Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum

Clashing

61 Comments

Okay.

I thought this shit, at least was over.

But no, apparently not.

A few days ago, Roger begged me to reconsider, to try to give it one last shot (okay, there’s been….oh at least ten of these, but not for several years……)

His rationale? D is overseas until February. His argument is that we should try to work hard again on re-connecting. Hmmm. This is hard, it shouldn’t be, I know I have made a decision, that my life will not ever feel okay again with him. But I also know that he is a good guy who fell off the wagon for a bit, and with several mitigating reasons, mostly his lack of coping mechanisms. Yeah. I get all of that. But the problem has always been that I haven’t recovered. And the longer this goes on, the longer I watch other journeys after infidelity, the more I am convinced that it is a rare bird indeed that gets a better life, a richer marriage, a more fulfilling life after forgiving and staying together. Sorry, it is a pattern I have been observing a lot lately, the three, four, five year veterans of this sad time in our lives. So, I said, yes, I would try again. He was like a little boy at Christmas. He is realistic. He knows there is no magic pill. There is no magic in the bedroom, I am still a frigid bitch ;-).

I struggle with this. I have made my mind up that I will never heal enough to be as good as we once were, and trying to turn that around is pretty damn tough. We have talked a lot about this. He is very concerned that he put me in this predicament, and now he is standing on my throat, keeping me near to drowning – or asphyxiation – alternating the two, allowing a little air from time to time. That his needs are cruel. He worries that his desire to stay together is damaging to me. I think there is some truth to his theory.

However, I am trying to be open to this idea. It makes a little sense. We get on like a house on fire, we share a sense of humour, a dark ability to laugh at ourselves, and we don’t want to be with anyone else. We share assets, he has been both financially, and (mostly) emotionally supportive of me finishing my degree. I like him. He likes me. Unfortunately, I am not really attracted to anyone anymore, but apparently I am a complete siren, unable to be resisted. Who knew?

So, round 1 000 000? Here we go again.

The Clash: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Darling, you gotta let me know
Should I stay or should I go?
If you say that you are mine
I’ll be there till the end of time
So you gotta let me know
Should I stay or should I go?It’s always tease, tease, tease
You’re happy when I’m on my knees
One day is fine and the next is black
So if you want me off your back
Well, come on and let me know
Should I stay or should I go?[Chorus:]
Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know

This indecision’s bugging me
(Esta indecision me molesta)
If you don’t want me set me free
(Si no quieres librame)
Exactly who I’m supposed to be
(Digame que tengo ser)
Don’t you know which clothes even fits me?
(Sabes que ropa me queda)
Come on and let me know
(Me tienes que decir)
Should I cool it or should I blow?
(Me debo ir o quedarme)

[Chorus: Repeat]

Songwriters: MICK JONES, JOE STRUMMER
Should I Stay Or Should I Go lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
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61 thoughts on “Clashing

  1. I’ve always been much more fond of Train in Vain than Should I stay or should I go. I’m gonna hog your comment section –

    Say you stand by your man
    Tell me something I don’t understand
    You said you love me and that’s a fact
    Then you left me, said you felt trapped

    Well some things you can explain away
    But my heartache’s in me till this day

    [Chorus]
    Did you stand by me
    No, not at all
    Did you stand by me
    No way

    All the times
    When we were close
    I’ll remember these things the most
    I see all my dreams come tumbling down
    I won’t be happy without you around

    So all alone I keep the wolves at bay
    There is only one thing that I can say

    [Chorus]

    You must explain why this must be
    Did you lie when you spoke to me

    Did you stand by me
    No, not at all

    Now I got a job
    But it don’t pay
    I need new clothes
    I need somewhere to stay
    But without all these things I can do
    But without your love I won’t make it through

    But you don’t understand my point of view
    I suppose there’s nothing I can do

    [Chorus]

    You must explain why this must be
    Did you lie when you spoke to me?

    Did you stand by me
    Did you stand by me
    No, not at all
    Did you stand by me
    No way
    Did you stand by me
    No, not at all
    Did you stand by me
    No way

    There is no right or wrong in this journey, I think we have established this week that I admired your decision to leave knowing it wasn’t what you wanted, I admire your decision to try again, because there is magnificent strength in admitting that what we have and we have lost cannot be reconciled but we’re willing to give in to optimism and put together something different. You rock my friend. X.

