Q&A How Do We Re-establish a Sexual Relationship?

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Question: 

My husband and I are in a sexless marriage. We have been married for 18 years but in the last 15 years we have had sex approximately 5 times. At the beginning of our relationship and marriage we had a good sex life. The problems started when I was going through a very difficult time at work. When things had improved for me, I discovered that my husband was watching porn excessively and the content of the porn was confusing and upsetting to me. This exasperated the problem that we were having and made it even more difficult for us to resume a normal sex life. The longer the issue persisted, the more daunting it became to address. We both experienced so much anxiety around the issue of sex that neither of us wanted to deal with it. Attempts at resuming a sexual relationship were disastrous because my husband would be so anxious and nervous that he was unable to perform. At some point there just seemed to be an unspoken acceptance that we were not going to have sex in our marriage. When I learned that my husband was having an affair, I was shocked because I did not believe that was his character. However, I understood why he would turn to someone else for sex when we were not having sex in our marriage. We are trying to repair the marriage and I know that in order to do so we must have a sexual relationship. However, it feels that the problem is so much bigger now than it ever was. How do we reestablish a sexual relationship after so long and dealing with the added issues of an affair?

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