I want to solicit a bit of advice from the commentariat here. I’m 31, married with two young children. I have a high-status career (I’m in a prestigious doctoral program, and I write for a number of elite publications), I am of average, or maybe above average looks, I dress well, and I comport myself well in conversation. I am not intimidated by famous intellectuals or beautiful women.
However: I married my wife when I was 23 – we were both intensely religious and virgins at the time. Since then my religiosity has waned, my wife has gained a good deal of weight, and I’ve become deeply discontented with my sexless, passionless life.
A few months ago, during a long, boozy night at the bar with some colleagues, a couple of my more attractive (and militantly feminist!) female colleagues opened up about their frustration at the lack of masculine men in our department. I drove one of them home, and when we pulled up to her place, I kissed her and told her I intended to have sex with her. There immediately followed two delightful hours of adultery. Since then I’ve slept with another young woman, and have fooled around on a couple of other occasions. I am shocked by the easy availability of sex, given my nearly decade-long struggle to get laid within marriage.
So far, this change has had positive ramifications for my marriage. My wife doesn’t know everything, but she knows that “things” have happened. At the same time, I’ve become more assertive and less whiny / pitiable. I demand sex more, and she seems pleased. She’s known for years that I want her to lose weight, but she’s starting to make some minimal efforts now.
However good things get, though, this will never be ideal. My wife was not an attractive woman when I married her (I didn’t think that mattered then – see religiosity) and she’s not aging well. I will always live with the knowledge that I have much more beautiful, intelligent, elegant women, who more closely share my interests, and are more impressed with my accomplishments. All things being equal, I’d leave tomorrow. But they’re not equal. I am entirely smitten with our son and daughter, and cannot countenance the possibility of their growing up without a father. So here I am.
Here, finally, is the question: Should I keep up with the extramarital dalliances, hoping to effect a sort of Mad Men modus vivendi, in which a lackluster marriage is supplemented by suspected but politely hidden infidelity? Or should I man up, and fight to suppress my wanderlust, contenting myself with what gains can be made at home? I can see pluses and minuses on either side. What do you gents think?
Frenchmen do it right. Have mistresses, but be discreet about it. Aging wives don’t want it shoved in their faces; they want to let their hamsters whir with hints, thoughts, painfully delicious imaginings that their husbands might be cheating on them. This strategy has the dual benefit of satisfying the man’s natural and completely normal urge for pussy variety while keeping the home and hearth stable and reigniting the marriage with the wife’s newfound dread-induced passion.
But the reader is in a predicament; namely, his wife’s weight gain has made her less attractive to him, and she wasn’t that attractive to begin with. (For the ladies in the audience: your weight gain is as mood-killing for men as a man’s weakness and wishy-washiness is mood-killing for you.) Plus, he’s got hotter, younger hopefuls auditioning for his meaty intrusion. Very few men can withstand that one-two punch to their virtuous restraint.
His problem is the reason why men should not even consider marriage until they are well into their 30s, and then only with women at least eight to ten years younger. A man hits his SMV stride more than a decade — oftentimes two decades! — after a woman hits hers, so it makes sense that men are best served cashing in their chips at the height of their power for women at the height of their power. That is, if chip cashing is what he wants. I’m not keen on marriage so I will generally counsel men that they can get all the comforts and love of marriage without signing a legal contract that obligates them to finance an early retirement plan for the wife should she initiate divorce theft proceedings (70-90% of divorces are female-initiated.)
But this guy is a religious bloke and he wanted kids. If kids are in your future, then marriage is the price you pay to ensure the striplings grow up mentally healthy and shielded from the allure of huffing paint or gobbling cock behind the 7-11. He didn’t say how young his kids are, so assuming they are still forming their identities, I would not advise him to abort the marriage. He needs to stick it out for a while longer.
What the reader needs to do to avoid crippling depression is the male equivalent of Eat, Pray, Love: Meat, Lay, Rove. He’s hitting on all cylinders at this moment in his life and it would be a terrible sacrifice to ask of him — on par with requiring a feminist to carry a rapist’s unwanted baby to term, or to have sex with a bitter omega male for ever and ever — to linger for years in his loveless, sexually arid marriage with a fat, unattractive wife. I suggest many “business trips” to exotic locales where he can sate his desire with beautiful lovers and more easily hide his dalliances from the wife. He should continue pushing his wife to lose weight and hinting ever-so-unsubtly at his growing array of sexual market options.
The very real risk of Meat, Lay, Rove is that our intrepid reader will likely fall in love with one of his darlings. Men tend to do that with women they find sexually irresistible. Down that road lies irretrievably broken marriages, for a wife fears a betrayal of love far more than a physical infidelity.
In the end, he will have to answer to his god, and ask him why he was given a working penis if he was meant to suffer unhappily in a sexless marriage with a fat sow.