    • I would have to agree with your song selection, much better song! Yep. Don’t hold your breath, owlie, this is an experiment in whether I can be open to this again, and honestly, I am reasonably sceptical…

    • The things you learn when you actually read the lyrics to a song you’ve heard all of your life! I admire your courage to stay and try again. Heck I’m admiring that your husband is actually asking you to stay – the fact he wants you to stay has to be worth something. Even though you want to leave (believe me I understand that aspect!!). Hugs to you. This journey is proving to be much more difficult than I ever imagined for you and others. I agree that reconciliation with actual happiness is rare indeed.

      • Bugs, I have been honest with him in the past about my reasons for the need to separate. If our youngest daughter wasn’t studying overseas, and our promise to her to do nothing drastic while she is gone, I doubt we would be trying this. He knows why I was “out” of this relationship. I was slowly dying in it. But I can see what is behind his wish to give it one last hurrah while she is gone – she is back for one last year at high school next year – I have told him over and over that then it was definitely game over. I have written a lot about settling for less. He (and me too, I know) has to show a lot more than he has. I told him it will be pretty impossible, as now, after decades of being cool being the low maintenance chick – his favourite thing about me – I am high maintenance. I don’t like that this is who I feel I have to be to protect my own integrity, but there is no way he will get away with the kind of shit I stood for in my youth with him. There is a form of selfishness that I have allowed to come into my way of thinking that I had denied myself most of my life. I’m comfortable with myself, but not sure about foisting it on another! We shall see how it goes, I don’t want to be bitch partner, but I sure as shit am not compromising any of the solo life I have worked so hard to build these past two years or so – and that in itself is somewhat of a worry, as partnership is about compromise, there is less compromise in me today than there used to be :-).

      • I hear you! I feel the same but the fact that you have emanated this information to him speaks wonders for you! I wish I could do the same.

    • I love this!!! You so rock indeed Paula❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️🍰🍰🍰🎈🎈🎈

  2. That’s a tough one.

    I never had my ex come back begging for another chance. I don’t think I could have done it. I might have tried, but it would never be the same (for some people that might be okay, but for me, I couldn’t get over it and be in the same supposedly committed relationship.) 23 years together, living in different cities, different jobs, 2 children, woven in deep with each other’s families, faith in God so all of the Christian values, but I don’t think I could ever have been with him again after knowing what he did to me.

    I certainly wish you all of the courage, love and support and armour because I think you need protection from all of the emotions that will come up.

    I want you more than anything to have a great sex life. Okay, maybe that shouldn’t be my “more than anything” sentiment to you but it breaks my heart you call yourself frigid in bed. You need the right partner to warm you up everywhere and to feel totally comfortable and vulnerable being sexually free. That takes a lot of trust and that might be the biggest sign it isn’t there.

    • I lived mostly in a good place with him, togetherabandoned, for the first four years of the post cheating period. It wasn’t all wonderful, it was heartbreaking, but we both felt we could make it work. I was still intensely attracted to him, still the sexual animal I always had been. Then I got tired of always having to be mindful – the total trust in him – but also the total trust I had in my own instincts was shattered, and it was exhausting having to constantly, CONSTANTLY monitor my thoughts, my moods, my actions, my fucking LIFE! And the sexual disconnect happened, my disgust at his body, my body, the filth of the diseased act of sexual intercourse or contact with a diseased body. It all got tangled up with my new recovery from the old fact of my rape. So, we’ll see. I was hesitant to even post about this, as I am not very optimistic, just think I should see if I can live this way now that there is so much more acceptance of the whole picture, and I know the alternatives are living in a small house in a low socioeconomic area. I don’t want that, I live in an amazing environment, quiet, beautiful and serene. I am not in any hurry to compromise my quality of life for a “principle” as such. It would be a lot easier if he was an arsehole, and I didn’t genuinely LIKE the man 🙂

      • Hugs again. Here I understand again. I’m starting to hate the physical closeness due to his betrayal resonating with past betrayals from others to my body. It sucks. The mindfulness is absolutely exhausting. On the day after DDay I already knew I was not able to have the physical energy to keep up with the demand of reconciliation, sleuthing, complacency, advocacy, mommy, wife and coworker. But this THIS mistrust of ourselves and heartache is even more exhausting. To do this when you are having to fight against yourself must be agonizingly exhausting. Hugs to you.

