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Intimacy - how soon is too soon?

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chick posted 10/22/2013 07:08 AM

My husband had a one night stand 4 weeks ago which I found out about 2.5 weeks ago – heartbroken doesn’t quite cover it, I know I don’t need to explain to any of you how it feels.

I am finding it slightly difficult to relate to a lot of the stories as this was a one night stand and not a repetitive thing and no emotion was involved, I can’t imagine being any more hurt than I was by this but I think I actually could be even more if it had been an emotional thing and he went back for more.

I decided to try to move on from this and we are still together and trying to work through it.

So I know that there is no way I am ‘supposed to feel’ and there are no rules on how long it will take. I 100% believe that my husband regrets his actions, he has done everything I have asked of him and more and is quite clearly as devastated as I am. I also 100% believe that he does not intend to ever do anything like this again, I can give details if anyone wants them but the very short version is that it was a situation that got out of hand on a night out.

The thing I feel most confused about right now is that I don’t know how soon is too soon to allow intimacy to progress? I hadn’t let him touch me at all for a week and a half and then felt like I wanted to hold hands so I reached out for his hand as we were sitting on the sofa – this made him cry. A lot. So since then we have been holding hands occasionally when we are together. Then 2 nights ago my head was spinning with all of the thoughts and feelings and I couldn’t sleep so I woke him at 3am as needed to talk – we had a good chat and I felt like I needed a hug so I asked him for one and we fell asleep holding each other which was lovely. But I keep wondering whether I am letting things happen too soon. I have told him that just because we are getting closer in this way does not mean that things are OK or even nearly OK – and he said that he understands that. And I suppose that is what is worrying me, that if things get back to ‘normal’ then it will all appear to have been forgiven and forgotten. But it won’t be yet and he does know that, I just want us to be close again as although it is him that has done this to us, I feel now that we are in it together in terms of trying to make it work and. I feel like I want us to sleep together in the next few days.

But by then it will only have been 3 weeks since my world fell apart – should I be pretending I don’t want him to be near me if I really do?

Marathonwaseasy posted 10/22/2013 07:14 AM

Google hysterical bonding - some of us go into that state. I'm one who has.
Basically the only person who can answer this is you.
Just make sure if it starts and you feel uncomfortable that you are able to stop it and don't go through with unwanted intimacy. That can be difficult.
I don't know where I will be in the end but right now sex is very affirming and healing.

Sorry to find you here

Knowing posted 10/22/2013 07:21 AM

Once we decided we wanted r, intimacy returned very quickly. You have been listening to your inner voice and responding to your own desires, why not sex? Your WS' A isn't about sex per se, but about his inner brokenness. Your WS may not have felt a great affinity for the OW but surely the emotions or feelings he was having before, during and after his ONS hold the key to freeing himself from the possibility of it happening again.

You're right, there is a great risk of rug-sweeping and glossing over the A. What are your plans for individual and marriage counselling?

heartbrokeninaz posted 10/22/2013 07:22 AM

I am in the ONS side of it also. Though I did not get the confession for over a week. We also were in the hysterical bonding mode. I think it brought us closer but every couple is different. If you are not ready for sex, then by all means don't force it.

chick posted 10/22/2013 07:24 AM

Thank you Marathonwaseasy - I will have a look at hysterical bonding.

It is strange because I haven't told anyone about what has happened (and don't want to) so he is the only one who can comfort me - and up to now I have still frozen him out but I don't think I want to anymore.

But good advice about being careful if I am uncomfortable - I might warn him that things may not continue to improve and we will probably still have setbacks.

heartbrokeninaz posted 10/22/2013 07:24 AM

You don't need to explain how broken hearted you are. We have all been there and we do understand. You are not alone. Its a sucky group to be in. There is a lot of good advice here though!

chick posted 10/22/2013 07:29 AM

Thank you for the other replies too, all very reassuring.

Knowing - we had a first MC session on Saturday and we have another in 2 weeks. We don't have any IC planned - I don't think I need it but if that changes then I will arrange some. My husband thinks that he may do as says he has been having some angry feelings over the past few months which are not about me or my relationship and he doesn't think are related to what he did either but thinks he might want to explore them just in case.

