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Middle-aged married men of an earlier era explained their philandering by saying that because their wives gave themselves to God after age 50 they have no choice but to look elsewhere.
How much that statement was based on fact or just seemed like a good excuse in a society where churchgoing played a major part, especially as one aged, is uncertain.
What I do know is that in these modern times where women are more financially independent and have a liberated lifestyle, the same cannot be said. These days, many women 50 and over tend to dress fashionably and, because they are conscious of their health, make an effort to exercise to control their weight.
That’s why I was caught by surprise when this man called and engaged me on today’s two-part question: Why is it that after many married women pass 50, they seem to lose interest in sex? Yet single women their age often look glamorous and are usually very sexually active. Do these over-50 women take their marriage for granted?
He explained that he was married for more than 20 years but his sex life had diminished to an average of twice a month. Next thing, too, his wife has made no attempt to control her eating though he told her that she was making herself unattractive by her weight gain.
On the other hand, many of her friends who were unmarried seemed to take care of themselves. Most of them did some form of exercise regularly, they dressed well, ensured their hair was always well done and generally presented attractive packages.
He said that from conversations with other men in his age group he realized that many of them had the same complaint about their wives and a similar admiration for unmarried women in their age group.
He noted those women most guilty of doing this may have grown up in the church, but for sure were influenced by the elderly women of their institutions that this was what should be done as one approached menopause.
This husband declared that he did not want to cheat on his wife as he didn’t need the stress of lying and hiding or anything of that sort. What he would like her and, by extension, other middle-aged married women to realize is that when you reach 50 you are at your peak, not your end.
I concur with his assessment.
The following are edited versions of responses:
- “One must take into consideration the obvious diverse differences between married and single life. And although sex remains the acknowledged and essential method of expressing love for males, a married female would essentially express her love in other ways as she feels comfortable, and may have a decreased libido. Nevertheless, her spouse should strive to make her feel sexy and attractive, as ageing may cause her to feel otherwise.”
-“It has a lot to do with the husband’s attitude. There are some very jealous men and women out there. Some men will gawk at a sexily dressed 50-year-old, but if their wives dressed the same way to go to work or wherever would ask where they think they are going. I often see men dropping off their wives or girlfriends at bus stops, but can’t take their eyes off some other woman at the bus stop. It always leads to derision on my part. This degrading treatment can lead the woman to cheating.”
-“Sometimes these women get too comfortable and figure that it isn’t a big issue with their husbands anymore. Been there, done that, perhaps. It also could be that they have reached the menopause stage and don’t find themselves as attractive as before. The single women at that age are more comfortable and confident with themselves like if their life has just begun.”
-“Because marriage sucks the “life” out of you. That’s why I am happy to be single.”
- “I see these women all of the time. They probably married a man they thought they could change and now they’re bitter and resentful because they have wasted what they consider the best part of their lives.”
- “I’m sure their self-esteem is down in the gutter and because of that they don’t have the desire to have sex or to even make themselves look attractive.”
-“They are probably tired of the same old routine. Maybe their husbands don’t look as good or do not perform in bed as well as before and therefore the wives get sexually frustrated. Maybe the husband wants her to do degrading things in bed, or maybe she just has a headache or is tired after a long day of cooking and cleaning.”
-“It’s possible many of these women are in loveless marriages. The couple may have stayed together for the kids or appearances and, suddenly, the years go by and frustration and resentment set in. Why bother looking sexy when there’s no desire?”