My biggest pet peeve is feeling ignored. My partner’s greatest weakness is not paying attention. I’m sure you can see how that makes for some annoying moments in our relationship. Actually, annoying is an understatement. It drives me crazy when I say something and get no response.
When I was a new mom, I dreaded the first time that my daughter said she hated me. I was sure it would break my heart and strip all of my maternal confidence away. Inevitably, it happened. She was coloring on a wall (as young kids do) and I told her to stop. In her little 4-year-old voice, she looked me dead in the eye and said it: I hate you.
Relationship discussions are not sparse, by any means. In every corner of the internet and in every coffee shop around the world, you’re bound to find people talking about love, what it means, and how to get better at it. But when it comes to women who are over 40, the resources seem to dwindle. Women who are no longer in their thirties should know everything there is to know about relationships, right? Hardly.
All right, team... This is our first game of the season... If we all show the right spirit, I think we can win this one. Let's try to encourage each other... Let's hear a little chatter out there, okay?
― Charles M. Schulz
I’ve always accepted blame for things that are my fault. Even as a young teenager, I didn’t try to cover up my often rebellious acts by refusing responsibility. I copped to whatever I did and accepted the consequences. Many women take the blame for things that they didn’t do just so they can keep the peace and avoid a potential confrontation. While I understand that desire, I have never been one to accept blame for things I did not do.
I have gone through several sexual dry spells in my lifetime. During these times, I was so uninterested in having sex that my partner would get worried and even slightly offended. And I was, too. Offended at my own body, that is. I mean, I love my partner and find him attractive so why did sex of any kind feel like a no-go? I didn’t even want to try to be turned on, if I’m being honest. My mind was elsewhere and my body just wanted to be left alone.
We’re big fans of date nights and magical get-aways with our husbands and main squeezes, and we’ve wondered if women are making enough time for dedicated time with partners. So, we conducted some informal research around the office and among friends, and discovered something surprising.
“We have a timing problem,” my pal Suzie said to me over coffee. She was complaining about her sex life. “He gets his intimacy needs met by having sex, and I want the intimacy up-front, as a sort of bargaining chip for sex.”
Fascinated by Suzie’s problem, I wondered first if it was a heterosexual thing—men getting intimacy through sex, women getting it before they’ll have sex. I wondered if it was a timing problem, as Suzie theorized. This argument, whether you wanted your intimacy as an appetizer or as a side dish, sounded familiar to me. I wondered if some couples solved it with compromise.