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I commiserated with my friends when they moaned that there were no decent guys out there. And provided companionship during the lonely weekends without their kids. Set against all this wretchedness was my husband, whom I still loved after 17 years and with whom I could still, on occasion, have excellent sex. But then, without warning, my miserable divorced friends became…happy.
Unbearably happy, happier than they'd been in years, happier than I was.
I tell my husband that I need a girls' night out, to flirt and cavort. My first mistake becomes obvious upon entering the bar. I want to saunter into brunch, holding my Josh's hand, at a restaurant that frowns on children, and then pick up my own brood late in the afternoon at their father's place. Susan and Adam say goodbye and walk off, arm in arm.
I'm wearing multiple layers and knee-high boots, which might as well be a burka. Susan and Anne are picked up in short order by sexy young things. But when I tell my husband, everything becomes trickier. I stick with explaining that I need another girls' night. He's charming and flirty in that carefree way we all used to be. I listen intently as he patiently explains the difference between My Space and Friendster. " Josh asks, surprised."No, but I e-mail and shop online."He laughs, and his smile is slightly, delightfully crooked. It's great for social networking." "I'm too old for social networking," I say, not sure what it even means."You're not too old at all," Josh says, smiling. She nuzzles into his shoulder, he squeezes her backside, they kiss. His hair falls over one eye as he cocks his head and grins.
"I'd forgotten sex could be so incredible after suffering through it with James for 10 years," Susan* tells me one night at dinner with another recently separated friend, Anne.
Susan, whose kids are in school with mine, has finally, nearing 40, discovered the joys of sex—with a 32-yearold— and she's partaking everywhere: from the hills of Prospect Park to the bathrooms at Nobu."There's really been no bad sex since I split from Matt," Anne chimes in. "It's just so great having sex with someone you're lusting after instead of someone you've been living with for years." I don't think Anne is trying to be mean, so I let the comment pass. who never had an orgasm with her husband, is seeing a guy five years her junior who gave her multiple orgasms their first night together, reads poetry to her in bed, and taught her kids to surf.
The irony is, I never liked dating when I was dating. It also didn't hurt that I was working in Hollywood , where there was always enough extracurricular flirtation to keep things exciting. Another time, after a business dinner, a talent manager came on to me. And he enjoyed hearing them, because his mother is a child development specialist and he grew up to be remarkably secure and relentlessly positive.
Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in the film business provided ample opportunity for charged encounters— harmless pleasure that allowed for an active fantasy life and sated any temptations that might occasionally bubble to the surface. He liked knowing that other men desired his wife, and I liked being desired.
) As a woman over 30, I decided to try to get to the bottom of this conundrum by asking a series of straight, unmarried men in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s to find out why some actually prefer to date “older” women.I don't want to have an affair, but I want someone to want to have an affair with me. I hear you've had a bunch of affairs." I hadn't had any, but being an imaginary slut was titillation enough.Despite the prevailing notion, even happily married women can have a midterm sexual crisis, and my divorced friends are goading me toward it. I was madly in love, and it didn't occur to me to think anything was lacking in my marriage in those early years. I always recounted these stories to my husband, because he's my best friend, and because I rarely censor myself.As my friends and I approached 40, 10 or so years into marriage, the divorces began, first a trickle, then a torrent.
Divorce hardly has a great reputation— gone are the high-flying days of the '70s, when a generation of women fled stifling, loveless marriages to gloriously (supposedly) find themselves— but seeing breakups at close vantage was still sobering: There were legal battles, emotional battles, even physical battles.After weeks of appointments and thousands of dollars, I'm ready. My husband doesn't notice my shiny new exterior until the Visa bill arrives.