20 Smart Ways to Increase Emotional Intimacy in Your Relationship after Infidelity

how to improve emotional intimacy with spouse

There are moments in a relationship when something feels off. You try to confront your partner about the things you are feeling and all they tell you is more of the same. After time you begin to feel like you are the crazy one.

Especially when they make it seem like you are being over paranoid and delusional.

Then the bomb drops and you find out that everything they have been telling you is a lie. The trust you once had in them is gone. Your life is turned upside down and it seems like you can’t breathe.

Infidelity is not something that anyone wishes to experience. Unfortunately, it seems like the norm these days. With the way technology is and how easy it is for a partner to cheat, it seems like temptation is everywhere you turn.

So how do you bring back the luster and lust in your relationship? How do you rebuild and increase the emotional intimacy once trust and everything else has been swept out of your life?

To answer those questions there are a few things you can do if you believe the relationship is worth saving. But you have to be honest with yourself and your partner. Even when you feel that everything they say is a lie.

Regaining trust is the first step to getting back to the way things used to be. But if you really feel like you can save the relationship, here are 20 ways to restore emotional intimacy after infidelity.

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1. The Love Dare

The Love Dare is something you can do on your own. First, create a list of things that you can do for them to win their heart again. Remember when you both started dating and how everything was new and exciting. You dressed up for your partner and went out of your way to please them. Well, the Love Dare is to get you thinking in those terms again.

For the Love Dare to work though, you have to be willing to put aside the hurt. You have to tell yourself what’s done is done. It doesn’t mean you have to forgive them right away. It is simply a process that helps you to see what it is in them that is worth fighting for.

To start by writing down a list of 30 to 40 things you can give your partner. Then do one of those things each day. Maybe you are a good cook, so make them a delicious meal to show them you cherish their time with you. Maybe they are overwhelmed by stress. So set them up with a message or something to help them relax.

The idea is to show them how much you still care. Think of things that you want them to do for you, but do those things for them instead.

2. Using Technology to Your Advantage

There are so many apps that are available out there. It is possible that you can find one to help restore emotional intimacy in your relationship. One of the apps that come to mind is a game that you and your partner can play to see how well you know each other.

The thing about infidelity is that someone in the relationship has changed. This change can be big or it can be small. But no matter how you see it, the change has happened. This should make you wonder what else about them you didn’t know. By playing relationship games either in person or on an app can help you reconnect with your partner.

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3. Be Adventurous

When things get boring or predictable, people find ways to spice things up.  Start doing things differently and step out of your comfort zone a bit. Do something that they wouldn’t expect. Wear your hair differently. Use a different perfume or cologne.

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Go to a different restaurant. Start trying new things. These new things that you do together will give you new and different things to talk about. Once the lines of communication are open again, your new adventures will help bring you closer together and help you replace the past memories.

4. Face Value

When it comes to infidelity trust seems to be your enemy. After all, they told you so many lies that it is hard to tell what the truth is anymore. That is why it is important for you to start taking things they say at face value. Stop reading between the lines and trying to find things wrong.

If you want the relationship to heal, you have to learn to trust. Trust isn’t something that can be established in one sitting or one week. It is like a flower that must grow over time. But by planting the seed of hope, you can begin to trust again.

5. Safe Word

After you have found out that your partner has been unfaithful you are left with two choices. You can either stay or you can go. For many people, the choice isn’t so simple. You want the intimacy again but you don’t want to get hurt.

That is why it is important to set up boundaries. You and your partner should establish a safe word that allows you to stop what you are doing and cool off. The safe word can be a trigger word that once spoken both parties know to back off.

This way you can speak your mind and listen to your partner, but when things get too heated, you can both back off.

6. Counseling

No one wants to have to sit down with a stranger to sort out their problems. But seeing a counselor or infidelity coach can help in so many ways. With a mediator, you and your partner can express yourselves in a safe environment without retaliation or criticism.

By talking things out, you will find out more about your partner than ever before. When the lines of communication are open, you can experience emotional intimacy than what you ever had before.

7. Dating

When you have been with someone for so long, you begin to think that you know all there is to know about them. That mundane feeling is why so many people explore other options. They want to feel the excitement and thrill of going out with someone new.

What you need to do to salvage your relationship is to start dating your partner again. You need to rekindle that flame you once had and see them in a positive light.

8. Take Time for Yourself

For so long you have done everything you can to keep the relationship happy. You have bent over backward trying to make the other person happy and satisfied, but you have lost yourself in the process. You were once bold and daring, now you are predictable and safe.

That is because you have lost pieces of you along the way. In order to increase the emotional intimacy in your relationship, you have to take care of you first.

9. Learn to Say No Sometimes

All too often people in relationships find that they have to perform a certain way. They think their partner expects things to be done just right or they won’t love them anymore. But the truth of the matter is, when you say no to things, you are setting up boundaries and giving yourself the space you need.

Learning to say no can also become a way of teasing which sparks curiosity in your partner.

10. Be Open

Being open to your partner is not the same as being honest. When you open yourself up to your partner you are allowing them to see you in a different way. Being open doesn’t mean that you have to share every single detail of what goes on inside you.

It simply means to be open to them and not lash out or be rude. Sure, emotions can be intense after you find your partner has been unfaithful to you. Sure, you want to yell and scream or cry. And you are allowed to do so. But to be open is to allow them to be able to come to you with their side and talk things through.

Think of it like the open door policy you may have at work and apply that to your current situation.

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11. Be Honest

To be honest with someone should be obvious. It means you don’t lie. Yes, the truth hurts sometimes. But it is the lying what causes the most damage in a relationship. When you are honest with yourself and your partner you can disarm them. Honesty is what helps to rebuild broken relationships and is the easiest way to establish a deeper emotional intimacy in your relationship after infidelity.

