You know how one minute you're in a happy and fulfilling marriage and the next you find out that your husband of 20 years has been cheating on you with someone 10 years younger? Well, I do.
I went from country club wife and mother of high school students to a single, 39-year-old “cougar.” In this weekly feature, I will share with you all the mind-boggling, head-scratching, is-this-someone's-idea-of-a-joke moments from my so-called single life. Consider this your private invitation to my tremendous learning curve…
Where's the accountability?
Uh! Damn the single life!
Let me share with you what my new life as a “cougar” is missing, besides a husband. Accountability! I operate much better in the confines of a committed relationship, and one of the biggest reasons is the accountability of having to look another person in the face and be honest. I've never been a good liar, and I don't admire people who are skilled at that. So even though when I was married I got hit on, and like most women I formed my little crushes, I never strayed. In the 20 plus years I was married, I never so much as kissed another man. I couldn't imagine a more hurtful thing to do to someone else (my ex-husband was not plagued by such beliefs).
I no longer have someone I have to face if I screw up, and my kids are adults, so we're just on the “courtesy text” program — if one of us is going to be gone for the night, we text the others so no one worries.
I do what I want
With no one to answer to, I flounder. I embrace being single — I really do love it. I love eating what I want for dinner and when I want to eat it. I love watching what I want to watch on TV. I love that I come and go as I please, and I don't have to check in to see if anyone needs me to do any bi*** chores for them. After two decades of considering other people's schedules and feelings, this is the upside to a lack of accountability.
Loneliness is f'ing evil
I'm not kidding. I've also come to the hard realization that if evil exists in this world, it is routed in loneliness. I'll be cruising along for a couple of months in my, “I'll be where I'm at” frame of mind and boom! Out of nowhere I'll feel lonely. Loneliness is followed by self-pity, which is typically followed by poor decisions.
Oops, I did it again
So yeah, answering to no one is all well and good until you desperately need to answer to someone to keep you out of trouble. Regular readers of mine know that last week I dodged a bullet with a fine, young 31-year-old ("Zach") and was so proud of myself for not sleeping with him.
“Round 2 of resisting Zach” didn't go so well. We had another fun-filled night, and he showed me to my upstairs room, like I had requested. Then that sneaky little bastard asked if I wanted to get in the hot tub. I knew crawling into the upstairs bed, when his was downstairs, would be the wiser choice. I knew if I got in the hot tub, it would be game on.
I woke up the next morning and retrieved my swimsuit out of the hot tub, so I'll leave it to you to do the math. While I'm not proud of what transpired, I'm no longer going to beat myself up about it. I didn't ask to be in my early 40s and single — that was my ex's choice. I'm doing what I can. I don't stumble often, but as a human, I get lonely and need to get laid once in a while. Is that honest enough for you?
To make myself feel better though, I am renaming one-night stands "adult sleepovers," because that is exactly what Zach and I did. We had a slumber party like when we were kids and just threw in some sex. It happens.
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