A Reader Writes…
I am reading How Can I Ever Trust You Again? I recently found out that my husband of 10 years had an affair with a co -worker.
The affair happened 3 years ago and continued for 5 months. My husband said it was not just physical and that he felt he loved her and had a connection. The mistress ended the affair since she wanted “more”. I am really struggling trying to cope with this. I have confronted the mistress and she says it is over.
My husband says he loves me ..is truly sorry and wants to stay with me. I am trying to be forgiving ..but I know the details of their intimate acts…because I asked them. They keep playing in my mind like a movie and it is so painful.
I know that he performed oral sex several times on her…but even upon me asking did not perform on me in the past. For some reason I am really hung up over this fact and it angers me…I keep asking why he did that to her and not me? He says he doesn’t know why? I am associating that intimate act to the fact that he loved her more.
Can you please provide some insight…are affairs different and more intimate? How can I move past this? Please help..really struggling.
You are right—affairs are different from relationships but not in the way you think. In fact, they are LESS intimate.
The problem with sex with someone that you know really well is that it becomes so intimate—you know so much about them—that it becomes harder and harder to experiment.
Over time, couples end up having sex with which they feel comfortable but that can easily become a smaller and smaller list done in a very similar way. More often that not, it’s the same sex you had when you first met – and often that’s twenty years ago – and we’re not wearing the same clothes, going to the same places and eating the same food!
I explain all about how sex changes in long-term couples are how to keep it interesting and passionate in Make Love Like a Prairie Vole.
So why do people do things in affairs they haven’t done in their long-term relationships?
Firstly, there is no risk. If you give poor oral sex—or whatever—it doesn’t matter. You just walk away, and you certainly don’t have to face a long face at breakfast or be called a pervert for wanting to do something.
Secondly, an affair allows people to step outside their normal life and experiment with being someone else. What it doesn’t mean is that he loved her more than you. This is your stuff, not his.
My guess is that you’re over-thinking all this, putting two and two together and making three hundred. (I explain how to stop this in Learn to Love Yourself Enough)
To get these horrible images out of your head, I would try three tactics:
- Distraction. (Tell yourself, stop torturing yourself.)
- Replace. (Think about nice things you and your husband have done together)
- Expand your sex life. (Instead of getting hung up on oral sex – and letting it ‘belong’ to her’ – look through Prairie Vole and find something neither of you have done and let that belong to your relationship. There are hundreds of ideas).
Finally, allow yourself to be angry. He has cheated on you. You have every right to be angry. My guess is that you’ve been so keen on getting him back and being forgiving – you haven’t allowed yourself to let go off this feeling. Once you have, it will no longer be a barrier between you.