FaithFool posted 10/22/2013 08:18 AM

Hi chick, welcome.

There are no rules about resuming intimacy really, it's a very personal timeline and each situation is different.

One thing to consider though is to get clear STD tests before having unprotected sex again.

Both of you need to go and be tested and cleared.

Big hugs. This shit is hard.

sisoon posted 10/22/2013 09:39 AM

should I be pretending I don’t want him to be near me if I really do?

JMO: One giant problem with an A is dishonesty. That means, to me, that honesty is absolutely critical to recovery, especially if you want to R. Be straightforward and honest with your H. Among other things, that shows him the way. Even better, being honest reduces the amount of stuff you don't like doing and increases the stuff you do like doing.

You're free to choose - intimacy now, later, never. And you're free to change your mind, too.

chick posted 10/22/2013 10:05 AM

He has been tested and is clear but yes I guess I should be too just in case - will definitely use protection if something does happen.

We will just see how it goes I guess and if I feel like it is the right moment then I might initiate something because I know he would be terrified to as wouldn't know how I would react. Maybe just a kiss first and see how I feel about that.

bionicgal posted 10/22/2013 10:11 AM

You might be surprised chick, how healing and beneficial sex is in this situation. It sounds like a contradiction, but in my experience, it has been a godsend.

LearnToLoveAgain posted 10/22/2013 16:58 PM

Chick- my story is very similar to yours, and we were intimate pretty soon- I think it was hysterical bonding. Somedays I feel like it sometimes I don't. If I think it'll trigger me, I stop. He understands and has been there never mad or rushes me.

Rebreather posted 10/22/2013 17:11 PM

So, it's a little embarrassing, but we had sex about 18 hours after dday.

It is what it is. Primal.

I have often said that the wayward can be both the salt and the salve to your wounds. It is confusing and scary.

There is no "normal" here. Just what feels right to you. I would advise differently if there were repeated ddays, lots of lying or TT, defensiveness, etc.

Sal1995 posted 10/22/2013 17:20 PM

D Day was on a Sunday. On Monday my wife tried to snuggle up to me in bed and it caused an anxiety attack. On Tuesday I told her that it would take 6 months for me to even consider touching her again, assuming she met all my demands (the usual - immediate NC, STD tests, deactivate accounts, block calls, etc.). Later I told her I wanted a divorce.

The next day we made love after she got on her knees and begged for my forgiveness. We haven't stopped since.

Like Rebreather says, it's a primal thing sometimes. It will happen when it happens, chick. But my recommendation is that you do what you have to do to fill YOUR needs, without regard to him. Take the necessary precautions because an STD is always a possibility, but do what best helps you begin the healing process.

It's kind of messed-up that the person who inflicts our greatest pain is often the one who ends up comforting us the most, but that's what a marriage is all about. For better or worse and all of that. Even when the "worse" is inflicted by a spouse.

[This message edited by Sal1995 at 5:21 PM, October 22nd (Tuesday)]

ShatteredLove00 posted 10/22/2013 17:54 PM

My husband also had a ONS - except it was a prostitute on a business trip night out that, I guess, got out of hand. :( He is very, very remorseful and hates that it happened as well

I tried because I missed being intimate with my husband...and it was NOT good for me. It made me trigger hard and set me waaay back in my healing. Now even just him trying to hug me makes me cry. I'm not really sure what to do, and obviously most people don't go through this, but just be sure it's something you want to do.

chick posted 10/23/2013 02:28 AM

Thanks for the replies, very nice to know that whatever happens there is no right or wrong and I may be glad or I may regret it and either one of those is OK.

I will just see what happens and how I feel - he is taking me out on a 'date night' tonight so that we can remember that we enjoy spending time together so maybe it will lead to something or maybe I won't feel like it.

I suppose my biggest worry is that when things get more ‘back to normal’ then I will not feel like I can bring up the cheating again or how I feel – but I just need to be clear to him from the start that whatever happens, I am not healed and it is not totally dealt with. I have said to him that I want to get to a point where it is behind us and I don’t ever want to bring it up or throw it back in his face because I don’t think that is healthy – but that day is not today or tomorrow or any other day in the near future so I need to be clear to him about that.

