As my therapist has told me, there is a simple equation to restoring intimacy post affair:
Restored Trust = Enhanced Intimacy
I never really bought into it at first because, for me, it was very easy to become intimate with my wife in the immediate months after D-Day (i/e - hysterical bonding). I find my wife extremely attractive and I wanted to show her that i could be every bit as good as lover as her AP...and more. I was marking my territory regularly, if you know what I mean. But after a couple of months, it began to feel like a chore. That is when it started to click with what my therapist said. Yes, I lusted my wife, but I sure as hell didn't trust her. The thoughts/images started creeping into my head more often and the "fire in the bedroom" quickly went out.
I would say beginning 6 months post DDay, I began to notice my wife's effort to truly restore trust in our relationship. The gaslighting and trickle truth stopped, and she never wavered in her re-committal to me/us. Once I began to accept what she was saying was truth, I slowly began restoring trust in her. That is when the true intimacy began to shine through. We are now more intimate than ever, and not only in the bedroom. Our conversations are more engaging, we are more affectionate in public (holding hands/quick kisses/etc), just to let the other know that we are thinking about them.
I had almost the exact same experience. My ability to feel real intimacy in and out of the bedroom seemed to go hand in hand with increased trust and feeling deeply valued in our relationship.
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child DD May 2016 “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl