I’ve had a lot of friends talking to me lately about divorce. Either they have already been through it or are in counseling with their mate and thinking about it. And what is kind of odd is that all these people had the same issue… “Alienation of Affection”. Or more precisely… no more trips to Poundtown. Sex has left the building.
Now if you had asked me about 15 years ago if sex mattered in a marriage, I would have said no and don’t care if I ever have it again.
WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?!!!!
Well I was thinking what a lot of women under 35 with small children think… “Don’t f-ing touch me again or I’ll kill you!” It’s not personal, mind you. When I was in that situation I had just had all of the love, life, attention, and need for tactile attention sucked out of me. I was lovin’ on needy kids all day and didn’t want another human to touch me by bedtime.
But I also realized it had a lot to do with the dysfunction of our marriage. He had done a lot of cruel stuff and I had a boatload of underlying animosity. There is a difference between just thinking “Oh God really I’m exhausted, I can’t have sex tonight” and feeling like you want to punch your spouse in the face if they come near you. (of course we don’t really do this, we just feel it) That’s something you need to examine.
However, I then got divorced and hit 36 around the same time. Bingo! Who let the dogs out? Who? Who? Who? who? Who? Ok, sorry that was so lame but ya’ know, insert any sort of race gate bell, horn blowing entrance music, explosion noise, train horn going through tunnel, hot volcanic lava spewing… my peak had hit. Sex became an important staple which should have been inserted in the food pyramid. It’s what happens to a woman of a certain age. How do you think Cougars were invented? Duh. Because mainly the cruel joke is, when women are peaking men are declining in sexual desire (or ability to function). Wah wah waaaahhhh.
So it can go both ways, man wants it, woman doesn’t and vice versa. What do you do? Is it that important? Does it matter? Can you survive without it? I guess that’s up to you. Some people do find sex very important and they have every right to. Others don’t and that’s ok too. You have to examine your priority of needs. And be honest.
In dating I often feel I am interviewing men. And in these interviews we often discuss the ever popular topic of “Why did you get divorced?” Lordy, there were a number of men who claimed loss of the nooky. Then I had a few say that loss of the nooky was the excuse why they cheated on their wife, which lead to the strife, that caused the argument, that triggered the divorce, that ate the rat that live in the house that Jack built. Oh wait, sorry I fell into a swirling vat of nursery rhymes there. Anyway, I used to think that was a piece of shit excuse. Now… I don’t know.
Now now, wait a minute, hear me out. As I’ve gotten older I’ve stopped judging so much. Everyone’s story is different. But I also know I’ve gone back and forth several times on the sex thing and I realize I still have several good years left, I’m not dead yet, I need it. However, I’m not married at the moment. But I have had a dating situation and well, it does a lot of damage to your psyche when someone (especially men who are supposed to have huge sex drives) doesn’t want to have sex with you. People need to feel desired.
People often bring up that scenario of, “Well what would you do if your spouse was paralyzed and could never have sex again, would you leave them?” Well, who the hell knows until I get there, right? It’s one thing if your spouse is still trying to be affectionate and be your partner and say they love you but is just too spent for or incapable of having sex. It’s another if they just don’t want much to do with you and throw themselves into work or kids. And it depends on your sex drive. The one thing I highly recommend is talking to your spouse. Let them know it’s important to you and you’ve got to have it.
And yes, believe it or not I do know actual real people who decide to stay together when one wants it and the other doesn’t and have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy with their spouse. Gay and straight. They just decide for themselves what works. Other people don’t ever discuss it and just let them sabotage the relationship all by themselves. Having a spouse that just wants their cake and eat it too and keeps hurting the other is pretty selfish and crappy. But both spouses have the responsibility of how they expect to be treated.
I don’t know the answer, only you kids do. You have to talk. And be honest about how you feel. And if neither of you are happy, it’s ok to end it too. I can’t believe I’m saying that but as I said, I’ve stopped judging and it beats having a spouse that’s a serial cheater.