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Sex talk: Love can be stronger in the broken places

We are wired differently and thus respond differently to situations, especially those that involve cheating in a relationship.

I totally get those who up and leave on discovery that their spouse was unfaithful, but then again, I also don’t judge those who stand by their wo/men over and over, in spite of the infidelity.

“Love between two people can be stronger in the broken places.”

I read that in The Everything Great Sex Book by Suzie Heumann and Dr Susan Campbell and found it to be so true and one of the most humbling statements I have read about this thing called love.

I used to wonder, how does a wife get over the repeated infidelities and betrayals, to still seductively undress for her husband and make love with him without stopping mid-orgasm to slap him? I guess that statement answers it.

And some couples have admitted in the past that when they survived the cramps of an affair, they came out stronger and more sexually solid on the other side.

“Often, an affair is a wake-up call for a marriage – a signal that one or both partner’s needs are not being met,” the authors write.

They recommend that if you are in that predicament and have decided to stay, get to the bottom of what happened.

“Do not protect your partner by suppressing questions you fear may be uncomfortable. But don’t punish your partner or rub it in,” they write.

Unresolved issues surrounding infidelity by one or both parts of the couple are some of the leading causes of death to marriage and the sex in it.

One wife said years ago after her husband had cheated yet again and she had decided to stay for her children’s sake, that she could not bring herself to respond to him sexually again.

“When he expresses sexual interest, I make no objections, but I check out mentally,” she said.

That is a wife who has not forgiven. And their fights are not fights until she has reminded him of all the past hurts. Needless to say, the marriage is in a really nasty place.

For, when you stay without coping the right way, bitterness comes in, the lovemaking goes downhill and becomes irregular and inevitably the cycle repeats itself.

But I have also heard of cases where the couple’s sex life has survived the mess, and usually this is where the slighted spouse has allowed himself or herself to go through the complete range of emotions, to arrive at forgiveness.

Heumann and Campbell suggest six steps of: figuring out what happened; investigating what you feel; expressing what you feel to your spouse; listening to your spouse; expressing other feelings; and finally, forgiveness.

I know many cases where the one who has had the affair actually acts offended when their spouse expresses any anger and indignation at what happened.

Look, you just got the most intimate part of your marriage and basically floated shares on the stock exchange without your spouse’s consent; forgive him/her for not feeling thoroughly turned on by that piece of news and ripping your clothes off with bliss.

In fact, you should be very worried if your spouse is indifferent to your shenanigans; either your performance in bed was not worth the fight (a case of good riddance to bad rubbish), or your spouse is simmering on their anger and disappointment for too long and may never recover the pink and polka dots in your elephants.

Get third-party help if need be, but don’t allow yourself to simply soldier on without total forgiveness.

If for nothing else, you too deserve an enjoyable marriage packed with memorable lovemaking.

Yes, affairs in marriage do happen; it is how you cope that determines whether your marriage and its sex come out recognisable, stronger than ever before, or shredded beyond repair.

carol@observer.ug

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd