How Do I Regain The Sexual Attraction To My Spouse After My Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: It is not unusual for one or both spouses to lose sexual desire in general or for one another after the discovery of an affair. Most of the time, people are more focused on the betrayal and the dishonesty to think about sex all that much. However, if the couple attempt to reconcile, then it becomes obvious that this issue is one that is going to have to be fixed sooner or later. No one wants a sexless marriage and a marriage where sex is awkward, forced, or not good is a marriage that is vulnerable to another infidelity.

I might hear from a wife who says: “for the last several months, I have been telling myself that my husband was a complete turn off. I have been telling myself that I am somewhat repulsed by his appearance and that he’s a dud as far as his personality goes. In short, I have been finding everything that is wrong with him and this is what contributed to my having an affair. I honestly felt much more attraction to, and connection with, the other man. Unfortunately, I would often compare the two of them, and my husband would come up way on the short end of the stick. So, I have been emotionally and sexually distancing myself from my husband for some time. But, after my husband found out about the affair, I agreed to stop seeing the other man and to go to counseling. I am completely clear on the fact that this is the right decision because my husband is a better person than the other man. My husband is the better life long partner. And, I have children. I do not want to break up their family. So I am determined to make my marriage work. The problem is that I don’t really have any sexual attraction left for my husband. And it’s very hard to fake this. I guess I’ve spent so long determining what is wrong with him that I no longer see what is right with him. How do I get the sexual attraction back?”

This is very common problem and quite frankly, the wife was well on her way to solving it. Because she already realized that part of her lack of sexual attraction had to do with the fact that she was focused on what was wrong with her husband instead of on what is right with him. Getting the sexual attraction back is often one of the last things that are recovered after the affair because there is so much anxiety and distrust tied into sex – since the cheating spouse was having it with someone else.

Often, the trust and the emotional intimacy comes back before the sexual intimacy does. And I feel that this is beneficial anyway. Because it’s my opinion and experience that the worst thing that you can attempt to do is to rush bad sex after an affair. Why? Because generally both people will read a lot into your sexual encounters. If the sex is bad, awkward or forced, then one or both people might think that the chemistry is gone never to come back. Or it might be such an uncomfortable experience that neither person wants to repeat it any time soon.

Honestly, there are so many issues to overcome after infidelity, why add sex to the list? My inclination has always been to take things very slowly. Because as the emotional connection returns, the sexual attraction should start to stir without your needing to try too hard. When you feel deeply connected to someone, the natural progression of that is to want to also feel close to them physically. Unfortunately, this can’t be rushed or faked, which is why you will need to just go at whatever pace presents itself without trying to force it.

As for the lack of sexual attraction because she had been focusing on her husband’s flaws, well, now is the time to start focusing on his attributes. And you may have to start small at first while you are just being honest with yourself. It may not be six pack abs or huge biceps that you’re focusing on. Instead, it might be his intense eyes or his gentle hands. Whatever is unique to your husband that you can feel positively about is fair game. So too, is his character. The wife herself said that her husband was a good man and a great father. Frankly, I found both of these attributes very sexy. Give me a man with high integrity and average looks before a very handsome man lacking in integrity any day.

It really is all in your attitude. As you focus on what is right with him rather than what is wrong, I suspect that you will begin to feel stirrings of physical attraction. But allow this to develop slowly and naturally. If you think that this is going to feel like a rejection to your husband, then you may want to just be honest with something like: “please understand that I want to get things right between us this time. I so want our marriage to work. And this is why I want to take every aspect of this very slowly so that none of it feels weird so that we get discouraged.”

This will let him know that you aren’t rejecting him, you are just working at a pace that is more likely to ensure real success. I honestly was very deliberate about taking sex very slowly after my husband’s affair.  This worked well for us.  If it helps, you’re welcome to read more about how I attempted to handle this on my blog at

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