Down By The River

I took a trip camping with friends this week. And I had a dream Friday night. Jenna and I shared a kiss. Warm, soft, sweet, it was dream-like. And it was not with my Jenna, but the real one. [I’m going to call her just J to avoid confusion here.]

I am ruined.

For almost two years I worked with J, finding myself oddly attracted to the girl who had almost none of the qualities I thought were my “type”. She’s friendly, but so are lots of people I work with. That’s what I like about my firm. Besides even if she did like me, we’re both married, and I love Jenna far too much to cheat on her with J or anyone else.

Then early this year, Jenna got me to admit to her my affection for J. And Jenna insisted she could tell J felt similar. It made me feel more self-conscious around J; I worried that it would make our working relationship uncomfortable. I held back, not even sure how I would ever approach disclosing my feelings if I even wanted to without making things a mess

Last Sunday, we had dinner with J and her husband. And though I didn’t notice it, Jenna claimed later that J had been checking me out. Which makes me feel both sexy and self-conscious.

Friday afternoon I turned my phone on to send Jenna a text, and a few minutes later one came through from J. She was planning to take her kids to the fall festival in a few weeks, and asked if I had ever been.

Then Friday night I had the dream. And Saturday, all the questions, all my feelings, all Jenna’s ideas this year – they all spun around in my head throughout the day, distracting me, gnawing at me. Maybe Jenna’s desire isn’t so bad?

Then, unrelated, my friend, E tells me some old co-workers we knew were getting divorced. She had been fucking a co-worker, and he finally got tired of being ignored and neglected by her. “Guess an open marriage didn’t work for them” he said.

And I can see that, because, despite the sexual desire I have for J, or even the thought of having both Jenna and J together, the idea of Jenna being with another man still pains me. I know, it’s a complete double standard, and its completely wrong for me to feel that way, right?

And the only way I could feel worse about it would be if I acted on this and hurt Jenna or J, or was somehow the catalyst for ending either marriage.

I am so confused.

So after a few days away, I’m heading back to be with Jenna and my kids. And I’ll honestly be thrilled to kiss Jenna, to hold her in my arms again tonight, even as thoughts of J tug at my conscious occasionally this week.


  1. Jenna says:

    I liked reading your thoughts. I don’t think my desires are so wrong, and I also don’t think yours are. Again, it just reminds me that our relationship is a choice, not just an obligation or a responsibility.

    I think having sexual feelings for a coworker complicates the situation immensely, since you have your job and career to think of.

    But you should know that I trust you (because I choose to) and I have no problem with your feelings for J. Of course you are attracted to someone who is the opposite of me, you HAVE me.

  2. Mark says:

    I don’t actually think your desires are wrong, just different than mine. Which is I think wrong for us as a couple, as a family. I do on the other hand think mine are wrong. Or at least, it’s unfair of me to feel as though you and J together would be desirable, yet simultaneously feel that you and another guy together tears me apart inside.

    The odd thing is that my tastes still tend to run similar to you – petite, dark hard, bright smile. I have you, which is precisely why similar physical characteristics are so attractive. Or so I thought.

    Or maybe all of this just demonstrates that I don’t know what the hell I really want anymore.