      • Hell yah my marriage maybe compromised but I don’t want to compromise my way of life great statement

  3. I get it Paula, I totally get it. I don’t regret my decision but I won’t pretend it will ever be like those wonderful days, that’s delusional. For me, I truly believe it is the better alternative, but that won’t be true for every honourable spouse. I wish you perfect happiness but when you can’t have that I wish you the most happiness you can get.

    • Hey Neph, as I have so somberly stated to others, we’ll see. It is a pragmatic decision not to jump out of the frying pan into the fire. And I do like the man…(just don’t think what love is left is quite enough anymore, who knows, I have been brutally honest about that with him.)

      • See reading this from you makes me believe in your relationship more because I think it is awesome that you could even tell him about what you think of your love.

      • Hey Bugs, we have – I was about to say always, lol – mostly, been a very honest couple. If I was shitty with him, I’d tell him, and why. I expected no less in return. He, hoever chose to hide feelings and lie to make HIS life easier in the short term! I have told him that I don’t love him as much. But I did (surprise myself) love him just as much as ever after Dday. I think one of my friends who sucked in air when I told her I didn’t respect him the same way anymore, was correct. A reduction in respect reduces love very quickly. Intuitive really. How can you love without respect?

  4. It will never be the same, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The sexual aspect does need to get better though. Roger sounds like a great guy who made a huge mistake and regrets it. I’m so happy you are open to giving it another go, and so hope that the you are able to open up sexually with him. I don’t think we would have been able to move forward without it. However, you didn’t put yourselves in this position, so you can’t be forced to feel something that you don’t. I do hope that you do find yourself in a relationship with Roger or someone else in which you are able to resume your wild sexual ways. *wink, wink Best – Jules

    • Cheers, jules, we shall see, I know the sexual dysfunction is a huge barrier, and I have pursued an answer in the past, with sex therapy, etc. No help. I sure never expected to be in these shoes – yeah, I know anyone can be cheated on, no enormous surprise there, but SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION???? I never, ever saw that for me at any stage. I thought that was for repressed, uptight people. People who had no idea how to let go, and enjoy their amazing bodies, whatever shape they come in. But, here I am. Judgey old me ;-).

    • I love that can’t be forced to feel something we don’t 😊 so true

  5. We all know you are a complete siren, Paula! Simply irresistible!

    She’s a craze you’d endorse, she’s a powerful force
    You’re obliged to conform when there’s no other course
    She used to look good to me, but now I find her

    Simply irresistible
    Simply irresistible

    Of course he wants you back, that makes total sense. You know how I feel about the demons of your past, they need to be destroyed. Your partnership won’t ever be the same, it will be different. I like that you embrace different, Paula. Embrace it and learn to live with it, with the ever present disclaimer, of course, with, or without, Roger! ♥️

    It’s songs in a comment day! 😉

    • Songs in or as comments – love it! Yeah, sure, I am sooo fucking irresistible, bahahahaha! But each to their own (he also found a selfish, scaly-skinned, goggly-eyed bitch pretty damn hot – anyhoooo….)

      My problem is I still struggle with how if it won’t be “the same” it has to be so much better, and how do we achieve that? So far I have not seen any sign of that. And my expectations are sky high and seemingly unable to adjust downwards, bugger it.

      • I love it Charles is like you are beautiful and I am like yeah we know who you think is pretty and as for the women he loves not sure that says anything except I sure can pick a terrible husband but now he’s not its all very strange

  6. Paula, I give you props for being open to another “go” and possible reconciliation with Roger. Sometimes love just blazes its own path and leaves logic and your brain in the dust. Just trust what your feelings and fuck the rest 😉 P.S. There really are no “should’s” in life – at least, what I have learned in this f’ed up fun of infidelity.

