So now you’re separated and going through a divorce. You’re most likely trying your best to get through the grieving process and move on with your life. Then suddenly, out of the blue, you and your soon-to-be ex-wife, are back in bed together. You briefly feel exhilarated, then you feel rotten. Then you get angry. Welcome to the slightly shitty world of sleeping with the soon-to-be ex.

There is not a lot of research out there that addresses sex with an ex.  This is probably because most people indulging in this carry a sense of shame.  It’s a dirty little secret they aren’t willing to boast about in public. After all, if you are still having sex with your ex, why are you seeking a divorce? But the reason that drives most people to have sex with an ex is simple.  You know each other. Since you are now divorced, there is no longer a climate of tension and fighting.  All that is behind you now. And she is so familiar to you.

If you’re contemplating going to bed with your soon-to-be ex, let me point out the obvious: it’s a bad idea. In some courts, judges might determine that, by having sex, you and your STBX have reconciled, which means they might dismiss your divorce case. Beyond that, and even if there’s no legal problem, having sex with each other will slow down your grieving, and not to mention it raises false hopes about saving the marriage.

First, know that you’re normal, and divorce is a dreadful time for everyone. You’re going to feel alone and abandoned, even if you’re the Petitioner, you’re likely to reach out in desperation to anyone who can provide comfort, including the person who shared your bed before.

Some surveys say that as many as 44 percent of people have slept with their ex while going through a divorce. It isn’t a moral issue nor is it a black and white issue. You should take the time to weigh the pros and cons for you and how you are doing post-breakup. It isn’t right or wrong, but is it right or wrong for you?

If you are thinking about sleeping with your ex, ask yourself what needs will be met by doing so. Look deep at what might be driving you back to your ex when the relationship has ended. Ask yourself what the sex will give you: an orgasm with no other expectations or a desire for an emotional reconnection?

Then ask yourself what the consequences will be. Will you be glad or regret your decision? How will you feel about this afterward? Will this have helped you in your recovery from the separation/divorce or made it more confusing or complicated? Is this an impulsive decision or is it a well-thought-through decision?

There can be no denying that sex with someone familiar can be a tempting proposition.

So, is it any wonder going back to an ex can be appealing? There can be no denying that sex with someone familiar can be a tempting proposition.

But, if you’re thinking of drunk texting your soon-to-be ex, you might want to reconsider – here are some factors to think about when considering sleeping with your ex.

1. It will hold you back: It is normal to want to avoid the grief and pain of the divorce. Sleeping with your ex distracts you from the pain of the loss of your relationship or marriage. At the same time, sleeping with your ex postpones the closure that you need to be able to recover, adjust, and move on.

Maybe you are afraid to start dating or have new sexual partners. The familiarity of the “devil you know” feels safer than the risks of new relationships. You may get a boost of confidence when you sleep with your ex. That might make it easier to date others.

Maybe one last time “for old time’s sake.” Some people say that sex with their ex gives them closure.

As much as you try and convince yourself you can have casual sex with an ex and still meet someone else, the more your ex is in your life (read: bed) the harder it will be to move on.

2. They rejected you: The fact you are still considering having sex with your ex would suggest you weren’t the person who did the dumping.And nothing gets the old self-esteem fired up like offering yourself up to someone who thinks you’re not good enough. It highlights that they’re not yours anymore, especially when they refer to it as a ‘mistake’, ‘blip’, or ‘something we should keep between ourselves the next day. Nothing guarantees a good old-fashioned bit of emotional self-harming like sleeping with an ex.

3. It’ll bring back memories: Most likely it will be bad ones. People tend not to break up because they have an amazing relationship and never argue. There are plenty of other people in the world to have sex with and is the progress you’ve made processing your emotions and accepting the divorce, worth the tradeoff for a quickie with the ex?!

4. You think you can do it without getting confused or caught up in your emotions. The thrill of the naughty quickie! You think the taboo and excitement of a secret sexual encounter will be fun or will make you feel less depressed about the divorce since you’ve been feeling lonely, and the familiarity of your ex is comforting. If you are having sex with each other, make sure both of you have a clear understanding of what you are each looking for from this arrangement.

Men who admit to having sex with their ex say that the sex is super-hot. There is the element of the forbidden. Society says you aren’t supposed to have sex with your ex, so the fact that there you are between the sheets with her makes things ultra-exciting.  However, with that said, I do believe it will most likely lead to a long and drawn-out pain over the breakup or divorce. 

While having sex with her may seem like a good idea, ultimately, you’d be better off moving on and finding a new partner.  Sure, it may sound like more work, but it is better for your mental health in the long run.

Hayley Lisa, The Divorce Coach for Men