couples

Don't. Sex. The. Ex. Period.

By JK Honeycutt for Divorced Moms.

Temptation. It’s a hard thing to resist, especially if it involves somebody you’re comfortable with. Maybe you don’t feel ready to start dating again but have an itch that needs to be scratched. Easy solution: Jump the ex’s bones. Smart decision? No, getting involved with an ex again, even if you tell yourself he’s just a fuck buddy, is not a good idea. Would you dig an old pair of shoes with many holes in the sole out of the trash to wear again?

"Getting involved with an ex again... is not a good idea. Would you dig an old pair of shoes with many holes in the sole out of the trash to wear again?"

There's a reason he's your ex, probably many. All those reasons add up to incompatibility. Even if the sex is so good that you can't keep your hands off of each other, its not going to last. In the long run this behavior will lead you back down the road to being stuck in a rut again. No matter how hard you try to keep it a casual relationship with sex only, it won't stay that way. Old habits die hard. More than likely, neither of you will consciously notice things between you are slipping back into place, even though you no longer live together.

At first it will be the simple things like you cooking a meal or washing a load of clothes for him. He will thank you and shower you with a lot of affection afterwards. When your car gets a flat tire he might offer to put the spare tire on and as a bonus he volunteers to mow your yard. Things are still good at this point because the sex is still going strong.

Like an onion, lets peel back a layer and see what is subtly happening. The kids are happy because they get to see daddy everyday. They are doing better in school. Sibling rivalry is at an all time low. Why? Because they think their fondest wish that mommy and daddy are back together forever is coming true! Now is when you're thinking that the kids don't know about you and the ex. Really? Even if you don't kiss, hold hands or touch each other at all in front of the kids, they know. They're not stupid. Your body language, the way you talk to and look at each other is a give away.

Slowly the not so subtle changes work toward the surface. He starts doing all those little things that annoyed you during your marriage. He leaves the toilet seat up. While vacuuming you find a pair of his dirty streaked underwear that he kicked under the edge of your bed. His manners have vanished like a fart in the wind and the kids are starting to follow his bad example. About the time he starts trying to control what you spend money on, you've been waking up with a sore jaw every morning from gritting your teeth all night.

"Slowly the not so subtle changes work toward the surface. He starts doing all those little things that annoyed you during your marriage. "

The resentment you're feeling overpowers any control you have about what you say to him. Now the bickering and yelling at each other is becoming a daily occurrence. It's starting to feel like you're still married to him.

Then the kicker comes. One morning while running errands you see him with another woman at the donut shop. While staring at him, your thoughts run wild. You tell yourself, we are just fuck buddies. He can do whatever he wants to. It's not like I want him anymore. Right?

Just as your chest is tightening and you're struggling to breathe, your five year-old sees him and very loudly asks who is that lady with daddy? Everyone within earshot turns and stares including the woman and your ex. She takes one look at your face and your ex's and knows there is still something going on between you. And the final straw snaps as she hisses to him, you lying sack of shit. If you hate her so much why are you still sleeping with her? Asshole!

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As the other woman stomps out he opens his mouth to say something to you but stops when you give him the hairy eyeball. If looks could kill, he would be a goner.

Your five year old is bawling for daddy by the time you get in the car and slam the door. The pounding of your heart is so loud that the ex has to knock on the window several times before you hear him.

"Now the bickering and yelling at each other is becoming a daily occurrence. It's starting to feel like you're still married to him."

"I-I ca-can explain," he stammers when you roll down the window. Taking a deep breath, you whisper, "Don't bother. We are just fu..., uh freak buddies! It's not like we still love each other."

He looks stunned for a few seconds. It's a lie and you both know it. So does the 5 year-old, listening from the backseat.

Starting the car, you tell him, "I need to go."

"Wait…" he says as you shake your head and bark, "DON'T!"

Glancing in the rearview mirror, you see him standing there looking like he's just lost his best friend.

As you drive away you realize you're not mad at him. You're angry with yourself for falling for his "Mr. Nice Guy routine" and getting involved with him again. All the old hurt from the divorce has bubbled to the surface again. The healed scars have been ripped wide open.

When you get home, you make yourself text him and say that you can't do this anymore and that he can pick up the kids friday evening for their usual weekend with him. Your jaw drops when he responds that he can't take the kids because he has plans with her...

It takes you an hour to calm down enough to reply to his text in a dignified way, "Thank you for reminding me that you're just an asshole and I can do much better!"

You smile in satisfaction when he calls that evening to say he can take the kids after all because the other woman dumped him. Then when he asks if he can come over after the kids are in bed, you count to 10 before telling him no and hanging up.

It will be a bumpy road, starting the healing process all over again. The kids will adapt back to the routine of seeing daddy on weekends. It won't be easy for any of you but you can do it. You're stronger and a little wiser this time. You will survive with a tough lesson learned. Don't. Sex. The. Ex.

This post originally appeared on Divorced Moms.

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