I still have sex with my husband, although I feel closer to Matthew. I know that runs counter to current thinking. How could I still be intimate with a man who does not go places or do things with me, who leaves me alone to find my way alone? Well, I have sex with him for the simple fact that it feels good, and it is the one way in which he’ll expose even a little bit of himself to me.
I don’t have sex with Matthew. Sure, we fool around and indulge in some marathon kissing sessions, but we are often in cars or on dark street corners. Rarely are we ever truly alone. While we are still married to others, we try to keep our relationship somewhat chaste. In some ways, it is easier that way. If we become lovers in the extramarital sense of the word, we’d hate bringing a tawdry element to our union. I know, I know — the mere fact that we feel and share these things means that we are having at least, an emotional affair.
Matthew says that no one in his whole life could ever track the radical shifts his mind takes. I guess I appreciate how he weaves all of the threads of our many conversations into a coherent tapestry. He really listens, and remembers everything. I have to think about what I say, as a casual throwaway line could injure his sensitive soul.
I had a dream the other night that John confronted me about Matthew. He said that we were just playing house and that we wouldn’t make it in the real world. And then that dream came true, sort of.
It happened last week, when Matthew had the day off and came over to hang out with me at my house. We were sitting on the couch, our legs entangled, having a discussion, when the door suddenly opened and John walked in. We casually said hi, and he responded with a "hello" and said he was going to work at home. Matthew and I continued to talk for about 15 minutes and then I walked him to his car.
“Text me if things get weird,” he said.
“I’m sure John won’t even mention it," I replied, "unless I bring it up.”
And as we were now both home alone, I did bring it up. I asked my husband how he felt about seeing Matthew and me. He said, "I think you should get what you need from him." I explained that it was emotional support and intellectual conversation, and he said it was fine, but he'd prefer if we were not at home when he got there. He said he doesn't want to be uncomfortable in his own house. It was very cerebral conversation.
When I texted this to Matthew later, he replied, “Maybe it triggered something to make your relationship light up once more. I’ll have served my purpose.”
“Doubtful,” I replied. “He's presuming that he can't give me what I need — that you can, but he doesn't want to see it. He doesn't want to face his shortcomings.”
“I’ll give your house space from now on," Matthew said. "It's also why I'm always so conservative physically. You can let me go. I don't want to ruin your life in any way. I will stay your friend.”
"My husband has no interest in our union. If there was ever a time to acknowledge the broken quality of our marriage, this would be it," I said. "He doesn't want to work on it. He never has. That's why I'm with YOU.”
That night, John came to me, freshly showered and shaved. He possessed a sweetness and an openness I haven't seen in a very long time. He made love to me with renewed interest. Was it the threat of losing me, the fact that another male had made his attraction clear and John was now taking what was his? Or was it just the mammalian response as a male asserting his dominance in the sexual arena? I don’t know, but I'm just happy that we have one way to feel intimate.