  7. Paula, I have a person of my acquaintance who recently had an affair and blew his family up. The difference is that the marriage was already in trouble. He has spent time with us telling how he got to the point of doing something he never thought he would do. He admits it was a midlife crisis. I do not excuse the cheating at all. What I do get is the desperation he felt. When you write about Roger what I read is that early on you two were bound up in an extended family business where he never got to stretch his wings. He hit middle age and while you were gone put the two of you in debt. All these behaviors are very much how people who feel helpless and hopeless feel. He had disappointed you, not had his own independence from family and felt panic? I am making a supposition here but I wonder if the planning about the trysts was more important that the actual events. He could hide his despair by never letting himself confront it. She was always in the wings waiting. He could just as easily turned to drink, gambling or any other activity that would stop the looping thoughts. You have given him plenty of ammo to leave and start a new life and he has not done it. No spouse can wear rose colored glasses forever. We all have to accept that the person we married can be an ass sometimes. If he truly regrets the damage and you can truly forgive him I hope the two of you make it.

    • Thank you. He actually pushed barriers hard. He wasn’t constricted in his business decisions because he just fought damn hard, buying and selling four farms to purchase the ‘family’ one. Yes, we bought this place with 100% bridging finance. But he was supremely confident we would sell the ‘family’ farm easily and for good money. We bought and took over on 4 Jan. And the dairy farm was sold by April for the usual 1 June takeover. There is no debt. But also low cashflow. He has made amazing and brave business decisions until this one. This one was his way of getting off the treadmill, escaping the dairy industry, which has become something we are against – industrialised and impersonal. We love cows and our all grass system was becoming almost obsolete (as an aside, this method has been re-visited as a record low payout year has occurred, just sayin’.) Our cattle genetics and philosophy were not QUITE able to easily embrace a full conversion to organic production (we had organic sympathies but still used occasional antibiotics for animal health, etc) in a still-profitable manner, so he chose to exit an industry he no longer believed in. We farm in a sustainable manner, very few chemical inputs. This suits our philosophy so much better. No. We don’t make anywhere near the money we did. But we don’t have any debt, we live in a beautiful environment and grow the vast majority of our own mostly organic food. He was always a strong man. One who refused to be limited by his family or expectations. It was considered a weird move by our capitalist society, but although I wasn’t properly consulted, I understand and agree with his reasons. He should have discussed it, shared what he was thinking. At the moment, I don’t want to live anywhere else. Honestly, I don’t hold a lot of hope of rebuilding my thoroughly loving and satisfying love. But we are great companions and share a lot of commonality.

      We shall see.

  8. I think love is a choice. Once the falling in love is past then making a life with someone and melding your needs with his is when real life happens. If you go back and read every post what shines through is love. You really do love him. He has been your heart your entire adult life……..and you have been his. I thought when I first read your blog that he was not worth forgiving but you defend him ferociously. That says to me that as angry and hurt as you have been you still are very married to him.
    The very best of luck to you and your family.

  9. I don’t know if it helps, but my marriage is in a really good place 3 years out. But I am also very different from most people, women in particular. Since you do have a remorseful husband, I do think that the power to make it work is with you. And if you don’t feel it, then you don’t feel it. But you should know that it is possible to really reconcile and start a whole new book (I was going to say chapter, but I think it’s more than that). Best of luck!

    • I am so glad about your recovery, specklier. I feel we were doing pretty well, considering the circumstances up until the four year mark. Then it all seemed such a terribly heavy price to pay, the grief was too much. I do know it is possible to start over. I guess, for me, I can see that mostly the ones who were most successful in rebuilding good marriages had troubled marriages (or troubled/selfish individuals – one or the other) prior to the affair. This was not the case with us. We had a great partnership, we loved hard and well. He was once such a lovely man, a caring partner, a fun, strong, centred, brave man. Until he wasn’t anymore. Trying to get even close to that again in this lifetime will be hard, and I guess I felt (still do in reality) that this is where I am at. I don’t want the lesser version. I loved how we were. So it is a huge uphill battle to overturn my ‘new’ mindset. I have been very upfront with Rog about this.

      • We also had a great marriage before his betrayal, but I think it’s been easier for me because this was not a long affair. Even though it was more than one incident, it was only over the course of 3 weeks in an “alternate reality” so the triggers don’t really exist in our regular life.

