Reclamation Sex – what exactly is it?

Reclamation Sex – what exactly is it? What is reclamation? Simply put, reclamation is the process of claiming something back or of reasserting a right. For example, “the reclamation of our shared history.” Reclamation sex in Affair Recovery is when the affair partner and the hurt partner engage in sex after an affair is discovered or disclosed.  As a marriage therapist and affair recovery specialist, couples come in to see if they can or want to salvage their marriage. “Should I stay or should I go” is a question the hurt partner wants desperately to know. During the initial session where both share their narratives they say they are having sex with each other despite the range of emotions from the affair. They say they have been having more sex with each other than ever before. Both feel it is an implicit message to one another that the affair will be resolved and they will get back to their normal lives. They think having a lot of sex with each other during recovery minimizes the affair partner’s behavior and repairs the problems that lead to the affair.

photo credit: Natalia Mindru Photomicona
couple exercising reclamation sex after an affair

This is far from being true. Sex is happening because the partners want to reclaim their love for each other. They want to reclaim their bodies to each other as there exists a breach in physical boundaries. The act of sex is symbolic in that they are the primary relationship and any third party is not part of union. The hurt partner may be having a lot of sex to keep the affair partner from any more contact with the “lover.” The “other woman” presents a threat to the primary relationship, and as a dog marks its territory so does do the people in affair recovery. The affair partner may be having a lot of sex to make up for the guilt and shame and to show remorse for devastating the hurt partner. Showing each other physical intimacy helps reassure any insecurities for the time being.

In affair recovery we talk about the reasons for the affair. The process helps the affair partner gain some insight to his/her behavior and why he/she went down that bad road. To be able to articulate that insight to the hurt partner while the hurt partner learns to appropriately manage their emotions is the single best indicator that prognosis will be good.

Couples therapist

Having sex with your partner after an affair is actually quite normal. There is no judgement or criticism while in affair recovery. Information gathering to obtain insight is crucial to recovery. And having sex in the meantime doesn’t necessarily mean one way or the other for the future of the relationship.

For more information about reclamation sex and affair recovery please visit my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com or call me at (858) 735-1139.

When Someone You Know Is Cheating

When Someone You Know Is Cheating. If someone you know is having an affair what do you do about it? Whether the cheater is a close friend or an acquaintance the first step is to be honest with yourself about your motives. Do you have a close relationship where they know you really care about them? Are you concerned about what’s best for them, not just concerned that they meet your moral standards?

When someone you know is having an affair are you able to avoid seeing them as a bad person for their actions and that there are many factors that brought them to this position? As a Marriage Counselor, I have clients who don’t want to get involved and are either understanding to the cheater’s set of circumstances, albeit not condoning it, or are judgmental “riding” that high horse with criticism. It’s an uncomfortable decision to make as you can be deemed a nosy meddler rather than a concerned friend worried about the ramifications of what the affair can do to their future. It makes for a vulnerable situation on your part as you can end up losing your friendship or having a closer bond as a result of the risk taken in sharing scary stuff.

Whether to disclose or not to disclose the affair rests on what your intentions are as the discussion will be likely received in the spirit in which it was offered. As a Marriage Counselor and Affair Recovery Specialist, I concur with what exactly are the intentions? If you are not clear as to why you want to disclose, then don’t! My recommendation is to talk to a counselor to help you process your thoughts and feelings then determine how you will follow through on what you want to do. You may want to tell, you may choose not to tell, or you can do nothing. What you don’t want to do is share this information with someone other than perhaps your spouse. The information is private and not yours to gossip about.

Call me at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com for more information about affairs, infidelity, or affair recovery.

Reestablishing Intimacy After Infidelity

Reestablishing Intimacy After Infidelity. Now that the unthinkable has happened, what do you do next? You just discovered your husband/wife is having an affair. Whether it was disclosed to you or discovered it still hurts like crazy. It can feel like someone stabbed you in the heart. You feel a range of emotions. You still love him, and he still loves you. She says she doesn’t want to lose you, that she’s willing to do anything to save your marriage. “I’ll do anything to save the marriage,” are just words if you don’t put those words into action. Saying, “I’m sorry,” doesn’t mean anything if the supposedly remorseful actions are repeated. These may be pleads out of desperation to reach real intimacy again in the relationship. However, to reach the point of intimacy after an affair, you must work on truly recovering from the affair.

