"What is sex in a relationship?" A reader me asked several weeks ago.
"Why, anything you want it to be," I replied. Do you feel he uses you for sex? Or is it something sacred you both share in vulnerability and trust? Are you using him to escape the dreary monotone of life?
Talking of escapades...
Having been married for more than 20 years, in all honesty I say that being married doesn't render one, dead. Therefore one isn't completely protected from being attracted to the one who pays attention and who shares your interests. Suddenly you feel the exhilaration of spending time with someone who you can pour your heart out to. The crescendo of heartbeats that feel for the very same things!
Suddenly you're dreaming of someone other than the man in your bed. You're looking forward to time spent with another whom you think shares your passions, hopes, and dreams, whom you believe understands you better than your husband. At least, he shows more interest.
Mind you, it's all intellectual... so far. Your mind begins to imagine more than that. Yet you don't imagine that he might actually spurn you --- because, well... you're married.
So that's where it ends. You know it could never become anything. And so the friendship lapses. It dies a natural death. You see each other less and less. No less does your heart hope that one day... someday... someday soon...
But no. Then one day, cloud hanging heavy from the internal chaos that has been going on inside your head for all this time, you confess. "You know Joe Blow... well... I had feelings for him. I thought they were strong enough that I might, you know, go off with him. But it came to nought. I wanted you to know..."
The man at the breakfast table, grunts. "You didn't, and that's what matters." He goes on reading his paper. Then he looks up and says, "The sad thing is that you don't realize you have everything right here."
I look at him, thinking I'd find some emotion. Uh uh, none. Straight arrow. Is that empathy right there, I wonder? Is that him feeling what I'm feeling?
And what am I feeling? Like a good thing got away? Not quite. Just that a bit of variety might have been nice.
And what made him respond so generously? Would that be reciprocal understanding for one of his own liaisons? Maybe.
Anyway the affair that wasn't, turned out to be an exploration of what meanings I've given to life and love. Seems that the meanings are many. Just as many as there are facets of me.
The variety is nice.