true confessions

Secret confessions of a dog walker

Friday, January 25, 2008

Like many people I got to a point in my marriage when I felt that I could no longer stick with it. My husband and I had been happy for the first five years, but after that the constant grind of money worries, looking after small children and careers had started to wear away the last shreds of affection and respect we felt for each other.

When my husband stopped wanting to make love to me, I was philosophical about it — I was often too busy or too tired to want it anyway, so what did it matter? But as the months dragged on and turned into years, I started craving some physical closeness and affection. When it got to the three and a half year mark, I decided that I could not exist in such a platonic, sterile way anymore.

Although we had promised each other from the beginning that infidelity was an absolute deal-breaker, I was feeling more and more that it was the only way I could remain sane. Any attempts to discuss and resolve our problems seemed to go nowhere, although we both were committed to staying together, especially for the sake of the children, but also because it seemed like a huge failure to throw away so many years together. But I was becoming desperate for someone to look at me with desire and appreciation, for someone to find me attractive and sexual.

In the evenings as I walked our family dog in a long stretch of quiet parkland, I kept on turning over in my mind what options I had. Starved for so long of a satisfying sexual life, I began fantasising about going out on my own to some rough local pub and finding a faceless stranger, having anonymous sex with them and then sneaking home. But the logistics were so difficult, and the risks enormous. When it came right down to it I didn't see how it would be possible to manage.

In the end, I did nothing. But the solution presented itself to me in a most unplanned and unexpected way. I had often come across local dog owners on my evening walks — we would always greet each other and stop for a chat while our pets played together before continuing on. One of these locals was a middle aged man. I knew he had introduced himself at some point, but in my distracted state I had forgotten his name, although I knew his dog's name! I had never been attracted to him and he was probably ten years older than me, but I had always found him very well-educated and polite in our brief chats.

On one of my evening walks I ran into him, and as we wandered through a dimly lit part of the park, I had a flash of inspiration — perhaps this was the answer! But I didn't really know anything about the man himself. Was he married, was he gay, was he the sort of person who would agree to such a thing or would he find the idea tacky or disgusting? From that moment on, I made sure that every time I ran into him I would try to lead the conversation in the direction of finding out about him and his situation, and although it took many weeks of occasional meetings, I soon knew all I needed.

He was married, but unhappily so. He spent a lot of time walking his dog in the evening to get out of the house, and I gathered that he was fairly unhappy in his relationship. Although it was impossible to predict when I would next run into him, I thought deeply about it and decided to risk all. The next time I saw him I would try to sound him out on it, but in such a way that if he recoiled from the idea I could write it off as a joke.

When I ran into him a few nights later, my heart began pounding as soon as I recognised him in the dim light on the path. We greeted each other and began sauntering along, our dogs bounding around us. We chatted, although I was so nervous that I must have sounded like a lunatic. In the end, when we paused at a large open area to let the dogs run, I made some lame joke about how we had to stop meeting like this, people would think we were "having an affair". He looked at me strangely and then to my amazement told me that maybe that wasn't such a bad idea!

The next thing I knew we were retreating to a dark, wooded corner of the park. We had wild, rough sex which was the perfect antidote to all the years of pent up frustration. Then we were leaning against each other, laughing shakily and agreeing to meet again a few nights later.

I went home feeling like a new person, and over the next few days I relived my guilty secret over and over.

We have been meeting each other now for several months, sometimes a couple of times a week. Neither of us wants to take the relationship any further, but I know more about my partner-in-crime and he is in a similar situation to me, in a relationship that has lost its spark. What we do together gives us both a satisfaction and pleasure that we can't get at home and I am happier than I have been for a long time because I know that there is someone out there that sees me as a desirable, attractive, sexual woman. But what stories my dog could tell, if he could speak!

Image: Getty / Picture posed by models
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