a very active libido while she not so much and hers is very tied to how she feels emotionally. Since I was able to read all of their emails I can tell exactly when the EA went from friends to affair and that is when we stopped having sex. Since discovery of the affair is when we stopped sleeping in the same room which continues to today while we are in the recovery stages. Prior to the EA we had sex weekly if I initiated it but it was pretty mechanical for quite a while. Earlier on in the marriage we I’d enjoy our sex and had fun with it but as we became more emotionally distant it got progressively worse. The biggest problem we had in the bed was my porn addiction, she hated it and it caused her to lose her emotional connection to me and in turn caused the sex to suffer as well.

      In terms of the affair timeline there was a year of decreasing intimacy as the friendship built up, six months of no sex but sleeping in the same bed during the full blown EA, followed by no sex and not sleeping in the same room with discovery of, ending of, and rebuilding from the EA for the past nine months.

      Obviously with me still having the libido of a 20 year old while in my 40s not having sex has been very frustrating, especially after really seeing how much my porn addiction affected her and going cold turkey on that as well. I almost think it’s better though because at least I don’t have any memories of us having sex during the EA and don’t have any thoughts of who was she thinking of while we were having sex.

    • E

      I can talk about every stage, so I apologize in advance for writing a book!
      Stage 1: not much sex; teenagers at home, stress, we grew apart, I was resentful of him and just wasn’t turned on. This was a huge area of neglect on my part – as women, we want sex when we love and feel loved. I didn’t have these things. I always thought how good could it be if I wasn’t “in to it”? Anyway, this was an obvious factor in the breakdown of our relationship, I know now that he did not feel that I loved him at all. Maybe I had fallen out of love but just kept up the “roommate” scenario for kids and commitment sake. Bottom line, I was saying “no” and someone else came around who said “yes”.
      Stage 2: I had that gut feeling that I knew something was going on, so I became needy, very needy. I took it upon myself to do all kinds of things that were usually reserved for special occasions a lot more often 😉 (sorry!) I spent a lot of money on a whole new wardrobe of lingerie. I think I thought that I could win him back through sex. That was a joke, what was I thinking? I think back on those times and cringe at how I behaved and the rejection that I received. Prior to Dday #1, after my first real “heart to heart” confrontation with him that of course ended in denial – things started to improve. At least he began to be more receptive.
      Stage 3: Things improved a little more, but I was still somewhat “needy” at this stage and never went even a few days without being available to him. If you know a little about my story, you know that I had 4 Ddays … crazy, I know. But perhaps this was one of the reasons!
      Stage 4: I have to say that this stage really would have been after the last and final Dday as it relates to me and my situation. I had left our home at this point. Within a week he was begging me to come back and had ended it again with OW. We agreed to meet for dinner after a couple of weeks and yes, I ended up spending almost the entire weekend at home. It was (insert whatever your imagination allows here) a weekend I will never forget.
      Stage 5: Sex is still great. Ok, maybe not so hot and heavy as that weekend in Stage 4, but it’s emotional, that emotional connection that was once gone, is there. It’s everything I could want and I believe that he is pretty satisfied as well 🙂

      I will add that when I was younger and had kids at home and didn’t take as good of care of myself as I should have, didn’t make my H a priority, certainly didn’t make sex a priority, didn’t feel good about how I looked (even though it wasn’t bad), that I was inhibited in the bedroom, I admit it even though I hate to. What I failed to realize is that my H didn’t care!!! He thought I was beautiful and wanted me, all the time (in his words!) I think certain traumatic events in our lives make us reevaluate a lot of things about how we live … or at least I did. Maybe I have reached that age when a woman just feels more comfortable in her own skin? Am I making any sense? We just throw off all of those inhibitions and say “what the hell!” Anyway, that’s where I am I guess, and gosh how I wish I had done this when I was younger!!! I, like a lot of other BS’s, lost a few pounds (I was fairly thin anyway), so now I am feeling really good about myself, I take care of myself, I feel better than I ever have, I look better than I ever have, I am still young, we have no kids at home (so basically anywhere in the house at anytime is fair game 😉 (sorry again! LOL) I know that this is probably still a sore subject for a lot of BS’s, but for me this was fun, good topic Doug.

    • csb

      My story is very different…..My H had a 1 1/2 yr EA with an old girlfriend ( I should mention we’ve been married 30 years). My H has ED, so our sex life wasn’t good even before the EA. I so missed having a healthy, frequent sex life, but I loved him so we did what we could and focused more on the other aspects of our relationship.

      So, imagine how I feel knowing I was the one always willing to have sex and then finding out that HE decided to cheat on me with another woman.

      • Peggy

        I really relate to what you have said. My husband doesn’t have ED, but our sex life was very infrequent for 4 years and when I found out about his affair and he blamed most of it on not having exciting sex I was shocked. He brought nothing to our sexual experience for 4 years. Then I found out that for those 4 years he had been wanting to have sex with his co-worker. And he blamed me for not having exciting sex.

        I am a rape victim, so sex is difficult for me on a good day. I feel very inadaquate, but I had never refused him and was game for whatever he wanted. Basically, over compensating for what I felt was my inadaquacies. Now we are in separate rooms. I didn’t move out for a year, but I felt that I would have healed if I hadn’t been forced to see him every day as a reminder of what I wasn’t. That part I’m still working on.

        In the end you do need to know that it was his inadaquacies and lack of character that gave him his permission to go to someone else for the thrill of it. You did nothing wrong. Knowing that and healing from the affair is just not easy. It’s a huge slap in the face in your situation where you have given up a good sex life to accomodate him because of his problem because you were a very caring and committed wife.

        • Holdingon

          ED is no excuse for not pleasing your wife or husband, I’m sure you people are old enough to get creative, they have stores for that in almost every city, if yours don’t work, go buy one, or just handle it yourself.

