Remember in the movie “Shrek” when Shrek told Donkey that ogres were like onions, with lots of layers?
That’s kind of how the loss in an alcoholic marriage is.
Lots (and lots) of layers.
I met an old friend for drinks the other night.
Yes, a “guy” friend.
We’ve known each other for probably 30 years now and while we were never an “item,” there a chemistry between us.
My (good, protective, supportive!) friend was worried about me having drinks with him. Between the state of my marriage, my own emotional state, the allure of a nice man making me feel nice about myself – and ALCOHOL thrown in – she thought I might do something “foolish.”
While I’m flattered she thinks I am even in a place where I’d have sex with someone, I assured her there was no, no, no, no way that was happening.
And here’s why:
I am nearly 50 years old.
I have had four children.
Time and pregnancy and life has done what it normally does to the female body. In all honesty, I don’t look “bad;” I just look like what nature really meant for middle-aged, mothers to look like. And what the media, Hollywood and Madison Avenue has convinced us we should NOT look like. I’m round and soft and squishy. And while I’m reasonably ok with how I look (ok, more resigned than ok with it but…)I am not about to get naked in front of some man who I see maybe once every year or two!
When my mom and dad were in their fifties, I remember my mother telling me that one evening she was looking at herself in the mirror and said, “who would want to crawl into bed with this 50 year old body.” And my dad said, “A 50 year old man…” I was probably about 25 then and of course had no idea that 50 was coming for me.
Marriage is suppose to provide comfort and intimacy – emotional, spiritual, mental, physical.
These form the basis for a trust that is all emcompasing.
A trust that, among lots of other things, makes it possible to get naked in front of someone even though life didn’t give you the “Christy Brinkley” version of a middle-aged body.
A trust that is yet one more thing lost in the alcoholic marriage.