An Affair in Three Voices – Part 2: The previous post described an affair from the husband’s perspective. Here, Barbara describes to me her reality, as his wife.
“I was six when my father left my mother. Since then I associated women with permanence, and men with instability.
Since elementary school, I fantasized about love affairs with my female teachers. Once, when I mentioned it to my Sunday school teacher (who I was in love with as well), she dismissed it as a “spiritual love”.
My body was fully developed by the time I was twelve and when I got this focused attention from boys (focused mostly on my breasts), I decided that I loved them as well.
I wanted to leave home desperately, so I married the first decent guy I found, and off we went. A year after our marriage I had our first child, and a year later we had the second.
Since John was travelling a lot I decided two kids were enough, and even though I loved my daughters dearly, I started to feel like my world was getting smaller and smaller – so I decided to go back to school.
John was supportive, and since his company found a permanent placement for him in a new suburb, everything fell into place quite nicely. He was home every night and could help with the girls, I started school, we moved to a new community, the girls thrived in the new neighborhood and we had a lovely home.
There was one problem though…
John, being home all the time, demanded sex almost every day, and I wasn’t that interested. I wasn’t sure whether it was because the girls were still young and I was embodying the “mother” role; whether it was that his insistence was a turn off; or whether it was due to my new focus on school and the new challenges there.
Regardless, we entered a period where he was mostly left unsatisfied, and I always felt guilty for turning him down.
The situation got worse when I fell in love with Eve, my political science teacher. She was older, divorced, and was in a relationship with another woman. The first time she kissed me was when I came to talk to her about my paper. The feelings were like nothing I’d ever experienced before.
That’s when I knew why I didn’t want to have sex with John.
I fell desperately in love with my teacher, and she introduced me to gay sex, and encouraged me to experiment with more than one woman.
It was all too easy. John, being as supportive as he was, encouraged me to stay at the library (my most commonly used excuse), and study.
So, I went to gay clubs and met a lot of women – but continued to be in love with my teacher, who had recently decided to switch to a monogamous relationship with her partner. I was devastated and decided to take a leave of absence from school.
Fortunately, my neighbor Geena was going through a horrendous period in her life, since her husband decided to walk out on her. I spent a lot of time helping her with the kids and used her as an excuse when John would hint at sex.
I became quite depressed, missing my encounters with women but mostly longing for Eve. The good news was that John was busy with Geena, helping her with chores and substituting for her husband by practicing baseball with her boys. So, despite my gloomy mood, it was a win win situation. I was too emotionally weakened to nurture Geena, who really needed a good friend at the time; and John, who was always a helpful friend, did his best to reduce her burden, with my full encouragement. Geena was very grateful for the help and gradually stopped coming over as often because she was getting stronger!
John, seeing that I was depressed, was loving and kind and did not push for sex. It was a relief indeed.
Geena, who lost a lot of weight while going through the divorce, started dating, got engaged to a sweet guy and moved to another part of town. I was sad to see her go, despite the fact that she seemed bitter towards me in the last months of her living here. I often wondered whether she was envious of our intact marriage (little did she know), my devoted husband, and my figure. Yes, my figure was always a source of envy for women.
I had a Barbie Doll figure since I was twelve years old, without trying. I was used to getting attention and thought nothing of it. Geena, being quite overweight, tried to lose weight while she was married and was successful only after Jim had decided to leave her. This was accomplished not without some snide comments towards me throughout the last six months of her living here. I assumed that all the bitterness from the divorce spilled towards me from time to time.
Shortly after Geena’s move John became very needy again, and this time I knew why I didn’t want to have sex with him. However, I was determined not to go through divorce, like my mother; and I was unwilling to inflict that kind of pain on my daughters. So I had to find a solution.
One night I had a dream about having sex with John, and then he turned into a woman! I woke up giddy with excitement. I had the solution to my problem.
The next time I had sex with John, I simply fantasized about Eve. I was completely absent emotionally and yet my body responded perfectly.
John was happy. I was happy.
We’ve been married for twenty-four years now. All our friends describe us as the most loving couple they know. To a large extent, they are right, but of course no one knows my secret.”