How Do I Know If I’m Ready To Have Sex With My Husband After His Affair? What Signs Should I Look For?

By: Katie Lersch:  If you were to ask me to identify the two biggest aspects of your marriage that are damaged by a partner’s affair, they would be the trust and the sex.  People ask about the sex more often, I think, because it is more intimately tied in with the affair.  It’s very hard to have sex with your spouse without getting a mental picture of them having sex with someone else and without worrying that they actually feel desire for you when not long ago they were betraying you.

So understandably, people have a tendency to feel that they should take their time in resuming their sex life after an affair.  I agree with this because having bad or awkward sex will just give you one more thing to worry about at a time when you already have plenty of worries to focus on.

Still, a marriage without sex can be an awkward marriage.  And people often want to know when the time is right to start having sex again.  They wonderhow they will know when that time has arrived. Someone might ask: “how do I know when I’m ready for sex again after my husband’s affair?  He has told me that he will wait until I am ‘ready.’  And I do appreciate him having patience.  But I don’t know what ‘ready’ means in this context.  Right now, I am very angry at him and have no desire to have sex with him.  But occasionally, I remember back to how we used to be and then I think that I might like to have sex when I feel that way.  But the feeling is always fleeting.  Because every time I have nice thoughts about my husband, they are quickly interrupted with the memory that he cheated on me. So I don’t know that I’m ever truly going to be ‘ready.’  How will I know when the time is right.  What signs should I be looking for?”

You are right to be concerned about getting the timing right.  I do hear from a lot of people who rushed sex after an affair and who now regret it because the sex turned out to be an awful, awkward experience that just made the couple more angry and lost.  In my opinion and experience, it is so much better to wait and have a good experience. Below are some of the signs that I believe might indicate that you are ready.

You Have The Desire:  Frankly, very few people truly legitimately and authentically want to have sex with their spouse shortly after the affair because good sex combines emotional and physical longing.  When you are not emotionally in sync with your spouse, you are not as likely to crave sex or to have meaningful sex when it happens.  When you start to want sex, it usually means that you’re seeing progress and you’re starting to feel an emotional connection with your spouse once again.  It’s very hard to have the sex drive come back in any meaningful way until the emotional connection is reestablished.  Some people rush this because they want to please their spouse, but that does more harm than good.  It’s better to wait until the desire is authentic rather than just trying to please someone.

You Trust That The Affair Is Over And That He Isn’t Having Sex With Someone Else:  Nothing is as troubling and unsavory as having sex with someone who you know is having sex with someone else.  Your mind can’t rest and just enjoy the moment because you worry that he’s thinking about the other woman and comparing the two of you.  Plus, you will likely feel resentful, knowing that he will be enjoying the same activity with someone who isn’t you.  In short, you will likely feel that he doesn’t deserve to be having sex with you and he may feel the same way.  These types of thoughts and worries do not lead to a good sexual experience.

He’s Earned His Way Back Into Your Good Graces:  Along the same lines of him deserving your love, it is hard to have good sex with someone who hasn’t earned your trust.  When you know that your spouse is working hard to make things right and you know that he’s done everything you asked, then it’s much easier to think positively about him and to want to share physical affection.

You Have The Sexual Confidence To Pull It Off: It’s very difficult to have good sex with someone when you do not feel good about yourself.  You’re always wondering what they’re thinking of you and you can’t act with confidence because you don’t feel it.  It’s normal for a wife who has been cheated on to struggle with feeling sexually attractive.  I think it’s best to know that you’ve gotten your confidence back before you have sex.  Because nothing is more sexy than confidence.  And nothing is less sexy than self doubt.  If you are feeling those doubts, it’s important to do some self work to regain it.

You Want To Do It So Badly That You Don’t Focus On Your Doubts:  I honestly think that the easiest way to know if the time is right is that you find yourself in a position where you REALLY want to have sex with your husband and your thoughts are only on that.  Your not thinking about the affair.  You’re not questioning what it all means.  You’re not trying to quiet your doubts.  You don’t feel trepidation.  All you feel is that you want to have sex with him.  Right now.

I know that it may sound a little weird when you think about it.  But if you are able to get to the place where your mind is able to shut down every thing else but a desire to have sex, then it’s likely that you’ve made the progress to make that possible.  It’s not likely that you would get to this point unless your husband has started the process of showing remorse and making this right and you’ve started to trust him again.

After a few initial mistakes, my husband and I waited until it was very obvious that the time was right.  I did work on my sexual confidence and I think that it was one of the best things I did during my recovery.  You can read more about my progress on my blog at

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