Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

           

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Blog Listing

A collection of stories, insights, pain and laughter that details our lives, our experiences as women and mothers and the wisdom that comes out of that.

How infidelity (and a threesome) saved my marriage

Bridget Wood

 

By Anonymous

My husband slept with someone in May and it was awful. But it was also a big fat beautiful catalyst for change for both of us. The last six months have been THE most transformative of my life. A giant mirror. We have two small children, and I think that tempered the first ‘instinct’ to run away from the hurt – to run far, far away and not deal with the ‘hard stuff’. My brain was screaming LEAVE! But also - I can’t just leave, I have kids, I have responsibilities. Where would I go? Or where would he go? How would we cope financially and co-parenting?

But after the original shock/hurt subsided, I realised that I played a huge part in our marriage getting to that point. I do not take responsibility for the actual act of cheating – no way - but I can understand seeking that crazy, attracted, flirtatious newness of sleeping with someone. I understand it because our relationship had two people in it and I know that he wasn’t getting some of what he needed – a part I now understand is HUGE – from me. He was not feeling wanted/appreciated/needed (and every other word you can think of) sexually and as a man from the primary person in his life. I can justify my lack of ‘drive’ with reasons – children, tiredness – hell, just life! But I realised that this was bigger than him or us or attraction.

In my high school years, I lost my virginity quite early (to a lovely boy who I remember with great fondness). I then went on to sleep with other people over those few crazy, hormonal, angst-fuelled teenage years, mostly boyfriends (sometimes not). I can’t say it was all fun but a lot of it certainly wasn’t horrible, either – the thrill of the chase. The first kiss jitters. All the ‘fun bits’ of hooking up with someone at that relatively free time of your life.

Never being one able to keep my mouth shut, combined with the culture that is high school, I got myself in to one or two not-great situations and I was really badly shamed, horrifically so. I remember coming to school and ‘SLUT’ was written on my locker – thankfully in crayon. I remember a particular situation getting back to the leadership team and them sending me to see the school chaplain (ha!) and a note coming from the principal to see if I was ‘ok’. Some of the people who were the most hideous to me were in my direct friendship group. Then there was the self-imposed shame – why didn’t he call? Does he like me? Was it just a sex thing? Why are we only working towards his orgasm? What the hell IS an orgasm for me? What does it even feel like? Do I even like him, or do I just like him because he’s showing me attention?

Fast forward a few years - I’d had a couple of long-ish term relationships that followed the same arc. Intense passionate ‘limerance’ period followed by a steep decline in sexual attraction, to the point of anxiety, and then a breakup caused by lack of sex. Then I met my husband. The same arc ensued, then we got married. I thought it would get better – I would hit that all mythical ‘sexual peak’ at some stage, right? We had one child, and then another a couple of years later. I’d given birth, we’d co-slept, I’d fed for years. All of these I held inside myself as damned-good reasons for not wanting sex, but were they?

What I'd already started to unpack, before the cheating happened, was that I carried around so much sexual shame, and I didn’t even know it. I realised that I'd internalised this shaming to SUCH a point that the fight-or-flight response I had to sex (and talking about sex, watching movies with sex scenes, etc etc) was completely unconscious. And then my husband cheated and I had to actually make the decision to drop the shame. Literally drop it off my back like a backpack falling to the floor. Because I could not carry it around anymore - not just for him but for ME! Why was I carrying the shame of beautiful sexual acts that just years after high school would not have been considered shameful? Hell, now we have Tinder! But I digress; Brene Brown says ‘shame corrodes every part of us that believes we are capable of change’ and that is true, but I was changing.

A few things in the news - like all the school scandals about 'rating' girls - were really fucking triggering (one school in particular where I had known some entitled, pack-mentality boys in my younger days made me horrifically angry), but they also felt like they were opening locks. Reading ‘So you’ve been publically shamed’ by Jon Ronson was another lock-unlocked. I was suddenly conscious to the way that shame – in many forms – pervades the psyche to such a depth that it can be possible that you don’t know it’s even there. So there was the cheating, the consciously deciding to ‘drop’ the shame, reading about shame and these were all fantastic…but we were not quite there. One night very recently, we went out and dancing and totally unplanned, ended up going home with someone...both of us! A friend – a woman- and it was totally hilarious, totally hot, completely lovely and it felt utterly natural. Not dirty, seedy, harmful, nothing. I didn't get struck by lightning! And no one was writing slut on my locker! And my husband loved me, dare I say loved me even more! I had academically understood the power of sexual energy, but now I really, truly understood it. I understood love, and trust. I understood power and vulnerability. It was a really beautiful thing to share and felt like that last 'lock' was blown open with the force of the universe. I feel like I know a secret, and that is the secret of sexual energy. A few weeks my husband asked me 'what turns you on' and the thought then of answering struck fear, anxiety and awkwardness in me. My answer now to him is 'get a pen, mate!'