I can't speak for all women after divorce. I'm sure there are some women who are strong, confident and determined - and that they leave their marriages because it's just not working for them any more. Or maybe they've found something better or suspect it could be right around the corner.
I can't speak for those women, because I wasn't one of them.
Now my ex, he'd try to convince you that I left because my eye strayed. Because those constant, jealous rages he went into were justified. That his efforts to "cover me up" after the birth of my son were to prevent that very thing from happening. Even though he, himself, found my post-baby body repulsive and undesirable.
At the time, I accepted it. I'd had a baby. I wasn't sexy any more, I was a mom. The work required to keep a full time job outside of the home as well as being wife and mother and housekeeper at home meant that there was little time to take care of myself. So maybe he was right. I wasn't attractive any more. He was the one person in the world who was supposed to love me above all else. And he didn't want me. Why would anyone else? And who had time for it anyway?
So yes, I covered up. I hid my new curves. They weren't something that men would admire. They were as repulsive and unattractive as the black circles under my eyes that appeared because of the exhaustion of all my new responsibilities. I couldn't stand to even look at myself naked in the mirror. I wore clothes at all times, even at night.
It was truly a miracle that our daughter was conceived due to the lack of sex in our marriage. We only had sex about once every six months after my son was born, and even then only if it was dark in the room.
So when I left, while six months pregnant, it could only be because I'd found another man. Who, ironically, could have only wanted me for my body. That I'd covered up. That was fat. And undesirable.
But that's not why I left. I left because not only had I realized that my marriage was broken. I realized that I was broken. The fact that I had swallowed and accepted that I was less of a person because I'd become a mother ate at me. The fact that I found my own body repulsive because I'd gone through the most wonderful transition in my life seemed illogical.
I left because I realized my marriage was irreparable - but I could fix myself. I left three months before becoming a mother for the second time. And unlike the celebrities in the news, I didn't work hard to get my "pre-baby" body back within three months. I threw myself into being a mom. I did yoga. I walked. A lot. I got a carrier for my bike and started using it to get to the grocery store. I took a few night courses.
I became comfortable in my own skin in a way I never had before. I bought some new clothes, because my body was different then it had been before my first child, as well as after him. I started looking at myself in the mirror again. And I started smiling again. I found reasons to be happy about myself. I found reasons to be excited about being me.
The whole transformation took about a year to happen. I gained some confidence in who I was - and that although I didn't need to be "well liked", I actually was. And then I started the next phase in my life - regaining my sexy.
I still wasn't ready for a full on emotional affair. But in starting to feel confident about my body, I started to have physical needs. And I started to notice that my new body and my new attitude was attracting some attention. So, being careful to ensure that I wasn't picking up any "strings", I threw myself into learning what sex was like post divorce.
For three years, I dated. I dabbled. I sampled.
And sex in my thirties was so much more amazing than my twenties. Because I finally loved my body. I gained an appreciation for what being a mother had transformed me into. I had breasts. I had an curvy bum. I had long, slim, slightly muscular legs. I got a pair of red heels and low cut black mini dresses. I found a fantastic red lipstick that went with my new smile.
Italian. Portuguese. English.
Smart men, not so smart men.
And I found out more than I ever had while I was married, what I needed in a physical relationship.
I tried being dominant.
I tried being submissive.
Sometimes I was loud.
Sometimes I was quiet.
I learned how to talk dirty.
And then, much to my surprise, I picked up a string. And I discovered that sex outside a relationship with no strings was no match for sex within a relationship. That sex without love and commitment was OK - but sex with a man who can look you in the eyes with such intensity and respect and love is intense to the point of overwhelming.
The journey to get there had taught me so much. That I am attractive. Not in spite of, but as a direct result of becoming a mother.
I am sexy. And my own self confidence and happiness makes me even more so.
I discovered what sex within a marriage can be - what it should be. Whether you're a mom or not. Your mate should make you feel sexy. Even when you don't feel it yourself.
I can't speak for all women after divorce. But I can tell you that if you're divorcing or divorced and you've lost confidence - you can get it back. I can tell you that no matter how miserable your ex made/makes you feel, as long as you are willing to accept yourself, you can get your sexy back.
And I can tell you that because I've done it myself.