Tag Archives: troubled marriages

Sex After Infidelity

cheating-husbandAfter a confession or the discovery of sexual impropriety, a decision to stay together is going to be filled with challenges. One of the primary places where the effects of infidelity are likely to be experienced is the bedroom. How does a couple reclaim their sexual groove after one of them has cheated?

The Cheater
Waiting It Out: If you’re the guilty party it may be important to communicate that while you still want to connect sexually, you are willing to wait for as long as your partner needs, to feel emotionally ready to resume intimacy. This communicates genuine remorse and a willingness to be selfless; especially since your act of indiscretion will reek of selfishness.

Talking It Over: Understand that the period of waiting is likely to be punctuated by long questioning sessions which will pry for sexual details; it is likely that the victim of infidelity will be consumed by a need to know incidents and details of time and place. Curiosity may also be extended to the nature of sex acts participated in. This time can be made easier by not erecting further barriers with silence but by answering questions as honestly as possible.

Sensitivity In The Sack: Most likely, your partner will be consumed with thoughts of the other man or woman. It is imperative that you go slowly when the time for lovemaking comes or at least take the lead or cue from your partner who has been hurt. This sensitivity should include lots of verbal affirmations which are intimate and loving. Be sure to let your partner know why you married her, how much he is loved and how much you appreciate her staying in the relationship. Affirm your partner’s beauty or brawn and use loads of eye contact which confirm how truly sorry you are.

Maximising The Moments: Sex with your spouse after confessing an affair is likely to be more about emotional and spiritual re-bonding than about the quality of an orgasm. Use this time, nonetheless, to cement your reconnection by focusing on your spouse’s pleasure. The vulnerability that occurs, because everything is out in the open, can actually increase the intensity of passion.

The Cheated
Admit Your Pain: There is no greater disservice you can do to your marriage then to attempt to trivialize the impact of an affair. It is imperative that you articulate your disappointment and hurt. This may involve screaming, crying, throwing things, journaling, talking to a counselor or even moving out of the bedroom for a while. If you are to experience great sex again without feeling victimized, sharing the depth of your pain with your spouse is critical.

Focus On You: There is a huge temptation after being cheated on to blame yourself—your lack of attractiveness, lack of sexiness and the like. This is particularly true of women. It will take a Herculean effort at this time to reach inside yourself to find the worthwhile, sensual woman who deserves to be loved despite your spouse’s act of indiscretion. For husbands as well, images of your wife making love to another man can be disconcerting to say the least. It is critical, therefore, to disassociate yourself sexually from what your spouse did and to refuse to accept blame. It is also critical to pay attention to your own sexual health by getting tested for any STDs.

Resist The Temptation To Compare: Wondering if you are better in bed than your spouse’s lover is likely to be an obsessive thought but is actually counter-productive. Studies consistently show that many have affairs while still having great or adequate sex at home. The motivation for an affair usually has little to do with the quality of sex and tends more to be linked to life-challenges, transitions, depression, a weak moment or feelings of inadequacy. When these thoughts come, focus on how you can make your love life even better. Dwell on the fact that you and your partner have decided to stay together; this must mean something in terms of how you feel about each other.

For Both of You

Putting Sex in Perspective: After the confession of an affair, resuming sexual intimacy may be the last thing on your minds as a couple. Anger, bitterness, resentment and remorse are likely to be the dominant emotions and not sexual passion or desire. While communication about the affair and even counselling by a professional will be critical at this stage, resuming an exclusive sexuality in your relationship is also important. Sex, however, should not be used to cloak or cover the serious issues which may have contributed to the infidelity in the first place.

Redefine To Reconnect: If you, your marriage and your sex life are to survive this juncture, it is critical that you seek to redefine your marriage. This involves acceptance of the affair as an event of the past which cannot be altered. This process is, of course, a lot easier if the guilty partner cooperates in these efforts by developing new levels of openness and honesty. The result is likely to be improved communication and greater levels of intimacy, which are often precursors to a better sexual relationship.