12. Learn to Forgive

Forgiving can be hard depending on the depths of the betrayal. But it shouldn’t be something that you are forced into doing.

Forgiveness allows you to hold on to hope that tomorrow can be better. Even if you never forget the things that happened, you must learn to forgive, not only your partner but your role in the events as well.

Maybe you did things that drove your partner away. Or perhaps said things to them after you discovered what was going on. Either way, forgiveness plays a major role in recovering your relationship.

13. Learn to Forget

Forgiving is one thing but forgetting that it even happened is an entirely different beast. There are some people who can sweep it under the rug and forget easily. Then there are others who like to dwell on the events until it is burned into their sub-consciousness.

Rehashing the events over and over again will only drive a wedge between you and your partner. On the other hand acting like it never happened makes the other person feel like they have gotten away Scott free.

So forgetting is not so much a matter of sweeping things under the rug and never to be spoken of again.

It is more to allow yourself room to grow and rebuild the relationship.

14. Follow Your Instincts

If there is one thing you have learned from your partner’s infidelity is that you have honed your instincts. Just because they have promised you never to do it again, doesn’t give them a get out of jail free ticket. Nor should you let your guard down right away.

Embrace your gut feelings and learn to recognize them for what they are. It is your new super power and you should be proud to have them working for you.

Don’t ever give them up and don’t ever second guess yourself. You have those feelings for a reason. So when you are trying to rebuild your relationship and your gut tells you something, listen to it. It didn’t steer you wrong before.

Just know that listening to your gut and being paranoid are two different things. Sometimes due to the damage that was done you can cross the line into paranoia. But once you find your happy medium, always listen to your instincts they are 95% of the time right.

15. Water Under the Bridge

Relationships are moving and changing all the time. You and your partner can never remain the same after infidelity. The idea of trying to get back what was lost is not something that can happen.

You have to move on.

You have to become like water that flows and refreshes through the stream. Stale water attracts bugs and moss.

A river that is turbulent makes one feel insecure and unbalanced. You need to find the happy medium and flow smoothly like a babbling brook under the bridge.

Allow change to happen and embrace the new. Don’t try to paddle up stream and regain what you have lost. It is gone.

Try to focus on the here and now and the things to come.

16. Leave the Past in the Past

As easy as it is to bring up old memories, sometimes it is best to leave those alone. If a certain thought triggers pain, ignore it and move on. Don’t dwell on what could have been or what happened. The only way to rekindle the love and bring back the emotional intimacy in your relationship is to let sleeping dogs lie.

17. Social Media

Because technology has become so advanced it is possible that your partner used it to find their side piece. Sites that connect people will always have that feature to message someone. This doesn’t give you the right to go through your partner’s online profiles to check up on them. When you cross that line you have become controlling of who and what they do and that is just not healthy.

Instead, embrace social media sites like Facebook to engage with your partner. Post messages to them that inspire them through their day. Use it to strengthen your relationship, not tear it down. And whatever you do, don’t start obsessing over whether or not they reply back to you. Let them have their space and a life outside of what they have with you.

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Just be honest about how it makes you feel though. If your instincts are screaming at you ask them in a polite and respectable manner. Don’t just jump the gun and assume they are cheating again because they activated their social media accounts again. Talk to them and ask.

18. Use the Right Words

It is funny how most couples talk to each other. When getting in an argument fingers tend to be pointed at the other person and words fly. Instead of placing blame or pointing out your partner’s faults, speak to them using your feelings and your thoughts as an example.

Example of using the right words to communicate to your partner:

Example A: You never spend time with me anymore. You are always so busy with everything else. I don’t mean anything to you anymore do I?

Example B: I really miss spending time with you. I know you are busy and are juggling a lot right now. But maybe you could find time to spend with me?

Example A shows how you fly your words at your partner. The tone and mannerism you use when you speak to your partner can make them want to run for the hills. But if you switch your words around and express yourself and your feelings correctly you will get better results.

After all, you do attract more bees with honey than with vinegar.

19. Finding Faults

When you are trying to rebuild a broken relationship you may find yourself dwelling on old issues that have been resolved. In order to move past this cycle, you have to stop trying to find fault with your partner. People don’t want to see their faults so why bring up your partner’s?

Unless of course, you are looking for a fight in which case faults and shortcomings are the ammunition used the most.

But when you are rebuilding and trying to increase the emotional intimacy in your relationship after infidelity, leave the faults alone. You can never go into a relationship thinking you can change the other person. You accepted them as is when you first got together and now, you have to stick by your word and accept them for who they are now.

20. Making the Connection

Sex is a big part of most relationships. Maybe that is why when people aren’t getting enough at home they seek it elsewhere. For women, sex is an emotional attachment. It is how they express love to their partner. For guys, it is a need that they have to fulfill in order to be complete.

When trying to rebuild trust and repairing emotional intimacy in your relationship after an affair sex maybe the last thing on your mind. But it is also the number one thing that can bring you back together. Desire is what drives women to want to do the deed.

If their man shows that he desires her touch, her attention, her body, it turns the woman on. But when he goes off and seeks the physical somewhere else, the woman is broken beyond anything a guy can understand. 

In order to regain that intimacy, the man needs to express his desire and want for his partner. Now say it was the woman who was unfaithful. In order to rebuild her relationship, she needs to be willing to do new things to show her man that he is special to her.

Sex is a tricky maze to navigate after infidelity. But understanding how both sexes operate helps to establish a new connection. But sex should never be something that you are forced or conned into. If it is best to leave sex out of the equation for a while, then do so.

If it is something that you feel can rebuild your relationship, then give it a go.  Just don’t use sex as a band aid to fix everything because it won’t work. You both have to want to make the relationship better. You can’t go back to the way things were. All you can do is keep moving forward.

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