      • You may well have a point there, specklier. Whoops! I didn’t mean to suggest that your marriage was poor prior to the affair, I was generalising terribly, my bad!

        I think the length of time, the degree of connection to the AP, and the places that the sex and other domesticities occurred are definitely a big factor in my non-recovery. But also my past, my psychological “set up” coming into the relationship. Child of happily married parents who had to divorce when my Dad realised he was gay – I was 17 and they had been married almost 19 years, a violent rape by someone I should have been able to trust while I was still a virgin, our very amicable split prior to our children due to me being so young when we met, and needing to do some world exploring (while he fucked his way through all the young women in town, lol, I had absolutely no problem with that until AFTER he had an affair decades later) that is one thing he doesn’t seem to get, that past actions, that were okay in and of themselves, are not tainted by his later lies, etc, it is hard to describe why, but they are, it is like he was setting himself up for shit, but the shit didn’t have to happen….. A very happy first 21 years together, with a lot of dialogue and communication about trust and expectations….I really thought we were so bonded, so close and so truthful. Yeah, sure we were…

        I have had renewed imagery of them in my house while I was at work… and images of them preparing dinner together on the nights they spent alone in my holiday home – the domestic stuff is FAR more hurtful than the apparently pretty ordinary sex. Sharing food, sipping wine, all that jazz – even washing dishes and doing laundry (urgh, the linen on the bed, shudder….) together, just like a “real couple” – gross!

      • You are writing my words. It sometimes scares me.

      • I hope for nothing but healing, peace and love for you, Deservesbetter x

  10. Thank you for continuing to share your journey Paula, I feel sad that I will never be able to adequately thank you enough for what your words have meant to me. I wish you love and courage in this next loop of the rollercoaster, and hope that it might just be your last stop! Whatever comes of this, at least you can say you tried every which way there was to try. As long as you keep being kind to yourself and living as your true self authentically you will be fine. Like the saying goes “Oh but what if I fall? Oh but darling, what if you fly?!”
    KJ xx

    • Oh KJ. Thanks is not required, this is where the madness goes, lol! I admit that I felt very reluctant to post this as I feel I have done such a lot of work trying to get to a place where I can let him go, and then he does this, and I agree to it (eventually) and worry that if this can’t work (and I feel so sceptical after all we have tried over the past sis plus years) that I am pushing MY recovery back. However, I have rationalised this with, you know what, it is just a few months, and you can bookmark where you were, there is no backsliding, just trying a new path. I am glad you are doing better, and I totally adore that saying (and used it to convince myself to enrol for my Masters!)

  11. I am really thankful that you are open to sharing your changes of heart, especially with the accompanying reservations. I think most of us can identify with the struggle and the doubt about what hurts less since we didn’t actually chose this path and all routes seem treacherous. I understand that you think part of what is prompting this attempt is that you promised your daughter no major changes – and I just wanted to comment about that. I think that’s okay. It buys you a year of no pressure to decide, perhaps, and him a year to do the work with some hope that every day isn’t a judgment day…and that he has time to overwrite and rebuild before you both decide. I know it’s been longer for you, but I also know that the mind is a fascinating thing and that we do always know we have an out or that we should be making some decision. You love him and maybe just seeing how it goes, even with some degree of resignation, might be enough. I’m kind of doing the same thing. We just got ourselves into a lease that we can’t afford on our own that we are committed to for a year – it’s a perfect house for our family and we can buy it when we are ready. But I only agreed to do the lease for a year so that I know I’m not leaving and he knows I’m not leaving and we both just have to love and live in this new life. It’s not what I wanted for us. But I think I still want him, so I have to see if this us is going to be okay, and I had to let go of an escape clause. I know it sounds crazy because he cheated on me but he is the one who suggested it and he said that he promises that in a year I’ll have better memories and feel loved again and be ready to go into another year. I’ve given him my whole life. What’s one more year? If I’m wrong my heart can’t be more broken. And if we turn out okay then maybe it won’t all have been a failure. I hope he does the work and you two are happy. xx

  12. Hi FTF. Welcome. Good way of viewing it. The reason I posted about it was because the decision to dip my toes back in the water has been accompanied by some major floods of new tears and agonising pain. I’m not over it. I can put a loose lid on the emotional agony I’ve felt these past six-and-nearly-a-half years if I disconnect. Re-engaging with him is fresh torture. Yes. I know that pain comes from love and what really is a long, strong connection and bonding of my life to his. But how much pain, for how long? That is the question I am trying to get to the bottom of.

