Act One /Scene One
You meet a man in the course of business or by the way. He is witty, charming, desirable. Days pass, and at some point you find yourself alone with him.
That is when you learn he is married.
It is not the btw;
"My wife loves that show," or
"That is what my wife said",
dropped appropriately into conversation to advise you that he is taken.
You learn about his marriage because the first private words he shares with your are the kind which opens a conversation with a divorce lawyer.
Act One /Scene Two
He begins to speak. He describes his wife in the worst possible terms. You assume she did something this morning to set him into this miserable mood. You wait to learn of the great offence she has committed.
He keeps talking, on and on,warming to his topic. You assume he's going to mention divorcee in a lead up to suggest an affair with you.
As he talks, you're considering whether or not you want to be involved with him. You are becoming a bit bored. You hope he soon gets to the point.
As he babbles on and on you ponder why is he giving you this long story. You wonder when is he going to reach the 'divorce' part so you can say something about when his divorce is final he can call you...
He keeps talking and you don't need to listen to the graphic details, the assumption is that there's a point to it.
So you drink another cup of coffee or have another glass of wine, (if you are in a dining area) or sit patiently watching the clouds or stars.
Act One / Scene Three
The interlude ends.
He has made no physical approach. He has uttered no verbal suggestion about a relationship. The interlude is unsatisfactory, confusing,
It is as if one had heard a fan fare and waits for the arrival of the dignitary, and no one enters.
What was that encounter about?
Was it a precursor to something?
Why did he spend most of the interlude going on and on about his wife?
What does it mean?
Act Two /Scene One
Some days/weeks/months later, you encounter him again. You are uncertain as to what the last encounter was about. The opening scenes were in keeping with a 'pre-adultery' encounter; yet...
Is he interested in you, or is he simply a Wife Basher?
You consider the mode;
He finds a likely female for his focus. Likely because she is the right age, attractive enough, available enough, the kind of woman he would be likely to have an affair with.
Hence all signs are apparent that a relationship between you was a precursor to and affair.....yet, he made no move....
This next encounter seems a continuation of the previous.
You listen, but don't hear. You try to understand what it is he wants.
He it seems he does not want a female body. It seems, however, he wants a female ear in which to bash his wife.
Where other men would be thinking of where and when to launch the affair, trying to be seductive, this man is fulfilling his greatest desire.
He is insulting his wife to a stranger.
Act Two /Scene Two
The second encounter proceeds as the first. For a few hours insults have been rolling off his tongue. Each seems to infuse him with ineffable pleasure.
He has called his wife an idiot or a slut or a fool or a failure, and he loves the way the words feel in is mouth.
He is not directly speaking to you, the woman beside him, he is releasing the words into the great beyond.
He is so deep into the pleasure of insulting his wife he is scarecely aware that the person beside him, that you are no longer listening.
He goes on and on until it is time to leave.
He goes home to his wife.
Act Two / Scene Three
He enters his matrimonial home in great spirits. He feels a sense of accomplishment. He is as happy as any man who has been satisfied.
His wife is pleased with his good mood. It might continue into the bedroom.
She may know exactly where he was and who he was with. As it appeared to be a 'business' meeting or other acceptable reason. He, and the woman he was meeting were in a public place, never out of sight. They were never in a compromising position.
It is clear there is no 'affair' .
It is obvious there is nothing between him and the woman which can provoke jealousy or even question. She could be an insurance saleswoman.
The Wife has no reason to think her husband was the least bit unfaithful.
Act Three /Scene One
Having been satisfied with his verbal adultery, he seeks another appointment.
He is anxious to be with you, as if you have satisfied his fantasies.
Some women may have gotten the point after the first encounter. Some, after the second. But you, unfamiliar with this form of 'adultery' may go for the third 'date.'
You, not certain what the first or second interlude represented, agree to meet him. It is more out of curiosity than lust.
You may have considered a relationship with him after the divorce, or may not
have made up your mind. You will assume this time there will be more sensible
talk or some sort of introduction to a relationship.
The point is the uncertainty of the relationship.
As he is generally charming and witty and good company and because the meeting is in a public place and without conditions, you agree.
You agree,, assuming that something happened which hurt him, on the last occasions and this time it will be more pleasant.
Act Three /Scene Two
He sets another meeting in a quiet corner.
After amenities, he resumes his wife bashing. It is now clear to that the purpose of this meeting, your purpose in his life is not friend, nor potential Other Woman.
Your purpose is to be a living mannequin he can use as a collector of his venom.
What he is saying about his wife is not new, was not provoked by recent events.
It is a repetition of previous remarks. It is his stock in trade.
This is his adultery. This is the entire forplay and culmination. He is actually experiencing pleasure in the denigration of his wife.
Looking at him, he is a flushed and excited were he naked in bed. The sound of his voice is almost charming. His words are offensive, repulsive, and his need to dump this on a stranger makes it more repulsive.
Act Three /Scene Three
In chagrin, you realise exactly what cess pool you are sitting in.
You are having a totally non-sexual unsatisfying, somewhat humiliating 'affair'.
This is not a man who has told you of his wife's flaws so as to open the door to his
bedroom. This is not a man who needs a sympathetic ear to help him through his misery. This is a man who gets orgasmic joy at bashing his wife.
And you, the female ear should be nauseated.
You have been assaulted, verbally, demeaned by having to roll in his filth.
And you remove yourself, no longer willing to be part of his sick fantasies.
There are a number of men who get pleasure, actual physical pleasure, from Wife Bashing. They don't need the physical connection with another woman. Simply being able to insult his wife to the ears of another woman is all the adultery he needs.
Whether his wife is far more successful than he is, whether he has a physical problem, whether he is afraid of her, his wife is the most central person of his life.
By insulting her to another woman he gains that feeling of equality, perhaps a few seconds of superiority, and has all the satisfaction of committing adultery without the dangers of a physical relationship.
Men like this are as guilty of adultery as those rolling on soiled sheets.
On occasion those caught in the physical act are far less guilty of denigrating
their wives than the man in that public place saying the most obnoxious things
about a woman who is absent to a stranger.