Intimacy after an affair
I felt unattractive after being cheated on.
I hated myself after being cheated on.
I hated that I wasn’t good enough to prevent my husband from cheating.
I hated my husband for what he did.
I hated him so much for cheating on me.
After he cheated, I felt unloved.
I didn’t want him to touch me, kiss me, or stay in our bed with him.
I couldn’t stop thinking about him with someone else.
Two years ago, my husband cheated.
I still don’t know how to forgive him.
How do you get past it?
So, you are not attracted to husband after he cheated?
Never the same after being cheated on
Not attracted to husband after he cheated? Talk to him
Believe me, talking might actually be a great way to get ready for the restart of sex and your relationship as well.
Sharing vulnerabilities can be a powerful way for your couple to reconnect after the upheaval caused by infidelity.
In fact, intimacy alone has been shown to lead to arousal.
Because talking after infidelity so openly is often a novel experience for lots of couples, explains Dr. Alexandra Katehakis, this new way of communicating can actually become a turn-on, even for couples who have been very close and intimate in the past.
“An intimate conversation and the novelty of that conversation creates heat between two people.”
What better warm-up for restarting sex?
For most women, after all, cheating is unthinkable and (at first blush) unforgivable—you don’t and can’t comprehend why a man would be unfaithful, and you won’t ever pretend to.
You figure that if you’ve:
- told him you love him;
- given him your mind,
- your body, and your time;
- moved in with him;
- shared the bills with him;
- done his laundry;
- cooked his food;
- borne his children;
And said an enthusiastic, “I do,” in front of the Lord, the pastor, your mother, and all her best friends and yours, too, the least your man can do is honor what is most sacred to you: the promise of fidelity.
He can lie (every once in a while), fall down on the housework and the child-rearing, get a little lax in the income department, pay more attention to his boys and his mother than he does to you, and slip into the mediocre category when it comes to the boudoir—even say the Lord’s name in vain while you’re walking out the door to go to yet another church service alone.
How to increase desire after infidelity: Period of Reflection
After discovering infidelity, a lot of psychologies recommend a period of abstinence.
Take a break from a few days to no more than a few months.
You need to create the opportunity for reflection and intention-setting, self-and relationship improvement, and the chance to live a healthier life with integrity.
It is during the period of abstinence, however long or short, that emotional healing occurs.
This idea was borrowed from the sex addiction work of Dr. Patrick Carnes.
It is based on what alcoholic patients in recovery do when they start Alcoholics Anonymous—for the first ninety days, they immerse themselves in daily twelve-step recovery meetings and dedicate themselves to deep and intense reflection.
It may be helpful for you to deal with the infidelity of your husband.
There’s an old Buddhist saying: “The mind takes its shape from whatever it rests upon.”
In this case, the reflection period helps the cheating husband not dwell on the positive memories of the affair.
During this period of reflection, the mind rests on the more positive joys of integrity and love for their spouse and family.
Don’t make emotional decisions on the first day.
Remember, Great Sex life After Infidelity Is Possible.
There are very few couples in the practice of Dr. Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, MD, the Author of “Infidelity Why Men and Women Cheat” who, after they spoke and tried to fix things, do not have a nice sex life.
Once you overcome the psychological barriers, it will be fairly easy for you to get back into a beautiful sexual rut.
But what about if your biological sex drive is diminished?
When you are tired of the same old partner?
And how about if, on top of that, you discover that your spouse’s infidelity involved something completely out of your personal comfort zone, like sex with a same-gender person?
How a couple can deal with cheating and save their relationship
That was the situation faced by Jack and Nellie, clients of Dr. Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, both in their late fifties, who had been married for more than three decades.
As with many older couples, Jack and Nellie had age-related changes.
Jack had decreased penile sensitivity and difficulty maintaining an erection.
Nellie had decreased vaginal elasticity and moisture.
Jack had been a wonderful and dedicated husband for decades, yet he secretly longed for something he felt Nellie could not provide.
Jack always felt turned on by men and was captivated by the idea of receiving anal sex. Jack was married to a woman and was happy with his wife.
Yet, as he hit his midlife crisis and feared dying without satisfying his lusts, Jack felt his sexual yearnings more strongly.
While the couple was on vacation at a spa resort, Jack tried to have sex with a willing male massage therapist.
They got as far as the massage therapist giving Jack oral sex, but Jack abruptly ended the session. Perhaps it was paranoia or guilt, but he feared getting hurt by the massage therapist’s boss if the staff found out.
Jack immediately confessed to Nellie, and the couple quickly left the resort.
This might have ended many other relationships or at least caused irreparable damage.
Not for this couple, though. Jack was fortunate to have a wife willing to talk through their issues. He entered therapy. Nellie was truly supportive of Jack and didn’t just want him “fixed” by his therapist—she wanted both of them to be happy.
They spoke candidly. They both agreed to add some extra oomph to their sex life.
A nonmonogamous relationship was not acceptable to Nellie nor was it something Jack actually wanted. Instead, they discussed finding new ways to make love. Through their open conversations, they came up with a plan using lube and a vibrator.
While their approach may turn some couples off, it works for Jack and Nellie.
Jack feels more in love with his wife than ever for her willingness to experiment and give him what he desired. In fact, they both feel they’re incredibly lucky to have each other, enjoying a new phase in their sex life as a couple.
They feel no shame, no judgment—just gratitude.
When does Infidelity start?
Infidelity starts long before the first illicit kiss.
It starts with our distorted thinking and unrealistic expectations.
Physical intimacy after infidelity
Here are a few relationship principles to explore for maximizing romantic and physical intimacy after infidelity with your long-term partner.
Honest Communication Without the Goal of Manipulation
This first principle has to do less with specific sex acts and more with how you approach each other.
Talking about sex in a way that communicates your intimate feelings (without judgment, criticism, or comparisons to former lovers or others) can bring a deeper bond between you and your partner and create the openness and trust that helps you have better sex.
Sure, we enjoy thrills.
Forbidden sex is hot.
But if we truly feel threatened and scared and our bodies go into fight-or-flight mode, our genitals simply do not work in a sexual manner, and fear of intimacy after infidelity.
So feeling safe, loved, and confident that you can trust your partner and share intimate thoughts and feelings creates the right atmosphere.
Sex and Love Without the Goal of Self-Importance
Men and women often fall in love and have sex to feel good about themselves. Yet ego-driven love and sex are ultimately just a temporary fix for a fragile ego.
Remember, our egos get us in trouble.
Our need for validation from a new person can lead us toward infidelity.
If there’s one place where we should put our ego to rest, however, it’s in the bedroom.
When you are with your lover, you have nothing to prove; instead, focus on the sensations of pleasure and experience a loving connection.
Try to keep the focus on attachment, which is really why you’ve ended up in the bedroom anyway.
Orgasms are great, but they can interfere with the goal of making and confirming your love.
Physical intimacy Without the Goal of Passion
Intense passion may have happened during the forbidden sex of the affair and at the beginning of your marriage.
It can happen again, and experiencing that mad lust and urgency can be nice, but it can’t be replicated every time you have sex throughout a long-term relationship.
The pressure to feel unbridled passion (rather than letting it rise naturally) is more theater than reality.
It makes us need new lovers and new audiences to watch our act.
Forget the act.
Allow sex to be dispassionate: open, curious, losing track of time and space, communicative, and disconnected from urgency.
Dispassion, a concept based on Buddhist, Hindu, and Tantric philosophies, is difficult to explain.
In Western thought, dispassion is considered something bad.
It implies a lack of commitment or enthusiasm, sometimes signifying an overly rational mind devoid of emotion or a person who is operating in a dutiful way.
In our Western way of thinking, cold dispassion seems to be the opposite of hot sex.
You may start to see sex not as a win/lose situation or proving ground for your relationship; instead, you let whatever happens to happen, without judgment or anxiety.
When you get in bed with your partner, you dedicate yourself to their pleasure and yours, and you focus on your shared love. You try not to let other thoughts interfere with your mission.
If you are the betrayed partner, you don’t focus on the – Am I as good as the affair partner?
You don’t feel fear of intimacy after infidelity.
You let these thoughts pass through your mind as water flows through a sieve.
Enjoy physical intimacy with your man.
Dispassion means that you are accepting of and patient with yourself and your partner and that you proceed with the attitude that no matter the outcome, it will all be okay.
You don’t sit in judgment but rather proceed with the intention of making love and creating pleasure.
Embrace Your Inner Radiance: Rekindling Self-Confidence After Infidelity
In the wake of infidelity, shattered self-confidence can leave you adrift, questioning your own value. But fear not, for within you lies a resilient spirit yearning to reclaim its radiance. Prepare to embark on a transformative voyage of self-discovery, reigniting the flame of your self-worth and embracing the boundless potential that resides within.
Unearthing the Depths of Your Emotions: Navigating the Labyrinth of Feelings
As you navigate the intricate labyrinth of emotions, it is essential to acknowledge and honor every feeling that surfaces. Allow yourself to grieve, to be consumed by anger, and to feel the weight of the pain. Understand that these emotions are valid and natural responses to the profound betrayal you have endured. By embracing the depths of your emotions, you pave the way for healing and the eventual resurgence of your self-confidence.
The Transformative Power of Self-Care: Nurturing Your Inner Sanctuary
Amidst the tumultuous aftermath, it becomes paramount to nurture and care for yourself with unwavering tenderness. Engage in activities that bring solace to your weary soul, whether it entails leisurely strolls through nature’s embrace, indulging in soothing bubble baths, or immersing yourself in the captivating realms of literature. Remember, self-care is not a selfish act; it is an essential expression of self-love that helps you reconnect with your intrinsic worth.
