This story has no sex in it. It tells of a husband and a wife who have a problem. The wife has the problem, and feels she can't tell her husband. This tale of woe is caused from listening to the wrong people and not communicating with a spouse. As I said... this is a first for me too... there is no sex in this story at all. None. Nada... imagine that.
She hit me with it right after dinner one night. My wife had been reserved all week long, and this Friday night she seemed even more so that way. I was worried about her, and actually started the conversation that caused this to happen.
"Honey, what's up? You've seemed upset about something for over a week now."
"It's nothing really. I just have been trying to figure something out."
"Well, you have me worried dear. Care to enlighten me at all? Something has been bugging you."
"Well, I think we need a trial separation Carl."
I sat there shell shocked. Had she hit me with a baseball bat I would have been less surprised. A trial separation? Where the hell had that come from?
"A trial separation? What are you talking about?"
"Don't yell Carl. I just... it's just that I feel..."
I was having a hard time calming myself down now. She hit me with wanting a separation and I'm supposed to take it all calmly and sedately? Jesus. What had I done now? Why now of all times anyway? I was just flat stunned.
"I... I need to find myself Carl. I have been feeling smothered for quite some time now and I need some space. I need to think some things over."
"But a trial separation? That is one step away from divorce Paige. Why haven't you said something before this? Is it something I've done? Not done? What?"
"It's not you Carl. It's me. I need to find... well, find myself. I know that sounds all self centered and physco-babbly, but I need to figure out what it is I need and want in life."
"You want to leave me then?"
"NO. I need to have some time to myself to see what it is I need and want Carl."
"How about a marriage counselor? I'd do that for you honey."
"No. I don't want or need to tell my issues to someone else. Look Carl, I just need some time. Maybe... oh... say six months. After that I'll know what it is I want to do for certain."
"Six months? Where will you live? What will you do for... uh... relief? I know I will have a hard time going six months without you... and without sex too. I know you have a higher sex drive than I do too, so how will we handle that? Besides that, in six months we will be in divorce court for sure. I can't go that long without seeing you. We can't go that long without talking and seeing each other. Somehow I need to be a part of your 'finding yourself' dear."
"Sex won't be an issue with me Carl. I know it will be hard for you, but we'll make out okay in that department. I was thinking that we could have a date once a month maybe..."
"ONCE A MONTH? No way. Once a week maybe... and not any more than that Paige. We need to see and talk to each other at least once a week. Anymore than that and we'll end up in divorce court. We'll drift apart if we don't see each other more than that."
"Please try to understand Carl. I'm not wanting to divorce you. I only want to figure some things out."
"So... you're going to date other men during this time then too?"
"What? No. No dating by either of us. We need to remain faithful to each other during this time."
"Oh? How am I supposed to resist temptation then Paige? How are you going to resist temptation Paige? You want it more often than I do."
"Look, this isn't about sex Carl."
"I know that Paige, but sex is an important part of our life together, and going six months without will open us both up to strong temptations. We, either one of us, or possibly both of us could fall prey to that dear. Please... reconsider this idea. Lets go get some counseling, separate and together... please."
"Paige... my business is this close to being where we envisioned it being. We're this close to not having to have you work anymore. We're this close to financial security for life. If this separation ends up in divorce it will kill the business and it will kill me. I love you Paige. I don't want to lose you. Please... please... there must be some other way."
"I'm sorry Carl. I knew that this would be hard, and its actually been harder than I thought it would be. I don't want to hurt you. I just need to be alone for awhile."
"Well, if you're going to insist then Monday we'd better go see a lawyer."
"A lawyer? What for?"
"If we're going to be separated, then there will be legal issues that need to be addressed. Issues like any fucking around outside of our marriage during this separation will be grounds for a full divorce with no right to property for the guilty party."
"What? I won't be dating or sleeping around Carl, there's no need for a lawyer to be involved."
"Yes there is. Besides, if you aren't going to be sleeping around as you say, then there will be nothing for you to worry about will there?"
"Well no. But what if one of us just slips accidentally?"
"My point exactly Paige. That's what worries me. Your sex drive is higher than mine is, and I have a pretty high one. Neither of us will be hardly able to cope with six months. Especially with only once a month dates."
"Carl, I'll not change my mind on this. If you think we need to do it all legally, then we'll do it. Start it Monday."
"Paige... please... please... don't do this."
"I'll sleep in the guest bedroom tonight. I have a place already rented and I'll move in there tomorrow."
I slept roughly all night long. Tossing and turning, wondering where in the hell things had gone so wrong? How had I missed Paige's needs? How had I not seen this coming? Where had this all stemmed from? She had refused to talk to me after our first talk, and I was at a loss for what to do now.
