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He Says He’s Incapable of Not Having Sex with His Ex: Is this Possible?

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He was with his ex for 16 years. We have been together for 3 years. During our 3 year – long distance relationship – he has cheated on me with his ex multiple times, always honestly admitting it when caught/asked and promises not to do it again.

He has ADHD, Bipolar (Just started on medication 4 months ago), has had cancer since he was a child.

I left him and he is devastated. He has continuously tried to reach out to me, to talk, to go to counseling, to move here, to do anything to save our relationship and he said if he moves then it will end the temptation to ever be intimate with her again.

His ex has suffered from depression for 10 years and when he left her she was committed to a psychiatric ward for a suicide attempt. She is absolutely obsessed and extremely addicted to him – not in a violent way, but in a victim way and no matter how many times he tries to cut off contact with her it does not work.

He said he feels overwhelming guilt, shame, and in this last cheating episode, I took the stance of ‘if you respected me and our relationship then I would be your priority and I am clearly not. You chose to have sex with her rather than remain faithful to me.’

He says he is incapable of not being intimate with her. It is the only time that she is happy and stops being a victim.

He is begging me to at least talk and try to work things out. That he does not want to be with her and I look at both of them and think they are both in the most horrifying, toxic relationship I have ever seen.

I know he has problems – some diagnosed and others that still need to be. He’s never lied to me and begged me to at least know that he is not a liar and when he said he truly cannot stop that it’s the truth.

This is really hard for me to believe but I do know that disorders make people do many things other people would not believe nor understand.

I am stuck. I am not moving forward and not moving backward into that relationship. Right now I am doing nothing but shaking my head. Part of me wants to just run, not walk, away from this entire mess. The other part wants the beautiful future I had with this man that is my soulmate.

I don’t want to be a fool. I am 45 years old and have learned a great deal of life lessons. My gut is battling on both sides of this and I truly am at a loss to have any direction to move forward so I am just stuck.

He Says He’s Incapable of Not Having Sex with His Ex: Is this Possible?

Answered by on -


Unless his ex-girlfriend had a gun to his head, it was his decision to have sex with her. He made that decision knowing that it would hurt you, and he did it repeatedly. The idea that he can’t help himself is not believable.

His cheating is not the only issue. According to you, he has untreated mental health problems. They could negatively impact your relationship, especially if he’s unwilling to seek treatment.

This does not seem like a relationship that’s in your best interest. He has cheated and that could be forgiven, but he is a repeat offender who has admitted that he has no self control. This would suggest that there is a strong probability that it will happen again and there’s nothing he can do to stop it. Thus, if you decide to stay with him, his ex will be in your life. Are you okay with that?

Only you can decide whether or not to stay in this relationship but you should choose wisely. Your choice will significantly impact your mental health and well-being. If you choose wisely, you will prosper. If you choose poorly, you will suffer. My advice is to seek counseling to assist you in this important and potentially life-altering decision. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

He Says He’s Incapable of Not Having Sex with His Ex: Is this Possible?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). He Says He’s Incapable of Not Having Sex with His Ex: Is this Possible?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 25, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 21 Jan 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.