Until now, I thought her behaviour had been a spiteful form of punishment, a punishment I was expected to endure until she decided I was suitably contrite and my lesson had been learnt. I didn’t think she had it in her. If I had then perhaps I wouldn’t have ended up in this mess. Yes, I’d hurt her but I hadn’t meant to. At the time I never thought I’d be found out. Then again, who does?
Helen is beautiful. She’s also intelligent and vivacious. We’d been married for three happy years. We had good jobs and good prospects. Outwardly, everything seemed perfect; and it almost was. The problem, for me, was our sex life. It was fairly conventional, vanilla. At first, when things were relatively fresh, I didn’t have a problem with that but as time went on the sex became staid. I wanted to spice things up a little but I didn’t know how to broach the subject with Helen. I was worried that an adverse reaction might affect our general relationship.
I considered myself very lucky to have married Helen. She was quite a catch. Whenever we went out her presence always caused a stir and I got a real thrill seeing other people looking at her, admiringly, and at me, enviously. Looking back, I think I probably put her on a bit of a pedestal. If I’d known then what I know now the solution would have been simple. An honest conversation may well have resolved things and probably made us closer. Instead, I chose to experience sexual excitement outside the marriage. I had an affair. Well, I had a number of affairs.

I was good at my job and worked hard. As I got promoted and became more successful, opportunities for extra marital sex became more plentiful. At first all I did was flirt but as the creeping dissatisfaction with my domestic circumstances intensified I eventually gave way to temptation.
The first time was a quick fling with one of the secretaries. It was no more than satisfying but there was no harm done and Helen never found out so I felt confident enough to commit further infidelities. And there were plenty of those. But I convinced myself that I could keep my indiscretions hidden; the demands of my job meant I often worked unsociable hours, and Helen trusted me. If circumstances had been otherwise my trysts would probably have remained undiscovered.

When Helen found out she was devastated. She went through all my personal things. Because of a poor memory I’d kept all my passwords in a folded note carefully tucked away in my wallet. She found it, accessed my computer and phone and discovered e-mails, photographs and text messages relating to various affairs that I’d stupidly kept, largely because of a fat ego.
Then I had to listen to her bitter rantings and ravings. There was nothing I could do to placate her, I had to just be there to listen to the hysterical and venomous outpourings. ‘Why?’ she kept shouting, ‘How could you? I gave you everything?’
I knew that. The emotional pains I felt, the guilt and shame, were indescribable. Gradually, and I mean gradually, her pain lessened. Eventually, she seemed to come to terms with the situation. And then it was my turn to be hurt.

Helen had an affair, well, it was more of a sexual encounter, and I was made to watch. She’d taken a fancy to a colleague at work, I think he was married. Obviously, I wasn’t consulted, we didn’t communicate anymore. She brought him home. She’d been drinking; her speech was a little slurred, her manner overconfident, but I could feel that underneath she was nervous, unsure.
It all happened so quickly. She led him into our bedroom and spread herself on the bed. They didn’t even undress. She watched him as he rolled on a condom. Then he fell on her and I watched, speechless and powerless, as the inept bastard fucked my wife. Seven or eight quick strokes before the useless prick came. I must admit I felt a twinge of satisfaction with his incompetent performance. Helen’s attempt at evening the score had failed miserably. He rolled off her and adjusted himself. There was an awkward, embarrassed silence and then he left. I didn’t attempt to say anything, there was no point, I knew it wouldn’t get me anywhere. Helen started sobbing and then shouted obscenities at me. I just had to sit there and take it. How many times can you try to say you’re sorry?
Stupidly, I thought that was it, that she’d finally got it out of her system, but it was just the beginning. During the next two years she brought several more lovers home, each as inept as the first. I actually became inured to her activities, although I felt a deep sense of resentment. Then things went quiet for a while. She stopped trying to punish me and I thought things would settle down again.
But it didn’t last. One day she brought another man home. This one was different. With this one I could feel there was an emotional connection. I heard them coming in, early one evening, when I was upstairs in the bedroom. She was later than usual, and, despite our unusual circumstances, I was beginning to feel worried. She was generally on time during the week and I thought something might have happened to her.
I heard the front door open and then voices in the hallway. Occasionally, she would bring a girlfriend home, so I just felt relief that she was safe. But I was jolted by the sound of a deep male voice and feelings of depression, misery and self pity washed over me. He said something and I heard her laugh, excitedly. Then I heard their muffled voices in the sitting room beneath me. He must have been tickling her or something because I could hear her shrieking with laughter whilst protesting, insincerely. I felt a jealous bile rising within me. I strained to hear more, but it went quiet for some time and then I heard him cry out; a short series of staccato, animal grunts, a passionate release, the unmistakable sound of a man in orgasm. My mind was swamped with images of their lovemaking and a further intense feeling of jealousy overwhelmed me. I didn’t attempt to go down. I didn’t want to. Why humiliate myself further? And then it went quiet again and I listened intently but couldn’t hear anything. Then I heard someone mounting the stairs. The footsteps were slow and heavy; it sounded like just one person. I braced myself.
He came, naked, into the bedroom, carrying my wife, and I felt a great surge of jealousy and anger. He was very handsome. And he was taller than me. His shoulders were broad, his legs long and his hips narrow. His frame was muscular and his cock large, erect and intimidating. He stood, with my wife in his arms, and looked around the room as if he owned it. I felt emasculated.

