ROWAN PELLING: We"re divorcing. So why can"t we stop flirting?

We're divorcing. So why can't we stop flirting

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UPDATED:

20:30 GMT, 22 July 2012

My husband and I have decided after 23 years of marriage (the last ten very rocky) to get divorced. We’ve been to Relate for counselling, we’ve tried everything, but we can’t stop bickering and feel happier apart. However, now the divorce schedule is set, we can’t stop flirting with one another, and the past two times we met we ended up in bed having pretty great sex. What’s going on I feel confused.

It’s surprising how many separating couples report having great break-up sex. But you have to remember that these clinches happen at a time of heightened emotional intensity due to the rigmarole, grief and soul-searching that accompanies divorce.

It is also far removed from the routine of everyday life. The fact is, most of us never want anything more than at the moment it is taken away from us.

Surely a sexy divorce is better than a sour one

Surely a sexy divorce is better than a sour one

All the bickering and disappointments of the intervening years can be swept away for a bit while you feel the echo of that early passion.

It is incredibly intense to make love when you think it’s for the last time; those bittersweet emotions can fuel a purer form of ecstasy than any of us experience under normal circumstances.

It’s also true that when you no longer have to suffer your partner’s irritating habits on a daily basis, you can begin to focus again on their positive aspects.

Few people can simultaneously nag and flirt, but if the reasons for nagging are removed (perhaps by living separately), you can find that the flirting resumes.

The other thing to remember about divorce is that it’s probably the first time you have both been this focused upon one another since you got together.

During long years of married life most of us become distracted by work, children, hobbies, friends and financial demands.

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You could also just be one of those couples who never had a huge problem with sexual compatibility; your difficulties arose in other arenas.
Sex is a powerful gel in most relationships, but it can rarely keep the whole show on the road ad infinitum.

I suppose the real question here is whether your divorce is a huge mistake. Does this last-minute burst of electricity mean you should stay together

You have tried Relate and other avenues, but have not found a way of successfully cohabiting. Your relationship sounds all the better for a firm decision having been made.

What I would say is that there’s no rush to sign final legal papers. Why not agree on a prolonged separation while you untangle your complicated emotions

Some married couples find that their relationships can work — but only if they live in separate houses.

Alternately (and this is the more likely scenario), you may find that the passion evaporates once this intense period of negotiation passes, allowing you to move on and find new partners.

Whichever scenario proves correct, and however confusing the current situation, isn’t a sexy divorce better than a sour one Perhaps the two of you can live happily un-married ever after.