Cultivating Self-Compassion: Embracing Imperfections and Reclaiming Worth
In the midst of self-doubt, it is all too easy to become your harshest critic. However, now is the time to practice self-compassion with unwavering dedication. Remind yourself that imperfections do not diminish your worth, and mistakes do not define your essence. Treat yourself as you would a cherished friend, showering kindness, understanding, and forgiveness upon your wounded spirit. Embrace your imperfections, for they are the threads that weave together the tapestry of your beautifully flawed humanity.
Unleashing the Resilience Within: Tapping into Your Inner Wellspring of Strength
Deep within the recesses of your being lies an untapped wellspring of strength and resilience. Draw upon this hidden reserve of courage as you embark on the journey to rebuild your self-confidence. Reflect upon the adversities you have triumphed over in the past, recognizing the dormant seeds of strength that have always resided within you. Allow these experiences to serve as a powerful reminder that you possess the unyielding power to rise above adversity and emerge stronger than ever before.
Seeking Connection and Support: Weaving a Safety Net of Encouragement
Rebuilding self-confidence is not a solitary odyssey. Reach out to your trusted support system, whether they are loyal friends, caring family members, or a compassionate therapist. Share your story, express your vulnerabilities, and allow their presence to fortify your courage. Surround yourself with those who uplift and inspire you, individuals who remind you of your inherent worth and illuminate the unique qualities that make you truly extraordinary.
Question: Is it normal to fall out of love after being cheated on?
Discovering infidelity can have a profound impact on emotions and relationships. It is not uncommon for feelings of love to wane or change after experiencing betrayal. Every individual and relationship is unique, so it is difficult to generalize. Some people may find it challenging to regain trust and rebuild love, while others may be able to work through the pain and rediscover love. It is important to give yourself time to heal, seek support, and consider professional help, such as couples therapy, to explore your emotions and determine the best path forward.
Question: How can I love my husband again after he cheated?
Rebuilding love and trust after infidelity can be a difficult journey, but it is not impossible. Start by allowing yourself to process your emotions and heal from the pain caused by the betrayal. Engage in open and honest communication with your husband, expressing your feelings and concerns while also listening to his perspective. Seek professional help, such as couples therapy, to navigate the complex emotions and rebuild the foundation of your relationship. Rebuilding love takes time, effort, and a willingness from both partners to understand, forgive, and work towards healing.
Question: How does a woman feel after being cheated on?
The emotions a woman experiences after being cheated on can vary widely. Some common feelings include intense sadness, anger, betrayal, low self-esteem, and a loss of trust. She may question her worth, struggle with self-doubt, and experience a range of complex emotions. Each person’s experience is unique, and it is important to allow space for healing and seek support from loved ones or professionals who can provide empathy and guidance during this challenging time.
Question: How does a guy act after he cheated?
After cheating, a man’s behavior can be influenced by a variety of factors, including guilt, shame, fear of losing the relationship, or a desire to make amends. Some men may express remorse and take responsibility for their actions, while others may struggle with communication, withdraw emotionally, or engage in defensive behaviors. Each person’s response is influenced by their individual personality, past experiences, and willingness to address the consequences of their actions. Open and honest communication is crucial for both partners to navigate the aftermath of infidelity.
Question: What should I avoid doing after he cheated?
In the aftermath of infidelity, it is important to avoid engaging in harmful behaviors that can further damage the relationship. Avoid seeking revenge or intentionally causing pain as a means of retaliation. While it is natural to feel a range of intense emotions, try to avoid making impulsive decisions or rash judgments. Refrain from bottling up your feelings or avoiding necessary conversations. Instead, focus on self-care, seek support from trusted individuals, and consider professional help to process your emotions and work towards healing.
Question: Can a man love you after he cheats?
Infidelity does not necessarily mean that a man is incapable of loving you. People can make mistakes, and love can evolve and change over time. Rebuilding love after cheating requires open and honest communication, willingness to address the underlying issues, and a commitment from both partners to heal and rebuild trust. It is a complex process that varies for each individual and relationship. With introspection, effort, and a genuine desire for growth, it is possible for a man to love you again after infidelity, but it will require time and sincere commitment from both parties.
- Atkins, Baucom, and Jacobson, “Understanding Infidelity”; Glass, Not “Just Friends”; Hara Estroff Marano, “From Promise to Promiscuity,” Psychology Today, July 3, 2012, www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201207/promise-promiscuity.
- Shirley Glass, Not “Just Friends”: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity (New York: Free Press, 2007).
- Jamie L. Goldenberg, Mark J. Landau, Tom Pyszczynski et al., “Gender-Typical Responses to Sexual and Emotional Infidelity as a Function of Mortality Salience Induced Self-Esteem Striving,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 29, no. 12 (July 2003).
- John Sabini and Melanie C. Green, “Emotional Responses to Sexual and Emotional Infidelity: Constants and Differences Across Genders, Samples, and Methods,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 30, no. 11 (July 2004.)
M. J. Rosenfeld, R. J. Thomas, and M. Falcon, “How Couples Meet and Stay Together,” Stanford University, September 22, 2009, https://data.stanford.edu/hcmst