When sex with an ex can be a good thing...
Sex with your ex is a common conundrum. The 'against' camp says it reverses the letting go process and clouds the issues of separation. But this week I heard the best 'for' argument I've come across.
Until my lunch with my 30-something friend, who is gorgeous and hungry, I would have said a roll in the hay is not a good thing with someone you've said goodbye to. One of you always ends up getting hurt more than the other. One of you always feels more than the other. One of you always wants to rekindle. The hay has been used and is not as comfy as it was. It's time to find a fresh batch.
"You're wrong," my friend raised her eyebrows. "I'm having fabulous sex with my ex-husband and it's just that, fabulous sex."
I replied: "Because he wants you back, that's why. You're going to cut him up into pieces again if he thinks that's going to happen. You're just not interested." She advised: "That's just it. Neither is he. He has got over me. It has been three years. He just can't meet anyone else and neither can I, and we've decided we might as well hang out with each other."
"It sounds like a bus stop," was my observation. "I bet he tries to get on yours when it comes along."
That's when she told me they'd had the Agreement. The Agreement is him categorically stating he knows now she is not for him and her confirming this. The Agreement is as long as they're both letting off steam and not hurting each other, it can continue.
"I know the driver of the car and he knows me," she said. "We know what works for each other and we know we don't want one-night stands. I'm finding it hard to hook up with someone else. So is he. Who better to take the edge off the panic and give you the physical release than someone you loved for a long time? It's a friendship thing and it feels great. Both of us smile afterwards, say thanks and go our separate ways."
It took me a while to catch up with this. She told me they agree not to stay the night, but neither do they rush off. "We have a hug, we talk about things going on in our lives, coffee, then bye bye. No staying over. It would give the wrong message to our son."
Having a child together, she says, makes the boundaries all the more evident. Her ex was an irresponsible parent and knows he is not good in their lives full-time. He also wants to support her in any way he can. She smiles at this, because she has often said he is a much better ex-husband than a current one, because she wishes herself they could be together. But his immaturity and desire to keep beer near has brought them to this point. They share a bed but no false promises.
"I used to weep over him, but when I got over him I could see what a decent guy he was. I did the splitting up, not him. He was gutted and then realised he was relieved. I never heard of a less acrimonious split than ours. He told the solicitor he wanted to look after me and insisted on giving more even than I wanted."
At the time they were going through that, I thought it was guilt money. Now I can agree with her. Her ex is a confirmed bachelor who has found a warm bed, one he was in for a long time. Going back is beneficial to neither of them. This bus-stop arrangement is helping them move on.
"I'm not desperate anymore," she summed up. "I want to meet someone and this takes longing out of it. As soon as I do, this affair will end and I know he will wish me well, because he always has."