Reconnecting

At its worst, endeavoring to reconnect physically after my affair was nothing short of a cauldron of exhaustion and frustration. However, when we were able to sift through the wreckage and actually re-engage, the joy and elation and reward that would result is almost indescribable. If you too are dealing with this type of pain and in the middle of this process, believe me when I say Samantha and I have been there before and feel your pain.

Though we are not there anymore, we still remember the agonizing chore it was to communicate through the hurt. For several years now we have enjoyed a wonderfully rich sexual relationship with little to no residue of the past. We never knew it was going to be as hard as it was to reengage, till we got right in the middle of the process and began to be hit by the resistance of it all. I can honestly say, it has been well worth it to enjoy the harmony and unity we now experience emotionally and sexually; especially when sex was our biggest hot button of disagreement and controversy.

We didn’t get here by ourselves and we sure didn’t get here without help or without a plan. Every marriage is different and every spouse is a unique individual with unique challenges, triggers, experiences and desires. But here are some examples of what we utilized to get through the pain and hurt of it all and finally start to develop momentum. It’s a few of the pieces to our plan we put in practice to endeavor to rebuild, and I hope it truly encourages you.

  1. One of our biggest challenges was understanding what was in fact, reasonable sexual activity throughout the week. Rick sat with us and helped us identify a rhythm to our sex life. He called it “scheduled spontaneity.” We would have sex to the best of our ability every three days. That would be often enough for me to remain connected to Samantha in my love language, and enough for Samantha to feel connected to me and not feel forced to perform in bed to keep me happy. That served as my type of sex.
  2. Alternatively, we would then commit to having a business meeting once a week, or as needed (within reason) with Samantha and I, where I had to talk through concerns Samantha had. From bills, to fixing things around the house, to you name it; it was her time to communicate to me face to face about family and life issues. I needed to be present. No phone, no distraction, just talking with her and hopefully finding a resolution to whatever the issue was, and if the solution couldn’t be decided then, we would talk about it again in at least 72 hours, unless it called for a quicker solution. This was her type of sex that in turn made my type of sex better and better. You can see the cycle I’m sure.
  3. We decided that we were never to fight or argue when actually in bed. We decided if we were going to fight, or if things got heated in the middle of the discussion, we would not fight in bed but get out of the bed, get dressed, and at some level, allow the bed to be a safe place that was free from the toxicity of drama and arguing. It had been that type of space for long enough.
  4. When Samantha had a trigger or reminder, or just plain fell apart, she was to go and contain herself. She was to take at least 5 to 15 minutes to console herself, get herself together and then come back and either talk about it, ask me to hold her, or just lay together and put sex off till another time. I decided I would do whatever Samantha needed me to do to console her, even if that meant not being physically intimate that night and holding off till the night after.
  5. Samantha decided she would initiate sex at least twice a week as an effort to take more initiative in having sex and the quest to repair what seemed like rejection to me or indifference to me for quite some time.

These are not exhaustive by any means. But they worked for us with incredible effectiveness and to this day, we still hold true to the same patterns. They look a bit different, but the bones are there and for us, it works and it works well. I can only hope and pray for the same with you should you and your spouse be struggling with these issues.

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Very poignant

While my experiences reconnecting with my wife physically were different (frankly, right after we decided to recover, we went at sex with a passion, energy and frequency we never had before -- I guess both remarking our territories), I found this entry poignant. And full of good advice.

I never read comments that

I never read comments that the betrayer is the one to struggle with physical intimacy..as the betrayed..it is a constant reminder that she still lingers...

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