How to rebuild your sex life after an affair

Tammy Nelson, PhD offers suggestions on how to rebuild your sex life after a partner's infidelity
Relationship Advice | How to rebuild your sex life after an affair
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How to rebuild your sex life after an affair

If you want to stay with your partner after an affair, it's really important that you move through all the issues of trust and forgiveness all the way to erotic recovery. And what that means is you eventually are going to start having sex. An affair is an erotic injury. It's not just an injury to your companionship. You're not just roommates. You're sexual partners. And when someone has an affair, it can affect your sexual self-esteem. But if you don't repair your sexual relationship and move into having sex again, it's almost like that other person is still in bed with you. So you have to begin to re-live your sexual life, to recharge, to recreate passion, and to have a whole new sexual life moving forward. The one thing to do today is first of all, don't want until you feel safe. Safety is the killer of passion. It's okay to be afraid. In the beginning, we were a little nervous and afraid when we first started having sex. And when we first met our partner, we weren't totally secure either. Eroticism by its nature is sort of antithetical to safety. That's why people have affairs, because it's dangerous, and that makes it exciting. It's okay to have sex again if you don't feel safe. One piece of advice I would give you is start a sex date once a week, whether you feel like it or not, whether you're angry, whether you're frustrated, whether you're tired, whether your kids are asleep. Assign one day a week, like a Friday night. That's your sex date every week. You don't go out, you don't drink wine, you don't eat a heavy meal, because then you're just tired. You're not going to want to have sex. And you set it up as a sacred time that you meet every week to have sex. You don't have to have intercourse. But you have to get together and decide this is what to do to honor that sacred place in our relationship. And what ends up happening is what I call erotic anticipation. You start to look forward to it. Even if right now, you're not sure you want to have sex with your partner, down the road, with enough practice, it becomes something sacred and special, just like yoga. Yoga is a practice. Your erotic life and your erotic recovery has to be something special, something sacred, just like meditation. Or just like playing the piano. If you don't set aside time to practice, how is it ever going to happen?

Tammy Nelson, PhD offers suggestions on how to rebuild your sex life after a partner's infidelity


Expert Bio

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Tammy Nelson, PhD

Psychotherapist & Relationship Expert

Tammy Nelson PhD is the author of several books including, “Getting the Sex You Want; Shed Your Inhibitions and Reach New Heights of Passion Together”  (2008) and  “What’s Eating You? A Workbook for Anorexia and Bulimia (2004)” and her latest  book “The New Monogamy; Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity” (January 2013) is receiving critical acclaim.  She has been a featured expert in New York Times, Washington Post, Self,  Glamour Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, MSNBC,  Shape, Men’s Health, Women’s Health Woman’s Day, Women’s Health, and a source in Time Magazine. She writes for the Huffington Post, YourTango and can be followed on her blog

Tammy Nelson is a Board Certified Sexologist, a Certified Sex Therapist and an Imago Relationship Therapist.  She is an international speaker and a licensed psychotherapist in private practice with over 25 years of experience working with individuals and couples.  She travels and lectures internationally on her quest for global relational change.

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