Older, Wiser in Bed: What's Boring to One Person, Might Mean Quiet Charm to Another

This recent article in the Time Online entitled Older, Wiser in Bed answers a question from a bored 50-something woman who is contemplating leaving her husband for an older man. The answer describes exactly how I feel about so many spouses leaving their mates to seek seemingly more verdant pastures: The grass isn't necessarily greener on the other side, it's just different. The horse seeking greener pasture hasn't changed, except that it wanted something not quite in reach. Finding a way to get to it took quite some effort. But when it got to the other pasture, it realized that all it had accomplished was to simply trade grass for . . . grass. Here is Dr. Stuttaford's answer to the woman's question:

Leaving a husband whose only vice is that he is boring seems a poor reason to renege on the mutual commitment and loyalty that led you to battle through life together for nearly 20 years.

Dullness is entirely subjective. What is interpreted as dullness in a man by one woman will be described by another as quiet charm. Is your husband dull, or are you just bored by him? Would you find your older lover equally boring if you had been with him every day for 20 years? By then, you would know all his jokes and stories by heart. Furthermore, within ten years, your older man will be a septuagenarian with a 50 per cent chance of being impotent, and no longer able to be the skilled, considerate lover. His physical and mental powers will be beyond their peak and the first signs of intellectual inflexibility, emotional blunting and forgetfulness may well be showing.

By then, you may remember your husband with some nostalgia.

So what's the point of this post? In my humble and lay opinion, sometimes it takes less energy to "fix" a boring marriage than it does to renege on one's promise to love and cherish one another in order to embark on a new relationship. If the pain, chaos and upheaval that result from a broken marriage are worth the effort, then leave. But if you are merely bored ... look inside. Nine times out of ten, that's where the true problem lies. Horses seeking excitement bring their problems with them to that greener pasture.


FI0NA said...

"Same game" as they say "different balls" very much my experience. It was not my choice to leave my marriage, but it was my choice to get into another relationship, and you are right. It's not better, just different.

BigAssBelle said...

my extensive (exteeeeeensive) dating history prevents me from ever imagining there's much else of interest on the manly front beyond my sweetheart.

i have occasionally found myself interested in another guy ~ just getting to know him ~ and it always seems that i think first that he's pretty cool and i like him and he's a lot like mike, well adjusted, smart, talented. and then the bloom wears off and i'm horrified that i could compare this guy who has turned out to be a complete loon with mike, who is still pretty kickass after 16 years. strange.