Post-affair tension

Dear Sex Educator,

Recently, my husband had an indiscretion with a girl he knows and has known for several months. He did not go all the way with her, but they did make out and do some heavy petting while they were both naked. He says he was really drunk and doesn’t even remember everything. He also says that he loves me and has no feelings for her, but I can’t help but feel disgusted every time he wants to make love. Should I have sex with him anyway to make him happy? I don’t think I will ever feel comfortable with him again. What do you think?

The breaking of trust in a relationship is a very difficult thing to recover from. Regardless of the reasons, your husband damaged the trust you have in him. I definitely do not recommend that you have sex with him if you don’t feel like it. You should not have sex with anyone if you don’t want to. That will only increase the tension between the two of you, and, in you, establish a negative feeling about sex with your husband.

Assuming you do want to stay married to your husband, I think the two of you need to do some repair work on the trust between you, so that you can recapture the connection that you had with him that made sex comfortable and fun for you in the past. I also recommend that your husband explore the reasons that he chose to become so intoxicated that he no longer controlled his actions in his relationship to this person. While his “affair” may have nothing to do with you, his actions had a profound effect on his relationship with you, and he may wish to explore why he made the choices that he did.

It takes time and work to get past this kind of incident. I do believe that you can get past it if you want to, and if he is willing to work with you to repair your trust in him. The two of you need to talk about whether there are some issues between you that aren’t being resolved, and why he felt the need to “stray”. The good news is that he was honest about it, so at least you can trust him to be honest with you.

I recommend spending time reconnecting with each other emotionally, without being sexual. Work to rediscover why you like each other, why your marriage works, and how you can keep the sparks flying between the two of you. This can be a great opportunity to rekindle your relationship and introduce more excitement and interest into the energy between the two of you. I suggest that you not have sex together until both of you feel a strong desire to do so. If you are not able to find that desire, you might want to get some help from a licensed marriage and family therapist. This is a common occurrence in long-term relationships, and can be repaired if both of you want that.

Don’t rush any decision, and don’t force yourself to do anything that isn’t completely comfortable. Sex is for the pleasure of both of you, not just him, and you owe yourself to make that pleasure free of negative feelings and emotions.

The Sex Educator