Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Getting back the passion after an affair...

(106 Posts)
jenny99 Sun 03-Feb-13 11:59:31

Last night my husband and I kissed for the first time since May. I have had (and admitted to) having an affair and we are both working on rebuilding our marriage.

He feels that sex is an important part of it yet I feel not ready for that yet and feel as tho that will be 'the icing on the cake' when I know things will work out. I'm not trying to withhold it etc I just don't feel the urge or want to do it for the sake of it. We have discussed this and he also says he only wants me to do it if I am ready and want to do it.

We want to work things out yet just don't know yet whether it will be ok or not. things have been rocky for 1-2 yrs.

So it started out quite nice and tender and I was waiting to feel some passion. I didn't sad

I just wanted to feel his passion for me, his wanting me as he keeps saying how much he loves me and wants me. I know an affair is all about the thrill and excitement but I hoped that after abstinence with OH for so long there may have been a bit?!

Is this an indication it will never be ok again or will it grow as our relationship betters?

The sex was a bit boring for a long long time and will need to be addressed if we stay together but I don't think now is the right time. I tried many times to spice things up a bit over the last few years and he was happy how it was....

I can't tell him yet that it wasn't great. But I want to feel a bit of passion! Aargh. Not sure what I want to hear from anyone but maybe just want to get it off my chest.

Thank you for reading x

AlwaysDreaming Sun 03-Feb-13 22:42:11

Your husband is likely in shock , i don't think you can comprehend the sheer trauma and hurt that a person suffers when they have been betrayed like this , for many people it is like a bereavement , complete with physical symptoms and terrible emotional pain . You are not doing any of the things you need to do in order for him to heal .

Re being ambivalent , this is also common and he is unlikely to invest too much of himself in you when you have betrayed him , let alone be passionate towards you . You say he doesn't do feelings yet hes stated quite clearly he wants to fight for your marriage . Your not being honest with him at all . While he may not want to know the details of the affair , i think its unfair of you to not spell out clearly how you feel about the marriage .

You still seem to be romanticizing the OM and affair . You don't seem to be able to understand that it simply wasn't real . Far from being some romantic fairytale it was a nasty cheap encounter and your story is so unoriginal there are many books written about it . It is not fair or realistic to compare a nasty cheap sexual encounter with a long standing relationship .

I think you should tell him the truth about the fact that had OM asked you , you would have been off like a shot .

greenpostit Sun 03-Feb-13 22:31:57

Further thoughts...

The title is about getting the passion back and the reason this is a stumbling block is almost definitely because of your feelings for OM. Personally, after my H cheated, we had sex very soon afterwards (be careful if you had unprotected sex with OM - get STI check first) - for the wronged partner (me) it is almost like reclaiming your partner and from what I read on MN at the time, this is a very very common reaction. So do bear in mind that even if your H does not express his feelings, he may have a need to "reclaim you". I mean mentally. Also bear in mind an unexpected emotional reaction may follow any of the first few times.

I am not suggesting you do something you don't want to do but I just pointing out the feelings he may have right now.

Regarding your feelings for the OM:

Try a few things:

1) You need to accept that he did wrong. Even if he isn't married or whatever, he knew you were (presumably) and therefore he owed common decency to fellow human beings (your husband). So, whatever his set up, he acted badly.

2) To realise that your affair was in a bubble with no pressures of life and that it would not have stood up to the scrutiny and pressure of real life - drudgery, kids etc...It was never tested, it was in a perfect little (unreal) world of it's own.

3) Take a look in to the abyss (life without H) - look through photos from when you were together, getting married etc...and then think what if all that was erased and picture yourself living somewhere without that person who you loved with all your heart in those photos. Somehow you need to jolt yourself into realising what you would be throwing away from your own perspective, rather than the perspective of your kids (who are obv. important, but you need to fix the marriage itself)

4) To realise your own shortcomings - in that an affair is not the answer if you have marriage problems. That you were deceitful, that you selfishly put your own desires (OM) first above your marriage vows and husband, that you risked your family and were arrogant enough to think that you could go back. (Not meant as a flaming, sorry, just trying to help but used some harsh words because cannot think of better ones!)

5) That your relaationship with OM was based on deceit and therefore very unlikely to last. There is some statistic that relationships that start out like that have a huge failure rate. Sorry I can't be more specific there. 2nd marriages have a higher failure rate than 1st and if you combine that with relationships based on deceit as well, then it was very unlikely to work out.

You are trying your best, continue to do so and continue to ask for advice on here.

greenpostit Sun 03-Feb-13 19:38:39

This is difficult. My dh had an affair 3 years ago and we have rebuilt our marriage more than I had ever thought possible.

Your problems as I see them:

1. You don't really have any closure/understanding from your affair because OM ended it and you haven't stopped having feelings for him. This is very serious and you need to get to the bottom of this with mn orfriend or a counsellor NOT your DH. Once you understand, tell dh if he wants to be told. You need to know why you did it and have an objective assessment. There are things that adulterers do - some rewrite history, even unknowingly lying to themselves about it (eg i never loved my husband) and others convince themselves that their spouse is a villain (eg my husband does xyz bad things).

