Category Archives: infidelity

How Infidelity Saved Us!

How Infidelity Saved Us!

I got this from a reader who gave me permission to share it on here. Her experience is a perfect example of how even the roughest patches in your relationship can turn out to be for good in the end.

How My Husbands Affair Saved Us

smiling-couple-2aI still remember the day that Steve* (name changed) told me he was having an affair and didn’t want to stop. I was so devastated. I honestly felt like I was going to throw up. My mind was racing. I couldn’t help but wonder “What did I do?” “Why didn’t he ever tell me?” “How could he do this to me and our family?” I had so many thoughts that I couldn’t keep track of ’em all. Initially, I started to think that it was all my fault and I should have known better. Steve always had a high sex drive and we always fought about how I never wanted to do it as often as he did. I should have known that he wouldn’t live a sexually frustrated life forever.

After a week or two of deciding what we wanted to do, Steve decided to end the affair and we decided to go see a counselor. When we got to the counselor’s office, Steve talked about his years of sexual frustration and I blamed myself for the affair. I was apologetic and remorseful and Steve was angry and bitter about his years of sexual frustration.

We Both Stopped Blaming Me

Over the course of counseling, the therapist helped me to see that the affair was not my fault and helped me to learn to stop blaming myself. I learned that there was a vulnerability in the relationship created by the sexual frustration but Steve could have done hundreds of other things other than having an affair to fix it. He could have worked more, found a new hobby, asked to see a counselor, etc. but he chose to have an affair.

Steve also began accepting ownership for the affair. He recognized he could have done hundreds of other things. He learned a lot about himself and why he chose to have an affair instead of joining a book club or something else. He was apologetic for putting me and the family through the embarrassment of his affair and for creating the difficult situation in our marriage because of the affair.

We Realized We Were Both At Fault

After Steve accepted ownership and I stopped accepting blame, we began to dig deep to uncover what happened that created the affair. Steve stated that he was so reliant on sex with me to feel close to me – so when we weren’t having sex, he wasn’t feeling close anymore. After a while he got tired of feeling so rejected by the one that he relied so heavily on that he found another way to meet this emotional need. And he wasn’t blaming me by saying this anymore. He was taking ownership of his own feelings and his own actions.

After I learned to stop blaming myself, I realized I did have some ownership in the affair, too. This was a bitter pill to swallow. I had finally stopped blaming myself for the affair and now I had to turn around and own up to what I really was doing in the relationship happy-couple-cuddlingthat was causing problems. I was resentful that I would have to talk about this just because Steve had an affair. But I went there anyway.

After some work, I realized I was never comfortable with sex because of my strict conservative upbringing and I recognized that I had a lot of feelings of shame surrounding sex. Because of my shame, I had difficulty allowing Steven to connect with me emotionally. In the back of my mind, I knew that if he felt close to me emotionally he would want to have sex with me so I kept an emotional distance as a way to preemptively avoid sex.

After discovering both of our patterns, we worked on not blocking each other out anymore. He begun trying to reach out to me emotionally again and I began trying to accept his emotional requests. This meant that he started wanting sex more and I had to get more comfortable with my body and my feelings around sex. At first I was resentful because I had to dig up all these issues about me just because Steve had an affair but after a while I got more comfortable with my body and with sex. I even found that after I allowed myself to feel close, I naturally began wanting to have sex with him. I would even initiate it more because I felt so close. And it was good sex. It was the emotional, connecting, electrifying kind of sex.

We Stopped Blocking Each Other Out

african-american-couple-kissingAs we continued on, we realized so many ways that we were both blocking each other out emotionally: Him out of his fear of rejection and me out of my fear of it leading to sex. With these gone, we were now able to connect in so many new ways. It felt like we were dating again.

It took 22 years to finally get here but now we’re as happy as we’ve ever been in our relationship. Now we have the relationship we both dreamed of. We are so close and passionate about each other in ways that we never were. The affair was one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to go through and I still wish we never went through it. But if it weren’t for the affair, we would never have the relationship we have now. It opened our eyes to the ways our relationship was hurting and made us work to heal it. Now we’re stronger than ever and I have the affair to thank for it!

Trust Was Broken – Now How Do We Rebuild It?

Trust Was Broken – Now How Do We Rebuild It?

Trust is important in any relationship, but especially important in your romantic relationship. When trust is broken, it is often difficult to even process how to start rebuilding trust. Trust can be broken in many ways, but there tends to be pretty consistent necessities to rebuild trust. If you and your partner are working to… Continue Reading

Are You Breaking Your Marriage’s  Sex Contract?

Are You Breaking Your Marriage’s Sex Contract?

When you get married, you sign a marriage certificate. This certificate says that you’ll live together as a lawfully wedded couple until death do you part. But along with this marriage certificate, you’re also signing a series of legal contracts as well. These contracts state that if you divorce (i.e. break the marriage contract) that… Continue Reading

He Said/She Said: He Cheated So How do I Trust Him Again?

He Said/She Said: He Cheated So How do I Trust Him Again?

Dear Aaron and Rachel, He Cheated and I just can’t trust him anymore. It’s not that I don’t WANT to trust him because believe me, I really do. I just CAN’T trust him. Literally, can’t. I go to sleep at night just thinking of all the things he told me today and I try to… Continue Reading

He Said/She Said: Shouldn’t I know EVERYTHING about the affair?

He Said/She Said: Shouldn’t I know EVERYTHING about the affair?

Dear Aaron and Rachel, I caught my husband having an affair about 3 weeks ago. After some thought, we’ve decided to try to work through things. But he’s not being completely honest about everything. I told him that if we’re going to make it work he needs to be 100% honest about what they did,… Continue Reading

He Said/She Said: He Cheated and I Want to Know Everything!

He Said/She Said: He Cheated and I Want to Know Everything!

Dear Aaron and Rachel, I caught my husband having an affair about 3 weeks ago. After some thought, we’ve decided to try to work through things. But he’s not being completely honest about everything. I told him that if we’re going to make it work he needs to be 100% honest about what they did,… Continue Reading

He Said/She Said: Sex After an Affair

He Said/She Said: Sex After an Affair

Dear Aaron & Rachel, I hope you don’t mind, this one’s pretty complicated. My wife and I have been together for seven years. But throughout the seven years our sex life has never been great. I’ve always wanted more but she’s never wanted it as much as I have. I’ve been pretty respectful of that… Continue Reading

He Said/She Said: I think I’m in Love, but I’m Married to Someone Else

He Said/She Said: I think I’m in Love, but I’m Married to Someone Else

I was in a year long relationship 28 years ago with a man who was in the middle of a divorce. (Bad idea, I know.) As the custody battle over their son heated up, I told him he should move back home and try to get his wife to go to counseling, so that when… Continue Reading

Five Signs That You Need to See a Marriage Counselor

Five Signs That You Need to See a Marriage Counselor

Couples always try wait it out before seeing a marriage counselor. But when the pain becomes too much, they finally relent and go see one. The problem with this is that by the time couples finally go, there’s been so much pain and so much damage from waiting that it just makes it harder to… Continue Reading