Finding Each Other Again After 40 Years of Marriage
by John Barringer May 13, 2014
I love my wife. We’ve been married over 30 years.
She’s the child of three divorces. I’m the child of Catholic shame and a father’s disdain. Both of us are first born, type “A” overachievers with trust issues on a life quest to not turn into our parents.
Both of us have also spent our adulthood desperate to please those around us and we fed on each other to make everything “perfect.”
The result is two traditionally successful professionals with all the outward trappings of the American Dream who are emotionally empty shells.
We met on a warm spring day. I was wearing nothing but a pair of cut-offs, my long hair falling to my shoulders, lean tan skin over ripped muscles evident as I played Frisbee.
She had on almost-not-there cut-offs, and a tiny halter top. The electricity was high voltage and the bulb of attraction burned at about 2000 watts!
Our first date included a make out that is still one of the hottest I ever remember. It is hard to imagine how a dress could be any shorter, skin any softer, kisses any more sensual.
Spring changed into an ever hotter summer and a whirlwind romance that lasted for three years. Then she moved into my house and for two years we cavorted with a rotating cast of sexy friends and roommates.
For some reason, we decided to settle down.
We married and planned a family… "because that’s what you do!" We used each other up emotionally to get through a long list of life challenges.
We fought through the trauma of her mom’s mental illness. We thought it would be easy to get pregnant, but it didn’t happen. The turn off between us built.
We spent a fortune on infertility counseling, to no avail. More turn off. We soldiered on through my early business failures (three of them). And, we borrowed a pile of money to send her to medical school.
She met a hot, just-back-from-Iraq (the first one) veteran and fellow medical student. They had an affair. She was turned on briefly until shame caught up and strangled it.
To fill the hollow gap in our lives we came slowly to the decision to adopt a child. That boy brought us tremendous elation until he dragged us into disappointing despair in his teenage years.
Then early menopause shook our world. It led to therapies with hormone replacement and other drug-based solutions. Eventually, dry, painful intercourse put an end to regular sex.
Shame and cultural conditioning prevented experimentation with other sexual practices. We stayed together, grew emotionally further apart… still in love with each other.
We are now empty-nesters… who haven’t had emotionally fulfilling sex with each other in almost ten years.
90 days ago I cracked open and insisted that our relationship, as we know it, must end. She insisted on therapy. I resolved to be a better man and to own my part in the journey to this point. I completely changed my diet and lost 20 pounds.
60 days ago, I discovered OM and promptly devoured everything I could find about it. I bought Nichole’s book. I did the online training. I watched every video on the One Taste YouTube channel, read every article I could find. I went to a TurnON where I volunteered for the Hot Seat. I was cracked open even further.
40 days ago, convinced that OM was the “thing” that would address our problem, I riled up some more courage to introduce the practice to my wife.
I received a predictable response, “have you gone crazy?” But…she agreed to read “Slow Sex.” Even after reading it and discussing it together, she steadfastly refused to go to a “How to OM” Class.
I could see the fear in her eyes. I reluctantly, and not particularly elegantly, embraced the fact that “No” is an acceptable answer.
I used every bit of intellectual strength I could muster to be patient, to go slow. My brain was on fire!
So, I waited and… today, I asked her to OM. She said, “Yes”.