Two in the bed and three in the head

One of the most difficult things I’ve had difficulty with, on this journey to recovery from his affair, is seeing him naked.  His naked body reminds me them together, and that makes me enormously sad.  The intimacy and privacy that we once shared has been shattered, and I wonder if it will ever be the same for me.  My hope is that a year from now, or two years from now, or maybe 6 months from now, I will re-read this post and have to update it because my feelings have changed.  I hope.

He gets undressed in the master bedroom walk-in closet.  I have an unobstructed view from my side of the bed.  Under most conditions, you could consider that a “bonus”, but in my case, it is a catalyst for flashbacks.  I can no longer see my husband naked without imagining her underneath it, on top of it, it pressed up against or wrapped around someone else.  His nudity is now a trigger, and that makes me sad.  Married couples, in my mind, share the privacy of only being seen naked by one another.  For me, that is a thought that brings comfort because to me, it signifies the intimate connection shared between a husband and a wife.  I like the thought that no one has seen me naked but him and vice versa.  That reality is no longer, as I have shared my husband unwillingly with another.

I think the hardest part of losing the intimacy in a marriage is trying to rebuild it when your trust is shattered.  In the hours, days and weeks following an affair, it is very typical for couples to experience something called Hysterical Bonding, where they engage in frequent and rampant sex.  Couples do this for many reasons; for some couples it is a way of reclaiming their intimacy, intensely bonding over one another in the face of what could have been a near-loss, and for some betrayed wives, a way to emotionally connect to their husband and claim him back as her own.  I know that in the days and weeks that followed my husband’s admission of his affair, we were sexually active daily, sometimes several times daily.  We couldn’t get enough of one another.  Flirty text messages. sexting, graphic descriptions of what we hoped our evening would involve, emails and phone calls  replete with compliments and excuses to say “I love you”.  In the wake of such a horrible and devastating event, it was both the saddest time of my life, and the most sexually charged.  Bizarre co-existence.

The problem for me, over the course of this past year, is getting her out of my head when we make love.  Thoughts of him with her will flash into my mind, and I have to push them out.  Sometimes when we are together, I will fantasize that she has a bird’s eye view, and it is intensely satisfying.  I wonder if he is thinking of her, comparing us sexually.  Where do I rate?  Was sex better with her?  Was he more aroused with her?  Does he think about the times they were together, and do the flashbacks turn him on?  Is she a better fuck? (I was going to say lover, but it felt wrong because the love wasn’t mutual). I am slowly learning to vocalize these fears in order to help myself process, digest and heal.  It isn’t healthy for me to wonder about these things, question whether I am sexually satisfying to my husband, wonder if he has thoughts of her.  It only eats away at me slowly and causes me pain.  So, I’ve started asking very direct questions about it, and he is very honest in his answers, which helps me a great deal.

Thankfully, and for the record:

  • He doesn’t think of her when we are together sexually
  • He didn’t find sex with her gratifying
  • He finds sex with me much more fulfilling because we have an emotional connection that was absent with her, so it was empty
  • I have a higher rating in more ways than just sexually
  • Sure he was aroused by her temporarily, but in the long run finds me more arousing.
  • He doesn’t think back to the times that they were together and frankly doesn’t remember much.  The thought makes him physically sick.
  • He is willing to answer my questions about this, and assuage my fears and insecurities about this at any time.
  • Any flashbacks he has to her are non-sexual in nature, and are more traumatic, recalling the degree to which he was manipulated and threatened for the greater part of a year.  He feels free of her grasp.

I am sure that if she were to read this, being that she is entirely cynical of any feelings that he has for me, our happiness, or his preference to be with me, she would say “well of course he is going to tell you that to make you feel better, it doesn’t make it TRUE”.  Sure, I’ve thought of that.  I now question every single thing he tells me.  There is no more blind trusting.  However, I also know that he has been incredibly honest with me in answering all of my questions, even when the answers have hurt.  He has shown me over the past year that he won’t lie to make me feel better…it’s all coming out, good or bad.

I am sure, in time, that she will disappear from my head.  There will come days when she doesn’t come to mind at all, I hope. I can’t wait for that day because I’ve given her far too much of my time and energy already.  I am ready to release her.  If she were ever to read this blog, and that would require that she actually care enough to learn about infidelity from the betrayed spouse’s perspective (doubtful indeed), she would probably find a sick satisfaction in knowing that she has impacted me.   She would like nothing more than to know that she has caused pain, suffering and trauma to me.  I won’t give her that satisfaction – she doesn’t deserve it.



