sex after an affairIt’s been exactly 10 months since we have had a discussion on the blog about sex after infidelity. So this week we’re just going to replay a discussion from the past.

We’d like to get your updated views (or new views) on this subject as it relates to your own situation.

Dr. Robert Huizenga, author of “Break Free From the Affair” says

“…usually there is a very high level of sexual intensity between husband and wife.  The affair stirs up sexual intensity and sexual feelings. Often both have a strong desire to engage in sex, and some people say that sex is better now than it’s ever been.” 

He goes on to say:

“If you enjoy sex, it’s mutual and you’re having a great time, then there’s nothing wrong with sexual activity.”

We thought that it would be interesting and perhaps a good learning experience to get an idea of how our reader’s sex life has transformed during certain stages of your relationship from just prior to discovery of the affair, to well after.

Let’s first set the general stages from which to compare.  If you haven’t made it through all of these stages, that’s okay.   Just respond based on your own situation:

Stage 1:  The weeks prior to discovery of the affair (or when you suspected the affair started).  In other words, the time before there was no affair going on.

Stage 2:  The time when the affair was going on.

Stage 3:  After discovery of the affair and either the affair came to an end or it continued.

See also  The Emotional Affair Wasn't the Catalyst for Change

Stage 4:  The weeks immediately following the end of the affair.

Stage 5:  Long term after the end of the affair – perhaps several months to years after.

Obviously, we don’t need to necessarily know all of your intimate details.  (Though it could make things more interesting.)  You don’t even need to necessarily follow the stages above.  If you’d rather, just provide a general idea of how your sex life has transformed from prior to, during, and after the affair.

Factors to consider:

  • Frequency
  • Intensity
  • Desire
  • Initiating sex
  • Satisfaction
  • Performance issues
  • Having intrusive thoughts during sex
  • Thinking that you are/were undesirable
  • Changes in usual sexual patterns and/or techniques
  • Other factors I can’t think of…

Please remember to respond to each other in the comments.

Thanks for your input!

 Linda & Doug



    20 replies to "Discussion – Your Views on Sex After Infidelity"

    • overwhelmed

      OK, I’ll start…

      Sex after infidelity? Well, I’m involuntarily celibate right now, so I have nothing to offer on this topic. 😉

      Me and celibacy go together like oil and water.

      • overwhelmed

        Hmm perhaps matches and gasoline is a better analogy.

    • exercisegrace

      Pre-affair: slow, but attributed to losing his dad, financial problems, new baby, moving and the list goes on. He was heading into a major depression that he was hiding from me.

      During: mostly had returned to normal. I even used this to reassure myself that he was NOT cheating. If we skipped a beat, I wrote it off to his depression and medication. Overall though, he was very critical of me and the kids (justifying his poor choices) and that had an impact as well.

      Immediately After: he ended it, and was relieved I had not found out. He was devoted to rebuilding what he realized he had nearly lost. However, they continued to work together for over a year so I perceived the threat as still present. As time went on, things were very good again. The criticism all but disappeared and he was very much engaged with us again. I began to believe that he was right….I was crazy, paranoid and I had imagined a threat where there was none. Life in general, including sex was very good.

      Bomb Drop: he had cheated, for over a year. I was destroyed. I could barely stand to look at him. there would be no hysterical bonding for me, and for quite awhile I felt abnormal because there wasn’t. I can see now that I felt doubly betrayed. Not only because he cheated, but because I had opened myself up to him completely again, believing all his lies that NOTHING had happened. Mind movies and images plagued me. I felt no emotional connection during sex. What had once felt spiritual, now felt empty.

      A year later: mind movies have diminished greatly, and I can shove them aside now. There is still hurt and insecurity. We have come a long way, but if I am honest we are not there yet. The connection has not been fully restored. We are learning to adjust to a new normal, which incorporates a painful, ugly chapter into what had been a very beautiful story up to that point. I struggle more with the intimacy afterward than the physical act itself.

      MY advice: there is no right and no wrong. Some people have hysterical bonding and some don’t. Some resume sex right away and some wait awhile. Affairs are not about sex. It is not the hot, steamy passionate stuff of the movies that the media would like us to believe. Communicate. Be honest. There will be good days and bad. Give yourself time.

