Why does your spouse want to sleep with you if they want a divorce?
Should you sleep with them during divorce proceedings?
If you’re asking yourself one or both of these questions, we’ve got answers for you.
Because let’s face it, sex is never just sex—it’s always more complicated than that. And when it comes to having sex while going through a divorce, those complications can be huge.
So take the next 5 minutes to read through the reasons why your spouse still wants to sleep with you AND the reasons why you should say no.
Why do they still want sex during divorce proceedings? (10 reasons)
1. It’s familiar.
Having sex with someone new is a big deal. It’s exciting, but it’s also scary and an entirely new experience. Instead, having sex with someone you’ve already had sex with many times before is comforting and familiar.
You know what to expect, and you don’t have to worry about all the steps that lead to it. And when something is familiar, it brings a sense of safety and stability to an otherwise chaotic and unpredictable life.
This is often the reason why couples continue to sleep together after they’ve ended their relationship. Your spouse may not want to save your marriage, but they want to be able to enjoy sex.
2. They’re feeling nostalgic.
When a relationship ends, you start to reminisce about the past. You remember the good times more than the bad times and you start feeling nostalgic.
Your spouse probably misses the happy times you’ve shared together and finds it hard to let go of the relationship.
Just because they want a divorce doesn’t mean that they are glad about it. They’re probably sorry it ended too, and they want to hold on to you even though they’ve made up their mind about ending the relationship.
This doesn’t mean that you should greet them with open arms. If it’s over, it’s over. Sleeping together isn’t helping either of you move on when that’s what you must do.
3. They’re romanticizing the truth.
Were those good times really that good? Or is it possible that your spouse is romanticizing the truth?
They are afraid of letting go of the relationship, so they make it seem a lot better in their head. They forget about all the awful fights and think about the happy memories as if they were a romantic movie.
When we think back on something, we’re not remembering the exact event—we are remembering our last memory of that event. So, if your spouse spent a while prettying up the past, they’ll remember the rose-colored version of events, not what actually happened.
What they’re missing might not be the reality of your relationship but their romanticized memory of it.
4. They’re lonely.
Being alone can be scary. Being alone after spending years with someone can be even scarier. You are used to having someone next to you in bed, and you can feel their absence.
It can get lonely after a relationship ends, and that is often when people reach out to their exes or soon-to-be exes. Your spouse might be feeling lonely and trying to overcome that feeling by sharing a bed with you on occasion.
Sometimes, people even stay in a relationship out of a fear of loneliness. However, this shouldn’t be used as motivation for sharing a life with someone. If your spouse is just lonely, they should make an effort to meet someone new instead of toying with your heart.
5. They want to get back together.
It is possible that your spouse wants to have sex with you because they are looking to get back together, but don’t be quick to get your hopes up.
And is getting back together even a good idea?
Your spouse is probably the one who asked for a divorce, but you also know why it’s unlikely to work out between you. Don’t make all this purely their choice. How do you feel about the relationship?
Just because your ex wants to get back together doesn’t mean that everything will be fine from now on. You will likely stay unhappy unless the reasons your spouse wanted a divorce in the first place suddenly vanish.
They may simply be unsure about their decision because of the love they had for you. But after a while, they might still decide that divorce is for the best.
6. They’re afraid of starting over.
It’s difficult when a relationship ends, and it’s even harder to start again when a marriage is over. It can feel like you’re literally expected to begin a new life.
Starting over can be fun and exciting when you’re young and full of hopes and dreams. But when you’re an adult going through a divorce, possibly with children, it’s very different.
People often cling to what’s familiar because they fear the unknown, and they may be tempted to stay married to avoid this monumental change. This could be why your spouse is wanting to sleep with you again.
7. They’re afraid of being alone.
Being alone doesn’t just mean being lonely and starting over. It means living differently than you have been for a very long time, and differently than you expected.
When people get married, it’s safe to assume that they intend to stay together forever. Your spouse probably didn’t expect that they’d have to live alone again, and they’re afraid of it.
People can enjoy being alone, but it’s something that takes time to get used to. When you’re newly single, it’s natural to miss having someone around.
8. They want to have a “one last time.”
People like to say goodbye to things by doing them one last time. They want to be aware that it’s the last time, live it fully, and make it count.
Your spouse wants to be able to vividly remember the happy moments they shared with you by reliving them again.
This doesn’t make much sense in the real world, but people often think this way. Like an addict craving “one last fix,” a couple could be craving sex “one last time.”
However, it rarely turns out to be the actual last time, since this is often just an excuse for something you want to repeat.
9. They realized what they lost.
Some people only realize what they’ve got when they’re about to lose it. This is often why exes hook up again.
When something is right under your nose, you don’t see it properly. When it’s gone, you start noticing what exactly it is that’s missing and all the little things that you took for granted become noticeable.
For some couples, wanting a divorce ends with them getting into a relationship again and saving the marriage. However, it doesn’t mean that you should sleep with your spouse until you’ve talked to them about giving your marriage another try and agreed to do so.
10. They don’t want to get involved with someone new yet.
When you are married, and you want to have sex, all you have to do is ask your spouse. And if they say “no,” there’s really no harm done since you’re going to sleep with them sometime soon anyway.
