After a break-up it may be common to second guess yourself. You miss being held by your partner, you miss the smell of your partner, and you miss the sex with your partner. These feelings are so intense that you may find yourself in the position of seeking out your ex to try and make up. You may be trying to save the marriage before a divorce, or you may want to give the relationship a second start, but many times you want to be held and intimate with someone who knows your body, knows your past and has a history with you.
The relationship you build at this time is called “an ex with benefits.” We have seen this played out in movies such as “It’s Complicated” and it is a common theme in celebrity lives, as well as our neighbors and friends. In fact many people who are newly separated or divorced engage in having sex with an ex. The couple usually gets along better at this time than they did when they were married or together. The relationship has a heightened sense of energy and sexuality. The problems that may have lead to the breakup of the relationship don’t have the same intensity as they had before.
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Although an ex with benefits may feel good for a short while it will not last. The lust and excitement you feel during this phase will soon fade as all of the old issues begin to surface again. They surface because as the couple becomes intimate, their expectations for being listened to, understood, and communicated with also become stronger. These needs were not resolved in the marriage or relationship; therefore it is likely that they won’t be resolved in this stage either.
For example, when there was cheating involved it will soon become apparent that your ex is cheating on someone else to be with you. The revenge may feel good for awhile, but this good feeling will soon corrode into feeling cheap, and used by your ex. Maybe you split because of their irresponsibility with handling money or their life. When you begin seeing your ex with benefits and paying all the expenses, you may become wise to the fact that they haven’t changed and are not going to. If you continue being with them you will continue taking care of them and their irresponsible behaviors. Is that worth the benefits?
Despite most of us knowing that an ex with benefits will never work, when you are hurting, lonely, and depressed after a break-up you rationalize that you have little to lose in trying to work this relationship out. You tell yourself you need to try for the kids, or you were being unfair to your partner, or a mountain of other reasons. Any or all of these reasons are common, and in 99.9 percent of broken relationships the reasons will not justify the pain you’re going to go through in engaging with sex with your ex.
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However, if you still want to pursue sex with your ex, these suggestions may help the healing process when it is finally over:
1. Make a list of every reason you want to get back for sex with your ex. If your reasons are more about soothing the loneliness you feel or feeling like a couple again, the chances are high that this is temporary filler. It would be wise to divert your focus into something new and interesting. Time is the greatest healer, and each week that passes without your ex you are one week closer to recovery.