Who better to write a book about divorcing at this age than a baby boomer who did it himself, after 27 years of marriage?! Barry Gold of Los Angeles started a website to share what he’s learned about what he calls Gray Divorce, then wrote a book called Gray Divorce Stories. This excerpt is from an interview with a mid-fifties woman named Gayla. It’s called, “If My Ex Could See Me Now.”
I wasn’t in a big hurry to get out there and start dating again. So I took a year or so, just exploring, doing what I wanted to do. Then finally I went online.
I met some very interesting characters. Most of these guys don’t want anything serious. They were married thirty years, they had to give up half of everything, they don’t want to do that again.
We come with so much more baggage now. I try not to let that interfere with whatever is going on, but it is a part of who you are.
I do feel like I missed out on a lot. I wasn’t happy for many years. I just buried it — all those feelings.
I buried my sexuality too, because I hated having sex with my husband. Oh god, it’s Saturday night, he’s gonna start rubbing my back again … It was awful. And I thought, is this what sex is about? Really?
But I would just do it. Like, Hurry up, come on, are you done yet? It was a chore, like vacuuming, and laundry, things I had to do in my marriage.
So that was pretty depressing.
But I’ve turned that around now. Maybe a little too much, if that’s possible.
I am dating more than one guy. And I just ended a two-and-a-half-year relationship with a guy. But we were never really together. It was more about sex than anything. It was a friends-with-benefits arrangement. And he totally opened my eyes, he shocked me actually, at first, like totally shocked me. I was like, People really do that?
He came into my life for a reason. He came in to teach me about my own sexuality and what’s out there. To this day, I’m still shocked at what goes on in the world, from a sexual standpoint. I still try to wrap my head around all these different types of relationships. It’s weird.
The traditional, you get married, you stay married — that’s all gone these days.
People are into such different things now. And I was like, Okay, I’m not going to judge anybody. Whatever, but wow. Wow.
Most of them are younger. I’m seeing a guy now who’s 48. And he’s married. He’s in “The Lifestyle.” It’s a completely open relationship with his wife. And she has a friend who she sleeps with. I have a hard time wrapping my head around it all. How does this work? What if somebody’s feelings get deeper than they should be?
I met a couple that wanted me to join them. Okay, whatever turns you guys on. It’s weird to me, but okay.
I’ve almost always waited for the man to contact me first. I have broken that rule occasionally, if somebody was really intriguing. But for the most part, I figure the guy should make the first move. I guess I’m a little old-fashioned.