You’re separated from your spouse. But you still, at least occasionally, have sex with each other.
That’s not unusual, right? Many couples do it.
But is it smart?
If you want to know whether or not you should have sex with your spouse while separated, Dr. Joe Beam would like you to consider some pros and cons.
Specifically, there are three reasons having sex while separated can benefit your relationship and three reasons why it may harm your relationship. Then, Dr. Beam will offer two major considerations that are very important for you to think through.
What can you gain from having sex with your separated spouse?
First: It may help bring you back together. How? Well, when you make love to each other, both of you get a burst of oxytocin. That’s a powerful hormone that plays a significant role in bonding people together. It’s released by things like touching, caressing, and kissing. During sex, oxytocin hits a high level. Therefore, making love with your separated spouse may create a stronger desire for closeness on both sides. Now, if you’re doing other things to resolve your problems, this could be the added value that helps you get together again.
Second: Having sex is good for you. It can help reduce levels of anxiety, tension, stress, and help you sleep better. And especially in men, it can significantly reduce irritability. There are several other benefits to being sexually active, ranging from better heart health, to less cramping during menstrual periods, to decreasing the likelihood of breast cancer, to avoiding prostate cancer, and much more. If you continue to make love while separated, you physically benefit yourself and each other, and hopefully you’ll benefit emotionally as well.
Third: If you crave sexual fulfillment and find yourself looking for a lover to help satisfy your sexual needs, it’s best to do it with your spouse, even if separated. A new lover may seem exciting, but genuine fulfillment comes from making love to the person that you have a history with. Hopefully, a loving history. Besides that, sleeping with someone else likely seals the end of your marriage. It also creates new potential relationship problems for your future.
Why might it be a bad idea to have sex with a separated spouse?
First: If you’ve decided that you will not consider the possibility of reconciliation, and you know that your spouse holds out hope for your marriage, making love to them creates a false hope within them that will make their healing much more difficult. Separation is emotionally difficult enough. Please don’t add to their pain by selfishly having sex with the person who wants you back when you have no intention of ever coming back.
Second: Experiencing the closeness and bonding of making love with your separated spouse may set you up for disappointment. Even if you think you’re over your spouse and you want to make love just for the sexual benefits, feeling powerful emotions during sex can develop strong desires to be with your spouse again. Not just sexually, but to put the marriage back together. That situation can cause a deeper and longer-lasting hurt for you if you finally divorce.
Third: If your separated spouse is involved with another person sexually and making love with you as well, you’re giving your spouse the message that you’re okay with being one of his or her lovers. If you don’t want to give that message, avoid the sex. Of course, it’s your decision as to whether you make love to your separated spouse or not. We recommend that you do some processing on the brief pros and cons given here. There are many more to think about, but these will help you use your brain and not just your heart.
As you make the decision as to what you’ll do now, there are two other things to consider:
First, if your spouse has already married someone else, sleeping with him or her makes you a cheater.
Please don’t be that person. The person who hurts someone else just to get what you want. If you do, everyone gets hurt, including you.
Second, be aware that if your separated spouse has been having sex with someone else, they probably have crossed sexual borders that they’ve never crossed before.
When a person violates their beliefs and values to cheat on their spouse, it’s not unusual for them to do things sexually that they would not do before. Now, we’re not telling you that to upset you, but to inform you. If you choose to have sex with your spouse who has been, or is involved with someone else, you may not be a satisfactory lover to your husband or wife if you do only those things you did before in your marriage.
Don’t be surprised if your spouse wants you to do things you haven’t done. You may do them and find pleasure in the novelty of something new, or you may regret that you did it and resent your spouse for asking. If you’re going to make love to your separated spouse who has been with someone else, it’s best if you think about what you’re willing to do or not do if your spouse wants it, before they ask.
It’s your choice as to whether you make love with your separated spouse.
If one reason you wish to do so is that you want the marriage to be saved, that can happen. If you want your mate to come home and make your marriage good again, we can help. Or if you’re the spouse who left, but you’re having hesitations about whether you should or should not try to save your marriage, we can help.
Our Affair Recovery Toolkit helps you understand why your spouse had an affair and what you can do to fix it. It will help you regain your composure, your strength, and your dignity.