    • D

      E, you paint a picture of my wife.

      In stage 1our intimacy was waning, becoming routine, and through no fault of mine. Once when I had become upset over yet another rejection she didn’t understand why. “It’s just sex,” she said. She complained she wasn’t feeling sexual. The kids were growing up, she was lost in life, listless, depressed. It looked like we were unraveling.

      Stage 2: Then one summer she seemed to heat up. In my naivete I believed she had finally, at 43 “reached her peak” and all those years of patience on my part were finally paying off. The thought of her having an affair never occurred to me. This went on for a year. The n she “fell in love” and our sex life took on a tension I didn’t quite understand. We were still getting together more than usual but now she seemed disengaged.

      Stage 3 and 4 are the same in our situation as the affair was over by the time she confessed. We both used sex to soothe our wounds. For a month and a half I think we might have had sex almost every day and my GOD it was good when it was happening. But when the dust settled, something was clearly missing. Then I felt the need to confront the OM and that’s when reality smacked my wife hard. She cut us off entirely.

      Stage 5: It’s been two years since that cut-off date and we’ve been treading water ever since. Though we get along great, the affair is a distant memory for the most part, we are moving forward, growing, maturing, finding ourselves and our independence again, I still struggle with this issue. Like E’s husband, I wonder if she really loves me – if she ever really loved me – or is merely comfortable with our situation. I’ve got a healthier libido than any man I know, and we have sex about twice a month, yet, sex has ceased to be a priority for me. I almost don’t care anymore. I’ve lost some respect for her, to be sure, and that does play in my mind, but I also just don’t believe that it matters to her whether we do or don’t. It’s quite a journey. I wonder every day where it will take me.

    • WriterWife

      I think sex was a big marriage issue for us even before my H’s EA and it’s something we’ve definitely been working on. One thing I’ll be hugely thankful as a result of all of EA fallout (i.e. counseling) is that I’ve learned about sexual issues that I didn’t even realize I had and so whether I move forward with my H or someone else, I’ll do so with a much much healthier sexual identity.

      Here’s my breakdown. Sorry it’s long but I’ll be more inclusive of detail in case it helps:

      Stage 1: We began our relationship having a lot of sex. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I really thought sex meant someone cared about you and I used it as a substitute & a tool — if we had sex a lot then he must really love me. Over the years, the regularity of sex dwindled. While there have been times in our 10 year relationship when there was a gap between sex (prob 6 weeks – 2 months due to health reasons) I tried hard to keep us having sex once a week. However, I travel a lot for my job so there were definitely gaps because of that.

      I knew it was an issue. I knew my H wanted more sex and that he was very frustrated we weren’t having more. I felt I didn’t have any libido — I talked to my OBGYN but she didn’t help and I thought about going to a sex therapist but I just never scheduled an appt. About 2 or 3 times a year my H and I would have a big discussion about all of this and how miserable he was and I’d promise to change or do something to fix things and then I’d pray he just never brought it up again. I wanted to pretend the problem didn’t exist which was a terrible way to manage it.

      Stage 2: when I wasn’t out of town working (which was a lot — prob a week or two a month which is one reason my H and the OW grew so close) I tried to have sex one or two times a week – generally my H initiated – even though we were married I was intensely shy/uncomfortable about initiating sex (strange because I’m not generally a shy person in life). I’d have said then that it was always good sex. Nothing really adventurous or exciting, but ending well for all. I noticed that sometimes my husband would get uptight/distant/dismissive in our day to day life and I learned that having sex would soften things and make our relationship a little better.

      Stage 3: We were at his parents house over the holidays when I found out about the EA. I always hate having sex at his or my parents house so that was pretty much already off the table. A few days after I found out, we went for a long walk in which we talked extensively about his EA and the OW (it was clear he was undecided about choosing me so things weren’t looking good). We got home and no one else was there. I’d assumed it would be a good long while before we had sex again (which, I’m sad to admit, gave me some relief because the issue of sex was always so stressful for me). But for some reason I initiated sex — it was on a whim. It was some pretty amazing sex — unlike any we’d really had before. Because everything was already pretty desperate emotionally, I just let go of a ton of my sex issues during that day (I thought — what’s the worst that happens, he leaves me? Already a probability) and I think that’s what made the difference. In the days after, even though we were in huge emotional turmoil, I felt like we’d created this tiny little thread of connection between us which was very comforting to us both.

      Stage 4: We probably had more sex during this time than we had in the past. It was very different sex as well — I initiated, I began embracing my own sense of sexuality, etc. The marriage therapist we sought out specializes in sex therapy and she gave us a quiz to determine our approach to sex. The results of mine were that I’m pretty repressed sexually. I realized that I never attached emotion to sex and I was *terrified* of being judged and that was creating huge inhibitions. Slowly my H and I began to share things we’d never shared before — I began to initiate, I shared what turned me on, we actually talked about sex (but not in a “we’re not having enough” way). During this time I started embracing who I am in every part of my life and decided that if that wasn’t appealing to my H then we could go our separate ways.

      And now, 3 months after D-Day… we’re not having sex. My therapist recommended last week that we take a break. I agreed though sometimes I’m conflicted about that decision. Right now my husband still hasn’t committed to me or determined that he loves me (he’s working on figuring out what it means to love — I do know he cares deeply for me). He’s ended the EA, chosen to work on the marriage and work on himself, but there’s no security for me yet. I’d begun to worry I was making myself too available — I was sharing too much of myself. Because part of my sex issue is using it as a tool to “force love” I want to make very certain that’s not what’s going on here. And if my H does decide to leave, I don’t want to feel like I was being used for sex during this time. I think it’s important for me to establish that I’m not okay with where we are (lack of security) and I don’t want to act like that’s not an issue.

