Thanks to Editor SumDumas. It is great to have someone to blame all my mistakes on.
You know what happens when you temp the Devil?
You end up at an auto service station in the middle of nowhere on a holiday weekend, while a guy tries to find a tire that will fit your car.
That is how the Devil gets his due, all because I was too lazy and stupid to replace the spare tire after I had used it. Tomorrow I kept telling myself, Damn!
The service station attendant, the same guy who had towed my car, hung up the phone and looked at me.
"Mister, the shop in Oakdale has a tire that will fit your car. He was gonna close up, but he and I trade favors, so I sent my boy over to pick it up,"
"How long do you think we are looking at?"
"About 30 minutes for him to drive there, 45 minutes back and about another 45 to balance and mount the unit. All told about 3 hours from now we should have you back on the road."
Damn! I swore to myself. Add in the hour I had been waiting for the tow and the 45 minutes it took to hook up and get me here, the whole day was shot.
But it could be worse, at least I did was able get help. All the hassle because I was 'too busy' to stop by my local auto parts franchise and have the spare tire replaced.
This auto shop was a relic not seen in the era of mass of franchise auto parts stores. Along with the girlie cheesecake calendar on the wall, there was a sign behind the counter that fit my situation.
When you are dead, you do not know you are dead. It is just difficult for others. It is the same thing when you are stupid.
Well I could also add a stupid man pays twice.
I turned my attention back to the attendant, the guy who had towed me here. "Thanks guy." I told him. "I appreciate you helping me out."
The guy just waved me away with a smile. "You can sit it out in the waiting room. Darn TV only gets one channel since the TV stations went digital though."
I walked over and sat in one of the hard plastic chairs they had facing an ancient TV with rabbit ears (Did they still make rabbit ear TV antennas?) which was connected to a digital converter box. I pulled out my iPad, but naturally there was barely a cell signal, let along 3G or enough bandwidth for the internet.
I powered down my tablet and looked up at the old CRT Television. My choices for TV channels was 'Yes or No'.
After what seemed like 15 minutes of commercials, the boob tube displayed a typical female Talk show setting with a middle aged plastic surgery enhanced host attempting to fight the uphill battle against ageing.
"Oh my God" I groaned inwardly, "Couldn't you have least got me a sports channel? Even the Weather Channel would have been better."
The Talk show Host gave homage to the round of applause before launching into her intro.
"My guest today is not a PhD or trained Psychologist, but believes to have some answers about the rise of female infidelity. If you're a male in our audience, like most other males, you would probably never suspect that your partner is cheating, not only because of your wife's or girlfriend's seeming disinterest in sex; but also because you have the belief that your wife or girlfriend is a "good girl." Unfortunately, males are frequently left/divorced by their wives and girlfriends without ever knowing about their wives' and girlfriends' infidelities."
I covered my eyes. "Let me guess" I thought "It's all the guys fault. I wonder what injustices my species has hoisted upon the 'weaker sex' this time."
Now the Host was reading from an index card. "If you're a female, like most other females, prior to cheating on your partner you always proclaimed yourself to be "not the type" who would ever cheat. However, also like most other females, after they have cheated, you're shocked and appalled by your behavior; but at the same time you can't stop cheating."
I sat up in my chair. Well at least they were not blaming us guys right off the bat.
The Host turn toward the camera. "Please give a warm welcome to Michelle Langley, author of Women's Infidelity"
They cut to a wide shot as an attractive lady in her mid thirties walked onto the set. After the hug and kiss routine they got settled into the interview chairs.
"So tell me Michelle" the Host started out. "Many have speculated that our sisters and girlfriends are straying more because of better incomes, more choices, even wider temptations, both at work and outside the home. What is your finding on why the whole increasing pattern of woman acting like stereotypical males?"
Michelle the author was direct in her response. "Women's relationships and marriages will continue to follow this pattern unless we develop an accurate understanding of females ─ particularly in regard to their sexuality. In fact, after researching women's sexuality for more than ten years, I can honestly say that most of our societal beliefs about females are grossly distorted and many are completely erroneous. The media has finally begun to acknowledge, albeit to a small degree, the widespread problem of female infidelity. Recently, several books and articles have attempted to explain why women are now cheating as much as men. However, none were successful in their attempt. All of them left out very important pieces to this extremely complicated puzzle. I believe the majority were simply unable to find all of the information necessary to figure out the problem. Although, I'm certain that some were just afraid to disclose certain key pieces of information because the truth, quite frankly, is so contrary to our current beliefs. Unfortunately, without these missing pieces, it's impossible to understand, and to subsequently fix, the real problem occurring in relationships today."
Gee, five minutes into her spiel and we men have not been blamed yet? This could be interesting." I thought.
The Host put her hand on Michelle's chair. "Now is your information based on your own experience, or that of others?"
"Both. Currently, women are initiating almost 70% of all divorces, almost triple the rate of three decades ago." Michelle continued. "My story began shortly after my 27th birthday, I began to feel very different. I had been happily married for 4 years and then, suddenly out of nowhere, I began feeling bored and unhappy. In an attempt to figure out what was causing my unhappiness, I looked for answers in books, tried to talk to my Mother and eventually went to see a psychologist. All of the information I received attributed the way I was feeling to my husband, and similar to the majority of women, I began to view my husband as the culprit too.
