The Married Man...
by Monique "Deep" Hughes
Today, as I was cleaning my bedroom, I was listening to this slow jam track on Kelly Price’s new CD called Married Man.
Once I got beyond the melody, and listened to the lyrics, I got drawn in by a scenario that I found myself in a time or two. The song is about Kelly being involved with a married man – unknowingly – and the betrayal she feels when she sees him walking down the street with his spouse and child. He walks past her as if he doesn’t even know her – but had been kicking it Kelly as if she were the only one.
Man, oh, man…I have been there before. I got hooked on man that claimed the life of singleship – telling me how he was completely captivated by me. And with my being completely intrigued by him as well – I was easy prey, I suppose. It was months down the road that I realized that he had taken a wife years before, and was helping to raise her two children from a previous relationship. But you would think that with all this in mind -- that I would have walked away completely. No – not me. I didn’t do like Kelly and tell him to "Get Gone". Well, then again…I did tell him to "Get Gone". But then he was paging me and paging me, and when we met up again, he claimed that he and his spouse had separated – and that he wanted me in his life. When he proclaimed that he never meant to hurt me – his eyes welling up what appeared to be real tears – I caved in. I forgot and forgave.
I mean -- this man -- from the first day I met him -- was an embodiment of everything I wanted. He was tall, black, and simply the most beautiful black man that I had ever seen. I wanted so desperately to believe that what he was saying was for real. When I was with him, he made me feel so beautiful. His lips – when he kissed me – made my heart feel like Jasmine on Aladdin’s magic carpet – it just sored. And the lovin’? As Jill Scott would say…it was "Honey Molasses".
But then my heart became really "sore", when a month later, I found out that there was no separation. He was still playing foolish games with my heart. The wife called my job after I paged him one afternoon – he had left his pager behind. She wanted to know why I was messin’ with her husband. That’s a conversation that you don’t want to have – especially with a sista. After feeling completely played for a second time, I told myself – never again.
Then in walks Marshall. A Navy Man that I met on the net. After going through the last scenario, and then dealing with other jerks that didn’t have a clue in between, I thought it would be to my advantage to post an ad on the net. I figured if I made specifications of what I was looking for – maybe I would get lucky. And then on one June day of 1999, this man answers my ad. Based on his description, he sounded wonderful. He claimed he was looking for a companion, a woman to be his best friend and his lover. I thought maybe I could fit that bill – that is, if we connected like that. Ooops!!! There’s a catch. The last paragraph, he states, "I don’t know if I can be the man for you because I am married. Although I love my wife, I am no longer in love with her, and my life feels empty."
I was like –"Aww…damn!!!" I ain’t going there. Been there, done that. Don’t want to do it again. But stupid me, I kept reading his ad over and over…trying to read between the lines. Trying to find out why this man would respond to a personal ad if he’s married. I came to the conclusion that his marriage wasn’t all that – maybe he and I can at least be friends – if things don’t work out at home – well, who knows.
Yes, it was a sick twisted way of thinking. I didn’t care. That was just the way of life. That’s the kind of life that I accepted. The dating scene for women my age (30+) was crazy. After awhile you accept bad as good, and everything is fair game. To me, this man was fair game. In my mind, I figured if he responded to me – it’s on. So after weeks of tussling with the idea of responding back, I finally did. We chatted back and forth, and then we finally decided to meet. And of course it had to be done on the DL. We decided to meet at Olive Garden, and have a couple of drinks. When I saw him – he was fine and sexy as he wanted to be. He was definitely "Almond Joy" for sure (his screen name). His skin, smooth as caramel – his eyes, dark and piercing as if he was penetrating the core of my soul.
We talked, and he shared with me his issues about his marriage. To ensure that I wouldn’t be sucked in by his charisma, I played the marriage counselor, trying to find out what steps he had taken to save his marriage. He said that he has tried counseling but things were not working out – he didn’t know what his future would hold in regards to his marriage. We both gave each other some brief history regarding past relationships, childhood, etc. And the longer I stayed, I found that I was being sucked in by his charm, his wit, his flair, his charisma – something I said I wouldn’t do when the evening started.
When it was time to leave, he walked me to the car. It was a warm, but breezy June summer evening. It was time for him to head back to reality, as it was time for me as well. I should have just shook his hand, and said "I hope things work out for you" – and then walked away. But no….not me. What did I do? I accepted his kiss. (A kiss that we had joked around about for days before we actually met). A kiss that left me breathless. A kiss that left me wanting the night to never end. Here I was, in this man’s arms, in the Olive Garden parking lot – kissing him as if he belonged to me. As if he were mine. Well, as Luther would say, I felt like he was mine ‘If only for one night’.
