What do you think of sex with the STBX? I’ve lost weight and am looking pretty good. I want him to see and feel (with a condom) what he is missing. To screw with him the way he did with me all these years. Thoughts?
I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole. It’s very un-meh, and will really set back your healing. Besides, rewarding a cheater with sex is essentially performing the “Pick Me” dance naked. You tell yourself that, oh no, it’s different, because in your fantasy, you’re going to dump him. Hah! He’ll be dancing to YOUR tune now!
Really, why do you think he’d dance? Because he’s your “soon” to be ex? Oh no, he’s really going to lose you now! So maybe he’ll value you more? Because you’re thinner? He’s already shown you how much he values you by cheating on you — your BMI doesn’t change that. You think you’re going to screw with him, but having sex with him just reinforces his centrality. To him AND to you.
Having sex with your STBX or ex is just the bargaining stage of grief, IMO. You tell yourself nonsense like, oh, I’ll fuck with HIM and see how he likes it. (He’ll like it very much. Cake is delicious.) Or, you think, well, I can’t have a marital relationship with this person, but maybe I can use them as a “friend with benefits.” (Bargaining.) You know, just downgrade the relationship. But lurking in there is the thought that it will be so amazing, your belly will be so flat and your arms so un-jiggly that He Will See What He Is Missing and chase you for once.
Pray to God that doesn’t happen. When you’re trying to get one of these wingnuts out of your life, the LAST thing you want is for them to pursue you with a new ardor. It’s a dance we do with the disordered — the whole cycle of abuse. You’re missing your honeymoon stage of the cycle, when it’s intense and the laser beam of sparkles is focused right on you, and the make-up sex is mind blowing. Of course what follows is the devaluing, and then tension builds, and he’ll act abusively again, and try and make it up to you with more honeymooning.
You’re telling yourself, this time it will be different. You’ll get all the goodies without having to put up with the rest of the crappy cycle. Go ahead, devalue me! Cheat! I won’t care this time!
Of course you’ll care. Your head will be full of happy, love neurotransmitters from the sex. You’ll bond. It will still hurt like a motherfucker when he inevitably cheats on you or treats you like shit again. Don’t kid yourself. You aren’t a disordered person, you’re a chump. You can’t be like them and you shouldn’t want to be like them — using and abusing people.
Put down the hopium pipe. And save your thinner, healthier self for a partner who deserves you.
This column ran previously.