Later, through my own research, I discovered that what I was experiencing was quite normal. In fact, women are the most likely to divorce in their late twenties and thirties after an average of 4 years of marriage. During this time, it's quite common for women to experience a pre-midlife crisis, which is similar to the male midlife crisis, only with an important difference - a difference that can actually make women more likely to cheat than men.
Several years into my research I was able to identify distinctive patterns and behaviors in the women I interviewed. I categorized these into four separate "stages" that women often experience during the course of their long-term relationships. The stages begin with a loss of sexual desire."
Now I sat up, glued to the TV set. My wife and I had just reached the 5 year mark, and our sex life has taken a real nose dive over the past year. I just thought we were in a rut of some kind.
Michelle took a sip from a glass of water before speaking again. "Women at Stage 1 feel as though something is missing in their lives. They have all the things that they wanted—a home, a family, a great husband—but they feel they should be happier. Over time, many women in this stage begin to lose interest in sex. It is not uncommon for them to spend a great deal of energy trying to avoid physical contact with their husbands because they fear it might lead to a sexual encounter. They frequently complain of physical ailments to avoid having sex and often try to avoid going to bed at the same time as their husbands. They view sex as a job, not unlike doing the dishes or going to the grocery store. Some women in Stage 1 claim they feel violated when their husbands touch them. Their bodies freeze up and they feel tightness in their chest and/or a sick feeling in their stomach. The majority of women in Stage 1 feel as though there is something wrong with them, that they are in some way defective. They are also fearful that their disinterest in sex will cause their husbands to cheat, or worse yet, leave them."
The Host interrupted the author. "This is all very fascinating Michelle, but we need to stop for a quick break." The show switched to a close up of the Host. "We will be right back. "
As the screen displayed a graphic about the show's web site and how to get tickets to her show, a cold ball was forming in my stomach.
Michelle had just described my wife's actions to a 'T'. She was always not feeling well when I approached her for some 'Fun' time. Frequently she stayed up late working on some project if I made any hint about sex that night. Even when we did have sex, she acted like it was a chore, that she was doing me a favor. Several times she made comments that were thinly veiled statements that I was cheating on her.
I was so wrapped up in this information I missed when the program resumed, but caught up when the self assured Michelle started talking again
"Women at Stage 2 experience reawakened desire stimulated by an encounter outside the marital relationship. Whether these encounters with a "new" man involves sex or remain platonic, women will typically give a tremendous amount of emotional significance to these encounters. Many women in this stage haven't felt any sexual desire for a long time. Many experience tremendous guilt and regret, regardless of whether their new relationships are sexual, merely emotional, or both. Most begin to experience what could be termed an identity crisis—even those who try to put the experience behind them. Constant reminders are everywhere. They feel guilt when the topic of infidelity arises, whether in the media, in conversations with family and friends, or at home with their husbands. Women in this stage can no longer express their prior disdain for infidelity without feeling like a hypocrite."
"Son of a Bitch!" I said outloud. "Has that author been listening in at our home?"
My wife and I used to laugh about celebrities or Politician's who got caught with their pants down or dresses up. Her favorite movies were always romantic comedies, when the 'good' girl won the heart of the man from his cheating girlfriend. Now she never watched those anymore.
I became riveted as Michelle continued. "They feel as though they have lost a part of themselves. Reflecting society's belief that women are either "good" or "bad," women will question their "good girl" status and feel that they might not be deserving of their husbands. Many will try to overcome feelings of guilt by becoming more attentive toward and appreciative of their husbands. However, over time many women will move from appreciation to justification. In order to justify their continued desire for other men, women will begin to attribute these desires to needs that are not being met in their marriage, or to their husband's past behavior. Many women will become negative and sarcastic when speaking of their husbands and their marriages and it is not uncommon for an extramarital affair to follow."
This last group of statements rocked me like a sucker punch.
A few months ago after the sexual drought, my wife became the dream wife. Dinner followed by sex every night. She let me watch the game without complaint. Just as suddenly it was over, and I overheard her cutting me up to her friends. She did not even try to hide her distain.
I loosened my shirt collar. It felt like the temperature had risen 10 degrees in the room. I looked up, but mercifully the show was in a commercial beak. I needed a break myself and headed to the restroom.
I return to catch the Host asking Michelle questions "Michelle, what about this 'Stage Three'? You claim women at Stage 3 are involved in affairs, ending affairs, or contemplating divorce. Is that really true?"
Michelle did not even blink as the camera zoomed in for a close up. "Women who are having affairs experience feelings unlike anything they have experienced before. They feel "alive" again and many believe they have found their soul mates. These women are experiencing feelings associated with a chemically altered state, or what is typically referred to as being in love.
These women are also typically in tremendous pain, the pain of choosing between their husbands and their new love interests. They typically believe that what they are doing is wrong and unfair to their husbands, but yet are unable to end their affairs. Many often try several times. Prior to meeting with their lovers, they will vow that it will be the last time, but they are unable to stick with their decisions.