      Again I apologize for the long response but I do feel like sex was integral both in feeding the issues that led up to the EA in addition to aiding our recovery. Regardless of the outcome of our marriage, I’m incredibly grateful that I’ve begun the journey of gaining a healthy sexual identity and I’m sad for all the years I struggled with this before. Oddly, though, I think that if we’d gone to this sex therapist years ago I’m not sure it would have helped as much. Like E said above, I think it took the trauma of the EA to truly shake me out of my life and force me to reexamine everything. Before then I think I’d have thought “I have a sex problem I need to fix for my husband” instead of now thinking “I have deep rooted sexual issues that I need to fix for myself.”

    • Dave

      Everyone’s situation is unique, but mine has two parts because I had 2 D-days. The first D-Day, I suspected something since I caught my wife at the OM’s apartment.

      The second D-Day happened 13 years later, just three months on New Year’s Eve when my wife confessed that back then, she did have both an EA and PA with my best friend.

      D-Day #1 – the actual affair

      Stage 1: Before the affair, our sex life was fulfilling and energetic. We were in our late 20s and things were good. We weren’t very experienced, but we loved each other and it felt really good.

      Stage 2: From what I remember, our sex life evaporated. I remember specifically because the month where they entered into a PA was also the month of our 9th anniversary, and for the first time in those nine years, we didn’t have sex on our anniversary. I also remember her being cold and distant. My wife has very limited memories of that time, but she’s used the broken logic that “we must have had sex at least once”. Um sweetie, not if you were in love with and screwing another man…

      Stage 3, 4, 5: I caught my wife at the OM’s apartment on the day she broke it with him just as she was leaving. She lied, begged, and twisted the story to say they were “just friends” and that nothing had happened, but I didn’t buy it for a second. I hated her. At that time, I only stayed out of spite. I wasn’t going to let “him” have her or be a step-father to my son.

      We didn’t have sex for a very long time. I believe it wasn’t until our 10th anniversary, around 9 months later, that we started having sex again – but it wasn’t as fulfilling as before. I was extremely guarded. It wasn’t until another year had passed that things more or less got back to normal.

      D-Day #2 – the big reveal about her affair

      Stage 1: Following D-Day #1, it really took 5 or so years before we started to feel like us again. In the last couple of years, our sex life has been better than ever. Now in our 40s, we aren’t as athletic as we once were, but we have more stamina, we know our bodies better, we know each other better, and we have been far more open with each other. We had gained a level of intimacy that only two people who have been together for 26 years can achieve. There is just no way to explain it to somebody. They just have to experience it.

      Stage 2: This doesn’t really apply since the affair was over a long time ago, but on New Year’s Eve of this year’s when she drunkenly admitted to her EA/PA and severity of the things she had done, it was as if the past 13 years didn’t happen and I was back in 1998. All my memories and feelings from that time rushed back in and it felt as if I just caught her. I nearly collapsed on the sidewalk. I was in shock. I think my brain went into survival mode because while the night continued and I seemed to function, I felt as if I was watching myself like a spectator, unable to fully process anything.

      Stage 3: That night when we returned to the hotel, my wife wanted to have sex, but the rush of emotions and pain was just starting to hit. I was angry. I was hurt. I was drunk. I tried, but it wasn’t going to happen. Instead, I laid there and sobbed until 4 or 5 in the morning.

      Stage 4: If I could manage to look at or talk to my wife, I had nothing good to say. Sex was nonexistent. Divorce was the only thing on my mind.

      Stage 5: We sought counseling immediately and after a month had passed, we tried again despite suggestions from our counselor to hold off for a while. We had sex – lots of sex, but it was angry sex. There was no love-making. Every time I touched her or saw her, all I could think of was the two of them together. I found myself interrogating her as to the acts they performed and then trying to recreate those so that I could in part please her, but also in part to understand what made her turn to him. It hurt so bad that most times everything ended with me sobbing on the bed again.

      Another month passed, but it has been better. I’ve still had issues, trying to deal with all my negative and obsessive thoughts, but we’ve had some very good days as well. I believe there is some instinctual need to “win back” your mate, because we started having lots of sex – playful, love-making, rough, fun, spontaneous, energetic, crazy sex. The bonus was that for a few brief moments, sometimes when we were caught up in being with each other, we stopped thinking about the problems with which we are dealing.

      One weekend recently our oldest son was working and our youngest had a sleepover at a friend’s house, so we basically spent the entire day and evening having sex all around the house and essentially acting like love-crazed teenagers again. We couldn’t take our hands off of each other. It was a good weekend.

      The sad part is, after each high like I have a crash and feel miserable again. I wallow in doubt, feelings of inadequacy, sadness, and a hundred other negative emotions all at once. When I do that, it drags her down because she starts to feel the guilt, remorse, and self-loathing. We have to be very careful not to let ourselves go there, but it always seems we do.

      Going into our fourth month from our second D-Day, we are starting to return to a semi-normal routine. The crazy sex phase has all but stopped, but the negative emotions that we both have are just below the surface. Sometimes that feels awkward. I believe that it will take time before we get back to where we were before January 1st, but I hope that it doesn’t take years. I miss … us.

    • Paula

      I think EAs and EA/PAs may mean the BS reacts a little differently, also, the length, nature and whether you are a betrayed male, or female do seem to make a difference, however, there are patterns, I guess.

      We had 21 years of amazing closeness and intimacy, with sex never less than 5 or 6 times a week (first two years we lived together, we were probably 12+ times per week) resuming quite quickly after difficult childbirth, etc. Our sex life was mostly great, my libido was slightly lagging behind my OHs, but not by much, I don’t ever recall “turning him down” not once – we discussed this recently, and he has the same recall of this, so I’m not kiddding myself here.

