9 Ways To Start A New Sexual Relationship After The Loss Of Your Spouse

sex after the death of a spouse
Self, Sex

Being a widow doesn't mean you can never enjoy sex again.

Netflix just released its new original film, Our Souls at Night, which features Jane Fonda and Robert Redford as widowed acquaintances who develop a “neighbors with benefits” connection. This film reunites these two film legends who, fifty years ago, starred as a newlywed couple in the romantic comedy, Barefoot in the Park. So fun to see them together again!

How easy is it to begin a new sexual life after the death of a spouse or partner? According to researchers Alice Radosh and Linda Simkin, many people will struggle with a new intimate relationship if they haven't grieved the one they lost. They call this type of mourning "sexual bereavement.

"I miss being openly desired, I miss teasing, I miss all the foreplay that comes before. I miss being sexy. I miss being a sensual woman.” — Widow's Voice: Seven Widowed Voices Sharing Love, Loss, and Hope
 

Here are nine tips that can help you move forward, sexually, after the loss of an intimate partner:

1. Find someone to talk to about your sexual loss. 

This can be a trusted friend, relative, or caring healthcare provider.

2. Journal your feelings. 

Writing is a therapeutic way to express deep and heartfelt emotions. If you wish, write a letter to your deceased partner and share how much you mourn the loss of the sexual relationship you shared.

RELATED: 8 Ways People With Type 1 Diabetes Can Achieve Sexual Satisfaction

3. Come to terms with deathbed promises.

Many people make unrealistic demands of loved ones during their final days of life. 

They ask them to promise to be loyal, to make certain financial decisions, and more. If your lover asked you to make a challenging pledge, they didn't understand the impact the promise could have on you and your future.

4. Remember that you aren't alone in wishing to have an active healthy sex life.

As we age, many people remain sexually active. In a study of 3,005 older American adults, researchers found that 73 percent of people between the ages of 57-64, 53 percent of those aged 65-74 and 26 percent of those between 75 - 85 participated in some form of sexual activity on a regular basis.

5. Keep your sense of humor.

Being with someone new will probably be awkward at first, so try to laugh together when his erection medication takes longer than expected to kick in or you get a muscle cramp while trying a new sexual position. 

6. Use protection. 

Even if you are no longer of childbearing age, you can still contract a sexually transmitted disease. Keep yourself safe and always use a condom.

7. Keep lubricant handy. 

Women lubricate less as they age, which can cause pain during intercourse. Use a water-based vaginal lubricant to help with this issue.

8. Try to relax.

You may feel nervous about being with someone new. You may think of your past lover while with your new one. Breathe slowly to help calm yourself and know that, with time, you can become more comfortable with new sexual experiences. 


Related: Why Watching 'Outlander' Is SURE To Wake Up Your Sleeping Sex Drive
 

9. Get help if you need it.

Meet with a marriage and family therapist or sex therapist if you continue to struggle with this new phase of your life.
 

If it helps, keep the following quote in mind. After all, you are still here — alive and well — and deserve a full life: 

"For in ethics, life comes first. It is always ethical to violate promises to the dead in the interests of the living." — Jack Marshall

Janis Roszler is a therapist who specializes in diabetes-related sexual and relationship issues. Her blog articles and books can help transform your intimate life. Have diabetes? Learn how you can reconnect sexually with the one you love. Read Janis’ books, including Sex and Diabetes: For Him and For Her and follow her on Twitter.

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