    • forcryin'outloud

      Well before the EA things a wound down to a trickle. My H had started a weight loss and workout regime and slowly became disinterested in sex (early clues). Then what shocked me is he would wake me up in the middle of the night with his masturbation which he would abruptly stop and deny saying he was scratching something. This would lead to him telling me I was delusional, crazy, etc. because why would he do something so stupid in our bed while I was there. During this same time period anytime I tried to engage in sex he would tell me I “wasn’t going to get anywhere” with him. He would also regularly joke my choice of sleepwear. I guess I was suppose to wear a push-up bra and garter so he could jack off to images of his skank with his wife dressed for imaginary sex. …I’m regressing… The obsessive wacking off was during the EA and continued after the his reconnection trip w/OW went bust. But when he returned he engaged me in middle of the night sex and kept his masturbation to outside of our bed. This nightmare went on for 2 more years with lots of heated discussions about our sex life (among other things) that would ALWAYS have him calling me a nympho or some other form of making me feel crazy.
      About a month after D-day we did the hysterical bonding for about 2 months. Fighting like cats and then having sex like rabbits. Stupid crazy behavior! Things slowly simmered down over the next year and up until 2.5 years out it was good, normal, heathy fun. But over the last 6 mos things have become chilly. I think I’m just tired of feeling like I’ve been the one to put most of the effort into “fixing us” and he reads the vibe. Plus he’s been traveling A LOT which stresses me out! When you don’t trust your partner and they are gone for days your head goes to some pretty crazy places and the thoughts run wild. I just still feel disrespected…

      • strengthrequired

        Fcol, I know what you mean, I am home alone alot too, and your mind really does go into crazy places. Dreams my goodness at times don’t help either.
        I have noticed something though, and that is these exessive thoughts are lessening, I can’t honestly explain why it is lessening, maybe it’s due to me finally starting to give some trust, benefit of doubt because my h is trying so hard to get out business back on it’s feet, and I understand where we now live to where the business is, it’s a fair hike, I see my h tired, I see him exhausted, I am seeing positive changes in him towards our marriage such as how important it is to him.
        I won’t say this has been an easy thing for me, as it hasn’t, but I needed to give some trust that he is doing right by us.
        It is definately not easy to do, after affairs of any sort.

        I know my h misses us. It’s funny, our liilte girl asks her daddy, on the phone, when you coming home, I miss you daddy? You never home. Then asks have you eaten yet? Lol
        Her saying these things to him, I know gets to him.
        He would tell me afterwards, how he is never home, he says I do come home, I do see you all.
        He was just trying to make never sound better for himself.

        Yet do you know something, he had a discussion with a customer, after the customer was expecting his work to be finished by a certain time. My h as exhausted, frustrated as he is, said “do you go home to see your family every night, do you get to spend time with your family?”
        The customer responded ” yes, of course”
        My h replied ” well I never see my family, I’m here all the time working my ass off, not getting a rest, not getting a chance to go home every night to my family”
        The customer said ” ohh that’s no good, you should be able to be with your family”

        Just that conversation, showed me that his heart really is with me and his children, his family.

        • forcryin'outloud

          SR, since you mentioned dreams I thought you would appreciate my dream last night. It started off with my H driving me and my son in a car in the middle of a snow storm. We stopped at a friends house because SUDDENLY our son had gone missing. My H gets out of the car and now my son is back in the car but the car is still running and starts going by itself incredibly fast through the streets of a neighborhood. All the while I’m in the passenger seat trying to get over to stop the car but it just starts swerving and moving faster. In my frantic state I notice all the the happy families out in the snow having fun then poof I woke up. I see the metaphors and understand the context but crazy none the less. My unconscious mind is still trying to make sense of all this mess.

          • Strengthrequired

            Do you know how many times I should have proof read, lol. Too many.
            Interesting dream fcol. It’s funny at the very beginning of my h ea, maybe for even close to a year from dday, my dreams died off. It was like I no longer dreamed, like my dreams were taken away along with everything else. Then all of a sudden dreams started appearing, some about my h and his tart, others crazy weird dreams.
            I used to always dream, yet now at times I still find it hard to remember them when I do.
            Trying to work out the sense of any of this nightmare is useless, I don’t think I will ever understand why.
            When we dream of our children, it’s always a relief to wake up after terrible ones.

    • forcryin'outloud

      Sorry for the typos, should have proofread.

