Can You Cheat in an Open Marriage? It's a Matter of Degree
An ending for Odiouser's Story, "Can You Cheat in an Open Marriage?"
This is a conclusion to the original story by Odiouser. The URL for that story and his invitation to write an ending are below. I thank Odiouser for a great story and a beguiling proposition for the lead character and a beguiling and challenging task for an author. I also greatly appreciate his helping me out as Beta Reader and Volunteer Editor. His deft touch saved readers of this story hundreds of unneeded words and brought much needed focus to the project.
At the conclusion of that original story by Odiouser:
I'm over 14 1/2 thousand words into this tale, and I still cannot decide how our big conversation should go. I didn't set out with a plan to create a story with no clear outcome. But I wove all the ups and downs along the way, and never could come to an ending that I felt strongly about. I could equally live with separation or divorce as much as I could with a passionate reconciliation and happy ever after.
So, I am asking if one or more of you readers feel motivated to give it a proper ending. If you feel the inspiration, I invite you to send it in to Literotica, using as much or as little of my original story as you like. I certainly don't aspire to a never-ending saga such as George Anderson inspired with the ultimate infidelity in his "February Sucks", but I would love it if a couple of writers could do this plot the favor of resolution.
If you haven't read the original story by Odiouser, I strongly recommend it for two reasons:
- you'll fully understand the context of this offering;
- the original presented a masterfully detailed tale of discovery and amazement that yielded a mouth-drying visceral feeling of betrayal, .. and yes, of awe about the wife of the protagonist.
If you deign not to read the original, proceed at risk of missing the point of this conclusion to the tale, but I do provide the lead-in from the original story.
The end of Odiouser's original story:
I knew that I still loved her, maybe in some twisted way, even more than ever. I found her amazing career path to be, well, amazing. She seems so strong-willed and in charge. Not to mention that she seems to have become the most accomplished feme fatal since Cleopatra. But, it seems, she still sees something in our marriage that is greatly important to her.
On the other side of that proverbial coin, she had blinded me with bold faced lies, had sex with a very large number of guys of all descriptions so long as they had money. I am sure not even she knows that number. And she willfully spends a majority of her week in the arms of men not her husband.
I won't fret over the notion of broken marriage vows. To me that is an aerie-fairy thing that no one really pays much credence to. I don't even recall exactly what our vows had been. I know we used one of those more modern, less patriarchal, versions that are popular in this century.
I was a bit concerned about STD's, but I had to assume that a courtesan who is a million-dollar property would be very well protected and tested very frequently. I knew that she had given up 4 nights a week with me to play the field, and that hurt a lot. But I also understood that we did not usually have sex those nights anyway. Sex, when we had it, was mostly in daytime hours, and was stellar! Based on what little I knew of the sex lives of other people our age; I would venture that we had a well above average sex life. Certainly qualitatively, and maybe even quantitatively.
I had to reluctantly admit to myself that I still loved her and maybe always will. But does she truly love me? I realized that I don't even know what 'Love' really is. I do understand that the overpowering sexual component of marriage is clearly separate from all the other feelings two people have for each other. But I think it takes both to make a real marriage.
If she were to tell me she wanted to stay happily married but that her sex had to be reserved only for paying clientele and the occasional Spencer or Rudolf, then, of course, we would be done for. Even it she was a world class chef and conversationalist; I wouldn't call that a marriage.
Or turn that around. Would I willingly leave and divorce her if I was guaranteed a free pass to frequent sex with her? I don't think so. Yeah, I would want the free pass, call it a Platinum membership card for Rye Balled, but then I would want to hook up with a new woman for the many other things of a married life. I do not want to come home every evening to an empty home. That's not even a home. God, what a deep thinker I can be.
One thing was starting to clear up through the haze. We cannot go on like this, with her leading the life she is and me pretending to be clueless. If we have any chance of surviving, we absolutely have to get her out of her current employment.
