Who would argue with hot, consuming sex 25 years into a relationship?
Why would all that connection and raw passion be something that would someday give you pause and have you question everything? That’s what I asked myself a while ago, when my partner and I went through some monumental changes to our sex life.
Believe me, it’s not easy being open about something this vulnerable. But being who I am, writer first, guardian of my privacy second, I must share.
For years, my partner and I were the holy grail of what it meant to maintain the same fire which existed between us when we’d first met.
There was not a look that went between us that did not speak to that fire. We fell into it with ease. We could always, always fix any problem with a conciliatory tumble in bed…or kitchen, as it were. I, a Scorpio, and he a Leo, fed each other’s consummate hunger.
For me, it was my way into his soul. Often, lying in his arms I would feel the waves of love and contentment that his attention brought us, purring like a kitten at his side, we would fall asleep saying, “this is the best part of the day.”
Many a friend would ask with envy how we did it, how did that fire never die?
Neither of us ever questioned our drive. For me, sexuality is a freedom portal, a way to Source, an inner pathway to discovering my creativity and my purpose. I practice no shame or guilt about my kinks or desires. Those days are done…burned away a few centuries ago.
So what happened when one day, it was all but gone? And what did we discover beneath the missing pieces of us?
They say that the only constant in life is change.
A series of shifts crept in when neither of us were paying attention. I went through the initiation of stepping into my further unfolding purpose and menopause at the same time. A few people passed from this plane, (parents, aunts, uncles, pets, friends).
My man, an athlete and an outgoing person by nature, sought to find more meaning in his life. We both thought about aging and its reality was sobering. All of a sudden, sex was not on the main menu. We rested in this new reality, unsure of how to navigate it. There were other forms of intimacy between us, our usual cuddles and conversation, wrapped around each other in bed…but not the same. We truly felt the absence of passion, and what was worse, we could not wrap our heads around the whole situation.
I was angry with our hormones. WTF? No one had sent a memo.
Around this same time, I opened more to my desires for a woman, which was no surprise to either of us, I had always been bisexual and explored it. But now, I craved the Feminine more than I craved the Masculine. There seemed to be this natural space where I could fit a lover. I fell in love with a beautiful woman and my attention and spirit swayed there. My partner, as always, lovingly holding me in this new adventure.
In case I’ve made it seem like we were the perfect couple, we weren’t. We were very, very real. Two intense and curious people, who loved life and each other madly, but who also fought with the same fervor. We supported each other’s life paths above all, even above staying together. Nothing mattered more than loving each other and supporting each other—there was always room to leave if that’s what our purpose called us to. Not everyone understood this, but that’s just us.
Also, we have lived at least one other life together…our connection has some pretty deep roots.
During this time of falling away from our sexual relationship, we began to explore what was beneath it. Where were the places that we were in love and where were we codependent?
What’s that? Codependent? How I hated that word when we found its shadow between us.
In all relationships, there are unspoken agreements. Things we decide on silently; how to approach certain situations, how to lean into each other or how to avoid things. For us, one of those unspoken agreements was to find shelter in each other’s arms when things became too rocky. We agreed subconsciously without verbal or emotional acknowledgment. It just was this thing we did.
When the fire simmered down, we saw the embers of our dysfunction. It hurt like hell to admit it, to face it. At first, we fought the idea. We fought with each other harder than before. But we found the courage to dive in with honesty. We said that this was it. Divorce.
The undergarments of our love were blowing in the breeze and they were hanging out for everyone to see.
Truly, to lose our shiny reputation was the worst. I have a lot of pride, I’ll admit that. He, not so much, he just wanted it to either end or get better, to hell with what anyone thought.
Slowly, after a lot of tearful, heart on the floor conversations between us, the pain of losing each other so poignantly obvious, we decided to separate but joked that he would come over every night for dinner and a sleepover—it’s so hard to give up on something so genuinely wonderful. But we would if it meant that each of us could walk in integrity.
But then we didn’t do it.
All those conversations, all those confessions of where we were broken, where our sex life had hidden the not so perfect part of us; where things had been swept under an already lumpy rug while we made love, created a new foundation.
It had been, so for long, our safety. So easy when you are madly attracted to someone to not say all the words, just some words, then find solace in the cool, white sheets.
Sometimes, now, we lie in bed spine to spine, feeling each other’s energy as it passes between us. I’m grateful for the way his body still fits mine. I still think he is the most handsome thing I’ve ever seen, still find myself staring at him and drowning in his smile.
But more than that, I am grateful for the depth we have found all these years later.
All that insane sex. A good thing. Except when it keeps us from authentically knowing who we’re sleeping with. Still, there is a way through.
Imagine coaching other couples through their relationship troubles while going through your own? Yup, that’s what happened to me. I had to do my work, to be very, very honest with myself in order to be able to help others while suffering my own pain.
On the other side of it, I see how much we have grown as humans and as lovers.
And that’s all I ever really wanted from us. To be human together.