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Question: How do I get her excited again about the lifestyle that I know excited her before?

Dear Lounge Advice,

We are both 28. We have been in and out of the lifestyle since before we were married 7 years ago. About 3 years ago we hit a bump.

We have very clear rules: The most important to both of us is that we both be there (at least in the same room). My wife broke that rule at a party by sneaking off with a guy that we had some experiences with in the past. I caught them in the act. After the party I reacted very strongly. My anger over the next few weeks was mostly due to my uncertainty that she would have ever told me about it if I had not walked in on them.

After several months we rebuilt our trust, but now (and for the last 3 years) she is reluctant to be sexual at all outside of our marriage. I didn't want abandon the lifestyle, just take a break.

Our marriage is stronger than ever, and we are very much in love we each other. I have communicated to her that the problem wasn't that it was someone else, but that it was done with intentional deception, and I am over it and trust her. Still, she is showing little interest and some resitance to initiating any lifestyle involvement even after a few soft swing encounters within the past year.

How do I get her excited again, about the lifestyle that I know excited her before?

Sincerely,

(Anonymous)

  
Dear (Anonymous),

What you had was a traumatic experience in your marriage… for both of you and like any kind of trauma… it takes time to heal. It sounds like you are over it, but it also sounds like she is not over it yet.

Something like that effects both people. It sounds like you guys have a strong relationship and one that she certainly doesn’t want to see end. That situation that you guys had before, was in her mind and was exacerbated by being in the lifestyle. Almost like an person involved in a bad car accident wants to stay away from that intersection where it happened, she just is not ready to go back yet.

As far as what you can do- it is very hard for us without having any information about what she is saying about this, what her feelings are about it. There is definitely some sort of fear that she has, and it is real for her, no matter how you feel about it.

When you do discuss it, be careful not to make the mistake of just casting off all her feelings because you don’t share the same concerns. Sometimes a partner brings up many concerns that are real for them, but if you just say, “Its not a big deal and that doesn’t bother me anymore, I am ok with it, etc…” then you are just relating to your own feelings and not addressing or hearing hers.

Talk about it again and be very sensitive NOT to just center around what how you feel about the situation now-the situation back then. Listen carefully to her as the answer to your question lies therein.
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