A Tale Of Two Thomases

They were born almost five centuries apart.  Yet the two bear some similarity.  It's not just that they're both named Thomas.  Nor that they were both connected to the church.  Nor that they both were married twice.  Nor that they've both written and published well respected books.  It's the fact that they've both been bedeviled by extramarital affairs.

The current day Thomas is clearly still in a great deal of pain, as he struggles to cope with the lies and betrayal.  They were of a very personal nature, since it was his wife who did the cheating on their marriage.  The long ago Thomas had - as far as we know - faithful spouses, but he lost his head - literally - over a king's infidelity.

I was at my favourite pizza parlour the other day with my favourite colleague.  He's a frighteningly smart historian, well traveled and engaging as all get out.  He's absurdly good looking, a fact I tell him is responsible for his high enrollments, as women students flock to his classes to see his pretty face.  I refer to him to his face as Professor Hottie McHottie.  Thomas and I enjoy a unique friendship.  We joke about sex but do not so much as kiss cheeks.  I am married, you see.  For Thomas, that is a very strict line, one he would never blur.  So I tease the heck out of him but know that nothing will ever come of it.  Assuming he'd be interested in the likes of me, I mean.  He refers to me to other people as "The Horny One."  He's older than me, but in so many ways he is more innocent.  He seems honestly bewildered by the way he was lied to by his ex-wife.  Repeatedly.  She just loved to **** other men and did so often.  The poor bastard is still clearly in love with her, several years later.  But he couldn't take it anymore, and so that is why she is his ex-wife. 

He's had relationships with other women since then.  One in particular touched something deep inside him and he moved heaven and earth to help her out of a rough situation.  He spoke of their long multi-year correspondence and the way she moved him like no other woman had.  He described a time they traveled together and he refrained from having sex with her although she was clearly willing.  "She was that special to me," he said.  "I didn't want it to just be about sex."

I sighed.  It sounded exactly like my husband's statement about the woman he'd fallen in love with during our marriage.  I'd thought for years he'd actually ****** her, but they'd only had oral sex.  She'd sucked him but he had not ***, just as he's not *** when I've sucked him.  And he'd eaten her puss.  That was it.  He told me recently when I began to ask very specific questions to understand it all better that he did not take her because he wanted to prove he cared for her, not just getting in her pants.  I was touched.  And I felt sad for him that she'd not appreciated him.  Then again, he was old enough to be her father.  So I could understand where she might want someone else in the long term after she'd collected his scalp. 

Thomas leaned in to me across the table.  "I took her out for a walk in the woods," he said, referring to the woman about whom he'd cared but not ******.  "I told her 'I need you to promise you'll do something for me.'"  He paused for effect, the consummate storyteller.  I mouthed the words "suck my ****."  He laughed but looked a little cross.  "You are so perverted," he grumbled.  I laughed.  "No, seriously, darling," I said.  "What did you want her to promise?"

"That she would always tell me the truth," he replied.  "That if there was someone else, or that if she did not have feelings for me, she would just tell me."  I felt a foreboding.  "And she said she would," he continued.  Then he proceeded to tell me the sad tale of learning from another man that she had had sex with him, and with others as well.  He confronted the lady and she admitted the hanky panky with the first guy, denying anyone else had enjoyed her charms.  But the damage was done. 

"The thing is, she knew about my ex-wife.  She knew how important honesty was to me."  So they'd broken up.  And now he was doubly hurt, doubly betrayed. 

Here's what I believe about trust.  Once you lose it, it's a ***** to regain it.  I thought about another man I know.  Months ago, when we first met, he'd spoken of resisting the temptation to betray his wedding vows, citing the words of the long ago Thomas:

"But I take integrity seriously, too. It was, I think, the man for all seasons who lectured about how taking an oath is like holding one's very being, like water, in your own hands. If you open those fingers and allow the water to drain then as difficult as it would be to restore that water to your hands, so too, will it be a challenge to restore one's very self."

That fella either had a good memory or else he googled and then paraphrased the actual lines from Robert Bolt's play about Thomas More.  "When a man takes an oath," Sir Thomas explains to his daughter Margaret in a crucial scene, "he’s holding his own self in his hands. Like water." He cups his hands. "And if he opens his fingers then — he needn’t hope to find himself again."

I think about that quotation a lot these days.  I thought about it as I prepared to meet a man under some flowering trees in a park named for a woman after Thomas More's heart.  Sara Delano Roosevelt was adamant that her son, FDR, not divorce his wife Eleanor in order to marry his love Lucy Mercer.  Sara felt the scandal would have ruined her son's political career.  Married or not, Lucy and FDR remained lovers for the years until his death.  She was with him the day he died. 

I've played the role of Eleanor.  Now I think about playing FDR.  But I ponder those words of Sir Thomas.  I do not wish to lie.  I've let my husband know that I may be asking his forgiveness.  That is my way of giving him the hint I'm considering straying.  He understands that.  Perhaps I am just being clever, but I shall feel less guilty for having done so.  He will have had a heads up on my hijinks.  As for the rest...I don't know what to think.  I've been wondering what on earth I'm doing even as I dream, scheme and shop with an eye toward a trip in September.

But that's another story.
milkynips milkynips
46-50, F
4 Responses May 24, 2012

Be it husband, lover, cyber-lover, or friend, I think whomever gets close to you is probably enriched by the experience.

once you take that first step there is no turning back....the addiction is way to great. <br />
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you do know...one day... the worlds will collide. It is inevitable.

Yes. I know. I suppose I'm bracing for the collision.

be prepared for.... entropy

Interesting connection between the Thomas's. Sometimes a high moral stance can be a disadvantage. I was faithful to my ex-wife for many years, and I'm sure that she was with me, but we just drifted further and further apart, until she finally told me I should get a lover. So I did! Then things really got bad, maybe she didn't think I would, or could, but I had a fantastic affair for over a year, with a beautiful married woman 15yrs younger than me. Eventually, I left my wife and my lover got pregnant by her husband and dumped me. I was, of course, upset, but I've forgiven her, and we're still friends.<br />
She says that our affair helped her marriage, as she was thinking that she wasn't desirable, as her husband never initiated sex, but with me she realised that it was him, not her. Anyway, she has two lovely girls and seems happy.

I'm glad you forgave her. And I hope you're loved now by someone. Your wife's directive startled me, to say the least. Was she in earnest, or was it a toss off remark?

Actually I'm not sure. She just became so weird over quite a long period, I began to think it was me going nuts, but with the benefit of hindsight, it was definitely her! Yes, I am now loved by someone, thanks for your kind thought.
I still have feelings of wanderlust though, because having been totally faithful for so long, and then having a string of exciting relationships

It no longer feels so taboo.

Alas.... you have already strayed.... and there is no looking back. <br />
<br />
your words reminded me, quite randomly that.......Simon Templar...also had a thing with Sir Thomas<br />
<br />
Like The Saint.... you are most mysterious!

Funny you mention The Saint, I was thinking about him yesterday, although I don't know why? Have you read the books? A very different character to the TV shows.

You're quite right about the straying. It may be limited to kisses and cyber sex, but there's no doubt I've stepped out.

As for my mysteriousness, puh-leeze. I am just a suburban matron. :-D