Psalm Isadora is the top tantra expert in the world and a highly sought-after sexuality, relationship, and trauma expert specializing in women’s health and empowerment as well as modern sexual education. In this weekly advice column, Psalm brings her expertise to sexual and relationship issues most people face at one time or another. If you want to ask Psalm your questions (anonymously), email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question: I am in the darkest crisis of my life, as I have discovered my husband's affair with a beautiful, much younger woman. She was certain that he would leave me—or that I would leave him—if I only knew the true nature of their relationship.
So to make me leave him, she sent me all the texts exchanged between them over the course of six months. These texts gave me so many detailed descriptions of their sex—including anal sex and descriptions of intimacy and positions that I thought were special to me and my husband—and I feel deeply traumatized.
My love language is physical touch, and I can barely stand to look at my husband. I find him repulsive and imagine him with his tongue up her ass.
He is really making an effort to work on himself, and I know that all he wants is for our family to stay together (we have 14-year-old twins, one of them disabled). I never wanted our family to break up, but I am so unhappy.
My husband's fear of intimacy has made sex between us very unsatisfying for years. I came across your website and wondered if tantra could offer strategies to restore our physical relationship? I would appreciate any advice you can give me.
This is one of the hardest questions I've gotten in a long time. Reading about how tormented you are makes me sad, especially when I consider your situation from a tantric perspective. Tantra is all about authenticity. By definition, having an affair is duplicitous. It implies lying and betrays authenticity. And even though we all like the idea of the white-picket-fence family, infidelity happens in marriages. A 2011 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that 23 percent of men cheat in relationships.
It might be hard for you to believe that your husband could love you and your family and still have an affair. You feel betrayed by him, but you're also experiencing disappointment based on your expectations of monogamy. To expand your consciousness, I recommend reading Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha, and Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel. After you've read these books, you might have a different outlook.
As far as the texts are concerned, let me share with you and everyone reading this at home one of the best pieces of advice I've ever gotten: How somebody treats you is always a reflection of their struggles and insecurities, not a reflection of your value. That woman sending you those texts is probably also in a lot of pain herself because she wants something that she can't have. She is using the texts to try to hurt you. But now that you have been exposed to your husband's infidelity and confronted with this truth, you have some serious decisions to make. Here's where you can start.
Before you move forward at all, you must confront the trauma that you're experiencing from this newfound truth.
If you decide to stay with your husband knowing all that you know, you'll have to let go of the trauma of both the texts and the betrayal. Subconsciously holding the affair over your husband's head will lead to a miserable relationship for both of you. It is possible to use meditation to let go of the sexual images that are lingering in your mind, but if you're unable to let go of them, they will only be a constant source of torment.
What happened happened. Now you have to make a decision. Either you can get over the trauma and stay with your husband or, despite the fact that you want to keep the family together for your kids, you might find that you're not able to endure the betrayal.
If you do decide to move forward, it can be helpful to explore new ways of being erotic and intimate together.
Tantra could be a path to rekindling your erotic relationship with your husband and can help you bring mystery back into the bedroom. But tantra is also about being authentic and present, so you have to be willing to let go of the trauma, anger, and resentment to truly be present with him sexually.
Ultimately, if you find you can't let go, you might have to make the choice to leave. You first soul mate is yourself, and you can't lose yourself in the marriage or in trying to be the perfect parent for your kids who probably know what's going on on a subconscious level anyway. If you listen to your intuition, let go of the trauma, and truly have a new beginning with your husband, tantric sex with him would be like having sex with him without any of the baggage.
If you go this route, beginning with tantric massage can help you ease into intimacy with your husband. Breathe deeply and clear your mind. Be fully present to this moment, letting go of the past and the future. Find your way back to that ecstatic, erotic place with him using your love language of touch, in tandem with tantra.