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Cher
Cher, Relationship Enthusiast
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 18673
Experience:  Extensive experience as Educator/Teacher, M.A., Counselor, Spouse, Parent, Psychic Advisor
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Hi - My husband and I have been married 14 years together

Resolved Question:

Hi -
My husband and I have been married 14 years together 17. In the last 5 years he has had 5 affairs. Two one night stands and 3 longer term affairs. I thought we were on our way to divorce but in the last couple of weeks we have begun to reconnect in a way that we have not since all of this started, (openness, honesty, it's peaceful being together). He came over the other day and literally sobbed like I have never seen him do and told me how sorry he was for everything. That he had completely screwed things up, that it wasn't me it was him, that I had kept myself fit and beautiful and kept a beautiful home but that he just didn't have those "sexual feelings" towards me.

We are trying to possibly reconcile, maybe even go to a counseling retreat to work through things, but he can't get aroused when we try to be intimate. He says to me I'm gorgeous but just can't get the erection anymore although says he didn't have problem with other women. He feels terrible and so do I....HELP!
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Cher replied 4 years ago.
Hi, and thanks for your question.

I think you're on the right track, regarding going to counseling to help work through these issues. It would be a good idea to start with one on one counseling for you both, with a marriage counselor who is experienced in dealing with issues like those you are experiencing. A counseling 'retreat', can come after you start seeing a counselor privately.

Request that your husband sees his personal physician to make sure all is well, medically, at this time; it might be recommended that he take viagra or a similar medication to help with his sexual arousal.

Sometimes, after being married for length of time, as you have, a spouse may stop looking at you as a sexual partner, and this is not unusual; but the fact that you both are willing to recapture that part of your marriage is key, and I'm glad to hear you're planning on taking steps to do that.

It was very significant that he was honest with you and got out all his innermost feelings, and apologized to you. You can start your relationship anew, now, but you will need that help from a counselor.

I wish you all the best!

Cher
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Cher -

Thank you for your response. He says the guilt shame and memories of the past keep him from being able to be aroused with me. He says and although painful to hear, he doesn't have a problem getting an erection with others during the affairs. I know this to be true because during his affairs he was never intersted in me and even if sex was attempted with me he couldn't keep the erection. Is this common and can it be worked through in counseling to where he can be sexually attracted to me again? I feel so rejected and I've really made a point of keeping myself fit and attractive.
Expert:  Cher replied 4 years ago.
Hi again, and you're most welcome.

I admire your resilience and forgiving nature, toward your husband, and wanting to work this out; I also admire you keeping yourself fit and attractive, but that should be for YOU and your health, even though he benefits, too. Please don't feel rejected, because you are not the reason he cannot maintain an erection with you.

The guilt, shame and memories of what he's done, I believe is adversely affecting him re: his sexual performance problems with you. He's committed the worst crime in a marriage: adultery, and that's why he is consumed with guilt and shame. He is experiencing normal feelings, for a man who has had affairs during his marriage. He has no idea how fortunate he is, that you are allowing and agreeing to, this reconciliation. You are doing nothing to decrease his sexual attraction to you; it's all in his head, because although he *wants* to have sex with you again, all the memories of what he's done to hurt you in the past, come flooding back. That's why I believe he (and you) would benefit greatly from one on one counseling with a marriage counselor. You're not the first and won't be the last couple to experience this problem, after a spouse has had affairs, so a counselor will help him deal with his guilt and shame re: his past actions, and this will open up his mind and body to help him begin enjoying a satisfying sex life with you, again. It may take a while, so be prepared to be patient, but I think you've already shown incredible patience and tolerance, already, so I don't doubt you can continue, until the problem is resolved.

Cher
Cher, Relationship Enthusiast
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 18673
Experience: Extensive experience as Educator/Teacher, M.A., Counselor, Spouse, Parent, Psychic Advisor
Cher and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you Cher...for the encouragement and good to know that this problem isn't entirely uncommon. I hope he will be willing to go through with the counseling, he's open but not entirely committed. I believe true intimacy and commitment really scare him. I know all the affair stuff was false intimacy but I think he's a bit of a love addict so of course I think he's been addicted to the high of new relationships and of course I'm not new. Lots to work on and pray about but he wanted to speak with and contacted the pastor who married us of his own volition...so that's a good start I guess.

Thanks again,
JS
Expert:  Cher replied 4 years ago.
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