Thanks to the Hip and Knee Doctor for editing assistance.
I was a rich and powerful man; no brag, just fact. I had money, position, and respect. I also had a quite beautiful wife. She was fitting of my stature, but I had acquired her under false pretenses. There lies my dilemma.
In the 1960's, a man in my position needed a wife. Although I am very competent at almost everything that I do, I do have weaknesses. One of them, which was a big one, was dealing with the opposite sex. The biggest difficulty that I have ever faced was finding a suitable woman to be my bride and then convincing her to marry me. Finding a woman was easy with my wealth and position, but weeding out the gold diggers made it a lot harder. A woman will tell you anything if she has a chance to marry for money; at least most of them will.
Marisol was different. I courted her in the old fashion way and I truly believed that she accepted my marriage proposal because she was attracted somewhat to me, and not to my money. She was sincere about our relationship and it made my decision easier. She was attractive with Mediterranean features and a robust body. Although she was a few years younger than I was, we were compatible as a couple.
During our year-long courtship, we were never intimate. I think she was willing, but it just was not possible. I never told her why until our honeymoon. She cried the entire night. I was never certain if she was crying for me or for herself.
I am, and always have been, totally unable to achieve an erection. All of my money and all of the fancy doctors in the world were unable to help. The medical journals claimed that in thirty or forty years they would have pills and devices that could help me, but there was nothing as of now. I craved the intimacy that I knew I would never have, but I also craved companionship. My deception was cruel, but if I had told her before the wedding, I was afraid that she would have never gone through with it.
To compensate for my deception, I went overboard. I spared nothing when I bought her jewelry, clothing, and trinkets. She seemed to realize that I was trying to atone for the deception, and was as gracious as could be expected under the circumstances.
Marisol was more than willing to teach me the skills needed to orally satisfy her. I was an eager and willing student, but it still left a large gap in our sexual relationship.
We shared the same bedroom and the same bed. She was always more than willing to cuddle and kiss. Our home life was pleasant and she was a perfect companion at any and all social events. I felt guilty about how I tricked her into the marriage, but she never seemed to hold it against me.
Tonight, after five years, it was necessary to approach the dilemma in a different manner.
The servants were gone for the evening and we were sitting quietly in the drawing room. She was deeply engrossed in one of the latest mystery novels and I was staring blankly at a copy of one of today's financial journals.
"Marisol. Could we talk for a few minutes?"
"Of course, Henry. What would you like to talk about?"
"Your demeanor for the last few months. You seem to be depressed. I miss your perkiness."
I put my paper down and watched her closely.
"I am sorry, Henry. You are right, of course. I'll try and do a little better."
"No. No. That is not acceptable. I don't want you to have to try to be happy. I want you to be happy. Putting on a phoney front just won't do it."
Marisol dog-eared the page that she was reading and put the book down. "Can you be a little bit more specific, dear? What exactly would you like me to do? What would be acceptable?"
She was not being arrogant or argumentative. She was asking in an honest, forthright manner.
"I have something in mind, however, I want to make sure that the solution that I propose is acceptable to you before I implement it."
"You are being too cryptic, Henry. You know that I am not as clever as you are. What do you have in mind? Did I do something to displease you in any way? If so, I am sorry and I will be careful not to do it again."
"You know I don't like it when you do that."
"Blame yourself like that. Our relationship is perfect, except for the problem that I brought into it. The one that we never discuss. You cannot be responsible for that. It belongs on my shoulders and mine alone. I am not accusing you of anything. I love you too much to do that."
She gave me a small smile when I mentioned that I loved her. She didn't return the compliment, but that was okay because under the circumstances it would have sounded phoney anyway.
"Marisol. Three months ago everything was fine. You seemed happy and the marriage was good. All of a sudden, things became gloomy. Can you explain what happened?"
I noticed a small tear in her eye. I had entered a sensitive area; one that I had little experience with. I could negotiate great financial and political matters with no problem, but I was unable to talk with my wife about personal things.
Marisol looked over at me without speaking. Her dark eyes glistened from the moisture of her tears. She was struggling to look calm, but was slowly losing the battle. My conversation was drifting into areas that we always avoided. She didn't want to go there, but then, neither did I.
"Darling, why did you stop seeing Timothy Hancock?"
She gave me a startled look and then buried her head in her hands. She was now visibly crying, but still trying to hide it.
I got up and poured us both a glass of Rose. I was now upset with myself because I brought this grief upon her. She nodded a small thank you as she took the wine from me.
"Henry. If you know about Timothy then you know why I stopped seeing him."
Things were quiet for a few moments. We both took small sips from our glasses and Marisol attempted to wipe away some of the tears from her cheeks with the back of her hand. It didn't work.
"Timothy seemed like a nice fellow. What did he do to displease you?"
"If you must know, he didn't do anything. I decided to stop seeing him."
Marisol got up and walked across the room. She returned with a small box of tissues and started to blow her nose.
"Why the hell did you stop seeing him?"
"Because I was starting to like him. He was a great guy and I didn't want anything to happen to him."
"That doesn't make sense."
"Can I have some more wine, please?"
I filled both glasses and sat down.
"Were you afraid that I would think that you were going to run off with him or something?"
"No, Henry, I would never leave you. You are my life and my love. Don't you ever believe that I would forsake you for another. I love you, Henry. I truly and deeply love you."
"That is comforting to know. I guess what I am trying to say is that you seemed so much happier when you were spending time with him."
"Damn it, Henry. Quit talking in circles. It is quite obvious that you know that I was having an affair with Timothy. I didn't want you to find out, but we all know that it is impossible to keep secrets from a man like you, isn't it?"
"You didn't want to hurt me?"
Marisol looked at me with pleading, innocent eyes. What I said was true, but it was hard for her to admit that without doing exactly what she was trying to avoid doing. She didn't want to hurt me.
"Are you upset with me for being unfaithful?"
"No dear. You made every effort to be discreet. I have never been upset with you. It is totally my fault for not being up-front with you before the wedding."
"Don't say that. You couldn't help it. Just because you couldn't perform in the bedroom does not make you less of a husband. I do love you Henry. Always remember that, no matter what happens."
I smiled at my wife and she seemed to relax a little.
"It was my weakness that made me connect with Timothy. I should have been stronger. I should have resisted. If you are going to blame anyone Henry, blame me."