Sound titillating? Alas, probably not what you were thinking.
My (ex) husband Al and I were both in the service. Before our vows we had the monogamy and fidelity discussion, knowing how rare it was for spouses to remain physically monogamous with the separations inherent to the military lifestyle. It wasn’t a long discussion, it was acknowledging the fact and promising to each other that our marriage was our primary and forever relationship, to not bring home any diseases, and that any “others” would be a secret not be discussed with others (his demand because it could be potentially devastating to a military career) or even discussing details of other relationships amongst ourselves. We knew nothing of polyamory, just how we wanted to live our lives together.
While he was an officer, I was his wife. There was no way of denying that fact. And to be honest, having a spouse who acts appropriately can be a great asset to furthering a career.
After he left the service, was another story altogether…
My birth father passed away. A man Al had never met, although I had started to form a family relationship with. There was no doubt in my mind I would bring my son home with me to make arrangements and settle his estate. Nor was there any shadow of a doubt that Al would not wish to come along.
My first call was to the airline to secure a flight the next day. My second call was to the husband’s shop to let him know I would need a ride to the airport. He was not in the building and I left a message with his super, “Please let him know that his wife’s father passed away and his wife and son will need a ride to the airport tomorrow.”
Upon arriving home that evening, Al was almost giddy recalling the conversation with his boss when he got back to the shop:
Hey, Al. Can I ask you a personal question?
Sure. Doesn’t Mean I have to answer.
One. .. Why?
Well, some gal called saying she was your wife and that her dad died and she needs a ride to the airport tomorrow for her and her son. You gonna need some time off to go with her?
First, Did she say which dad?
Well, was it her birth dad, her adopted dad, or her mom’s current husband?
No, Why would I need any more than just to run her to the airport?
Through every consecutive place of employment, it was the same. I was a non-entity to everyone except Human Resources for the purpose of placing us under his health insurance, and the rare occasion he could not avoid avoid disclosing that he had a wife and son when we were seen together. I was his secret lover.
Perhaps it was he explained it, “They have no business to know my business.” Perhaps it was to appear available to potential girlfriends, though he had only had one – and that was purely an emotional relationship until I filed for divorce and she also happened to be divorced.
Either way, it hurt to feel like a non-entity in his life outside our home. I’m sure that played into my vowing never to keep any significant other a secret again once I was released from the confines of his “keep it a secret” requirement.
Have you ever been a secret lover to a significant other? Or kept your sweetie a secret from the rest of the world? How did that work out for you? How did it feel?