Sorry to hear about everyone else's stories and tough times, hope things get better for you all.

Hopefulinva posted 10/23/2013 11:57 AM

Hi chick

I too am in the ons boat. Again something that got out of hand. My entire story is on my profile if you care to read.

Short of it is it happened on a Friday night, I found out following Monday night, but I didn't see him until the end of the week. We did end up intimate that night, and dand near every weekend night since. He's away at training during the week so I have only seen him on weekends. Training is almost done so he will be home again soon.

For us it's been very healing, my advice is if it feels right then go for it, but if you feel bad stop it. I will say that I did stop once, because it felt "the same" as his time with her. Only you will know if it feels right.

It's been a great connector for us. Rekindling the spark. I can honestly say that we now make love as opposed to just have sex for the sake of sex because that's what married people do. As cheesey and cliche as that sounds its the honest truth.

I hope this helps and wish you the best. Stay strong.

FoggedIn posted 10/23/2013 12:19 PM


I can echo a lot of what has been said. My WH had a ONS with a prostitute, it's been excruciating to deal with to say the least. On dday I got in the car and left, drove 500 miles. Didn't see WH for 5 days. When we saw each other for the 1st time since dday we had HB, it was good and bad. And we had sex a few times in the first couple of weeks, but then it stopped. I just got to a point where I couldn't anymore. Too many questions, fears, pain. It lasted a few weeks. But at some point during that time he reached out to me and although I made it clear I was not in a place where sex was an option, WH asked if we could be close, maybe 'make out'. I said we could see how it went. Surprisingly it went well and it was nice. Nice to share some passion without actual sex and to know he was ok. It really did so much for my heart (and my mind) knowing he just wanted to be that close to me even if there was no big 'O' at the end. But that even went on a few weeks. Only recently did I feel like I was ready for sex again.

I say all of that just to say that if/when you do have sex, don't feel like because you've opened the sex door that you are forced to rip it off the hinges and leave it open forever. I'm making it my current motto, "Do What I need, stop living to accommodate him!" Because every move I make is with him in mind. Even when I was ready to have sex, I was afraid it would send the wrong signal, would he think everything was fine, would he assume all sex acts were back on the table, would he want a lunch time quickie now, will he refuse to understand that I'm still broken and hurt. I finally said it's not about him and what he needs, it's about me and what I need. If I'm ready and I need to be close to him and I need the sexual connection, I should have it. period!

chick posted 10/24/2013 05:56 AM

Well.....we did - and it was great, and so far I don't regret it. We had a night out, just a couple of drinks - I kept forgetting for a while what had happened and getting on like normal but then remembering and feeling very sad so I was a bit quiet on and off. There was a band in the bar and usually hearing music and singing along makes me feel on top of the world but last night I just kept thinking that I can't imagine ever feeling that complete and utter happiness again. But when we got home we sat on the sofa and we cuddled for a while and then kissed and then one thing led to another.....

The only thing that did freak me out a tiny bit was when he initially tried to pull me up to sit on him - because according to the details he has given me of his ONS, that is the position they had sex in as he was sitting in a chair. So I thought it was all going to go wrong for a second but I just said no and moved into another position. I didn't tell him why at the time but today I will ask him whether he noticed that I didn't want to move into that position and I will explain to him why.

I still don't know when I will feel normal again and will stop having these moments of extreme sadness - I feel like the purity and innocence of our relationship is gone - we have been together since we were 16/17 and we are now 32. But I hope that it will all pass eventually. I will just take each day at a time in terms of whether I want to keep up with the sexual intimacy or whether I will regress, only time will tell.

MsRukia posted 10/24/2013 15:25 PM

I just want to encourage you to do what feels right. For me we had HB that hit about a week and a half or so after DDay. It hasn't stopped since. In a lot of ways it has been healing. I have triggered at times during sex. So we will just stop , take a break and cuddle. It feels like I should want the opposite, but there are days I just want him.

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