What Is Erotic Recovery?

What Is Erotic Recovery?  An essential part of helping Couples move forward in Affair Recovery is the restoration of Erotic Recovery.  Infidelity and affairs cause Erotic Injury to the relationship.  Erotic Injury is where the Hurt Partner experiences an undermining of erotic confidence due to the infidelity creating damage between both parties. According to Dr. Tammy Nelson, author of The New Monogamy, feelings of anger, rejection, and deep insecurity can emerge around your sexual relationship. During this time reentering that intimate space could be really scary as it takes time to heal.


The goal of Erotic Recovery is a significant part of healing from the affair because it addresses basic relationship needs to be erotically and intimately connected.  During the process in which two people are trying to heal from a partner’s infidelity you may no longer feel attracted to your partner, or feel that your partner doesn’t find you attractive. This attraction of sensuality and sexuality isn’t just rooted in our genitals, it originates in our minds through our emotions and in our feelings of trust.  If you can’t trust your partner you certainly aren’t going to feel an erotic connection.

Sometimes an affair can trigger a new and intense sexual attraction to their partner and have even more sex with one another right after an affair than they had in the past. I refer to this as “reclamation sex.” Each is reclaiming their sex with one another to overcompensate for the injury created by the triangulated third person. Some people are embarrassed to admit this because they don’t want the Affair Partner to think this is an indication that all is forgiven.  The initial erotic injury can also create distance between a couple which brings about a new attraction and longing for one another.  The fear of losing each other can trigger old feelings of sexual connection, as well as their need for comfort during such a stressful time.  Although it could be the best sex they have ever had with each other it can also be confusing and emotionally frustrating.

Marriage Counseling includes acquiring empathy building skills.  When the Affair Partner can feel the pain and suffering of and show empathy toward the Hurt Partner the healing really begins.  The Hurt Partner needs to be able to manage the range of emotions about the affair while undergoing Affair Recovery  To regain the sexual intimacy wanted the couple needs to repair the emotional hurt that created the disconnect.

For more information on Erotic Recovery and how to move on from an affair please contact me at (858) 735-1139.

How Couples Can Survive The Holidays

How Couples Can Survive The Holidays.  Have you ever said……”I wish we could just go away for the Holidays? ”


Thanksgiving.  The official start of the Holiday Season.  Most couples dread the Holidays as they are expected to spend time with in-laws and other extended family members.  Even when you have healthy family relations and communication is good certain people can still get under your skin.  It’s these “certain” people that can negatively affect your relationship as the Holidays are already a high time for anxiety.

In Marriage Counseling it is recommended to put boundaries in place and set good limits so that individual and relationship needs are met by you and your spouse and your respective families.  As a Couples Counselor I stress the importance of being cognizant of knowing when to say YES and when to say NO to extended family members so that the couples ensures their immediate family needs are met.  I understand your respective Families of Origins want access to you and yours but sometimes doing something different can be as beneficial as doing whatever it is you typically do.

A couple of years ago my husband and I went to Little Palm Island in Florida for Thanksgiving weekend. For the past 25 years my sister and I traded off hosting either Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve/Day Dinner for the family.  As wonderful as that is it became a little routine for me and the responsibility was becoming burdensome.  I wanted to do something different.  Of course, I got flack from my parents and in-laws as they are from the older generation but I explained to them that I needed time with my husband and that the traditions were going to be altered for that year.  Yes, there was some guilt feelings on my part for awhile, but it didn’t last too long when I was basking in the Florida sun on a private island having even met Christian Slater vacationing at the resort, as well.

It was a well deserved getaway for my husband and me and helped rejuvenate our relationship.  Another year we took a “staycation” here at the Hotel Del with our youngest daughter and enjoyed what our own City had to offer during Christmas Dinner.  Enjoying the season and your family without the undue stress certainly makes a huge difference.  I highly recommend it.  This year I want to host for the Holidays as I enjoy that too.

Doing what you really don’t want to do during this particular time of year can be very stressful for couples and can make the difference between having a great Holiday Season or just another holiday season….it’s always a choice.  Call me at (858) 735-1139 if you need help making the right choice for you and yours.

Discernment Counseling – To Divorce or Not To Divorce

Discernment Counseling – To Divorce Or Not To Divorce.  Do people even know what discernment counseling is?  As a Marriage Counselor couples often come into Marriage Counseling not to seek help for their marriage, but seek help deciding whether or not to stay married.  Stacie, a woman who has been married for 21 years claims she loves her husband, but is not “in love” and has not felt the “in love” feelings for him for some time. Her husband, Kurt, states he loves her with all his heart and she is the “love of his life.” How can two people with such disparate feelings be in the same relationship and expect to find happiness?

First of all, what is “in love” feelings?  I believe Stacie wants to feel the passion and intimacy that one feels when they are in the initial stages of any new relationship.  Where she feels the excitement just because he calls her and says he’s thinking about her.  Where the sex is intense and enjoyable.  Where she feels beautiful and the compliments feel real. For men, they want to feel important, like they really matter where they are appreciated and feel like they are truly loved by their woman exercising their “Love Language.

