My Husband Doesn’t Want To Have Sex With Me After He Has Ended His Affair. Why?

By: Katie Lersch: Sex after an affair is one of the most common topics that is brought up by people who read my blog.   There can be a lot of awkwardness, confusion, and questions about resuming your sex life after one spouse has been unfaithful.  And, there’s a lot at stake here because when sex goes wrong after infidelity, often one or both people read a lot into this and become very discouraged.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband had a 3 month affair a couple of months ago.  When I found out, I gave him a choice.  End it immediately and do whatever I needed to save our marriage or keep it up and lose me.  He said that he didn’t want to lose our family so he broke it off.  However, although I can tell that he’s trying to work on our marriage, he doesn’t want to have sex with me.  He doesn’t come right out and say this but he’s made no sexual advances toward me since I found out about the affair.  And when I make advances toward him, he rebuffs me or tells me that it’s ‘too soon.’  This hurts me deeply because I worry that he doesn’t find me desirable or that I no longer turn him on.  I also worry that he doesn’t want me because he’s still thinking about her.  Why would a husband not want to have sex with his wife after an affair?”  There are actually many possible reasons for this, which I will discuss below.

He May Not Want To Have Sex Because He’s Worried That It Will Be Awkward:  Sometimes, men back off of having sex because they worry that when you are in the act, you are going to be thinking about or worrying about the other woman.  They worry that you will get upset during this and will be emotionally hurt.  Also, they often intuitively know that if sex doesn’t go well, this might make one or both of you worry that the spark is gone or that the affair has damaged your marriage and your chemistry so much, that it might not ever recover.

He Might Worry That You Will Be Turned Off Or Upset During The Act:  Some men worry that once sex actually takes place, you will become upset or overwhelmed.  It’s one thing to kiss and cuddle, it’s quite another when you are actually having intercourse after infidelity.  Sometimes, it is quite emotional and your husband might be trying to avoid this until you have healed or recovered more.

His Guilt May Be Telling Him That He Doesn’t Deserve It: Another possibility is that your husband feels very guilty and feels as if he doesn’t deserve your willingness to have sex with him.  He may feel as if he needs to earn back your trust before he even thinks about deserving to be intimate with you again.

His Emotions May Be All Over The Place:  There’s an assumption that men are willing to have sex anywhere and anytime no matter what the circumstances.  There is also a perception that while a woman needs an emotional connection or to feel emotionally healthy before she can have sex, a man doesn’t need any emotional connection whatsoever.  This isn’t the case for all men.  Some have issues being intimate when they are struggling emotionally.  And, believe it or not, men can be emotionally torn after an affair.  They can have some confusion and a large sense of regret. And this can bring about emotions that just make sex at that time feel wrong.

He May Be Posturing:  I’ll mention one final possibility, although this one is less common.  Sometimes, his holding off on having sex is part of a strategy.  Sometimes, he knows that you have the power in the marriage right now because of his affair.  And sometimes, he will try to regain some of this power by holding off sexually.  He figures if he can make you pursue him, he won’t have as much making up to do. And you have to decide if you’re going to want to allow him to do this.

How To Respond When He Doesn’t Want To Have Sex After Infidelity:  I know that this is probably not what you want to hear.  But honestly, I feel that it is best not to push if you are encountering resistance. There is plenty of time to resume your sex life and you are so much better off waiting until things are right between you.  I believe that it’s important for the sex to be good after the affair.  And it probably won’t be very good if one or both of you aren’t sure or feel uncomfortable.

So the next time that he resists, you may want to say something like: “I can see that you’re not completely comfortable.  I think that it’s better for us to wait and make sure that we are both ready rather than to push it.  I am confident that we will both know when the time is right.  And I’m also confident it will be worth the wait.”  Then, just get on with your healing.  Many men will see you backing up and then they will start pursuing you, at which point you’ll need to make another decision about how best to proceed.

I know that this is difficult.  But I strongly advocate waiting until you know, without any doubt whatsoever, that the time is right.  You don’t want to have sexual issues in addition to the infidelity issues.  A good sex life can help with the healing.  And an awkward one can delay your progress.  I have to admit that I held off for a while after my husband’s affair.  It just felt necessary and, since we did save our marriage and are happy today, I feel that it was the right call.  If it helps, you can read about my recovery on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

How Do I Be More Stoic And Stable After My Spouse’s Affair? I Can’t Seem To Toughen Up.

By: Katie Lersch: If your best friend were to tell you that she was struggling emotionally after her husband’s affair, I’d be willing to bet that you would be extra loving, supportive, and gentle toward her. You’d likely tell you that she should be kind to herself and to take her time in trying to sort through this. Most people would never rush their friend or tell her that she needs to toughen up and move on.

And yet, when an affair happens to us, this is exactly what most of us will do. Even though we would show friends, family, and even complete strangers unconditional kindness and patience in the wake of an affair, we are rarely able to give the same to ourselves.

