You would think that the freedom after divorce would open the floodgates for your sexuality – wave after wave of booze, beds, and boinking.
Well, not really …
99% of the time, it has the opposite effect. It kicks your libido right in the nuts then points at it and laughs.
Why does this happen?
#1. YOUR SHITTY FRIEND, MR. STRESS
Even as “friendly” as my divorce was (I can’t image what things would be like going through a nasty one), it was still a life event that inevitably brought on a crap ton of anxiety. It was the process of separating two lives that had existed as one since university.
The bodily chemicals being dumped into my system on a daily basis left no room for a sex drive.
You end up wanting to stay like this – all day, every day.
AND you’ll hear all the frigging advice in the WORLD about how to deal with it – eat better, exercise more, go out with trusted friends, get a dog, buy a new wardrobe, go on vacation, fuck around until your genitals fall off.
Everyone becomes a specialist … and you “have an issue” or “aren’t dealing with it properly” if you don’t follow their advice.
What they don’t realize is that they’re often ADDING to your problems.
And, unless they’ve gone through something similar before, they just won’t understand that all the spinning classes and organic vegan dishes in the world aren’t going to combat the long, arduous journey.
#2. YOUR NEW IDENTITY
When you’ve lived as “so-and-so’s partner” for a while, part of you only knows yourself as half of the relationship puzzle.
You can have as much personal space as you want, but you still end up adapting or changing something about who you are, how you react, or what you do (the motivations being irrelevant) to be in that pairing.
And then, all of a sudden…You’re just you.
But who am I?
Do you react to certain situations because it’s how YOU react? Or is it something you’ve grown accustomed to because you had to compromise in the relationship?
Do you really want to do something because you like it? Or are you just used to it because it was for your partner’s happiness (and they have equally done the same for you)?
Things like that.
Whether it’s healthy or not depends on you and your partner, but finding out who you are after all these years is NOT an easy thing to do.
The foods you eat, social events, friendships, personal schedule, it all changes
And this includes finding out you are as an independent, sexual being.
This kind of personal crisis and exploration is a huge thing to undertake. It’s stressful (which brings us back to #1).
But it also takes us to #3…
#3. YOU HAVE TO LEARN SEX AGAIN
You have sex with someone for years and it becomes a “certain” way. You do things with and to each other “this way” or “that way” because you know they like it.
But now, if you want to get into the game again, you’re left wondering if you know how to do it with anyone else anymore.
You feel like a clumsy, awkward newbie – and it scares the shit out of you.
- “Am I doing it right?”
- “They don’t look like they’re enjoying it.”
- “Oh, god, he/she is going to complain to his/her friends how bad I am.”
The list goes on and on. You worry, you tense, and that just makes things worse. And it doesn’t go away after one partner or a couple romps in someone else’s bedsheets.
#4. YOUR OVERALL CONFIDENCE SUCKS
More often than not, your confidence will go into the toilet. Society labels divorce as a failure (which is bullshit btw).
You might also run into these damaging little nuggets:
- You could have done more
- You gave up too quickly
- You could have fought harder
- You are at just as much fault as the other person
- You don’t know what a real marriage is
- You are hurting people around you
I even had a friend who said she was “disappointed in me”.
Someone who knew next to nothing about my relationship in any kind of depth (let alone it’s trials and tribulations over YEARS) had the gall to talk to me like a parent whose kid got a D in school because they were slacking.
Far too often it’s our friends and families that make us feel the shittiest.
Granted, things are much better than they used to be (when divorce was still the ultimate trespass in a relationship). Now, there are endless support groups, targeted therapy, and even divorce parties.
However, there are still archaic societal and religious notions about what marriage is (and what it means if things end) and you end up with an environment that isn’t as supportive as it should be.
Picking up the pieces of your dynamic personality and gaining self-confidence is a challenge in general but even harder post-divorce. This makes even something as simple as holding hands feel harder than it really is.
Take all these points, and it’s no wonder our libido crawls into a hole and dies.
The good news is that there are solutions – they’re not copy/paste solutions for everything and everybody, but they’re worth looking at…
- EXERCISE – I mentioned this earlier. If you can manage to be more active, it’s always good for your body (but don’t push yourself if you can’t)
- THERAPY – This can help A LOT – I can’t stress it enough. Whether Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or seeing a traditional Psychologist, talking to something will help.
- HEALTHY CONNECTIONS – This means the truly supportive friends and family that you can turn to. Granted, each person is responsible for their own happiness and confidence, but a network of support is vital.
- TAKE YOUR TIME – Allow yourself time to heal and don’t push for a quick recovery just “prove” your strong on your own.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
So, there you have it – the big A-holes that are going to try to ruin your sex drive after divorce.
And, my lovelies, if any of you are going through this right now, you have my hugs and love. I’ll also end on a positive note (albeit a said-to-death one)…
ALL of these obstacles are possible to overcome.
It WILL get better.
Hang in there.