2. Your dh seems to be in shock/denial or something similar. Part of the healing process IME is to hear the awful details or at least a clean summary and then deal with them. I don't really see how he can deal with what's happened without having a clue what it is. But having said that, you can't push the details onto him because that is his choice.

3. You have not registered what you have to lose. You say you will accept the consequences if dh leaves you. You should be prepared to fight for your marriage and beg forgiveness. I do not think you truly understand what it might be like for you if you split and your h marries someone else. All you seem to see is custody arrangements and financial arrangements. You would probably feel brokenness hearted and full of regret/remorse.

Excuse awful text etc on iPad!

You might find it useful to read threads in relationships on affairs that other people have had. To help learn more about your own behaviior snd your husbands response. Especially a poster called whenwillifeelnormal - I think this poster may have left mn but she dished out loads of good advice and was an expert on the subject.

Abitwobblynow Sun 03-Feb-13 19:25:35

'he doesn't want to know.'

But he didn't want to know how unhappy Jenny was, did he? And he doesn't want to know what emotions are. And he doesn't want to live in any other world other than control and where his inner self stays shut off.

Which drove her to do what she did. Didn't CAUSE it, but it did create the vulnerability, didn't it?

VanderElsken Sun 03-Feb-13 19:04:46

As far as lust is concerned, you have deprived yourself and your OH of sex for a very very long time and he has been patient about that. You say yourself in your starting post that you want him to desire you and that would add to your passion. But he is kind enough not to want to initiate sex unless you want it. So you've got yourself into a horrible, cruel bind where you are complaining about not feeling sexy but not doing anything sexual. No wonder you enjoyed an affair because that made you feel good about yourself and desired. Surely you are bright enough to see that being the objet of desire is your trigger, not the OM himself. You could talk to your partner about this.
You could perfectly well feel desired in you relationship if you made an effort towards re-sexualising that but you deliberately haven't in order to kill it by-proxy over time.

If he makes your skin crawl after all this time then leave. If not, do some bloody work.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sun 03-Feb-13 19:00:19

I think you just don't want to have the responsibility of being the person who calls time on your marriage.


cjel Sun 03-Feb-13 18:59:29

Just read all this and dont agree at all that it is helpful or good in any way to tell DH details he doesn't want to know. One minute she is being told how awful she is being for not being thoughtful enough to hubby and the next being told off for doing what he wants. Give her a break HE DOESNT WANT TO KNOW. It might be for all the wrong reasons but ITS HIS CHOICE, he has a lot to come to terms with himself and if they are going to counselling, may change his mind but then that will be his choice for then, Now he doesn't want to know!!

Abitwobblynow Sun 03-Feb-13 18:45:42

And Worcestershiresauce's thread was lovely [sob]. It covers all the salient points does it not!

Did that openness happen in your reconciliation, WS?

Abitwobblynow Sun 03-Feb-13 18:41:48

Jenny I remember telling you in a PM that OM was playing you. And he did, he played and used you horribly. He didn't care about you! He liked the chase.

I wonder if you shouldn't really be honest with yourself about this? To really feel this humiliatation and disrespect, so that the starry luuuuuuurve and sex gets put into a more realistic light?

The reason I say this is not to humiliate or diss you, but so that you can see that what the magic of the affair was was NOT him, but by how he made you FEEL.

And this, is what you long for in your H? I really get your loneliness and how you have had to suffer in his tightly controlled emotional world, keeping you at a distance.

Getting to him: I think he does need to hear this stuff, he does need to be required to realise that actually, emotions DO matter and hurt happens for a reason.

It just seems to me you have got back into the same dance and he has battened down the hatches even harder.

[So have we, even worse, so not pointing fingers here].

But you need to be a bit more realistic about OM. It's not HIM, it's YOU. thanks

cjel Sun 03-Feb-13 18:41:23

A wise woman once told me 'use it or lose it'. I thought it was insulting offensive and mad at the time, But she was right the first few times it was almost lie back and think of england but after a while we couldnt get enough!!

badinage Sun 03-Feb-13 18:39:47

All this talk about men 'fighting' or 'not fighting' for you makes you sound like you think you're a princess standing aside watching a duel. Rather than a grown woman who got taken in by a shabby little man who lied to her, and is still lying to save her arse and her dignity......

VanderElsken Sun 03-Feb-13 18:39:37

'Wanting' it is empty. 'Doing' things, for him and for both of you, actively and courageously, will make the difference. You want passion? tell me what passionate things you plan to do in the next fortnight for your relationship? (you don't have to be too detailed!!)

VanderElsken Sun 03-Feb-13 18:38:13

I would respectfully differ on this point of revealing potentially hurtful information. Sorry if this is made clear further upthread but I think that only if the OH has another, dishonest perspective on how the affair ended should the OP tell the whole truth, because he's labouring under a misapprehension. Only the OP knows what her OH thinks and whether it's represented truthfully on this thread.

