After learning about the affair, rekindling intimacy is the last thing on your mind. You want to move forward and away from the emotional wreckage of the betrayal. In fact, just thinking about engaging in anything intimate with your partner after they were unfaithful may fill you with anxiety, dread, and fear. Yet, as you progress down the road of reclaiming your relationship, you will find opportunities to begin rekindling intimacy. Know that how and when you resume intimacy, especially sexual intimacy, is up to you and never a race. Keep that in mind as you read the following tips and ideas on rebuilding intimacy after infidelity.
Why is Intimacy Important in Relationships?
Without intimacy, relationships (and marriages) do not last long. So what is intimacy, and why is it so vital to a happy, healthy relationship? Intimacy is a term that refers to a close, personal connection between two people. There are many forms of intimacy, including emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, and sexual. The formation of such a deep and fulfilling connection can help build trust. Intimacy also enables vulnerability and communication between partners, because you are more willing to open up and make yourself emotionally available.
In terms of healing from infidelity, you need to work on rekindling intimacy. It is part of the foundation that reestablishes trust and respect. Don’t worry; you don’t have to engage in sexual intimacy right away if you don’t want to. The timeline for rekindling intimacy is unique to every couple!
How to Rekindle Intimacy After Infidelity
Here are some steps to help you with intimacy as you and your partner work on reclaiming your relationship:
When it comes to working through the aftermath of an affair, you shouldn’t do it alone. Qualified couples therapists or infidelity recovery specialists like those Couples Academy understand that infidelity and intimacy are both complex. Not only can a therapist help you figure out the underlying issues behind the infidelity, they can help you develop skills in open and honest communication. Furthermore, therapists offer a safe and supportive environment where you and your partner can express yourselves without any fear of judgment.
Make Time For Each Other
A busy lifestyle can often cause couples to neglect spending quality time together. Setting aside time for each other, such as scheduling regular date nights or taking a weekend trip, can help create opportunities for intimacy. If you find that your life is too hectic for a vacation, consider lunch dates, evenings spent playing board games, taking the dog for a walk together, or heading to the gym for a partnered workout. There are many ways to spend little happy moments together.
Work on Communication
In relationships and marriage, communication is everything, even with intimacy. Being open with your feelings, desires, needs, wants, and concerns builds trust and affection. Not only that, but it helps your partner feel secure and supported, as well. Again, if you are struggling with communication, it is nothing to be ashamed about. Consider meeting with a therapist to work on your communication skills, so you can better discuss what you are thinking and feeling with your partner. It will make a world of difference.
Physical affection, such as cuddling, hugging, and holding hands, can help create a sense of closeness and connection between partners. Even small gestures of physical affection, such as a kiss on the forehead or a hand on the shoulder, can help rekindle intimacy.
However, keep in mind that intimacy does not always have to be physical. Communication works on emotional intimacy, for example. Try to engage in other forms of intimacy, as well, such as attending religious outings, a yoga retreat, or meditating together. You can have thought-provoking discussions about your favorite philosophers or theories or books or even TV.
Moreover, do things for each other. Clean the dishes when your partner is tired. Hang up their coat after they get home from work. Pour them a glass of their favorite beverage without them asking. These little actions add up and show you care.
Be Spontaneous Together
Trying new things together, such as exploring a new city or trying a new activity, can help create excitement and novelty in the relationship. This can help reignite passion and intimacy between partners while also adding a sense of adventure.
Positive Interactions are a Must
All in all, you want to focus on the simple pleasures rather than mistakes in the past. Set your sights on the positive interactions, such as expressions of appreciation and gratitude. Work on strengthening your relationship through patience and compassion. Recovering from infidelity is a long road, but if you remain optimistic about the outcome and stay committed to one another, there is nothing you can’t achieve.
Moving Forward Together
Rebuilding intimacy after infidelity can be a challenging and delicate process, but it is possible with time, effort, and commitment from you and your partner. At Couples Academy, we understand that rebuilding intimacy after infidelity is a personal process and may look different for each couple. Our team understands the essential work that you must put forward, and so we offer personalized guidance for you and your partner to ensure that you grow together as a couple and support one another. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our counseling services.