How do I recover from an affair? How do I / we prevent it from happening again?
Not all affairs happen for the same reasons. Avoider males will have affairs that are non emotional in nature. They compartmentalize and separate sex from true emotional and spiritual intimacy. They can also become involved with prostitutes, porn and strip clubs. For them, because there is not an emotional attachment to the person, the person becomes an object that is depersonalized. The same is also true for Controllers.
Research shows that Vacillators on the other hand are more likely to have emotional affairs in which the person is idealized, adored, and loved. The vacillator believes that they have found the perfect match and give themselves fully. Obviously, recovery for the Vacillator is a more difficult emotional journey which takes time and includes anger and grief. The Vacillator needs to learn to accept the fact that no mate stays idealized forever and eventually their weak parts show up and they are then in many ways similar to the current spouse that they’ve made all bad because somehow their itch just can’t seem to be scratched. No spouse can scratch all emotional itches.
Reading How We Love and doing the workbook which is included will help a couple learn to know themselves better and promote bonding. Additionally, the book Torn Asunder by David Carder is very helpful to outline a path of recovery. No couple should do this without a therapist guide who specializes in couple’s therapy.
My wife will say she wants to postpone sex until “later”, but then never follows up. So, my expectations are high and then I’m let down dramatically. What does this mean? (I am the husband.)
Yes, I gathered that you were the husband. It is possible that your wife is a Vacillator or a tired and turned off pleaser or avoider. The problem with most males is that they view sex as sex. Most females view sex as an act of physical intimacy that emanates out of a warm nurturing friendship. You need to have a talk with her and find out how the two of you could become more like friends with warm emotional bonds that have trust and comfort as the most important traits of the relationship. Then, sex will come more naturally. Get into a good couples therapist and work on emotional bonding. I guarantee sex will improve.
Thanks for listening,
Milan and Kay