I honestly think I could maybe tolerate her getting way more sex than I was, but my ego would not allow me to live within the community knowing I was a cuckold to the loosest woman in town. Sorry to be so thin-skinned and fragile.
SO, she would have to agree to quit the job and lifestyle but I am almost sure she wouldn't. I equally doubt she would agree to moving far away from here and starting over. I finally drifted off to sleep.
I woke up early Tuesday and headed out for work before Heidi was awake. Our lives continued in that vein. Minimal, but civil conversation and no intimate interactions in bed at night. I wondered if she would say nothing and just go, "bargain shopping" with Meredith again this Wednesday.
Work was tough. How do you focus on other people's problems when, "They think THEY have problems!" keeps overwriting any other thoughts. I considered asking for time off to focus on my personal relationship issues. Asking for time because your wife was a professional sex worker who had systematically hidden it from you didn't seem to have much sympathy associated with it. More like an incredible degree of stupidity and gullibility; perhaps even to the degree that such a person couldn't be trusted with a senior supervisory position. I decided not to ask. For all I knew my boss may have even been one of her customers. Crap.
The next day, Wednesday, I decided to take some assertive action and found an attorney that I thought would work for me. I then went to a nearby bank where I opened a new account in my name only.
I used the Life360 APP to track her phone and to my disappointment, it headed toward Rye Balled. I guess we were still in the mode of her pretending I was in the dark since I hadn't said anything.
Once home, I quickly extracted the investment pieces hidden in the jewelry box, placed them into my briefcase and then copied of the documentation in Grandma's Recipes. I copied the the text histories and the address book from her phone I had copied earlier to a new location in the cloud that was protected by password and a token. I changed the combination on my briefcase and left it in my office with the investment baubles locked inside.
I ate dinner and went to bed. Some hours later I was on my side facing the wall wishing I could sleep, when Heidi entered undressed, went into the bathroom. After hearing the shower, I felt her weight settle into the bed. Another night pretending the rest of our lives wasn't about to change.
Up and out before my wife was up, I automatically thought of her as "my" wife, though it occurred to me that in some sense she had performed what might be considered, "wifely duties" with other men - and probably women - to the tune of over a half million dollars over the past couple of years.
Work was another struggle. Taking a mid-morning break, I took the valuables to my new bank and placed them in a safe deposit box. I then went to discuss things with the lawyer.
The lawyer said that my assertion that she had violated a verbal contract with me to be exclusive would never fly. He said that it was a very creative gambit, but as true as it was on the most basic level, there were 200 years of US case law that would argue against that being a successful suit.
The other elements of an ordinary divorce could be summed up as the disposition of things. Since her income exceeded mine there was no issue with me needing to pay her monthly support of any kind. The division of assets in a divorce would, however, be much more interesting. Living in a, "no-fault" state in which all of the assets accrued by either party, during the union were joint assets, every one of them would usually have to be divided evenly. The division was normally done by selling the assets and splitting the money. The debts including credit cards, retail accounts, and loans would also usually be shared. That means each party would walk away with cash but no home, no jewels or other significant "things". The lawyer would draft the papers and hold them until, or in case, I decided to call for them to be served.
To avoid a discussion before I had reached a decision, I claimed late work again and got home after she had departed for her usual Thursday night activities. On the kitchen table I found a note.
"I miss you so much Merl. We seem to be drifting through the days without being 'us'. I only see you when you're curled up in bed and then you're gone before I wake up. I made short ribs. Dinner is in the fridge. Wish we were eating it together. Love Heide".
There were little puckered star-shaped splotches on the paper that I guessed might be from tear droplets. As great an actress as she clearly was, they could be sprinkles of tap water. Greg said she had been seriously crying about our situation. I may never know the facts about those marks, but I would absolutely be eating short ribs for dinner.
Thursday night ended the same as Wednesday. Each of us silently curled up on opposite sides of the bed.