    • strengthrequired

      At first when my h ea came out, we were still into each other until he moved out a week later for a month.
      However a week before he moved back home and until we moved away, it was definately hysterical bonding, for sure.
      It has tapered down, only because you can’t do it if the other person isn’t around, but when he is, well, you know…..
      Prior to the ea, we were still but not often, I was still struggling with the effects of having my baby, complications from birthing to depression, it lasted a long time, I had worked on a lot while my h was away, so thankfully things had improved by the time he returned.
      Yet can I just say this, I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t turned off my h, why I wasn’t running in the other direction, why I would even want to touch him, once I had found out about his new found “love”. All I knew, I wanted my h. It was a strange feeling. I will say, that it was me who was starting everything, it was me trying to prove the love I had for him, for quite some time. When I think back, I felt like the dirty one, not the ow who was trying to steal a married man.
      Yet things have changed has times progressed, my h initiates, not just me, he started doing the meaningful things again, not just in the bedroom, but in our daily lives, like walking past and just wanting a kiss or a hug.
      I will say, however, there were times, when other d days came out, where I did start to turn off, and I voiced it to him. I guess he could also see it in my eyes.
      Not sure but maybe, it was him seeing me ready to slip away at the beginning of this year, after we had worked so hard fot a year to keep our marriage alive, after several ddays, ready to say I’m done, maybe it was his final straw with her his ow.
      All I know is we have grown closer intimately, emotionally over the past year and a half, so maybe the hysterical bonding was a way for us to desperately find each other again. Reignite that spark into a flame.

    • Paula

      You’ve heard it before. Briefly. Before affair. Awesome. During fifteen months of him shagging another, awesome. Period where he ended it and I didn’t know a thing, awesome. After she told me, AMAZING!! Back to awesome about nine months to a year later. Two years later. Stopped. Naddah. I just could no longer engage. (I kicked him out at this point, for the third, and what felt like final time.) When we reconciled, I tried really hard but I have not had a good experience in more than two years. The mind movies make it impossible. Had several months of sex therapy. Think it made it worse, as I feel like a gigantic sexual failure. Trying to let this previously wonderful and fulfilling part of my life go now.

      • livingonafence

        Paula, I know you say you and your CS get along well now, although not as a ‘couple’. This affair nightmare is growing stronger with you. I’m not a doctor, but honestly, it seems like you need him out of your life. HE is the reminder that is in your face constantly. I know, it works, money is tight, etc, but I don’t think it does work. I think his presence makes you feel like it just happened over and over.
        Sorry – not my place, but just a thought.
        BTW, he’s the failure, not you. Just look at the mess he turned his life into, and for what? A few compliments and that fun sneaky feeling? He’s a disaster.

    • Paula

      Loaf, yes. You are right. My choice is this. For now. Yes. He failed. I know. But he has worked hard to improve. Heal. We can do this FOR NOW. I appreciate your words, a lot. I am aiming for last child off to uni and economy improving enough for us to sell up and each have enough to not live on the breadline. At present I would struggle and I don’t choose that. But you have the whole thing nailed in a few lines. Like you, i bloody well still love him! And I guess I ama little disgusted that I do? I am okay though 🙂

    • tryinghard

      OMG there isn’t enough room on this blog to give all the gory details. I can say this: Our sex life for the last two years has never been better. I have taken control of what I need. No more only when he feels like it. No more, oh next time. No more, oh I can’t ask him to do that. No more t shirts. All new sexy nighties etc!! I have found my freak!!! And he loves it! I don’t have any problem with mind movies. I’m pretty sure I’ve made all those memories go away for him. She is NO match for me in ANY respect except being a cockroach!

    • strengthrequired

      Go th, we step on cockroaches lol.

    • Paula

      TH, you go! So. Damn. Fantastic!! We still sleep in the same bed, naked, as we always have, he still curls into me, and if he loses skin contact in the night, wakes, and curls closer. Even in my major dysfunction, I like the contact, the skin on skin stuff. We were the couple making love DURING early labour! And, as soon as possible after childbirth. He found me alluring pregnant, not pregnant, breastfeeding, sweaty after a workout, hair scraped back after milking cows, feeding calves, lambs, etc, etc, etc. We were HOT, HOT, HOT! She was cold, static, without imagination, the most animated she got in fifteen months was apparently at the end, when he told her it was over, first BJ, and she wore stockings and suspenders for the first, and only time – desperate much? She always needed extra lubrication (sorry, TMI, that came out when he said to me once, “you are ALWAYS hot for me,” and I asked what that meant, and you can guess the rest of that….). And, OMG, get some imagination, hoebag! He says he NEVER got even close to the big O’s he has/had with me – he says he has never had them like that with anyone, ever. He didn’t even get there half the time. ED happened with her around half the time – he was a little slow ONCE with me, when he was in the midst of the guilt – but we sorted that pretty quickly with a few sexy ticks! He risked everything, for a slack f$*^. Good work. BUT, with my vivid sexual imagination, and prior rape, I have an AMAZING repertoire of torturous sexual imagery that I cannot rid from my psyche, as soon as anything sexual starts. See above comment about sex therapy. So, I KNOW I am better in the sack (or was!) but it hasn’t helped me. Gutted, but trying to let it go, as I cannot raise ANY sexual feelings anymore – even “self,” etc. It has passed, that thing you think will always be there for you, that way of bonding yourself to another in a way no other words, or acts can. I had to let the desperation for the sexual re-awakening go, it was killing me, eating me alive.

