I read quotes like this one above and I wonder quietly to myself - do we expect too much from love and marriage in the world we live in today? Have we put ourselves under a ton of pressure to be on top of our love game all the time for fear we may lose if we aren't always fervently full on?
I don't want to rain on anybody's parade - I'm sure there are people out there who have been married for decades and are still making mad frenetic love like rabbits three times a night. I assume there are people who found their soul mate and have never had a cross word between them. I presume there are couples who can't bear to be apart for more than a few hours because they miss each other. I've read about all these people, but they don't seem to be part of the world of marriage I'm in, or even the marriages I see around me. These marriages are much more pragmatic - two independent people sharing the ups and downs of their lives and doing their best to not drive each other crazy - and at the same time committing to the journey with love and affection and warmth and humour to make it all worthwhile.
The nights of wild, abandoned passion are fewer and further between now days. A good night's sleep becomes the holy grail and takes precedence at times over the lusts of our youth. There is still a deep and abiding love and attraction, but "drowning in passion" and "being ravished" often takes a back seat at the end of a long day - and we know that there's always tomorrow night (or the weekend). We aren't the teenagers that we were when we met, or even the carefree 20 year olds, life has changed pace but we're not dead either - just a little slower on the uptake at times!
Thirty plus years of being with the same person means that we know each other well - we've laughed and cried, fought and made up, liked and disliked, agreed and disagreed, and compromised on issues a million times - and will probably do so a million times more. But we are still together. Lust is a wonderful thing, but strong, abiding love and respect have been the glue that has held us together through the years.
I know that there's plenty of women out there getting their second wind (or third, or fourth) because they have re-married or because they have a new partner and the flush of romance is rekindled and I envy them a little, but it's expecting a lot from my poor husband to provide me with the same kind of excitement that I would get from a brand new guy. And part of me doesn't really have a desire for that kind of flash flood, "does he or doesn't he?" new love feeling. I am very happy in a contented, settled relationship with a man who knows me inside out and still chooses to be with me after all these years.
I guess all that makes me sound a little dull - but one of the best things about midlife is that it doesn't matter how I sound, I love my life (and my husband) and I am really happy for others who have the those fire crackers while I stay with the tried and true. Despite the shout outs to flamboyant, flaming lust, no-one has to prove themselves anymore because we are all grown ups and there is still a strong voice for committed, long term love..... Although I'd like to think that within the long haul there is more "bright and shiny" happening than "dull and lifeless" because there might still be another 30+ years to go!