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

 

Caught Cheating? Now What?

Woman laying on a bed who just experienced infidelity

Caught Cheating? Now What? You’ve just discovered your husband/wife is having an affair. What do you do now? Confess or deny? As a Marriage Counselor, I see couples whose spouse has just been caught cheating and are at a crossroads in either being able to minimize or worsen the situation by continuing to lie, become defensive and skirt around the subject digging a deeper hole for themselves. 

 Don’t let yourself get caught up in delaying disclosure (coming clean) as what may seem like “damage control” (continued lying) only prevents the necessary information from getting through the initial crisis for any kind of successful Affair Recovery. If you don’t come clean at the beginning,  the story you tell will change daily as your partner will continue to push for more information to confirm their findings. 

As you receive more pressure you’ll start to divulge the truth anyway and the incriminating facts become significantly damaging and even irreparable for redeveloping trust. Coming clean sooner rather than later may sound counterintuitive but is really the best prognosis for Affair Recovery. Scary as it may be.

Is Your Relationship Over After Cheating? 

When you’ve just found out your wife/husband is cheating on you it is important not to do anything impulsive as you are experiencing a range of emotions and acting them out inappropriately can cause further damage to your mental well-being and to your relationship. Instead, try to process and manage your feelings and temperament. 

Your relationship/marriage does not mean that the result is a divorce because of the affair. It does not have to end, and if you want to save your marriage, then there are ways to communicate and help you and your partner understand the reasoning behind your actions. The relationship can be salvageable, and steps can begin towards making amends.

It is important to understand that if you choose to make amends, then you genuinely have to be fully committed to the path of making amends. If you do decide to confess the affair, it is crucial you do it for the right reasons and not just to clear your guilty conscience. 

To begin the process of rebuilding your relationship, there are various elements that you will need to carry out by utilizing some of these helpful tips.

What To Do After Getting Caught Cheating 

Stop the Affair.– If you want to salvage your relationship/marriage, then stop the affair. Simply put, stop cheating. You will not be able to move towards restoring your relationship/marriage if you continue to cheat. Ultimately end everything, including any form of communication with the person you are having an affair with.

  1. Be truthful. – My clients often tell me that had the Affair Partner been 100% truthful and fully incriminated themselves from the beginning of the discovery, the relationship could have been saved. Surprisingly, the Hurt Partner can endure the pain of hearing the awful truths but cannot and will not endure the agony of having to dig for those truths over and over again.

At this point, your partner’s trust in you is deficient; therefore, it is crucial for you to be open and honest. Do not hide any feelings or anything that will hinder their trust in you. Be understanding and acknowledge your partner’s feelings. Be truthful about wanting to rebuild the trust that is uncertain due to the betrayal.

Take full responsibility.- Do not place the blame on your partner. There was a conscious decision which was made by you, not your partner. You did not have to have an affair. You could have ended the relationship before having an issue, but you did not. Take full responsibility for your actions. Be honest about the issue and that it was you who decided to have an affair. Apologize to your partner. Placing the blame on your partner will only make things worse for both of you, making it even harder to restore the relationship. The critical point, take full responsibility, fully own it, and apologize for it.

Do not Lie.- Remember, you choose to have an affair, so do not lie about it. And do not lie about your reasons for having an affair. There is no reason anyone should have an affair while being in a relationship/marriage. It is not justifiable.

A guy not telling the truth 

  1. Caretake your partner’s needs. – Typically after getting caught, the Affair Partner will create even more damage by taking care of the hurt feelings of their Lover as this person may also be distraught and devastated as they too are now in a crisis. Any attempts to comfort or continue to communicate with the Lover will be seen as further betrayal. It is important to show remorse, be transparent, be readily available for your partner and show empathy for them rather than continue to defend yourself or caretake your own feelings at this point.

Give your partner some space.- Allow your partner to process the affair in their way. Take a “timeout” if necessary. Your partner’s life is just rattled and turned upside down. They need to process their emotions in their way. Respect their space. 

 

  1. Be committed to finding out what went wrong. – Acknowledge the impact of what this has done to your partner and show commitment through your behavior that you want to understand why this happened. Find a Marriage Counselor or Couples Counselor that specializes in Affair Recovery so that you both know what is needed to repair your relationship.

