I've been reading this forum for several months. It's been very helpful but this is a topic that I have yet to find on here. My question is how much information is too much information? My husband and I have been married for 28 years and I had an affair. It went on for 16 months and ended two weeks ago when my husband noticed a number on my cell phone bill that I was calling and texting a lot with.
To make a long story short, my husband wants to save our marriage and is now becoming the husband that I have needed him to be for the last several years. We are talking more than we have in years... maybe ever. He is addressing my needs in ways that he had virtually ignored. My concern is that he, sometimes, asks for very explicit details of the sexual part of my affair. It's difficult for me to give him these graphic details because I am afraid that they will only haunt him and play over and over in his mind. He says that his imagination is what is torturing him. My husband is a good man, a good provider, and a good father, but he gave me very little emotional and physical intimacy throughout most of our marriage and none in the last several years. I went to counseling alone for a few years and he and I had a few sessions together. I got myself in the best physical and emotional shape possible and I tried very hard to make him understand that I was dying inside from the loneliness, isolation and emptiness. I told him that I could no longer live this way and, still, he made no changes. I desperately wanted to save my marriage. The harder I tried the more he withdrew from me. I told him that I couldn't live that way any longer and that I wasn't going to live my life without passion. Still nothing. In my loneliness, I reached out to an old love from my teen years. It sounds so stupid and cliche. My AP was divorced and after talking/texting for a few weeks we started an affair. I fell head over heels in love.... not just lust or infatuation.... love. The physical intimacy has always been lacking in my relationship with my husband. Well, the physical intimacy with my AP was like nothing I have ever experienced. I had no idea that it could really be that way. I know that that is exactly what my husband fears. So, when he asks for details, just how much detail do I share. He wants to know what we said to one another, where we were, what I felt, how many orgasms I had, how many times did we have sex, did he touch me like this or like that, did me massage my back, my feet. The sad part is that my husband is now trying to be all of the things that he has never been. It feels so forced to me and, honestly, I have no desire for him now. That breaks my heart because I truly don't want to see him hurting this way. Before anyone condemns me for doing what I did, please remember that I was faithful for nearly 27 years and I begged him to help me save our marriage. I hurt so much, for so long, that I physically ached inside. I used to tell my husband that I was starving and his response was that he wasn't hungry. Now, he's starving and I can't bear to see him in so much pain, but I am no longer in love with him. Whether I will end up with my AP in the long run is beside the point. My husband should not be my second choice, nor should I settle for my second choice. Even if I end up alone, I feel like my husband should have the opportunity to find a love in his life who can give her whole heart to him. He says that he has found the "love of his life" and it's me. Again, when he asks for graphic details, how do I answer those questions? BTW, I have cut off all contact with my AP until my husband and I can sort this out. But, it is killing me inside and my husband knows that. He is trying to help me through my pain and I know that I should be helping him through his.
Others will be able to advise you as to how to handle it, because people handle things differently. When my wife had an affair I did not want to know any details, but my situation was different, my wife told me that she was going to have an affair before she started so there was no moment of discovery of an on-going affair.
One of the problems with an affair is that the BS is completely cut out of that experience. One of the reasons that BSs ask so many questions is that they want to become part of the experience. Believe it or not, but knowing as much as possible can actually bring you closer.. it's like taking him to see a movie with you that you saw before without him. Now you both have lived through the movie together.
If there is a chance to save your marriage, it will be by you answering his questions. Yes it will hurt him. But eventually the truth will stop his imagination from running wild.
Yes sometimes he will be hurt and even angry by what you tell him. But you need put it all out there and let the chips fall where they may. Anything less is continued lying.
You really should not look at your AP as a fall back situation. Less than 3% of affairs survive very long. Your affair requires the dynamics of your failing marriage to survive.
I think that the two of you would benefit greatly from reading, discussing and working through a very good series of books. The first is "Surviving an Affair" by Dr. Harely. The others are linked to in my signature block below for building a passionate marriage.
Has your husband been able to shed any light on why he was so cold to you for so long in the past? This is very important.
Hi EI and welcome.I don't want to condemn you,but I would like to say from your post that it sounds like a lot of it is driven from your guilt because deep down you know what you did was wrong no matter what the circumstances.
You should just move on imo.You said you don't love your H and you're in love with the OM so don't prolong his pain so you can attempt to ease your conscience.So you should just go and be with the OM and in time your H will move on and be happy again.Truthfully it sounds like you're mostly out the door of his life anyway you just need to take the final step.
