Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas

 

I've been having an affair with a woman for a couple of months now. It's been fine – nothing too serious, but I've become fond of her. A couple of weeks ago she told me she was married but that she and her husband have an open marriage. This didn't worry me too much, because I wasn't serious about her – but now she's said that she wants me to meet her husband and that her husband wants to meet me. She suggests we all go out to dinner together. I feel uneasy. What do you think?

Virginia says... Crikey! "Uneasy"? I'll say! I have to say that if I were you in the same circumstances, I'd be a mere dot the horizon in a cloud of smoke before you could say "threesome". If you haven't by now taken to the hills, you should at least be concocting a plausible excuse that means you never have to see her again – a dreadful sexual disease, mother dying overseas, your "wife" finding out… or even moving house.

Unless, of course, you fancy the idea of joining this peculiar couple in some bizarre kind of threesome.

However naïve you are, you can't really imagine that having dinner means just having dinner. It could be that the man is jealous but devious and plans to attack you physically and verbally over the rocket pizza. But, more likely, he wants to join in. "You be on top this time, old mate, and I'll be at the bottom", or "Which end do you want? Arse or tits or mouth?" Or… well, I won't go on.

There is also the possibility that he might be interested in you sexually. Have you thought of that? Does that appeal? If so, of course, go ahead.

But the likeliest scenario, I would say, is that the man wants to watch. He's a voyeur who gets off on seeing his wife having it off with another bloke. He may well like taking pictures, too. (Pictures he could always keep and produce at a later, inconvenient, date). And then, there's always the possibility that, if he's polite, he will ask, perhaps, if you would like to watch while he has sex with the woman you're fond of, and then you'll all share another bottle of wine and roll off to your various homes. And next time, who knows – another couple in involved? Or yet another man? Or a woman you really don't fancy?

Of course I'm a woman, and while this scenario makes me want to throw up, you're a man and, who knows, my description of the possible scenarios may be making you breathe more heavily and reach for the diary with sweaty hands, pencilling in the first possible date for dinner you can find. But do go into this fully aware. And if I were you I'd be sure to drink something very different to what they're drinking, wherever you end up. You never know.

What other reason on earth would this couple want to have dinner with you? He's not her father – he doesn't want to give you the once-over so he can give his approval to the relationship. No. He's sent his wife out to trawl for possible men with the longterm aim of his becoming sexually involved. Rather you than me.

Readers say...

Get out right now

The two of you entered this affair with different agendas. You hoped for a no-strings relationship, she apparently wanted an occasional partner willing to play a part in her "open" marriage. What she and her husband have in mind is anyone's guess, but since even the idea of a threesome for dinner makes you uncomfortable, perhaps it's time to quit while you're ahead.

Paul Hamer, by email

 

This sounds kinky

It isn't just dinner that's on offer by the sound of it and you know that. The fact that you have written in this way suggests you're not that sort of person. If you were you'd have jumped in with both feet. She's told her husband about you but what has she told him? The mind boggles. Give her up.

Helen, by email

 

Respect yourself

As I see it, he's either going to punch you or suggest a threesome, depending on whether he views the marriage as being as "open", as she does! Have some self-respect. You don't like the idea and you're not serious about her anyway. Forget it.

Les Black, by email

 

Next week's dilemma

Dear Virginia, I happened to see an email my partner had written to a girlfriend about me, and I am so upset. It seems she thinks I'm a "lazy sod" and I'm "driving her mad by being at home all day". She then said, "If he doesn't get a job soon, I don't know what I'll do!" I've been looking for a job since February, sometimes writing five applications a day and I've been for several interviews without any luck. She seems loving on the outside, but I feel she's betrayed me. I can hardly bear to touch her, but I can't tell her why because I shouldn't have read the email. Yours sincerely, Clive

What would you advise Clive to do? Email your dilemmas and comments to dilemmas@independent.co.uk. Anyone whose advice is quoted will receive a £25 voucher from the wine website Fine Wine Sellers (finewinesellers.co.uk)

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