Not being attracted to your husband after he cheated on you is not that uncommon, but there are some things to consider when thinking about possible solutions.
Cheating is so prevalent nowadays and the repercussions of it are nothing to take lightly.
It can take a toll on your self-esteem, it can be a life-changing experience, or it can lead to even more problems inside or outside of the relationship.
Note: Alexandra is a professional Psychotherapist with specialized knowledge in relationships.– Worried Lovers
What exactly are you feeling?
Some people even experience PTSD symptoms like intrusive thoughts, flashbacks and nightmares.
You may feel like the other person didn’t respect the fact that you gave yourself completely to them.
You may feel less important than the person he cheated on you with. But, whatever the thought process is, we shouldn’t minimize the suffering that comes with it.
Infidelity is one of the most common reasons why couples separate.
The betrayal is the thing that hurts the most, and it’s enough to ruin the whole foundation of an otherwise caring relationship.
It’s important to not feel ashamed to talk about the experience and allow yourself to process the emotions.
Knowing that you’re not alone in this can ultimately help you recover, as well as help your relationship progress and get to the next level.
Life can go on after an affair, even if you stopped loving your husband.
Not having a sexual desire for your partner can happen even if he/she hasn’t been faithful, so it’s not surprising that it can happen when you go through such a painful experience.
Once the trust is severed, it can steal away every intimate thought that you’ve previously had about your partner. Yet, connection and desire are intertwined, more than we might think.
After an affair, life shouldn’t be just “business as usual”.
When staying together without working on the actual issue, the result is often the same.
The attraction will suddenly disappear, partners become estranged, and life will flutter its distractions in front of our faces all too often.
It’s not surprising that couples sometimes go to therapy for their infidelity, even years after the incident. But there’s a better way.
3 Things You Should Know:
- Attraction Can Mean A Lot Of Things
- Separate The Person From The Behavior
- Should You Try To Save The Relationship?
1. Attraction can mean a lot of things.
Acknowledging that you don’t feel attracted to your husband doesn’t mean that you can’t ever feel attracted to him again.
You might’ve found him attractive before this happened.
You might still objectively say he’s handsome but can’t get yourself to be “in the mood” anymore. It’s unfortunate but perfectly understandable.
Attraction is not always about the physical. It can encapsulate so many things, and somebody’s body is just a small part of that.
When working on rekindling, the couple’s emotional life is the key to their happy sex life.
2. Separate the person from the behavior.
If you’re not sure if you want to go on, you can figure that out by thinking of other things that you’ve done right as a couple or by thinking about what you appreciate in your partner, despite their transgression.
Do you still get along with your partner? see the good in him? or remember the good times? All of these questions are worth putting.
3. If you fell out of love with your husband after he cheated, should you try to save the relationship?
After going through something like this, it’s very common that the partner feels like they don’t even want to work on the relationship anymore.
However, that’s the first thing that you have to establish.
Take your time to reflect on that, as that determination will ultimately be a predictor for the successful rekindling of the relationship.
If you decide to give the relationship another chance, then you must be prepared to put in the effort.
Time doesn’t fix anything, but you have the power to give meaning to the experience of infidelity, no matter how hurtful it is to carry on the fight.
Sure, you can fake it till you make it, but it’s not a guarantee that it will save your relationship. The problem will still be there, and it can creep out in unexpected ways.
First things first, if you and your partner are struggling to keep the relationship and want to work your way towards a healthy bond, counseling is an important part of that.
In the meantime, here are some steps you can follow:
- Leave Room For Intimacy, Whatever Form It Takes
- Look For The Reason Behind The Cheating
- Both Partners Take Responsibility For Their Part In The Relationship
- Putting A Stop To The Other Relationship
- Getting The Relationship Back In The Bedroom
1. Leave room for intimacy, whatever form it takes.
Having sex doesn’t begin to encompass the whole complexity of what sexuality means. There are many nuances when it comes to intimacy and there are so many ways to express it.
Intimacy is not only about sex.
It’s also about your connection with somebody, the conversations you have, the rituals you developed over time, and the closeness you built through shared activities and values.
Looking for lust will not save your sexual life, but repairing the severed bond could.
2. Look for the reason behind the cheating.
Cheating often happens if there have been deficiencies in the relationship before. Unfortunately, it’s easy to miss that when the news hits you like a sudden, unexpected blow.
The affair is the problem. There’s no doubt about that. But seeing the issues behind is the only way to bring out change.
If the infidelity results from a lack of commitment, the problems might be bigger than you might have thought initially.
Knowing what the problems behind are and figuring out if you can either repair or live with them is very important.
Therefore, a crucial part is knowing which things your partner is willing to change and which problems are unsolvable.
3. Both partners take responsibility for their part in the relationship.
One partner recognizes the hurtful aspects of cheating, while the other recognizes their own mistakes that may or may not have to do with the affair.
However, the transgressor must feel and show remorse, while acknowledging their blame and their blame only.
He shouldn’t try to justify his actions or put them on the other person. Infidelity equals betraying someone’s trust. Recognize it for what it is.
4. Putting a stop to the other relationship.
This point is not debatable. However, terminating the affair is mandatory to put all the energy into reconnecting with your partner.
Sorry to say this, but if you want to rebuild your life together, a safety net is no way to do it. You have to be all-in.
5. Getting the relationship back in the bedroom.
Or as I like to call it, putting the meaning back in sex. Emotional connection is the basis for a satisfying sexual experience, and that emotional connection can be built by having meaningful conversations.
The “Gottman Trust Revival Method”
I’m a big proponent of this technique, as it comprises all the steps required to reignite the spark in a relationship affected by an affair.
The main focus is on regaining the trust that was lost.
It involves 3 steps: Atonement, Attunement, and Attachment.
First Step: The WHEN, WHERE And HOW
In the first stage, it’s important to have a full-on, honest conversation about what happened.
Talk about the nitty-gritty, as well as the feelings involved. Hearing all the stories about the affair is essential to recovery.
However, asking about the sexual parts of the affair may be counter intuitive.
Gottman states that this is a situation where access to a partner’s accounts and emails is acceptable and even recommended.
In this step, the betrayed partner can feel whatever he/she may be feeling about the situation and is given space to process the hurtful event.
The shame, guilt and grief that comes with this are all normal emotions that must be experienced.
Next Step: Emotional Management
This part involves handling the emotions that arise, validating each other’s feelings and experiences, turning towards each other, using empathy, and avoiding dismissive or passive-aggressive behavior.
You must be a team and work towards a healthy relationship goal together. Fighting each other will not lead to anything good.
I know, it’s easier said than done. Attunement involves self-care, as well as care for the other person.
Last Step: Attachment
The last part (the attachment) is where things start happening in bed. If the first two steps were successful, the third one usually comes naturally.
This last step is about actual action and bonding.
Rebuilding the relationship requires a healthy sexual life alongside a good, satisfying emotional life. They must both coexist.
If you struggled with getting through the first steps for a long time, it’s time to think if it’s worth fighting for the relationship or not.
Gottman has a way to tell if a relationship is at the risk of ending.
If the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are creeping in your life regularly, if you start to rewrite your relationship history in a negative light or if the ratio of good incidents-bad incidents is not at least 5:1, then the alarm bells should be ringing!
The waters may be murky, but if you find a way to sail them, there’s always hope.