From that point on --- from that night on – I was completely in love with this man. I didn’t care about anything else. As wrong as that maybe. I didn’t care about the wife. He made me feel so good, and I didn’t want that feeling to go away. I hadn’t felt like that about anyone since my own separation and divorce. I wanted to hold on to him like Jack and Rose at that final hour after the Titanic sank – I didn’t want to let him go. I mean, "If lovin’ him was wrong, I didn’t want to be right." I tried to convince myself to keep things at a friendship level, but my heart, my body, my soul took me on a completely different path. A path where all I saw was him.
There were so many stolen moments that followed during the course of that relationship. Whenever he could get away, I was with him. I called in sick from work, just to be with him. We’d meet at my home or a hotel or sometimes in the back of my van. It didn’t matter where it was. When I was with him, nothing mattered. You could ask my girlfriends – my nose was so wide open that 2 Amtracks could have gone through it. He would profess his love, and I would do the same. But he was bound to his wife, and his devotion to their son.
The more involved I became, the more difficult it was for me to remove myself from the relationship. I hated spending holidays alone while he pretended to be a happily married man. I got tired of the nights that he didn’t share my bed. I got tired of not being able to kiss him when I wanted and to love him when I wanted. After a while, I didn’t want to share him anymore, but I knew it wasn’t my place to make demands. I was aware of what I was getting myself into. So I figured I would encourage him to make a last ditch effort to fix his marriage – if he felt there was a chance to fix it. As much as it hurt me to tell him that – I felt that I had to back away so that he could sort out his life – thinking that in the end – he would choose me.
As time passed on, he made the decision to work things out at home, and I respected his decision, but it hurt like hell. He told me that he couldn’t expect me to wait around for him because there would be no guarantees that he will be around. Damn – that cut like a knife. I mean, I am the one that encouraged him to make sure it was over with his marriage. What was I thinking?
To ease the pain of possibly losing him, I tried to see if I could meet other people. I was hoping that this would help me get past these deep feelings for this man, but no matter whom I met – I often compared them to him. To me, I didn’t feel that I could feel that same level of passion, love, and desire for someone else. And even though I tried to back away, my heart didn’t – nor did my love for him. It hurt me to watch him go back home to his real life. I told him of my efforts, and he kept telling me that I should try harder because there were no guarantees that he would be in my life the way he wanted to. See we discussed these things – our feelings – we shared our hearts. That was the one thing I valued most about my relationship with this married man. We talked honestly about anything and everything. We connected on so many levels – I was convinced that this man was my soul mate. I was convinced that there would be no one else for me. I was convinced that he felt the same way about me.
But like all married man that feel that they are missing something in there lives, it turned out that I was just something to do. It was never really about me – but always about him – ALWAYS! All the time that we shared this intense relationship – I was never the only one (aside from his wife). Oh no…there were others that were in the mix also. There was one in particular that somehow managed to steal my place in his heart – which let me know that there was nothing about our relationship that was genuine or sincere.
With him being in the Navy, in his field, he sometimes had to go away for specialized training. While away in San Diego for training for 6 weeks, he hooked up with another female. A woman that he had been communicating with via the internet as well. She lived in San Diego also. So when he went out there, they hooked up. How did she still his heart? She was able to have him completely. She didn’t have to sneak around, and do things on the DL like I had to do – he could spend all the time he wanted without interruptions and without a schedule. I mean, his wife was out of his sight for 6 weeks – he didn’t have to call in or check in. This woman got to have him COMPLETELY. She got to do things with him that I wanted to do and more. When his stint in San Diego was up, and returned to VA – any traces of me were gone – and now replaced by this woman.
How do I know this? Because he told me. He told me. We had always told each other that we would be open and honest about everything. But I think this was something he could have kept to himself.
I was devasted.
I was broken.
Maybe for the married women that read this feel I got what I deserved. And perhaps you are right. I suppose my aching wounds were self-inflicted. Nevertheless, pain is still pain. Betrayal is still betrayal. A broken heart is still a broken heart. I had given so much of myself to this man, that now, I don’t have anything to really give to a deserving man. I don’t think I will ever be capable of loving anyone again – at lest not like that.
From that first night when we met at Olive Garden, I served my heart and soul to him on a platter. I was willing to feed him forever and day – filling him with all my love. I gave and gave - I gave my love, my friendship, I gave it all. I was there for him when he was deciding what he would do with his life – thinking that as long as I stood by him – that he would stand by me in the end. But now I stand alone. I will forever mourn the loss of feeling love. My pillows still sometimes traps my tears.
There was this line in this movie that I saw once. "I have wasted thousands and thousands of kisses on you…but I guess that’s what I get for kissing you with my eyes closed so shut." If I would have known that I was I allowing my heart to be a victim of such a devastating homicide, I would have never let him hold me – I would have never let him in my bed – I would have never let him in my heart – and I would have never let him have my love. You’re a married man.