The vast majority of us will beat ourselves up, will hurry ourselves, and will tell ourselves (and others) that we just aren’t managing quite well enough. Most of us feel overly-emotional and somewhat weak. Someone might describe it this way: “I mean no disrespect to my husband, but quite honestly, I have always been the strong one in my marriage. My husband has always been the emotional one and I am always the stoic, rational one who runs on logic and not feelings. I am always the one who can be counted upon to use my common sense and to not to allow my emotions to cloud my judgement or to get the better of me. But now that I have found out about my husband’s affair, I find that I’m expressing emotions like never before. I can not stop crying. I can not concentrate on every day things. Little things that I would never have noticed before set me off. I get overly emotional about stupid things of no consequence. I will tell myself that I need to toughen up and that I will get through this like I get through everything else, but so far this little pep talk isn’t working. How do I become more stoic? This just isn’t like me.”

I know how you feel. I too was frustrated with my feelings and my behavior after my husband’s affair. I didn’t feel as if I could control either. And this wasn’t like me. But I know for sure that most of us are just too hard on ourselves during this difficult time. Because let’s face it, you’re not experiencing your emotions the same as normal because things are not the same as normal. It is not every day that you find out your husband is having an affair. This is an emotional punch in the stomach. It can take quite a while (and a lot of healing) to be able to regain your footing. Because of this, it’s harsh to expect yourself just to be able to shake it off. It’s unrealistic and it makes you feel as if you are doing something wrong when you are not. It makes you feel as if you are not being strong enough when that just isn’t true.

Nonetheless, these feelings of being out of control can take a toll on you. There is relief in reigning them in a little. So below, I will offer some tips that helped me a little bit in this regard.

Give Yourself Set Times To Let It All Out: Honestly, I found that the harder I tried to reign in my feelings or to deny them, the more likely they were to come out. It is like when you’re a kid and you get punished and your parent screams at you to “stop crying.” What happens then? You start crying even harder, of course.

That’s why I think it is helpful to give yourself the opportunity to let it all out on a regular basis. If you try to hold it in, then it is going to demand to be let out. And this can contribute to that “out of control” feeling.

I found it helpful to either set aside time to journal, to talk to someone, or to even scream into a pillow or two. To be honest, I was very careful about who I confided in. I just did not want for well-meaning friends to constantly quiz me about my situation. I did not want them to change their opinions about my husband because I knew that, because of my kids, he would always be in our lives. But I did have a few people who I confided in and I did see someone professionally for a while.

Having this type of outlet on a regular basis is invaluable. Because you know that there will be a time and a place to let it out, you hopefully will not be as apt to let it out all of the time.

In addition to having a regular outlet, the passage of time is a comfort and helps with perspective. You begin to realize that the days still come, the sun still rises, and the world keeps going. One day, you look around and realize that despite it all, you are still OK and that you have endured. Don’t be hard on yourself.  You are plenty strong and tough.  You just need to be gentle with yourself and give yourself the same compassion you’d give a friend.

I know that it’s not easy. I struggled too. But I’m still here. I’m fine. My marriage recovered. It gets better. Once healing starts and you have a regular outlet, you tend to find your footing and you find your feelings regulating, at least in my experience.  There’s more about that on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

Why Would A Spouse Even Want An Affair?

By: Katie Lersch:  Sometimes, I get correspondence from the faithful spouse who is struggling to understand their spouse’s reasoning for having an affair. I completely understand this.  I struggled with understanding also.  And I feel that much of the time, the faithful spouse has a very hard time understanding this because it is not something that they would ever do themselves.

Now, I know that many people who end up having affairs also thought that they would never have one.  In fact, I believe that most people do not set out to have affairs.  But I believe that some people are more vulnerable than others.  I also believe that some people are less vulnerable than others.  For example, my personality type is such that even the idea of this type of wrong-doing would create so much anxiety in me that I would never want to carry out an affair.  Simply put, the guilt and the turmoil would surely cancel out any pleasure or excitement that an affair would offer.  I am prone to anxiety, which means that I almost never seek out situations which would cause more anxiety. That’s why it was very hard for me to understand why my husband could experience the exact opposite.

And I know that I’m not alone.  I get a good deal of correspondence from wives who say things like: “I honestly do not get why someone would even want to have an affair.  You turn on the TV and you see these politicians and these celebrities who have been caught cheating and they are shamed and their lives are ruined.  Most people with any sense know that having an affair will never turn out well.  They know that no good can come out of it.  And they almost always want their spouse back once the affair is found out.  They often have to work very hard and to literally beg their spouse not to leave them and to take their family.  There’s always so much pain and turmoil after the affair is discovered.  That’s why I don’t even understand why someone would even want to have an affair.  Can someone please explain it to me?”

I can tell you some theories based on things that I’ve been told by others who have had an affair.  But I have to tell you that the reasons still may not make total sense to you.  While I can follow the thought process in most cases, I still can’t completely understand it, as I myself would stop short of pulling the trigger, so to speak.  But that doesn’t mean that we should not try to understand what we are dealing with.

He Doesn’t Want To Expose His Spouse To A Different Side Of His Personality:  Some faithful spouses are doubly shocked.  Because not only do they learn that their spouse has cheated, but they also learn that he’s been participating in things that are just not typical of him.  He may be unleashing some part of his personality because he’s either ashamed, embarrassed, or otherwise not inclined to share this part of himself with his spouse.  So when the opportunity to unleash this part of himself presents itself, he does not resist.

