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How Married Sex Changed When I Cheated Death

married sexI’m not sure what moon my cycle is in, or which lunar orbit is pivoting across the satellite of my luminescent chakras and third eye, but I’m feeling sentimental about my man.

Henry turned 54 in August. Can this be true? I met him for the first time when I was 30 and he was 35. He was deliciously intelligent, and Quaker-proper. I instantly wanted to scandalize him, and think I still succeed in doing so almost nineteen years later.

He maintains a boyish profile, bearing a striking resemblance to that rugged, uber-masculine, swarthy, action hero man’s man, Tin Tin.

Yet I know the clock ticks shorter for the two of us.

My natural morbidity, coupled with a four-day business trip to Colorado in which I had a brief encounter with a tornado on the tarmac of the Denver International Airport whilst seated in a miniature American Eagle 50-passenger Bombardier CRJ700 facing certain death, ramped up my passions when I finally arrived home.

There I found my husband, just back from one child’s 4th grade Open House and the other’s Little League softball game, tidying up for my arrival. He welcomed me with a great deal of affection, but mostly with the gratitude of a man relieved to see his parent-pinch-hitter ready to step up to the bat.

That night, after the girls were off to bed and sleeping soundly, I soaked in a hot tub. As I decompressed, unexpected tears welled in my eyes. Somehow I’d fallen to wondering how many years Henry and I had left together. Ten? (if we were unlucky) Twenty? (still not enough) Thirty? (if our luck held) Forty? (if we’re the first zombies in the Apocalypse or cryogenically frozen.)

I was struck by the fleeting nature of life and our ephemeral love.

I came to bed humble and eager to embrace the man whose presence I take for granted day in and day out. Our lovemaking that night was different. It wasn’t really married sex at all. It was communion and connection. A loving pause in the rapid, surging, time-lapse photography of our lives.married sex

I was reminded of one of my favorite passages from Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse, quoting French Philosopher, Denis Diderot: “Bring your lips to mine/so that out of my mouth/my soul may pass into yours.”

My darling, I breathe you in, I taste and touch you. I love you now, in our bodies at the midpoint, hurtling forward into the unknown. And, if I can have it my way, I’ll love you through to the other side. xo S

If you enjoyed this article you will love Shannon’s book, “Married Sex: Fact & Fiction.” You can order it HERE!


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10 comments

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  1. Suzanne Fluhr
    Suzanne Fluhr 3 September, 2014, 09:20

    As we grow old together, we both seem to feel ever more grateful to share our lives and our bed. Together, we’ve presided over the deaths of parents and a shocking, tragic loss. Having each attained 60 and launched our sons, we feel that the rest is gravy and that we ought not padrone joy. Carpe diem.

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    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 3 September, 2014, 22:07

      Suzanne — I love this comment because there’s so much love in it.

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  2. Liv
    Liv 6 September, 2014, 07:27

    My husband is 52, which is a full 12 years older than me – and we’ve only been married for 3 years. I get caught up,just like you do – struggling with the idea that we missed so many years because we met so late in life – but I’m comforted by the fact that he and I may not have connected years ago – as we were vastly different people then with different ideas about our life path. I’m content.

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    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 7 September, 2014, 10:18

      Hey Liv — I definitely wouldn’t have dated my hubby if we’d met years earlier and I’m almost certain he would’ve given me a pass. There’s a reason why “timing is everything” is so popular. Thanks for coming by!

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  3. Doug Smith
    Doug Smith 1 October, 2014, 20:11

    My wife and i were married when she was 20 and I was 21 (back then in CA guys need their parents signature to get married if they were under 21). We will have been married for 44 years this coming March. My wife had her thyroid removed many years ago and also has end-stage kidney disease and is on dialysis. So our sex life is very intermittent at best. But, just like when we discovered we could not have kids, the two of us make a family and while sex is great, it does not have to define the relationship. Believe me, I am not knocking the sex part, I do miss it at time, but I have also discovered that love can still survive and thrive.

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  4. Cindyhuber
    Cindyhuber 1 October, 2014, 20:54

    You made me cry!!! I’m over 50 and I’m married to the love of my life…and timing is everything because If I had met him even 10 years ago I would have walked right by him with no recognition, nothing…But I was 40 starting a huge do-over in my life and he was newly single working extra jobs to provide for his kids and a little extra fun money for his karaoke…he worked at a grocery story bagging groceries but he always let me cut into his line when he was cashiering for “items 10 and under…” And I’d have a cart full of cookies, food for the kids and one of those rotisserie chickens and I was like “come on over and have something to eat when you’re done at work…So he came over that night and never left…He’s been my husband for 12 years and every day I can’t believe I picked him up at the Pick N save grocery store…

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  5. Rena McDaniel
    Rena McDaniel 2 October, 2014, 05:11

    I’ve been married for 23 years and you’re right we’ve always had a great sex life since that is all that he thinks about but we had always been healthy. In 2011 after a long illness and misdiagnosis I ended up in ICU for 3 weeks and neither of I thought I would survive it but I did because of him. He never left my side for one single minute. After it was over and we were given the green light things were different and still are. We realize what a great relationship we have and we really and I do mean REALLY seem to enjoy the sex so much better. There’s a different quality to it now. Of course it could be the fact that the kids have moved on but now it’s worse my mother is a across the hall! I think it was the almost dying thing.

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    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 2 October, 2014, 08:03

      Rena what an incredible story and a testament to your marriage. I love hearing about the loving, happy marriages out there. xo

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