    Hope this year is one of recovery and growth, and that you can both fulfill some desires.

  13. Life’s short have an affair with your husband 🙂 I agree with FairyTale – think if it as a year with no pressure. Don’t think of it as a return to what was. Think of it as doing something different. Thanks for sharing. Your post and all the comments are so heartfelt.

    • Cheers MR. ANOTHER year with no pressure? Lol. I did that the first year. I think I did it again the third year (after he fucked her again.) Unfortunately, something different after all we have tried and been through may be a little optimistic 😉 I don’t want a return to what it was – or rather, I know it is impossible – but I do want to feel at least as good as I did then. And it often seems like that is far too much to ask, dammit!

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  15. Well there is nothing to loose by trying. I wanted that opportunity with my ex. I felt I could have forgiven him (though I don’t think I’d ever recover from the pain), but he didn’t want to try. I think trying is very courageous, and if that’s what you want to do, I wish you so much luck… You never know, maybe you will be a special success story ❤️

    • I laughed when I read this, caroline. Not because it’s funny. But because what you say is true, and the irony! I wished he’d left me. Then you just have to get on with it. And I believe I would have pretty damn well! It was one of the things he foresaw when he did his little mind map of the future. Him getting henpecked by her (she’s a needy bitch, something I have never been) and meeting me for coffee, all glossy haired, fit and fabulous. He ‘knew’ I would flourish. I think he’s right. I have just eight days of lectures left of my undergrad degree, I know I would have finished this immediately had he left me. Instead it took almost three years of recovery before I was ready to re-enrol while dealing with the agony of what he’d done to us. I am and have always been a survivor. And thriver. This is the thing that has knocked me down the hardest and longest. But I will get there. I can finally feel it. And it has absolutely NOTHING to do with him.

  16. I am here cheering for you, praying for you, and just hoping you find your happy again my sweet friend. You know me 🙂 I believe in forgiveness, true love, and letting go to move forward. I also believe in my group of blogging friends and that we will be happy again.

    No our lives/marriages will never be the same…I will never trust blindly, or get to believe my life is a fairy tale…but we can still find a fucked up happily ever after.

    Love you Paula…I really do, you give me such hope. Go start your new path in this messed up journey, hugs…

    • Cheers Kelly. I agree. And I also have learned that letting go is not something I do well! But I am moving forward. My worry is that in my gigantic push to do that I am feeling like staying with the ‘lesser’ version of Rog (and despite his work and personal growth I do feel he is a lesser man – because he already knew all the shit he has had to revisit and relearn.) That is my fear. I own it. I am scared that I did all of this terribly hard and painful work to force myself to disconnect from him in order to survive and try to thrive again, all to be undone if I can reconnect. The reconnection attempt is already massively painful. And ‘not enough’ and it is worrying. But we continue to be honest and open with each other about our fears and feelings. Thanks chick!

  17. Paula, I think that’s where a lot of us get stuck (especially me) wanting things to be the way they were before the affair, it can’t be, I also don’t buy the crap that his affair made our marriage better, but I am finding after 3 years, even if my life is not happy, I have happy moments and after what we’ve been through those happy moments look pretty damn good!!! So here’s to you finding some happy moments of your own, after all when we look back on times in our life no one wants to remember the unhappy moments! Love & hugs from Joan

    • Hi Joan. I don’t think I want what it was like before the affair. I know that’s impossible. I just want to feel good again. At least as good as then. I know it will always be different. But to feel joy, some peace and generally not so grief stricken is the aim 🙂

  18. I wonder a bit about the science of your wiring. You have mentioned you can’t get past the imagery you see and triggers which block your ability to be physical.