When you’re single, finding someone to sleep with is an exhausting process that includes bad dates, getting stood up, one-night stands, last-minute plans, drunken decisions, and bad choices.
And if they say “no,” you are left alone, feeling rejected and sorry for yourself because you have to go through the whole process again.
The prospect of finding a new sexual partner can be scary. It’s much easier to just call up your ex, especially if you know that they’ll say “yes.”
12 Reasons Couples Should Avoid Intimacy During The Divorce Process
1. It gives mixed signals.
Wanting to divorce you but still wanting to have sex with you might be the best example of mixed signals there is. And you don’t need mixed signals when you’re trying to heal from a failed marriage.
Does sleeping together mean that you’re getting back together? This question just complicates your life. Unless your spouse talked to you about wanting to get back together and showed it in other ways besides sex, assume that it’s over.
They are just compelled to sleep with you for some of the reasons mentioned above and they shouldn’t toy with your feelings like that.
2. It can affect divorce proceedings.*
Sex complicates things when it comes to the law too. It could have an impact on child custody arrangements and spousal support, but not just that.
Irreconcilable differences may no longer be a valid basis for filing for a divorce if you are still sleeping together because the court could decide reconciliation is possible.
Similarly, fault grounds, such as cheating or alcoholism, may not stand in court if sex is considered to be a form of condonation.
In any case, having sex with your spouse during divorce proceedings puts your potential settlement at risk, so it’s best to avoid physical intimacy.
*This section does NOT constitute legal advice. Please seek proper legal counsel to get the facts for your particular country or state.
3. It will cloud your judgment.
You can’t have emotionless sex with someone you once loved, and since you were married, it’s safe to assume that you used to love each other, even if you don’t anymore.
Sleeping together while you’re separated or getting divorced will just mess with your feelings and hormones.
It will make it much harder to move on, and it might even rekindle the passion when you don’t actually want that to happen.
Unless you’re getting back together, you don’t want to fall in love with your spouse all over again. So, it’s best to reject their offer and suggest counseling instead.
4. It is emotionally difficult.
You don’t have to fall in love with your spouse all over again for this situation to be emotionally difficult for you. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can separate sex from emotions, especially when you were married.
You may start hoping that you’ll get back together even though you know that it’s not going to happen. Expecting it and getting disappointed will leave you depressed and confused.
5. It is complicated and confusing.
Sex with people you’re not supposed to sleep with always makes things complicated and confusing.
It’s hard to rationalize why someone would want to keep having sex with you after filing for a divorce. Even if your mind gets it on some level, your heart will not.
It can’t be “just sex” when you’ve been married. Wait for things to get resolved one way or another before deciding if you should sleep with your spouse.
Either they will proceed with the divorce or try to patch things up. Ultimately, if there’s no chance of reconciliation, don’t let them use you.
6. It gives false hope.
If your spouse wants a divorce and you want to reconcile, don’t sleep with them. Even if you think that you’re okay with the divorce, sleeping together is still a bad idea.
It will give you false hope despite your rational thinking. You can’t control your emotions to that extent, and rest assured that they will overwhelm and influence you.
Maybe you could separate sex from emotions if you were sleeping with a stranger you met online or in a bar. But this is your spouse whom you once loved, and maybe you still do. Give yourself time and space to get over them.
7. They could be using you.
Your spouse could be using you because they’re scared of being alone or are feeling lonely. This is most often the case in these situations, so don’t let them treat you as a toy. They could even be doing this to mess with the divorce proceedings.
The point is that you don’t know the real reason behind their actions. You know there are numerous possibilities, but which one is it, and do any of them sound good to you?
8. You could get (them) pregnant.
Remind yourself that sex is where babies come from. What if you get pregnant or get your spouse pregnant? You don’t want this to happen now that you’re getting a divorce.
Using protection doesn’t guarantee anything, so the safest protection is to simply say “no” to your spouse when they suggest having sex.
9. You shouldn’t live together.
Maybe the reason why you’re still having sex is simply that you’re still living together. If you have agreed to get a divorce, you should start living separately as soon as possible.
Some couples even share a roof long after the divorce, but this is a very bad idea. If your relationship is over, you shouldn’t be living together anymore, even if the divorce isn’t finalized yet.
10. You shouldn’t sleep in the same bed.
If you absolutely must live together for a while longer, don’t sleep in the same bed. Maybe your situation got to this point exactly because you still share a bed with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
If they said they want a divorce, sleep in separate beds if not rooms, and start talking about living separately.
11. They could be sleeping with someone else.
Your spouse might want a divorce because they’ve already met someone else. This possibility could expose you to sexually transmitted infections and make things confusing for everyone.
You might even become the person your spouse cheats with, not the person they cheat on. It’s better to just stop the sexy stuff when everything else stops.
12. It’s confusing for the kids.
If you have children, you should also think about how confusing this is for them. Even if you don’t tell them that you’re getting back together, they’ll be under that impression because they’ll sense that something’s going on.
Make this easier for everyone, and don’t have sex with your spouse if they’ve asked for a divorce.
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