The original question posed by confusedmd above was "have any of you been told that LTA sex is better than relationship sex?"
Answers from others followed.
Confusedmd then said
She says the opposite. But why would I believe her when she went back again and again? Either LTA sex was better or she was so in love with AP that she wanted to have sex with him even if the sex was not so great. Pick your poison. Both are deal breakers barf
This is a dilemma I have wrangled with for the last five years, at least the first dealbreaker (sex was better with AP than me).
My WW had sex with her AP (our long time friend) a couple dozen times, maybe more, over the course of three years.
My WW says that she was in love with AP, and that initially she enjoyed sex with him but it was never great measured by her enjoyment or by his familiarity with her body and her wants. Over time, according to her, she enjoyed it less and there emerged an unspoken leverage going on where he didn’t have to threaten to tell me about the affair (he was not in another relationship) but she understood it to be implicit. If she didn’t have sex with him, he might tell me about the affair. It was coercive. She enjoyed it even less, and eventually not at all. Guilt overcame the body chemicals and lust. So she says.
Here’s what I’ve come to believe, balancing what she’s told me, what my life experience tells me, what I know about her, and what I’ve learned being here for years.
She probably did enjoy it at first, probably more than she admits. She had projected a hot sexy desirable woman to him and she wasn’t going to disappoint. But it was not like sex with me, ever. We’ve been having sex for close to forty years, half of that before she ever had sex with him for the first time. I know her. I know what she likes. We’ve "practiced" so many times I can’t get it wrong. They were cosplaying sex, and it isn’t the same and she could not pretend that it was. Many of the times they had sex they were severely intoxicated, so there’s that, too.
She got to the point that she was exchanging the emotional input she was getting from him for the physical output she was giving him. There was a quid pro quo, sex for emotional intimacy. At that point, combined with the inevitable loss of "new relationship energy" her perception of enjoyment in the acts of sex with him diminished greatly. When it became implicitly coercive, she was doing it only so she could try to slow play herself out of the affair, but that was very problematic for her because of his deep integration with my whole family. She couldn’t enjoy it any more, but she couldn’t safely stop either, or at least she couldn’t stop and still control the outcomes.
Now what I’ve had to work on is this: seeing it from her perspective, not from mine. From my perspective, as an admittedly toxic as hell masculine man, I would never risk my marriage, my money, my access to my children, my prestige, my reputation, to have mediocre sex. I mean, I wouldn’t do it at all, but if I were ever to make this terrible series of choices to have an affair, as a man, I’m only there to have great sex, or at least I’m definitely not there to tolerate mediocre sex. As a man, I could have emotional intimacy with an AP but that wouldn’t be required in order to get great sex for me (I understand the imaginary AP might need the emotional intimacy to enjoy the sex, I’m only saying I could have a great time with a woman without a long, deep emotional connection). Sorry to say it, that’s an acceptable hypothetical in my mind, no "love" just great sex with an enthusiastic partner. I would never, in this imaginary hypothetical affair, accept that I had a great emotional chemistry and a terrible sexual relationship with that woman. I just wouldn’t. In short, an EA only makes no sense to me at all, as the toxic masculine man that I admit to being. What is the point of that, I ask rhetorically.
If I apply my "logic" to my wife, I quickly get wrapped around the dealbreaker you identify. If I wouldn’t have a LTA without great sex, why would she? But she is not me.
My wife was in a very real, very intense EA long before she had sex with him. She was "in love" with him. She risked everything not to have great sex but to have ersatz emotional intimacy with sex attached to it. Short of the sex being abusive, she wouldn’t have bailed on the emotional intimacy merely because the sex wasn’t as good as it was with me, and according to her never would have been even if she’d left me for him.
That’s a really long way to say to you, confusedmd, that I encourage you to evaluate your wife’s affair from her perspective as much as you can and not overlay your perspective on it too much, or at all. If your wife is even a little bit like mine, she might not have been there for the sex at all, and that’s consistent with many of the WW who post here.
Now as to your second dealbreaker, that she was so in love with him she wanted to have sex with him even if she knew it wasn’t going to be great, well, yes. If that’s a deal breaker for you, it just is. My wife was in love and very much wanted to have sex with her AP, and went to great lengths to do it and to make sure he had a great time. My wife is really fun when she wants to be, so I’m quite sure he had a great time. That’s a whole different loadstone to bear. I struggle with it, but for whatever reason that one isn’t an automatic deal breaker for me. I’d much rather my wife have had sex with him BECAUSE she was in love with him than IN SPITE OF THE FACT SHE WASN’T. Of course she wanted to have sex with a man she was in love with, that’s part and parcel of being in love. If she’d gone off and had sex with some other man a bunch of times all the while not being in love with him, I’d know for sure she was just there to get her bell rung better than being with me, and that would be the dealbreaker for me.
Again, I confess that I’m a toxic masculine male, type 1A. I can live with the fact my wife fell in love with another man and had sex with him, I just want some certainty that when I’m having sex with her now that she isn’t comparing the experience with me unfavorably to sex with her AP.
[This message edited by Wiseoldfool at 8:37 PM, Tuesday, May 9th]