Aging and keeping the passion after 40+ years - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-24-2015, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Aging and keeping the passion after 40+ years

I love my wife, she is my best friend and at times my lover. She is the mother of my children, a woman I respect, a woman who knows me and takes good care of me, a woman of great emotional strength and courage, a woman with ethics and values that I share. We have been married for a little less than 44 years and faithful to each other.

Our marriage has had some rough spots that we were both responsible for. We had a classic Sex Starved Marriage for a while; got help from a sex theapist and a marriage counselor. We each choose to remain married and fight for our marriage. We have reconnected, and now have sex about twice a week. We spend more time caring for each other and checking in on each others feelings. We try to pamper each other a little. We know we have to be good to each other and yet we are very comfortable just sharing space as very close friends. We have seen a number of friends divorce and others where one partner has died. Haven't seen many obvious role models for living a passionate senior marriage.

My observation (and from what I have read) keeping the lust of lovers or newlyweds alive after 40+ years is pretty hard to do. I have read Ester Perel's Mating in Captivity and several other relationship books, including Schnarch's the Passionate Marriage.
I have read Kliger and Nedelman's Still Sexy after all these Years, and Price's Naked at our Age. From what I have learned from these books is that I want to continue to grow mentally and emotionally with shared experiences with my wife as long as we can.

As a guy I don't have the body, I did when I was in my 20's, but neither does my wife. We both exercise regularly as health is important to us. I do know a whole lot more about my body, my wife's body and what gives us pleasure and what my wife finds emotionally troubling than I did in my youth. I find my wife sexually attractive and want her.

So when I look at aging, I wonder if old and long term married couples end up transitioning at some point into Friends with Benefits or if the emotional connection of husband and wife and a flicker of lust always remains there. I really didn't see that in either my parents or my wife's parents before they died. They looked more like roomates sharing a living space and maybe some sexual benefits. I don't see many people we know who are into keeping the flame of lust and intense love alive in their marriages.

I also wonder about any suggestions, great books, articles or speakers on keeping the passion going for those in their 70's and older? Any thoughts or stories of real people (role models) who lead passionate lives as couples well into their senior years would be appreciated.

One of the things that our sex therapist taught us was to visualize what we wanted in the future in our marriage so that we can make it happen. I visualize an active old couple, snuggling and making love for as long as they can. Having some other role models and articles to help with the visualization would be appreciates.

Thanks

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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-24-2015, 05:52 PM
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Re: Aging and keeping the passion after 40+ years

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So when I look at aging, I wonder if old and long term married couples end up transitioning at some point into Friends with Benefits or if the emotional connection of husband and wife and a flicker of lust always remains there.
It's one thing to slow down, another thing entirely to quit.

What couples lose to aging they gain in wisdom and knowledge of self and other, all of which you reflected in your observations.

My experience has been that with age comes ever greater intimacy which begets a different sort of sexuality. It's not the sexuality of wild rutting beasts but of gentle and sincere lovers who care deeply about pleasing each other.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-24-2015, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Aging and keeping the passion after 40+ years

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...with age comes ever greater intimacy which begets a different sort of sexuality. It's not the sexuality of wild rutting beasts but of gentle and sincere lovers who care deeply about pleasing each other.
I hope you are right.

The book "Still Sexy after all these Years" talks of older women in a transition from sexuality to sensuality with some sexuality remaining.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-24-2015, 07:40 PM
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Re: Aging and keeping the passion after 40+ years

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I hope you are right.

The book "Still Sexy after all these Years" talks of older women in a transition from sexuality to sensuality with some sexuality remaining.
I haven't read that book but I can imagine sensuality as the more intimate version of sexuality that I described.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-24-2015, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Aging and keeping the passion after 40+ years

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It's one thing to slow down, another thing entirely to quit..
I looked at your website and not sure I agree with all that is posted, but I did find the following from late last year interesting.

Quote:
The reason that sexual passion fades is that married couples overturn the most important power asymmetry in their relationship. It is not the power of the man to take the woman as he pleases but the power of the woman to refuse him.

We call this asymmetric power dynamic: courtship.
Sort of a different take on reinforcing the dynamic in the book Mating in Captivity.

Thanks.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 06:26 AM
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I'm going thru this now. Of course there are some emotional building I have to do but I wonder if age is a part of it.

I personally refuse to let things wane. I say it's not fair to men cause we are still in our prime around 40. But age seems to hit women harder. So I've read on TAM that this is typical I just don't want to throw in the towel and say oh well its over for me and her that we should just accept the age will equal the downward slope of our intimacy and essentially our lives.

I don't care to believe also things have to change because of years togeather or how old we are. I think some women use it as an excuse.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 06:31 AM
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Re: Aging and keeping the passion after 40+ years

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Originally Posted by J.deere View Post
I'm going thru this now. Of course there are some emotional building I have to do but I wonder if age is a part of it.

I personally refuse to let things wane. I say it's not fair to men cause we are still in our prime around 40. But age seems to hit women harder. So I've read on TAM that this is typical I just don't want to throw in the towel and say oh well its over for me and her that we should just accept the age will equal the downward slope of our intimacy and essentially our lives.

