Tag Archives: Homeword

Intimacy After an Affair

Broken heart

Photo credit: Microsoft Word Clip Art

I have been asked how a wife can be open and giving in the bedroom after her husband has cheated on her. Honestly, I don’t know exactly how to answer.

My heart sinks when I hear of the damage caused by extramarital affairs. This scenario is not one I’ve been through, and my gut wrenches to even think of how I would react to my husband being intimate with another woman.

What I come up with when I receive the question of re-establishing sexual intimacy after an affair is primarily a huge dose of sympathy and prayer for the couple involved. There are two pieces of advice I have heard over and over for recovering from an affair. (One resource for the following is the Homeword with Jim Burns radio show, on which Dr. Burns has interviewed numerous authors and speakers on this and other-marriage related topics).

The offending spouse must be willing to be accountable. The person who had the affair will have to report on where he is going, where he has been, when he will return home, whom he has been in contact with, etc. His cell phone and computer are open to being checked by the spouse or an accountability partner. He must avoid contact with the affair partner, even changing jobs or gyms or whatever to ensure that.

Sometimes an offending spouse wants to just be done with the affair and move on. They want to confess, be forgiven, and have their reassurances that the affair is over result in trust. But it doesn’t work that way. If you break the covenant and the trust that came with it, you must work to regain it. I believe marriage is worth that effort.

The couple must address issues in their own relationship. Of course a spouse should never cheat. However, an affair usually (not always) occurs when needs are going unmet in the marriage. Like or it not, that’s an us problem, not a him problem. If only those problem areas had been addressed before the affair . . .

But you are where you are, and those who commit to improving their marriage often report experiencing the very best years of their relationship after the affair. Communicate, seek counseling, find good marriage resources, and discover together what will make you feel loved, secure, and intimate in your marriage.

Additionally, I suggest that all couples should talk about appropriate boundaries. I discussed my own boundaries in The Rule.

With regard to sexual intimacy, I suspect it’s like every other distraction, albeit a huge one. A wife may get to the bedroom with her husband, and her brain wanders to thoughts about him cheating. The hurt, resentment, and distrust cause her to tense and a wall to form. The best way to fight doubt and fear is to replace it with truth and love. If your spouse is doing what he should to reestablish trust and work on your relationship, you can remind yourself over and over that he chose you, that he wants you. Your truth will be that you are not sleeping with the guy with whom you had a bad marriage, the one who cheated on you. This is a new beginning, a new man, a new marriage — renewed by God. Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones takes time, but it can be done.

Now I’m going to send you to a fabulous article on the website of fellow blogger, Julie Sibert at Intimacy in Marriage. One of her readers posted the story of how her marriage survived infidelity. At the end of the post, Julie provides links to stories and resources for those who have gone or are going through infidelity in a marriage.

If you have your own wisdom for getting past an affair, please share for others in the comments. You may help other marriages with your story of hardship or healing.

My prayers do indeed go out to those of you who have been hit with the pain of an affair. Thankfully, there are many couples who have recovered, and a couple committed to God can go on to experience their best years of marriage yet.

(Note: I used the husband cheating example here; I believe a majority of my readers are women and I typically aim my posts at them. I do appreciate my male readers. So if it was a wife who cheated, the pronouns can be changed.)

At the end of the post, Julie provides links to stories and resources for those who have gone or are going through infidelity in a marriage.

A Little Instruction for the Kiss

Sleeping Beauty

Ah, the kiss!  That brilliant invention of our Creator that makes us check our breath, cock our heads, plant a big wet one, and hunger for one more.  Plenty of Christians writing about sex believe that the orgasm is proof that our Creator designed mating for pleasure.  While I agree, I would add that the kiss is an excellent ingredient as well.  Kisses are not required for reproduction.  So what is their point?

In my last two posts, I talked about how we need to focus on kissing and some different types of kissing.  Finally, here are a few tips for fantastic, fun-filled, fabulous, frisky, frenzied kissing.  (I got carried away with alliteration.)

Your breath.  It matters.  By the way, you are the last person to know whether you are experiencing a bout of halitosis.  It’s funny how we breathe onto our palms, sniff them, and expect that to tell us something.  Do you smell your own sweat when you’ve been excessively exercising?  Do your kids recognize when they have foot odor?  No.  Your breath will just smell like your breath to you, unless you make it smell minty or yummy.  Toothpaste, mints, mouthwash — these are our friends.  Use them.  Especially if you just ate something that has an intense taste or aroma.

Lips.  Loose lips sink ships and communicate, “I can’t be bothered to pucker.”  Tight lips indicate a controlling personality or anxiety.  Relax your lips, but shape them so that they can be easily kissed.

Tongue.  My worst kisser had a twelve-foot tongue.  Okay, maybe not.  But he used it like a boa constrictor invading my mouth.  If you’re not sure how to use your tongue in an open-mouthed kiss, think of the word “tease.”  Tease your spouse with your tongue.  When full passion arrives, you can twist your tongues together to your heart’s delight, but remember that it still shouldn’t fill their entire mouth.

Hands.  Where you place your hands is important.  Kissing without touching can feel impersonal.  And immediately grabbing bums or private parts when going in for the smooch is not romantic.  As your lips caress his/her lips, your hands should caress as well.  You may caress shoulders, arms, back, hair, and face.  You can also use your hands to draw your partner in or gently position them at a better angle.

Eyes.  Open or closed?  I’m not a stickler on this one.  But I know some people think it’s weird to be watched at such a close distance while being kissed, so they prefer closed.  For some people also, it helps them to concentrate on the sensation of the kiss if they block out visual stimuli.

Remember that kissing can be enjoyed for its own beauty or can lead to something else.  I wish I could do a quick survey and ask wives if they feel their husbands kiss them often enough without expecting further sexual activity.  My prediction would be that many wives would say no.

But if you doubt the wonderful gift of kissing from God, try it out for a while in your marriage.  Jim Burns of the Homeword radio show suggests that married couples take time to have a 15-second kiss every day.  That might have a glorious effect on many couples — just returning to the courtship of kissing.

My bet is that it would also result in more bedroom activity as well.

How do you incorporate kissing into your marriage?  Do you kiss as often as you would like?  What tips would you give someone to master a perfect kiss?

To conclude my kissing series, here’s one last poem that appeals greatly to both the writer and the lover in me:

May I print a kiss on your lips?” I said,
And she nodded her full permission:
So we went to press and I rather guess
We printed a full edition.

-Joseph Lilientha