Now, after all this, our kisses send me into fits of sweet delirium. Because for two-decades I'd believed I wasn't very attracted to Charles.I'd married him because he was such a good man, and figured the sex was good enough.But the agreement exploded in my face the day my husband told me he was sleeping with another woman. I began to wonder if I could effectively co-parent with Charles, let alone be his friend. Within days he told her things were seriously shifting at home.
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FALL 2016We linger a long time in the kiss, savoring each other in front of the fire. After decades of starvation for emotional closeness, we've had more sex in the last two months than in the last 10, possibly 20 years. He's more expressive, embracing, caring, and attentive than I've ever known him to be.
I want, crave, Neither of us realized that emotional distance was the only thing driving us apart.
And in that singular moment, he became an immediate, undeniable I took to Google, which illuminated a mass emergence of romance, flings, close friendships, trysts, and committed long-term partnerships between older women and younger men.
I saw a rising tolerance generally for love of all stripes—and its many delightful benefits.
So a couple of months after that initial diagnosis—it took me that long to journal my way through it—I carefully let him in on my crush; gently, by sharing a few personal details about what was happening at home, by casually, half-jokingly suggesting a walk in the woods together. Ready to pull back and let it go if he didn't throw a spark. The powerful eye locks, the focused curiosity and connection he displayed with my kids, the way he remembered my son's soccer night each week and would unfailingly ask him about it, the way he'd be sure to have a register open every time I was ready for check-out and the rush of specific questions back-and-forth.
The conversations outside or in the produce aisle, when he'd ask me how things were going for me and the kids during the separation.It was a morning almost exactly 25 years to the day of our first date on August 1, when his letter ignited our dawn.We'd filed for divorce but hadn't signed the papers. He'd bought me out of my share of our home and was writing support checks. To have this, after all the work we'd done to stay friends. I saw how hard it would be to move forward while closing a marriage. Maybe it was getting out of our former gridlock, or being faced with losing our friendship and capacity for effective co-parenting. In a way I had never imagined he could in all the years of our marriage. Before my week away with our son, our counselor suggested Charles write me a letter. And it was in that singular, open-hearted thump of my own heart, and its unmitigated vulnerability to Charles, that I began to melt into him forever. This had never happened before, not in two decades. But he also knows me better than anyone in the world, and saw the changes.That I was surprised is the understatement of my life. It was our first union in more than two years but in many ways, our first true coupling.We were seeing each other—vulnerable, open, filled with trust—for the first time. I'm more feminine, more vulnerable, more open and happy than I've ever been in my life.It's New Year's Eve and glitter sprinkles the space between my brow and lids.