Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Story About a Marriage Made Better by an Affair

I met R on Ashley Madison.  He was a great guy. In his 60's. Fit. Married for 40 years. Fun. Smart. A good provider.  He loved his wife very, very much.  She was his best friend. The only problem he had at home was the lack of sex and lackluster sex, and those had been  problems for decades.  In recent years, he had tried everything -talking with her, encouraging her, and even several years of couples therapy. The conclusion was "that's just how she is."

It was at that point that R went on AM looking for more. I was skeptical when we met, both because of his age (I have a 60+ honey at home, ya know) and the fact that he had been having less that fabulous sex for so long.  Maybe he wasn't as good as he thought he was.  He didn't have much feedback to go on.  I know it seems a bit shallow to have thought such things, but I'm just telling you the truth.  At that point in my life, I was looking for a "friend with benefits" situation so the quality of the "benefits" mattered.

I was very pleasantly surprised.  He was an amazing lover! He was generous and patient.  He had an unbelievable amount of stamina and, I have to say it, a cock that was well above average in size (both length and girth). And yes, he definitely knew how to use it - and his fingers...and his tongue.

After being with him about three times, I started to think, "What the heck is wrong with his wife? I know women who would kill to have this man at home.  He's the whole package."

Everything was going along nicely until his wife, P, found out. She didn't take it well. Apparently things were not pretty for awhile.  He continued to see me, being more careful.

R told her why he was having an affair.  He confirmed that he loved her and he didn't want to lose her, but she couldn't argue that he had tried everything he could think of to improve their sex life and she had just refused to make a change, and he couldn't stand it anymore. I am sure that was as difficult a thing to say as it was to hear.

After an initial period of anger and tears, something happened.  She started fighting for her husband - in the bedroom. Apparently, the conclusion that "that's just how she is" was wrong. That was how she was choosing to be, but faced with the prospect of sharing her husband with another woman (and a younger one at that), she decided to make an effort. And things started to change.  Both the frequency and the quality of their sex improved.

I have to admit, I was proud of her! She didn't just lay down and cry, she decided to do what she could to give her husband what he wanted to he wouldn't want another woman. She was going to fight for 40 years of marriage and all of the wonderful things they shared.

When she caught him again, he finally cut things off with me for good.  I haven't heard from him since, but I know for certain that their marriage is better because of the affair he had. It was the shake up P needed to get out of her comfort zone and take her husband's sexual needs seriously.

Now, it could easily have gone the other way and many couples end up in divorce court instead of wedded bliss after an affair, but my point is that it doesn't always mean divorce. Not only can marriages stay together after an affair, but sometimes they are even better than they were before.  That is how it was for R and P.


Marcus said...

Maybe you could help me too Kat?

Clem said...

Let's hear it for the older man. It's for the same reasons you were surprised by, that my younger lovers are so well satiated. I know the 'Nurse' was. There will be more.

Ethan Lambert said...

You know it's funny, but I was just reflecting on the fact that my marriage is better when I'm cheating. With one exception I got out of the adultery race eighteen months ago. But it's funny how much more patient, how much better a lover, how clear my thinking is, how much more confident I am when I'm sexually satisfied.

Just five minutes before I read this I was making the point that a lot of the progress my wife and I made towards a better relationship occurred because cheating gave me the confidence and clarity to identify and communicate the problems in our marriage. I'm not trying to justify anything... it just is what it is.

Ethan Lambert said...

Hey, did you notice your subscribe to comments link is missing?

Ben said...

Well, in my life, I was the one who, after many years of a blissful sex life, had some major issues as a result of a cancer surgery. And I was in my early 50's at the time. It was ugly. I did not feel my wife was there for me in my recovery. But, once we got things out in the air, we came to an amazing revelation for both of us. In this case, it was my wife who had an affair, of sorts, with her best friend. We opened our marriage a little allowing me some new experimentation and my wife to express her bi side. Surprising things can happen.

And yes, older guys can be wonderful lovers. And women really begin to hit their sexual prime in their later 40's as far as I am concerned,

Ted D said...

If more women (and men) would simply put the effort in early and keep putting it into their marriage, this kind of stuff wouldn't happen at all. I am 100% against any kind of cheating, but this is a case where the wife was simply NOT helping her husband remain faithful to his vows.

It takes two people to make a marriage work. Period. If one of them is not willing to put in the work and meet their parnter's needs, then they should have the decency to leave and let them find a mate that will.

I don't think this woman stepping up now after 40 years is praiseworthy at all. Her husband had to "step out" on the marriage AND get caught for her to finally wake up. That is a fail, no doubt about it.

Ethan Lambert said...

Ted D, I appreciate your sentiment and wholeheartedly agree that there is a failure in a marriage when one partner has to step out due to conflicting sex drives, but how is salvaging a marriage instead of letting it go not praiseworthy? Marriages are about a whole lot more than sex... emotional connection, children, finances... hell, LOVE.

