During the course of a long-term marriage, couples naturally reach a comfort level concerning the most private aspects of their lives. In most cases, each becomes totally fine being nude around his or her spouse; one becomes intimately acquainted with the other's sexuality; he or she has experienced the partner being ill, with all the sneezing, coughing, nose blowing, and vomiting that entails; and they've likely reached a point where engaging in most bathroom activities while together is no big deal.
But what happens when someone goes through a Gray Divorce? What's it like for an over 50, newly single person to begin dating, develop a relationship, and start from scratch with a new partner? After perhaps three or more decades enjoying total comfort in these areas, how can he or she navigate such potentially embarrassing issues?
I'll go out on a limb here and suggest that for most men, when it comes to nudity and sex with a new woman, their excitement and desire will block out any hint of discomfort. They may wish some of their parts were bigger while others were smaller, or that there was less hair in certain areas and more definition in others, but those thoughts will be completely overwhelmed by the opportunity to roll around with someone new.
And though a percentage of women may feel insecure about their bodies as they head for bed with a new man, I'd suggest most will get through it just fine. Initially they may want lights turned off, or certain articles of clothing left on, but eventually that need will fade. (Side note from the male point-of-view: Ladies, we guys don't care -- we're just happy to be there...)
So if it's truly a good relationship, a high level of comfort regarding sex and nudity should be achieved easily and soon.
As for illness and its effects, that likely won't come up for quite some time, at which point it hopefully will be a non-issue. In fact, it might even present a good check-up on the state of the union -- after all, if he or she runs for the hills at the first hint of a sniffle, well, you've just learned that you're not dealing with a keeper.
When it comes to doing one's business in the bathroom, several options exist for the mature couple. The homes they spend time in may have multiple bathrooms, allowing each to use their own. Or certain rules could evolve; perhaps it's decided that Number One around the other is fine, but Two will be done in private. Again, it seems this will naturally fall into place.
Still, there remains a subset of "bathroom activity" that can happen anywhere. Though there are a myriad of names for it, let's just go with the most common: farting.
This is likely something the Post 50 did around his or her former spouse, but establishing it as part of the new relationship can present an issue for some people. Sure, there are those who have the intestinal fortitude to just let 'er rip in front of their new love, basically saying "I am woman (or man), hear me roar." Others may do it accidentally, or perhaps "accidentally" -- either way it will quickly be engrained in the relationship after the obligatory "Oh, I'm so embarrassed/Come on, it's totally natural, everybody does it/Cool" exchange.
But for some people, neither of those approaches works. They'd like to actually discuss the topic with their new partner and get approval, but either aren't comfortable bringing it up, or don't know how to get the conversation started.
For those people, may I offer this blog post as a way to kick off that talk. All you have to do is send him or her a link with the message: "Honey, check this out, you cannot believe what some doofus actually wrote in Huffington Post." Then together you can marvel at how low this once proud news source has sunk, until eventually seizing the opportunity to say, "But you know, as long as we're on the topic..."
And, to enliven that conversation while hammering home the point that it's completely natural and normal, here are some fun facts about farts:
- Intestinal gas is a natural by-product of digestion and swallowed air.
- Both men and women do it an average of fourteen times a day, releasing about half a liter of gas.
- Vegans may be prone to creating more gas than omnivores.
- People started joking about it in 1900 BCE.
- Holding it in won't hurt you, just make you uncomfortable.
In the interest of fairness, though, there is another point of view: that farting is disgusting and doesn't belong in a relationship. This is espoused by none other than Donald Trump, who proudly told Howard Stern he's never heard Melania do it, adding that she hardly ever poops, either.
Anyway, here's wishing all sane Post 50 couples a wonderful new relationship -- one of compatibility, caring, and lower-digestive-tract comfort!
For more content of interest to anyone who is Divorced Over 50, or whose marriage is at a point where divorce is a possibility, please visit DivorcedOver50.com.
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