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Loss of Attraction

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Steve23 posted 6/29/2019 12:49 PM

I posted a similar question at the end of my previous post but hoped this would get notice with a new title.

I'm trying to make it work with my wife, but for me the attraction has gone. Has anyone had any experience of this and how did you restore it?

2timesunfaithful posted 6/29/2019 13:23 PM


If your BW is not attractive after you cheated, what did you find attractive when you married her in the first place?

Itís too bad you arenít understanding the remorse aspect of reconciliation. You should be worshiping her for giving you a second chance. I was beyond grateful when my BW gave me a second chance, and I still am. Learn from other WHís, what your BW needs from you should be your focus, not what you want.

Iím really trying to make it work with my wife

If this is true then the first thing is to learn empathy. Put yourself in her shoes, Iíd be surprised if she could even find you attractive at this point.

If you canít get past this then some 2Ēx4Ē advice would be to do your wife a favor and give her the freedom of a divorce. If after your infidelity; you are NOT remorseful, AND you do not find your wife attractive, then itís only a matter of time before you cheat again.

pinkpggy posted 6/29/2019 14:07 PM

I think it's ok to say you are no longer attracted to your wife.

People end marriages for all sorts of reasons (including loss of feelings). Just because you are the WS doesn't mean you have to stay if you are no longer happy and no longer feel desire for your wife. I would not want my spouse to stay with me out of pity or guilt. Yes having an affair was the wrong choice, but you are still human. If you aren't in love, aren't happy, feel no desire, it's going to make it harder not to stray again. Could you work on it? Maybe? But if your heart isn't in it then do the right thing and go.

You can choose to stay and live like roommates or stay and try to enjoy comfortable safe, sex. Or leave and figure out what you really want. Just don't drag her through it or give false hope.

Marriages end. It's ok be say you don't want to be there any more.

[This message edited by pinkpggy at 2:09 PM, June 29th (Saturday)]

Hutch posted 6/30/2019 08:51 AM

Part of the reason I had an affair was for this very reason. My husband and I lived as roommates for over a year. My loss of attraction stemmed from 20 years of problems though. I harbored such animosity and there was such strife in our relationship that I lost feelings and attraction.

I did ultimately have an affair which turned out to be a disaster. That left me sad, anxious, confused, guilt-ridden, and frankly, heart-broken.

Instead of having the affair, I should have worked on my marriage to determine if I should stay or divorce. I was wrong.

I am beginning IC on Tuesday and I am eager to work through this mess. I write all this to say, before you make a final decision, consider everything.

1. Are you willing to walk away from a person youíve built a life and family with?
2. Are you willing to possibly end up alone forever?
3. Are you willing to hurt the wife and children you made a commitment to?
4. Is there a way to renew the attraction for your wife?
5. Can you determine what caused the loss of attraction? (Physical looks or sexual chemistry)? If itís physical, maybe working out together to get healthy. If itís sexual, communicate desires and find out if you can both move towards that together? Do you have specific desires that you need to be fulfilled?
6. Is your loss of attraction due to your desire for your wife or are you confusing it with desire you experienced for you AP? Sometimes those lines cross and it gets blurry. Be sure this is not about your AP rather your wife.
7. This part is hard and I, too, struggle with this. Put yourself in romantic, sexual situations with your wife and try to allow yourself to enjoy each other. Try to experience new and exciting locations, new positions, be adventurous and try to allow that desire to build.
8. Couples therapy that focuses on this topic. I am very aware sex is extremely important to men. Itís how they communicate everything from attraction to love to even having stress relief. I get it. Women communicate differently. Having couples therapy to communicate desires and needs for you and your wife as well is important. Consider doing this. Your wife maybe just what you need if she understood what your needs are and maybe just what she needs.

Donít walk away until you know youíve tried everything since you made the decision to try to make things work.

I want you to understand youíre not alone. My experience is almost identical. Iím hoping IC works and helps. Iíll pass along what I learn but find a counselor that specializes in this very topic.
I think youíll find this is not uncommon. Truthfully, I think In most relationships, being together so long, can experience the loss of attraction for spouses. Finding ways to reignite that is the hard part but I think something that can occur.

