My wife Annie and I have been married for 26 years. We had met while attending the same university and after I graduated took a job with a larger corporation in her hometown. She is 54 and I am 50. Our only child, a son is in the army and is stationed out of state.
We are very dissimilar but that does not seem to affect our relationship. Friends often still wonder how we got involved due to our differences, but our marriage seems to have lasted while most of theirs have come and gone. The one area where we seem to have disagreement is in the area of sex.
I didn't know before we were married that when she was younger, actually a pre-teen, a man that the family had known for years had attempted to molest her. It was interrupted before actual physical relations were started so she didn't think that it was anything to discuss before marriage.
What happened was that the incident combined with her upbringing caused her to have a very negative outlook on sex. We would have sex once or twice a month whether we needed to or not (you can hear my sarcastic tone, can't you).
Since we both took our wedding vows seriously we came to the agreement that I would understand her needs and concerns and she would not be bothered by me deciding to jack off a couple times a day.
I will admit since she is not looking over my shoulder right now, that at one time I sat down and really evaluated whether I wanted to remain married or not. The only negative was the sex and the fact that she was downright dowdy in her dress. She had a petit figure with a small bust and except when pregnant, she maintained her weight in the ideal range. I often suggested dressing to show off her figure but she always refused.
On the positive side, she was affectionate, loved staying at home and keeping a nice home, hated shopping, was not interested in jewelry, she budgeted far better than I ever did so we had a nice income and savings, would rather stay home than go out to eat and would only go to parties once or twice a year. She might be a little compulsive because she would rather keep house and cook than watch TV.
In short, because of not shopping, etc. she cost very little and was not fixated on money. She cost me as much in one year as one girl that I dated before we were married cost me in one long weekend. I finally decided that I had married an old-fashioned farm girl and gave up trying to change her.
Our cozy little life crashed, slammed and otherwise dissolved when the economy caused the company I was with to start layoffs. I was upper middle management so I thought I might be safe but when the president of the US started talking about proposed new healthcare laws, the company decided it couldn't take the financial savaging contained in the proposals and closed US operations and moved them to the overseas plants.
I was given the opportunity to transfer to head up the operation based in Cebu, Philippines. When I broached the subject with Annie, she flatly refused to discuss it and told me to get another job like I had.
Annie took on some house cleaning jobs to help with the income because she was afraid of dipping into our savings and investments.
I got frustrated looking for work because when I would apply, there were also 15 others that seemed to have an edge in line also; members of the proper club, related to the HR director, or any of the other seemingly useless little things that are suddenly important. When I was saving the company several million dollars a year I was the golden haired boy, now I was an outsider from another state.
I reverted to my roots. I had done apartment maintenance and industrial repairs for my father's business starting when I was in my early teens as a helper and progressing to a division head by the time I got married and moved into the corporate world. Since I was now with no significant income, I started repairing anything that people would call me to repair. This was good, but it in no way was enough for us to live on. I had no idea how that would change things in our home.
Annie had a cousin named Sue that was just a year older and since their childhood homes were separated by a hundred feet, they had grown up more like sisters than cousins. Sue was almost the opposite of Annie. She was certainly full figured at the least, an outgoing person that liked to travel and be doing, a very successful career woman that married in her late 30's to an older semi-retired man.
They had a good relationship but after only 10 years of marriage, cancer struck and took him shortly after the diagnosis.
Annie helped Sue regularly in some of the domestic areas that Sue had no interest in doing. They would visit and bemoan their respective problems and concerns and laugh and get on with life. Sue's husband had been dead for about 5 years when I got laid off.
Sue was on the phone to Annie and mentioned that she was having problems with some plumbing and an intercom that was stuck on and other small maintenance items that Howard normally had looked after when he was alive. Annie told Sue that she needed to have me come and get things fixed.
They set up a time that both of us would go and have supper and then I would work on the list of repairs. After supper I went to the basement to work. I started with the plumbing but to save trips up and down the stairs I had turned on the intercom and the lights that needed repaired so I could check them also.
What I found was the intercom switch was stuck so that everything said in the kitchen would be broadcast to any other speaker that was turned on in the house. The only one turned on was the one I had turned on in the basement. I heard them chattering while they were putting the food away and doing dishes.
Sue was wealthy but very tight with her money when it came to frivolity. She had no hesitation for spending to purchase quality, but for just three of us, it was hand wash and dry instead of using the dishwasher.
Sue did payroll for a couple who owned a chain of stores and Annie cleaned house for them so the two women had a lot in common to talk about.
I ignored them and just let it be background noise while I was working since I had listened to them talk hundreds of times. All of a sudden my attention was caught when I heard Annie talking about sex. " ... and he has asked to make love least once a month and sometimes twice a month since he has been off work. I think that is all he thinks about," Annie said. "He wanted to do some nasty stuff using his tongue to get me off like I was supposed to enjoy it. I don't know why he can't just get on top and get with it instead of all that fancy stuff. I don't mind if he feels my boob while we are cuddling, but I don't see why it has to be sex ALL the time."
"All the time," Sue asked, "I thought you said once or twice a month?"
"Well that is about twice as much as I need," Annie retorted.
I heard them talking in more detail. Sue asking what type of perverted things I wanted and telling how Howard was a frequent lover, but didn't last long and it was missionary position only. I found out that Annie had taught Sue about masturbation and they had tried it together. Interesting, I didn't know that.
I heard Sue ask Annie if she still liked to play around outside like they used to play and was stunned when Annie said that she wanted to but was afraid of getting caught again. AGAIN!!!!????? She went on to say that she always wanted to make love outside but wouldn't let me because she knew we would get caught or was afraid of what I might think of her. When was she caught? Now I knew that there were things that I needed to find out about her.
Sue went on to ask if I had a girlfriend on the side and when assured that I didn't asked Annie what she would say if I had one. "If you are getting more than what you want and he isn't getting nearly enough, why would you care?
"I would leave him in a moment if he did any such thing. A marriage isn't about sex, it is about a lot of other things, but if he betrays me in that way, how could I trust him any other way?" Annie declared.
"I see," Sue answered. She went on to ask Annie about my job search and what prospects I had. "I don't understand why people can't see what they are missing by not hiring him. He has an extensive hands-on background and experience combined with his education he could be such an asset in so many fields. I would always see stories in the business pages about how he had gotten a contract for one company or restructured another and expanded yet another for his employer."
"That is what makes it so frustrating. We are so desperate, if anything was offered he would take it no matter what it was." I heard Sue assuring Annie that she would mention it in her network of friends and see if she had any leads for us.
In my mind, I wasn't as desperate as Annie was but I knew that she wanted to be at home again instead of working outside of the home. I tuned out the conversation and finished the list of repairs.
I totaled up the time and materials and gave Sue the bill. I apologized for billing her for helping family.
"I expected a bill when I asked you to do this and I know you have helped me many times in the past years and never charged me so don't feel bad. You know as well as I do that Howard left me very well off when he passed away and I have the income from the apartment units that he owned before we were married. I don't waste money and paying you a fair wage for an excellent job is not a waste."
.... There is more of this story ...