  1. May I ask, why exactly would you be willing to stay with a man who’s willing to fuck somebody else behind your back? You’re stuck with these insecurities, and all the while he gets the satisfaction of having been able to screw another woman and still manage to get away with it. Why should you have to feel insecure because he couldn’t keep his dick in his pants? I’m not against forgiving cheating altogether as people do make mistakes but unless it was an incredibly drunken one night stand, there is no way in hell I would take back someone who respects me so little he’d soberly pull his pants down for someone that isn’t me. I’m not bitter, I just have self respect. Not judging you honey, but I really know very little of your situation and given the only detail about your marriage being that your husband cheated, this is all I can really say.

    • I would encourage you to read more than this one entry. The journey has been a two year process and there have been many twists and bumps along the way. What I will tell you is this: a man who looks for an affair, seeks out the pleasure secretly, conceals it. Is found out, denies it, tells
      His wife she is crazy, denies some more while carrying it on, refuses to end the relationship, finally admits it under duress, still keeps the mistress, refuses counseling or to look at himself because he feels it’s “his wife’s fault”, and who essentially disrespects her in an ongoing, antagonistic way….that man can’t be forgiven – you are right.

      Luckily for me, that is not my situation.

      My husband confessed willing because he was guilty. He’d wanted to end the relationship after they’d been together a few times. His curiosity satisfied, he just knew it was wrong. She threatened to scream rape if he ended it, and that she would tell me and destroy
      His family. He thought he’d be able to get out of it if he slowly backed out unnoticed. That didnt happen because she fell in love with him and he had also been pursued.
      He has willingly attended counseling for 18 months, has never made it my fault, and laid all cards on the table face up. He manned up. he asked for my help in getting her out of our lives. I did that. 2 years and over $100k in legal fees, she is not an issue anymore and we were able to start healing. We’ve done a lot of work together and separately and we know exactly WHY the affair happened. Thats always the betrayed wife’s question: why. We assume it is about us and go crazy thinking we weren’t enough. It has nothin to do with us, and everything to do with his emotional needs at the time. A man who has vulnerabilities emotionally, socially or otherwise will end up in an affair if the opportunity presents itself. It isn’t about the sex much of the time. It’s about how she makes him feel and what she reflects back to him about himself. She praises him, she adores him, she flatters him, she accepts him. It feels good emotionally too. A man who is emotionally and socially strong and content can have a sexual urge and simply pass it by. Knowing why and how it happened has helped me enormously. Seeing how affairs happen to otherwise good people has shown me that my husban isn’t unique. He fell into something horrible and suffers with the guilt too. It torments him also because he almost lost his
      Family. We’ve worked together and he has taken the healing role in helping me. He’s never denied me the answers to my questions, he has always been forthright and honest and giving them to me, and he has been patient, even when I have asked the same question dozens or hundreds of times. He has never asked me to hurry up. He has never told me it’s my fault. He has given me the space and a broom to ask as many questions, cry, scream, whatever is necessary.

      I figured, seeing how badly this could have turned out, with a man who wasn’t willing to confess, or man up, or do the work, but I had also been given a blessing. I had been given an opportunity to look inside my marriage, and to fix what he did reinforcing. He don’t come into marriage with the manual. You coming with love, but that isn’t enough. I would encourage you to read my most recent posts and see the recent work we have done to get us to the place here today.

      • I never knew the girl ended pregnant.
        Will you like to tell me that did she give birth to the child?
        How much child support do you pay or how do you deal with the child? please surely tell me of the financial aspects of the case. I remember you mentioning going to the court in your post. Please tell me of the Child support amount you pay? whcih state do you live in?

      • She gave birth in 2010 to a daughter. She has received support since day 1. My husband has made the choice not to deal with the stalking ex-mistress and has not met the child. The OW prefers that also. He pays proportionate to his income, as all supporting fathers do. I am not at liberty to disclose the amount, as I am bound by a legal agreement of non-disclosure which is also why I respect and maintain the privacy of her identity.

  2. Your healing story sounds so much like mine! I really appreciate the way you write; best blog I’ve read on this topic so far. Thank you for sharing.

  3. But how do you know, that whatever he said about not liking her was true?
    and I noticed you wrote that she fell in love with him, I think it should be rephrased to – she fell in love his wallet and bank account and the big houses he owns.
    Apart from your husband dealing with turmoils, she purposely planned and pretended to come forward as an help, so he gets attracted to the trap and provided him with a so called escape from his problems, right?