IF the OP has committed to making her marriage work WITHOUT some sort of behind the scenes time limit with the OM or continued contact with him, and her OH has not been lied to about the details of the affair and how it ended, there is no need to sit down and say, by the way I'd rather be with him than you. There are situations where I've been dumped by men who I would rather be than the next relationship I went into, it doesn't mean I should admit to that unless I was withdrawing from that relationship, hurting my partner and pining for the last one.

If the OP does everything and invests and WANTS to be with her DH rather than feeling that's what she should do, then I think she telling that now would seem deliberately destructive. But only she knows that. Something makes me feel some of the details here and representations are a little bit skewed or sanded round the edges, OP, sorry if that's unfair.

Wanting to make it work for him though is doomed to failure and kind of a cruel pressure.

Dozer Sun 03-Feb-13 18:37:29

Poor bloke.

AnyFucker Sun 03-Feb-13 18:32:46

Maybe so, Bobby. But at least it would be in full knowledge of the facts, not just the ones OP has decided to tell him "for his own good"

meditrina Sun 03-Feb-13 18:32:37

If you have not completely cut out the OM from your life (so you deliberately turn your focus to something else and never let yourself think of him) it is unlikely you can do the right think in terms of your marriage. It's up to yo which you choose, but I cannot see a way ahead in which you hold OM in your heart and whilst expecting to mend your marriage.

If you are serious about reconciliation, you might want to consider reading this book or similar.

GiveMeSomeSpace Sun 03-Feb-13 18:30:58

jenny It's understandable that you don't respect your DH because he clearly has no respect for himself. Time and time again on these threads we hear about people being treating like shit and putting up with it. I can't get my head round it.

Please do the decent thing - do him a favour and be honest with him. Tell him straight that you still have feelings for the OM and that the marriage is over. You owe him that much.

Bobbybird40 Sun 03-Feb-13 18:30:10

Tbf to the OP, I strongly suspect he would remain with her anyway - he really does sound wet. On that basis, maybe telling him he is second choice would be just twisting the knife.

badinage Sun 03-Feb-13 18:25:59

So you're not going to tell him then?

I think you are behaving in an incredibly cruel and selfish manner and I just hope your husband gets the strength to find out the truth so that he's making informed decisions.

Helltotheno Sun 03-Feb-13 18:21:26

I want to forget about him and I want to be madly in love with my OH.

* I would like to be able to say no.*

OP you come across like someone who is literally clutching at straws. The whole tone of all your posts is this aspirational thing where you want things to work and they should work. Get real. The reality is you fancy someone else who, if he showed up on your doorstep and said he'd moved over for good, you'd be back in the sack with in two seconds flat.

Stop basing things on some utopia of how things should be. That's not how they are OP. Just start living an honest life! Tell your DH at a minimum that you aren't feeling it for him cos you're still feeling it for someone else. If that doesn't make him turf you out, I don't know what will

I think if you were to experience living on your own, things might change but right now, they're unlikely to.

jenny99 Sun 03-Feb-13 18:20:57

All I know is that right now I am committed to making my marriage work. I have been spending more time with him. I have been trying to talk to him more and for us to be more engaged. I am trying to be more supportive to him in other things and to really be a 'good wife'. I am trying hard to plan nice things for us to do together.

I am hoping that if we can grow closer again that I will feel more attracted physically. I was once before. I want that again. I really do.

badinage Sun 03-Feb-13 18:11:39

Yes you should tell him all that. You should also tell him that you 'honestly don't know' if you'd be able to say no to the OM if he changed his mind.

It's highly relevant to your husband's decisions about his life and the woman he's married to. You're only saying it's irrelevant because you don't want him to know all of it.

VanderElsken Sun 03-Feb-13 18:10:00

Denial is perfectly normal as a phase of dealing with trauma. He's very hurt and doesn't want to be more hurt by discovering details that would be painful to him. He might move from that position and start asking questions soon or he might never. Fundamentally the most important thing is will the OP commit solidly to a course of action and do everything in her power to facilitate it? If she won't or can't, then she should leave. Wanting to have feelings of passion bestowed upon her without doing the hard work to repair in her and the relationship what went wrong is naive and cruel.

jenny99 Sun 03-Feb-13 18:08:50

bobby honestly I don't know. Right now I feel that I would be able to say no to him. It isn't simple too because he lives 5,000 miles away with his son. I think if I am honest with myself we couldn't have a future together. Our lives are too different. I don't see how it could work. I would like to be able to say no. My husband is fighting for me. The OM is not and hasn't. My husband deserves me to put everything in and try.

So are you suggesting that I sit down with my husband and say that I just feel I should tell him that the OM finished with me and if he hasn't I may have gone by now?

Surely that is now irrelevant seeing as I want to work on it and I want my husband to be my number one choice?

I really do want it to work. I know I made a mistake.

When I see my husband right now I do have feelings for him. I don't feel nothing. I just don't lust after him. Yet.

AnyFucker Sun 03-Feb-13 18:03:56

I am pretty sure I would no longer respect and therefore fancy someone I had betrayed, cuckolded, made a fool out of, was still lying to and had so easily rolled over and taken all that shit.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: