In this podcast episode, Dr. Finlayson-Fife joins Angilyn and Nate from the Mormon Marriages Podcast to answer questions about postpartum sex, emotional affairs, and sexuality and chronic illness.
"The people that are most happily married have figured out a way to have enough security in their marriage to feel a sense of safety and trust, but allow it to continue growing. It’s a marriage that stops being validation based and allows growth within the context of the relationship. It’s willing to be honest enough with each other that the marriage stays alive and vital. Those are the most happily married people. A lot of marriages do this split where the couple makes it predictable and safe, yet stay validation based and not bring up or deal with hard things. It feels predictable, but dead. This is when they're more vulnerable to looking for life outside of the marriage, because they're afraid of bringing life into the marriage." - Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife
My wife had a baby 6 months ago, and is afraid to have sex with me again. I've tried to get her to open up to me about what is going on, and why she is so anxious. I've let her dictate the pace of things so far, but if it were up to her, I'm not sure we'd ever have sex again.
Before the baby, sex was a struggle for her. She was unsure of what she liked and what felt good. If I accidentally stumbled on something that felt good, and she had an orgasm, I would try to repeat whatever I was doing during the next session, but that was rarely successful. I'm beside myself trying to figure out what can be done to help her learn to enjoy being intimate with me. What can I do? Or, what can I encourage her to do? Help!
I think I had an emotional affair. I’ve been married to my wife for almost a decade, and she’s the absolute best. She truly is my best friend and a wonderful mother to our three kids. After almost 10 years of marriage things have gotten pretty routine, but not necessarily complacent. We still laugh and talk and enjoy each other, but sometimes the routine gets a little stale.
A couple of years ago, I texted a female friend. We were friends in high school but hadn’t kept in touch until I reached out about a business proposition. It was pretty innocent, but over time became pretty flirty until she eventually proposed the idea of an affair. I immediately severed ties with her and told my wife what she had said. This happened more 7 months ago. We haven’t spoken since, but I honestly miss her. I think about her all the time, almost daily. I miss how we would make each other laugh and our deep conversations through texts. I miss being desired by someone new... or at all. It has gotten easier over time, but I could use some direction.
Was this an emotional affair? Should I tell my wife about it? How can I phrase it sensitively, if so? And how can I deal with this feeling of wanting to reach out to my former friend all the time? How do I replace the feelings of excitement that I was getting from her? Or do I have to learn deal without that excitement all together? I know... I’ve got issues.
My question is about sexuality and chronic illness. How do you navigate sexuality and desire when one partner has a normal high sex drive and the other is sick and has barely any energy for anything. Even washing my hair is difficult most days.
Before we were married I had a great drive, but very soon after I became very very sick. I try to be sexual as much as possible, but I feel guilty about not being able to meet his needs. Most of the time I would rather die than put the necessary energy into sex. Do you have any ideas for strategies to employ when his desire is high but my energy is low?