      When the 15 month PA with one of my oldest friends (and his cheating ex-GF) was going on there was NO difference in our intensity or frequency whatsoever. He tells me that with her, who he was usually only able to see every few months (geography) sometimes they didn’t even have sex, and he estimates that almost half the time he had difficulty with getting or maintaining arousal – I know this is the truth, as she alluded to it in a text I read – guilt, I believe.

      Stages 3 and 4 are the same, as he had ended the affair at least a month before she told me all about it. We had made some lifestyle decisions that had considerably improved our relationship about the same time, including me giving up my employment to work within our joint business, so we had reconnected wonderfully, and we were enjoying a way more fulfilling time (including sexually) up until Dday. Dday and beyond became a frenzy of highly erotic, highly energetic lovemaking, mixed with long, tender sessions, also. This period lasted about 5 or 6 months, crazy, highly charged time. I was running up to 10kms daily, and lost a considerable amount of weight in a very short time (18 kg, the first 15 kgs dropped off me in the first FIVE weeks after Dday) so felt fit, and toned, and had very high energy levels, would have to be the best intensity we had experienced, possibly even surpassing the new relationship sex we had as 20 and 24 year olds! We were 41 and 45 by this stage. I was initiating more than I had previously, my OH thought he’d struck the jackpot in that he was getting more, and in both quality and quantity than ever, and was extremely grateful that I had chosen to stay with him, and work on us, he said, he couldn’t believe how much he loved and admired me for my strength and capacity for forgiveness.

      After the 6 month mark, I foolishly attempted suicide, and the fallout of my being strong (which must have been some sort of an act, although I didn’t see it that way at the time) meant that the sex waned back to more “normal” levels of approx 4-5 times per week. I had become obsessed with the fact that she is taller and slimmer than me, has had multiple sexual partners, therefore she must know all the tricks in the book, has an athlete’s physique, and only one child, to my body, which has been ravaged by three live births, and a further four pregnancies, very hourglass, ie a curvy girl. She gave us an STI, which devastated me, and made me feel “unclean.” An incident from my past was awoken, and I struggled with very vivid images and nightmares about extremely violent rape and torture, mostly at her hand, often by both of them, and also very graphic sex images of the two of them together, quite depraved. OH tried to reassure me that our lovemaking/sex was a million times more adventurous, satisfying, that I was MUCH more erotic, and “adventurous” than she ever was, first time around (25 years earlier) and this time around, he had an intense connection with me that he’d never experienced with ANY previous lovers, had much stronger erections and orgasms. I stupidly told a (supposedly) good friend of mine some of this one time, when she was asking me about it, and she must have repeated it to another person I know (who cheated on her first husband, and he never knew) and I overheard her telling people that I must be ridiculously naive to believe that, as affairs are ALWAYS more sexually exciting than marriages. I was livid, and again asked my OH if this was the case, which he denied. I believe him only because he had told me years earlier that she was not very good in bed, and I have heard it from other sexual partners of this same woman, looks the part, gets plenty of “action” but not up much once the actual horizontal dancing begins, it’s all about her, a very selfish lover and very cold, lol~!

      Fast forward two years post Dday, I asked him to leave, he did, and had one more sex session with her whilst we were separated, I do not believe he had been doing this for the two years prior, he just wanted to see why he had thrown away our wonderful life together, betrayed his children’s trust, etc, sacrificed our special bond for, and he realised he was not turned on by her, and she was so not worth what he had done. We later reconciled, and after a few months, the imagery and nightmares started to get the better of me again. More counselling ensued, and I eventually got to the point where I really didn’t want to have sex with him, because of the extreme images that would flash into my vision at the worst possible moment, and I would panic, frantically wanting to get away from him, etc. We stopped having sex altogether recently, something I could never imagine, having never gone longer than six days without in the entire 24 years of our relationship. I feel ugly, undesirable and quite traumatised by the act, or the thought of it, and I have now been separated from him for about two weeks, and have no desire to ever have sex with anyone ever again.

      • stillbroken

        Affairs are NOT always more sexually exciting than marriages. Affair partners are NOT always a better man/woman than BS even in the eyes of CS. Sometimes, affairs only means that CS has weaknesses (selfish, insecurities etc).

        • Dave

          My wife had the typical weaknesses, insecurities, and selfish attitude that many CS have during a PA. She said that during her PA, she felt it was more exciting, sensual, and the last time – more loving.

          However, she says looking back on it, it was more about the stuff in her head than the acts. She says that because she was afraid of getting caught, the actual acts were very fast and unimaginative. He “got his” but she she didn’t. He climaxed quickly every time and she was never able to finish.

          She said it wasn’t an issue though, because she didn’t have the time to waste. She was supposed to be at the store, so she was only with him for less than an hour each time and only a small portion of that was the actual sex acts.

          In the end, she said the sex wasn’t even important. It was just a tool she used to get more of the EA. That is what she really wanted – his nice words, compliments, and the ego stroking. She said that those things got into her head and kept her hooked more than the sex. She said if it was just for the sex, it would have ended the first time because he wasn’t very good and that sex with me has been far more enjoyable and fulfilling – even when we were having problems in our marriage back then.

          Still, I don’t know if I believe a single word of that. It sounds like things she thinks I’d like to hear. Of course, knowing what she did, I have trust issues with anything she says. But, I do hope it is the truth. I really want it to be true.

