The comments for part 1 have not only inspired me to expand on the real life behind the story, but also to add to the story in a particular way. I’m not often censored by what I “should” do in my fiction, but, I think it’s important to address the issues that arose for people.
I can see where, in real life, this scenario could cause problems. Especially with the “cuckolding” issue. I think if a person actually made some sort of sexual connection or partnership with another person (without their partner’s permission) in order to “heal” a marriage or improve a sex life, that would definitely be wrong. Even if one didn’t actually have sex with that someone else, the sexual tension and power play would still be akin to cheating.
I’ve paid several therapists over the course of our marriage to give me advice. And I’ve read a lot of things that I’ve paid for. The advice from the therapists was specific to my relationship, and some helped. In order to get that advice, I had to be pretty open about some pretty personal stuff. The advice I’ve gotten from books has been generic, and little of it has helped, which has left me feeling frustrated. I’ve also talked to friends and divulged all kinds of private details to them…because that’s what friends do. But still, it’s hard to give truly helpful advice when you aren’t on the inside. Whether paid or free, outside advice is not always useful.
The idea of getting a man’s perspective on what a man wants from a woman is the central theme here. It’s a fantasy in the story. But in real life, any advice I’d get from a person outside of my marriage would be just that…advice.
What this fantasy is exploring is the ease of access to insider tips that don’t seem to be very forthcoming in the real world. What would it be like if someone could simply open an app on their phone every day for the perfect idea to satisfy their mate? How handy we could sign up for a wife coach as easily as we sign up for a life coach?
I have subscribed to daily intention services before that entail an email each day that gives me something to think about or do, but the closest I’ve come to finding a daily “sex life” instructional is Cosmo’s 365 series, which is terrible, and some that provide a daily sex position to try. I’ve also found several 30 day sex challenges, but they are also rather uninspiring. I’m not interested in trying to have sex every day for 30 days. I’m interested in learning what makes a man feel desired…without a lot of theory…or another damned book to read…or another $150 for a counseling session that won’t help a thing.
I’m a fan of small steps. And, as busy as I am, I’m also a fan of “easy.” I get that relationships and commitment are not “easy,” nor should they be, for that matter. I’m not trying to get out of work or let someone else do my relationship for me. I’ve put in countless hours trying to correct what has gone awry. At this point, I’m digging for something new. Something that hasn’t been tried. Hence, this fantasy.
Not too long ago, I read a book called Wife School. I’ve also read, The Empowered Wife. Both of them are decent enough books, though WS is Christian-based, and I’m not religious, so there’s that. They give good information about being a good wife (which I’m pretty decent at, btw) but they don’t go into great detail about how to be a good lover (which is where I pretty much suck right now). The few books I’ve read about being a good lover aren’t very specific either. Probably the best I’ve read recently is Passionista. But even that just didn’t work (although I appreciated the male perspective).
I realize there is no easy solution. But the beauty of fiction is that solutions can be just that. So, without further ado…here’s part two.
The Wife Coach – part 2 “The Reply”
Jaime took a deep breath and opened her email. She’d been checking every few hours since she’d placed the ad. Nothing had popped up yet, but her hope infused every keystroke.
She typed in her password and began scrolling her inbox. Several emails from friends and family. A ton of spam. Some messages related to recent purchases. And some updates from websites she belonged to. But, buried in the middle, there was one that bore the title “REPLY: Married woman seeks man…”
Jaime sucked in her breath through pursed lips, held it for a moment, let it out in a a gush, and opened the email. She squinted her eyes to focus on the words.
I was married 25 years to an amazing woman. Recently, she passed. But we were happy when she was alive. Happy in every way. EVERY way, if I can be so bold to assert such a thing. I’ve got a lot of time on my hands these days, and I’d like to focus on something other than being so very alone.
I think I might be able to help you. Or at least…I’d like to try. If I could get some more information about you…and what is going wrong (or right?)…that might give me some place to begin. That is, if you want to.
I suppose I should probably give a little more background on myself.
I’m a literature professor. I spend a majority of my time reading, writing, and walking my dog, Jake – a golden retriever who thinks he’s human.
I’m not sure what I was doing perusing the personal ads. My world has been pretty empty since my wife, Jessica, succumbed to cancer. She was the life in this house.
I’m also not sure what is was about your ad that pulled me in, but I guess I was intrigued by your request. It was to the point, well-written. You seem to know what you want…or at least what you hope to find. But I get a sense of exasperation…an “I’ve hit the wall” vibe that isn’t so much desperate, but determined.
I’ve spent the majority of my life guiding young minds to find their true paths. I’d like to see if my skills can work in a different way.
If you would like to continue this conversation, please feel free to respond.
Jaime read through the email a few times before she put both hands on the keyboard. She hit the arrow to reply:
Thank you for your reply. I’m sorry to hear of your wife’s passing.
I’m glad, however, that my ad intrigued you. While I do know generally what I want, the specifics are pretty muddy. I’m sort of grasping at straws here, but I’m open to trying pretty much anything. My husband and I have been to counselors, and I’m not interested in trying yet another.
Really, what I’m looking for are some concrete actions that I can try.
So, at the risk of sounding completely forward, what would you suggest? What is ONE thing I can try TODAY to start closing the enormous divide that has spread between my husband and I? We’ll call this a test. If your suggestion gets me somewhere (even just within myself), we can share a few more details. Maybe even meet in person at some point.
So, I’ll just leave the ball in your court. I’m eagerly awaiting your suggestion.
to be continued…