Divorces are earth-shattering. Whether you’ve been married for a day or a decade, nothing softens the sting of your wife walking out the door.
But what’s worse? Getting mixed messages from the woman leaving you.
One minute, she doesn’t love you anymore. The next, she’s climbing into your bed.
You know it can’t be healthy. But what does it all mean?
Things to know
- If your wife wants a divorce, but she still wants to sleep with you, she is probably processing a number of emotions that could explain her confusing behavior.
- Guilt, loneliness, and nostalgia can all lead to physical intimacy during a period of separation.
- Make sure you and your wife get on the same page about the terms of your relationship if she is sending you mixed messages.
Whether you’re feeling angry, hopeful, or just plain confused, we’re here to help. If your wife wants a divorce but still wants to sleep with you, let’s break down what it means, why it’s a bad idea, and what to do next:
- 5 Reasons Your Separated Wife Wants To Sleep With You
- Is It A Bad Idea To Sleep With Your Wife While Separated?
- What To Do If Your Wife Wants A Divorce And A Sexual Relationship
- What To Learn From Mixed Signals
5 Reasons Your Separated Wife Wants To Sleep With You
Getting a divorce is enough to throw anyone into an emotional spiral—even if you’re the one initiating it. If your wife is trying to sleep with you even while asking for a separation, there can be a number of factors clouding her judgment.
Let’s dive into what she might be feeling and how that might be influencing her actions:
If your wife asked for the divorce, there’s a good chance it wasn’t a mutual decision.
She knows she broke your heart. No one wants to hurt the person they love—even if they no longer want to be married to them.
She might be trying to offer you sex to alleviate her guilt. Since she can’t be there for you emotionally, she’s trying to show she cares physically instead. While she might have good intentions, starting a sexual relationship with her ex-husband is more likely to create a big mess than smooth one over.
Just because you want a divorce doesn’t mean that you’re comfortable with the idea of being alone. Your wife has her reasons for seeking separation. Deep down, she believes splitting up is the right thing to do.
The problem is, she’s afraid of losing your love. Depending on how long you’ve been together, your wife probably hasn’t been alone in a long time. Living her own life is terrifying enough, and the low self-esteem that comes with a failed relationship only makes matters worse.
If your wife is scared to start a new chapter as a single woman, she may be hoping to fill the void temporarily by sleeping with you.
Ending a marriage doesn’t erase happy memories. You shared beautiful moments over the years: maybe you even raised kids together. As your wife prepares to leave your relationship behind, she can’t help but look back and reflect fondly on your history.
We tend to see the past through rose-colored glasses. If your wife is romanticizing the good times you shared, it’s probably filling her with longing for that period in her life. It could be enough to make her want to relive your romance with one last fling…or maybe even several.
Divorce is rarely black and white. There are so many conflicting emotions involved that it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. Your wife may know that she wants to end your marriage on an intellectual level, but the way she feels in her heart can tell a different story.
If your spouse is on the fence about seeking a divorce, that would explain why she still wants to sleep with you. She’s battling her head and her heart and might even be hoping the physical intimacy will change her mind.
Trying to determine whether or not she should save your marriage could be a legitimate reason behind her sexual advances. But if you strongly feel that you would be better off apart and want to settle the matter, you'll want to start thinking about how to ask for a divorce.
Not every marriage is healthy. Sometimes, divorce is best for both of you.
When you are caught in a cycle of emotional or even physical abuse, it isn’t always obvious. You chase the rare highs to make up for the many lows in your unhealthy relationship. But if you recognize that your wife frequently accosts you with verbal abuse, then she probably has selfish motives for sleeping with you.
If your wife consistently mistreated you during your marriage, then she will have no problem taking advantage of you now. Be careful: she might be using you solely for sexual pleasure.
Is It A Bad Idea To Sleep With Your Wife While Separated?
Sleeping with your wife while separated might feel harmless. You’re technically married, after all. But this vice can wreak havoc on your divorce journey.
Sex will chemically connect you to your spouse at a time when you’re both trying to move on. During intimacy, our bodies release oxytocin, the love hormone. The neurotransmitter binds us together and floods us with warm, fuzzy feelings about our partner.
While you might enjoy the oxytocin rush while it's happening, you’re likely to regret all that bonding the next day. A chemical reaction isn’t the only risk that sex with your ex carries. If the divorce hasn’t been finalized, you could find yourselves in legal hot water.
In the U.S., a divorce attorney can argue that maintaining a sexual relationship with your ex is a sign of forgiving any wrongdoing. You definitely don’t want a moment of weakness to negate your divorce proceedings in the eyes of the law. That’s why it’s best to avoid the act altogether.
What To Do If Your Wife Wants A Divorce And A Sexual Relationship
Keep your distance
The first time you and your ex sleep together is an honest mistake. The second time is a poor decision. But letting it become a pattern is a bad idea.
Learn your limits. Only you can decide what your breaking point is. Do you slip up when you spend too much time alone together? Or do you have a hard time simply staying in contact with her? Once you know your weaknesses, the accidents will be easier to avoid.
The bottom line is this: if you can’t say no to your spouse, it’s best to stay away from her.
Redefine your relationship
When a married couple splits up, they find themselves in uncharted territory. The sexual attraction might still be there, but the relationship problems are too big to ignore.
There is no right or wrong way to navigate your newfound separation. Some couples want separate bedrooms, while others find they can’t handle sharing a house.
The key thing is to get on the same page about your new dynamic. Maybe marriage isn’t for you, but you can still be friends with benefits. Some couples open up the relationship and continue sleeping together. Others can’t stand the sight of one another after a divorce.
Love them or hate them, find what works for both of you, and try to agree on boundaries.
Talk it out
If you’re confused about why your ex still wants to sleep with you, the best thing you can do is ask her about it. Why is she doing this? What does she really want?
There’s a good chance that your wife isn’t so sure herself. Talking through the problem can help her clarify her emotions surrounding the separation while providing you with answers to your burning questions.
If your wife does turn out to be on the fence about divorce, determine if there are relationship problems you can solve together. Couples therapy, or even individual therapy, can help you overcome a rough patch in your marriage.
The only way to find out if professional help is an option for you is to start a conversation with your wife.
What To Learn From Mixed Signals
When your wife asks for a divorce, it doesn’t necessarily mean she stopped loving you. She might even be afraid that returning her wedding ring is the biggest mistake of her life. But she can’t have it both ways.
Your wife needs to decide if she’s in it for the long haul or gone for good. It’s not fair to keep you on the hook with actions that don’t match her words.
Long story short: separated sex is a bad idea.
Don’t keep sleeping with your wife in the hopes that she will change her mind about the separation. Spend your time practicing self-care instead of seeing your ex. Your new life will be better for it.