Denise J Charles is Director & Counsellor/Coach at Better Blends Relationship Institute e mail betterblends@gmail.com

Why Men Cheat

Sex-Love-iconWhile the issue of infidelity spans both male and female behaviour, there can be no argument with the premise that a larger percentage of men cheat. The issue of female infidelity is admittedly a distinct creature deserving its own examination and I will give it individual attention in a subsequent article. When it comes to intimate relationships, however, men and cheating seem to fit almost like hand in glove. Admittedly, there should be no cookie-cutter approach to this cheating phenomenon. Mild statements like “men will be men” to the more anger-laced “all men are dogs”, point to a range of attitudes from belligerent acceptance to intense bitterness. Women, the world over, are not happy with this state of relationship-affairs; so while men continue to cheat, women also continue to ask why.

Bruised Egos
Although hesitant to admit this, some men cheat out of emotional neediness and an inability to handle negativity. The perpetuated image of the rational, logical, secure male is often based on fictitious social stereotypes. Because males from childhood are socialized to be less vocal about their feelings this results in an adult discomfort with articulating pain. When a man is faced with a challenge, instead of talking about it, he turns to what defines him, his sexuality, to seek comfort. When the source of this pain is perceived to be his wife, woman or home situation, he therefore looks for emotional solace in the arms of someone else who can give him the unconditional emotional support he craves. In literal terms this means finding a woman who will butter his ego and still give rip-roaring sex, while remaining silent about his flaws or mistakes. While sex becomes a natural outflow of this extra-marital emotional bonding, it was, however, never the primary motivator.

Sexual Greed
Then there are those who cheat because of an insatiable need for sexual variety. Such men believe in having their sexual needs met at all costs and will often assert, without apology, that their wives/women were unwilling or unable to keep them sexually satisfied. Their sexual complaints may include issues like a failure to perform oral sex, a refusal to perform anal sex, insufficient sexual episodes in the relationship, or even a lack of enthusiastic participation in various states of physical contortion.
For the wife who may be bending over backward to meet her spouse’s sexual needs but still finds herself the victim of infidelity, the issue is about more than just sexual quality. In fact, research confirms that a large percentage of cheaters continue to enjoy their sex lives at home; especially when such infidelity is a secret. Since male sex is often about the chase and the conquest, and not just the act of sex, some men cheat in an effort to re-create this preferred hunting scenario; in fact they often become serial cheaters who allow their lives to be overtaken by indiscipline.

Because They Can
Unfortunately, some men cheat because they are enabled by the women in their lives. Because women tend to be the nurturers in their relationships, this often influences them to take total responsibility for the health of the relationship. In this scenario, a man is absolved of his need to work just as hard as his wife, to keep their relationship thriving. The relationship then becomes lopsided and out of balance. There is no pressure therefore for a man to live out his vows or to practice relationship integrity. He knows that when it comes to the survival of the relationship, that his wife will be the one to make all the sacrifices. He knows that every time he slips and falls into the arms of another woman, he will be forgiven and welcomed back. The relationship may also be governed by financial or emotional dependence on the part of the woman. There can also be an unspoken but very real social expectation, which validates these philandering ways with an attitude which states that “men will be men”. Because he is not challenged to change, his cheating ways remain.

While these few reasons posed are not exhaustive by any means, they can provide a reference point for understanding why the men in our lives may cheat. The critical decision remains with the woman who must assess her own relationship and self-worth to determine whether or not she is willing to literally live with this continued state of affairs.

8 Signs Your Relationship May Be In Trouble


ang couple
Do you know when your relationship is in serious trouble?

Whether your significant relationship/marriage is new or old, chances are it has gone through its fair share of highs and lows. While the traditional notion of “falling in love” may seem a tad euphoric and short-lived, growing in love, according to scientific research, is still a very real and explainable occurrence. Which brings me to the focus of this article.