Unable to end their extramarital relationships, women at Stage 3 conclude that their lovers are soul mates because they are unaware that they have become addicted to the high caused by chemicals released during the initial stages of a relationship. Many live in a state of limbo for years. "Should I stay married or should I get a divorce?" this is the question continuously on the minds of women at Stage 3 - it is also common for women at this stage to attempt to initiate a separation. In most cases, husbands of women at Stage 3, will launch futile attempts to make their wives happy by being more attentive, spending more time at home and helping out around the house. Regardless of women's past and present complaints, the last thing women at Stage 3 want, is to spend more time with their husbands.
The reason many women will give for their desire to separate is a "search for self." They convince their husbands that they might be able to save their marriage if they can just have time to themselves. They tell their husbands that time apart is the only hope of improving their current situation. Women at this stage want to free themselves of the restrictions of marriage and spend more time with their lovers. Most think that eventually their confusion will disappear. They think they will eventually know with certainty whether they want to stay married or get divorced and be with their lovers. Separation allows women at this stage, to enjoy the high they experience with their lovers without giving up the security of their marriages.
Husbands of Stage 3 women are often unaware that their wives are having affairs. Their lack of suspicion is typically due to their wife's disinterest in sex and in their belief that their wife is a 'good girl.'".
Now I began to have trouble breathing. Three months ago my wife had broached the idea of a separation. I had gone full bore in trying to woo her. Flowers, love notes, small gifts, dinners at her favorite places.
She had been unimpressed and had used the exact words this author described. I could hear her voice in my head clear as a bell "Honey, we need to 'search for ourselves.'" My wife had said. "The best way to save our marriage if we can just have time to ourselves. Time apart is the only hope of improving our current situation. You understand darling?"
Naturally like a fool I had agreed. Hell, I had even moved out like some dumb assed servant. Even worse I was still paying the lions share of rent and utilities on 'Our' place letting her live there. Meanwhile I resided in a cheap one room dive, eating Rammon noodles twice a day.
I looked up at the TV screen seeking information as if Michelle's words were coming from the burning bush.
Michelle was still expanding on stage three, as I turned the volume up on the ancient TV set.
"Women at Stage 3 may also be experiencing the ending of an extramarital affair, and the ending may not have been their decision. They may have been involved with single men who either lost interest because the relationship could not progress or who became attracted to another women who was single. Women whose affairs are ending often experience extreme grief. They may become deeply depressed and express tremendous anger toward their husbands. They are typically unaware that they are experiencing chemical withdrawal due to sudden changes in their brain chemistry. As a result, many will feel that they have missed their chance at happiness due to their indecisiveness. "
"Wow" I said out loud not caring if anyone heard me. "This woman is God Damn Rosette stone."
This explained why my wife had become so pissed off at me three weeks ago, blaming me for little things around the condo when I was not even living there. Of course like a clueless fool I had rushed right over to take more abuse, all the while oiling the door hinges to stop imaginary squeaks, and fixing non-leaking faucets.
I stared at the TV like a shrine, the car/tire problem now a non-issue.
The Camera was locked on a two shot as Michelle expounded in more detail. "Believing they have become more aware of what they want and need from a mate, women at this stage will often place the utmost importance on finding a "new" relationship that will give them the feeling they experienced in their affairs. A new relationship with a new partner will also represent a clean slate, a chance for these women to regain their "good girl" status.
Some women will search for new partners during their separations. Others will return to their marriages, but not emotionally and still continue to search. Some women will resume sporadic sexual relations with their husbands in an effort to safeguard their marriage until they make a decision. Although they are often not sexually attracted to their husbands, desire is temporarily rekindled when they suspect their husbands are unfaithful, are contemplating infidelity, or when their husbands show signs of moving on.
The Host stopped her for another commercial break "Stay Tuned as Michelle explains the Fourth and final Stage."
A light burned in my eyes. This information really pissed me off. For the past two weekends I had gotten "lucky' with my wife. I was all giddy like some school boy who thinks the head cheerleader is going to go with him to the prom.
I had though when we resumed having sex, making love, our relationship had turned a corner. I was sure we were on the mend, light at the end of the tunnel and all. In reality she was just playing me, I was fallback 'Plan B'. The light I saw was not the end of the tunnel, but an oncoming train.
I pulled out my iPod and started to make a list. Again, it seemed like forever before the commercials ended and Michelle with the Host returned.
"Now we don't have much time left Michelle" The Host said. "Why don't you wrap up what happens in Stage Four."
I got to give Michelle credit, she had the whole package, brains, beauty, poise, and she was not going to be rushed.
"The women in stage four included those who chose to stay married and continue their affairs and those who chose to divorce. Some of the women who continued their affairs stated that marital sex was improved by maintaining the extramarital relationship. Some thought the lover was a soul mate, but for one reason or another did not leave their husband and did not feel torn between the two. Others realized that their feelings were intensified by not sharing day-to-day living arrangements with their lover.
Almost all of the women in this latter category were having affairs with married men. They believed their affairs could continue indefinitely without disrupting either partner's primary relationship.