Related: Do You Have Sexual Intelligence?

What is Affair Recovery?

Affair Recovery isn’t simply saying, “I’m sorry.” Affair recovery isn’t saying, “it’ll never happen again.” Affair recovery is a process where the Affair Partner (the cheater) truly understands the meaning and motives behind the betrayal. It’s where the Affair Partner obtains insight about why he/she cheated and articulates to the Hurt Partner why it isn’t going to happen again. Affair recovery is about the Hurt Partner learning how to manage the overwhelming emotions while undergoing the moving forward process. Easier said than done, right? Yes, this process is challenging for both partners and is not a quick fix. Affair recovery isn’t two weeks of talking to a marriage counselor and everything is better. Affair recovery can take months for both parties to get the insight needed to start moving forward. Affair recovery involves counseling with an Affair Recovery Specialist who knows how to move couples forward and helps guide the healing process. Both parties need to undergo affair recovery with good integrity and commitment to their marriage. Both partners will be asked to follow through with what is being asked of them for affair recovery to be successful. This means reaching an understanding and truly working on changing for the better and forgiving the Affair Partner.

Man and Woman Holding Hands

Do Second Chances Work?

Second chances are reasonable. It’s also risky and scary because of the doubt and lack of trust, but you think the love you shared is worth it. You don’t want to give up on the hopes and dreams you had for your relationship. You believe there’s a chance you won’t be betrayed again. You hope you can be able to trust your partner again. You think the two of you might be able to redevelop the love and closeness you once had. You’re right – this is possible. 

As a Marriage Counselor and Affair Recovery Specialist, I say what is needed to do this are two people who truly want to move past the affair together. Affair recovery asks that both the affair partner and the hurt partner undergo the process as Functional Adults. It is the commitment to the marriage and  Despite the pain, affair recovery is a place to process the pain in mature ways. What is not permissible in affair recovery is mudslinging and power struggles. Neither partner can try to bring down the other, but rather, they must both work from a place of wanting to understand and reconnect with each other. We are here to learn not to punish. If punishing is what you want, there is poor prognosis for moving forward.

Related: To Leave or Not To Leave

What Does Intimacy Really Take?

To regain intimacy after infidelity, both partners must be willing to work through deep hurt, disappointment, rage, and other negative feelings. The single most important factor to regain intimacy is for the affair partner to show ongoing empathy to the hurt partner where the hurt partner doesn’t act out in negative ways dealing with the overwhelming feelings about the affair. Intimacy isn’t just sex. Intimacy is emotional connection. Intimacy is what keeps a couple from feeling like roommates. Intimacy is sometimes the driving factor behind infidelity, which can make reestablishing it more difficult. To achieve an emotional connection with your partner, you both must show vulnerability, empathy, and the willingness to understand each other. You must understand your feelings, or at least be transparent in discussing them, in order to begin to connect on an emotional level. 

Couple Lying on Ground While Holding Looking at and Holding Each Other

Intimacy is both emotional and physical. Oftentimes, people want this connection to happen organically, but when it comes to reestablishing intimacy, it takes effort. It may feel unusual to schedule time for physical contact or for deep conversations, but it is necessary in the wake of an affair. Doing so ensures an opportunity for both partners to come together and work on regaining, and strengthening, the connection they’re longing for.

Are you struggling to regain intimacy after an affair? Contact Sarah to be guided through affair recovery where you both get the results you want.

Couples therapist

Sarah Ruggera, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Helping People Who Ask The Question….
“Should I Stay Or Should I Go?”
858.735.1139

 

He Cheated “Should I Stay or Go?”

He Cheated “Should I Stay Or Go?” It’s devastating to discover your husband, the person you trust the most, has betrayed you. It’s surreal to sit there while he actually discloses the fact that he’s been seeing someone else. You sit there in astonishment not believing this is happening to YOU. Your initial reaction is to leave, but you think doing so is what he wants. You’re confused and feeling a range of emotions. You feel bad about yourself. Intellectually you know it’s not your fault. But, emotionally, you can’t help but feel bad about yourself. So, what do you do now? Well, certainly don’t panic. Try and regain some dignity of control. What you should not do is anything impulsive to make matters worse. Like telling your friends, telling the children, calling divorce attorneys, shaming your husband to your parent and in-laws, etc., Remain calm and find a counselor you can talk to and sort out your thoughts and feelings. The better you know what you want for yourself the better you will know what to do about your relationship. How do you decide to stay with or leave a partner you discover is cheating on you?