    • ShowMe

      my husband had an affair with a younger woman at his office. WE had not been intimate for 3 yrs prior to this because of his ED. He led me to believe that he was not able to perform. However, I found out that he had prescriptions for the “little blue pills” in his backpack. I found them and when I confronted him he lied.

      We went to couples counseling and he said he affair was over. Our therapist had us doing these crazy sensitivity activities with each other in bed. My husband said he had no sex drive for me or her. We switched therapists and my husband would be a great participant in the sessions but still no intimacy. At that point I would have been happy with just snuggling. Well, 5 years later I felt I was in a good place and had told both of them that I had forgiven them. Then I find out that he had lied to me again –the affair was not over. They had continued for 2 more years with sexual contact, but they were “just friends for the last 3 years.

      WE are with another couples therapist and my husband still does not feel comfortable with sexual contact with me. and now I l have visions of the two of them together. He says he is not thinking about her anymore but I don’t know whether to believe him or not.

      Lonely for love!

    • Xterra

      Hi Everyone,

      As mentioned earlier, my wife had an EA with her first love – D-day, January 24, 2013. Although they didn’t meet in person, I found many of their sext messages and emails. The majority of them describing what and how they would like to do things to each other. I did get her to confess they had Skype “sex” on one occasion, but she can’t explain how it happened … she was only going to show her breasts!
      But getting back to the question, there was no indication in regards to quantity or quality of sex during her EA. We have always had an amazing sex life, so there was no indication on that front to indicate she was thinking of another man. Not sure how things would have turned out if it was a PA as opposed to an EA.

    • Sadsomuch

      I told my husband when his heart was whole, meaning when the C@nt in coveralls was out of it, we could have sex again and I am still waiting. Its been 3 months and I guess he still isn’t whole but for me its been a loooong 3 months. I was the one for the last year or more that had initiated sex and now of course I know why he wasn’t asking.

    • bor

      I was betrayed
      Stage 1: The weeks prior to discovery of the affair (or when you suspected the affair started). In other words, the time before there was no affair going on. Sex was always me initiating, 1x 2 times a month max for the last 4 years or more. I had pretty much given up as every time i asked it was i am to tired. This was one part of the marriage that really sucked for me. I have told her in no uncertain terms I will not go back to the old days.

      Stage 2: The time when the affair was going on. no different although, i now realize she was doing me differently on a few occasions and less mojo. on a few occasions.

      Stage 3: After discovery of the affair and either the affair came to an end or it continued. hysterical bonding she tried to initiate unfortunately i was unable to be aroused as i was in shock. this went away after about a week.

      Stage 4: The weeks immediately following the end of the affair. I basically told her that i was done with the 1 or 2 a month if she could have sex with him 2 times a week she would be having sex with me or I would be having it with some one else.

      Stage 5: Long term after the end of the affair – perhaps several months to years after. 7 months d day Its back down to 2 times a month. up to january she had been trying to give me my two a week. I have not pushed the issue as the marriage is hanging by a thread. I have almost zero trust in her. we have so many significant issues unresolved in conflict. If it continues like this however I will most likely have to bring it up in therapy.

    • Sex isn’t worth it

      This is an old post so don’t know if anyone will see this.
      When he started his first affair we had a great sex life. It dwindled (his choice) over the years he was hooking up with her on work trips. He then used our nonexistent sex life as his excuse to her and himself. He also used that as his excuse when he started his second affair.
      During his second affair he said horrible things to me, I was unattractive, frigid etc. he would refuse to have sex with me, saying he didn’t love me or find me attractive and didn’t want to lead me on. Denying cheating the whole time.
      I finally find evidence of affair and confront him. All of a sudden he loves me again wants me again etc. we had a few months of hysterical bonding, which was horribly emotionally painful for me. During this time, whenever he was mad at me, he would throw how great the second howorker was in bed in my face. His definition of great in bed was she told him he was the biggest she ever had, and got on top, and they had sex multiple times a day.
      Now 1.5 years out, sex is almost nonexistent. We have it every couple of months only if I nag and insist and then I feel like garbage after. Our sex life is over, and very emotionally traumatic for me. I don’t even know if I’ll ever want to have sex with anyone again, don’t see where it’s worth it anymore too humiliating and degrading.

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