Maureen and I had hit that point in our fifteen-year marriage where everything was run of the mill and taken for granted. The excitement had gone out of our sex life and we were more or less going through the motions as a duty to each other more than anything else. I knew it, but I wasn't aware that Maureen knew it until the night she looked at me across the dinner table and asked me a question.
"Have you ever thought of cheating on me?"
The question was totally off the wall, but even so I didn't have to think hard to come up with the answer, "Sure I have."
"No, of course not."
"Why haven't you?"
"Fear of what?"
"Getting caught. Getting caught and having a good idea that getting caught would be the end of our marriage and I don't want to lose you."
"What if you knew that it wouldn't come between us, would you then?"
"What's this all about Maureen?"
"It's about holding on to our marriage. I've been watching you for a year now. You are restless and feeling tied down and you don't seem to be satisfied with me or what we have. So I've decided to let you go out and find out if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. So go ahead, go out and sow some wild oats."
"You can't be serious."
"Oh but I am. I know that I'm the best thing that ever happened to you and at one time you knew it too. You've apparently forgotten and the best way to remind you is to let you go out and play. The only stipulation is that you have to tell me everything. No secrets - you have to tell me everything you do and who you do it with."
"Who knows. Maybe you will learn something and bring it home and it will spice up our sex life."
I didn't quite know how to take that. I had never been told that it would be all right to be unfaithful before and to be honest I wasn't all that sure that I wanted to be. Also in the back of my mind a little voice was asking why she was doing it. I mean, I can count on the thumbs of one foot the number of married guys I know whose wives have told them to go out and get some strange and then come home and tell them about it. The more I thought about the more I began to think I was being set up. She wanted me to do it so she could. I could picture it in my mind, "Well, you did it so it should be all right for me to do it." Also, regardless of my answer to her question in the affirmative I really had no interest in other women and I damn sure didn't want Maureen fucking another guy, so what to do?
The obvious thing was to do nothing and that is just what I did. A week went by and then Maureen asked me if I had found any one to play with yet and I told her no.
"Why not. There are plenty out there. You ought to be able to find one at that bar where you stop off after work for a beer with your buddies."
"I don't know Maureen. I haven't gone after anyone since going after you. I wouldn't even know what to do any more."
"Bullshit honey. All you have to do is pick one you like, buy her a drink and hit on her."
I told her that I would try it, but I didn't. Once or twice a week for the next three weeks Maureen would ask me how I was doing and then one night just to shut her up I called her from the bar and told her I would be home late.
"I got a hot date, if you know what I mean."
"What does she look like?"
"Later honey. I have to go now before some other guy moves in on her."
I hung up the phone and went back to shooting pool with my buddies.
.... There is more of this story ...