I soften my position when you’re talking about Friends With Benefits, and designation of your partner as an ex is a question of semantics or time since your last round of mutual entertainment.
Why don’t I think sex with an ex makes sense? Especially with an ex-husband or ex-wife?
Why Sex With an Ex is a Bad Idea
Here’s why ex sex is trouble, and in no particular order:
- If you have children together and they get wind of something, they may expect you to get back together.
- If one or the other of you has a new spouse, you just did another man or woman wrong. Yes, ex sex counts as infidelity if one or both have remarried.
- If you’ve been wandering the desert without carnal knowledge for too long, good ex sex may make you forget why the relationship is over. Temporarily.
- You may be using him, he may be using you, and unless you’re both clearly using each other (and know it), aren’t you risking screwing up what’s already a tricky relationship?
I know women who slip into patterns of sex with an ex because their relationships are relatively amicable, neither partner is involved with anyone else, and they figure… why not?
If it works for them, I won’t sit in judgment. But if you keep going back to the same source, isn’t it preventing you from looking elsewhere? Are you hiding in sex with an ex as some sort of safety net?
Old Flames, Renewed Passion?
Sure, sure. I’ve seen the movie “It’s Complicated,” with Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin. I enjoyed it, too. But it was messy, and watching the assortment of relationships play out as a divorced couple rekindled their passion, there was damage all round.
Closure for the “wronged first wife” as well? That, too.
Some of us may recall Sex and the City episodes in which lead character Carrie plunges back into an affair with her now married ex. We understand what led up to it, we understand her mixed feelings. And it’s disastrous.
Years later, when he’s divorced, they occasionally hook up in person or via phone sex. At this point, they seem to have disconnected sufficiently from their former relationship issues to have morphed into Friends With Benefits.
Still, the “relationship do-over” – certainly with an ex-spouse – may come with complicated consequences.
Divorced Sex? Dating After 50?
If you shared a hot sex life when married, if you find post-divorce dating going nowhere, if you can’t manage to get back out there after 50, you may throw caution to the wind – as in: I can’t get a date much less great sex, so why not…
And who knows? Divorced sex with your ex may be better than when you were a couple. Obstacles to passion may have been eliminated: You’re no longer involved in the daily tedium that causes arguments, your children may be grown and as a consequence, tiffs over child support are a thing of the past. You may even find a once errant spouse trying to work his (or her) way back into your heart… by way of your bed.
And if the nights are passionate but in the morning you have nothing to say to each other? Or as soon as you’ve had your fun, you feel regret? Are you thinking through what you’re doing? Are you selling yourself short?
Have Fun, Be Safe, Get Real
The problems inherent in ex sex are clear, aren’t they?
Certainly, every situation will be different and all relationships change as we grow older and, frankly, wise up. We know ourselves better. We know our exes better – or at least we think we do. But hello? You split up for good reasons, didn’t you? What’s changed?
The bottom line when it comes to sex with an ex may be this: keep your eyes open and heart, less so. Be safe, stay real, and have fun – but without hurting yourself or anyone else.
Is “happily ever after” sex with an ex likely in anything other than a fictional scenario? I couldn’t say. I haven’t seen fictional scenarios in which it works, personally. And nor have I seen any in real life – but perhaps you have.
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