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My husband doesn’t want to be intimate with me because he cheated on me.

Many people assume that if a couple has sexual problems after one of them has been unfaithful and had an affair, it is because the faithful spouse simply does not want to be intimate with someone who has been unfaithful. Sometimes, surprisingly, it is the exact opposite. The scenario where the cheating spouse is reluctant to have sex again is less common, but it certainly happens.

I heard from a wife who said, “My husband had an affair three months ago. We have decided to try to make our marriage work. I want to bond and be close to my husband again, but he is resistant to this. The other day, I decided that that night, we should be intimate again. I bought some new underwear, lit some candles, and went through the motions with my husband after dinner. Even though he was willing to kiss and hug me a bit, he wouldn’t go any further than this. When I asked him what was wrong, he said it was too soon to be intimate again. Why does he decide when it’s too soon? Frankly, this makes me feel rejected. This makes me feel like he’s not turned on or attracted to me. he’s worried that if he’s not attracted to me he’ll cheat on me again but he says I’m reading too much into this and he just wants us to take our time to make it all right right I tried to make some moves on him last night and he said same thing one more time and i felt so rejected. What is going on with him?

Although she certainly couldn’t read this husband’s mind, she could speculate. I talk to many husbands about this on my blog and I can tell you what many of these husbands are saying. I’ll share it below and offer some suggestions on how to deal with it.

Why You May Want to Put Off Intimacy After Your Infidelity:

Because our self-esteem takes a huge hit after infidelity, many wives will worry and assume that their husband is not attracted to them or that he can’t act because they no longer turn him on. This is not always the case.

Sometimes he feels like he doesn’t deserve to be intimate with you. Other times, he’s worried that the experience will be uncomfortable or won’t turn out well, and he’s afraid that you’ll assume that the affair took the spark out of your marriage. Finally, he may have some anxiety about his performance because he may fear that you are wondering how he was with the other woman.

In short, both parties generally really want the first time they get intimate again after the affair to be a good experience. That’s why some people would rather wait to make sure it’s okay than rush things and regret it.

Believe it or not, I agree with this husband’s position. It’s all too common for sex to be less than perfect when you rush it. And there are so many things to figure out after an affair, you don’t need sexual problems on top of anything else.

I often advocate waiting if there is any doubt. In fact, I think sometimes it might be a good idea to wait until you can’t take it anymore. Because once you get to this level, it becomes obvious that no one is faking it and the time is definitely right.

What is the best way to handle this situation? How should the wife respond?:

Although I believe that waiting can be beneficial, I fully understand why the wife wants this type of affirmation. When you’ve been cheated on, you want to feel wanted and attractive. You want that confirmation that your spouse still loves you despite everything you’ve been through.

I think this can be accomplished without rushing into sex if one partner is unsure. She can ask her husband for what she needs and find a compromise where everyone is happy. A suggested script might go something like: “I understand you’re hesitating and I’m not going to push you. But I need to feel wanted and loved. Can you just hold me? Can we still be physical with each other without being intimate? Even hugging or kissing me, holding my hand, rubbing my back, or caressing my cheek tells me that you want me enough to want to show me physical affection. It is very important to me to feel physical validation of your feelings for me. So while I can agree to put off intimacy I can’t put off physical intimacy. I need you to show me that you want me physically, even if we’re not having sex right now.”

Usually, your husband will see that you are not asking for much. And frankly, sometimes when he goes through with all that affirmative touch, one thing will lead to another until you get to that point where you’re both safe and can’t wait any longer. Because that’s really the best case scenario because there’s no more doubt and no one feels like he’s giving up.

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