He’s Looking For A Risk (Or To Create A Sense Of Excitement) To Divert Him From What Is Really Going On:  Many people get into ruts at some point in our lives.  Some of us have to deal with a life crisis. Many of us take up a new hobby, volunteer, or take an honest look at our lives and make adjustments.  But there are individuals who do nothing but try to “escape” from their problems.  And make no mistake, that is exactly what an affair is – an escape.

It’s Nothing More Than An Ego Boost:  I often think that in many cases, an affair has to come along at precisely the right time for many people.  Folks who wouldn’t otherwise think of cheating are caught at a time when they desperately need affirmation or an ego boost.  For whatever reason, it’s a time in their life where they start to doubt or feel badly about themselves (this often comes with aging, but a number of issues can come into play.)  And then along comes this person at precisely the right time who is giving them exactly what they think that they need.  So they find the affair to be irresistible and they think that it won’t last and that no one will find out.

They Are Looking For A Passive Aggressive Way To “Show” Or Hurt Their Spouse: I have listed this one last because I think that it’s probably the least-likely scenario listed here.  But sometimes, there is simmering anger in a marriage.  The spouse who ultimately cheats is angry or hurt – even if he doesn’t discuss it or even realize it.  So his way of addressing the situation or of lashing out is by cheating.  It’s his way to “show” his spouse that if she is going to treat him badly, then he can find someone else to treat him well.  The great irony of this is that often, he has no intention of his wife ever finding out about the affair so he is theoretically not going to “show” her anything.  But I suppose that in his own mind, this makes him feel as if he has done something to even the score, even if he may be the only one who knows it for a while.

As I said before, these reasons may not inspire “aha” moments in you.  Some people would never cheat no matter what.  If you are one of those, (as I am,) then it may be hard to allow your brain to go down these paths.  Unfortunately though, statistics tell us that plenty of people DO understand this.  Because plenty of people cheat.  And plenty of people who never thought they could ever be unfaithful ultimately are. So sometimes, thoughts and feelings become intentions and actions.

I know that it may not seem like it now, but none of these reasons have to stick around.  Many people can be rehabilitated if they are willing to work extremely hard.  My husband had his own reasons for cheating (and I fully admit that I will never completely understand them.)  But I’m also confident that it won’t happen again.  It took a lot of time and hard work to get to this place.  But we both feel that it was worth it.  You can read  more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

We Can Not Communicate Without Arguing After The Affair

By: Katie Lersch:  There’s no question that even being in the same room can be a challenge after your spouse has an affair.  Communicating with any sense of efficiency or courtesy can feel almost impossible.  And this is understandable.  You’re angry.  You don’t want to hear anything that he has to say.  He may sound incredibly condescending and indignant to your ears.  And you may sound self righteous and impatient to his.

You may well know that you are going to have to communicate.  But it can seem to be an impossible task.  Someone might explain: “every time my husband and I open our mouths, we argue.  We are both guilty of having very sharp tones with one another and very little patience.  He can ask me to pass the salt at the dinner table and to my ears, it can sound as if he has insulted me because of the tone of his voice. It infuriates me and it takes everything that I can do not to get up from the table in anger.  I can’t imagine us having any sort of meaningful conversation that involves courtesy or give and take.  The sound of his voice infuriates me.  The fear of what kind of nonsense he’s going to be spewing makes me just want to turn away and not even hear what he’s going to say.  I don’t want to end my marriage, really.  I’ve worked too hard at it and we’ve built a life together that I’ve worked very hard to build.  I don’t want to just surrender it because my husband made a very stupid mistake.  At the same time, though, I can’t imagine being able to work this out if we can’t even talk about what to have for dinner without being at each other’s throats.”

To A Certain Extent, Time Can Help: In my experience, what you are going through is normal.  When you are this angry, that same anger is going to cloud every thought, every interaction, and every conversation.  In many situations, you just have to give it some time.  It’s exhausting to hold onto the anger day after day and over and over, so it eventually dissipates, at least somewhat.

Also, often in time, the apologies and the explanations come and you begin to believe that he feels some remorse and realizes his mistake.  That too, can help the anger to fade so that you can eventually begin to communicate somewhat effectively again.

Considerations About Getting Help Or Learning Other Strategies: Sometimes, couples opt to let a counselor help them to facilitate communication – especially where the affair is concerned –  because a third party can help you to do it effectively and can help you to side-step the places where you’re getting bogged down with the anger.

Other times, couples choose to wait to have the difficult conversations.  No one is going to tell you that you shouldn’t talk about the affair as soon as possible.  No one is going to tell you that communication isn’t absolutely vital.  It is.  But sometimes, effective communication just isn’t possible right away.  There is too much raw anger.  And no matter what is said, one or both of the parties are going to take it the wrong way or act hostile in return.

In these cases, it is sometimes best to stick to the very basics for a while until the anger begins to wane.  Your seeing the anger and the fighting right now does not mean that your marriage is doomed to fail.  It doesn’t mean that you will always fight this way or will never be able to move past this.  It is normal and it is a positive sign that you recognize the anger and see it as a problem.