Friday I once again slipped off to work before she was conscious, or before I believed she was conscious. I decided it was time. I told him to go ahead and file at the courthouse, and arranged for her to be formally served at our house tomorrow morning just before noon. I'd have a sit-down with her tonight, maybe early tomorrow morning depending on how things went.
After lunch, I texted her that I would be staying at work to go over some legal documents and so would not be there before she went to work. Yes, I used the word, "work" and got no special response to the word. Her reply was, "OK. Dinner will be in the fridge. I miss you."
The lawyer informed me that he had secured a court date for three weeks from today, an unusually quick court date. That meant that Heide would have to get a lawyer, prepare a response to our suit and be ready for court by that date. He asked if I thought that was possible. I replied that yes, Heide was very capable and probably already had at least one lawyer, "on retainer". Shaking my head to myself, I guessed that, under the technical meaning of the word, they would actually have her on retainer.
I got home after she was gone. I changed clothes and ate dinner. I considered the fact that, a divorce would mean no more home cooked dinners. Probably not the most appropriate reason to be married to a prostitute. I re-shaved and combed my hair. I placed a note in the jewelry box's hidden compartment that read, "I felt our jointly owned investment property needed to be in a safer place." I signed it, "The man you married all those years ago."
I drove out to Rye Balled. I got a good space near the door to go in and see my wife display herself to a hundred men and then have sex with a dozen of them. Yup, luck means different things at different times in your life. At the door, I told them, that I was here to talk to my wife and after checking with the office, they let me in. I went in and took a seat in the second row of tables where I could see the stage and might be seen by anyone on the nearest part fo the stage.
The waitress came by and when she leaned down to ask for my drink order, I told her, "Thanks, but I'm not here to buy drinks. I'm just here to convey a personal message to my wife."
"I'm not trying to sell you anything Mr. White. Mr. Durand, the General Manager, said to give you anything you wanted on the house and that you were always welcome here as his guest. Can I get you anything at all?"
"OK, then coffee, black, please, and do you know when Flaming Red is due on stage?"
"She's busy at the moment, but will be on stage after the next dancer, The Merry Widow."
She departed to get my java and left me wondering just how deeply busy Flaming Red actually was. I wondered if she had been told that I was here yet and if it would have any impact on her, ... uh, .. well, I guess "performance" is really the best descriptor whether on stage or behind the curtains. With coffee in hand, I settled in to await my wife's stage performance. I'll have to admit to a certain level curiosity about Meredith Daley's dancing skills. She turned out to be pretty damned skilled after all. I gave her a passing grade as my stiffening member could attest.
The Merry Widow finished her set and stalked sexily down a set of steps across the room from me into the arms some admiring gentlemen. She pointed in sequence to three of the men out of her little gaggle and took the first one by the hand and led him around the stage and through a curtain. She was obviously about to get, "busy" like I guessed Heide had been up to now. My stomach lurched a little. Perhaps milk might have been better than coffee.
The lights dimmed. "And now! Rye Balled is extremely proud to bring you the hottest little lady in the tai-county area. If you've seen her before I'm sure you'll agree and if you're new to Rye Balled, you soon will be agreeing that she is so smokin' hot - she's flammin'!!! - FLAMMING RED!" A spot light snapped to life on the center of the blue velvet curtain across the stage and two seconds later that curtain parted to reveal, .... The most beautiful woman I had ever had the pleasure to know. My wife.
It's funny, the things you focus on at such a time. Her hair looked fabulous; done up in a small volcano of cork screw curls bunched on top of her head. The curls glinted in the spotlight as she whipped her head around the curls spinning out from the top of her head. Her eyes sparkled. Her face had a look of extremely serious focus, her lips drawn inward forming a tight straight line. She stopped the initial movement of her head, then began a side to side scan as if surveying the crowd. Though the spot had to have made it impossible for her to actually see anyone in the audience, she very slowly turned her head from all the way left to her far right.