I don't care to believe also things have to change because of years togeather or how old we are. I think some women use it as an excuse.
I can't imagine this attitude will help you much.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 12:26 AM
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Re: Aging and keeping the passion after 40+ years

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Originally Posted by J.deere View Post
I'm going thru this now. Of course there are some emotional building I have to do but I wonder if age is a part of it.

I personally refuse to let things wane. I say it's not fair to men cause we are still in our prime around 40. But age seems to hit women harder. So I've read on TAM that this is typical I just don't want to throw in the towel and say oh well its over for me and her that we should just accept the age will equal the downward slope of our intimacy and essentially our lives.

I don't care to believe also things have to change because of years togeather or how old we are. I think some women use it as an excuse.
I don't know that 40 is a downer time... but often at 40 life is busy, kids and well into school, and with activities, careers are strong, etc... and that affects time for passion. However, with things simmer and kids get out and less stress, it can pick up a bit.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 02:35 PM
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Re: Aging and keeping the passion after 40+ years

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Originally Posted by J.deere View Post
I'm going thru this now. Of course there are some emotional building I have to do but I wonder if age is a part of it.

I personally refuse to let things wane. I say it's not fair to men cause we are still in our prime around 40. But age seems to hit women harder. So I've read on TAM that this is typical I just don't want to throw in the towel and say oh well its over for me and her that we should just accept the age will equal the downward slope of our intimacy and essentially our lives.

I don't care to believe also things have to change because of years togeather or how old we are. I think some women use it as an excuse.
I feel the same... I'm not giving up and looking forward to more good ideas on how to keep sex alive and vibrant in later years. Whatever it takes. I'm not going to grow old without an active sex life.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 09:18 PM
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I was married almost 30 yrs b4 my hub had an affair. We had a good marriage. Or as I thought. My parents were married 62 yrs, mom died, all my young childhood neighs grew up w parents that stayed together. In laws over 55 yrs, FIL died.

My own neighborhood I'm surrounded by couples my age, 50-60'-70's who have been married a very long time.

Most of my close friends are also in long term marriages. And most of my friends are in marriages without stress of $, kids are grown, parents are dead, or taken care of. Are most of them happy? Is there passion? 50/50, and its 50/50 if it's the men or women who get bored.

But since I've been single, I've spent a lot of time looking at older couples as I'm saddened as now I'll be growing old alone.

Whether I'm sitting in Central Park or shopping in Walmart, or boarding an airplane, but what I see are the couples who show each other kindness, tenderness, respect & a sweetness towards each other most likely do so in all other parts of there lives together. So what ever is passion for one couple may be totally different for another as they age.

~ sammy

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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-18-2015, 03:51 AM
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Re: Aging and keeping the passion after 40+ years

It's a great thing to keep a marriage going forever. Keeping the sex alive helps enormously. One has to work at it as we are changing continually. What we do in the bedroom now has changed from what we did when younger.

I think the relationship is number one and that has to be there as a basis for the bedroom although the bedroom has a real contribution to the relationship. One needs the spark that sexual intimacy brings.

Young at heart I wish all the best in your quest for continuing sexual intimacy. I know it is difficult. My wife never instigates it but does respond if I start it. I do feel guilty sometimes as I have this kink but really it adds so much fire to my sexual life and never seems to go away. My wife is comfortable with it as it happens.

Last edited by RAYMOND; 08-18-2015 at 04:59 AM.
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-18-2015, 04:58 AM
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Re: Aging and keeping the passion after 40+ years

I think passion is different for each couple. One size does not fit all. It is sad that your husband had an affair. It is so common these days but normally spells the death knell for a marriage. I hope you find someone else or at least learn to be really happy as you are. I see older divorced singles and they seem very happy with a good social life. It was not their fault that their husbands strayed so there is no reason not to enjoy life with a clear conscience.
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-18-2015, 03:12 PM
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Re: Aging and keeping the passion after 40+ years

I was 65 on 16th August and my husband is 67. We make love about twice a week, sometimes more often, rarely less and sildenafil plays its part as the drugs my husband takes after recovering from a stroke can make erections difficult occasionally, but when we make love it is not unusual for it to last longer than an hour.

I blog about it and if you look at the timeline page on my sex blog, close to the bottom you'll find an explicit description of our lovemaking on my birthday last year. Just search Angela Goodnight.

Making love into old age is great fun, very relaxing and we both think it is the reason for living. Those wonderful afternoons, with nothing better to do than cuddle and tangle our legs around each other. Who could fail to enjoy it and, of course, although you have the outward trappings of age, inside we are still teenagers.

Your story was fascinating. Thanks.
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-18-2015, 03:23 PM
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Re: Aging and keeping the passion after 40+ years

You still have good legs for your age Angela.

Seriously I don't think sex is the reason for living but it is a generous gift given by God to help hold marriages together.

I have tried Cialis etc. but don't think it is healthy and my wife doesn't want me to use it, so we have glorious foreplay instead.
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 08:40 AM
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Re: Aging and keeping the passion after 40+ years

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I looked at your website and not sure I agree with all that is posted, but I did find the following from late last year interesting.

Thanks.
I know what you mean Young at Heart. Looks like the men have lost their masculinity and have become virtual slaves of their wives. That isn't how love is supposed to be.
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