You might try pausing before you speak with any malice or trying to remind yourself not to read negativity into everything your spouse says, but sometimes you have to save the hard topics for later or seek outside help for them.  No one said this is easy.  Having conversations about such heavy topics as an affair would be very difficult even for the most articulate couples in the very best of times.

You have every right to be angry.  And these conversations are very difficult.  Don’t beat yourself up for the outcome.  Just retreat when you need to.  Don’t let the fights escalate.  Try again the next day.  And if you need to, seek outside help.  We all want to feel better as soon as possible.  It’s important to remind yourself that this is normal. Tomorrow is another day.  Take a deep breath.  Don’t engage. And try again a little later as things calm down.

My anger always felt as if it was just about to boil over after my husband’s affair.  And yes, this lead to arguments and sometimes fights.  With time, as we healed, the intensity decreased and the communication increased.  It took work.  It took patience.  But it did happen.  If it helps, there’s more to read on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

My Husband Won’t Even Try To Make Things Right With Me After He Cheated. There is No Attempt Whatsoever

By: Katie Lersch: Finding out that your spouse has cheated on you is something that most of us will consider one of the most disappointing experiences that we will ever go through. We have put our trust in this person. We have invested much time and emotion into the relationship. We were faithful and we gave the relationship our all. When our spouse falls short and betrays us, it is devastating. But it is even more devastating if they do nothing to pick up the pieces or to clean up the mess.

A wife might explain: “I have not really even gotten a heartfelt apology from my husband for cheating on me. He pretty much shrugs his shoulders, says he messed up, and acts like our marriage is just over. I wanted and expected for him to fight for me. He hasn’t. He will concede that he made a mistake that will require him to move out, but he acts as if he’s going no further than making this statement. He told me that he knows he has to find a new place to live and will do so as soon as possible. Also, he cheated on me with a relative of one of the coaches on my daughters’ travel soccer team. Now, things are awkward with the coach and my daughter is embarrassed to go to practice. My husband acts as if this is our problem. He hasn’t made any effort to make this right, either. She is not his daughter, so he doesn’t seem to care. It’s like he’s perfectly content to just run away and not face up to what he did. It’s as if he doesn’t care enough about me to stick around and try to make amends. I’m disappointed on so many levels. How can I get him to try to make this right by me? Honestly, I am not sure if I’ll want to save my marriage or not. But, I’d sure like that option. I’d sure like to see him make an effort regardless of the outcome.”

Unfortunately, there are a couple of considerations that I have to bring up here. You probably already know that you can’t force someone to feel or do something. And even if you are partly successful with this, you often still don’t get what you really want – which is to know that he truly wants to make this up to you – (willingly and on his own and without force.) If he only takes action because you shame or guilt him, how genuine is it?

Another consideration is that very often, men won’t make any attempt to begin the healing process because they are attempting to get you to “give in” regarding your requirements. He is hoping that you say: “you don’t have to move out. We’ll work this out. I’ll show you that things can be OK if you just let me.” Men do this because they are afraid that you are going to endlessly punish them for the affair and “hold it over their heads” and so they try to disarm you right from the start. This might seem evil and cowardly, but it’s actually very common, even from men who are genuinely sorry and who know that they are wrong. Because it’s just human nature to want to move on instead of having to pay for something for the rest of your life. So, he’s trying to change the dynamics a little bit.

If you’re tempted to offer him some reassurance that perhaps this is something that can be worked out, know that what you say now might set the tone going forward. Try not to make concessions that you will regret. Really think about what you are going to require in order to make this right and don’t give any of that away. Because once you do, you risk feeling resentment later since you may believe that he got off easy and isn’t really sorry.

I can tell you from experience that one of the largest difficulties in saving your marriage after your husband cheats is truly believing that he wants you, is sorry for what he did to you, and understands what went wrong so that he will not repeat his behavior. But, if he doesn’t have to do any work in this regard, how can you have confidence in any of the above?

If you’d like to start a conversation about this, talk in generalities, but don’t make him promises that will let him off the hook. You might try something like: “this whole thing is so disappointing. Yes, the infidelity is disappointing, but frankly, what’s even worse than that is how quickly you’re willing to walk away without even trying to make it right again. Is our marriage not worth the effort to you?”

Notice that you never said he didn’t have to make any effort. You didn’t say that he didn’t have to try. You just said that you were disappointed that he didn’t even attempt to make even the slightest effort. After having this conversation, sometimes, you just have to wait. Because he is likely waiting to see if you are going to allow him an easy way out. When he sees that you aren’t, you will sometimes see more effort from him because his plan did not work.

If this wasn’t his strategy (and sometimes it isn’t,) he may just need time to process this. Many people are occasionally defensive or even very passive until the dust settles a little and their feelings go from flat to more realistic. But, waiting and / or trying to have an honest conversation are probably the best options. I don’t know of any way to “make” him want to make this right again. He has to genuinely want it for himself. This isn’t always immediate, so just because you are not seeing that now, this doesn’t mean that you won’t ever see it.

