Bob was happily married to his wonderful wife, Fran for close to fifteen years. They had three children, aged sixteen, eleven and five. Fran was in the Air Force as a tech sergeant and Bob was a software engineer. When the Gulf War broke out, Fran got orders and was gone in twenty-four hours. That is how much time the military gives you when you are on active duty. Fran was a payroll clerk, and was the primary point of contact for contractors working with the military during the war.
Fran had a problem: She did not want to be alone. When she was at home, Bob was there to provide companionship. The problem showed up when she had to go TDY (temporary duty assignment) someplace out of town. When she did, she became vulnerable to the charms of other men, and would end up in bed with them. It had happened early on in their marriage, whenever she was apart from Bob. She had gotten out of the Air Force, at the end of her second hitch and they moved to California where Bob had gotten a lucrative Aerospace job. She joined the Air Force reserves, and had to go away once a month for training, and two weeks in the summer.
The first two week's training she attended was in San Diego. That weekend Fran went out with Sam, a member of her unit, and slept with him (but that is another story). She never thought of it as cheating on Bob. She was feeling lonely and she did not like that feeling.
The Gulf War was just another TDY, but it was a long way from home she did not have the willpower to resist charming men.
A war zone can be hell on a person. There was one incident that Fran lived through, and she continued to live through it in her nightmares. She was stationed in Saudi Arabia at the moment. It was early in the conflict, just prior to the offensive. Saddam was using Scud missiles to break the morale of the troops. It was one of the more successful launches during which Scud Missiles were inbound to her position. Though there were several of them, they were picked off by the Patriot defense missiles, but two made it through. One of them hit a warehouse that fortunately was devoid of troops; the other one hit one of the large mess halls and there were about 200 troops inside. Fran was about to go to lunch in that very mess hall, when the alert was sounded. "Oh God, if it had not been for that last customer, I would be dead."
After the missile attack, Fran began to feel that life was too short and she should live each day to its fullest. To her that meant, so should not be alone. She had learned at a young age, that it was easy to get a man by flirting with him and hinting at having sex. Sex was a good thing and would take her mind off being almost killed.
She worked in finance and was in charge of processing the bills that contractors submitted. There were a lot of contractors to pay in the Middle East and in Germany to support the war. Several of them were far from home, lonely and in need of sexual companionship. Since she was available (in the right place, at the right time), Fran satisfied their needs. She was not pretty, but she was very friendly with the contractors, too friendly. Fran carried on having affairs with over a dozen of them. Not that Bob blamed her, being in a foreign country, and no longer having sex on a regular basis.
When she came home and told Bob about them, he said "I understand, and I forgive you." Fran could not forgive herself. She began to feel that she was unworthy of being married to a man like Bob. She was angry at the circumstances that led to this situation and could not do anything about it. In her mind she ran through the options life could offer to her and was confused about which one to take. Fran was drowning in remorse about the whole time she had spent in the desert. The missile attack had taken something away from her, and she was not getting it back.
After Fran returned, she wanted to stay by herself and would not tell Bob why. Fran alienated Bob and the kids. They tried a sea cruise, and it helped a little. But it did not take long before they tried a separation. Fran moved out to a small apartment. Bob was left to work and take care of the kids. The kids seemed to be okay with it, since they had not been around their mom since the beginning of Desert Storm. Bob and Fran were trying to date each other in an effort to get to know each other again. It was during this period of their separation that Bob was requested to attend a seminar in California. He asked his wife to watch the kids while he was gone. Fran accepted and asked him to look up one of her oldest friends. Bob hoped the friend was pretty, because Bob had his own plans for her. He figured this was his time to have an affair.
Deep down inside, Bob was confused about the separation. Many questions bothered him and he had no answers: 'What does this mean for my future?' 'How were the kids going to react?', 'Should I stay in the relationship for the sake of the kids?', 'How can you tell if you are still in love?' and 'What is it like to cheat on your spouse?' Was he getting what he deserved for being such a sap? Maybe he should do something about being married to a Slut? He wasn't attracted to his wife anymore. Bob figured it was time to step out on Fran.
The old friend was named Mary Ann. Fran gave him Mary Ann's phone number. She had called Mary Ann to let her know that Bob would contacting her. Bob had never met her but was hoping for some fun. He kept trying to contact her, with little luck. Finally, on the last night of the seminar Bob reached Mary Ann.
Bob called her up and said, "Hello, my name is Bob, and I am married to Francis. She said you were best friends when she was in tech school."
Mary Ann replied, "Really, it has been such a long time. How is she?"
"She is okay, but is having a hard time adjusting to life after being in a war zone. She suggested I look you up."
"Hello, how are you?"
"Hungry, would you like to meet for dinner at my hotel?"
"That would be fine, but I need to leave early as I have class at seven in the morning."
Mary Ann arrived about seven, and called him from the lobby. Bob said, ' I will be right down."
Mary Ann was wearing a heavy-knit sweater, showing a hint of the camisole underneath, slacks with no pantry lines and low cut heels. She held out her arms to give Bob a hug. He accepted the hug and it turned into a much more extended hug than it should had been. She kissed Bob on the lips during the hug. He showed her to the restaurant and followed her to the entrance, watching her bottom wiggle as she walked.
The maître d' seated them, and asked, "Would you care for something to drink?"
Bob asked Mary Ann, "What you would like.",
"Coors and a glass", she replied.
"Make that two", and maître d' he went off to get the drinks.
During dinner they got to know each other. She started the conversation by asking "What are you doing here in California?"
"I am attending a seminar over at the convention center."
"How is Fran?"
"Fran is having a difficult time dealing with being home. Did you know she cheated on me? I am sorry; I should not have told you that. Fran wants to keep our lives private, but I do not have anyone to talk to about it."
.... There is more of this story ...