Guy holding his head after being cough cheating 

Mainly, if both of you have decided that you want to save the relationship/marriage, you are both on the same track and share a common goal: to save the marriage. Then you both have to remain committed to rebuilding the relationship and figuring out what was lacking in the relationship, leading to the affair. Both of you have to be fully committed to completing this common goal.

Rekindle courting your partner.- Once both of you have decided and commit to restoring your relationship, then woo your partner as you once did. Taking your partner out for a date or go away for a weekend. This step is possible once your partner is willing and is ready.

  1. Develop Empathy for your partner. – Having empathy for your partner is imperative as it shows you are able to understand their anger, intense sadness, hurt, and loss even though you are struggling with your own feelings of shame, guilt, and fear. Knowing you are caretaking the needs of and showing empathy for your partner will help you avoid saying things like, “I’ve answered that question already, why do you keep asking me the same questions, I told you I was sorry, when is this going to end, I’m not going to answer that, what about my pain? Etc.”

Be Patient.- Give them space and allow them to process the event. Let your partner grieve and take the time to recover from the betrayal. Understandably, this will take some time.

  1. Be Transparent. – Moving forward. Being transparent means when there is any communication between the Affair Partner and the Lover via email, phone, text, face to face, in-person, through another person, etc., you are to share that information with your partner with no exception. You may think this is counterintuitive as it will further anger/upset your partner. Not doing so will be a damaging choice. It will be even worse if it is later discovered that you once again “hid” something. Telling the truth means no lying, no filtering, no lying by omission, no editing, no withholding, no rationalizing, even if it incriminates you. This is how trust is rebuilt. 

Notably, during this moment of betrayal, be completely open. Let your partner know everything. Do not keep any secrets. Hiding any information will only increase their mistrust in you and your dedication to the relationship. Do not be surprised if your partner feels betrayed and is uncertain about you and your relationship. Respect their feelings and be transparent and truthful about wanting to restore from the betrayal.

Communicate.- One of the main reasons why marriages result in divorce is due to a lack of communication. It is important for you and your partner to talk to one another and be willing to listen to each other.

Couple Communicating

Maintain your word.- If both of you have decided to restore the relationship, then it is incredibly crucial for you to maintain your word. Keep your word when you tell your partner where you are going, whom you are going with, and what you are doing. This way, your partner is able to regain the trust that was lost by feeling validated that you are dependable and reliable and committed to restoring the relationship/marriage.

Forgiveness.- It is crucial to restoring the relationship because forgiveness is not just for the partner who was betrayed but also for the partner who committed the betrayal. It doesn’t mean that you can easily overlook the affair, but that you don’t need to carry this burden of guilt with you for the rest of your life. Own your mistake and then ask for forgiveness from your partner and forgive yourself. 

Beginning a new marriage.- What was once you thought your relationship/marriage was now over. If both your partner and you are committed to rebuilding your relationship/marriage, then you have to accept what was is now over and move forward towards bettering your relationship. Accomplish this by being more open, honest, loving, and becoming better partners for each other in this new marriage.

  1. Self-Care. – Finally, take care of yourself during this challenging time. The crisis stage is a time when couples don’t know whether they want to stay together or split. Emotions run like a rollercoaster. Develop a support system of people you trust and who can give you support. Don’t share the details of your relationship problems as this is private information between you and your partner. Getting some Individual Counseling to manage depression and anxiety would be helpful while your partner decides whether they want to pursue Marriage/Couples Counseling. Don’t inappropriately act out your emotions through excessive drinking or behavior that can worsen your circumstances.

See eye to eye on getting professional help.- If both you and your partner are serious about working through this rough time and are committed to restoring the relationship, seek professional help. It is especially so if your partner suggests seeing a marriage counselor being willing and open to it because this shows your partner, you are serious and committed to rebuilding your relationship. During this time, it’s essential to recognize and identify the elements which have led to the relationship’s problems. Therefore, couples therapy would be a great place to help restore new ways of interconnecting.

Getting caught cheating can be very worrisome. During the crisis stage emotions run rampant and people don’t always think clearly. It’s important to seek professional help sooner rather than later so you don’t lose the opportunity for further damage control.

If you’ve just discovered your partner is cheating please contact me at (858) 735-1139. I can help you both talk about what happened, why it happened and how to move forward through the process of Affair Recovery.

 

 

Couples therapist

Sarah Ruggera, 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.