My husband did try to posture a little bit in the beginning. He was apologetic immediately, but once he felt the full force of my anger, he began to get defensive.  I had to make it clear that excuses weren’t going to sit well.  Read more if you like on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

Can A Woman Have An Emotional Affair Out Of Revenge And Not Realize It?

By: Katie Lerch: I get a decent amount of correspondence about revenge after an affair.  Sometimes, the faithful spouse wants to (or is considering) doing something to get revenge.  Other times, they are feeling the urge to want revenge but they are trying desperately to resist that urge because they know that it is not really going to help anything.

Other times, I hear from the cheating spouse who is scared of revenge or who thinks that they might be seeing vengeful behavior (even if their spouse denies this.)  Here is an example.  A husband might say: “I really can not effectively tell you how sorry I am that I cheated on my wife.  I really don’t know what I was thinking.  And in fact I probably wasn’t thinking clearly at all.  I believe that my children are the only reason that my wife did not leave me.  But although she’s still here, at times she looks at me with pure hatred.  Her opinion of me has obviously changed.  Where she used to respect me, now she acts as if I have low morals and am just a jerk.  She doesn’t really listen when I talk and half the time she rolls her eyes at me and doesn’t even try to engage me with conversation.  For the past three weeks, she has been spending a lot of time with a male co worker.  I didn’t say anything at first because she gets mad at me so easily.  Plus I thought it would hypocritical of me to insinuate that I don’t want her to have male friends when I am the one who had an affair.  But last night we were spending time with our kids and the guy called. So I lost patience and asked her about it.  She said that it was her job to train the guy at work and that they had become ‘close.’  She says he makes her laugh and feel good in a way she hasn’t for a long time.  I got flustered and asked her if she thought that the relationship had crossed a line and had become an emotional affair.  She got very angry.  She said that the last thing she would do is start up an affair considering how my affair pretty much ruined our lives.  She said that she was not that stupid.  But now I’m wondering if perhaps she’s started an emotional affair for revenge without even knowing it.  Is that possible?”

Anything is possible.  As a spouse who has been cheated on, I can tell you that there is a vulnerability there.  Being cheated on makes you doubt yourself.  It makes you wonder if anyone will ever find you attractive again.  It makes you wonder if everyone is going to see you as damaged.  So when a man show interest in you, allows you to confide in him, and boosts your confidence, this can feel like a relief.  It can feel as if it’s just what the doctor ordered.  And if your spouse gets jealous and insecure, well, perhaps he deserves it.

At the same time, I am only speaking for myself when I say that although I would have welcomed any attention, I would have never made my situation worse by actually cheating.  Our family life was so broken at the time that there was no way that I was going to add to my problems by adding another infidelity into the mix.  I was not in any state to be in any sort of romantic relationship.

I’m not saying that this is how your wife feels.  I can’t possibly know that.  However, I also can tell you that plenty of women have men friends at work, with there being nothing inappropriate about it.  Adults are capable of having friends of the opposite sex without cheating.  So your wife having a relationship with a male coworker doesn’t necessarily mean that you have anything to worry about.

Rather than accuse your wife of something that might not be true and making her feel defensive, I would place my focus on your marriage and your relationship with her rather than placing your focus on her relationship with him.  Because if you can work through the issues and strengthen your marriage, then you will have more confidence that you have nothing to worry about.  And your wife won’t have the need to get her emotional needs met elsewhere.

She may not even be consciously trying to do anything inappropriate.  She may just be finding relief in having someone to interact with.  And it may be nothing to worry about.  But, if it gives you a bad feeling, there is nothing wrong with trying to bump up your attempts to improve your marriage and to strengthen your intimacy as quickly as you can.  The sooner she is getting her emotional needs met by you, the sooner she will no longer need to get it from someone else, assuming that’s what is happening right now. That said, it’s possible that you are very sensitive about something that is innocent due to the affair.

So many issues that crop after the affair lessen or disappear once healing takes place.  Hopefully, that will be the case here.  I don’t think you ever go wrong with placing your focus on healing.  Much of the time, after you are successful, everything else falls into place.  At least that was true in my case.   You can read more about that on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

A Letter To The Husband Who Cheated And Had An Affair: What Should It Say?

by: katie lersch: I often hear from women who are struggling to work through their husband’s cheating or affair.  Many ask me about writing a letter to put their struggles into words.  Some have even asked me for a sample letter or requested for me to write one for them.  I honestly think it’s advisable to be careful and deliberate about any letter that you are going to give your husband.   Because this can often set the tone for recovery. And often, such a letter leads to a lot of hurt feelings or misunderstandings.  Plus, it’s also important to remember that your feelings are likely to change a great deal in the coming days, months, or even years.

But I do understand the allure of a letter.  It’s often very challenging to put the difficult things that we feel into verbal words. And so often, we choke up, get emotional, or break down when we try.  So we feel like written communication or a letter is going to be easier and more effective.  Although I certainly can’t write such a letter for you, I can give you some guidelines on what it might say which I’ll do below.

A Letter Can Be Used To Release Your Feelings About The Affair. (In Fact, Sometimes A Letter That You Never Give Your Husband Can Be Beneficial:)  Many women are looking to write such a letter because they feel that doing so is going to allow them to release some very painful and closed off feelings.  I highly encourage writing such a letter.  In fact, even if you do want to craft a letter for your husband, I suggest writing one just for yourself that no one else will see.