That next morning it took her all of fifteen minutes to grab her things and split. She left me a phone number and the address of her new place and was gone. Alone in my house I suddenly realized that my life had taken a hard left turn on the road to life and I was not sure where I was headed anymore.
Monday was a long and tiring day. Paige was steadfast in her need to be alone and the lawyer did what he needed to do to protect both of us. It was a tough day for me especially because suddenly Paige seemed like a stranger to me too. On top of all that, my business took a huge upswing in demands on my time as well.
Paige was gone from my life that night, and I knew true loneliness for the first time in several years. Paige had her job, and I knew a few of her coworkers there, so I'd be able to keep in some kind of touch about her life that way, but other than that, I was all alone.
That first month was tough. I was working harder and harder, spending more and more time at the office and less and less at home. I almost lived in my office. My secretary and the people I had working for me were genuinely worried for me too. They all knew that Paige had moved out on me, and they were sympathetic. Nobody could tell me why or how to fix things though.
Our first date was made for a Saturday night. We met at 'our' place, and after Paige parked her car in the driveway where she had always parked it, we went out to eat. She was quiet and would only talk about the weather or her job. She asked a few questions about my business, but other than that it was like a date from hell.
The part the hit me hardest was the feeling she gave off to me. It was like I was nothing to her. Nothing at all. That hurt me too. I suppose I got a little bit angry thinking about that and by the end of the date it was all I could do to keep snippy comments out of the conversation.
I did notice that she mentioned one particular coworker several times. His name came up more than once and she seemed to act different when mentioning him too. I knew that the guy was the owner's son and was in charge of several departments. Paige didn't work under him, but in a way he was her boss still. After all, he was the owner's son.
Her talk of him sent alarm bells off in me. Could this be the reason for her sudden need to be alone? Was she thinking of cheating on me? Leaving me for this guy? I had heard he was a real player and he had hit and scored on dozens of women. I had also heard he didn't care one little bit if they were married, engaged or single. He was a regular ladies man and that fact coupled with Paige's attitude so sudden caused me to have a small kernel of fear deep inside.
After she left that night, having only hugged me as she got out of my car and into hers, I sat and thought about things. I knew I loved her and I was pretty sure she still loved me. I just couldn't figure out what was going on with her now though. As I usually did when faced with a problem I couldn't get a grip on, I used my one hole card. I called my brother.
My brother had started a small business in landscaping and built it into a massive operation. After a few years of running it, a larger company had come along with a very lucrative offer for his business and he had jumped on selling out. That deal had left him well off, and with a few better-placed investments, he had managed to quintuple that money too. He was now officially semi-retired at the ripe old age of forty-one.
I got in touch with him and we made a date to meet for lunch later that week. I was back at work on Monday putting in longer and longer hours, working for an end that I just didn't have a lot of heart for now. After all these years of hard work, what would be the purpose if Paige wasn't in my life anymore? This separation had taken my heart and twisted it up into a lump of coal. I felt my emotions becoming harder and harder to deal with, and time without my wife was beginning to wear me down. It was like she had died or something I supposed.
David, my brother, had lots of experience in life and just being. Married twice, and his second wife and him happy as can be, I had always admired him. He was the older brother that a lot of people wished they had. Lucky me, he was mine.
"So, how are things Carl?"
"Could be better... lots better."
"I heard about you and Paige. It that what this is about?"
"Hey, don't be sorry. That's what I'm here for man. You're my little brother, and I love you. If you hadn't turned to me I would have been hurt."
"I just don't know where to start Dave. She dumped this on me and left the next day. We have a date once a month and we just had our first date and it was a disaster. It was like dating... I don't know... a dead person. There was nothing there from her. Nothing at all. Like our marriage never existed or anything."
"Oh man. I'm so sorry. That's tough. So... tell me the truth... you been out and about with someone else?"
"No. That's part of the problem. I've done nothing wrong according to Paige. She just needs time to herself. When I suggested doing our separation legally, she was a bit upset, but agreed to it after a bit. I just don't know what's up with her."
"You been working hard on your business?"
"Not any more than usual until after she left. Now I'm living at work more than not."
"She having women's issues at all?"
"Not sure. Don't think anything medically is wrong unless she's depressed or something. I suggested going in for counseling... no go."
"Is she... do you think she could be seeing someone else Carl?"
"I... I just don't know Dave. I don't think so. I'm not real positive though. I saw no sign that she was cheating on me that's for sure. This all happened in a week's time as far as I can tell."
"I'm here for you Carl, you know that. If things get bad or worse... you make sure you call me... okay?"
