My wife refuses to end her affair because she enjoys the sex too much. What should I do?

<span>‘She believes that, once lost, desire can never come back.’</span><span>Composite: Getty Images (posed by models)</span>
‘She believes that, once lost, desire can never come back.’Composite: Getty Images (posed by models)

My wife of 20 years has told me she has been having an affair for the past year. She justified it by saying that she has no sexual interest in me any more, to the point that she feels numb when we have sex. She says everything else in our relationship is perfect. We are both fit and good-looking, we get on very well and we enjoy holidays with our daughter. But, despite my requests, she won’t stop the affair, because she is enjoying the sex. I am extremely hurt by this. I would like to do couples therapy to try to work things out, but she refuses, as she thinks it would be a waste of time – that, once lost, desire can never come back.

It is not true that desire cannot come back, but there are obvious challenges in your marriage, since there must be willingness to try from both partners. You are being remarkably stoical about this and I wonder why. Has your entire relationship been like this? If you can be patient, you might wait for her affair to lose its punch, but that would be painful and risky. Couples therapy could help, but if she won’t agree to it I recommend you seek individual therapy, as you clearly need support. At the very least, you could search for answers to why you allow her to call the shots.

• Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.

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