Because this is where you can really let your feelings out without having to edit yourself or worry how your words are going to be perceived.  Many women chose to burn the letter (or at least hide it) once it’s written because these words are for no one else but you.  Since you are the only one who is going to read this letter, there’s no need to  hold back.  Just let it all out and then either dispose of it or put it somewhere where only you can find it.  Because it’s just meant to release your feelings, there really is no need to keep it around or to share it.  Now, let’s move on to the letter that you might be considering writing for your husband’s benefit or view.

Carefully Consider What You Want Your Husband To Take Away From The Letter Before You Write It Or Give It To Him: I strongly suggest that before you write any letter, you examine what you hope to accomplish with it.  I have to be honest. Many women admit to me that they write the letter because they want their husband to feel guilty or remorseful about the affair.  They want to show him how badly he’s hurt them.  They want to give him a glimpse into their battered soul so he can see just how deep the damage that he caused goes.

I completely understand this as I had the same intentions.  And that’s why it’s advisable to examine why you’re really writing the letter.  Although many don’t admit this even to themselves, many of us want to write the letter because we want to improve our situations.  We’re hoping that if our husband sees how we really feel and how deeply he’s really hurt us, he’ll be so remorseful that he will not cheat again and will move heaven and earth to make this up to us.

And yet, often the letter has the reverse affect.  Yes, it makes the husband feel very bad and guilty.  But many husbands tell me that they just see the letter as just more of the same.  I’ve actually had men tell me things like “she’s not saying anything in the letter that I don’t already know or she hasn’t already said.  I already get that I’m a bad husband who did a very bad thing so why do we need to keep repeating the same thing over and over?  I’ve already told her that I was sorry and want to save the marriage.  So how is this going to change because the words are written rather than spoken?  To me, this is just one more way for her to express how disappointed she is in me and how much I’ve let her down.  But, I already know this.  I don’t need for her to keep repeating it.”

This is why it’s so important to clearly define your objections for the letter before and while you’re writing it and to ask yourself how your husband might receive or interpret it before you give it to him.

What I Think A Letter To A Husband Who Cheated Or Had An Affair Should Include: I actually think that a well crafted letter can help a marriage after an affair.  But, you have to be very careful. Because some letters actually harm the marriage or set it back for months.  The real power that I think the right letter holds is that it can clear up any misconceptions or understandings and it can underscore your intentions and your plans moving forward.  It truly can set the tone for the days and months ahead.

For example, rather than just continuing to stress how much the affair has hurt you, you might also mention what you’d like to happen moving forward, what you need for these things to happen, and what your intentions truly are.  In my mind, such a letter could include three parts – current feelings, current needs, and future intentions.  I realize that it’s not realistic to think that you aren’t going to include how the affair or cheating has hurt you or made you feel, but I’d suggest not making this the sole content of the letter because your husband likely already knows this and if you go on and on, he’s likely not going to take away what you were hoping for.

After you briefly touch on your feelings, you then may consider focusing or explaining what you need from him in the days and weeks ahead.  If you want him to give you more reassurance, affection, and accountability, then use the letter to your advantage and ask for it.  Many of us find it easier to put these difficult requests into writing.  And the additional advantage is, for future reference, you’ve spelled out what you need to move forward.

Finally, it’s helpful to include your intentions moving forward.  I can’t tell you how many couples aren’t sure what their spouse really wants in the aftermath of the affair.  If you truly want to save your marriage even though this affair shook you to your core, now is the time to write that and to tell your husband what you need and how you intend to get there.

My initial attempt at writing a letter after my husband’s affair turned out quite badly because I gave him a letter that should have been meant only for my own eyes.  Later, I changed course with my tone and intention and this made a huge difference.  Although I never would’ve believed this two years ago, I did eventually truly get over the affair. My marriage is stronger than ever. It took a lot of work beyond the letter, but it was worth it.  If it helps, you can read more of that very personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com/

My Husband Had An Affair And Now All He Wants To Do Is Have Sex With Me

By: Katie Lersch:   There is an assumption that a couple struggling with infidelity aren’t having much sex.  This may be because the person who was unfaithful isn’t interested.  Or because the faithful spouse is so turned off by the thought of her spouse sleeping with someone else that she has placed sex off limits.

The above scenarios do happen sometimes.  But the opposite can also happen.  The couple can actually increase the frequency of their sex.  This can happen for a couple of a reasons.  Sex can seem like a very effective way to say “I’m sorry” for the cheating spouse.  And knowing that your spouse still desires you and you can still have hot sex can be very reassuring for both spouses.  People are sometimes very judgmental of this, but frankly it is no one’s business.  If both parties are willing and it doesn’t cause any problems, then it really is up to the couple to decide how to resume their sex life.

