Some say that Curiosity killed the cat or in this case could it kill a marriage?
As they sat eating dinner, she noticed that he was staring thoughtfully at her. She waited since she thought he was just gathering his thoughts before speaking. But he didn't speak. He just stared at her for a few more moments then resumed eating; chatting casually as though the moment never occurred. Dawn was puzzled just a bit because she had been so sure that Mike had something on his mind that he wanted to talk about. She knew him well. She should since they had recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.
"Mike, was there something on your mind that you wanted to speak with me about?"
"No ... well ... yes ... maybe ... I don't know, honey, there is something but I'm afraid to try to talk to you about it. I'm pretty sure that you won't like it and that you may get really angry with me." Mike paused and then looked down, not meeting her eyes and beginning to appear more agitated as each moment passed.
"Would you like a drink, maybe that will help you settle down and help you get whatever it is out and we can talk about it, what ever it is." Mike nodded his head "Yes, I think a drink is just the ticket here." "Would you like me to fix you one also?" "No" Dawn said, "I think I'll just have coffee, thanks." They quickly cleared the table and with the economy of years of living together, did the dishes and then taking their drinks went into the living room. Dawn sat on the couch at one end, expecting Mike to sit beside her as he had always done through out their marriage. She was surprised when he took a seat in the chair across from her. That is when she finally realized that he had something important that he was trying to talk her about.
"Mike, please try to relax. You can tell me what is bothering you. I promise to try not to get upset or angry. I want to help you with this if I can." Taking a deep breath, he began to speak. "Dawn, you know that I love you with all my heart and soul and that you are the one woman that I want to spend the rest of my life with but lately I've become very curious about something." She raised an eyebrow and looked at him inquisitively, nodding at him to continue. "I hate to bring up old painful memories and I know that these particular memories seem to be as painful to you as they are to me." Mike paused again for a moment and then said, "It has to do with your affair." Dawn sat up much straighter and glared at Mike. "I really don't want to talk about THAT. It was twenty years ago and I can't believe that you are bringing that up again now after all these years. You're right. It is painful for me and I DON'T want to talk about it." She then stood, her face flushed angrily "I'm tired and I'm going to bed. Then without a good night, a kiss or hug, she quickly left the room and went to the master bedroom, changed into her nightgown and went to bed.
Mike sat in the living room, quietly finishing his drink. He stood and instead of following his wife to bed, fixed another drink and returned to his chair. For over an hour he sat there lost in his thoughts. "We've been married a long time. Longer than most of all our friends and yet even after all this time, some things are just hard to get out there so they can be discussed. This is important to me and I would really like to talk to Dawn about it. I guess I'll just have to wait for a better opportunity." He sat there then reminiscing about how they met and fell madly in love.
Theirs was a quick, hot romance following by marriage less than a year after they met. Dawn was his soul mate and he loved her deeply. She was an intelligent, quick-witted conversationalist. She was funny and loving. She expressed her love for him easily and for all to see. Dawn was also a very attractive woman. She did not have the figure or features of today's models but there was an aura of sensuousness and simmering sexuality about her than enhanced her features and her figure. When she walked into a room of people, the men followed her with heat and lust in their eyes and the women cast furtive jealous looks in her direction. The thing that amazed Mike was that Dawn seemed totally unaware of this affect she cast over any gathering. "Damn, even at 50, she is still one gorgeous creature and I'm glad that she is my wife. Hell to look at her you would never guess that she has given birth to three wonderful children."
Mike and Dawn and just recently entered the "Empty-Nest" part of their lives. Their daughter Rene, and son, Jake were both married and were raising families of their own. They had lost their oldest son, James, several years ago due to illness and even today felt that pain sometimes very keenly. The loss of a child almost always did one of two things to a marriage. It either destroyed it with grief and depression or it brought the couple even closer together and allowed them to share through the strength of their relationship to pass through all the stages of grief. Fortunately for them, they were in the latter and much smaller category.
Many marriage counselors agreed so many times two events in a marriage were responsible for the end of a couple's ability to stay together. The first and most common was adultery and the second was the loss of a child. In both cases there was a death involved. The first was the death of the trust and love of the injured spouse and the pain, they all agreed, was almost equal to the pain experienced from the death of a child. Mike and Dawn are a very rare couple. They had survived both an adulteress affair and the death of their son, James. It had never been easy. It had at times seemed to be more than any human could be asked to suffer and survive.
But they did it and although there were many scars, their love and affection for each other was as strong today as it had ever been in their thirty years of marriage. "Dawn is not just my wife; she is the mother of our children, my lover and my very best friend. I would rather be with her any time or day than hanging out with my buddies at the golf course or the bar." Mike smiled as he did every time he had that familiar thought. It so completely described his love for Dawn.
With a sigh, Mike finished the last of his drink and slowed trudged into the bedroom where his wife appeared to be sleeping. He quietly undressed down to his underwear, got into bed and eventually drifted off to sleep.
"God damn him!" Dawn thought. "Son of a Bitch and shit, I can't believe that after all these years he has brought up my affair with Sean." She was so pissed that she couldn't sleep and when Mike came into the bedroom, she had pretended to be asleep so she wouldn't have to look at him or talk. Dawn hated to talk about those times. Her guilt was sometimes overwhelming and she did her absolute best to keep any thoughts of the affair firmly out of her mind. Mike had really raked her over the coals about the whole thing. He had been in a rage for almost a year and just when she thought that she couldn't take him anymore and was seriously thinking of seeking a divorce, he had begun to change back into the man she had married and loved with all her heart.
The affair had lasted much longer than she had ever thought that it would. For almost two years, she and Sean had taken advantage of the many opportunities and Mike's trust to carry on behind his back. The first few times she had experienced guilt about cheating on her husband but as with most things, she had quickly felt less guilt and more excitement as the months and years passed. Eventually Sean had moved away and the affair had quietly died. Dawn had taken a long look at her marriage and decided to try to pull it back together again.
It was really difficult for her because so many times she caught herself thinking of Sean and what they had meant to each other. Yes it wasn't love she said but often with a small inner smile she would say yes it wasn't love but the sex had been fantastic. Dawn was also puzzled by the lack of affection from Mike. He just didn't make any attempt to hug or kiss her and sex was definitely lacking. When they made love, he just seemed to be fucking by the numbers. There was no real passion. One day she realized that the real problem was that she was trying to tear down a wall between her and Mike that she had spent two years building. No matter what signals she tried to send to him about her love and interest in sex, he just didn't see them because he was so used to being excluded from her affections.
Slowly, oh so slowly, their life together began to improve. Occasionally Mike would look at her and she would see that light of love and lust in his eyes. They started talking more and occasionally he would even hold her hand when they were walking side by side. Then the old shit hit the fan. About six months after he had left, Dawn learned that Sean was getting married. Suddenly her emotions seemed to be taking a roller coaster ride with the entire rapid ascent and descents and the loops of that carnival ride. She could not come to grips with the idea that her Sean had found someone that she couldn't steal him away from. She was so jealous of the woman she had never met that she began to lose control of her emotions.
.... There is more of this story ...