“We’re both married,” I said to you. You blinked in recognition and said “Yeah,” as if I had said “We’re both over 5 feet tall.” Obviously you did not feel that being married was any sort of contingency piece to inhibit you from letting me know you want to be more than friends. I blinked back in confusion and astonishment because you were the second person to come to me with this.
I’m not going to act like you never piqued my interest. I’m human. I like attention. Many of us wives aren’t getting enough of it thanks to deployments, *TDY, and schools; not to mention the fact that you military guys aren’t very expressive, are you? Well, you must be since you are here expressing your desires about me to me.
Maybe I was too friendly. Maybe I actually I appreciated your affirmations because I’ve been working hard in this gym, all summer. I’m glad someone noticed. But, what about me makes me seem like I would cheat? Oh, silly me– I suspect your desires don’t have anything to do with me as a person as much as it has to do with me as a body, which hurts my feelings, actually. And whatever happened to dinner and a movie before asking someone to give up their morals? Chivalry really is dead, I see.
Speaking of my morals, I don’t intend to violate the most important thing in my life- my marriage. Something tells me your wife doesn’t want you to do that either. Oh, she’s outside on the track? You are so bold, then again, you are a soldier.
I’m also wondering how much you have thought this through. You have to know that having an affair can get you kicked out of the army. How do you know you can trust me, or my scorned spouse in this scenario? And what if I ended up divorced because of you approaching me like this? If I were to be put out, I’m coming to you. I’m 1,000 miles away from family and I don’t make a whole lot because there are few jobs here. And the Lord knows I barely have any friends to turn to. Do you really think your *BAH can support your two kids, wife, AND me? I’m not exactly low maintenance either. Nor will be the other woman you will inevitably become involved with. Hopefully she has a better job than me and your BAH won’t be stretched so thin between the 6 of us.
If the BAH situation doesn’t get to you, what about my husband? You may have married just to get out of the *barracks or because she got pregnant, but my choice was prayerful and deliberate. And it was less than two years ago. He and I are still BFFs at this point. Do you really think I could keep a secret? Oh, and he’s a soldier too, so good luck not being in a fight.
When I told you to move on, you politely backed off, which I appreciated. But your counterpart didn’t let go so easily. He was frustrated that he was not going to get his way. I say I don’t want to dishonor my husband and my vows, and he says I’ll inevitably become bored and want this in 5 years anyway. I’m probably not going to take his word for it. And it’s pretty irreverent to me for him to generically discount my marriage. I mean, maybe we are better people than you and it won’t turn out the same. Are you so far gone that you can’t even give another person’s marriage a chance? Clearly you’ve sat yours next to the dumpster, but that sounds like a personal problem. And you didn’t even flinch when I brought up your wife. I am sorry to her, whoever she is, because she is in line for a very rude awakening.
I would like you to know that you and your peer have scratched away a bit of the shred of innocence I had left. I have been trying to wrap my mind around turning 28, but today I don’t even feel old enough to drink. I have been naïve. And vulnerable, maybe. Now I no longer trust you or any of your peers even on a basic level. I may never make eye contact with a non-relative male again, because who knows what you’re thinking. You won’t see me frolicking around here anymore, and I will be making no new friends. And that’s a shame because I love people. I like being friendly, especially since I’m going to start working from home soon, which means I won’t even see coworkers anymore. But that’s the price I’ll pay for not having to watch my back for men watching my butt.
I hope you had a great workout.
BAH- Basic Allowance for Housing. Soldiers begin receiving this allocation when they marry.
Barracks- dorm style housing for single soldiers
TDY- Temporary Duty; extended duty away from home, but not deployment