What happens when our relationships seem to have reached a growth stalemate? Do we even recognize that things have come to a screeching halt in the growth department? Are we even aware of the signals which might suggest that our relationship may be in serious trouble? Do we even know what we can do to turn things around? The following list, though not exhaustive, represents some of the common warning signals which suggest that our relationship may be in serious trouble.

1. You no longer relish your partner’s company. While there is nothing wrong with some alone time or a girls’ or guys’ night out, if consistently, you would rather spend time alone or with others, instead  of your partner, then this may be a signal that something is not quite right in your relationship. The reason you chose your partner, is because you preferred him or her over all others. When this preference changes, it may indicate that hidden or unresolved issues have begun to take their toll on the relationship. This may also suggest that relationship neglect has occurred which fosters a sense of distance or “tiredness” between partners.

2You negatively compare your partner to other people. Yes; you may have had a physical ideal when it came to a life-partner, or they may have been a set of personality traits which you prefer; if you  have chosen  your partner in spite of the fact that he/she may have fallen short of your ideals, then you owe it to him/her to love completely; flaws, foibles, warts and all; learn to honour your choice and don’t do your partner a disservice by constantly comparing him/her to someone else; real or imagined

3You regularly “forget” special dates like birthdays, valentines or anniversaries or treat them like regular days. Very often a seemingly convenient lapse in memory is our way of deliberately communicating several things to our partner, without actually saying. Among them is our own feeling of neglect (so we do a tit for tat), a latent underlying anger or unforgiveness over some issue, our preoccupation with someone else or a blatant loss of interest in our partner leading to a disregard of their feelings. This can be a bitter pill to swallow, especially for women who place great stock and sentimentality into celebrating milestones.

4. There is an absence of meaningful conversation between you and your partner. When your relationship goes silent or if the only things you ever talk about are the kids, the bills or your horrible boss at work, then this may be a sign that your communication channels may need some work. Yes; some talk is better than none at all but special couple-time should also be allocated to sharing about your relationship, your individual or couple goals, your disappointments and of course the communication of how much you love and appreciate your partner.  An absence of meaningful conversation usually means that your partner is being taken for granted.

5. You are flirtatious with others or over-step emotional or sexual boundaries. There is no greater sign of relationship neglect than treading into an area which should be exclusive to your spouse. Being sexual with someone of the opposite sex does not have to include the actual sex act. We are usually sexual long before the penis and vagina interface; so inappropriate behavior can include anything from lustful ogling or undressing with the eyes  to staring deeply into the eyes of another to communicate desire, touching, caressing, sexting, grabbing private parts, kissing, suggestive talking and  the like. Such behaviour is inherently disrespectful to the one you should be committed to.

6. You never see yourself as being at fault in any couple-disputes and so you never apologize. If you can never, ever say sorry or you think you are always right, then this points to emotional under-development and is likely to retard the progress of the relationship. This is especially so since the last time your partner checked, they were probably no perfect people around (so where exactly did you come from?)

7. There is an absence of touch or physical displays of affection. Touch is the barometer that gauges the temperature of the relationship. So the absence of hand-holding, hugs, affectionate squeezes, affirming pats on the back, kisses, playful tickles or even the biggie; sexual intimacy, spells that your relationship is likely to be in some pretty big trouble. Who wants to be close or intimate with a spouse they really can’t stand?

8. You no longer say “I love you”, ever; nor do you attempt to demonstrate love in ways that are meaningful to your partner. This needs no further explanation; love is an action not a lofty ideal which exists in the thoughts; to be felt it must be demonstrated in a love-language or preferred way that is understood and desired by our loved ones.

If your relationship is plagued by one or more of these characteristics and nothing seems to be changing, then this may indicate a need for intervention through counselling, relationship coaching, or through serious dialogue and confrontation with your partner. If you choose to work through this on your own, the emphasis should be on communicating your concerns in a firm but loving way which ultimately conveys your concern for the life and longevity of the relationship.