Sep 6 • 34M

Episode 12: Long Term Relationships

The chance to do things differently

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Sharing our experience of sex post 60. Suzanne Noble and Peter Marriott discuss their own experiences with sex and - as older people themselves - bring years of experience to reflect on it in a witty, open and enthusiastic way. The series is dedicated to helping older people find their way to a healthy and enjoyable sex life. Whether you are just starting out with a new partner or carrying on with an old one, we hope there will be something new here for you.
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This week we discuss what happens in long-term relationships when they have run out of steam. As people live longer and longer and relationships grow proportionately we are increasingly confronted by the question of what they are for. People are asking themselves whether they need to make a break from or make a change within these relationships. About 50% of marriages now end in divorce and the rates for long-term cohabitation are similar. The greatest increase in the divorce rate has been amongst those who have been together for more than 30 years. This has risen from 25% to 44%, showing that there are a lots of older people out there looking for a new start.

As women have grown out of the old ways of doing things and are no longer prepared to put up with the sort of behaviour from men that they were expected to and as they have become more independent socially, politically and personally, relationships are having to change accordingly. As a result, and perhaps surprisingly, around 70% of divorces are initiated by women. Within long-term relationships, too, there is an increasing willingness to do things differently so that it does not have to end in divorce.

This often has to do with sexual dissatisfaction within a relationship, and often this dissatisfaction is on the part of the women who have realised after many years that sex is not just a duty to be performed for procreation or to keep your man happy! Women are not only coming out of the kitchen but out of the bedroom too and demanding better sex. They are demanding different sex as well, in different combinations and different ways and are entering into a new age of experimentation.

It seems to us that are sex in later life does not have to be the simple continuation of old-fashioned marriage by different means. Sexual experimentation and the pursuit of desires for both sexes can carry on at an age undreamed of in earlier generations. The point is to use our newfound real and imaginative freedoms to the fullest extent possible.

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