This Totally Changed My Wife


Based on a husband's email account

" It was like I'd had a divorce and married a different woman."

Long before our 10th wedding anniversary our marriage had descended into tedium.

We didn't fight or argue but anything physical had dwindled to nothing.

I missed that part of our marriage, but I had accepted the fact that Jean was basically asexual due to the conservative attitudes she grew up with. (If you met her parents you'd understand.)

Reluctantly, I had gotten used to it and didn't much think about it any more -- until I found myself around one of the women in our company about her age.

This woman was happier and more "alive" than Jean and that seemed to count more than her looks, which were just okay.

We'll call her "Pepper.  She is married, and, if rumors are to be believed, she leads a very active sex life.

I found myself sitting across from Pepper one day in our cafeteria.  After a couple of people sitting with her left, it was just the two of us.

For a while I listened to Pepper talk about how she was excited about something she was doing. I wasn't really listening to her words; I was just observing her and how excited she was about life in general.

"  At one point I interrupted her mid-sentence and said, 'I wish my wife was as excited about things as you are. I think she has sort of given up on life' "


That out-of-the-blue comment abruptly stopped her and she seemed to be searching for a response. A little embarrassed about what I had revealed, I decided to get back to work. As I started to get up, she put her hand on my arm. "Tell her she can have a lover."

Even for Pepper that was off-the-wall.

I laughed. "I guarantee you, that would be the farthest thing from her mind." Again, started to leave.

Again, Pepper stopped me. "Sex puts a fire and enthusiasm in everyone's life; that's just the way we're programmed -- both men and women.  At least tell her she has that freedom.  Just thinking about it will change her."

Pepper had really crossed the line with this. "You don't know Jean. She and her family put adultery right up there with murder."

Pepper said, "It's adultery or cheating if the husband doesn't know or approve."

This was getting absurd, so I flashed a smile, and said, "I'm sure that would lead to more problems than we already have."

Pepper said, "Do you want me to talk to her?"  I really didn't want Pepper intruding into our marriage, but it was my fault for opening the door to this. To be polite and apparently with nothing to lose, I managed to say, "Fine with me."

About a week later my wife said, "I've had some long talks with your friend Pepper.  She thinks I need to have an affair."

I had to tell Pepper to mind her own damn business! I said, "Pepper is known for her wild ideas."

"She said you would like me to be like her."

I hadn't expected Pepper to relay that information. "Well, she does seem to be high on life, I'll give her that."

"She says she has an open marriage.  She has lovers."

How could I get out of this conversation? "That's what I hear."

Jean looked at me, "Did you know I have been taking anti-depressants for over a year?"

"Over a year. My God. Why didn't you tell me?"

"I guess I didn't want to admit I needed them."

We were both silent while I considered how bad things must be. Jean continued. "You want me to be like Pepper?"

"Well, I don't suppose she's on any...."

Jean interrupted as if she wasn't even listening.

" The things that I've been taught to rely on to get me through problems -- praying, pills, none of it has worked."


Suddenly Jean seemed to reveal a level of  desperation that I hadn't seen before. She added, "Pepper says that an affair with one man would threaten the marriage and that a kind of selective promiscuity is safer. That's how she keeps form getting involved with any one person and screwing up her marriage."

I was still processing the fact that my wife had been on antidepressants and that I hadn't known.

She continued, "Pepper says I have to start by getting new clothes, sexy clothes. She wants to go shopping with me."

I said, "Look, to start with, Pepper is a totally different kind of person -- really different kind of person. I'm not sure that would work for you -- for us."

"Maybe it wouldn't but our marriage is dying. You've got to see that."

I had not seen such desperation in my wife and it scared me. "Are things really this bad?"

Again, she didn't seem to hear me. "You know that dating involves sex these days."

"Dating? Is that what you want to do? You're married; we're married!"

"And I want to stay married, but I also want to have a life, and right now my life isn't worth living."

 "And you think dating would fix that?"

"It's just knowing that I would be free to let guys take an interest in me. Pepper has invited me to a party."

Under Pepper's guidance, my wife got some new dresses and changed her hair and makeup. In a matter of weeks my wife morphed into a different woman. She seemed genuinely excited to be on a new track in life.

I don't know what went on at the party or the ones that followed. Maybe I don't want to know, but, it's hard to argue with success. It's like I'm married to a new woman.

How long it will last I don't know. But I know there are some things you can't reverse. At this point I don't think she wants to, and maybe I don't either.


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