We’re Separated… Should We Have Sex?

We recently received a pretty tough question from one of our subscribers. She brought up a scenario that can cause lots of problems in any struggling marriage.

“My husband told me two week ago that he ‘loves me but is not in love with me.’ A few days after that, we had sex. A few days later he told me he regretted having sex because he is in a bad place and that the sex has misled me. How do I handle this?”

Amanda C.

She basically is asking if having sex is ok when you’re separated (or talking of separation and being “out of love” is happening).

Is sleeping together ‘Ok’ to if you’re separated?

My immediate answer is No, you should NOT be having sex if you’re separated from your spouse.

Let me explain…

Having sex with your spouse is NOT simply a physical act. All sorts of emotional connections, memories, vulnerabilities, and other deeply felt sensations go along with the physical components. When separated feelings can get very confusing.

Amanda hit the nail on the head. Her husband felt regretful, and that the sex may have “misled” her. This type of sex absolutely sends mixed messages. Any time a spouse says they don’t ‘feel in love’, then has sex with that same spouse, it is always a huge mistake.

Separation is what you have chosen. You have to get a sense of what it means to not have your spouse in your life completely. Your underlying problems brought you to the point of separation. Acting on those loving feelings will prevent from resolving your real problems.

If you don’t address the emotional disconnection, the physical connection will be fleeting,

After the sex, a false sense of “reconnection” may set it in. It will break. Eventually, one (or both) of you will feel confused and dissatisfied. Soon your old patterns will emerge and you’ll be back to square zero.

Familiarity and physical attraction make sex very tempting. I urge you to resist having any sexual relationship. Until willing to deal with the real problems you face as a couple, the sex is just a distraction.

It may feel good (or even great) in that moment, but without addressing the other issues, you’re setting yourself up for more; confusion, emotional pain and stress.

Separation Done Right

In this short 5 minute video Dr. Dana answers a question from Mark about whether or not a separation can work and how to do it RIGHT.

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the Strong Marriage Now System link below!

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9 comments

emyarb 8 years ago

I am getting married in 3 months and am having some serious doubts about it. I am 27, my fiance is 32 and we have been dating for 2.5 years. We have both been in serious relationships before and felt like this was the real deal. We have a lot in common, the same life goals and love each other very much. The only thing lacking is the sex. It was never mind blowing, but it was also never that bad. I just assumed sex would get better as the relationship progressed. I have tried to talk to my fiance about it but he gets defensive, and I feel like it makes it worse. He says that sex is such a small part of the relationship and that everything else is good, so I should just deal with it. I have not had an orgasm in at least 4 months and he doesn't seem to care. I am starting to feel attracted to other guys and have felt jealous of a couple of my girl friends when they tell me all they are looking for in a relationship right now is good sex. I feel incredibly guilty and like I am a bad person for even considering calling it quits because of sex, but I know that something like this could turn into something way bigger later. I just don't want to make it a bigger deal than it is. How big a deal is it that the sex is bad and my fiance doesn't care about satisfying me sexually? Worth calling off a wedding for? Help!

coach 8 years ago

My wife is up and down with feelings for me. we have had some good days and some bad. my feelings for her are very strong and i never stop thinking about her. we have been married 22 years and right now she will talk with me about things to do to our yard this spring, rooms to redo in the house, vacation for the summer with the family. we were apart for 5 days do to family things going on in 2 different directions and then i had to leave for 2 days when she got back for work. Last night she went out with "the girls" after work for a couple hours and then came home and unloaded on me. Of course, there was anger, but how can i get her to forgive me? I can't live without her, she is everything to me. I have been patient, helpful, loving, caring. I am always there for the kids and her. I don't miss anything. We attend church every sunday as a family. We do get and bring something home from church every week. I do my share of housecleaning, cooking, laundry and whatever needs done. I need help!!! Please!!!!!!!!!

Mike_Olsen_SMN 8 years ago

Hi, Em - The thing is, everything relationship and person is different. If it's big enough you feel like cheating then, yes, it's something you should be able to address before you get married. We also recommend a letter. It's nonthreatening, he can't interrupt, and you can get all your thoughts down on paper. https://www.strongmarriagenow.com/communication-in-marriage/improve-communication-in-relationship/

Mike_Olsen_SMN 8 years ago

HI, Coach - It sounds like you both need to rekindle the passion in your relationship. Things get stagnant and you need to take some time together to remember why you married. Check out the advice here for some ideas -https://www.strongmarriagenow.com/fall-back-in-love/

Jackson Kites 7 years ago

I mean we only live one life, if you've got a good meal why spoil it. No different eh? t's all about the intense emotional connection. Keeping a relationship brimming with emotion keeps the investment tied. This can also be used for many things, including in the bedroom.. and this is exactly why I've worked to become an amazing lay, wanted to give my girl everything. Truthfully this sucks for me as it takes me like 45 minutes to finish now. ( https://goo.gl/LMWWIz free course to get you there or make you even better) Keeps the family together, though you should be more than enough on your own. check out ross aken if you want to learn how to truly be amazing in bed, he's got like a pornstar blueprint ). Some need one and others need two. Different strokes for different folks

Jackson Kites 7 years ago

I mean we only live one life, if you've got a good meal why spoil it. No different eh? t's all about the intense emotional connection. Keeping a relationship brimming with emotion keeps the investment tied. This can also be used for many things, including in the bedroom.. and this is exactly why I've worked to become an amazing lay, wanted to give my girl everything. Truthfully this sucks for me as it takes me like 45 minutes to finish now. ( https://goo.gl/LMWWIz free course to get you there or make you even better) Keeps the family together, though you should be more than enough on your own. check out ross aken if you want to learn how to truly be amazing in bed, he's got like a pornstar blueprint ). Some need one and others need two. Different strokes for different folks

Oliva M. 2 years ago

I'm so excited my broken Marriage has been restored & my husband is back after he left me and our 3 kids for another woman. After 12 years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and moved to California to be with another woman. i felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website. our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before.

Samantha 1 year ago

If you filed for a legal separation and can’t afford to live elsewhere can you get funds from the court for living expenses?

Anthony Claassene 1 year ago

You living separate but still in the same house because children, the thing is not we don't love eash other is because of the way the suspects the other which lead to the separation but keeping the structure for the children