Watching new BBC series, Apple Tree Yard I was thinking how easy it is to take one carefully constructed middle aged life – complete with loving partner, happy kids, a career and a West London home filled with art and Le Creuset – and completely unravel it in a few joy-fueled, selfish moves. Mid life crisis anyone?
Putting aside the lack of chemistry between our lead lovers (I remember having a major crush on Ben Chaplin in “The Truth About Cats & Dogs donkeys years ago – where has he been?) is a world of contentment so unfulfilling that our protagonist chooses a shag in a Crypt or any street corner, over its infinite merits? Why does sex makes fools of us all.
Ego plays a part, in this our lead lady refers to herself as a “Jelly Baby” – no longer lithe and youthful, she is almost in her invisible years when even builders cease to make comment. A tricky time for women – a vulnerable time – when many marriages hit a hurdle, counsellors are called upon and many end up not making it. In fact, divorce is actually on the increase for women 50 plus – more so than in any other demographic.
Hardly surprising – after all, this is the decade when life feels full of forms and fees that need paying, work obligations, parents needing us, tax demands: in short it’s easy to feel stuck in a world of responsibilities – and where the hell has the FUN gone? Sites like Illicit Encounters are feeling the benefit of this surge of desire for the new, the different, a smorgasbord of sexual partners to dull the monotony.
I interviewed a couples counsellor this week and she spoke of the three stages of long term partnerships – The Ideal – when we fall in love, have constant sex, look deep into each other’s eyes; The Ordeal – time of difficulty and conflict (this can last decades btw) vs The Real Deal – the time of real trust, togetherness and comfort.
I know which I’m residing in, do you?
Love Jane x