How to Fall in Love After Divorce in the MeToo Era – Glamour
After that, it was the man who would become my husband. We had known each other since I was 18. We married when I was 22. I did what I was supposed to. I gave it all. I moved for him, gave up career aspirations for him, waited for the time when it would be my turn. I cooked and decorated and worked small jobs and had children. While my friends made drunken mistakes on floor mattresses, I picked out throw pillows and made stews from the Joy of Cooking. I didn’t want what they had. I truly didn’t. I was content with my little life, content with the promise of more, later, eventually. But “more” never happened.
So when at 35 I found myself completely unmoored, I decided to just fuck up. I plunged into a world of canceled men, dating apps, dick pics—the bad men, who were in fact bad, the good men who tried so hard to prove they were good, except what? Put on a condom, you say? In letting go of my marriage, I let go of everything I had known and understood about sex and relationships and men. And I did it as all the women on earth had turned into open wounds.
Here is the metaphor that most makes sense: After I gave birth to my first child, I experienced a lot of hemorrhaging. I passed in and out of consciousness, while the doctor pounded my uterus to stanch the flow. I remember waking up and watching a nurse mop my blood off the floor. The bucket near her feet was filled with splashing, red waves.
“The floor must look like the tide at Omaha Beach,” I joked. Then I passed out again.
That’s what October felt like. The tide at Omaha Beach. Watching in pain as my blood, our blood, spilled all over. It’s also what November and December and all the other months since have felt like. News alert after news alert. Famous man after famous man. Then not-so-famous men. My friends texted, flooded with memories of that one man that one time, or that one boyfriend, or that one coach, or that friend of their parents.
At night I would dream I was drowning, pulled underwater by the hands of men reaching up to me from below. But all I wanted to do was fall in love with men.
I began sleeping with men in earnest. My whole life I had had sex with only one person, and now I was determined to know men. To feel the bone on their hips, the divot in their elbows. I wanted to press my palm against their sternum. To feel their heart beating through the pulse in their thighs. I wanted to slip my hand in theirs. To rest my cheek against the soft skin of their waist.
I should have been repulsed. I should have been angry. I should have shut down. Instead, at work, I was sobbing. And after dark I was fucking.
I wanted to understand men. I wanted to know the fleshy reality of them. So much of my life has been spent twisting and turning myself around them. Moving my body to avoid their elbows on airplanes. Stepping aside while they walk down sidewalks, oblivious. Apologizing when they accidentally kick me in bars or restaurants. In my marriage I slept on the side of the bed I didn’t like, curling up to an edge to escape the hot presence of a man. But now I didn’t want to avoid them. I wanted to see them, and I wanted them to see me too.