Sex with your Ex: Don't Go There!

After a divorce letting go from the physical relationship with your ex may be hard, and sex may be something you do again. John Gray offers readers five reasons why sex with an ex is a bad idea.

By John Gray, Ph.D.
May 27, 2008

Sure, there may have been a lot of bad things about your last marriage. But what if the best thing about it -- the only thing you miss, really -- was the sex?

Mars and Venus: Advice from John Gray

Maybe it was exciting, or passionate, and never ever boring.

And because you miss that aspect of what the two of you had together, you sometimes wonder what would have happened if all that other stuff hadn't gotten in the way.

Then you begin imagining what sex with your ex would be like now. After all, things change. You know that you've changed, so surely your partner has changed, too -- and for the better, you hope.

Particularly if your subsequent relationships haven't worked out the way you had hoped they would, the tendency to want to go back to the tried-and-true, the friendly and the familiar, is understandable. Memories of what went wrong -- and why -- seem to vanish in a haze of fondness for the one thing that may have been right between you.

So, why not touch base with him/her and see what's up? It wouldn't hurt to just check in, would it?

In reality, rekindling a sexual relationship with your ex isn't such a great idea. Here are four reasons not to do so:

Reason #1: Because the underlying reason for the breakup has not been resolved by you, or by your ex. If all you remember now is the good, then your selective memory is doing you the disservice of allowing you to forget the true reason for the split. Until this is accomplished, the same issues will arise at some point in your reconnection, and the emotional and physical happiness you seek will once again elude you.

Reason #2: Because someone is sure to get hurt. If only one of you still harbors the hope for a reconciliation, then eventually this difference will tear the relationship apart all over again. If there are children involved, more than one person may feel the pain of dashed hopes and crushed emotions.

Reason #3: Because reliving this one positive portion of your past will deter you from moving forward toward other, potentially more fulfilling relationship opportunities that await you. If you fall into the habit of wishing for what once was, you'll use up time, energy, and effort that could be better spent working on the issues that upended the relationship in the first place. This is not to say that you can salvage your old relationship; however, you may be able to avoid similar issues in the future -- and those future relationships may also have wonderful amorous rewards.

Reason #4: Because sex isn't the only thing in a relationship. It's just one of many criteria that makes a relationship work. Other considerations -- such as commitment, trust, devotion, and respect -- are also needed for a relationship that works on all levels -- and lasts beyond the next orgasm. Do yourself a favor: strive for a relationship that encompasses all of these components. This way, you trade the quick emotional fix for a real shot at full-time happiness.

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May 27, 2008

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