Why Does A Spouse Or Partner Withhold Sex After You Cheated?

By: Katie Lersch: Most of the time, the person who I hear from is the faithful spouse who is looking to understand WHY their spouse is cheating or is acting in perplexing ways after doing so.

Sometimes, though, I hear from the spouse who cheated – who is also perplexed as to their spouse’s behavior. Sometimes, their faithful spouse is withholding affection or won’t talk about his or her feelings. Many times, the faithful spouse is withholding sex. It’s always a little surprising to me when the cheating spouse is confused as to why sex might be off the table for a little while. But the truth is that they are often surprised and sometimes, they are looking for ways to get it back on the table – and fast.

For example, someone might say: “I know that it was completely wrong to cheat on my wife. And I am sincerely sorry. But one of the reasons that I cheated is because of a lack of sex. But now that she has caught me, she hasn’t had sex with me since. I have asked her how long she is going to hold out like this and her response is that she doesn’t know, but that she certainly isn’t going to be giving me sex now. She says that she just needs time. How much time? And, knowing that I cheated because of a lack of sex, why would she withholding sex now? It seems like this is the very last thing that she should be doing.”

Understanding The Gravity Of The Situation: As a wife who has been cheated on, I need to stress how painful and shocking this scenario truly is. This is a huge burden for your spouse to navigate through. Please don’t underestimate what your spouse is dealing with.  Sure, you may be worried that you might cheat again or that the lack of sex might be a motivator for you, but she can not turn her emotions or her body on and off like a light socket. Doing so would make a person feel like they don’t have control over their own wishes.

When your spouse cheats on you, you sometimes don’t feel like having sex with anyone, but much less with your spouse. Why? Because you are hurt and angry. But more than that, because sex reminds you of the fact that your spouse has had sex with someone else. Sex becomes the big, fat, ugly elephant in the room that no one wants to address – at least for a little while.

Your spouse can’t just forget this and go ahead anyway. For many people, they need to be feeling reasonably good about things in order to have sex. There needs to be an emotional connection, trust, and intimacy. Without it, you are just “hooking up,” and your spouse isn’t likely to be excited about “hooking up” when that is what you have been doing with someone else.

What Works Better Than Pressure: I understand that you want to resume intimacy with your wife. But it would probably be more efficient to try to be patient and to try to fix your relationship before you pressure your spouse for sex. Because think about it this way. Do you really want for your spouse to force themselves to do something that they aren’t ready to do out of fear and pressure?

When you pressure your faithful spouse for sex, it appears that what is most important to you is not your spouse’s healing or well being, but your own needs and desires. Your spouse may think that you care more about sex than about how your spouse feels or what she needs.

Not only that, but trying to have forced sex before anyone is ready usually equals bad, awkward sex that probably isn’t going to be all that great for either of you.

Finally, pressuring your spouse to have sex is not the best way to stop cheating. In order to do that, it’s best to take responsibility for what you’ve done and then get help to stop doing it. You can’t blame your spouse’s sex schedule (or lack of it) for that. Sure, if it’s not satisfactory to you, then you can always talk to your spouse about it and try to negotiate something different. But the appropriate way to handle it is not to just get your needs met from someone else. You probably wouldn’t want for your spouse to do this to you.

I can only speak from experience and say that if my husband had pressured me for sex, he would have waited a lot longer to get it than if he was patient and showed consideration for what I was going through. There’s more about that situation at http://surviving-the-affair.com) Frankly, restoring your sex life just takes time after an affair. It is one of those things that you can be damaged even further if you try to force it. Your spouse may resent you for it, believe that you don’t care about their well being, and actually have a pretty bad experience as well.

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