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A reader recently contacted me wanting to share some observations she’d made while having an affair with a married man.
Before I go there, though, I want to get in front of any push back I may get about this post.
I’m not condoning infidelity. I am simply passing along observations. To be completely vulnerable, I don’t find these the least bit surprising, having gone through a divorce in my early 30s.
Knowing what I know now, with more life, experience and awareness beneath me, I understand better why my first husband’s heart, head and body were turning toward another woman. I don’t excuse it; but I understand it better. Those two things can be true at the same time. I can look back at the loss of my first marriage and see threads of what the reader who reached out to me shared.
And please know I am not naive or insensitive to the reality that every marriage is unique.
Sometimes a wife does all the things I am about to share and her husband is the one downplaying or sabotaging sexual intimacy. If that describes your marriage, please visit my page Wives Who Want More Sex and Aren’t Getting It.
All the things this woman shared with me could be flipped around and reworded to reflect similar misgivings and struggles a sexually-neglected wife may be feeling.
So what did the woman who reached out to me want to share? Keep reading to find out. I am grateful for her authentic vulnerability about the messiness of life. Life is so messy. What she divulged with me doesn’t apply to every marriage, but it definitely will resonate with some.
This is one woman’s story. Maybe you can relate to her. Or maybe you can learn from her.
There’s just something about being wanted sexually. I’ve heard from countless husbands who would echo what this woman told me. Husbands don’t want to be the only one initiating sex. The man she was with was turned on by her hunger to be with him. He was turned on by her initiation.
If the pattern in your marriage is that your husband does all the initiating, then changing this dynamic may feel uncomfortable. Want some ideas? Check out my post 5 Great Ways to Initiate Sex with Your Husband.
There’s nothing in marriage that mandates only the husband initiate sex; yet this happens in countless marriages, often in a presumptive or unspoken way. It engrains a lopsided dynamic that is challenging to untangle. And it can fuel doubt in a husband’s mind about whether his wife genuinely desires him sexually.
There’s a lot at stake if only the husband initiates. As a wife, do you share some of that responsibility and privilege as well?
A long time ago, I wrote a post titled Do You “Accommodate” Your Husband’s Desire for Sex, but Never Really Show Up? Not surprisingly, that post got a bit of traffic.
It takes effort to keep paying attention to each other sexually in a marriage. When this kind of intentionality starts to wane, the marriage suffers.
Again, I’m not naive. There are responsibilities and tasks inherent with marriage that can start to consume a couple, to the point that paying attention to sex can feel like “one more thing.” Maybe it is both the husband and wife who feel this way, but more often than not, it’s one spouse. And that fuels more sexual divide rather than more sexual intimacy.
So it’s a good question to unpack. Am I paying attention to my spouse sexually or am I going through the motions?
Before you start thinking that sexual adventure means anything goes, that’s not what she was saying. And it certainly wouldn’t be what I would say. But if sex in your marriage has become infrequent and predictable, a little variety and infusion of fun can do wonders.
I’ve written about sexual variety, particularly the post Bacon, Sex and Embracing Sexual Variety. What in the World?! Sex in a marriage does not have to be predictable every single time. There’s a lot to be said for some spontaneity and thinking outside the box (or outside the bedroom).
You can not like what she did and still glean from her observations. Who among us hasn’t fallen down in thought, word or deed—and felt grateful for safe haven to shed light on that?
We all have a story.
We all need safe sounding boards.
I imagine there are some husbands reading this post and nodding in agreement with what my reader shared. They possibly would never have an affair, but the above three things would still ring true for them. I hear from husbands more frequently than I hear from wives, and just like the woman reader opened up to me, so do the husbands who reach out.
For more observations along those lines, check out my post What Husbands Tell Me They Want in Bed.
Copyright 2020, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.