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Soon-to-be-married Marie and Jess have each just gotten off the phone from consoling their single friends, Harry and Sally, who are suffering the tremors of emotional uncertainty brought on by the aftermath of their first sexual encounter together.
Afterward, Marie turns to Jess and pleads: "Please tell me I will never have to be out there again! We were familiar with our partner's moves, and we knew what was expected of us. And our needs were – to varying extents, depending on the partnership – being met.
Alternatively, you could use your sexuality as a vehicle to act out your anger and to regain a sense of control, or as an attention-getting device, attempting to repair your damaged self-esteem.
A woman who has been left by her spouse often loses much of her self-confidence and self-esteem, notes Toronto-based individual and marital therapist Karen Solomon-Ament.
Your self-esteem and sense of self-worth continue to be assaulted the "morning after," and you're actively denying yourself all of the joy and fulfillment of a loving sexual relationship.
Many couples who've split up avoid the whole prospect of being out in the cold by continuing to have a sexual relationship even though the relationship is over.
Divorce, on the other hand, no matter how common it has become in our society, is still a painful psychological process of denial and acceptance, grief and growth, death and rebirth.
How is one to manage both the pain of divorce and the uncertainty of new sexual encounters when dealing with one comes so close upon the heels of the other?
According to Jill Fein, a certified Imago relationship therapist and LCSW practicing in Lincolnwood, IL, some people want to get right back on the horse after splitting up with their spouse – and the sooner, the better.
And being single again means that you're going to face, in one way or another, the potential of new relationships and their inherent sexuality.
And sexuality, for all the self-help manuals that have proliferated in North America over the last few decades, still remains a mystery to some extent.
"She needs to feel love and acclamation, and so she'll have sex with the guy who gives her attention and fulfills her immediate need. It can also be a way of retaliating from being in a relationship where she felt impotent, neglected, or rejected." Of course, men can end up on this emotional rollercoaster, too.
Solomon-Ament says that this is really a form of self-sabotage: that by using casual sex specifically to deal with unresolved issues, you're only effecting a temporary cure that carries one hell of an emotional hang-over – not to mention the physical dangers of having sex with someone you don't know well.