I hope this forum will be of help emptyinside, just a word of warning though, expect alot of harsh responses as this section is for the betrayed and your post can illicit very painful memories.
Regarding your question, do not tickle truth, as painful as it will be, he's demanding answers and you should provide them. I can certainly sympathise that your husband was negligent of your pleas for intimacy and his coldness certainly played a part in pushing you to the affair. However and I echo EleGirl's post here, your AP is not your knight in shinning armour, he's a man with questionable morals and indeed if you do decide to leave your husband for him, I'm sure you wouldn't be content with a relationship built on deceit and adultery. It will not survive. They cheat with you, they'll cheat on you.
If a man in 16 months can wipe out 28 years then by all means divorce your husband and abate his torture. However if you're repentant and willing to redeem yourself and lose the cheater label, cut all contact with the other man and give your husband a chance.
Yes, Aug, 16 months is a long time and the affair didn't stop because I wanted it to, it stopped because I got caught. I don't know if I can give him up. I may not have a choice. My AP has never been comfortable with the fact that I am married and has, at times, begged me to stay away from him until I make a decision about my marriage. I'm in love with my AP. Because I was convinced that my husband could not possibly be in love with me, I was able to convince my AP that that was the case, also. But, when my husband called the "unknown" cell number and a man answered, my husband simply said "wrong number" and hung up and then asked me who he was. My AP knew that the caller must have been my husband since it was a man calling from my home number. Now, my AP is convinced that my husband cares more than I have let on and he is consumed with guilt. He will not see me, again, unless the ink is dry on my divorce papers and I am no longer living in the same home as my husband. Then, he still makes no promises because he doesn't like the way our relationship began. He has a very difficult time resisting me when we see one another in person so he has asked me to stay away, for now, and I know that I have to do so until I make a decision (or one is made for me.)
The truth is, even if I am never with my AP again, I don't feel the type of desire for my husband that I used to.... that I need to be able to have a real marriage. I was so in love with my husband, I really was. I put him on a pedestal so high that his lack of desire for me left me feeling terribly deficient. Although he is a very good man, he often tried to make me feel ashamed for expressing my needs. He would say things like, "It's only sex, is it really that important?" His response to my saying that I was starving was that 'he wasn't hungry.' He mastered the art of touch-less lovemaking. We could go for months at a time without any sexual contact and then, when we did have sex, it was just 5 minutes, in the missionary position, on/off.... the end. No kissing, no touching, no foreplay. I never had orgasms with him and he even tried to imply that I was somehow "broken." I knew that I wasn't and I offered to show him how to please me and that seemed to horrify him. He has always been very sexually inhibited. We starting dating in high school and, even then, I had a higher sex drive. We now know that he had low testosterone levels and he is, now, taking T injections. A part of me thinks that since he is all full of Testosterone that he wants to "use" me to satisfy his (new found) needs. I find it ironic since he used to become angry when I would try to talk to him about mine. In the last month or so he had started trying to touch me again. We haven't been intimate in over a year. I told him last year that I was never going to "ask" for sex from him again. I have had enough rejection from him to last a lifetime. He didn't seem to be bothered by it. I moved out of our bedroom. We had become roommates, co-parents, sharing a household.... nothing more. So, with no improvement in the state of our marriage, after 28 years, he wants to act like a sex-crazed teenager. It is difficult for me to understand. He actually started acting this way a few weeks before he learned of my affair. I think that his "new attitude" is what caused his antennae to finally start detecting that things were amiss in our relationship. I'm not sure what he has been thinking for the last year.
I can maintain no contact with my AP (for now).... but that does not change what I know in my mind and what I feel in my heart. Everything I see, do, hear, feel.... everything is a trigger to a memory with my AP. He may not even resume a relationship with me later, but I don't think that I will ever recover my desire for my husband. But, I don't want to hurt him, either. He insists that he loves me and wants to work on us. I never imagined that this is the direction my life would take. Our children are young adults and I can not bear the thought of turning their world upside down with a divorce. A divorce would shatter us financially. There are so many details to our story.... details that would explain why ending this marriage seems to be almost impossible. But, our situation is so specific, I fear that if I gave any more information that someone I know would read this story and know it is about me. I wish that I could forget about my AP, be madly in love with my husband and that my family could live happily ever after, but that's a fairy tale and we all know that fairy tales are not real.
