Hi Chump Lady,
I’m pushing almost three years out now from the bomb my ex dropped on our marriage and by all accounts I am the “King of Meh.” I’ve worked on all my baggage and done most everything about getting my life back on track before anything else. That said, getting back into the dating world after 27 years leaves me in a unknown wilderness with no compass.
I did date a lot in the 1980s before I was married, but the rules appear to be all over the place now. Sooner than later I’m going to end up in the sack with someone, but after only sleeping with one woman for 24 years I’m not sure how I’m going to react to that, as it’s the last thing for me to let go of from my marriage.
I’d be grateful if others could share their feelings on this, it seems like a topic not often shared.
Chumps are such feeling creatures. The fact that you’re thoughtful about getting laid after divorce just goes to show that you’re a quality person. I’m sure you’ll be snarfed up and in bed with someone shortly.
Please don’t over think it. (Resisting typing “it’s like riding a bicycle!” Oops… I just wrote that…) Your ex stole so much from you — don’t let her have mental real estate around your sexuality. She certainly felt no loyalty to you, so there’s no shrine here to maintain after 27 years of marriage. Enjoy the world of possibilities guilt free, Mike.
When you worked on that baggage did you address any mindfuckery around sex? Some of the most pernicious blameshifting cheaters do is directed at chumps’ sexuality. She’s sexless. I’m not attracted to him. He’s too vanilla. She got fat. Etc. It’s worse if you witnessed any of their salacious Penthouse letters. You know, those sexts and emails sent back and forth detailing their exploits. In their fantasy It Was The Best Sex Ever. (Blowjobs in a cramped subcompact during lunch hour? Really, how great was it?) But the true high was the deceit. That it was naughty and secret, and they might get caught! A healthy person can’t compete with that. Don’t measure your own sexual self worth against affair sex. That’s like 47-year-old squidgy me comparing myself to some sexy video game avatar. Oh God, I’ll never measure up, I don’t have tits like a druid.
What your ex-wife had with OM(s) was a fantasy. Whatever she said to you, whatever she said about him — consider the source. Consider her character. Is this someone you respect? Does their opinion of your genitals really matter to you?
There are people who appreciate. You want to bed one of those people. Now you might ask yourself, how will I know until I’m naked with this person? Look for clues. Did they thank you for dinner? Do they do thoughtful things for you? Do they generally just think you’re terrific and enjoy your company? Well, they will enjoy it that much more without clothing.
As the expression goes — you know how to hammer a nail out of board of wood? Drive another one in. My guess is whatever anxiety you have about intimacy with someone else after 27 years will disappear with a new person (nail). A good person, who deserves all of you.