After a period of time when couples fall into a routine and neglect to do the things that are needed to nourish their relationship what do you think will happen to that relationship? Stagnation and boredom which can lead to finding other interests outside the relationship.



 Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and photostock

What is particularly important is if the lines of communication are not established at the beginning of the relationship and the lack of expressing feelings are ongoing coupled with Conflict Avoidant Behavior (where you never want to bring up a problem for fear of upsetting your partner or creating an argument), intimacy cannot continue to develop hence, the “not in love” feelings will eventually pop it’s ugly head.

In Marriage Counseling I help Couples acquire the skills to effectively communicate so that they redevelop the intimacy that has been lost.  In doing so they must be able and willing to share their thoughts and feelings with one another and be comfortable with the vulnerability that comes from that process.  Being vulnerable is taking a risk to becoming emotionally hurt.  For most individuals this is very uncomfortable.  It can be difficult at first, however, that is what being vulnerable is all about.

For more information about whether or not you want “to want” to move forward in your relationship please contact me at 858-735-1139.  Please go to my website for additional information on how I work with Couples at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com or call me at (858) 735-1139.




Affairs and Apologies

Affairs and Apologies. When working with couples where one partner has betrayed the other with an ongoing affair the deceived partner (Hurt Partner) is looking for a sincere apology. The Affair Partner (the person who had the affair) often rushes through the process of healing with minimal expression of guilt or remorse. Frequently, they will make excuses, avoid discussing the events of the affair, hide relevant information or become defensive. A common complaint is, “I said I was sorry so many times. Why can’t you getting over it? Why can’t we just move on?”  I emphasize: “I’m sorry” isn’t Affair Recovery and the words don’t mean as much as the behavior of actually doing the work.

Affairs and Apologies

A main reason they aren’t getting over it is because a sincere admission of their guilt is missing. Acknowledging guilt to a loved one is usually quite difficult, but is essential.  In the middle stage of treatment (Insight Phase), my work as a Marriage Counselor in Affair Recovery is to encourage accountability. Accountability includes telling the truth and providing information about unknown essential facts.  It also involves the Affair Partner showing Empathy for the Hurt Partner validating the pain and suffering being experienced by them.

Affairs and Apologies

The question, “Why did I choose to deceive you?” is crucial to answer. The answer to this question inevitably involves either an admission of guilt or a continuation of an evasive pattern.  It will help both partners determine whether the deception was in or out of character for the Affair Partner. Insight from the Affair Partner is crucial as this question enables the Hurt Partner to know whether or not moving forward is possible.

Another outcome of this soul-searching is that it increases the Affair Partner’s level of differentiation (self-awareness). It allows the “guilty” partner to be pro-active in initiating repair attempts or acknowledging potentially stressful situations in the future.

An example would be, a couple is invited to a family wedding that was to take place in the hotel where the Affair Partner had frequented with his lover. Instead of waiting for his wife to make the connection, he initiates the following discussion:

“I know that being at this hotel might be hard for you. I am sorry that what I did left this black hole in our lives creating unnecessary pain for you. Is there anything that I can do to make going to this wedding easier for you?”

She replies, “You just did it. I appreciate your recognition of this potential trigger – and that you aren’t hiding from your guilt. I believe I can go and feel ok there with you.”

If you could relate to this and want to get over the devastation of your Marital Affair call me at (858) 735-1139 .  I know I can help.

Why Affairs And Infidelity Are On The Rise

Why Affairs And Infidelity Are On The Rise.  As a Marriage Counselor I see couples who come in for  sex and relationship advice.  Because I specialize in Affair Recovery quite a few come in needing help with the devastation of having an affair discovered or disclosed.  Throughout the years I’ve wondered why affairs and infidelity are on the rise as you never stop hearing about them in the media and through conversations by the “water cooler” (expression for office/neighborhood gossip).  People often ask me whether couples can recover from affairs.  I tell them “it depends” as every couple has to make the determination whether they want to make the commitment to affair recovery.  If yes, then “absolutely.”  The process, however, will need your full cooperation.

Why Affairs And Infidelity Are On The Rise

I believe affairs and infidelity are on the rise because the internet provides a widespread of opportunity for people to connect.  When I was growing up we didn’t have the internet or any kind of Social Network. We had a vehicle on the telephone referred to as a “hotline” where people would talk in between beeps and try to get phone numbers.  As if that was effective.  And websites such as Ashley Madison and other online affair dating sites encourage cheating.

Another logical reason affairs and infidelity are on the rise is because people are living longer.  The average life expectancy for men is 78.1 years and 81 years for women according to the 2011 report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).  Practicing monogamy could be challenging when you’ve been with the same person for over 40 years.

There are also more women in the workplace and women tend to be less traditional in this day of age. With all the “goodies” available to us and the lack of delayed immediate gratification people are bored and want more Novelty.

The population has easier access to Porn and individuals want what they see, right?  If they aren’t getting the sex they want at home they’re inclined to find it elsewhere.

In Marriage Counseling there is no judgement or criticism from working with me.  I help couples develop Monogamy Agreements that work for them.  If your relationship isn’t working for you for whatever reason please contact me at (858) 735-1139.  You have the rest of your life to live it the way you’d like.