          • suziesuffers

            My husband made a similar comment about the one time they had sex….of course, he also told me she had been drinking (she was an alcoholic in AA with him but she was still drinking). He said that he was very anxious of course to “please” her and show her his best efforts …oral sex to each other and then intercourse, but that she got hers….and that he held out until he was sure she was done…..and when she was done, she got up and went to smoke. and that he never got anything. He said at that point it was so disappointing have sex with her that he just took a quick shower and by then she was passed out in the bed. Even though they spent 2 additional nights together, her craving for gambling at the casino and her constant requests for money to gamble, made it so she started being amorous again but she got a phone call and it never went further…..He said she was about the worst he had ever had (he’s had some experience and a number of emotional and physical affairs both during his drinking and sobriety) Trust was a major factor and he was unhappy I WASN’T GETTING OVER THE LAST AFFAIR FAST ENOUGH….even though his behavior was minimally changing …wouldn’t read books or go to counseling. He’s divorcing ME.

            • Anita

              With him divorcing you, your healing process can begin.
              As you heal you will begin to see things in a different light.
              His drinking and other women are his issues and until
              he resolves these problems he’s not going to be the kind
              of husband you want or deserve. Until he’s ready to change it will only be more of the same behavior. At least
              with him divorcing you, your free to move forward with your
              own life, and start a new beginning for yourself.

            • Anita

              By starting a new life of your own, you won’t have to put up
              with him telling you about all his women and which ones
              disappointed him the most. He has no reguards to your
              feelings only his disappointment that the other woman got
              up and had a smoke. He is so into himself that it doesn’t
              occur to him that he was married and there shouldn’t
              be ANY other women.
              Suziesuffers enough is enough, and it time for you to have
              a better life, without living like this.
              I wish you the very best in your new life, and you will be
              so much more happier than what you are living through
              right now.
              Your worth and value are more than having to live like this.

    • chiffchaff

      Dave – that last sentence says it all for my situation. I miss ‘us’.

      My H has had absolutely no interest in sex (with me anyway) during his PA or after the many Ddays. It has made me feel like a lump of undesirable nothingness and has significantly added to the pain. I’m not too surprised he hasn’t been interested seeing as he couldn’t even see me for the past 9 months for thinking of the OW.

      Stage 3 – I tried everything and like others have said, the BS almost feels like they need to go overboard in the bedroom to bring their CS back from wherever they’ve gone mentally. It didn’t work. The more I tried the more he withered away & made me feel repulsive. It then made me feel cheap. It lead to me hating myself as well as my H in time, when hating myself in the first few months after Dday#1 was already very bad as I took the blame for his actions.
      Stage 4 – I’d probably call this the stage following actual (well, I think) NC with the OW – 4 months after DDay. I had no interest at all, my self-esteem was on the floor. I couldn’t bear to even think about it as all I saw were the email sex messages he sent her, very explicit. My H also wasn’t interested and affection really went down to nothing. We’re still in this stage and I don’t even know if I want a life with my H nevermind sex. Despite that I feel better about myself (the Relate book – Loving Yourself, Loving Another has been extremely useful for recovering my self-esteem) and I don’t know what will happen next.

      • Dave

        Yep, and I think after D-Day #2, both of us went overboard. My wife is trying to show me that she loves me – but sometimes she goes too far. She does things that she hasn’t done before or hasn’t done in a long time, and that just makes me feel uneasy since I’m wondering if she is reliving her PA with him.

        I went overboard trying to win her over, plus trying to do all the “nasty little things” that he did for her / to her. That made me feel cheap. I think she did too. I think there is where the post sex -blues came from, at least for me. It was a real lose-lose situation, since the sex only masked how I was feeling for that moment.

        Perhaps our counselor was right. Maybe we started being intimate again too soon.

      • stillbroken

        please be strong, happiness will come, dont destroy yourself for people like them

    • CA

      The more I read about other peoples situations, the more I feel alone in mine. Not only did we have a great marriage with not one issue in 30 years. I mean we really were connected. We also have always had a fantastic sex life. Early in our relationship there was much hot and satisfying sex. Even as we raised three children and worked different shifts we always had sex at least once a week and it was still amazing. As the children grew and we went back to working the same shift, the sex ramped back up to 2, 3, or 4 times a week. It is still very intense and we have always commented on how it is so good after so many years. We equally initiate sex and are both very comfortable with our bodies and sexuality. It really just gives

    • CA

      opps…submitted too soon. Anyway it really just gives me one more reason to say how the hell did this happen to us. My H had an EA for four months. Not that I want to say we had previous issues of any kind, it would make it easier to comprehend.

      • Paula

        CA, please don’t feel alone, I feel EXACTLY like you, how the heck did this happen to us, we were wonderful, too. I wish you a thorough and speedy recovery

      • WriterWife

        CA — I’ve been reading a book by Dr. Shirley Glass called NOT “Just Friends” and it’s really given me a lot to think about when it comes to affairs. Her belief is that affairs happen even in the best of marriages and the more I read, the more I realized just how easily they can occur. It really made a lot of sense to me.

    • Disappointed

      This is one of the things I don’t understand. My H thinks our sex life has always been great. And yet he cheated. Claims though he was in love with her his thoughts never got that far and they were not arranging meetings, etc. Just 1 month of texts. Since D-day even better sex, though when I am feeling low I sometimes question why I still want to be with him in a sexual way when he has not verbally recommitted. We are separated but reconnecting. Trying to give him space and time.

    • ChangedForever

      Wow, incredible comments from all those who posted. As i approach my 18 month mark since Dday #1, and continue to go thru intense emotions including the dreaded intrusive thoughts at the most inopportune times (wonder if that will EVER stop,) one resource that has helped us both, is the daily reading of The Daily Bread (also available online!) this is the type of resource that pulls you either out of a bad day or just helps give you a kickstart…a good one…each entry involves a short story with a positive ending. Take yesterday’s reading entitled, “Hawks & Lions,” …kind of explains it all In my opinion! Here’s the link…read the April 4 entry….
      ‘The best step on the way to victory is to recognize the enemy.’ That closing comment REALLY hit my CS over the head…i actually saw the proverbial ‘lightbulb’ go on over him. Read it & you’ll see what i mean! Best to you all.

    • DJ

      Changed Forever and I had our D-days just a few days apart, so I am also heading towards 18 months out, and still dealing with the aftermath of my husband’s affair.

      Like CA and Paula, intimacy was not a problem for us prior to his affair. At the point where he started his affair, we had been married for 22 years and still enjoyed sex 3 – 4 times per week. It would have been more frequent if not for three teenaged children and if I were not caring for my mother in our home. She had Alzheimer’s disease. But through all this busy-ness, according to him, he was satisfied. Sex was not the reason for his straying. A bad marriage as not it, either. It was his own feelings of inadequacy over her dumping him all those years ago, and the opportunity to show her that he was a better man than her husband. Then the excitement of a forbidden love took hold and he became obsessed with her and the affair stretched into six years.

      Stage 2: Since his affair lasted six years, there were definite stages – a beginning, middle and end. At the beginning, there was not much difference in our sex life. He had not seen her yet. She lives across the country and they were having an EA.

      One year into it, they met and spent a few days together. After that, sex between us changed. He felt he was totally in love with her and I think he felt as if he were betraying her if he had sex with me. But since they could not see each other often, every couple of weeks he would seek sexual release from me. I had no idea he was having an affair and I rarely said no. It was rather mechanical and not emotional or romantic at all. I thought he was going through clinical depression.

      Towards the end, when he was wavering and not sure what he wanted, the frequency of our sex went back up to 3-4 times per week, even though we were now in our 50’s. It was still not very emotional, but it was not so mechanical anymore. I still didn’t know and I thought he was coming out of his depression.

      Stage 3: in the immediate aftermath of D-day, like many others, I couldn’t get enough of him. It was like I was reclaiming my territory or something. From 3 – 4 times per week, we went to 3-4 times per day. That lasted for about six months.

      Stage 4: After six months, we simmered down to at least once daily for another 6 months.

      Stage 5: We have settled back down now to more normal schedule of 3-4 times per week again, and again it would be more frequent if we were not so busy. But we both say we are completely satisfied with our sex life. He is sensitive and attentive and I reciprocate. It is intense and heartfelt.

      I think I have been able to get past images of her in the bedroom because I have been able to convince myself that I am better than her in bed. I am not inhibited and not much repressed in any way. And the look on his face – well, that says it all.

      But sex is not everything. It’s not the reason he strayed. I remain insecure and uncertain about his love for her and everything else about their relationship. And sometimes that gets in the way of my arousal. But he knows how to get past that most of the time. He is patient and… well, you know…

      We both studied massage therapy for a couple of years a number of years ago because I was in a car accident and needed it. We took classes and learned how to massage – and then we figured out on our own how to add that into the bedroom. We are now studying pressure point therapy and use that in bed, too. Works wonders, especially in getting rid of anxiety and painful thoughts.

      • Healing Mark

        DJ. Your husband is one lucky man. Continued luck with your healing.

        • DJ

          Thank you, HM. I appreciate that. I’m blushing, but I appreciate it!

          I had actually written most of this comment before, as a draft for a post on my blog. I just hesitated to post it because, although I am not very inhibited, all this seemed a little TOO uninhibited. But when I read Doug’s post I thought, what the heck. I think we all need to hear the reality of our stories about private lives after infidelity from people we are familiar with, not just stuff written in books.

          Currently, my husband and I are not connecting well in any form. I just found out that I have developed fibromyalgia and my doctor says it’s likely due to emotional trauma. Great, just great. I need some time to get a grip on all this before I can function. I was not even been able to write a proper post for my blog – just a few lines to let people know what’s going on with me.

          I have received lots of encouragement, though, and I feel stronger now. I am going to fight this thing. I know people who have been nearly crippled by it and I am not going to let that happen to me.

          Hope your Easter is blessed and happy.

          • Healing Mark

            DJ, not connecting with you well in any form. Your H is apparently not a very bright man.

            You have a great Easter weekend as well.

    • TW

      11 months on since Dday, my husband never recommitted to our marriage and never gave us an opportunity to work on our relationship. Instead he chose the OW, though he questioned his choice for a few months, he always ended up choosing her.

      From Dday he turned off like a light switchsexually, telling me that the attraction to her was not physical but he was not physically attracted to me anymore. Our sex life was fine up until Dday. Regular and satisfying as usual, however in hind sight I do recall the intimate time before and after the act had begun to shorten. In hind sight I think he did it to maintain normality in our relationship to throw me off the scent of his affair. It must have have been killing him to HAVE to be with me while probably really wanting to be with her. He maintained that the affair was only EA, but I still find this hard to believe, it still amazes me the length CS will go to and the web of deceipt that they create for their selfish gain.

      Cut to today, and I am still trying to work on my own sexual confidence, which was very damaged before this. The simple comment that I was no longer desirable has done an untold amount of damage to my self esteem but I am working on myself to get past this. It goes to show that CS really have no idea how many layers of damage that they cause with their
      affairs and selfish behavior.

      Good luck to everyone on their journeys.

      • Healing Mark

        TW. Try not to let your H’s feelings toward you impact your self-esteem. Even Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are not desirable to everone. I have plenty of female friends who have no sexual desire for me (which makes it much easier to be friends with them), and if I let this affect my self-esteem I would be in trouble, same for prior girlfriends that I have parted ways with. Many times sexual desire was lost, but we both moved on fine and it’s funny to see who we have ended up marrying. Sure, when someone who you love and who has found you desirable for so long has a 180 in this regard, it’s a blow. But understand that your H knows, conciously or subconciously, that his affair is hurting you, and it must be very difficult to be attracted to the BS under these circumstances.

    • Better

      Just when I think there cant be a new topic we havent discussed!

