Friday, 17 October 2008

OverRated: Being the Bit on the Side

"When I was with William, I thought 'This isn't perfect, it's a compromise... but it is my choice'. I even thought I was in control. And for 20 years I let that idea and that man dictate who I was.

When I finally realised that I was just filling in a gap in someone else's relationship, it was too late and I could not leave. It is better if you figure this out now. Use this opportunity to find someone that is yours."

Holly Harper, Season 2 'Brothers and Sisters'

Being a singleton shoring up another couple's marriage cannot be easy.

Mostly, we always consider the 'bit on the side' to be a female, waiting out her life at the beck and call of a lover who is running two women and forever hoping that he will choose to be with her full-time.

However, in some cases, it's actually a man.

Ruf will tell you that he does not enjoy being the Other Man in my life. He hates not being able to tell people about the true nature of our relationship because he will have to admit that the woman he cares about is married to someone else. And he will never ask me to come and be with him full-time because he has always insisted that he doesn't want to be a homewrecker.

I suppose, in some small way, it is at least easier for him in that he knows that we are in a monogamous sexual relationship. I have not had physical relations with the father of my children since well before Ruf came on the scene. So, he doesn't have to deal with any jealousy on that score. That thought did make me start wondering if such a decision was a peculiarly feminine trait or were there also men out there who lived the double life but only had sex with their mistress?

Ruf still has to share my time, has to fit in with the slots that are allotted to him in my busy schedule. He feels restricted that he is precluded from telephoning me whenever he wants to - although I have never enforced such an embargo. I know he is troubled that he cannot just come and visit me on a whim. For him, our life together is a flimsy structure comprising a few days of intense physical pleasure interrupted by gaping weeks of painful absence.

If I were the woman in this situation, would I remain? I'm sure that, just like Ruf's friends, I would be encouraging anyone else to move on and find someone of their own.

I can only hope that he will wait for me...



Cate said...

I have sometimes wondered what men in this situation think and it sounds like it is the same thing across the board - frustration, frustration, frustration.

Fingers crossed that those frustrations won't wear down his patience.

Cate xxx

Southern Sage said...

I'd think there were as many if not more men the same situation, not sleeping with their spouse only with a mistress.

Good luck

Ro said...

As someone who is in something very similar to Ruf's position, I can sympathise with his frustrations and also with your fear, if that's not too strong a word.

For reasons that I won't bore you with here, I don't have the slightest jealousy of The Beloved's husband. That has to be a positive thing but I am still precluded by his position in here life from anything like the level of contact I so deeply desire.

But perhaps I can also hold out a ray of hope? To anyone outside my relationship, perhaps it would seem utterly insane but I know exactly why I'm hanging in there, as patiently as I can manage, and I suspect that Ruf feels pretty much the same way. And that, my dear Ms Cake, makes all the difference.

There are no promises and no guarantees in life or love but there is hope and, while that remains, being the Bit on the Side may indeed be over-rated ... but it's still a position well worth holding and even treasuring.

But then I am, as I have admitted, a hopeless romantic!

Don said...

I've seen a few cases of men getting it on the side and having asexual relations with their wives. It's not unheard of. Though when the wife finds out, it usually sparks a good deal of rage!

Hu said...

I hope he waits for you too :)

Trixie said...

Wow, so you don't have sex with your husband at all since Ruf! Do you think your ex has a bit on the side? How would you feel if he did?

(There's a post for ya, lol)

having my cake said...

Cate - I think that, whatever your gender, you feel frustrated not being able to be with the person you love.

Sage - You really think more men than women would take that view?

Ro - You keep on being romantic. That's probably what makes her continue to take the risks :)

Don - Do you think the wife would feel more aggrieved at the presence of the other woman or the fact that her husband was not performing in the marital bed?

Hu - Thank you

Trixie - LOL, that's certainly a post I have been considering recently.

justme said...

Well I reckon you are worth waiting for hun, and he has the sense to know that. His is not an easy situation to be in and nor is yours, but you know, there are some advantages to not being able to be together all the time too. It certainly keeps it exciting!

Kevin Musgrove said...

It's a difficult one. It doesn't matter that you go in with your eyes open to the realities of the situation, those occasional bouts of wistfulness will keep a-coming. The important thing is to allow the quality time to be quality time without that nasty edge of desperation that some parents are given to. Not, of course, that I have any experience in the matter.

ood luck!

Wild Cat said...

You know my story and how I can empathise with Ruf. Steve always has maintained that he has only ever had sexual relations with me during our time together.

It is hard, as you have read. And I do hope that Ruf waits for you as much as I will always wait for Steve (although in my case it will be a futile wait)


naturline said...

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Rosie said...

Has it happens I've now been in 3 long term (1 yr +) FWB relationships with men who have sex only with me and not their wives. I'm divorced now, but find such men to be kind, considerate, and happy to have me as such a special friend.

Isabella Snow said...

Wait for you how? Will you be getting a divorce then?