It’s not at all uncommon for me to hear from couples who are separated and still having sex. Many of them confess this fact as if it is an awful thing that is unique to them. I can promise you that it isn’t. And if you think about it, this makes sense. Your spouse is someone who hopefully you have become used to sleeping with and have enjoyed the process. It’s normal that when this is taken away from you, then you are going to miss it. And it’s also normal to want to connect physically when you are afraid, lonely, and unsure about the future of your marriage.
And it doesn’t have to be harmful, as long as both people are clear and agree on what the sex means and no one feels taken advantage of. That, of course, is the great irony of it. While having separation sex is relatively common, having sex without confusion and worry is not. People often leave the encounter more confused than ever. And many (especially wives) feel taken advantage of.
I might hear from one who says: “my husband and I have been separated for about six weeks. For the first couple of those weeks, my husband was truly awful to me. He wouldn’t talk to me or take my calls. He told some of our mutual friends that I was selfish and that the separation was all my fault. This isn’t true, but I guess he felt the need to turn our friends against me. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, my husband and I met at a restaurant to celebrate the birthday of a friend. Many people were there. We had a few drinks and a few
laughs. Then the next thing I know, we are back at our house having sex. I assumed that this would be a one time thing and my husband would be back to being cold again. But he called the next day and asked me to dinner. We’ve been seeing each other much more frequently and yes, having sex. A couple of our mutual friends are saying that my husband is just using me. They say that he is essentially having “booty calls” and then retreating. I understand their concern, but I do not think that this is completely fair. It’s not as if we have sex and then he avoids me or doesn’t call. He does. In fact, for the last two days, we have just talked and laughed on the phone. There was no sex involved. Just us talking. Still, I’m worried that they are right. Is it possible that he is just using me and will be cold again once he gets his sex fix?”
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