And now he’d discarded her because she “wasn’t sexual enough” and “had hang ups.” His betrayal shook her to the bones.
The kids were disgusted at first, but after a while, they forgave him and started going over for COVID-safe Sunday afternoons. They even made plans for Thanksgiving at his house. The idea of the grandkids climbing up onto HER lap after pumpkin pie made her nauseous.
She was surprised at how much she felt it in her body. It was like a sickness that filled her. Every day, the exhaustion, the vague but persistent pain - in her belly, in her chest.
Several times she thought about going into the ER, but with COVID she was hesitant, and then the pain disappeared.
It was the physical manifestation of betrayal. She knew this. And still, it was so real. She’d always celebrated her mind-body connection. Now it haunted her.
Her friends wanted her to try online dating. But she was a hard no. No more love for her. No openness. No vulnerability. Case closed.
“Look at GreatGuy. He’s got a profile up on Silver Singles,” they said. “He’s got soulful eyes and grown kids. You should meet him.”
She wouldn’t even consider it. The threat of more pain was just too much.
Her feelings of devastation about her husband’s betrayal meant she would be alone for the rest of her life.
"I’m not interested,” she told me. “Not after what I’ve been through.”
I understood. But still, it made me sad. She’d suffered. And now, she was keeping herself from experiencing the possibility of love and pleasure.
She was playing it safe. Her mind was trying to protect her. It was telling her GreatGuy would break her heart. That there really aren’t any great guys anymore.
That you can’t trust men.
That they’re all selfish jerks.
That they’ll use you and leave you behind.
(Funny that men say the same thing about women. But that’s another story.)
My opinion? It’s not about a lack of great guys or gals.
It’s about our lack of relationship skills and willingness to show up for each other.
To connect passionately and play together.
To solve conflicts without hurting each other.
To have confidence that’s sexy & friendly.
Because IMHO life is too short to say no to love. No matter what’s happened.