Whenever the topic of dating after divorce comes up, so does sex. While some separated couples continue to have sex, for the overwhelming majority of people I’ve interviewed by the time divorce was on the horizon, sex with their spouse happened rarely if ever and if it did happen it wasn’t very satisfying. And that can lead to some mixed expectations about intimacy with a new partner.
The great news here is that past experience is not a predictor of the future. Here’s Elizabeth:
Oh my God. It was never, ever good in my marriage. I know that’s a huge thing to say. But I can say that in my eight months with this man, it’s phenomenal. It’s wonderful. I feel so happy that my body is finally getting to do what it was programmed to do because there’s somebody that can hold me and touch me in a way that I respond fully. And I can give him equal pleasure. That’s amazing. I really feel thrilled.
My ex and I went to counseling for that too. He had such slobby shape, he didn’t think his penis was big enough blah, blah. And it was just never satisfying. Never.
I feel like I knew that I was going to get to experience something in my life. I just didn’t know how. Fortunately I lived long enough to experience it. I remember a divorced friend of mine years ago saying, “You can’t imagine…to wake up in the arms of a lover.” And I was like, I know I want that and I know I don’t have that, but now I do. I wish it for every woman and man.
I was a virgin when I met my husband and I never had an extra-marital relationship so I’d only been with one man my entire life. We had sex before we got married. But even that wasn’t good.
I wasn’t scared to have sex for the first time after my divorce, I was lusting. My fear wasn’t to get naked with somebody. I was afraid of disease. He let it go at my pace. So it was like the fourth or fifth date that we had sex.
I did ask around my women friends, because my biggest fear was a venereal disease. So I did have that conversation with him. I could see that he was a little taken aback. But when something is honest and forthcoming, it isn’t really awkward. I didn’t make him show me medical records but by that time I had discerned that he was a man of his word and that he had no diseases.
I’m such an optimist and I believe that there’s somebody out there for everybody. I just feel incredibly lucky that I pursued it and found this guy.
I appreciate Elizabeth’s willingness to talk about sex in midlife. It wasn’t something my mother wanted to talk about…
I remember helping to dry the dishes one evening – I must have been in my mid-twenties which means my mother was in her fifties. She was telling me for the first time that after the Second World War my grandmother had had a nervous breakdown and that my grandfather had had her committed to a mental institution. My mum said my grandmother never forgave Grandad and from then on they had slept in separate rooms.
I’d never known the reason for the separate rooms – I told my mum I thought it was just because they were older. She told me not be nosy. A few years after that she passed away so we never got to talk about intimacy in midlife.
When I think that dating or even trying to date is too hard or too time consuming, I’m going to remember this part of Elizabeth’s story because the relationship she now has, is the sort of relationship I want
This is the last segment in Elizabeth’s story – I want to thank her for sharing her inspiring story. When I’m on eHarmony looking at my matches I now hear Elizabeth’s voice in my head saying, “I always had to be the one initiating contact” and then, “QTIP – Quit Taking It Personally!” Thank you.
I have some great guest posts coming up next week and then will be sharing the story of a strong, courageous lady, mother to four children, one of whom has special needs and one who died of SIDS. She’s now facing bankruptcy due to the on-going legal battles with her ex. It’s not all though – she has the support of a wonderful man and is now remarried.
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