Our marriage broke down for the usual reasons; he wanted more sex, I wanted more conversation. If only it was as simple as that.
But sex was a huge issue, along with it intimacy and I am sure I am not alone in this. So after he left, I decided to explore my sexuality, to see if I was as cold a fish as I had been accused of.
There was a time I loved sex but it was always tinged with the shame that I think a lot of my generation felt – we were the ones who straddled the divide of sexual freedom while also constantly being asked when we were going to settle down.
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I had been around a few blocks by the time I did get married, so it was not as if I was a virgin, but it certainly feels like you are one again after two decades of monogamy and sex, like everything, moves with the times.
Fuelled by Shiraz and lots of photo filters, I cobbled together a vaguely amusing bio, my best angles and started swiping. Men and women because why not?
Seeing my husband’s profile on Tinder wasn’t a surprise. I knew he had been exploring his options for a while by then. At first my stomach dropped as it did when I found out he cheated on me but then I thought, why not, and swiped right. It was an immediate
Interesting… that damn Shiraz.
All of a sudden, my ex and I had a neutral space that we could chat on, impersonal and distant from our real life.
It wasn’t our bedroom full of resentful landmines, the kitchen full of polite silences, it wasn’t our mundane, busy marriage. It allowed us to finally open up, explore and actually talk about sex without it turning into an argument – something
that had hindered our intimacy for almost a decade.
In our emails and Whatsapps and text messages we never referred to our Tinder life. This just added to the excitement and the feeling of security that we could say what we wanted.
We did things together that were never possible in the stilted silence of a stale marriage. We spoke about sexual preferences, things we wanted to try, things we had enjoyed with previous lovers – things we should have discussed as a dating
couple never mind a married one. For so many reasons we never did.
We went into our marriage with repressions and hang ups and secrets and regrets and the inability to truly open up to each other. Looking back on it, it’s surprising the marriage lasted as long as we did.