    Once you have cooked something- a really good steak, for instance… You cant put it back on the grill and just do it again and expect it to stay really yummy. He is used to relating to you physically as Paula who liked a,b,c, the wunderblut and sometimes when there’s a flubberhabbit. I think that your whole road to that physical part has been cooked. It has had an earthquake and the bridge is out. You guys have to start from scratch to find the touch that doesn’t make you just go “bleh”. And maybe that’s the fun. Maybe you used to love kisses on the cheek or in the hair. Now you might be more practical, and really ‘love” an actual back rub because you write papers all day and you have student neck.

    and it goes both ways- maybe you can list all the things you used to do- put
    Them away in your mind… And make a list
    Of things that build tenderness and will build intimacy that are things you have never done. And keep sex way off the table. No pressure. Just learning to want each other as opposed to agape brotherly roommate love.

    But I don’t know if that’s all been done or if that’s a thing you would consider or whatnot, I’m just thinking of what my over
    Rational brain would do.

    • Alex. You have nailed sex therapy 101! And I love your work :-). Yep. Been there. Done that. One thing that we both recognised early on was that we were building a whole new thing. My problem is that my mind is now dictating a lot of revulsion. Around my body. His. Sexual fun that once seemed erotic and exciting – meh. It’s weird. And not who I thought I was. Retrainng the old grey matter has been my most immense battle. So much so that I gave up. Trying to be erotic while gagging on vom. Mmmmmm. Sexy, lol. Seriously. Who is like this?

      • Post rape, with no real recovery, just smooshing it into the ether, to be reborn in grotesque pain from infidelity?

        Um… I’m guessing anyone. You’re amazing. I wish you all the good. I haven’t fought all the same battles. But I have dealt with some. Have no clue how you fee, but I know how I feel. I’m hoping for for you.

      • That is the sweetest comment. Thanks Alex. Stay strong. You’re pretty awesome, too!

  19. Hello Horses

    I am in a similar state to you. Unable to heal. I cannot get past what has happened and the thought of sex is putrid and revolting. Yurggg!

    You are the only person I’ve come across that not only thinks a lot like I do but actually writes it all out on a blog. I am eternally grateful that you have done so because it has given me such comfort to read the thoughts that echo in my mind constantly.

    I sort of read/tried to read the book, ‘Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal’ by Dr Barbara Steffens, in the early days after DD but it was all just garbled and meaningless to me then.

    Yesterday I found these videos. They really touched a nerve in me. She says that the more traumas there have been in a woman’s past, the more difficult it is to heal. (I have found myself saying that I don’t want to heal if it means reconciliation.)
    Unfortunately the third part is nowhere to be found so I’m going to dig out the book and find her suggestions. SIGH!

    You’ve may have heard all of this before but just in case you haven’t seen these two specific videos, here are the links.

    Laurie S. Hall, author of An Affair of the Mind, interviews Dr. Barbara Steffens, PhD, author of Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal.

    Part 1.

    Part 2.

    Asking for gentle peace for you.
    xxx

    • Welcome jangledchick. Sorry to make your acquaintance here in this gut-wrenching space.

      How long has it been for you since you found out your husband is a sex addict? I don’t quite know how to respond other than to say that I am sorry that you have had this sexual disconnect, also. I was fine for about four years, and then it all went south. I don’t fully understand why, but I know it had to do with the hysterical bonding wearing off, and the length of time I could see ahead of us with this new reality. Like it had finally all sunk in. There was not going to be a recovery like I imagined. Roger is not a sex addict, and he had never cheated on any previous girlfriends. We had been living (extremely happily, I thought) together, with our three kids for over 21 years when his AP contacted me to let me know she had been having an affair with him. I had known her for a long time, and I had invited her into my life, and my home.

      Did you find watching these videos more helpful this time around? Sometimes you need to move a little further out from the trauma to start to make any sense of anything, including advice. Is your husband in a 12-step program now, and are you/have you received any therapy for yourself?

      Thank you for sharing, please stay in touch and let me know how you progress. Remember the only thing you can control is yourself, and at the moment, taking care of you is your number one priority, the trauma is real, and it does a lot of damage.

      • Thank you horses

        The betrayal you suffered from ‘friend’ and from your life partner is horrific. My heart aches for you.

        This coming April it will have been three years since I had the full disclosure. Undoubtedly the most horrific night of my life. I could never have imagined, in my wildest nightmares, what I would hear.

        I immediately told Husband that I was no longer his wife, that I was divorced from him in my heart.

