Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She's the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.
It's so hard to let go…
It would be so much easier for people if, when a relationship ended it came to a full stop and everyone got out of the car and went their separate ways. That is not what happens though. Very often, couples continue to coast along for months after the engine stops turning. Sometimes years. They hook up, hang out, and sometimes even cohabitate, all while officially broken up.
Let's face it: Even after you break up or divorce, your Ex still feels like your person even though you know in your head the relationship is over. Everything about them is familiar, and it can be very easy to fall back into old patterns… or fall into bed.
In the aftermath of a breakup, many people continue on with their Ex in quasi-relationship “situationships.” Living with their Ex, having sex with an Ex, being hang-out buddies with an Ex, or texting back and forth with an Ex are all common.
Sex With Your Ex is Understandable
When your heart is broken, maintaining contact with your Ex — sexual or otherwise — feels like the only thing that will stop the pain, even for a moment.
Especially if you're not the one who initiated the breakup, any time spent with your Ex is the only thing that feels normal. The rest is just a nightmare you can't wake up from.
Human beings are built to bond, and these attachments don't turn on and off at the flip of a switch. When you are hoping for reunion, any sign that your Ex still cares is what you live for. If your Ex invites you over, texts you, or is okay with you still living there, it feels like hope is possible.
Sex With Your Ex is Always Destructive… To One of You
However, hanging around in extended post-relationship limbo, or having sex with your Ex is almost never a good idea. As a therapist, marriage counselor, and breakup recovery expert, I have had a ring-side seat to many, many relationships, divorces and breakup recovery situations. I've spoken to the broken hearted, as well as to their Exes and have learned a lot about why.
On this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I'm sharing my perspective on:
- Why people going through breakups often do self-destructive things in order to maintain their connection with their Ex
- Why having sex with an Ex is always damaging (but only to one of you)
- The power dynamics at work in every breakup
- How your Ex really feels about hooking up with you
- What post-breakup purgatory is really about… and what it does to your self esteem
- The magical thinking that people going through breakups are vulnerable to
- How to cut the cord and set yourself free
All the best,
Ps: We discussed a number of resources in this episode. Here are the links to learn more:
- The Stages of Healing From a Breakup
- Our Online Breakup Recovery and Support Group
- Heal Your Broken Heart Breakup Recovery Program
- Our Facebook group
Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast
Should You Have Sex With Your Ex?
Music Credits: Moushumi, “Stay”