Of all the topics that come up after one spouse has cheated or had an affair, one of the most problematic is sex. After all, it’s sex with someone else that caused the affair in the first place. And, there may have been sexual issues in your marriage before the infidelity. So, needless to say, this is a potentially problematic and sensitive issue that both people can hesitate to talk about or address.
The thing is, sex after an affair can either help to bring the married couple back together, or it can be one other thing that rips them further apart. And unfortunately, there are so many misunderstandings and wrong assumptions surrounding it. I will discuss this more in the following article.
Try Not To Make False Assumptions About How Your Spouse Feels About Sex Right Now: Here’s one of the biggest issues that I see. The spouse who was cheated on is filled with self doubt and self esteem questions. They will worry that their spouse cheated because they weren’t satisfied with marital sex or no longer found their spouse sexy or desirable. So the cheated on spouse can feel ugly, insecure, and clumsy even when none of these things are true.
These assumptions can put a huge damper on what happens in your bedroom when you’re trying to save the marriage and heal. Because all these doubts and insecurities follow you and bring awkwardness and more issues into an already difficult situation.
Likewise, the spouse who cheated can feel like a huge creep if they even think about initiating sex. And, they are well aware that once either party even thinks about sex, then suddenly the issue of the sexual content of the affair comes into question. There’s no way around either spouse thinking or wondering about sex with the other person. It just can’t be helped.
And even if the cheating spouse is 100% sincere in their love and commitment to their spouse and to saving their marriage, they will also usually worry that they shouldn’t make advances or initiate physical contact because their spouse could well be repulsed by the thought of even a hug or touch right now, much less sex.
But of course, the faithful spouse will take this to mean that he or she is just not interested because he doesn’t find them desirable or a turn on. So what you have are all these incorrect assumptions and insecurities coming into play which often make the situation worse.
That’s why it’s so important to make every attempt to be open and honest, even if it makes you feel very vulnerable. It’s really the only way to gauge what’s truly going on. Because the truth is, you may well be wrong about what your spouse is thinking and feeling. And being wrong could just make the situation worse or downright unbearable.
It’s Important Not To Put Too Much Pressure On Your Sex Life After The Affair: I often advise couples to wait until they are absolutely sure that they are ready and want to have sex again. It’s so much better to wait and have no doubt in your mind that this is the right time than to rush yourself and just sort of go through the motions or be numb, or worse, to have a bad experience.
Sometimes, when the sex is not that good or great after the affair, both people will make assumptions that the marriage can’t be saved, that there’s too much damage, or that the spark is gone. And sometimes, this is the first step toward them giving up on their marriage. This is so unfortunate and such a shame because usually, it’s not that the spark or chemistry was gone, it’s that the couple moved too soon or rushed things a bit before some outstanding issues were worked through.
Getting Your Sexual Confidence Back: Probably one of the most common concerns that I hear from spouses who have been cheated on is that they don’t feel desirable or sexy. They’re afraid that the second they disrobe or begin having sexual contact, they are going to see the hesitation, pity, or repulsion in their spouse’s eyes. And unfortunately, this fear often keeps them from reaching their full potential or comfort level as an individual or as part of a couple.
If you are dealing with this and are scared of having sex again after the affair, there is nothing wrong with focusing on rebuilding your confidence. You have been dealt a nasty blow. What you’re feeling is absolutely natural. Give yourself permission to do whatever makes you feel better about yourself. You can’t worry about how your spouse feels. You need to focus on how you feel.
But here’s something that almost everyone underestimates. From the people who write to me or comment on my blog, it’s my opinion that both men and women tend to agree on what is sexy or a turn on. And one thing that both men and women consider sexy is confidence. Countless people have told me that it’s not how you look, or what you do. It really is your enthusiasm and your ability to participate and give and take with confidence and adventure. If you do not have this as a result of the affair, then it’s possible that you still have work to do or are selling yourself short.
And if you’ve never had this sort of confidence or enthusiasm, there really is no time like the present. You deserve to be happy. And sometimes an affair is an opportunity to actually make some areas of your life better than they were before.
I know that worrying about sex and intimacy after a spouse’s affair is difficult. But healing is possible, and it can truly be worth the effort. Although I never would’ve believed this two years ago, my marriage is stronger even after his affair. It took a lot of work, and I had to play the game to win, but I’m glad I did. Because of all the work I did on myself, my self esteem is at an all time high. I no longer worry my husband will cheat again. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com
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