What a pair we are
Rubbing the barrenness of your marriage
Up against the dryness of my abstinence
Praying that nothing ignites
At least we don’t pretend
That nothing is going on
The little elephant in the room
Sits quietly on the table in front of us
You still love her
And I hate you for it
You won’t hurt her
I admire you for it
Yet would I
Given the opportunity,
Assist you to deceive and hurt?
I run from the answer
I am here
You are there
The elephant continues to quietly bleat
My heart continues to sporadically beat
Unavailable men are a bit of a hobby of mine. It’s not just the “other people’s children” thing-you know-you can play with them and then hand them back. It’s the fact that they will never get truly intimate with me.
I am no home wrecker. No mistress. No hunter of other women’s husbands. But being on the dating scene means meeting a lot of married/attached men.
And my choices are often unavailable for more subtle reasons than simple matrimony. They are still mourning an old relationship. They are having huge issues with one of their children. They have just been retrenched. They are simply insane. I can pick ’em a mile off.
Generally, I avoid the married/attached ones. Aside from the fact that I do not wish to be complicit in the deception of another woman, they are simply not around much. I may not want my bloke to be emotionally available, but he sure as hell needs to be physically available. I have no interest in Wednesday afternoons. I want my Friday nights and my Saturday brunches and my theatre and dinner companion. So that keeps the “strayers” off the menu for me.
One thing I will give the average male adulterer though, in my experience. They are upfront about their situation.
Unlike the girls. Men have told me stories about meeting a woman from a dating site, maybe having a couple of dates and a shag, and THEN getting the irate phone call from the husband they didn’t know existed. One chap, who lives in a small country town north of Adelaide said he saw two women from his town on a dating site. Both bold as day with photos. Both claiming to be single. As he said “I think their husbands will be interested to know that they are single”. The men tend to either have it on their profile, or it’s the first thing they tell you about themselves. It usually opens with that prophetic phrase “Now there is something I need to tell you……”. I think I now have some insight into the sinking feeling that blokes report when their woman says “We need to talk”!!
But every now and again, as through this world I ramble, I meet a man who pierces through the intimacy barrier, and gives me a glimpse of what could be. And sometimes that man has already been shot-gunned by some far more sensible woman than me, who probably didn’t spend her youth sleeping with anyone who had a guitar and was heavily medicated.
Can I learn to love these lovely men without intriguing? Without wanting to express my feelings sexually? And meanwhile, as I experiment with this concept, am I playing with fire?
The largest category I seem to meet is the “I still love my wife but she doesn’t want sex any more” category. If I believed half the stories I get told it would seem that at the age of about 45, if married, a woman just dies from the waist down.
Now most of my friends are women of around 45. And many of them are married, or have been. They are very much alive from the waist down. So what is the story?
There are lots of reasons why someone might go off sex. I know. I’ve had two children. When I have a baby in the house and I am breast-feeding, I don’t want to be touched. My body feels “touched out”…like the opposite of skin-hunger.
But often what these guys fail to consider is that their wives haven’t gone off sex…they’ve just gone off sex WITH THEM. Sadly though, their egos will not give this air-time. The thought that maybe she is getting it elsewhere. Or has discovered that she has lesbian desires. Or has found her kind of porn and an iVibe and is quite happy thank you. Or that he is just fairly ordinary and uninspiring, either in the bedroom or in general, and that the dullness of their sex-life reflects the dullness of their relationship as a whole.
Yet, even given all of the above, I think that when the sex life dies in a marriage, it is not so much about what is happening NOW, but what has been happening all along. Good sex and good intimacy are all part of the same package. Couples who have had a truly wonderful and intimate relationship, deal with one or the other’s waning desires quite beautifully. They agree that the more desirous one can take a lover. Wives buy their husbands the attention of a lovely hooker. Arrangements are made. That is simply what love is. If you love someone, you want them to be fulfilled and happy, and sex is a huge part of that for many people. A person who is unable to contemplate their partner’s “getting it elsewhere” when they themselves have shut-up shop, is selfish. And the marriage cannot have EVER been that intimate in the first place.
Sex may not be the be-all-and-end-all of intimacy, but it is a great litmus test.
So it is difficult for me, friendly, ever-listening, warm gal that I am, to hear these tales of connubial woe. The men sit opposite me, almost panting, thinking that all they need is a damn good fuck.
And they probably do, to some extent. But what they are really craving, and will not be able to give or get, is real intimacy with their wives, who they do, as they keep asserting, still love.
And once again I fade off into the distance, with my own intimacy issues firmly in place, telling myself that I am “in love with a married man” and throwing myself on the sacrificial altar of unrequited slutdom.
It’s a grand life.