“I Need to Prove My Desirability” and Confronting the Other Person

Affair number six is “I need to prove my desirability.” Again, this is usually someone who’s had a history of sexual abuse or sexual confusion, and they’re trying to sort it out somehow, in some way, through some type of an affair.

In other words, it’s a time in their life in which they, at one level, want some kind of healing, or some kind of change, to take place. And, the risk here, when you confront the other person, is that you may arrest or stop this healing process. And what it may do, is, it may intensify the old triggers of inadequacy related to their own sexual history. So, the confrontation may stir up something that they just quite can’t handle, and they’ll kind of back away, or retreat from, further help.

Now, the reward here is that, if you confront them by charging neutral, it may increase the potential for healing, in which the person kind of breaks down and says, “You know, I have a problem. I don’t feel worthy. I’m trying to prove my desirability, and it’s awful for me. I don’t know what I’m doing, but it is awful, and I need your help.”

Now, another reward here is that, you may have to protect, or it may be helpful for you to protect your cheating spouse from some kind of predator, some kind of sexual predator. And, again, it’s hard to know where to draw that line, but I’ve known of situations in which the cheating spouse was a victim of some predator who was using this person in awful ways. That’s something to be aware of, as well.

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5 Responses to “I Need to Prove My Desirability” and Confronting the Other Person

  1. Vicki Tirendi says:

    I speak from experience here when I say my H and his numerous affairs for this profile, his background and upbringing support it also. I don’t think, 16 months in from d day that myself and our kids, or any wife and kids were going to be enough validation for a damaged individual like my H. He was always going to cheat and/or have some addictive destructive behaviour. Once our son reached age 7, a particularly difficult age for my H when he was 7, well the cheating began and 17 years later I found out. Many many lies, blame shifting, narcissism ruled. All in an effort to justify a lifestyle that didn’t make him happy but rather the opposite. During one of our deep discussions I raged with pain about this great sex life he was having. He asked me why I thought that. I felt even more angry until he looked at me in such pain and said the affairs gave him nothing but grief. I then understood it was an abusive addiction from his own lack of self worth. The women validated him, or so he thought. It was not that they did have sex with him, it was that they WOULD. That fact told him he was good, desirable but it also told him he wasn’t the honourable man he wanted to be, and he was a cheater, just like his father. He kept up the lifestyle in part because he was trying to justify it, and eventually because one of the women was blackmailing him with threats of telling me. His life had become his worst nightmare.

    • Dona says:

      Yes, this was my husband and he was being blackmailed. We formed a united front and spoke to her on the phone-she called us-and she threw him under the bus in a big way. We recorded it and told her we had.

    • On the mend says:

      This sounds like my situation. I discover wife cheating for 7 years with illegal immigrant. Only then does she allege rape. But she proceeded to continue and still lies about all of it to this day – one year after discovery. I would have considered making it work until the continued lying. She won’t even spologize

  2. Al says:

    Wife had two affairs. She is a CSA survivor who never got help. At age 42 she snapped. The first affair lasted two years and was mostly an online thing but the did meet for sex three times. Said it made her feel beautiful. He turned into a predator and most of the affair was just humiliation which she accepted to get the kudos. She said the sex was awful but felt she had to do it. Second guy was the same but it only lasted a week as I broke it up. She feels she is ok and won’t seek help for her past issues. I’m scared. I’m afraid without help it could happen again.

  3. KD says:

    My husband revealed his affair almost 3 months ago, asked for a divorce and moved out. The mistress lives in several hours away, but they have been able to see each other I believe 4 times over that period. We have a 2 year old daughter and really only speak to each other and see each other when it involves our daughter. In my opinion he seems to be a mix between Affair #1 and #5. My question is, how do I charge neutral when he is done talking about the affair and our problems and only wants to discuss custody and splitting up assets? Do I just remain calm and discuss those issues with him? I feel like I’m running out of time.

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