Helen was curled in his arms, her head was resting against his shoulder. She was snuggled into him, languidly kissing his neck. He gently let her down but her arms clung around his neck and they stood greedily kissing each other for what seemed like an age. I watched, absorbed.
Her hand moved to his cock which was digging into her hip. She took hold of it, as she continued to kiss him, and began to caress it, curling her fingers around its girth, sliding her hand up and down its length, exploring its shape and texture. She cupped his balls in her hand, gently massaging them, and his cock twitched, restlessly, on her forearm. And then she lightly scraped her fingers on the tight skin of his scrotum and along the underside of his cock. He moaned, appreciatively, and pressed his mouth and body more forcefully into her. Helen broke away and giggled, a sexy, wanton sound that sent a shiver through me. She stroked his face, whilst looking into his eyes with an intensity I’d never experienced in our relationship. ‘Fuck me,’ she whispered, ‘I desperately want you to fuck me.’ She turned, climbed on the bed, went down on all fours, and raised her bottom in the air. She looked back at him, coquettishly, then lay her head on the bed and raised her bottom higher. I’d never known her to act like this, in such an abandoned fashion. She’d never been so forward, so provocative, so sluttish, with me and I was again angry, full of bitterness and resentment. I wanted to shout at her: ‘It’s your fault you bitch, if you’d made an effort then I wouldn’t have strayed, I wouldn’t have needed to.’ But no sound would come out, it was strangled by self pity and my anger was subsumed by feelings of lust as I watched the man pull Helen’s dress back, exposing her bottom. He eased down her panties and, too impatient to remove them, left them stretched across her thighs. He held the shaft of his cock and carefully guided the head into her and then pushed himself against her, gasping as his cock was enveloped by that soft, silky warmth that I longed for. Helen let out a cry of pleasure as she was filled. He gripped the sides of her hips and began to fuck her, very slowly, deliberately teasing her. Four, five, six, seven strokes and then he slowly pulled away from her, withdrawing entirely. Helen protested. He began to caress the cheeks of her bottom and teased her pussy with his fingers and then he entered her again and resumed his slow, rhythmic strokes before, again, withdrawing.
Each time he pulled away Helen would wriggle her bottom impatiently and beg him to fill her, but he resisted and teased her with his fingers, deftly playing around her clitoris, stroking and tickling until she was brought to a trembling climax. And then, again, he entered her from behind and when he’d filled her he put his hands under her armpits and eased her upright so they were both kneeling with Helen’s shoulders pressed back into his chest. He moved his hands to her breasts and gently rolled her nipples between his thumbs and forefingers, causing her mouth to loll open in an expression of lethargic pleasure. Then he moved a hand down, past her belly, and began to explore the soft plumpness between her legs, fondling and stroking, while he slowly fucked her. Helen, in an effort to control her trembling body, reached behind and gripped the back of his head which caused her breasts to jut out and her belly to tauten. She pressed her mouth to his and their tongues softly tangled as her body squirmed and wriggled on his cock. As her arousal heightened, she fell away from him and lay face down on the bed while he gripped her hips and thrust into her with fast, powerful strokes. Their flesh slapped as their bodies crashed together and the man’s passionate grunts of exertion were accompanied by Helen’s panting entreaties to be fucked harder and deeper.
Helen’s back was now arched and with her head thrown back, she let out a series of ecstatic, convulsive cries as though electricity was being pumped through her. There was a look of utter pleasure on her face as she bucked back and forth in response to her lover’s determined thrusts. Eventually, he came, shouting her name, shuddering against her, until, expended, he withdrew and they lay together laughing and caressing each other before dozing contentedly. I sat and watched them. Helen’s enthusiastic cries had aroused and angered me; she’d never responded as vocally when we’d made love. But I knew this man wasn’t like the others; he was self assured, more masculine, more forceful.
After a couple of minutes the man stirred, he was restless. He opened his eyes and looked at Helen and then began to stroke her hair. She opened her eyes and they kissed and made love again, slowly this time. I could feel the intensity of their passion, the depth of their emotions, and a great sadness came over me. It was the first time I’d really experienced such a feeling, such a connection, and with the feeling came a great understanding. Helen was in love. And I knew at that instant that I had never loved her, not truly, not as I should have, not as he does.

And the realisation jolted a dark memory, one that I was vaguely aware of, one that occasionally strayed back into my consciousness, a memory that I’d hidden, buried, been too ashamed to remember, too frightened to acknowledge. But it became clear now, sordidly clear.

My lover and I had been travelling down a motorway when it happened. We’d been going to spend the weekend together. She was also married. Helen thought I was away at a golf club tournament.
The woman was voracious and as soon as we set off she’d begun caressing my thigh and telling me what she was going to do to me. By the time we’d hit the motorway she’d unzipped me and was playing with my cock which was fit to burst. Then she’d taken off her seat belt and eased off her skirt and panties, and she leant across me and went down on me. As she worked away I took one hand off the wheel and began to caress her bare thighs and as we sailed down the outside lane she brought me to orgasm. At the same time I noticed the brake lights of the car in front of me go on. My mind, fogged with pleasure, was slow to react. I braked, too sharply and too late, and tried to steer out of a skid but slid across the lane into a crash barrier and turned the car over.
They found us, me with my cock hanging out, her with no skirt or panties, legs akimbo, both of us lifeless. I remember watching the scene from above, listening to the ribald comments and laughter of the fire, police and ambulance crews.

I felt Helen’s pain and sense of betrayal, her anger and bitterness. But I also felt the love she had for me and my shame was intense. I thought I was being punished as I continued to remain, shackled to her emotions, feeling her sadness and loneliness. I tried to justify my behaviour. I hoped, in time, she’d understand.

I thought I’d loved her. In my way I suppose I had, but my love was superficial. I respected Helen because, like my house and car, she was beautiful, a status symbol, a reflection of my worth. I never really knew how to love. I realise now that I’m not being punished. Learning continues after death. Helen found real love and I finally understood it, and with the understanding came resolution … dissolution … peace.