Great essay. Do I have permission to paraphrase the entire piece; replacing the word women with the word men, and the word beauty with economic gain and the word partnership with competition?
Oh, how different my life would have been if the women I was committed to were not focused on money (first wife of 10 years) or deeply insecure about their physical beauty (second wife of 26 years who in spite of what everyone tells her IS a natural beauty). The first one admitted to me that she was always ready to replaced with me with a richer man. The second refusing to continue having regular sex after she started seeing herself as “old” at around age 65 (I’m 64 and she is 4.5 yrs older). When an internet emotional affair she was having with a fellow “ugly duckling” married male friend from 8th grade became a distraction in our relationship I (stupidly?) gave her “permission” to have sex with him in hopes that it would spark up her libido and finally put an end to her 26 year long tirade about my constant affairs ( which were absolutely figments of her imagination). She went ahead and asked him and he turned her down, and would not explain why. This devastated her, while at the same time in a perverse way made her more obsessed with him. The way she supported his hypocrisy finally drove me to make an ultimatum: “Him or Me.” It’s too long a story to explain how, but I was saw an email of her’s to him asking, “Do you only love me from afar or do we have a future together?” I would have agreed to an open marriage if he was willing to be honest with his wife, but no, my wife interpreted all that open marriage talk as my perverted lust for younger, more beautiful women and so here I am…happily single, but yearning to share what few good years I have left with an “enlightened” women. I hope I find one sooner than later…I’m not getting any younger!