Dear Chump Lady,
Why hasn’t anyone mentioned hysterical bonding related to finding out about adultery?
I am a recent chump. I found out 30 days ago my husband of 20 fucking years has been fucking a hag for the past 10 years!! Holy shit was I stupid. I left my career to support his professional ascent and his fucking personal goals as well. He met this skank in a bar during an away conference. I was at home with two elementary aged children and infant TWINS when he decided he needed spontaneity in his life.
Anyhow, cut to now: I confronted him a few weeks after I collected info, called my attorney friends, made an appointment with my physician (STD check) and found a therapist (how to deal with the most outrageous fuck over in my life). What I am left with is a spouse who wants to “make it work” via therapy. My therapist met him and pretty much said he’s fucked up, so now my spouse is seeing his own therapist. Shit, I do not know if he’s manipulating the situation. I’ve already told him our marriage is over. He says he’s committed to me and our marriage. (Yeah, right. committed now that you’ve been caught!) I haven’t started any legal proceedings yet because I am a bit paralyzed and numb about the whole mess.
Here’s where the crazy starts for me: I’ve been married to this asshole for 20 years. I KNOW this relationship is done, but I am horny as hell! I am repulsed by my desire to get naked. It is not even a joyful thought. It’s more like revenge with a great orgasm. What the heck is this and did this happen to you? How should I deal with this?
Another New Chump
How should you deal with this? Get a great vibrator. Exercise to the point of exhaustion. Start divorce proceedings.
Ten years? A DECADE of a double life? There’s no saving this, ANC. IMO, people who can conduct a double life for that long are crazy disordered. While he was fucking around, he was allowing you to dig deeper into your investment in him, making yourself more vulnerable. SAHM, four kids, infant twins! Your husband has a front row seat reserved in hell.
That marriage he wants to save? He’s missing CAKE. Hell to the NO, ANC. Do like your acronym — Nelson Mandela his ass. Rebel. Assert your dignity. Blow up some railroad tracks. Twenty-six years of hard labor, breaking stones on an island prison would be better than the sentence of being married to your husband.
So why do you want to have sex so badly with a man who repulses you? Bargaining stage of grief, ANC. You’re in shock. You want comfort. You want to know, after this humiliation, that you’re still desirable. You want that validation from him because he’s the person who invalidated you. Intellectually, you understand you can’t be married to him. The bargaining stage of grief whispers in your ear (and to your groin) that okay, well how about friends with benefits? How about a pity fuck for old time’s sake? Maybe I can use him the way he used me?
You might trick yourself with that thinking. But you’re not the cold, compartmentalized bastard he is. Having sex with him will only set you way back. Your brain will be flush with warm fuzzy neurotransmitters. You’ll feel bonded to him. Worse, you’ll feel HOPE. Maybe things aren’t so bad? Maybe we can save this? Then you’ll remember all the ways he has betrayed you. Whatever he just did with you, you’ll imagine him doing with her and her and her. Then you’ll puke and cry and regret it all. (Ask me how I know…)
Hysterical bonding is the pick me dance performed naked. See what we have together? See what you’re going to miss? See how MUCH BETTER I AM AT THIS THAN THE SKANK?
You know who enjoys performances of the pick me dance? Cheaters. It’s a total no win for chumps. Your husband would be quite content for you to dance that dance. And he’ll reward you for it to keep those kibbles coming. He’ll tell you we can make this work. Oh how he missed you. He’ll look at you in happy delirium that Cake Still Lives, but you’ll mistake that delirium as love for you. And then he’ll hold you and perhaps apologize — as you long for that comfort. You ache for someone to hold you, and rock you, and make it all go away.
ANC, it’s a LIE.
He cannot comfort you with sex. Whoever you thought he was 31 days ago is not coming back. He betrayed you for a DECADE, when you were at your most vulnerable and devoted to him. That is who he IS. You’re not making love to your husband, it’s THAT GUY. Don’t reward that guy! Having sex with him sends him the message that what he did Was Not That Bad that he can’t still get laid.
Here’s another reason not to fuck him — on the off chance you live in a fault divorce state, having sex with him could be construed as you forgiving him. You could lose whatever leverage you have from his adultery. Protect yourself — do NOT sleep with him.
Don’t just legally protect yourself — physically protect yourself. You don’t know where that shit has been! He’s been tom catting around for 10 years!
Please move forward on divorce proceedings. It’s early days, you need to take good, good care of yourself. Heal up — get free of him — and then pounce on the first deserving guy who comes your way. Save your sexy self for someone who deserves you. He’s NOT that person. Sending you ((((big HUGS))))).