When you’ve been betrayed in your marriage, by infidelity, it’s difficult to trust again. Another major obstacle is usually regaining the intimacy with your spouse. The attraction, physical connection and even self-confidence may all have been affected. For couples having this experience, there is hope.
With time, communication and effort, you will love, trust and be intimate again.
If infidelity has affected your marriage and you’ve both decided to stay, here are a few pointers:
Accept the reality that infidelity happened in your marriage. It happened; it hurt; understand why; make a decision and begin the healing. Although it isn’t always that simple, those are the steps needed to start moving forward.
It is best to take your time and heal your hurt. It might feel as though you can just bounce back, but if you haven’t faced the issue head on, you could easily find yourself right back in that dark place again.
The other reality you must accept, for those who stay, is that you made the choice to save your marriage so trust and intimacy will be a requirement. The truth is, sex is only one definition of intimacy. Here are two more,
- A close, familiar and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group.
- A close association with or detailed knowledge or deep understanding of a person, place, period etc.
Couples have to rebuild with even the most basic behaviors, like becoming friends. Think of courting and dating again. Begin with the intimacy outside of the bedroom first, using gentle words and affection, and allow it to build from there.
Starting over with your spouse is sometimes a great thing. Perhaps interest and turn offs have changed. It’s important that couples take time to get to know one another again. After the pain of infidelity, it might become difficult to even recognize the people you’ve both become. Ask questions and explore each other’s new thoughts and desires.
A spouse who cheated should not alter the way we feel about ourselves. Sometimes infidelity affects your self-confidence and ability to feel sexy. Invest in feeling good about you again. The better you feel about you, the more you’ll be able to reconnect with your spouse when the time is right.
Focus on the rebuilding. Explain to your partner what you’re feeling and what you need every step of the way. Be honest about what you need before intimacy can happen again. Be realistic in your asks; you can’t go back in time and wish the affair didn’t happen. Your focus must be on the future.
When you’re ready, be sure to completely invest in the intimate areas of your relationship. Bring new ideas into the bedroom and reignite that marriage flame with a new energy and purpose.
Making the decision to stay or leave will be the toughest choice you’ll make. Couples, please know your marriage won’t always feel like this. Good days are ahead. Yes, things might be different, but it could also be a great new beginning that leads to a long, healthy marriage.
I’ve seen couples become stronger than ever after infidelity, so anything is possible.
BMWK, in what other ways can couples regain intimacy after infidelity?