I often hear from women who do not wish to resume sexual relations with this husband after he has had an affair. Some act out in anger and others want to teach their husband a lesson. Withholding sex can be a very deliberate decision made as a way to punish the husband for his actions.
I heard a wife say, “The idea of having sex with my husband right now doesn’t appeal to me at all. Because when I think of being intimate with him, I think of him getting intimate with her and that’s the biggest detour in the world. One of my friends has been through this recently and she has told me that eventually, my desire will return. She said she would want to have sex with him again because this is part of the recovery process. And it will bring us closer when we start to reconcile. Frankly, no I have no intention of having sex with him again for a long time. I feel like if I retain sex, he will really regret what he has done. My friend says this is not a good idea. Is he right? stop having sex with him because he had an affair? “
This is not an answer you can give to the wife. This is a very individual decision. However, having been through this myself, I understand that after cheating, the idea of sex is usually not that attractive. Many wives feel pressured to have sex because they worry that if they do not satisfy this need within my husband, he will simply go back to the other woman or find another woman who meets this need. I don’t think it’s a good idea to allow yourself to feel pressured to be intimate. Frankly, sex isn’t that great when this happens and usually a lot more resentment will build up as a result. The wife feels that she is just an object and that her feelings don’t matter. This is not good for either spouse.
Why I don’t think withholding sex to punish is a good idea: On the other side of the coin, many wives will take the opposite approach and refuse to have sex with their husbands. While I fully agree that you shouldn’t be intimate unless you want to, withholding this part of your marriage as a means to punish your husband can damage the relationship as much as the affair. Intimacy can be a way to reconnect and begin to rebuild trust. If you retain this aspect of your relationship or eliminate it altogether, you can delay or thwart your healing and will likely worry that your husband will remain faithful. The bottom line for me is that you must allow your feelings and your intuition to be your guide. You likely know when the time is right and you shouldn’t compromise your wishes for anyone else. You are allowed to move at your own pace.
Have sex again when you are ready. You must set your own pace: One of the most common questions I hear is when is the right time to start resuming sex. There is no fixed answer for every couple. Usually I tell people that they will know when the time is right. Usually this time comes after healing has begun. It usually doesn’t happen until the wife begins to feel some remorse and rehab. If you rush, the experience can be uncomfortable or painful. But if you wait until the time is right for both of you, you will usually have a good experience that will ultimately help your healing.
There is no reason to rush or delay it. Allow yourself to go at a natural pace, moving forward only when you feel comfortable or confident. Intimacy is something very special between two people. It is important to protect it rather than manipulate it. So to answer the question posed, I don’t think you should rush into having sex again or be pressured into doing something that you are not ready to do. That being said, if you know the time is right and you’re feeling comfortable, then I don’t think it’s a good idea not to be intimate simply to teach your husband a lesson or to punish him. This can damage your marriage, resent both of you, and delay your healing.