"Was it what he wanted?" I ask myself as I sit here with my laptop and hot cup of French Vanilla coffee. I know, all you 'real' coffee drinkers are thinking, "French Vanilla? Come on! Drink some real coffee." To you I say, "No! I won't. End of discussion." Now where was I? Oh yes, was it what he wanted? Yes I'm sure it was. It wasn't an easy decision to make but I knew, despite it hurting so badly to do so that it was for the best.
What am I talking about? Well let me begin at the beginning, sort of. I'm a thirty-something woman in a Northeastern town with the proverbial two kids, one cat, one dog and one hard working husband. He and I met in college and he went on for his master's degree and works hard every day. I am a graphic designer, well I was, until I got pregnant with my second son and my job was conveniently 'phased out.'
Now I'm the 'stay-at-home' mom and wife. You know the one. I clean, cook I attend all their ball games plus I go to my kid's class to help out once in a while. I volunteer for school parties and set up play dates. I plant flowers and tend to my roses. I'm the woman that the entire working mom's leer at and wonder what I do all day. But I'm very busy and have been enjoying watching my kids grow up. They'll only be young once, why miss it when I've been given this opportunity. Full time school for both is only a year or so away and I can find a part-time job then.
Life was a Norman Rockwell picture. But was it? No it wasn't. My husband's moods were and are like a yo-yo. One minute he's sweet, considerate and affectionate but the next minute something would set him off. Like the dog's poop in the basement or the kids toys not put away. Usually something small, usually no reason to scream but he would scream. The other issue was our sex life, or lack there of.
I had been (and still am) battling a physical illness since before my first son was conceived and from there my libido had been lacking. Sex was a sore subject in our house. He wanted more, I wasn't feeling in the mood and so we'd argue about it pretty much every day. Arguments turned to bad feelings and soon we started to drift apart. It wasn't like I wanted to not be in the mood. I just wasn't and couldn't figure out why.
Then one day I thought, I better find a way to get in the mood or suffer my marriage failing. I began reading your basic romance novels. Parts of them got my engines revving and I told my husband what effect it had on me, after reading a few books. He suggested I look into erotic stories. I was so naïve that I had no idea they even existed. So he pointed me to a site. I asked him how he knew of it and he confessed that not only did he read that site on occasion, but he surfed the net to look at naked women. Since I wasn't interested in sex he would look at the pictures and have a date with his hand.
That was insight into how long I had let things go. I didn't want our marriage to fail because I didn't try, so I began reading. The stories were good, better than good, they were great! I started feeling horny and began pouncing on my husband on almost a daily basis. He was smiling a lot more and was offering me the conversation and companionship I craved. Sex wasn't just good it was great! I discovered that my rabbit vibrator was a good Christmas gift from my husband and from there discovered what my body liked. I found what I had been missing sexually between the toys and my husband. Besides that I began feeling good about myself and started to exercise. I lost the last ten pounds that wouldn't go away from the boys' pregnancies and life seemed pretty good. Well, pretty good. My husband still had a temper but I just began working extra hard to make sure his normal triggers weren't there. It was a constant battle. And maybe in my euphoria I began to ignore his outbursts.
Then one day I stumbled into the chat room portion of the site that my husband had suggested. I made up a screen name and posted a few times. I didn't tell him that I had found the section or that I had posted. One day while I was out he discovered my postings and when I returned he screamed at me. What else had I kept from him? What was I doing? I was doing nothing but posting a few arbitrary things and corresponding with an author whose stories I particularly liked, nothing more. But that wasn't enough. He was so enraged that I had kept something from him that he stormed into our basement and began throwing things.
I was crying he was fuming and I thought for sure that he was planning to leave. I was feeling like even though I was trying my hardest it was never enough. A small part of me wanted him to leave but the rest didn't. Once he calmed down he decided to join me in the chat room and we both agreed to go on there and not mention being married.
After having fun posting for a few weeks my husband took an erotic picture of my behind to use as my avatar on the site but regretted doing that from that moment on. The attention given to me quadrupled. Men on those sites don't get random messages like the women do. Men would proposition me and try to get me to cyber. For awhile I'd play along slightly all they while letting my husband know all that I was doing.
That's when I met him. We'll call him Carter to protect the innocent. Of all the men I had the pleasure of meeting; he was by far the most intriguing. He wasn't exotic or a supermodel. He was just a guy. But it seemed I felt at ease with him when we conversed. He was clever and funny. I remember laughing uncontrollably while we corresponded. It was because of our messages that I moved over to IM. The instant conversation was amazing. His life was interesting to learn about, perhaps because I enjoyed his company. His humorous outlook and seemingly laid back attitude was quite a switch from my husband's negative intensity. I learned that he was single and had had a messy divorce. His insights were great and he always made me laugh or smile. I so desperately needed that because my home had such a dark cloud hanging over it.
I found that of all the people that I IM'd with, it was his smiley face that I waited to see light up on the screen. When it did I knew I would be smiling and laughing. I looked forward to our time together. All the while he didn't know I was married.
One day my husband couldn't stand that the men didn't know I was married. He thought that they would back off quite a bit if they knew so we told all of the people we corresponded with, and the whole chat room, that we were married and were, in fact, married to one another.
My husband was daunted to realize that the men were not dissuaded by my being married, including Carter, which further angered him. He was especially angered when I was turning to the chat room more and more for friendship and happiness. But we continued to argue and eventually it got tiresome for me. I saw him as an angry, insecure man who wanted to control me. So turning to the site was like a respite from the oppressive, sad relationship we had developed.
I was still there to care for my kids, my house still got clean but every spare moment I could eek out of my day would be poured into the site. My friendship with Carter continued. When my husband didn't want me to even talk about sex too much Carter and I would keep it clean and only joke about the line we couldn't cross. It seemed that Carter and I could talk for hours about nothing at all but have so much fun doing so. We would share life stories, likes dislikes, thoughts on politics and we would even talk about history and other intellectual things. I was just so happy.
As time went on I began to look forward to talking to Carter sometimes more than I should. The wedge between my husband and I grew larger. I began to resent him for the decisions he made for me.
After a few months on the site, something happened. Carter told me he had fallen in love with me. I couldn't catch my breath. I suppose I realized, looking back, that I had been feeling a close connection to him. I admitted I was falling in love with him too. It was crazy. I had never met the guy and yet I was so crazy about him. Was it all just the newness of meeting someone you connected with and the thrill of learning about them?
All I know is that my marriage nearly ended because of it. I wasn't sure I wanted it to end. Part of me did and part of me didn't. For so many years my husband had been my best friend. We had built a life together. Do you give that all up for the unknown? Do you give that all up for the possibility of a relationship with a man you've never met? Even Carter would say I was crazy. But why then did he admit that he had fallen in love with me? To this day I still don't know. From that day on our friendship changed. I ended up walking away from the site but kept the correspondence with Carter for a bit. Finally the need arose that I felt I had to step back from him.