As the three of them finished telling me about their adventures for the last three years, Phil could tell that I was still concerned. So he quickly pointed out that none of the divorces were the result of the group arrangement. Wayne butted in to let me know that he had gotten divorced two years ago when his wife had left him for a co worker and Judy interrupted to say that Dee Dee had left her husband when he couldn't control his drinking. Sam's marriage was rocky because he and his wife had grown apart and found new interests. Phil stated that at no point had any of their spouses even gotten suspicious. He said there was no reason my husband had to suspect anything either.
The story was an eye opener. When I met up with Judy, I had no idea that I was getting involved with a group of casual swingers. Their ground rules were working. Until tonight, I had no idea that they were anything other than a group of friends that got together to socialize. Nobody at the conference suspected anything. I was amazed at how well the secret had been kept.
One thing I had to know was how Phil and Rachel could cheat on their spouses so casually. Phil had repeatedly told me how much he adored his wife and I believed him when he told me that he did not want to do anything to hurt her. I knew that Rachel was equally proud of her husband. But, if that were the case, how could they get involved in this club and cheat on their spouses year after year?
They had a choice. Even after that first conference three years ago, they didn't have to continue. They could have gone back to being just friends, but they didn't. All they did was to assure that it remained "just sex" between friends.
I asked Phil and he couldn't provide me with a clear answer. He told me that I was right, that he did love his wife and would never dream of cheating on her while he was at home. When I asked him what he would think if she got involved in an arrangement such as this he just shuddered. He said that the thought of her cheating on him terrified him. He would be devastated if she ever found out about the arrangement and confronted him.
Phil told me that he had felt guilty the first year when he had slept with Judy. He couldn't believe that he had been unfaithful. But later that night, he began to think about it and realized that while the sex had been fun and he had enjoyed it immensely, he knew that all Judy would ever be to him was a friend. He did not feel any love for her. He knew that no matter how many times he had sex with her, it would not affect the way he felt about his wife. He started to view the sex as just another form of exercise and recreation.
Judy smiled at Phil as he said that and said that she understood what he was saying. She told me that while Phil was a wonderful lover and an attractive guy, she knew that there could never be any lasting relationship with him. She was glad he was her friend, but knew that it would never amount to more.
Phil then went on to tell me that he never thought of the group's arrangement as having an ongoing affair because of the ground rules. He decided that what went on didn't count as cheating because they were just friends with benefits. He laughed and told me that, in some ways, it was better for his marriage because the group's activities kept him from getting tempted by the high stakes poker or golf games that were prevalent at the conference. Besides, he had become a better lover from the experiences that he had and she received the benefits. Because it was just casual sex and they were careful not to let it get out of hand, he didn't think that his wife was getting hurt. He kept on telling me that the ground rules that they all followed made this different.
I did ask Phil how he thought his wife would view the arrangement if she found out and he did have the sense to look troubled. He admitted that he didn't want to think about that. That was why he was so careful to limit things so that she could never suspect.
Finally, Judy looked at Phil and Wayne and they both nodded. She cleared her throat and told me that my presence at the conference had been an unexpected boon for the group. She said that when Lisa had left, the group had wondered how they could continue without someone feeling left out. When she asked me to dinner that first night, she was just hoping to even the numbers and to catch up on old gossip. She never expected that I would become a part of their group so quickly. She commented that she was happy that I fit in as well as I did with everyone.
She said that the group had talked the prior night and decided to let me know about their extracurricular activities. Everyone had agreed that I would make a perfect addition to the group. They were hoping that I would be interested in replacing Lisa. Judy smiled and said that she hoped that now that I had had Phil, I would see why the group had formed. They were just a group of friends that took their friendship to an intimate level to improve the fun that they had at the conference.
As Judy was talking, Phil had started to caress me again. He had slipped his hand inside my robe and was softly caressing my breast. I could tell that his telling me about their activities had brought back pleasant memories and that he was starting to get aroused again. He leaned forward to give me a kiss and asked me whether I wanted to go back to his bedroom.
His hand on my breast felt wonderful, but reluctantly, I pushed him away and told him that I couldn't. I needed to get dressed and get back to my room to think. Phil looked disappointed. He told me that he had hoped that I would be willing to spend the night with him. But I couldn't do it. I was confused and not sure how to respond to the invitation that I had been given. Besides, in my mind, I felt that sleeping with Phil and cuddling with him as we slept would have been a bigger betrayal of Don than just having sex with him.
I stood up to retrieve my clothes from Phil's bedroom. To his credit, he did not push me to change his mind. He just told me that he hoped that tonight was not a one-time event. Phil also told me that yesterday he had nominated me to fill the opening on the competition committee that had been created when Lisa had moved out of state.
As I returned to the suite after getting dressed, Phil stood up, crossed over to me and gave me a soft kiss. Judy and Wayne also came over to give me hugs goodnight. As I opened the door, they told me that they would see me in the morning. I did not respond, but left and slowly walked back to my room.
As I walked, I started to think about what had happened and what I had been invited to do. Could I do this to Don? I always distinguished between sex and love in my mind. My friends took the distinction to an extreme level. Could I get so comfortable sleeping with other people that it would not affect my feelings for Don?
And what about my feelings? Was I being honest with myself when I said that the physical act of sex didn't matter? The offer was tempting. The sex had been wonderful and the risk of getting caught seemed to be low. But my thoughts kept on returning to Don. Was I willing to risk my marriage for some friendly sex once a year?
When I got back to my room, I took a quick shower and went to bed. I knew that this evening was not going to be a restful one. I knew that I needed to think and make a decision on what I was going to do.
I cheated on my husband and I don't know what I am going to do.
Author's Endnote: In writing this story, I tried to write as open ended a situation as I could come up with. I want the reader to think about what they would do and how they would react. I hope that there is enough ambiguity in Meg's reaction and situation that people can come up with different conclusion on what she will do.
Although it is complete as written, I do intend to write a sequel telling what happens next. I would also like to open the story up. If anyone else wants to take a shot at writing a conclusion, I would love to see it. There is enough in the story to support a wide variety of endings from reconciliation to discovery revenge and retribution. Don't give me comments telling me what the characters should do. Write an ending yourself and submit it!