sex

'I'm in my 50s and love my husband. But I also love having sex with other men.'

My husband and I haven't had sex since 2011.

I am no longer attracted to him physically. He doesn’t take care of himself the way he used to. We still share the same bed, but we stick to our separate sides.

Touch is rare between us, unless I’m really upset about something and need a hug. I do ask him if he misses that part of our life together but his answer is always ‘no.’

I’ve even told him to find someone who can satisfy that need if I can’t, but he insists there’s no unmet need to satisfy.

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There are many reasons why my husband and I have grown apart over the years, but it comes down to not feeling emotionally or physically supported by him.

He claims to hate confrontation (and who doesn’t?) but he doesn’t address obvious problems we face, which doesn’t work for me.

He also finds more pleasure in lying in front of the TV than going outside or on an adventure with me. I find that boring.

He may be more than 10 years older than I am (I'm in my 50s), but I’ve been with other much older men who share my interests. There is a world of difference between them. He knows he cannot meet my needs so I go elsewhere.

As long as I act respectfully and fulfill my responsibilities, our situation works for both of us.

I wasn’t nervous when I started having outside relationships. My first affair was with a good buddy of mine who I'd known for a while and I was looking forward to... I wasn’t sure exactly what.

The adventure? The excitement? Fulfilling my needs?

I didn’t even know what my specific needs were at the time. We had talked and planned it for months, so the anticipation of something new and stepping outside my comfort zone – knowing it was the first step in a totally new life – overshadowed any nervousness.

Initially, I was after physical fulfillment, so many of my affairs have been strictly physical. Over time, I found that that alone doesn’t do it for me. I want that emotional connection as well. A relationship that includes the physical aspect, but not one based solely on it.

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"I wasn't nervous when I started having outside relationships." Image: Getty. 

I found my sexual partners through Ashley Madison [a site where married people meet]. When I’m speaking to men there, I’m looking for them to fill four categories.

The first is physical attraction. I like tall men who take care of their bodies and have a nice smile and eyes that have a spark.

Next is confidence - own the room. Have a commanding presence or a silent but strong one. I also love a man who can laugh at himself.

Third is chemistry. It’s not totally controllable but it’s important. Ask me thoughtful questions. Express yourself well. I like a bit of romance and wooing. Let things linger. Savour everything. Experience the moment rather than rush through it (unless rushing is part of the fun!).

And finally, a dedicated and open mind. Look at me rather than through me. Make me feel like we’re the only two people in the room. That last one is harder to describe, but I know it when I see it.

I’ve had two incredible affairs - one still ongoing - in the almost three years I’ve been doing this. They're committed, long-term, seeing-each-other-regularly relationships.

The first man is someone I refer to as "the former love of my life". He and I were quite the couple for a year the first time, about seven months the second time around (including trips out of state), and we still keep in touch.

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He published a book and mentioned me in the acknowledgements, even after we had broken up. He was the one who opened my eyes to a relationship outside the bedroom.

The second is the man I’ve been seeing for more than two years. He is the one who snuck up on me; the one who came out of nowhere and turned my world around. He is the absolute love of my life and I cannot imagine a more perfect man.

Granted, I say that because I don't live with him and we only see the best of each other but, my gosh, the man is incredible.

Physically he is perfect, but it's his mind. Creative, romantic, passionate, intense, fun... he loves to make me smile and surprise me, and to see him relax and hear him laugh is beyond wonderful. He thinks and acts and looks like no other man I've been with.

We’ve seen each other for sex once a week, every single week, for more than two years. In addition, about once or twice a month we'll get together a second day a week for lunch at a new restaurant, or go on a picnic, a hike, kayaking, the shooting range, a day trip, some activity that doesn’t involve getting naked.

There is so much we talk about, questions we ask. There is never enough time to cover all the subjects we want. We are endless. He makes the time for me, pays attention when I speak, and when he is with me it's like no one else exists.

"I’ve had two incredible affairs - one still ongoing - in the almost three years I’ve been doing this." Image: Getty. 

He has been married for over 30 years and he doesn't think his wife knows. I don't want him to leave his wife – nor would I leave my husband – because I know in reality we'd probably get sick of each other quickly. But for now, the way we have it is perfect.

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I had stopped caring about sex years ago, but now? Oh my god. I feel amazing, empowered, confident, satisfied, desired, motivated.

I love the anticipation, the planning, the dressing up. Just feeling feminine. I’ve never really lacked confidence but this is a whole new level now, and the people around me have noticed.

At first, my husband noticed that I was snazzin’ up more – makeup, hair done, nails done, new clothes. He even commented that I looked good, but that was all from him.

Other people who noticed asked what I was doing to look so good. My whole demeanor has changed and I’ve been more engaged. My mother even said to slow it down a bit because the changes were pretty obvious.

I don’t feel guilty for putting my needs first. I am not forcing anyone to do anything, nor do I pursue.

There is no guilt since no one is getting hurt. Because no one knows. I would do just about anything to prevent that, because there are innocent people and it's not cool.

Listen to The Quicky podcast on cheating. Post continues after audio.


But I have come close to being caught. My stepdaughter saw a picture on my phone, and my other stepdaughter wanted to hire a private investigator to follow me. I told them that what my husband and I have and do is none of their business. He backed me up on that.

I love what my husband’s provided for me and I love what he’s done for myself and our family.

I love how supportive he can be of me, but I don’t love him the way I used to. He’s not as emotionally dependable as I need him to be. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to leave him, especially now that we’ve found an arrangement that works for us.

If I could give any advice to women who are in my position, it would be to take charge. Decide what it is you want and/or need. Turn away from judgement. This is entirely about you and not anyone else. It's not selfish: it's necessary to ensure a happy, healthy balance with home responsibilities and personal care.

Otherwise, you're miserable and just existing, and that affects everyone and everything else.

Find what works for you, keep an open mind, and step outside your comfort zone. Challenge yourself, and you'll be surprised by how liberating it is.

The author is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons.

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