html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: Always platonic! I don't poach.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Always platonic! I don't poach.

The comments about married men also having secret crushes reminded that every couple years or so, I end up as someone’s backup wife. Someone’s wife or girlfriend will be away on an extended trip, and since I always have food in the house and want to play, he’ll start dropping by. It starts slowly, but by the time her trip is nearly done, we’ll both just assume that he’ll be over every evening to eat or work out or hang out. The interaction is very strictly bounded, but within those bounds it can be intense. Then she comes back and it’s like it never happened.

I have mixed feelings about being a backup wife. I go along with it because it is fun. Between being in a long distance relationship forever and not having a boyfriend for years, I forget how easy life is when you have a playmate all the time. Two people to think of fun things to do and then do them is so much easier than coming up with something to do and calling around to find someone to do it with. Also, I crave a lot of attention in a relationship, and almost all the time I just don’t get it. Being someone’s focus for a month is like finding food or water or breath again. So I’ve known it was happening (again) and not prevented it.

But it isn’t a great situation for me. There’s the obvious, that it reminds me of what I’m missing and when it inevitably ends I’ll be on my own again. It requires some work to make sure that the balance is kept, that I don’t end up with a serious crush and that he doesn’t veer into inappropriate. I also worry that it threatens my place in my community. Lots of my friends are in couples, and I think couples think single women are destabilizing. Doing sports with mostly husbands gives me a lot of access to them, and I worry that if I weren’t above reproach, their wives would start to suggest that maybe they shouldn’t include me in their weekend trips and camps and teams. I can’t risk that.

That whole class of relationships is a dilemma; so far it has worked out OK. I wish I had better options than backup wife, though.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are way too cute to be a backup wifey.

Have you heard of the office wife/husband? Similar to the above but work-oriented.


9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since I sorta started this, I should say something... I have been wondering, ever since I began snoofing through the Archives, why Megan - although bright, funny, articulate, self-sufficient, athletic, easy-going, and friendly, with an interesting job and interesting friends, (and, lest we forget, who has a great rack!)- isn't beseiged by suitors. And I do have some ideas about that, but nothing substantive enough to justify cluttering up the comments with.

But we are out here, thinking about the problem.


8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish you weren't a back-up wife, too. It makes me sad. I wish there were something I could do about it, but I'm married, female, and live thousands of miles away. Bummer. You've got to stop hanging around men who are already married, if only to improve your prospects! :)

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if all of this is a problem. It seems so; matter of fact, 'science'-type words for this sort of problem are 'intractable' or the ever-euphemistic 'non-trivial.'

Speaking as a newish husband, I am very, very, very aware of getting into a relationship that could veer into inappropriate. I think of myself as a strong person, but I would not put myself into the position that these men are. Not judging them or Megan, just sayin'.

10:33 AM  

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