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What To Do When You Love Your Spouse, but You’re Thinking About an Affair

April 19, 2021
Sex and Intimacy

Intentional Steps To Reignite Sexual Energy With Your Husband or Wife 

Can you love your spouse and be thinking about having an affair? Is that possible? Believe it or not, it is, and there may be a logical explanation. 

Esther Perel, author of “Mating in Captivity,” says couples need both closeness and distance to sustain sexual intimacy or gratification. 

As a result of the pandemic, several couples, like yourselves, are together 24/7, or close to 24/7, leaving little, to no, individual alone time. As with many things, there are pros and cons to increased time spent with your spouse. 

Research indicates that time apart from your spouse, thinking about being with them again later in the day, helps create sexual energy. Therefore, one con to increased time spent with your husband or wife is that there are fewer opportunities for anticipation, leading to lowered levels of sexual energy and even boredom. This may explain why you don’t feel much attraction toward one another right now. Since your brain craves novelty, the lackluster sexual energy at home may open the door for you to look elsewhere for the excitement you used to experience in your marriage. 

So, if you love your spouse, but you’re thinking about having an affair, consider the following. 

“When you are feeling some emotional impulse, as in entertaining the idea of an affair, you have an opportunity to examine the impulse rationally,” says Dr. Scott Haltzman, author of, “The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity.”

“Stop. Consider the consequences. The very same muscle you exercise when you consider the consequences of running a red light—smashing another car, getting a ticket, dying—can be exercised in this instance,” says Haltzman. “Thankfully, we don’t just live on instinct. We can think through the risks of our potential actions.” 

Haltzman suggests considering all the possible outcomes and consequences that could come from having an affair such as contracting a disease and giving it to your spouse and/or inflicting an enormous amount of hurt and pain on them when they find out. 

“In my experience, most affairs are discovered,” says Haltzman. “Maybe not immediately, but at some point. You need to consider the impact on the person you have an affair with and the impact on your own body because you are keeping a secret from your spouse.” 

There’s also the moral and practical issue, according to Haltzman. You made a promise to your spouse and to yourself to be faithful as one of the pillars of your marital relationship. And you promised that when nobody else was vying for your attention. You must guard against rationalizing your thought process. 

Fortunately, Haltzman believes it’s possible to bring sexual energy back into your relationship, even if you’re thinking about having an affair. He suggests taking the energy you were putting toward considering infidelity and placing it toward your marriage. 

Here’s how! 

1. Do new things together.

When you and your spouse are exposed to novel situations, or embrace new challenges, you’ll be drawn closer together. New, exciting experiences will increase your sense of attraction to each other. 

2. Create space and anticipation.

Designate time to spend a day apart from each other—even if it’s on opposite ends of your house. During this day, consider only communicating by cell phone, so you can look forward to seeing one other and reconnecting at the end of the day. 

3. Play dress-up.

If you spend a lot of time staying home, it’s common to stay in your pajamas or sweats and not care for yourself. Try switching it up. What could do that your spouse wouldn’t expect or would find sexy? 

4. Channel your imagination toward your marriage.

Use your imagination to focus on and create sexual energy with your husband or wife instead of someone else. 

5. Get back to the basics.

Remember when you and your spouse spent time apart and you looked forward to reuniting? Put yourself back in those moments, and do the things you used to such as teasing each other with text messages, creating adventure through the element of surprise, laughing together, and even writing love notes and leaving them in unexpected places. 

6. Be willing to be playful.

It’s fun to do things that are out of the ordinary. Go outside and write a message to your significant other in the snow, go camping, create art, make a funny video, create a themed date in your bathroom or somewhere else that’s fun, and more. Do something together that you don’t do often or that you’ve never done before. 

While the idea of having an affair may seem exhilarating, it’s risky business with damaging and potentially lasting consequences. Reflect on why you’re entertaining these thoughts. Is it because your sexual energy is lower than usual? Whatever the reason, be intentional about turning toward your spouse, not away, and working to create new energy. Use the examples above or others you think of. These steps of intentionality could be the key to changing the sexual climate in your relationship and the outcome of your marriage. 

Blog posted with permission from First Things First. 

Interested in More Sex and Intimacy Content?

If you liked this blog, consider attending God, Sex, and Your Marriage, a WinShape Marriage Retreat lead by clinical psychologist, Dr. Juli Slattery.

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