[This message edited by Hutch at 7:59 PM, August 11th (Sunday)]

Hutch posted 6/30/2019 08:55 AM

I was not able to edit...
I listed two 7ís rather than 8. 😉 excuse the typo.

FoenixRising posted 6/30/2019 09:12 AM

Glad you are working hard to figure things out. Itís not easy.

I think I said this to you before or said it to someone else in a situation before that you had posted on.
1- one day at a time. You are asking very big questions that need lots of time to figure out. Practice patience. Instead of head in looking for your whys like warrior ready to machete her way through an overgrown jungle, simply cut back a few branches from the over growth. Study those branches and try to determine how that grew and where it came from. Spend the day looking at one together the branches. Donít remove the other branch until youíve figured out and removed the last branch.
2- patience- you need patience as youíre on this journey. Yes... you want to get to the finish line but be The tortoise. The hare does not win. Take your time on this one. There is no time constraint. Itís rough. Youíre in the hot seat. Youíre trying to bounce back your image... but that wonít happen if you rush.
3- you. You. You. Take care of you. Instead of dressing up for battle, leave the machete at home. Bring a paint brush. Or a pencil or a basketball or your walking shoes. Explore a hobby you have not before. Lose yourself focusing on that new hobby. You will be surprised at how many answers you will come up with when youíre not searching everywhere for them.

Start there. Small. It took 20 years for this over growth to consume. You owe yourself, your BS, your M, your family, timeless amounts of help and work to rebuild. Godspeed. 💗

CaliforniaNative posted 6/30/2019 10:38 AM

WS only

[This message edited by SI Staff at 3:12 PM, June 30th (Sunday)]

QuietDan posted 6/30/2019 10:45 AM

It all depends on what you mean by this. Emotions, feelings, attractions, desires are fickle things that come and go like the wind and the clouds in sky. Especially in the midst of infidelity.
A lot of waywards initially struggle with this during and shortly after an affair.
Many waywards who carelessly and casually enter into an affair are often surprised to find their feelings and desires towards their BS being adversely affected. There are often some very distinct stages that this process happens. Likewise, recovering, restoring, rebuilding, and developing a new relationship that includes mental, emotional, and physical intimacy often requires a certain level of
discipline and intentional effort. Usually, if both parties are willing to work through this, it is very rewarding for both of them in the long run. Intentionally treat your wife in a loving way with honesty, kindness, respect, and patience. Intentionally be hopeful. In time, you will discover some real love that is a much more mature love, and, along with it, your desire will more than likely also return.

Zugzwang posted 6/30/2019 11:19 AM

Still pining for the AP?

Darkness Falls posted 6/30/2019 11:22 AM

I am not attracted to my husband. Canít help you with getting it back, because I have never once regained attraction for someone once I have lost it.

Zugzwang posted 6/30/2019 11:23 AM

I know you said you wanted more passion from your wife? Is that the reason why you are disconnected from her. If it is, then you really haven't done any work on yourself. To expect a different marriage and passion from someone you gutted so soon after Dday is your problem. You lack remorse. You are focused on you and your selfishness. You need to stop focusing on the marriage (which doesn't exist) and focus on you not needing people to make you feel good. In your last thread you were still pining for AP. Not willing to leave wife for fear of not finding someone else. Still entertaining the idea of if a relationship could work with AP. (Not a good reason to stay married) Upset that your wife wasn't feeding you kibbles. It is all about you still using and needing people like an object. Like a drug. No remorse and only regret.

Meetvirginia posted 6/30/2019 18:29 PM

Reconnection is key. I know marriages, regardless of infidelity, can have moments of "wow.... they can be a mess (or I can be a mess, depending on the issue)". As WS's we took it too far and now we are probably the least attractive person to our BS's.

All I can say is, if you aren't as attracted to her as you want to be, and you want to make it work, then change your mindset. If you are unwilling or unable to think that touching her will give you butterflies, or any other sort of tremble, let her go.

VioletElle posted 6/30/2019 19:21 PM

I'm experiencing this too. We've been having sex and I'm trying to enjoy it, but mostly I'm just waiting for it to be over.

Not sure what to do about it either.