        I had been secretly monitoring his computer for months and was already traumatised by finding out just how much time he spent on porn. I was further traumatised about about half way into the monitoring, to see him googling a map to a strip club; then soon after that to see him on various dating sites, a herpes dating site and a ‘married and looking’ site. None of these discoveries could have prepared me for hundreds of prostitutes and many, many ‘random women’, two of whom Husband ‘saw’ regularly, for THIRTEEN years and SEVEN years respectively.

        The overwhelming and HORRIFIC trauma of the full disclosure shut ‘me’ down and it also shut down, what little there was left, of my sexual self. Husband had been sexually anorexic with me for many years, saying he no longer had a libido and that as he was 10 years older than me, it was to be expected. Ha!

        Husband has worked his recovery diligently but this has made no difference to how I feel or thevrecovery of the relationship. I have tried five different therapists, none of which were qualified for sex addiction or for partner trauma. They were all dismally unhelpful.

        Thank you for your open, raw and brutally honest blog. It has been a huge comfort to me.

  20. Horses
    Have you come across anyone on this journey that has also gone off sex? If so please let me know. I would like to try and get in contact. Thanks.

    • Hi jangled. No. Not that I can recall. There are one ot two divorced bloggers that I know we’re affected this way. Revolted by their cheater’s touch. But like you, that was their immediate reaction and their partners were not remorseful and I hazard a guess to say they were exit affairs or the relationship was already dying prior to affair discovery. I know some is my disconnect is due to a rape in my past and the fact that I holidayed with Roger and Leanne. One BIIIIIIIGGGG happy family. Urgh. Her filth was in my cats, my homes, on my farm, my couch, my kitchen bench (apparently not, too adventurous for her vanilla tastes, but I still SEE her bent over it and him balls deep in her) my children’s beds. Etc. You get the (very graphic) picture. My life was tainted. Everything I touched, ate from, washed with, saw……had her filth on it or near it.

      What do therapists say to you? Have any of the wives in his addiction recovery program experienced this? I/we tried sex therapy for about five months. It was awful. The stupid woman thought I had always been frigid. That I just needed to loosen up. She couldn’t quite accept that I was the freaky one in our relationship in the past! Despite Rog telling her multiple times. Weird. And the most frustrating phenomena. I tried to explain it to Rog once as being like severe sexual frustration. But without wanting to be touched! I grieve the loss of my sexuality almost as much as I grieve the image of who we once really were.

      Let me know if you encounter anyone else working recovery with this problem, won’t you.

      • Horses, thanks for your quick response. I haven’t managed to find a therapist that has been able to help me. I live in a small city in South Africa and there is no one who knows what they’re doing here. BUT I’ve just recently found a CSAT in Cape Town! I’m dreading seeing her and having to dig into everything again but its the last ditch attempt for me. I’ll let you know how it goes. Think I’ll be going to see her around the 26th…
        Having your home defiled must have been horrifying. I totally get what you mean by saying that everything is tainted. When i look at Husband I see fouled skin and hands. Putridness (dont think there is such a word!) covering him from head to foot. I also ‘see’ the images of him with the prostitutes. Black, fetid, sour, disease ridden, slimy creatures off the streets of my city. I’m not usually racist but this is just too much for me. I sometimes think that maybe if he’d used ‘upperclass’ prostitutes i wouldnt be so traumatised but i think i may be fooling myself. Some of the blogs I’ve read the girls have said they wished their husbands had been with prostitutes i stead of having affairs… Ive said the exact opposite- i think we are all just flailing around with our horrific realities.

      • Hmmmm. I agree that whatever form of cheating, it is all appalling. High class, you feel “not good enough” – gutter class, you feel disgusted at their lack of class. My case, I haven’t ever had sex with anyone else. Quite obsessed about STIs. Getting chlamydia and HAVE was my worst nightmare. The CIN (pre-cancer) treatments I have received due to the HPV for the past three years have been invasive and heartbreaking. And it is my own body I now depict as fetid and diseased. I feel filthy and disgusted with this perfectly fantastic body!

      • Oh dear! On holiday and picking out an answer on my phone! No edit function on the app. Not in my cats! *cars. And forgive the other spelling errors 😆

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