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Getting divorced from one's husband does not mean getting divorced from one's libido. In my own experience and in that of others I've spoken with, the exact opposite is true. For many women, becoming single can serve as a mental and emotional signal that it's time to find a new steady lover. After the rigors of divorce and separation, the desire for sexual and sensual connection can be a constant.
That said, since splitting from my son's father and becoming a co-parent over five years ago, I've had one hard and fast rule. Under no circumstances will I sleep with the father of my son, ever. Not if he is the last man on earth. Why? Because I do not want to take the chance that he'll move from "ex" status to "current" status. The time that I now get to myself with no one in the house is absolutely priceless, and sex with the ex could jeopardize that.
Not everyone shares my beliefs about this topic. In many cases, women have sex with the ex because it's familiar. One woman I spoke with, who hooked up with her ex, told me that she just isn't sexually adventurous. She knew her ex and felt safe with him even though they were going through an ugly and painful time. She also acknowledged that it was complicated and often confusing for them both. Regardless, she felt more comfortable sleeping with her ex than finding a new relationship to meet her sexual needs. Ultimately that reconciled and they have been married for more than 20 years.
Everything we do, including our love relationships, can bleed into our parenting.
Sadly, some women have sex with the ex as a way to hold on to the relationship. It's difficult to let go of the dream of happily ever after, even when that dream has become sort of a nightmare. When we let go of the very basic connection we have to our partners, we are acknowledging that we must move on and see what life will bring next. And while it can be really scary to face the unknown; it can also be exciting. I'd rather say fuck it and see what life will bring, trusting it will be great.
Chemistry is priceless and rare. It's no small thing to find someone that you have a good sexual connection and chemistry with. It can work like glue for a good relationship and like poison for a difficult one. Unfortunately, no matter how good the sexual chemistry, it's not enough to make a relationship work well. Been there done that.
For mothers who find themselves single again, meeting our needs for sex and sensuality is a challenge. Dating and sex can be very complicated because we now have to consider not only our hearts but also how our choices will affect our children. Everything we do, including our love relationships, can bleed into our parenting. My primary thought when I enter a relationship is about how the experience may impact my son. Let me say, this is not easy when my libido is screaming.
At its best, whether to have sex with one's ex is a decision fraught with ramifications and short-lived pleasure. What they say is true. Sex changes everything, even when everything has already changed. I think the best thing we can do, first and foremost, is to honestly answer the questions, "What do I want?" "Is sex with my ex something I want simply for its own sake, or am I hoping it will change something that is unlikely to really change?" By being truthful with ourselves, we take the first step in making decisions that serve both our libidos and our hearts.