Normally in cases like this, it’s the husband trying to figure out how to save his marriage even though his wife won’t have sex with him. This one is… different. Not in a good way or anything, just different.
What a complete disaster. My husband (of 11 years) had an affair…when it was happening, our relationship was not going well (for a variety of reasons and circumstances). Anyway, I became suspicious of this woman and he lied to me. He lied to me so well that I believed him and let it go. Guilt got the better of him and he ended the affair, and I found out completely by accident.
I know a lot of people will say I’m an idiot for staying, but after a lot of thought I decided to stay. I truly do love him. And for him, he swears that he will never again do something like this….he swears he will never put me through something like this again (nor does he himself wish to live through something like that again).
Problem: since I found out, I cannot have sex with him. I tried one time and I had basically a panic attack so he stopped. Other than that one time and occasional blow jobs, we haven’t been sexual in 14 months.
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His affair partner was 10 years younger than me and probably 40 lbs thinner. She was better looking. She also was his “type”. I am not his type. He has never told me that, but I know it to be true. He loves thin, tall blondes (and his affair partner was exactly this). I am short, thicker and brunette. He used to always watch porn with women who looked like this. I suppose it bothered me a bit, but not TOO much back then….I basically viewed it as a fantasy. And after all, he chose to marry me. So I didn’t really care much, but then he went and had an affair with someone who looked like this, making it no longer just a fantasy.
Early, during extremely emotionally charged and angry fighting over this affair, he said he had sex with her because she gave him attention and she had a hot body. He apologized after but that’s seared into my brain. I know he feels I’m heavy (and I am heavier). And I keep trying various things to lose weight and for some reason I keep sabotaging myself. I haven’t lost anything.
But I can’t bring myself to have sex with him. In fact, I don’t act sexual at all really. We barely kiss. We cuddle all the time but it’s not sexual. It’s been 14 months and when he tries I just freeze. I love him and want to be with him, but I don’t want his hands on my body. I feel fat and ugly. And I keep picturing the other woman and I just want to cry.
At this point, would it make more sense to just throw in the towel? He tells me living with me is like living with his sister and that if I want us to move ahead I have to at least try. But when I think about being sexual I feel so much anxiety. Does this sound like we can get past it eventually or should I just end it?
We don’t know what kind of issues led to the husband cheating, but he was wrong to cheat and it’s very understandable that his wife is deeply hurt over it and that she’s repulsed by the idea of sleeping with him because of it. If she wanted to say, “that’s it,” people would understand. However, she’s not saying “that’s it.” She apparently wants to continue the marriage, which happens a lot more than most people think.
Here’s the problem; She’s saying she wants to continue the marriage, but at the same time, she’s undermining it with her actions. She feels like she needs to lose weight to make her husband more attracted, but she’s not doing it. She’s also not having sex with him & obviously hasn’t forgiven him. Again, don’t get me wrong — she has no obligation to do those things — but if she wants to stay married to him, those are things she NEEDS to do. Realistically, they probably need couples counseling/therapy to help both of them work out their issues. The fact that she knows that and isn’t doing it, along with her flat out asking if, “I just end it,” makes me think she’s secretly leaning towards ejecting.
Whatever the case may be, at the moment, they’re headed for a divorce on auto-pilot. Only she knows if that’s what she really wants. If it isn’t, then she needs to go all-in on saving the marriage. If she’s not willing to do that, then she might as well accept that their marriage isn’t going to last and act accordingly.