So the OM dumped you ? So do you really want to try to reconcile or just setting up yourself for failure so that you don't look bad before your OM. And from the looks of it, the OM may not take you back. Is that why you are trying for R?
I can truly understand a lot of what you feel. I was married to a man who was fairly HD. In the early years of our relationship we had a great sex life. But after some time he started treating me the way your husband has treated you in the past. The main difference is that mine was cheating as well. The no touch sex is a horrible thing. At some point he also would not allow me to touch him during sex. If I did he would get angry and yell at me. He pulled my hair a few times out of this anger.
What you have been through with your husband is indeed painful
There is a possibility that you can recover your marriage and even build a new passion. It would take a lot of work. He would have to make some sincere, permanent changes.
Warlock 07, the OM hasn't dumped me. He has asked me not to try to see him until I make a decision and follow through with it. It is my husband who desires to attempt to reconcile. Since D-Day, I have been honest with him about my feelings for the OM. I don't actually think that there is a lot of hope for our marriage now, but my husband is asking me to try. I do love him and I love our family. But, the love I feel for my husband, now, is more of a familial love. There were many good parts of our marriage throughout the years. Like so many "cheaters," I am not trying to rewrite our history or make my husband out to be the bad guy. If anything, I feel the need to protect him. We haven't had an easy time in the last several years. Caregiving for aging parents (who have since passed away,) raising a large family, including a special needs son, financial issues, etc., have all taken their toll on the two of us. I used to feel that he and I were a team. It was us against the world. I always believed that when the kids were grown, the bills were paid, the.....blah, blah, blah, etc.... that he and I would finally have "our time" together, that we would reconnect or even simply "connect." A couple of years ago, I realized that we were not only not on the same page, we weren't even reading the same book. I was talking to a brick wall. My husband didn't look at me, he looked over, under and around but never at me. I didn't choose to stop loving him.... my love just withered and died. But, because of my love for our children, our special needs son, our financial situation, a house that is upside down that we will probably never be able to sell, the fact that I have been a stay-at-home mom for 20 years and would likely have a very hard time finding employment that I could actually support myself with, a divorce seems to be a bit unrealistic. But, as I told my therapist, when you wake up every day and wish that you hadn't, you know that you have to make a change. I had become so depressed that for 3 years I could barley get off of the couch. I took care of our children, the house, the necessities, but mostly I wished to die. I got tired of living that way, I got up, went to therapy, started taking care of myself physically and emotionally and hoped that my husband would see the changes and want to come along for the ride. His lack of desire for me pre-dates my 3 year affair with the couch! In fact, he seemed happier during those years because I didn't ask for anything from him. I felt unworthy. When I wanted things to improve I did not set about to ask my husband to change. I changed me first.
Hello Empty Inside. Just thought I would pop in and give my feelings on this. I think you should just tell your husband the truth. You have said about his pain, and not wanting to see him hurting but in my personal experience it's the lies that have hurt the most. The lies my wife fed to me, the lies she said to others, they are what cleaved my heart in two.
I truly believe that you should just be honest. You no longer feel love for your husband, you don't want to be in your marriage, and you no longer have desire for him, so instead of stringing him along, tell him. Even after what you have done, your husband still feels like your marriage is worth saving and is putting in so much effort for NO REASON. Please don't continue lying. You've lied to your husband for 16 months.
Oh, and just a quick final thing. You put in your original post that your husband is a good man, a good provider, and a good father, but not up to your standards in the bedroom (explained in your next post that he had low testosterone). The only point you've really made about your AP is that he is everything your husband isn't in bed. Wow, great trade off.
I was a good, attentive husband. I worked hard to earn money to provide for my wife and children. I spent my non-working hours with my family, enjoying their company. My wife and children were my LIFE. My WW's excuse for cheating? I didn't make her feel like part of the family! She said that most men don't spend a lot of time with their families (total rubbish), and that because I was so involved it was like I didn't need her there.
I can totally appreciate how you're husband feels as far as wanting to know every detail because I am presently going through the same thing with my wife, except she has no longing to want to leave me. I would advise you answer his questions completely honestly, as much as it is embarrassing for you and as much as it will be painful for him, you owe him that much!. You must not bend the truth or soften the blow in any way, this guy needs closure as the not knowing is always alot worse than the lies. Good luck.