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.