Get a clear understanding of what you want. There are three options to consider. Option 1 – status quo (do nothing), Option 2 – move forward in affair recovery, or Option 3 – move on (separate/divorce). As a Marriage Counselor and Affair Recovery Specialist, I don’t believe you can select Option 3 without entering into Option 2 – Moving forward with a plan that outlines what is needed to do that. You can make an informed decision opting for Option 2 for either staying or leaving the relationship.

To regain intimacy after infidelity both partners must be willing to work through deep hurt, disappointment, rage, and other negative feelings. The single most important factor to regain intimacy is for the affair partner to show ongoing empathy to the hurt partner where the hurt partner learns to manage acting out behaviors of overwhelm to give positive reinforcement to that empathy. Intimacy isn’t just sex. Intimacy is emotional connection. Intimacy is what keeps a couple from feeling like roommates.

There is no shame in remaining together. Every couple is different with their own set of circumstances. Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t base a decision to stay in your marriage as a stigma to be judged. It’s no one’s business whether you stay or go. Hence the recommendation not to tell the world about his/her affair.

Call me at (858) 735-1139. I’ll take you through affair recovery where you both get the results you want.

 

 

Infidelity In The Time Of Coronavirus

Infidelity In The Time Of Coronavirus. With social distancing and being semi-quarantined to our homes it’s harder than ever to physically meet up with people with whom to cheat. According to the New York Post, Ashley Madison, a dating site that encourages people to have affairs is seeing a surge in users. Some are just looking to chat with someone other than their spouse, some are seeking emotional validation or the fantasy of pursuing a secret sex life. As a Marriage Counselor and Affair Recovery Specialist, I haven’t seen an increase in people having affairs as much as I see a constant. People who want to cheat will cheat. People have affairs for many different reasons. Men and women have affairs even if they are in happy relationships. I don’t condone this, but I don’t judge or criticize either. Affairs enable a person to feel a sense of aliveness. The newness of any new thing is exciting. And like all new things that become normalized so do those new relationships. Normalization includes whatever they were trying to escape from in their primary relationship.

Emotional affair vs. Sexual affair

The rise in infidelity in the time of Coronavirus makes sites like Ashley Madison attractive as it is used as a release valve for the tension that’s built up at home.

Popular pet peeves of couples engaging affairs during quarantine based on 2,047 respondents:

58% “They have not initiated any sexual intimacy

28% “They are glued to their device”

19% “They are rude, moody, and/or constantly picking fights with me”

18% “They never give me any space or time to myself”

15% “they are messy and I’m constantly cleaning up after them”

Biggest benefit of an affair during isolation:

34% It’s something to look forward to

23% It’s a great distraction

14% I have someone to talk to

13% I can maintain some normalcy

10% It keeps my libido up

Members were asked if they’re trying to spice up their sex life with their spouses while socially distancing.  76% of respondents said no. As an Affair Recovery Specialist, a remedy for couples who have difficulty with monogamy is developing a New Monogamy.  A new monogamy agreement is designed with both partners’ input.

Just like love in the time of coronavirus, infidelity in the time of coronavirus is an opportunity to think about what you want in life moving forward. If the last 9 weeks have been unhappy being isolated at home do something about it. As a Marriage Counselor, I see some couples who have become closer due to the proximity of time and space. For others, that time and space adds to their unhappiness. A woman I’m working with said her husband doesn’t interact with her at all. She said it feels lonely while being in her relationship. She also said she’s taking this time to reassess her marriage as status quo is no longer wanted.

Rather than say, “life is short, have an affair,” how about saying “live is too short to live in a relationship that isn’t working for me.” Pick either option 1 – keep status quo, option 2 – move forward with an action plan, or option 3 – move on and find another life that best suits you.

If reassessing your relationship because of infidelity is something you know you want to do please contact me at (858) 735-1139.

Decide what your “new normal” is going to look like.