I need to warn you right up front. This post is going to be a bit different than most before and may cross the line into TMI. If you have delicate sensibilities, you may want to skip this one and wait for the next, but in the interest of complete honesty and full disclosure, this is a byproduct of grief you don’t often hear too much about. Or maybe ever… Because I’m honestly not sure how to Google it. Anyway… here goes:
I’ve found myself on edge lately – anxious and unsettled, irritable with raw nerves. Naturally a good part of that can be attributed to the major upheaval that my life has undergone. This has been a different feeling for me, though, and one I’m just not used to. Its cause finally came to me – sexual frustration.
I’ve been in an unplanned, unavoidable, and definitely unwelcomed, dry spell. It is by far the longest I’ve ever been abstinent since my husband and I first consummated our relationship. Aside from the medically-directed “6 sex-free weeks” following the birth of each of my children, hardly a week of our married life went by without us connecting on an intimate level. Even when life got crazy-busy, or we were going through a rough patch, we always made time for that.
Despite celebrating our silver anniversary, A and I were still like newlyweds in many ways, causing our kids to roll their eyes before shielding them and telling us to “get a room” or some similar directive that would save them the torture that was “old people lovin'”. We were constantly touching and cuddling and holding hands in front of them (and we obviously did much more away from their “burned retinas”). My husband occasionally called me “Vi”, short for Viagra, declaring he would never, ever need a little blue pill as long as I was around. (And he never did – no matter our life circumstances, impotency was never an issue. Talk about an ego boost!)
Looking back, I can see why the kids were so disturbed. It was a bit sickening. (Of course, there was also that one time our oldest daughter was home from college and my husband found her sleeping on the sofa. He had awakened extremely early and told her to just get in our bed with me and he would remain in the living room. Being the heavy sleeper I used to be, I had no idea my bed partner had changed until I rolled over, cuddled up to the body beside me, slid my hand down the back of my companion’s pajama bottoms and stroked a butt. It was so not my husband’s non-existent man cheek. I was startled awake and my daughter said “Ummm… Mom…?” She and I were both mortified, although we find it very amusing now. I can see that cringe-worthy moment as a reason for the kids to be bothered. But not our everyday affections.)
These days, in addition to all the other emotions I’ve been feeling – grief, anger, envy, sadness and more – it seems that now I’ve got to contend with unquenched desire. (Yay, me! [Can you detect the sarcasm here?!]) It was likely the fact that I’ve never had to cope with this particular malady before that made it so difficult for me to put my finger on exactly what I was feeling.
I still occasionally walk around with one hand on my waistband in anticipation of my husband running up to pants me in the front yard or wherever else he got the urge. And I catch myself wandering somewhat aimlessly around the kitchen because my husband isn’t there to flash when I get the urge. My self esteem has also taken a major hit because he hasn’t been here to tell me daily how attractive he thought I was, or how he couldn’t wait for me to come home, or some other sweet, slightly perverted, comment. (Obviously, I’ve made this PG, borderline PG-13 and not shared all the depravity in detail. As it is, I’ll have difficulty looking many people in the eye after this blog gets posted. It’s so “not the way I was raised” – sorry, Mom!)
I’m not looking for sympathy. And I’m not looking for advice on how to handle it. This is merely a statement of fact, and perhaps there are other Middows (or widows/widowers) like me who have been feeling especially testy and crotchety (puns intended) and just couldn’t put their finger on it (that one wasn’t, but it just shows where my head is at…). It’s just another adjustment I’ve had to make, another lesson learned. What’s the record for a dry spell? Can a drought be fatal? And do I really want to know…?
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