One of the hardest things to do after an affair, along with rebuilding trust, is to regain the intimacy in your marriage. The hurt of a spouse’s affair is so personal and does so much damage to self-confidence and self-esteem that being intimate after an affair can seem almost impossible. But it isn’t. In a new article on HuffingtonPost.com, Tammy Nelson,PhD shares how you reclaim your intimacy after an affair. As she explains, it’s a very important part of the healing process and can even be the catalyst that rebuilds your marriage.
Moving from being emotionally and (physically) disconnected after an affair may seem impossible, especially if you are still in intense pain. But if you choose to stay together for now, working on your (intimate) life will be vital to your healing process.”
As Dr. Nelson explains, until you and your spouse are able to be together again, there will always be someone else between you.
Until you and partner can move beyond the erotic injury of an affair and repair your (intimate) life together, the third party, the other man or woman, is still (metaphorically) in bed with you.”
Dr. Nelson explains that simply holding and being held by your spouse is the first step. This is a difficult one, as it requires a certain amount of vulnerability. She advise, though, that you not allow yourself (if you’re the injured spouse) to feel pressured into intimacy as a means of keeping your mate from straying again. If you’re the spouse that cheated, it’s important to make physical contact as non-threatening as possible, keeping it light, undemanding and voluntary.
Dr. Nelson also says that it’s important to talk to your spouse about how you feel, especially if you’re not ready to be intimate yet.
Talk to your partner directly about your feelings. Share with them that you don’t feel ready to have (intercourse), and if you’re open to doing some physical or intimate things short of (that), let them know what those things are. Tell them what you are ready for now.”
These bits of advice are great first steps to rekindling your romance and reclaiming your intimacy after an affair. They are just the first steps in what may be a long journey, but we encourage you to read the rest of Dr. Nelson’s article to see just how possible it is to rebuild your marriage after an affair.