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My wife’s affair has left me feeling less sexually attracted to her It was a short and sexless relationship, but since finding out about it I no longer fancy her in the same way

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 Photograph: Getty; Guardian Design Team
My wife and I are trying to put our life back together after she had a short, albeit thankfully sexless, affair. We are working our way through the issues with a counsellor, but I am struggling with sexual attraction. Until the discovery, I had found my wife more beautiful every day. But I no longer fancy her in the same way. Will this pass?
The discovery of your wife’s other relationship has destroyed not only your positive sense of coupledom with her, but also your somewhat idealised notion of her. The therapeutic work you are doing is essential to coming to terms with this loss, and also to moving forward into a realistic view of who she really is, and understanding your own response.
I do not suggest that this will be an easy process, and you are already experiencing the longing and pain that accompanies such drastic and sudden shifts in a person’s conceptualisation of his love. But that pain usually leads to growth and important discoveries. True intimacy involves seeing your partner for who she truly is, so perhaps a less idealistic view of her will improve things between you.
Allow yourself to be vulnerable in her presence, and try to express your true feelings, no matter how difficult it is. It is also important to recognise your role in helping to create a fragile entente in the first place. Be kind to both of you, do the work and learn.

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