Of course, sometimes it does cause problems or things are taken a little too far.  This can happen when the cheating spouse wants to turn up the volume on the sex life a little too much.  It can begin to feel as if sex is being used to fix all of your problems, which of course is unacceptable.  A wife might explain this type of situation: “I found out that my husband had been cheating about three months ago.  For the first month, I did not really speak to or spend any time with my husband at all.  But in the second month, we started communicating a little and one night we went out and one thing lead to another and we had great sex.  I mean we had the best sex that we have had in years.  I honestly did not think we’d ever have that type of sex again.  Of course, this has now happened countless times.  It seems that all my husband wants to do is have sex now.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it too.  But I don’t want for my husband to think that this has solved all of our problems or that we are now home free.   Sometimes, I will want to talk about our issues and what is his response?  He wants to have sex, of course.  Don’t get me wrong.  Being at this stage and having sex and being affectionate is better than not speaking.  But I am afraid that we are glossing over things.”

I totally understand your concern and believe that it is valid.  While having sex feels a whole lot better than fighting, if the issues are never explored and fixed, they will come up again sooner or later.  You can’t have sex all of the time.  Reality has to come to the surface at some point.  And when it does, it may not be the reality that you want until things are set right again.

However, making your husband see this might be tricky. He may see it as a rejection if you don’t explain the reasoning behind it.  And just abruptly cutting him off may cause him to misunderstand your intentions.  He may think that you are suddenly changing your mind or punishing him.  That’s why I think that it helps to be clear.

You might try: “as much as I enjoy our having sex instead of fighting, I worry that we may be using sex as a way to escape issues that are going to need our attention.  I’m not saying that I’m taking it off the table.  But I do want to balance it with working on issues that have either cropped up pre or post affair.  I think it’s fair that we agree to either go to counseling regularly or set aside some time each week where we will discuss things.  I worry that our having sex is causing us to gloss over the issues.  And I think that is a mistake because I don’t want the issues to come back to haunt us later.  Can we agree to this?”

I would think that most cheating spouses will agree.  While no one likes to regularly discuss something that is hurtful, every one should be able to tolerate it for the good and health of your marriage.  And frankly, your husband has it easier than many.  At least you are willing to give him physical affection.  Many wives withhold this afterward.  So he should hopefully be able to see that asking him to regularly work on your marriage is a request that is more than fair.

Just be clear that you’re very comfortable with the sex and are willingly giving it because you want to.  And be careful that you aren’t using it as an escape or diversion.  It actually is pretty common for couples dealing with infidelity to sometimes feel MORE desire instead of less.  You can both realize that your marriage is at serious risk and you can then imagine life without your spouse.  Naturally, when the love is still there, you want to do something to ensure that this loss doesn’t happen.  You want to feel close, desired, and accepted. This is natural.

I took sex off of the table for a little while because I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t just muddying the waters.  But everyone is different.  Everyone has a different journey.  You can read more about my own journey on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

The Affair Is Over, But He Told Me That He “Had The Time Of His Life”

By: Katie Lersch: When your husband claims that the affair is over, this is really only the beginning of what you want. Sure, there is relief that it’s over. But you also want and need to believe that he is sorry and that he realizes how wrong and hurtful his actions were. Unfortunately, not every one has this need met. Some husbands hesitate to show how sorry they are. And others will claim not to be sorry at all. In fact, some will tell you that the affair actually had a positive or lasting impact on their lives, leaving their wives confused about how to react to such a hurtful claim.

Here’s an example. A husband might tell someone: “I know that having an affair was wrong. I never thought that I would cheat or jeopardize my marriage. I love my wife and am committed to her. But she wants me to denounce the affair and act like it was this awful thing. My wife wants me to act like there was nothing redeeming about it. That’s hard for me. It would require me to lie. Frankly, I had the time of my life during the affair. I have never felt so free and alive. It honestly was a life-changing event. It transformed me. And I am grateful. I know it has to end. And it has ended. But I truly did have the time of my life.”

A wife who hears this little speech would understandably be upset. Her response might be something like: “What am I supposed to do with this information? He’s basically telling me that the affair was the best thing that ever happened to him and that it improved and enhanced his life. And now I am supposed to believe that he’s walking away from all of that to live a boring life with me? How am I not supposed to compare myself and come up short? I wish he had never said that. I wish that I could forget it. But I know that I will never be able to forget. And I am not sure that we can save our marriage now that I have this knowledge.”

I completely understand. I think that most of us have ideas, images, or phrases that we fear we’ll never get out of our minds. I can’t guess at what your husband meant or intended when he told you these things. But I can tell you that people tend to change their perceptions of the affair in time.

Reasons That He May Be Inflating Things: It is very common for men not to allow you to see the full extent of their sorrow and their guilt until much later – when there is no need of posturing or pretense anymore. Sometimes, they need time to realize that they aren’t going to be successful with making exaggerated claims that are only meant to disarm you. Or they finally see how much they have hurt you and then the full brunt of their sorrow is on display.

Another thing to consider is that people tend to “build up” the affair in their own minds. They HAVE to do that in order to live with themselves. Because it seems pretty silly to take huge risks when you have a good wife for another woman who is truly nothing special. So the man has to build her up so that she is “worth it.” Eventually, once he has the luxury of time and distance, he sees her for what she truly is – pretty ordinary.

