Divorce Sex: Is Everyone Doing it?

Posted on Feb 8, 2013 by Katie Carter

I recently read an article about divorce sex that said no one is talking about it, but everyone is doing it. I can understand the appeal. You're heartbroken and scared, you're worried about your future and start to wonder whether you'll ever meet someone and have sex again. There's also probably some lingering doubt about your divorce, some deep-down hope that he can change and the two of you can maybe try to make things work. There's also this intense level of trust and an inclination towards intimacy that already exists–I mean, you loved him, you lived with him, you shared a life and, in many cases, raised children (or maybe just pets) with him. Regardless, you became emotionally and financially involved with a man in a deeply intimate way and, even if it's over, even if you wanted it to be over, you still wonder, "…maybe if?"

Divorce sex is dangerous. While it's easy to fall into those old patterns and while it may seem like it fulfills your needs for a time, it's really incredibly dangerous. Let's put aside all of the emotional and psychological vulnerabilities that divorce sex opens up (which, according to psychologists, are substantial), and let's just talk about your divorce for now. If you're in the process of divorce, it's dangerous to re-open old wounds this way, and it could affect your entitlements.

If your husband has committed adultery and you have sex with him, you have legally forgiven him for committing the adultery. Even if you've separated and started the divorce process, you've forgiven him. Does this matter? Well, it depends. Most people don't get fault-based divorces these days, but adultery can be a bar to spousal support. If you forgive him of the adultery by sleeping with him later, he can ask you for spousal support (if your financial situation supports an award of spousal support to him). Furthermore, it can seriously complicate negotiations, especially if things go poorly. If you take the anger and resentment alreadypresent in even the best divorces and add to it, by sleeping together and breaking up–again. Let the pain become fresher, more vivid, more recent, and then sit back and watch what happens. It's definitely counterproductive, though I'm sure in some cases the parties really feel like they just can't help

Still, it happens. I know it happens. I definitely advise against it, but it still happens, and it probably always will happen. I do have to say, though, that if you can avoid it–avoid it. Nothing good comes from divorce sex.