Andrea, 36, relates, “During the last couple of years of our marriage, my husband and I were actually very sexual. In retrospect, I think I was succumbing to having frequent sex with him as a way of trying to make him happy in an otherwise deteriorating situation. After we split, I quickly got involved with a much younger guy, getting sexual with him way too soon because I really just craved his attention and approval. But soon I realized I really needed to step back and get my bearings. My own sexual identity had gotten all wrapped up in serving the needs of others, or attempting unsuccessfully to ease painful situations. I committed to remaining solo for eight months. Now that that time has passed and I’m thinking of dating again, I’m prepared to take things much slower; to be very choosy about who I get myself involved with, and why.
Katherine, 67, states, “Honestly, I had completely given up on the idea. My husband and I’d had a difficult marriage and an ugly divorce. When I found myself single at the age of 58, I relied on my closeness with my sister and my job as a nurse to give shape, stability, and meaning to my life. Since I’d been married at 19, I’d really never experienced myself alone in the world as a single woman . Now solo and middle aged, the idea of dating was the furthest thought from my mind. Five years later, I met Jack at a bridge tournament. A widower, he was handsome and kind, and seemed inexplicably interested in making conversation with me. I was shocked when he asked me to dinner, but I went home with a spring in my step I hadn’t experienced in some forty years. As we began dating, I felt as though I’d had a complete blood transfusion! To feel attractive, appreciated, and cared for was truly a miracle. Jack showed me that my life as a sexual woman was not over – in fact, in some ways, it was just beginning. He and I are now happily married, and I feel like I have a whole new life.”
Reconnecting with your sexuality after a divorce can often feel more harrowing than hot and heavy. But even though moving on and starting over seem daunting at the time, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.