By Dr. Sheri Keffer

Sexual betrayal is devastating. I know because it happened to me. My own story, coupled with the voices of others who’ve experienced the same thing, shows what can happen to our relationships when we’re not diligent to protect our relationship and sex life. But there is another way.

The Impact of Sexual Betrayal

In my book Intimate Deception: Healing the Wounds of Sexual Betrayal, I share what I learned through research with 100 betrayed partners. My research revealed that 76% showed clinical symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Yet surprisingly, 88% of these same women said they would be willing to stay and work through the difficult process of healing — if the one who betrayed them would stop lying.

Men, this speaks to the incredible resiliency of the woman in your life. Most women are willing to fight for those they love. But it is critical that you understand what your wife needs from you. That’s why I recently asked 6,000 women to share their words and wisdom on the subject of sexual purity.

Most women are willing to fight for those they love. But it is critical that you understand what your spouse needs from you.

Restoration is possible, even after a betrayal. But pay attention to the insights from women [below]. They will help you avoid a disaster in your life, and your spouse will thank you. You see, to her, your sexual purity isn’t just important; it’s priceless.

How You Can Help Your Wife Feel Sexually Honored and Safe

  • Keep your word.
  • Tell me I’m beautiful.
  • Share your passwords.
  • Don’t have private social media accounts.
  • Don’t check out other women, thinking I don’t notice.
  • Take time to notice me, flirt with me, and listen to my needs so that I’ll feel cherished and protected.
  • Don’t look at porn. Honor my body by valuing my heart.
  • Look at me. In the kitchen, in the living room, and at dinner. Hold my hand. Offer a back rub or a foot rub and then let me enjoy it without expecting sex (unless I feel like initiating sex in response, of course☺).
  • Appreciate my “yes” and respect my “no.”
  • Stay present when you’re making love to me. Don’t close your eyes and go elsewhere (to your fantasy or porn library).
  • Take responsibility to rebuild trust when it’s been broken.
  • Be transparent and real in a solid men’s group that’s encouraging each other to love Jesus, their wives, and families.
  • Pray. Stay faithful in your relationship with the Lord.
  • Don’t wait. If you’re struggling with sexual purity, get help.
  • Be an example for our kids. They need to see what a healthy marriage looks like.

Dr. Sheri Keffer is a marriage and family therapist and a regular cohost of the nationally syndicated radio talk show New Life Live! Through her own personal story of recovery, she understands the trauma symptoms often associated with sexual betrayal and what it takes to heal well. She received the 2019 IITAP Outstanding Publication Award for her book, Intimate Deception: Healing the Wounds of Sexual Betrayal. Sheri also holds a degree in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

Don’t miss Part 1 of this series on sexual purity, written by Dr. Steve Arterburn.