Bear with me because this may seem off topic, but it isn't.

I've been recently thinking about death. Yesterday, my post sexless marriage lover had to put his beloved dog of 14 years to sleep. The dog had been obviously declining for months, resting more, moving slower, and requiring more visits to the vet. My lover had told me that he would have his dog euthanized when it became too weak to get up on his own.

Each morning, I'd hear my lover calling to his pet to get up. Finally, there came the morning when my lover had to help his pet up. "It is time," my lover told me. "Say your good-byes to him before you leave today," he added.

Before having his dog put to sleep, my lover hand fed his pet since his dog was too weak to eat on his own. Then, my lover took him to one last visit to their favorite park. My lover stayed with his dog as the injection was given, and then my lover posted a RIP on FB. He got many calls and supportive notes from friends. When my lover and I talked, he told me how he cried when he held his dog as his dog died.

This is the difference between my lover and my ex: The capacity to have vulnerability and emotional intimacy including having close friends.

When about 10 years ago, I stumbled on clear evidence that my older son, who was living far from home, had a drug problem, my refuser denied the evidence even though the evidence was a blog in which our son was documenting his use. I was the one who contacted experts all over the country to unsuccessfully try to get help.

My friends later told me that it was clear that I was carrying the full emotional load of our son's problems while my husband looked like life was wonderful.

When my husband ended up in the hospital twice -- once with a suspected heart attack, another time with a condition that could have resulted in his death, he was in complete denial that anything was wrong. He also didn't want any friends to visit (The friends who visited were my friends, not his because he didn't have any friends in the area who were emotionally close to him).

Again, I was left carrying the emotional weight.

The other thing that I have been thinking about that has to do with death is that a friend of mine - -a woman in her 60s went into hospice yesterday. She is dying from lung cancer.

When I met her 4 years ago, she knew she had terminal cancer, yet was acting in a play (taking a small role because she knew that was all she could handle). Shortly before her diagnosis, she had buried her husband, a professional man who late in their marriage had become a heroin addict and run through virtually all of their funds.

Despite those bad things in her life, she believed enough in love to publish on-line profiles in hopes of finding a new partner. She was truthful, too, letting them know that she had cancer in remission, but that it would eventually kill her.

She ended up making a long distance boyfriend whom she would sext with. I think that he is the man whom she married last year after riding his motorcycle cross country.

My purpose for writing this is as a reminder about the importance of having a partner who is able to be intimate -- emotionally and sexually -- and vulnerable, and who is able to establish strong relationships with you and other.

My other purpose is to let you know that if you've been hanging onto a miserable marriage because you feel that's the best you can do, reconsider your options. If a woman with terminal cancer can find love and sex again, it's likely that you can, too.

He is caring for her now as she dies.

Mettamomma Mettamomma
66-70, F
10 Responses Aug 21, 2014

wow, great post! Thinking about getting ill and relying on my current H to handle it is not a positive thought. You can always tell who your friends are by how they treat you when you are down. That woman sounds like one of those special people that we don't have enough of!

Crying now. I have no words to express how I feel right now. Just crying. I understand every word you said. And I agree with you on "hanging onto a miserable marriage etc" comment.
Thanks for your post. Always.

Thank you for posting this.

Thank you for posting this.

Thank you for sharing this, Mettamomma. You stated two purposes in sharing your reflection, and I see a third. Life is short, and we owe it to ourselves to live life to the fullest because we never know when it will end. And one of the greatest blessings in our lives is our capacity to love and to share emotional and physical intimacy with someone very special. That's what makes life worth living.

A good friend of enna30's and mine is, as we speak, in palliative care with a matter of days to go.
We went in to see her yesterday afternoon to say our goodbyes, and spent probably half an hour there, the limit of her endurance.
There was laughter and there were tears.
It was very intense. Beautiful in many ways.
Sorry, I'm off topic a bit here Sister M.
Just wanted to write this down.

That wasn't off topic at all, bazzar. I think that the most intimate thing one can do other than enjoying sex with a beloved partner is to be allowed to be with someone when they are dying since that is when a person is at their most vulnerable. To have a partner who is willing to join you in being with a dying friend is to have a very special partner.

Wow. Thank you for post! So well written and a great reminder about what it means to love and be loved.x

Good stuff Metta. I am so impressed by your man. Being a dog lover myself, that is a very tough thing to do. He did it with courage and love.

Brought tears to my eyes...all of it. I'm so sorry for your pet loss. I just love that your partner was strong enough to follow the daily rituals and say goodbye. What a beautiful way to say goodbye.

You are so right that what is sought after but often evades us is both physical & emotional intimacy. Sometimes I feel I piece together those things from different relationships because it's just too hard to come by both with one man. I meet men all the time (just as they say on here all too frequently) who tell me they are in love with their wife but she doesn't want sex so he is just looking for sex. Less frequently I meet a man who is so emotionally deprived we will make friends & begin to develop deeper feelings. Those guys usually hit a wall of guilt and that's that. You are right - we need both but too often settle for one of the other in or out of marriage.

Thanks for sharing!