Encouraging Him To See Reality: It is up to you to decide if you are willing to wait for this change to take place or if you want to try to bring it on a little earlier by having a conversation about this. Of course, you can not control what your husband thinks or feels. But you can discourage him from posturing or romanticizing the affair by saying something like: “it’s very hard for me to tell if you truly feel this way or are just building the affair up in your own mind. I can only tell you that hearing you talk this way discourages me and makes me doubt what is ahead for us. Put yourself in my shoes. How would you feel if I told you that I had ‘the time of my life’ with another man? I am asking you to think about that and to be more sensitive in the future. If we’re going to save our marriage, we’re going to have to look forward and focus on one another. Talking about the affair with nostalgia or fondness is not in line with this. I hope that in time, you will realize that what I am saying is valid. And you will worry about my feelings as much as your own.”

This may get him to have those realizations that I talked about a little more quickly. Counseling may help his time frame even more.  And you may have to keep redirecting him when he’s being insensitive.  I found in my own case that the more I healed, the more sensitive my husband became.  That seems sort of upside down, but that was my reality.  You can read more about that process on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

How Can A Man Who Loves His Wife Have An Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from wives who are really struggling with the reality that their husband has had an affair. Often, the hardest part for them is not the betrayal itself, but the circumstances that preceded the betrayal. Many of these wives are so confused because they had good marriages and loving husbands. In fact, many believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that these same loving husbands would never cheat. And, many of these wives will admit that they suspect that their husband still loves them, even after his cheating. That’s why his cheating can be so horribly confusing.

I heard from a wife who said: “there is no doubt in my mind that my husband loved me during his affair and I fully believe that he loves me now. That’s why I simply can’t wrap my brain around why he would cheat on me. I admit that our lives were stressful when I was undergoing treatment for severe thyroid issues. But my husband was so loving and supportive during that time that I never would have suspected that he was caring for me in the evenings and then having an affair with his coworker during the day. How could he know that I was home sick and still  carry out what he did? How could he love and worry about me and then sleep with someone else? How can a man who truly loves his wife cheat on her?”  I will try to answer these questions in the following article.

Often, A Husband’s Affair Doesn’t Have Anything Whatsoever To Do With His Love For His Wife: There are many types of affairs. We all know of or have even heard from the husband who will claim he cheated or had an affair because his wife just didn’t understand or appreciate him. Or, he’ll say that his wife had let herself go or had changed, so as a result, he fell out of love with her and had an affair with someone else.

In fact, that is so common an excuse that many people will just assume that a cheating husband no longer loves his wife. This is most certainly not true in every case. A good number of cheating men actually love, adore, and lust after their wives. Men who have good and active sex lives cheat. Men who could not ever imagine their lives without their wives still cheat. Men who look their wives right in the face and truthfully declare their undying love cheat on those same wives. Why? Because sometimes the cheating and the love have nothing to do with one another.

If Men Don’t Cheat Because They No Longer Love Their Wives, Then Why Do They Cheat?: There isn’t one answer to this question. But, if I had to simplify it, my answer would be to provide a diversion or relief from some problem or issue that is usually completely separate from their marriage. Sometimes, they cheat in times of stress during which they feel powerless. In the above scenario, the wife’s health issues had been very stressful on both she and her husband. By no means am I using this to defend her husband’s actions. But, for whatever reason, it is very common for men to cheat during times when they under a high amount of stress like an illness, a job loss, a period of self doubt or a period of feeling helpless. During such times, the cheating is in response to the stress and is an attempt to man the man feel less helpless or worthless. It doesn’t have anything to do with his love for his wife, which is still very much in tact. In fact, sometimes part of the frustration comes with loving your wife and with feeling powerless to help her like with the above situation.

Another thing you’ll often hear is the husband say he didn’t feel that he was “good enough” or “worthy” of someone like his wife so he sabotaged his relationship because, again he was struggling with those feelings of being worthless.

If Your Loving Husband Cheated Or Had An Affair, Where Does That Leave You?: Most likely, you will have a choice to make. There are times when wives in this situation will begin to doubt their husband’s love for them, even when there is that little voice in the back of their head that says things like: “but remember that time when he stayed up with you all night when you couldn’t sleep?” Or “remember how he looks at you? How can he fake that?”

It’s very difficult to juggle the knowledge that he has done very loving things and acted in loving ways and yet he has committed an act that betrays that love. And yet, among all the confusion, there’s still a choice to make. You’ll ultimately need to decide if that same love is enough. You’ll need to ask yourself if the remaining love is enough for you to try to rehabilitate your marriage and work through whatever personal issues may have lead up to his cheating.

That is not a decision that anyone can make but you. Some women will look at both the man and the marriage over the course of many years and decide that the good things that he has done outweigh that one bad decision. And others will decide that no matter how much they love their husband or he loves them, cheating is just not something that they will ever overcome.

I know it is a difficult decision, but I hope this article has shed a little light on how it’s possible for a man who loves his wife to make a very huge mistake (for which he is likely very sorry) and to cheat.

I actually never doubted my husband’s love for me after his affair.  I knew he loved me before, during and after it.  The question really was if that love was enough to pull us through.  In the end, it took more than love.  It took a lot of work, determination and skill.  But we made it.  If it helps, you can read all about it on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com