It would be great if you married someone who was perfect for you, and you both worked to stay perfect all throughout your lives together. But people change. Sex drive can be affected by physical health, mental health, stress, biological libido changes, time management... and in the end, some people (I would venture to say MOST people) are just raised with the belief that sex is something that goes away when the newlywed phase is over.

Sex in marriage is a funny thing, though. It's supposed to be unimportant enough that you should learn to live without it in a sexless marriage, but so incredibly important that you should never seek it outside of marriage. I'm not defending adultery. Often it's just an act of selfishness. Once in awhile, it's just the lesser of two evils (although I'm sure that's ALL of us cheaters tell ourselves at night to sleep better).

Yes, it's a failure in marriage to reach a point where one partner is no longer satisfied sexually. But it's a failure I'd venture to guess MOST marriages reach at some point. The first option should be trying everything you can to work something out. When that doesn't work, all that's left is that someone's going to go unfulfilled for the rest of their life, or someone's leaving, or someone's cheating. None strike me as particularly praiseworthy choices at all. And all three options USUALLY have the same outcome... someone's leaving anyways.

So to hear about someone taking the road-less-travelled in what's typically a no-win situation, to hear that someone said "hey, this sucks, but I love you and I want to make this work" instead of "fuck this family and life we built together, someone's not holding up their end of the sexual bargain" ...this strikes me as a strong choice that SHOULD be praised more. It speaks volumes regarding this couple's love and rekindled commitment to one another.

Unfortunately they had to get to a point where both their imperfections were laid bare before they could move forward. But in a country where 40-50% of marriages end in divorce, we've got a couple who used this as an opportunity to build a stronger foundation and actually move forward together, instead of just throwing in the towel. To say that this isn't worthy of praise is either naive or disingenuous.

Kat said...

Ethan - I agree completely. I think it is a wonderful thing that the wife decided to step up. Should she have done it sooner? Sure. But at least she did it. Like you, I think it says much about their commitment to each other.

Ted - These are people who "til death do us part" seriously. As Ethan said, marriage is not all about sex. There is much more to it.

Ben - And yes, older guys can be wonderful lovers. And women really begin to hit their sexual prime in their later 40's as far as I am concerned. Hear! Hear!

Clem - Yes, there will be more. You are not finished - not by any stretch. :-)

Marcus - Hi, there. ;-)

Ted D said...

Kat - "These are people who "til death do us part" seriously. As Ethan said, marriage is not all about sex. There is much more to it."

Yep, and I took "forsaking all others" seriously as well. I get the "death do us part" bit, but that only comes if "forsaking all others" is met. I don't pick apart my vows and decide which ones I can break, and which ones I must keep. If any of them are broken, the marriage "contract" is broken.

Yes, there is more to a marriage than sex. To me, marriage implies sexual exclusivity, period. Is there an emotional connection? Yes, but I have those with friends and family as well. Love? Absolutely, but again I have that with friends and family. Companionship? Yep, same as the other answers. In fact, most of the "relationship" stuff in a marriage can be found elsewhere, from friends and family. What can't? Well, the other person being a parent to your children, and sex. Other than that, the purpose of marriage as practiced today is a legal practice that allows two people to share legal responsibility for things like property, finances, and child rearing.

Is it admirable that this couple worked it out? I don't know. I can say that at least it demonstrates their willingness to put others before themselves, and that they can work through tough issues. But, like I said before, fidelity is a requirement for me. There really isn't any "wiggle" room in there.

Ethan Lambert said...

I don't pick apart my vows and decide which ones I can break, and which ones I must keep. If any of them are broken, the marriage "contract" is broken. Yes, there is more to a marriage than sex. To me, marriage implies sexual exclusivity, period.

Very true. A broken contract is a broken contract, both logically and legally. And yes, unless otherwise agreed upon, marriage does in fact imply (actually, it really explicitly states it with the "forsaking all others" line) sexual exclusivity. I'm not saying the events that led them up to this point were particularly praiseworthy. Just the nearly unique way they chose to deal with the fallout from it.

I think it's praiseworthy that they have a relationship that contains a connection that involves things besides "the other person being a parent to your children, and sex" that runs deeper than what can "be found elsewhere, from friends and family." I don't mean that to sound belittling, I'll just bet there are things about your significant other besides sex and possible children that you can't duplicate with your friends and family.

No doubt, a marriage contract was broken by the both of them, and in most cases the blame should fall mostly on the shoulders of the cheater while some falls on the shoulders of the party that shirked their marital responsibilities as well, as you pointed out. There is no "wiggle room" about the fact vows were broken. But while it's tragic that it had to come to this for them to work things out, they DID in fact work it out (at least up to the end of the story we know about), something only about half of us ever do no matter what the problem is. While both were within their rights to end the marriage, they found something more important than "being justified" to hold on to.

If they end up divorced anyways, it was stupid and they're just wasting more of their lives holding on to one another. But if they're right, and their commitment to "work harder" paid off, then they're going to get the "happily ever after" most of us don't ever get. Even if they did have to take the shitty road to get there.