The other day, I saw an advertisement for the Orient Express, a luxury train that travels across Europe.
The ad promised passengers the ultimate romantic experience.
The journey begins when you and your beloved fly (first class, of course) to Paris where you board a luxury Pullman, which then whisks you in comfort and luxury across Europe, from the Alps to Innsbruck to Italy to Vienna and back. By day, you’ll watch as the glorious scenery slips soundlessly by, from snow-capped mountains shimmering like white frosting in the distance, to the deep sensual greenery of the wine regions of France.
By night, you’ll be lulled to sleep by the clattering of the train as it passes over bridges, lakes, and rivers, while you and your beloved snuggle close in the heavenly comfort of your private luxury car.
Each new day brings new sensual experiences.
Imagine waking up to the scent of fresh French roast coffee and the tantalizing aroma of freshly-baked sweet pastries and assorted buttery croissants hot from the oven.
Now imagine how it would feel to know the biggest decision of your day would be choosing what to have for dinner that evening.
Will you stick to the more traditional and order the “coq au vin” (rooster in red wine) or “blanquette de veau” (stewed veal)? Or will you feel more adventurous and opt for the “boudin blanc” (delicately flavored sausage similar to Buckhurst) or “foie gras” (fatty duck or goose liver)?
Doesn't it all sound wonderfully romantic?
It sure does to me!
As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to romance, the marketing people at the Orient Express certainly know how to sell it. They’ve tapped into all the necessary ingredients: travel, exotic locations, newness, relaxation, luxury, sensuality, comfort, fine wine, and good food.
As delightful as all that sounds, alas, there’s one key ingredient in a romantic experience that even the most genius advertisers can’t provide.
What’s that one thing?
Well, here it is: they can’t provide couples with that loving feeling. And that’s the thing. No matter how romantic the place, how relaxing the environment, or how expensive the trip, if you’ve lost that loving feeling, you might as well be on vacation in Dubuque, Iowa in the middle of January.
The bottom line is this:
There’s no love, intimacy or romance without an open heart. If the heart is closed, then so are the doors to the bedroom. The heart is the engine that drives your positive emotions. When it’s open, it has the capacity to generate affection, warmth, intimacy and loving feelings. When it’s closed (or blocked), you’re left frozen, numb, bitter, and hardened.
So, what can you do if the hurt and pain unleashed by infidelity has caused you (or the person you love) to shut down? That’s a great question. And that’s exactly what this article will attempt to answer.
Here’s the beautiful truth:
To love is to open your heart; to hate is to close and harden your heart. The reopening of your heart after infidelity is a lot less mysterious than you’d think, yet many will find themselves stumbling around in the dark for a long time.
Why is this?
Well, here’s my theory: I believe it comes down to the fact that most people look for answers to this problem in all the familiar but wrong places.
For example, have you ever misplaced a set of keys and then spent most of your time looking for them where you think they should be rather than where they actually are? Do you ever find them where they are not? A similar thing happens to a lot of couples seeking ways to reconnect and rekindle those loving feelings. They often stumble around in dark futility because they are seeking answers in all the familiar but wrong places. They don’t know where to look for solutions.
But this doesn't have to be your experience.
In the next few minutes, I’m going to point you toward a three-step process that, mixed with sincerity, can lead you back after infidelity to love and intimacy.
FAIR WARNING: I must caution you.
Chances are these steps won’t be exactly what you were expecting, and they’re not necessarily going to feel comfortable at first. And yet if you’re willing to test them and give them a chance, I guarantee they won’t disappoint. And I say that not from theory but from experience.
I don’t just think they work… I know they work.
Not only have I seen these steps restore love, affection, intimacy and connection to other people’s relationships, but I have seen them do it for my own. But before we get into that, let’s clear up two of the questions most frequently asked at this point.
What’s the normal timeline for couples to resume sexual intimacy after infidelity?
First, there is no “normal” timeline. The answer is always what feels appropriate for you. Some couples find that the affair actually sparks sexual desire, while for others, it seems to kill it. Some couples go back to making love right away, while others take a long time to resume. Both timelines are OK.
Here’s what’s not OK.
It’s not healthy (for you or your partner) to withhold sex as punishment — that manipulative tactic can only make things worse. And it’s not a good idea (for you or your partner) to have sex to prove something or to compete with the affair partner — that’s self-destructive. What’s healthy is to resume sexual intimacy because you feel naturally inspired to it. (More on this later.)
My answer to what the normal timeline for sex after infidelity is… when you feel naturally inspired.
What determines that inspiration?
That’s a great question, and you’ll find some clues in step 1 and step 2 of my three-step process for returning to love and intimacy after infidelity. Here’s the second most frequently asked question:
What should you do if you know you love (and even have forgiven) your partner, but you still don’t feel like making love?
This, too, is common in the aftermath of infidelity. For the partner who’s been betrayed, finding out about a loved one’s betrayal can undermine confidence and stir up insecurities and anxieties. And for the partner who’s been wayward, acting out of line can lead to feelings of guilt, self-loathing and shame.
Since sexual desires begin in the mind, whenever these types of anti-loving thoughts broadcast themselves, they act like sex-negative Super Bowl commercials that disrupt your sexual game.
Imagine watching a romantic movie only to have it interrupted every few seconds with commercials, propaganda, newsflashes about terrorist activities, pictures of Armageddon, war, flood, and famine.
Just how much of your romantic mood would survive? Well, that’s exactly what your thoughts can do — they can shut down or diminish sexual emotions.
What can you do about that?
I’m glad you asked because this is what the third step is about in my three-step process to guiding you back to love and intimacy after infidelity.
So click to the next page and let’s jump in with Step #1 – Let Love Win.