Question:

I hope you have some insight.Since her affair, my wife and I have been both very committed tomaking our marriage what it should be. We have been readingthe bible, meeting with counselors, meeting with our pastor, etc.I am very confident in her commitment and mine. I have been focusing on my choices both to make this work as well asmarrying her in the first place. This has really helped with my doubts and has allowed me to be moreproductive in mending our broken relationship. The trouble we have been dealing with lately is concerning intimacy. I have read "Marriage's Glue"and I feel that it describes what is happening in our marriage. My question is how to deal with "my" feelings in regards to intimacy. I know that there are pieces of the other man lefton her sideof the joint and theyare getting in the way of her making a tight meaningful bond with me. We have been intimate since the affair but it has not been right. I miss that tight bond.Iam seeking it but it is not there. Should we just put the glue on the shelf? How do we know when to bring itout again?How do I gain the confidence and connection I am craving when I know she has too much in the way to provide it? I keep getting stuck on my insecurities and feelings of inadequacyand she is not able to say the things that would help me deal with them. Ihope this makes sense. I don't even know if it makes sense to me. Thank you for yourthoughts.


Answer:

You are looking for something that only time will heal. In the meantime you need to change your focus. You are so focused on regaining what you lost that your outlook is becoming selfish. Do as God commanded new husbands: "When a man has taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war or be charged with any business; he shall be free at home one year, and bring happiness to his wife whom he has taken" (Deuteronomy 24:5). For now, focus on making your wife sexually happy. Don't be concerned about yourself, though I believe I can guarantee that you won't find yourself unhappy with the results. Give it a year and you'll see strong improvements even though it won't be like the past.

Thanks for your quick response. I printed out a copy of "Marriage's Glue" for my wife to read and she did. Upon finishing we realized that even though she had asked God for forgiveness and repented she had not verbally asked me directly for forgiveness. We sat down and talked about it and she asked me for forgiveness. I accepted her offering as genuine and forgiveness came easily. Although I had in many ways already forgiven her, the actual asking for and giving of forgiveness was very comforting for me and for her. I know that we have a long way to go and things will not be easy, but I think this might provide some closure to many of my issues. She is a women of integrity (even though she lost it for a while), and I know she would not ask for forgiveness if she wasn't truly sorry, ready to close the door on that terrible part of her life, and move on.

As for the intimacy issues you once again hit the nail on the head. It is so easy to become selfish in a situation like this. I have felt as if I did no wrong so she must fulfill all of my needs both physically and emotionally. Your words have helped me to remember that this is certainly not the case. It is still a team effort and my job on this team is to build her up. It scares me that we may never have what we had before, but with God's help maybe it can be better, different, but better.

I appreciate your guidance and advice and thank you for all your hard work. Your ministry is truly a blessing to me.