Saturday, 6 June 2009


Noun - A lover, of either sex; a wooer or a mistress (formerly in a good sense, now only in a bad one); one who takes the place, without possessing the rights, of a husband or wife; -- used of a man or a woman.

Unbroken seems like the male equivalent of a younger pre-blogging me. Remaining in a loveless and sexless marriage for the sake of his children but longing for someone to make him feel attractive and fulfilled.

He ponders taking a lover and ruminates upon the consequences.

Perhaps, in these circumstances, what is required is a paramour. Not a mistress or a lover. But a person who will provide the sexual gratification and the personal self-esteem without demanding anything more in return. No promise of a future together, other than within the limiting confines of a secretive bed

I sometimes look back to the me of six years ago. The one who was broken, depressed, unfulfilled. The one who hid herself in big baggy clothes and didn't bother with her hair and makeup. The one who suddenly realised that intense housework could no longer fill the gap where passion and intimacy should be. So I stopped being involved in either and let the anorexia take me back.

That's probably when I should have seen the shrink. However, on reflection, even psychoanalysis cannot change the way another person behaves towards you, only your reaction to it. So it would probably only have postponed the inevitable.

Instead, I actively sought the company of men I knew via the internet. I think my mind groomed me to recognise what I needed and Ruf checked all the boxes.

Single, sexy, more than 50 miles away, nothing like my normal type. He seemed to fit the bill perfectly and for some months it worked.

I don't think either of us meant to fall in love but his appearance in my life coincided with the understanding that he no longer wanted to live his bachelor lifestyle. Suddenly, he didn't want to be the 'other man' in this triangle but the leading male in a partnership. He was no longer content to be just a paramour, there solely to provide me with sexual and emotional release.

Combine that to such a seismic change in the way I viewed myself that it became impossible to reconcile the two women who inhabited the same space. One of them had to be cast out so that the other could be liberated.

Having an affair may well make you feel better about yourself and it will certainly get you through a difficult few months, or even years, if you are careful enough to avoid getting caught or discreet enough that your partner tacitly allows you to continue because I doubt there are many spouses who do not see the signs eventually. It's just the odd one or two who cannot make 2+2=4. Those who remain silent are either in denial or complicit in the continuance of the deception to maintain the status quo.

If it is the latter, then the paramour is a short-term panacea.

Invariably, however, this person is going to want more from life. There are very few selfless people out there who are content to live the solo lifestyle, dependent upon another's sexual whims. More likely, they fall in love with their peripatetic partner and harbour the delusion that one day s/he will announce that they want to be together full-time.


Polar said...

Oh Johanna,
You are such an Inspiration too Many! As far away as I am, You are a CHERISHED FRIEND!!!
I, too am trying to learn the "Thank You" lesson!
Thank you, for teaching me!

TROLL Y2K said...

Very interesting. Never knew there was a selfless element to the term "paramour". Thought it was synonomous with "mistress" or "kept". Implying financial support from the married half-of-the-equation.

Making your pasta sauce tomorrow!

Loving Annie said...

so... where do things stand precisely now with you and Ruff ?

Joanna Cake said...

Polar - You're my favourite cheerleader x

Troll - In the past, paramour tended to be the term used for the male lover of a lady of the nobility... Ruf is still enjoying all the praise for his pasta. Enjoy!

Annie - Im not sure either of us knows what the future will bring and no decisions will be made until Ive finished my counselling and got my independence. Let's just say that Im not giving up the chance to get his avocado pasta cooked for me just yet :)