JBWD posted 6/30/2019 19:51 PM

To expect a different marriage and passion from someone you gutted so soon after Dday is your problem.

Zugzwangís point is spot on. It sounds like you have come back from your separation and not really altered much.

I know I said it before, but the most logical step would be to continue with separation until you have your ducks in a row. To sit passively by waiting for your BS to ďbecome attractive to youĒ again and in the process likely REALLY hurt, scare, and confuse her reeks of self-importance. The thought that youíre worried you didnít have enough ďgood sexĒ or enough different experience before marrying points to a lot of flawed thinking, that once again leaves folks here wondering WHY exactly you are pressing R.

I think of the Steven Covey quote I often cite, yet again-
When audience member asked him what to do about being worried he wasnít in love with his wife anymore, Coveyís response was simply,
ďLove her.Ē

It CANíT be passive at this point in the game, and your inaction/passivity is likely making her life hell, yet again.

hikingout posted 7/1/2019 08:10 AM

As long as you are pining for the AP, it means that you are romanticizing that other relationship. You are giving it all your energy. There is no energy to feel that romantic love for two people at the same time.

Pining is a major symptom of wayward thinking. It means that you are still addicted to the feelings that the affair gave you. Until you can find a way to see that those feelings are not healthy love feelings but obsessive thoughts based on stories you tell yourself the situation is not going to improve. Until you can find ways to realize that those feelings are based on stuff you are literally making up in your head about how things can be better somewhere else because you are projecting all the things you want onto the AP without any merit of whether she can offer them or not (my guess is NOT based on what I know about myself and what I have heard from others here)

So, of course you are not going to feel attracted to your wife. When we are romanticizing the other relationship cognitive dissonance is at play so we tell ourselves stories about our spouse as well so that we can justify our decisions. You are conditioning yourself to feel this way towards her.

You can continue to refuse to focus on the right things, and you will be divorced. You will carry that restlessness into your next relationships because you will always be seeking that high you get from being addicted to someone else.

Or, you can focus your attention fully on your marriage with your wife and creating the life you want. Anything can be improved when you work and focus on it and unless you do that it will never have worth to you. It will take a lot of intention, commitment, and bringing your best self to the table even when you don't feel like it. But, on the other side of that can be a greater intimacy, a greater understanding of love and of yourself.

On the other hand, I do feel a little like Pink is saying, if you don't want it you don't want it. It's hard to just try and talk you into it, your wife deserves better than that. You are deep in feeding your own addictions and until you decide to work on that in earnest then you are just digging a slow grave for this marriage.

crazyblindsided posted 7/3/2019 13:13 PM

Maybe you should disclose to your BS that you cannot get over the AP. She may be able to help you figure this out.

Steve23 posted 7/11/2019 15:07 PM


I have told my wife that I'm struggling to get over AP and fear I never will. I'm trying to be as honest as possible. She needs to know the problems I'm having and if she is willing to wait as I try to sort myself out.

I consider leaving everyday, not because I want to be alone, but because I know how much hurt I'm causing her and she deserve to be happy.

Pippin posted 7/11/2019 17:22 PM

Steve23, what I'm reading into your posts is that you don't want to give up the AP but it's not an option so you are trying to settle for your wife. I might be wrong. Do you want to get over the AP? Are you willing to work at it? What do you give up if you fight against the fantasy? If you were totally honest with yourself, what do you want?

Steve23 posted 7/11/2019 23:07 PM


You are right, I want the AP and feel like I'm settling for my wife. but I know this is the wrong choice, my wife has given me a second chance and I am trying to forget and get over the AP. But almost every waking moment I'm thinking of her, I'm trying to stop this.

Pippin posted 7/12/2019 04:28 AM

If you want to live in that fantasy you'll never get over her and never fall back in love with your wife. You like who you THINK you are with the AP and who you THINK the AP was and what you THOUGHT your relationship was/would be. It's all a fiction. You are living in unreality, but it feels real because you thought it was true at the time - that you really were that Steve and the AP really was who she showed you and your interactions were really true love. None of that was true but it feels true because of how you felt during the interactions. You have to choose to fight it. There are ways to do that but not if you don't really want to.

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