Two months passed since our baby was born, and my husband and I hadn't had sex. No biggie, I thought. But then three months passed, and before we knew it, a freakin' year of celibacy had gone by.
I don't know exactly when I decided to ditch my husband, but my plan was to be free of him as soon as our youngest child graduated from high school. Now, a few years later, we're thriving together.
I could see the wrongness from a mile away. I had the good sense to push away the first night we met. I got out of the danger zone pretty quickly, but not without first giving him my phone number and getting a bad case of infatuation.
A few months ago, during my annual well woman visit, my gynecologist asked me if I was sexually active. I told her I was and, yes, I wanted a routine STD check. And then she informed me that I wouldn't have to worry about those for too much longer because, 'women stop having sex around 65.'
Ahh, JDate. The blessed bastion of matzo-loving mensches. I'm really excited to test the waters on this site. In large part because this little Catholic loves the Jews, and has been told by many of their most devoted that she would be quite welcome in the tribe.
I've talked in the past about how hard it is to ask for your sexual preferences in bed. But this is harder than just asking for your favorite position. Nonetheless, it's a non-negotiable necessity.
Do you want to have children, and if so, when? How many? How important is religion to you? Could you survive in household where there are two different, perhaps disparate views on religion? Are you gonna eat that?
When my marriage was running on fumes, my ex-husband would send me to Victoria's Secret with instructions to pick out something to his liking. 'Red,' he would say. Or 'animal print.' Or, finally, in desperation: 'anything you want,' which at that point was nothing that might lead to sex, the sex that was between two people with wildly incompatible desires and personas.
Just as it's a choice to criticize or blame our partners for what we think we're not getting in a relationship, it's also a choice to be grateful for what you have and for where you are in this moment. Gratitude can not only improve your attitude; it can help improve your love life, as well.
Approaching the venue in south London, I berated myself. Why on earth had I volunteered to strip off my clothes in front of people I'd never met before? In broad, pitiless daylight? With faltering steps, I persuaded myself to continue, although doubts continued to raise their ugly heads.
I changed the pictures on my profile once a week, allowing enough time for new people to register the change. The information on my profile always remained the same; the only thing that changed was the pictures. I didn't respond to any message during the duration of this experiment.
Being happily married is not the same thing as being happy all the time. Being happily married is understanding that marriage is a contract and a commitment. Being happily married is putting the success of the marriage above either person's individual needs or desires. The marriage has to be bigger than either person.
It was one of those lipstick vibes. Small, but powerful. It felt odd to use it that first time. I can still remember my hesitancy. I waited until my kids had gone to their father's house for the night, double-checked that all of the doors were locked and headed upstairs to my bedroom.
When I'm cuddling in bed with my non-feminist man and discussing what I'm teaching and what I'm learning and what I'm researching, all I see and know is that he loves me -- regardless of what his feminist commitments are.
I had no idea, but that moment was an invitation to my life's greatest awakening. I thought getting married was the answer and I was so wrong.
Before checking emails or answering phone calls, take the time to simply just be with your partner. Enjoy early morning hugs and kisses without thinking about all the stuff you have to do. Focus completely on the present moment of just being with them.