      My H and I have always had a great sex life. But after DDay it was mind blowing for both of us. I never really thought about it or understood what it could mean.

      It could have been in part due to me losing 35lbs and feeling better about myself physically. But as someone already stated…I think it was the fact that I was scared this would be it for my sex life for a while.
      I also think I may have been trying to win him back. I learned that sex will not bring a CS out of the fog or the EA.

      Its been a year after DD the sex has toned down a bit, not as crazy and spontaneous. But there is definatley more love involved.

      Has anyone had an issue with the CS (husbands) randomly not being able to perform? (akward question) (sorry)
      H says its due to him almost being 40, or he has a lot on his mind (stresses of life etc…) I am worried that hes still thinking of the OW or he did something during the day(looking at the OW online) that is making him feel guiltty. Hes never had a problem in the 20 yrs we’ve been together.

      • Notoverit

        Could be mental – guilt does that to a man. He is right about the age factor. Perhaps he needs to be checked for his testosterone levels and have his blood pressure checked. ED is not something to take lightly. The longer it goes on the worse it can get. Tell your H to go see a physician and have himself checked just to be safe.

      • Paula

        Better, Notoverit’s advice is spot on. My OH is 48 and during the affair he was 44-45, he struggled with ED with her, but only once with me (which I was able to help him resolve – his AP never “helped him” when this occured, he found that very odd, but she is a selfish woman) during the affair. His was all mental, all guilt, he was asking himself a lot of questions. He knew that worrying about it made it worse. I would encourage him to check it out to rule out a physical problem, then you will both know what you are dealing with.

    • Better

      Notoverit, and Paula- Thank you. Just by what youve both said I think it might be a little of both.

    • jewel

      I know that sexual intimacy isn’t the same for me at all. We have sex, it is physically gratifying, but the intimate connectedness just seems lacking. You’ve talked about ED, does anyone else deal with porn addiction? It’s something I’ve put up with all my marrige, probably (duh) to the detriment of my self-esteem. He has sex with me, all the while watching the computer screen. It is demeaning.
      In our already fragile relationship where i’ve made ultimatums about “HER’, I don’t feel there is space at this point to throw any out about porn.
      I also imagine he’s thinking about her, looking for images that resemble her.
      *sigh*…why is it that it seems like the bulk of the work comes from the BSs?

      • Healing Mark

        Jewel. Seriously!!! Sex with computer screen visible and porn images streaming? I’m sorry. I’m no prude, but this is the first time I’ve heard of anything like that.

        I suppose too much of anything can be bad for you. Setting aside the implications of how the porn industry treats those working in it, I am in the camp that believes that porn, when taken with a grain of salt and not utilized for gratification to the detriment of satisfying the sexual needs and desires of your partner, can be a positive form of entertainment. And I guess the last word is the key.

        God Bless You and, yes, it does seem like us BS’s have way more hurdles to overcome along the way after affair discovery than CS’s.

    • Greg

      Jewel, while i can’t speak to your side of his porn addiction I can tell you about the other side. My porn addiction was one of the factors that lead my wife toward her EA. You need to tell him how it makes you feel and most likely will need to make it a deal breaker for you to stay in the relationship. It took my wife EA for me to see how much it hurt her and to get me to go to counseling for it. I had told her I would stop many times before and never did it because I really didn’t feel it was that bad. I never really looked at it from her view point until I realised that my porn was to her what her EA was to me, an emotional check out from the marriage. He will have to be willing to put a stop to it and will have multiple failures even if he does want to stop as it is a very strong addiction to break. Many people see it as not hurting anyone as they are not dealing with a person, just pictures and video. I would suspect that if he is both watching porn and had an affair that he most likely has a sex addiction. So even though the affair was a visible part of the problem it probably runs much deeper and will need to be dealt with properly to try and prevent more problems in the future. You will most likely have to have him stop the porn as an ultimatum as it is part of the same problem that the affair was, the affair was just a progression of the porn. I was fortunate in that I never went past looking or I would probably have been the one to have the affair and it would have been much more difficult for me to deal with. I still have to resist temptations when I’m on the computer, but thankfully they are less and less and I have a very strong will when I put my mind to it.

    • nw

      Jewel, it is demeaning. You don’t have to put up with that if you don’t want to, you really don’t. We all have to draw our own lines, but if you feel belittled by this, then how will you make progress anywhere in your relationship?

    • Jena

      Stage 1: the most to be expected from a couple first together.
      Stage 2: During his 3 month affair 5 years into our marriage, NOTHING. I didnt even exist and he has hateful to me. The day before our anniversary (now known as 2 days after EA ended) he initiated sex and it was so passionate. The next day on our anniversary he has quiet and distant and NO sex fist time ever. 3 days after anniversary was D-day.
      Stage 3: He wanted to but I didn’t. I would most of the time give in and feel dirty and just want to shower. I was convinced her bodiloy fluids totally soaked into his pores and could never be washed from his skin.
      Stage4 : We had frequent sex, but thats just it, it was only SEX. I guess I just couldn’t bring myself to feel good about. I was able to achieve the point of pleasure, but in all honesty it is because I have to picture 2 strangers having sex. I can’t be in the equasion and neither can he.
      Stage 5: Unfortunately, it is still just SEX. It is tapering off and has been for several months but I don’t talk about the EA with my husband anymore and I havent for several months. I still can’t achieve the passion and true desire to “make love” to him because let’s face it, the act of “SEX” is the closest you can ever be to someone and when he gave that gift to another woman, there really is nothing left for me to top it. I help pay the bills, I put up with his attitude and poor decisions and lies and she was the one getting his good side. Going on 2 years and 5 months and the pain can still creep up on me although I pretend that all is well and that I am happy. Truth is, I feel emotionally tormented and try to convince myself that if I go through the motions and pretend to be okay that one day I will be. Congrats to all those healers out there who are getting their life back. As for myself, I still dont trust him or beleive that he wont do it again.