    • My husband has freely told me things that he could have kept in. Hurtful details I asked for that he could have spun to save my feelings. He didn’t. When he tells me he didn’t love her, I believe it. He fell for the feelings she brought about in him, not for her. From how I understand it, it was exciting at first…soon became very upsetting and when he wanted to end it, he wasn’t allowed out so easily.

  4. I found this post googling for information about hysterical bonding. It’s funny that you should say about the OW in your case probably not caring about what you went through as a BS. Because that is what I am; an OW looking to understand what my MM’s spouse is going through following a recent DDay. He didn’t come clean with her; he convinced her that it was a short-term EA, when it has in actuality been a three-year full blown affair where we talk daily, spend at least one night a week together and one whole week a month. He promised NC with me; but we have actually continued unchanged. He’s placating her in the aftermath of DDay and they start MC in a few days time. I’m feeling lost and confused and at a loss to completely understand everything that is going on. So here I am… This post is helpful in terms of increasing my understanding. TY. I’m now going to read some more.

    • Do yourself and his wife a favour and break all contact until he had made a decision. He’s being a coward, stringing you along as second best and frankly what you’re doing is deplorable as well and I don’t know how you look yourself in the mirror. He’s a married man with a family. What gives you the right? Give him and his wife a chance to work on their marriage and if it can’t be repaired, step in, but stop getting in the way. You’re both going to be hurt in the end. There is no pride in being side pork to a committed man. She is married to him. Wouldn’t it feel better getting him honestly?

  5. I recently discovered my husbands affair. When i first discovered it was a text message that raised questions. All other text before had been deleted. I took a picture of text message as well as the number because there was no name attached to it just 3 letters. He denied it so i called and tested the number till I received a response. She said to ask him cause it wasn’t her problem. She then would call him saying I contacted her. He finally admited to it, when I asked how long he stated 8 months. It was another lie later to be found. He chose to stay as I had asked. We sat down texted her together and ended the relationship. He said it was a relief cause he felt trapped by her threats. She texted me right after telling me that is was a 11 year romantic relationship. Before our 2 children were born. This broke me eve
    Since then I have woke him up in the middle of night with questions and nightmares. He has helped answer most questions. But because it was so long he has forgotten so much. He hated the relationship so much yet she was wanting more from him and he didn’t want to give anymore. He never leaves my side anymore and even wants me to get a job with him. He tells me of his hopes dreams and accomplishments he wants for us and the kids.I still have all my guards up and probly always will. But he too knows that I will never go through this ever again.

  6. Thank you for posting this- I am
    Going through an EXTREMELY similar situation and it is wonderful to hear about someone doing what I am trying to do and feeling successful (at times, I guess). It has made me feel less alone. Thank you.

  7. I am a husband that just discovered his wife’s affair. My D-Day was February 6th, 2014. It was without question the worst day of my life. I died inside with the realization that the woman I have loved for so long sought connection–both emotional and physical–with another man. I met him a few times. He is a TV star from the show Desperate Housewives. True story. That’s as much as I will say about that. Look through the cast of regulars and ask yourself who the biggest piece of shit is. That’s the guy that ruined my marriage (with the help of my beautiful wife, of course). Pretty mind-blowing. I trusted her with every fiber of my being. We have a three year old son and she is 8 months pregnant with our second. Her affair happened a month ago. I know, you ask, how could a pregnant woman do this? Emotional considerations aside, the physical part of it is hard to wrap my head around. She rented a hotel room three times and gave him blow jobs while our fetus jostled around in her tummy. Writing the words makes my heart pound out of my chest. Lest the woman in this chat forget, this sort of thing happens to both sexes and it’s devastating in both directions.

    I found this website after searching for ‘hysterical bonding’ because I have had this incredible urge to jump her bones since my D-Day. It’s bizarre. Our sex life had dwindled over the past few years to a slow trickle and it took her cheating on me to spice things up. I know it’s not that simple but the irony of it all is sad to say the least. I know this much, I was not a perfect partner and I have a lot of work to do on myself to be the husband I should be, whether I am married to her or someone else. I never had an affair or even flirted with another woman. My role in this is that I let us grow apart. I withdrew and while I don’t blame myself for her affair I see clearly that I helped create a marital environment where that sort of thing could bloom. I am living minute to minute right now. Crying and crying. I just wish she would have come to me and told me how unhappy she was before developing a connection with another man. One of our greatest strengths has always been our ability to communicate. We are both great at it. Where did it go? Why did she do this? I may never know.

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