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Sex with the ex?
Yes or No?
Have you thought about it?
Have you done it?
If so, how did you feel afterwards?
This is an example of a scenario I see played out from time to time.
This is not a one sided situation, sometimes it is the woman who makes the first move.
For the purposes of making a point here I am using the ex husband or partner.
It can go something like this.
A woman’s husband or ex partner and possibly the father of her children decides, for whatever reason, that he no longer wants to continue this relationship. He’s calling it quits.
The women is devastated! Sure there are things that were far from perfect in the relationship. Like most relationships just dealing with parenting, work/life balance, financial stresses and any number of life challenging events that come our way puts a great strain on relationships. And deep down we know we could be putting in more effort, the bedroom is now where you go to watch TV and sleep – not much else going on in there. And there is often a little niggling thought that pops into our minds that we just push to one side. A little warning that we really should stop and sit down and have a long meaningful conversation with our partner – the phone rings, interrupts your thoughts and the cycle continues.
Then one day the bomb drops! In spite of those thoughts of making more effort and knowing that things were far from ideal, it sends you into a tailspin, and life as you once knew it will never be the same again.
He moves out or you move out and you begin to live your lives separately.
It’s tough, you are still struggling to come to terms with having to do everything on your own. You are lonely, he seems to be out there having a good time, seeing other women and you think your life sucks. And an occasion to get dressed up and do something a little bit special, well it’s been awhile. You do have good days and look forward to more of these.
Then out of the blue he calls around to check in with you to make sure you are OK. He suggests you both go out to dinner just for old times sake. Of course you are happy to have some company other than your own or your kids, a reason to get dressed up so you agree.
You have a nice time together, he’s attentive, the conversations is flowing nicely, he drives you home and suggests he comes in for a drink. One thing leads to another, things begin to get a bit ‘hot’ and you end up in bed together.
The next day he’s gone, you are left wondering what the hell happened and you feel like you have just taken a giant leap backwards. You begin to create wistful stories in your mind about getting back together, giving it another go, how different it would be this time and then comes the flip side as you begin beating yourself up about how stupid you were, all he wanted was sex and I was the easiest way to get it. Stop right there! If what happened has left you feeling bad about yourself there is a lesson here for you.
This is a perfect opportunity to use this situation to put some boundaries around your relationship, not just with him, but with any future boyfriends or partners.
You can turn this into a very powerful step forward in taking control of your life.
Stand back and look at what happened, objectively. As if you are looking down at the two of you from a higher perspective. The idea is to take the emotional sting out of the situation. Look at the role you played in this little episode, look at the role he played. Identify how it has made you feel about yourself. Be aware of the thoughts that were running through your mind at the time.
What would be the very first step you would take when and if this situation arises again?
Look at what resources, internal and external, you could have used to prevent this happening.
What boundaries you will put around all your interactions with your ex from here on?
Then run a little movie in your mind and see how differently it plays out and take particular notice of how much stronger and more powerful you feel.
These events or circumstances are not right or wrong.
Learn the lesson, change what you would do in a similar situation and get on with taking a little step every day towards creating a life you love.
Your thoughts, comments, personal story or suggestions are important to me.
With love and gratitude
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