As we all know, human sexuality can be complicated. Then, when you’re Over 50, it can get additionally complicated. And for women Over 50, due to both societal factors and their own physiology, it can become more complicated still.
Though plenty of mature Divorced women are finding their sexuality reignited (see our January post “Sex and the Single Woman Over 50”), that isn’t always the case. Both the “mind” and the “body” issues that come into play Over 50 can have a negative effect.
Having to tell your family and friends you’re getting Divorced can be a surprisingly difficult part of the process. At a really awful time in your life, when you’re already dealing with all the turmoil and fear and uncertainty, one of the last things you may want is to run into a friend at Starbucks who asks, “So what’s new?”
Author Wendy Paris, writing for Psychology Today’s website, believes that the act of telling others about your split is actually a great opportunity. She explains that marriages exist within communities, and members of those communities can be confused by a Divorce. So the way you break the news helps the community see how you’re viewing it, and lets them know what to expect.
If you’re Di-Curious, have you thought about how you’ll tell your husband or wife you want out, if in fact you decide to Divorce?
And for those who’ve already been through it, how’d you handle the situation, whether you were the giver or receiver of the news? Did that initial statement/conversation get your process off to a reasonable start, or did it dial up the anger and set a negative tone that lasted the entire process?
Most Divorced Over 50’s report that their sex life during marriage, particularly toward the end of it, was extremely lacking. In fact, several of the interviewees for Gray Divorce Stories acknowledged going years without having any sex as their marriages fell apart.
Then, when DO50’s are first out of their marriage, the focus is just trying to keep their head above water while battling through the Survive Phase — sex may be among the furthest things from their minds. As life gets better, however, and they move into Revive, an interest in sex may come back. The problem, though, is that many people aren’t ready to get into a committed relationship that will lead to sex. So what to do?
That probably wasn’t a priority during the early, Survive Phase of your process. But as you began (or will begin) to Revive, creating a Bucket List could be an important, and valuable, exercise. Just the act of looking forward to a brighter future, and setting some goals within that future, could help you Thrive sooner. Even if you eventually only check off a few of the goals, you’ll still be so much better off.
If you ask a man over 50 for the first word that pops into his head when you say “sex,” he’d very likely answer with something like Yes, Now, Please, or More. It wouldn’t matter if he was single, happily married, or unhappily married – most men would have that positive, or at least hopeful, reaction.
But what if you asked an over 50 woman the same thing?
For a plenty of married woman beyond 50 — those who are in that standard, three or more decade long relationship — their first word just might be “obligation.” As in, my husband expects it, I don’t really want it, but I’ll submit occasionally, in hopes of keeping him happy. Or getting him to mow the lawn.
And for unhappily married women past 50, their word is probably something along the lines of No, Nope, Nah-ah, or Fugetaboutit.
But what if you asked a divorced woman over 50 for the first word that pops into her head? Well, there’s an excellent chance that word is “Yahoo!”
How do I, a divorced man over 50, know this?
Hours and hours of intimate contact with almost two dozen divorced women over 50.
The heart of her column concerns a letter she got from a 53 year old man whose 23 year marriage had ended in 2010. It’s basically a rave about women who are of a similar age. The writer says the women know what they want in a relationship. They’re dedicated to making the next part of their life amazing. They’re alive, and revel in the freedom of being single. And he suggests these women just get out and enjoy life, as their natural radiance will be more than enough to attract a real man.