How do I make this last?

by Ken
(New York)

The Question


I am 49 years old. My wife and I went through a mid-life change together several years ago. When we were in our 40s, (Her early 40s, my mid 40s) we decided to sell the suburban house that we thought we would live our entire lives in, pull our children out of the school district we thought they would graduate High School from, and move out to the hills. I, much to the dismay of the employer I thought I would retire from, put in my papers and said goodbye.

We found a great big house hundreds of miles away in the country, a small school district for the kids in the nearby village, and two quite decent jobs for her and I. We paid off all of our debts and have been financially secure.

My wife and I are out-doors types, and enjoy spending a lot of time together. We also have our independence; she is a dance/exercise instructor, I am still in the military reserves.

Recently I have noticed that I have begun to have very strong feelings again for my wife. Nearly twenty years ago, we had a short 'honeymoon phase' of our marriage, but it ended much too soon due to having children and buying a house right away.

Now, it is as if my feelings for her have picked up where I left off before the heavy responsibilities set in years ago, feeling those internal stirrings as if I were a much younger man.

My wife has always been very beautiful, but recently she has rededicated herself to hard core working out, and it is really paying off. She is built like a college athlete, and the outdoor life is keeping her face very young looking.

We have always been very conservative in our intimate life, yet we both have an artistic side, so intimate experimentation is not out of the question. My wife has performed her dancing publicly, so she is used to being enthusiastically appreciated for her attractiveness.

Very recently I have had some slightly quirky ideas to try out behind closed doors. I do not feel embarrassed about asking her to try my ideas, they feel like healthy urges to me.

Much to my extreme pleasure, she has been more than willing to try, and comments that they are very enjoyable and have added a substantial 'spice' to our lives. This has resulted in an even more incredible improvement in our marriage.

My question is; I am happier now than I have ever been in my life. I have a highly educated, experienced life partner that is hotter than most women 20 years younger. Will this last? How do I make it last? What are typical ways that this situation could still fail? What can I do to make her happy so that she wants this to last?

I have few if any role models, most men my age are miserable and their wives are scary looking.

Noel's response

Yours is a wonderful problem to have.

Can you make it last your the rest of your life? Yes. However, if you attribute all of your new-found happiness to your wife's looks and your hot sex life, disappointment will follow. This 'sexual honeymoon' stage will pass (although it may last many more years) as your bodies inevitably age, but you need not lose your deep love and appreciation for each other.

You are both near andropause/menopause age (which usually happens around age 50), and that can have a significant effect on sexual desire.

How do you make it last? - keep the communication honest and open between you, and clear up even small annoyances before they build to underlying resentments, which can deaden any relationship.

Continue to let your wife know you are crazy about her, and keep yourself in shape. Always have an interest (your job, a hobby, the outdoors) to keep you looking forward and enthusiastic about your life, and spend time developing your spiritual life, as that is where, in my experience, the deepest feelings of unconditional love come from.

Elizabeth and I went through a wonderful wild sexy period when we were first together (we were both in our 40s), but now that we are in our 60s, we don't make love as often, but when we do, it feels deeper and more intimate.

We always clear up any disagreements immediately, and our love and appreciation of each other is still deepening. Yours can too.

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