How far should we go to make a relationship work because of great sex?

Posted by Delaine - January 21, 2011 - Deciding to Stay or Go, Healing, Making It Work, Phases/ Stages, Relationships, Surviving - 1 Comment

Contributed by Peter Ehrlich.

I’m haunted by my Ex Katherine. Not by that went wrong with our relationship, but what went right with our relationship – our love life.

After being laid naked, fetal-positioned, paralyzed, and wanting by our breakup, I want to attempt a sequel with my Ex.  I am willing to work harder on our vertical life together for the sake of getting back to our spectacular horizontal life together.   How much harder?  I am willing to change.

But am I being naïve? Or, is a fulfilling love life worth fighting extra hard for?  Should I be happy with what I had, count my blessings and move on?

Katherine and I were two completely different people with two completely different sets of values.  Katherine was whimsical, perky and light-hearted defined by a Martha Stuart palette of powder blues, pinks and floral arrangements.

Until Katherine came along, I didn’t know what the word whimsical meant.  The word came up when she tried to tell me what kind of stuff she liked in her home.  I actually had to ask her to explain the word whimsical to me.

Once I understood it’s meaning, I knew that I was the Anti-Christ of whimsical. I gravitate towards mute colours and images that were popular in the Middle Ages –gentle brown tones of mud mixed in with a dollop of existential or “*Eeyorian” angst.  (*Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh)

I am more “whimsi-bleak” or “whimsi- the world is a *charnel house” kind of guy.  (*Reference = Samual Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.)

I suppose if I asked Katherine what a charnel house was, she would reply, “Oh goody, I’m in the mood for a barbeque.”

Her Hugh Grant, Sandra Bullock-type film choices represented somewhat of a counterpoint to my Stalingrad, The Wehrmacht in Russia, Sin City or Gladiator preferences.

And finally, she loved her two cats the way I love my son, but my attitude towards pets (or people) is; if you can’t flush the toilet, get the hell out!

And so, you would think that breaking up with this woman would be a simple matter.   Once broken up, I wouldn’t have to worry about my testicles being slashed by her jealous cats and I could watch whatever movie I wanted in my brown living room.

But it hasn’t been a simple matter.  In fact, it’s been living hell.  Sometimes I lay on the floor, unable to focus on much.  Well, I can do this; Face flattened on the floor, I try to differentiate between the carpet fibers and carpet mites.

Why so f***ed up?  My Ex and I may not have been soul mates (whatever the hell that is) but we sure as hell were once-in-a-lifetime sexmates.

Together Katherine and I had a wonderful, unabashed, deeply connected love life that was framed by a natural and mutual caring and trust.

Horizontally we were a match made in heaven and the relationship was effortless.  Unfortunately, vertically, we were at odds and the relationship took work.  We had a lot of fun together, a lot of laughs, and traveled well together, but our relationship, like many, could only succeed if you “checked in” a lot because we were very different kinds of people, defined by a different set of values.

But I didn’t check in a lot and we dissolved.

Here’s the conundrum.  In any relationship, there is always something “qualitative” about the nature of your union. Consequently, there is always room for a sense of doubt.  For example, “she does this well, but doesn’t do that well.  He makes me happy this way, but not in that way”, etc. etc.

However, when you have a great love life together, that’s not qualitative, it’s absolute! And isn’t absoluteness exactly what we crave in our relationships?  Extreme pleasure is absolute and addictive and life seems too short to live without it.  Try harder I say.

So here’s the question – how far should we go to try to make a relationship work because you have a great sex life with your partner?

If you’re waiting for me to come up with an answer, forget it.

I haven’t a clue right now.  I’m still talking to carpet mites.

How much do I miss sex with the Ex?  Let me put it this way; “Katherine darling, it’s done.  I’ve piled up all my brown furniture in the backyard together with my testosterone/war-themed DVDs.  Got a match?”

Yes, I’m willing to compromise and try to have another go at our relationship, because a day doesn’t pass when I don’t think of my Ex, the road trips, the laughs and of course, our love life.

“Never give up on someone you can’t go a day without thinking about.”   I read that from a stranger’s page on Facebook that was devoted to the millions of us suffering from a broken heart.

There’s another reason why I’m thinking of making contact with my Ex again.  These words drifted into my head after I made yet another half-hearted effort to spend time with someone else; “After he kissed someone new, he found himself unintentionally whispering his Ex’s name, out loud, as if he were accepting the moment as a penance for his sins, rather than the celebration of life it was supposed to be.”

Just because I lie on the carpeted floor, talk to mites and hear voices in my head doesn’t mean I’m haunted by my Ex does it?

Of course it does.

 is a passionate writer, broadcaster, marketer and traveler.  He has written for Canada’s largest newspaper, The Toronto Star and the world’s largest men’s portal, He loves to write about human nature, relationships and parenting, and is currently hard at work on his first book.  His work has had a profound effect on his readers, in some cases life-changing, while on occasion, his words have brought couples back together again. His writing has been blogged around the world from Australia to Viet Nam. Feel free to contact him at and check out his website at  

Peter Ehrlich