I love chaos’s post too.
I am going to just say this- our sex life often reflects what is happening within the relationship and the two people in it.
If there is trust, respect, intimacy, love, it’s a lot easier to have sex. I needed to get some of my equilibrium back before that part could ever return to any normalcy.
We are madhatters so I had an affair first, and we had hysterical bonding after mine. But when the shoe was on the other foot three years later, it was the opposite. I couldn’t fathom having sex and the best strategy for me was not to do it until I felt ready. (My husband also had a highly sexual affair that I have a lot of details about)
And protecting that boundary was an important part of our ability to reconcile. He had had sex many times a week with her in our home for 18 months to say I felt violated by that is an understatement.
You were just severely traumatized, don’t traumatize yourself further by prioritizing sex over what you need to heal.
Baby steps. Try and get back a baseline until it feels organic to move forward.At whatever point in time that is, then my answer would include a few things:
Try to incorporate general affection in an organic way. Nothing forced.
When that is reestablished, then maybe try massage.
Always stop when you need to stop.
For a while I took over initiating. Him initiating triggered me.this was a recommendation by a therapist and it was helpful.
And sometimes I still stopped. Not for punishment, but the last thing I wanted was to go force myself to go through with something I didn’t like how it was feeling
For us, it worked better if we were out in nature or in a hotel or anywhere but in that house. But that was due to details of the affair. I sometimes felt like I couldn’t breathe in there. We had to sell the house.
Some people change their bedroom. If you do either thing, don’t redo the room until you are ready for this new phase because if you do it too soon it will still serve as a reminder of the aftermath.
Your healing should be the highest priority and it’s a lot of work. Unfortunately that work is going to be there whether or not you reconcile. So the primary strategy has to be to focus only on what you want and need surrounding sex.
Part of him showing you that he is worth such a big investment as reconciliation is to put you first in the situation. And not in a manipulative way. The only way he will be able to prove that to you is a long period of consistency. As far as when you add sex back in that process is up to you.
We are 2.5 years out from my husbands affair. Our sex life works today, and there are aspects that are better. I can’t claim it’s perfect, but it’s gotten to a point where I rarely have to stop. It’s gotten easier over time and I expect that it will continue to. Our relationship over all is significantly better than prior to my affair, but also a lot of investment has been made.
[This message edited by hikingout at 5:13 AM, Wednesday, March 15th]