The entire room was so quiet, I was sure the three nearest tables could hear my heart beat. She re-centered her gaze and her right hand moved slowly up to the top of her head. She popped some sort of clip out of the volcano of hair and tossed it away. As the little volcano collapsed into a luscious mane of glorious red curls, she released her lips to create a dazzling smile of brilliant red outlining shiny white teeth. The music suddenly blared and she went into motion to the classic mother of all world class stripper tunes, "Night Train".
The room exploded in a bedlam of raucous shouts, whistles and cat calls. I had to hand it to my wife. She definitely exuded class, at least as much class as any whore in a strip joint ever had. The bedlam died down in appreciation as she glided through a circuit of the stage. She then shed her clothing piece by piece and as she strutted, yes, literally strutted from one part of the stage to the next. She maintained strategic bits of cloth until the music shifted into another song and finally got down to the traditional G-string and a "bra". Sort of a bra. It was a cupless harness that outlined her generous bust with two triangles lined with scallops of lace.
She did look stunning. The audience clearly agreed as evidenced by the frequent cheers and whistles that accompanied each stop she made along the stage to allow admirers to tuck bills into strands of "clothing". My groin area was also doing its best to demonstrate its excitement. The stage lighting shifted to trade the spotlight for downlighting with a blue cast that set off her hair and lips. It made her beautiful skin glisten with fiery sparkles which had to have required some glitter and glue. She must have to shower multiple times each night to wash that off before coming home.
She was positively glowing. Eating up the adulation of the crowd, her smile had ample wattage to light up the city skyline. The music of the fourth song of her set was just starting and between stops for more folding money, she was performing some poses like the classic bend-over-from-the-waist-while-looking-back.
She was at the point of the stage nearest to my table when she went into another iteration of that bend-over pose. A man stood up to slide a bill into the waist band of her G-string and proceeded to keep his finger under the fabric and ran it down the line of fabric that was nestled into her ass crack. He pulled the string out from between those moons with one hand and ran the middle finger of his other hand down that cleft that I used to think was exclusively my territory. There it was, ... a clear demonstration that her body was not exclusively mine.
I dropped my head and closed my eyes with that image burned into my retinas. Then images flashed through my mind of her body being touched by a hundred faceless men and then that body snuggled against me in bed, I almost threw up all over the table. I was able to stop that reflex, but dropped my coffee cup and saw it shatter on the table top.
That was an attention getter for sure and with the recent change in lighting, I was visible to the performer on stage. As I lifted my head back up from looking at the debris, my eyes got back into focus to clearly see Heide's eyes locked on mine. Her mouth flew open. She jumped to her feet, with her hand over her mouth. The music had not stopped, but she spun around and ran off stage through the back curtain.
The server came to my aid with a handful of napkins and a guy with a small brush and a dustpan showed up and began the clean-up process. I excused myself and asked her to thank Mr. Durand and tell him hat I was not feeling well. I immediately exited the club and after taking a few deep breaths, drove home.
The thoughts I'd had about possibly being able to coexist with her profession were now jumbled. It was quite clear that she really loved performing in that environment and that she was about as good at it as it got. It was also clear that her performance had turned me on. It was just as clear that I was having trouble accepting her allowing intimate contact with other men.
At home, I went into the bedroom and packed a bag. I was incredibly confused and knew that having her touch me or having her in my immediate proximity would not allow clear thinking. After viewing her performance tonight, being close to her would either make me extremely angry with her or possibly lead to me giving in entirely - both of which were purely short-term emotional reactions and not rational thought. I needed to get away and think.
I was mentally berating myself for being so stupid as to be fooled for years. I was wondering how a sophisticated executive like myself had not insured that my marriage never could have been subjected to this degree of, "misunderstanding"...???. At this point, I still felt that divorce was the only option. I no longer felt any confidence that I could hold a meaningful conversation with Heide tonight or perhaps ever. I left for a night in a hotel.... one that had a bar. r"