"Yeah. I'll do that Dave. Thanks for talking to me too."
"Well, it wasn't much this time... but neither of us seems to know anything about what's going on with Paige at all. Maybe I should have Brenda give her a call."
"I don't know if Paige will tell her what's going on... but it's worth a shot."
Brenda was unable to find out a thing. Paige talked to her for several hours, but she wouldn't mention me or our marriage. That was off limits as far as Paige was concerned. I guess I shouldn't have figured that she would since Brenda was my brother's wife and therefore part of my side of the family.
Our next date was as bad as the first one. Matter of fact I called it off early and just took her to her place, having picked her up there to begin with. She seemed a bit upset when I suddenly just drove her home, but I saw no point in prolonging my agony again. She wasn't talking to me, she was talking at me, and I couldn't stand it.
Two months of our lives gone, and nothing to show for it but a lessening of feelings for each other. I was sure that we were headed for divorce court. I tried to get her to talk to me about her feelings and she would just turn the conversation to her job or my business or even in one case, the God damned weather.
I was frustrated and lost. I didn't know which way to turn at all, and how to go about trying to get the Paige I had fallen in love with back to me. Depression wasn't far away from me now. I threw myself even more into my work and my employees started to worry more and more about me. I didn't see it though... I was too caught up in Paige and what she was doing to me to see anything else.
I went to Dave and Brenda's several times over the next month. Brenda was trying to make sure I was eating right and taking care of myself, while Dave was trying to help me out the best he could. We all were at a loss as to why Paige had suddenly went the way she did, and none of us could figure out what to do.
In all of this I never thought of sleeping with anyone... even a little. I was surprised when our third date night came up and realized that it had been three months now. I called her up, thinking that if she sounded at all like she had over our last two dates that I'd just call it off. I was about to give up trying, having exhausted myself with work and worry.
"Hey... it's Carl. You all ready for our date Paige?"
"Oh hi Carl. I'm about ready. Are you going to pick me up then?"
"Well, should I?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, should I even bother? Our last two dates were obviously nothing to write home about Paige. You seem a million miles away and you refuse to talk about us. I'm your husband... remember me? Carl, your husband?"
"I know this has been hard Carl. I need just a few more months though. I have figured out some things... I just have a few more..."
"Yeah? Well, figure out this... I can't take our separation any more Paige. I've about hit as low as I can go. If you're just going to pull my chain, we might as well call this all off and call it quits. I've tried to be as patient as I can, and you still won't give me as little as a clue what's up with you. I've tried everything I can... I have no other things to do... no ideas, no tricks... nothing. I want you home with me Paige. I need you. I love you. Please... come home."
"Not yet. I just can't. I need just a little more time. Just a few more months."
"Paige, in a few more months we'll be in divorce court. I can't take it anymore. It's been three months..."
"And you've been wonderful giving me the space I need Carl. I'm begging you... I need a little more time... just three more months... please."
"I'll see you next month then... if we still care at all. Goodbye Paige."
I hung up before she could respond to me. I just didn't want to hear anything she had to say at that point. I had tried to understand, but with no information or even a hint as to what was bothering her, I just couldn't figure anything out.
She tried calling me back three times. Matter of fact she called three times a day for the next four days... but I would see her number or her work number on the caller ID and I'd let it ring. I never answered her messages, deleting them without listening to them.
Deep inside I was scared but now an anger was developing too. I was getting angry because she'd just cut me out of her life without so much as a how do you do. Refusal to talk to me... just talking at me. Insisting on a separation like this was insane. If we had problems, which we indeed did now for sure, we should have been in counseling at the very least. Instead she had chosen some obscure path to trying to find herself and leaving me out of the loop.
I wish I had never moved out. My 'poor me' attitude had pushed me into it, and now I was in danger of losing my husband. Clarifying moments come rarely to some, and I was one of those. In some stupid way, the last year had worn me down and when I should have been talking to Carl I had gone inside myself. Now... Carl was mad as I had ever seen him, and not talking to me at all.
I had been trying to get in touch with Carl ever since that last phone call. He was shutting me out. Of course, reflecting back on it, I should have seen it coming. Our dates hadn't been anything to write home about. They weren't at all what I had envisioned in the beginning and I was becoming certain that I had made a mistake.
My friends at work were in my corner though, and they were telling me to hold firm, regardless of what Carl tried to do. After all, he was turning into the big bad wolf wasn't he? My heart was tugging me in Carl's direction while my head and my friends were tugging me in the other. That was part of the reason I had moved out for the separation. I needed to clear my head of the issues that were clouding my feelings and my mind.
