One of my earliest recollections of loneliness is of a classmate who had gotten married right out of high school. He was in the Army and was stationed in another part of the country. Like the rest of us, she had no idea what her expectations of marriage should be.
I remember the misery that poured out of her first letter to me. She was still in the early stages of romantic love and she spoke longingly of the days when her boyfriend used to tie the laces of her shoes and pandered to her every need. They were together constantly. It seemed that the only time he wasn’t with her was when she had to go to the bathroom.
And then she got married and moved clear across the country to be with her husband who was now in the Army. It didn’t matter that he was drafted; she took it as a personal offense as if he had voluntarily signed up to join the Army to get away from her.
She spoke of her sex life which, for girls of our age, was nonexistent, and all I could hear as I was reading her words, was that in the beginning they couldn’t keep their hands off each other. Sex was like a new toy; high school girls didn’t have sex until their wedding night and now she was married and she thought it was going to be the answer to everything.
in her letter, she spoke of having sex every night and then one night, her new husband was too tired. She cried her eyes out, feeling rejected and miserable and, finally, he relented and had sex with her. Whether she had orgasms, is anyone’s guess; we didn’t speak of those things in those days.
But one thing from her letter stood out; the only time she didn’t feel lonely or inadequate was when they were having sex.
In later years, I wondered what happened to them as a couple when the first blush of romantic love wore off and life got in the way. Today, we have many means of contraception; in those days, our methods were limited and conception was more prevalent than contraception.
My guess is that when children started coming, their sex life was greatly diminished, and the same loneliness she experienced as a teenager, would have become the downfall of her marriage.