You’ve found out about your spouse’s affair.
After the shock, depression, anger and soul searching, you’ve chosen to stay in your marriage. You and your husband are trying to start over and rebuild your marriage.
Often, after an affair, intimacy can be the most difficult thing to get back. It’s a struggle to become physical again.
Here are 5 ways to introduce intimacy back into your marriage and help you survive an affair.
1. Seek counsel. Books, online resources, workshops, support groups or professional therapists are a necessity in the healing process. Find out what resources are available to you and in your price range, then use them. Remember, you are investing in the future success of your marriage.
2. Share non-sexual physical experiences together. Do things that involve your physical bodies. You need to feel comfortable around each other again and one of the best ways to do that is to play together. Go for walks/hikes, play tennis, go horseback riding, bowling or ice skating. Why not try something neither of you have ever done before? What about a couples massage or skiing? It really doesn’t matter what physical activity you choose, it’s all about getting comfortable in each others physical presence again. And, of course, having some fun.
3. Spend quality time together. Sure, the house needs to be cleaned and meals need to be made, but it’s also equally important to do things you both enjoy. Go out for dinner to a special restaurant or on an afternoon drive in the country. Spend time doing something other than the daily grind of work and keeping house.
4. Talk. Talk together and share hopes, dreams, feelings and worries. Share with one another interesting stories about your day. Have a policy of full disclosure. Too often, when we are together for many years, we think we know exactly what our spouse is thinking or feeling. Ask questions about each other, even if you think you know the answer. Then listen. You might be surprised what you learn. Re-discover each other through conversation.
5. Touch. Yes, simple touch. A hug, holding hands, a kiss on the cheek are all paramount in surviving an affair. Start slowly. Take your time getting comfortable being affectionate with each other again. Don’t rush or push yourself. Lots of time and patience are needed when introducing intimacy back into a relationship.
Intimacy is about more than just sex. The physical act of intercourse is only one component involved in true intimacy. Mutual respect, open communication, trust, compassion, kindness and patience are all parts of the equation. These factors all take time to re-build after surviving an affair. Satisfying sex is the last piece of the puzzle. Good-luck!
The 3 Intimacies – Your Marriages Best Defense Against Future Infidelities
Never let your emotions convince you that you drove your husband to have an affair.
That is not true! It doesn’t matter what was going on in your relationship, how bad it was, you did not make him do it and he needs to take responsibility for his actions and emotions leading to the troubles in your marriage.
Why do we humans have emotions? I can assure you it’s not just to add some zing to an otherwise boring life, it’s to encourage us to external behaviours that enhance our chances of survival and reproduction. That’s why your strong loving feelings felt so intense and fabulous when your first met your partner. But there is a flip side to feeling blissfully in love.
Negative emotions can arise in relationships, and ignoring them can become unhealthy and destructive. When negative emotions such as fear, anger or loneliness build up within a relationship, a breeding ground for infidelity is created. When these negative emotions are not dealt with and grow stronger, many times, it will motivate a partner to be unfaithful. Understand, having the negative emotions is not the problem. We all do and will feel negative towards our spouse at times But the danger arises when these negative feelings are left unchecked or ignored.
So how do you affair proof your marriage? The answer is in the 3 intimacies. Learning, understanding, and becoming strong in the 3 intimacies is your marriages best defense against future infidelities.
1. Self-Intimacy is the foundation of a relationship. Without self-intimacy your marriage is not on solid ground. Self-intimacy is the ability to know what’s going on within you and act in ways that have your best interest in mind. Self-intimacy means taking good care of yourself and looking after yourself. Understanding what you’re wanting, feeling and thinking are the key.
How does self-intimacy benefit you and your partner? If your significant other has been unfaithful to you, what does self-intimacy have to do with it? Most people who cheat have low self-intimacy issues. They may not be aware of their negative emotions or they are inadequate at dealing with their problems. They don’t know how to deal with their emotions and in turn, there emotions control them, sound familiar? The key is for you and your partner to develop your self-intimacy. This will enable both of you to be more sensitive and aware of your emotions and be able to address emotions when something feels wrong.
2. Conflict-Intimacy is the ability to express your negative emotions in an assertive way. Listening without attacking, judging or withdrawing when your partner expresses their negative emotions is a skill which is very beneficial. There is no such thing as a perfectly matched couple. You will always experience hurt, conflict or disappointment with each other. Learning conflict-intimacy can be the difference between failure or success in a marriage. When troubles have come in the form of an infidelity, all to often it was because the partner was not able to work through the negative feelings and conflict intimacy.
3. Affection-Intimacy has many categories and levels. Verbal intimacy is all the sweet supportive words we share with our partner. Actions are all the little things you do for each other because you know they like it or it makes their life a little easier. Sexual intimacies are all the sexual physical activities between you and your spouse. Physical intimacy is a must for a long term relationship to remain fulfilling and healthy. People need to be touched in warm loving ways. Holding hands, rubbing each other’s feet, back or face, a little kiss or big hug means everything.
Without the above affections, a relationship will starve. Our partners should be our primary source for fulfilling these needs, yet after your partner has had an affair, the last thing you feel like doing is expressing any of the above affections towards him.
Rest assured, affection intimacy can be had again and you will get your love back if you practice the 3 intimacies. Understand infidelity, while one of the most traumatic things to go through, can be overcome just like any other conflict. It takes time, commitment and knowledge of how to overcome the pain, but there are many resources to help you through this. Numerous couples have been where you are and have experienced what you are experiencing. Learn from others and realise, you can rebuild your marriage and be happier than ever before!