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My wife says cheating can strengthen marriage

Dear Dr Nekia,

My wife had an affair but says that she ended it to work on our marriage. I am angry with her and really just think that we should get a divorce. I thought that she would say something about how I should forgive her since she came clean, but she surprised me by saying that a lot of times cheating makes a marriage stronger. I know I have heard that somewhere before, but come on, how can lying, having sex with someone else, and causing pain help a marriage? I do not think that I can look at her the same or that I even want to be with someone who would do that.


Cheating Doesn’t Help

Dear Cheating Doesn’t Help,

You are correct. Cheating never strengthens a relationship or marriage. If you drop a plate, it breaks. Even if you glue it back together, you will still have cracks which weaken the integrity of the plate. Those cracks represent broken trust and that plate represents relationships. When people say that cheating strengthens a couple’s relationship, what they are saying is that cheating provides opportunity for the couple to come clean and communicate the ugly truths about their relationship.

In order to rebuild a solid foundation the broken couple will have to be vulnerable with one another. Vulnerability naturally transforms into intimacy which will have the couple feeling closer than ever.

So, going forward the new relationship between spouses is better than their previous one that was shattered by infidelity. This by no means excuses cheating because such intimacy could be found and a solid relationship created if the couple were open and honest with one another from the very beginning.

Only you can decide if you wish to stay with your wife or not. For some, infidelity is the ultimate betrayal, while for others it is just another problem to work through or a character flaw to be accepted.

Dear Dr Nekia,

My wife has a tilted pelvis and she claims that sex is very painful for her. I am getting the feeling that she is using it as an excuse though. At the slightest touch she says ouch. I can’t even touch or hold her and when I go to kiss her she turns her cheek to me. Is a tilted pelvis really this painful?


She Says It’s Painful

Dear She Says It’s Painful,

For some women, having sex with a tilted pelvis can indeed be very painful, even for them just to walk or sit for long periods of time.

I cannot say how painful it is for your wife specifically, but it sounds as though she is experiencing some anxiety surrounding sex as well. Any form of affection, whether sexual or physical, seems to set off alarms in her head that say, “Shut down, he wants sex”. This could be a reason why even the simplest of your advances are being met with a cold shoulder. If this does not make much sense to you, try to think of it this way, most people who have an injury tend to protect the area out of fear that it will hurt. Even after the injury has healed, many people have to relearn to trust their bodies so they know that it is OK to move as normal without wondering if the injury will flare or recur.

It is quite normal that she would want to refrain from sex if it is an unpleasant and painful experience for her.

Hopefully your wife is seeking medical care so that she can weigh her options for what can be done to correct her ill-positioned pelvis, but in the meantime, there are some sexual and touch techniques that can be learnt that would make intimacy or lovemaking much more relaxing and enjoyable for both of you but she will have to be open to learning and experiencing them.

It’s not uncommon for couples to have to shift their way of loving one another and sharing themselves during the lifetime of a relationship, so make sure that you know and that she knows that there is nothing abnormal or broken. This is very important.

It is so easy for a man to, out of fear and helplessness, unintentionally shy away from a woman with health issues and it is so very easy for such women to feel inadequate.

You both need to be understanding and patient with one another. And you both need to put in the effort to adjusting and adapting to your wife’s current condition.

Communicate often - throughout foreplay and sex - to find out what works and what doesn’t. Take the time to really get to know her body and to understand what angles of penetration are painless as well as how much depth and pressure she can take from you during intercourse.

Always stop if she is feeling pain and learn to touch her with affection and comfort.

She will eventually gain trust in you and will also learn that not every touch means that it will end up in a painful sexual experience.

Over time, these practices won’t be needed and you will learn to pick up on cues for navigating through what does and doesn’t work sexually for you as a couple.

Hopefully she can successfully realign her pelvis and be healthy again.

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Broken trust: even if you can glue a relationship back together after infidelity, there are cracks that remain