    • Sana

      I am 4 months out from D-day. This is my 1st post and I have to say this site is giving me a lot of insight into my feelings. My experience may be a bit different because my H was deployed for a year in 2009, home for a year and deployed again last year for 2011. My D-Day happened in November 2011 when he returned home from the last deployment. I found texts to old HS GF’s on his phone & confronted him. In the next week, I found pictures of another woman (not either one of the old GF’s by the way) in his stuff. He admitted texting his old HS GF’s & that it crossed the line with one of them into sexting, but denied having an affair with the woman in the picture. The next night, I looked through an external hard drive & found a video of him having sex with the OW, the one from the picture. He admitted to a year long affair with her in 2006-2007 after his dad died. I had an inkling then, but wasn’t sure & by the time my suspicions were full blown, the affair had stopped I suspect and I found nothing. My observations are based on what is happening now and to the best of my recollection, what it was like then.

      Stage 1:
      Before marriage and the first 3 years or so sex was hot and heavy, 2-3 times a day and very much satisfying lovemaking. After kids & some weight gain, still 5 times per week over the next few years gradually tapering off to about 3 times per week in a routine, but loving way when I first went back to school for my Masters and then began working full time too. I remember being resentful though because he was not helping much at home or spending time with the kids & I was working full time, raising the kids, dealing with the house & totally exhausted. Definitely he agrees I was not a nag, just got emotionally distant from him and my weight gain bothered him. The few years prior to EA/PA we had problems communicating & often slept in separate rooms due to his and my snoring issues but still had sex 3 times per week at least. He wanted me to initiate more, but I was self-conscious due to my weight.
      Stage 2: (during his affair)
      What I remember from that time and what we have talked about since D-day (because it confused me that he would still have sex with me while with her) is that we still had sex at least 3 times per week. He said it was because it was the only time he felt close to me and he really only saw her 1-2 times per week. Sometimes he would just stop in the middle of sex, ask me what was wrong and blame me for not wanting to have sex or just ask if I was tired because I didn’t seem into it, which was bewildering and a few times he could not do it and blamed it on medication. He says he never had sex with us both in the same day. I tend to believe it because I remember trying to improve things with him and initiating sex but he kept his back to me saying he was tired on more than one occasion. I do remember also that he did not kiss me as much during that time. He also picked fights and was very short with the kids. I remember feeling wierd, like something was wrong and even asked if he was having an affair which he strongly denied and I never found positive proof even though I looked.
      Stage 3.1 (or at least after he ended the affair)
      Cannot pinpoint any certain memory of things getting better, but he broke off the affair because he said he knew it was just hurting everyone. We did get closer the next year after his Mom died. Sex was still about 4 times per week, but we seemed more intimate in bed and he was saying he loved me during sex. Things were going OK from my standpoint, but not stellar before he left on his first deployment, and I still felt disconnected from him emotionally at times. From what he says he was reeling and numb from his Mom’s death, and I think he had gone through some depression at the end of his affair. The year he was home again(2010), especially right after his return, I felt sex was very good and it was very frequent, 5-6 times per week when he was not at his reserve unit preparing for the next deployment. Just prior to his leaving for his 2nd deployment, I found something that led me to believe he WAS having an affair. He denied this but I spent the year he was gone VERY emotionally distant from him because of it. I was trying to get emotionally ready for a break-up I thought he wanted, but I thought he was waiting until he returned to tell me. I realized there had been a sadness and hurt about our relationship for a long time which i had been trying to deny and I had to come to terms with it. He says my only calling him once every 3 day to a week and not saying much beyond daily routine stuff was the reason he texted his old HS GF’s. I was waiting for his return to really talk to him because I wanted to see his face when we talked and I was afraid it would just all come spilling out on the phone. Of course D-Day was 3 days after his return and over the next month as I found out about his PA and EA’s by text.
      Stage 3.2: (After D-day since November)
      The real beginning of my devastation, but also in a wierd dichotomy also establishing a real connection emotionally AND sexually with H. Sex was daily, at first even 2-3 times per day. Part of this is that we have been separated for so long I’m sure and we were relearning each other physically. Part of it is that we have not been so blatantly honest with each other in years as hurtful as it has been for us both. The fact that I have lost 55 pounds in the last year has helped too. I feel sexier and more confident in initiating sex which he loves. He is also far more loving and giving and is more involved in family life. He says he realized what he could have lost while he was overseas and that he loves me. He did text that to me a few weeks before his return so I know it’s not just because he was found out.
      There have been real problems because of the sex video though. I cannot get it out of my head. There is nothing left to the imagination. I know exactly what they did together, the look on his face and the details replay in my mind sometimes while we are intimate. There are times when it has ended with me crying in his arms and he knows why.
      Stage 4: (The aftermath)
      Sex has fallen off to about every other night, mainly because he has developed severe allergies in the last month and he feels physically terrible, but still wants me bad. For me, sometimes I feel like he is a stranger and sometimes I feel closer to him than ever depending on what kind of day I am having. Sex has run the gamut from intimate lovemaking, hot and heavy pure hard sex, an almost wistful nostalgia and even what I call “mad at you, I’m better than her you jerk” sex if I’m being truly honest. He says he feels like I am giving him so much more emotionally at times, but knows that I don’t trust him. His last few reserve weekends I have gone with him at his request because he knows how I feel, but I can’t this time and tonight I cried after he left because I had a flashback to getting in the car the day after one of his reserve weekends during the time frame of his PA & smelling something sweet like perfume which he blew off at the time by saying a bunch of people from his unit went to lunch in the car with him. He claims she never went with him, but I don’t believe that. Sorry this is so long. Guess I’m just wordy today.

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