The first month on my own had been just reflecting on my life with Carl, and how things seemed to have gotten into a rut. He was working so hard on his business that he didn't have the time to spend on me. I knew that in the end his time spent on the business would become freedom for both of us. I just didn't feel that we could or would make it to those days.
Our date night hadn't been anything I had hoped it would be, but I should have realized that Carl would be at a loss as to why I had felt I needed to move out, and then the underlying tension added to that mess. I found that the only things I had to talk to Carl about were my job. I hadn't been at home for a month, and Carl wasn't being very forthcoming on life without me. I had hoped that he'd be trying to bend over backwards to please me, instead I was facing an almost total stranger. Not only that, it was all my doing.
Like his brother had done, Carl was working towards building a large business and then selling it with enough to retire on for the remaining years. I hadn't kept track of Carl's business dealings or where he was, and his comments about being so close had haunted me. Stubborn as I was though, I ignored that little voice in my head and pushed for what I selfishly wanted. MY time. MY issues. MY needs. Like some little schoolgirl I had started to push Carl away.
The place I worked had been keeping us all busy since the owner's son had started working there. He was growing the business by leaps and bounds, and even though he was a 'ladies man' his results kept some underlying issues in his conduct from becoming too public. As far as the owner was concerned, his son could do no wrong. Matter of fact he had been quoted as saying that 'Charles can walk on water it seems.'
Charles had also taken a strong interest in me. His hard chiseled looks made it hard for any girl to resist, as many had fallen under his spell could attest to. I was having a hard time remembering that I was married at times, and my sex drive had gone into the stratosphere since moving out. Matter of fact, I had started to masturbate almost nightly. Not a good combination. I had only myself to blame for that though.
At times, while in my apartment alone, I'd masturbate. At first, Carl had been the sole lover in my fantasy's, but bit by bit I had started to allow Charles to fill in here and there. Before I knew it, Charles was in my fantasy life far more than Carl had been. That should have been a warning to me. You see, Carl had been my fantasy man for a long, long time. I had never been one of those people to fantasize about famous people.
My issues with Carl and our marriage were not that big, looking back on it. My friends had been seeing things in our marriage from the way I talked and acted at work, and going from that, they had concluded that Carl was ignoring me. Or worse, unable to please me. That, to be fair to Carl, was not true. I had let them make me feel like I was the neglected wife though.
Charles had been doing a full court press ever since learning that I had moved out on Carl. Someone from the office had been feeding him a bunch of bull about why I had left Carl, and the feeling around there was that I was too good for Carl and he wasn't much of a man. To my shame, I never argued with those rumors, I just tried to ignore them. After all, this was between Carl and I... or so I would tell myself, it's not any of their business, let them talk and gossip all they want it won't and can't hurt us.
Our private lives had always been just that... private. Suddenly, with all the concern being shown, a few little things I had mentioned about Carl, even from when we had first dated had all been blown out of proportion, unknown to me. Others had been whispering about Carl not being able to please me in bed, and some of the rumors had specific details on top of that.
Never would I have imagined that my friends could be so harsh or callous in their judgment of my husband. Of course, in my selfishness, I had probably not painted a true or even a good picture of him either. I didn't know about most of the rumor's details, only that my closest friends were downplaying them to me constantly while feeding them to others that whole time. Some friends they turned out to be.
Nobody in the office with the exception of a few close 'friends' would ask me what Carl was like, or what our lives were like away from the office. I should have been aware that rumors have a way of coming back to haunt you, especially when one lets them simmer and doesn't take action to dismiss them when they are untrue.
If I had known what was to happen I would have acted totally different and perhaps never gone to the extremes that I had by moving out on Carl. My realization would come too late for me of course. With Charles, who was so male, and so... well, on the surface he was every girls dream man. Good looking, rich, smart and funny... I should have been more cognizant of who and what I was. I was not some young single chick that was free to play.
Then, Charles talked me into that date. I knew it was a bad idea. I knew that I'd promised Carl that I would never do anything to hurt our marriage by dating some other man, for any reason. Yet, I accepted the date with Charles. To be fair though, I had the distinct feeling that to turn Charles down would be career termination where I worked.
I still should have refused the date. I should have tried harder to see Carl as the man of my dreams still, and I most certainly should have not been fantasizing about anyone other than Carl, that man of my dreams. Instead I fooled myself into thinking that Charles would be a gentleman and that the date was just a business function of sorts, not a romantic evening. It was the first of two.
On Thursday night I was invited to Dave and Brenda's again and arriving there I found a stranger. He was talking to Dave while Brenda fixed dinner.
"Hi Carl. This is Jim. Jim Steadman. He is a private investigator that I hired."