Do you have questions about creating intimacy or developing mindful relationships?
Confusing questions? Awkward ones? Deep, dark scary ones?
I want them. Email your questions to: [email protected].
All authors remain anonymous. No judgments, just soulful answers.
Q. I’m 44. I have failed to leave a difficult and controlling relationship for 10 years. I sleep on the floor.
I haven’t had as much as a cuddle with another grown up for over a decade.
For some reason (a recent flutter on online dating sites, just to connect with people) sex is coming back to my mind. I want it! There, I said it.
How will I ever do it again? I can’t remember how to kiss. I hate myself and no one wants a 44-year-old body (or mind).
I have two pre-teen kids. The last time I had intimacy, I was 34 and conceiving my boy. If I’d known it was going to be such a long stretch if celibacy, I’d have paid more attention.
A. Number one piece of advice: Get off the floor.
Sleep in a proper bed—even if it is in a separate room from your partner, you deserve an actual bed. You are a human being, not a pet.
No matter how difficult your situation is with your partner, think of your children. You certainly don’t want to send the message to them that you are not worthy of sleeping on a bed just as others in the household do. You hold the sacred position of their mother, if nothing else. Get off the floor.
The second step is to get into therapy.
As soon as you possibly can, find a couples therapist in order to sort out the communication problems that are clearly apparent in your relationship. If your partner will not accompany you, go alone. Find a therapist who will work with you to rebuild your strength as an individual.
I understand first-hand what it’s like to be in a controlling relationship. The hardest part for me to accept was that I was enabling the controlling. By not standing up for ourselves, we hold the door open for controlling people to walk right in and trample us. Perhaps you can fix your current relationship, or perhaps it is too late, but one truth that stands is that you must begin the work on yourself, or no relationship—either this one or the next—will be healthy and satisfying.
This brings me to the third piece of advice: Claim your right as a spark of the universe.
You already feel that spark glowing inside you. It was reawakened when you looked into online companionship. How do you know with such certainty that “no one wants a 44-year-old-body or mind”? Newsflash: Older women are sexy as all get-up. They are aware of their bodies, they exude life experience, they know what they want and how to get it. That, my dear, is immensely sexy to a man. I met my partner at the age of 44—and I already had a child from a previous relationship.
It is not impossible to find love after 40—in fact, there’s a good chance that with your past to guide you, you will settle for nothing less than a man who treats you with tenderness and care. But if you hate yourself, as you say you do, what is it you expect a partner to love? In order to receive tenderness and care from another person, you must begin by giving it to yourself.
If you’re out of practice, start practicing! Beginning with yourself. Right now, you have depleted your energy stores by leaking power to your controlling partner, perhaps even to your children.
Take yourself on as a new project.
Start small, with a solitude practice. Do something you love just for yourself every day. Get into the habit of loving yourself. Soon, you will develop a level of love that will pour out of you. Have you ever been around someone whose energy is so positive that you can’t help but gravitate toward them? That’s what happens when we take the time to honor ourselves.
For the sake of your life and your children’s lives—get off the floor, get help, then get out there and shine.
Author: Rachel Astarte
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: WikiMedia Commons