I’m the other Marge

Carl and I met when a friend suggested I attend a “coping with the death of your spouse” group at her church. It had been a couple of years of suffering. I knew Carl was older, but not until he asked me to marry him did I realize how much. He is a good and handsome man, so age was not going to stop me from saying yes.

Even though we had both been married before, we did no more than kiss before the wedding. Carl is a caring and creative lover who thinks my pleasure is important. But as he entered his mid 60’s, he began to experience some forgetfulness. He would joke that it was lucky for him that my name was the same as his first wife's. That way, it wouldn’t be awkward in bed if he called out the wrong name.

He enjoyed romantic and sensual conversation during foreplay and sex, talking about sex we had and locations where we made love. It was very sweet and sexy--except most of those vacations and sex acts were with his first wife.

Once, I told him of his error. He lost his erection and was so embarrassed. It took me almost a month to convince him to make love to me again. I have not said anything since, even about sex acts I don’t prefer to do. Some of the stories are a turn on, but I always feel awkward and distracted.

Should I accept things the way they are and try and enjoy things the way he wants them? It troubles me that, in his mind, he is not having sex with me but with his first wife. I can achieve a climax if I just go with it, so sexually it can be satisfying. It seems wrong in some way, but I don’t see an alternative.

3.75 avg. rating (75% score) - 8 votes
12 replies
  1. ConstantLover says:

    I can see that must hurt your feelings at times. A thought I had is what if you take on the “persona” of the other Marge. And learn and do what he likes. You said he was a caring and creative lover. That’s nice and sweet and rare. And then you can also branch out and be you - your version - and incorporate that new version in your sex life. Do things that are unique to you. Things the “other Marge” didn’t do or rarely did. Do your best to create new memories. I would say it’s also an act of immense love to recreate some of his favorite memories too.

  2. PacMan says:

    What an interesting situation! Thanks for sharing. I’m not really qualified to give advice.... but putting myself in your shoes, I’d say be like Steve Winwood and “roll with it baby.” Your husband is doing something REALLY SWEET (on accident). I think he’s actually replacing his first Marge in his mind with his second (not the other way around). So if he’s reminding you about “that one time under the waterfall,” he’s not fantasizing about his first wife... it’s more like he is borrowing the memory and placing YOU there. To me it is 100% sweet and innocent... and the most loving thing to do is to just let this happen and not try to point it out or correct him (which based on your story, is a bit emasculating for him). Sounds like a fun little perk unique just for you.

    • Slinger says:

      I absolutely agree with Pac-Man! I think he is placing you into his memories. He’s not remembering his first wife but rather remembering the beautiful times they had and putting you into that scenario. When he talks about these situations while you are making love, have you considered treating it as a fantasy? He is fantasizing about you.

  3. LoveMyWife56 says:

    Marge,
    I was looking forward to your first story after your comments to my stories and others. Thank you for the honest writing. I am very sorry for the loss of your first husband. I cannot imagine the pain of losing my wife. But, I am eight years older than her so I am obviously more likely to go first. I am 63 and having medical issues that limit our sex life, though not the type your husband has. But, my wife also has health issues that have recently really limited us (neck injury). Sorry, I don't mean to make this about me, I just say these things I guess to commiserate with you. Age and events can wreak havoc on life, especially sex. All that rambling aside, I hope your love for one another may grow. It must be difficult dealing with the other Marge memories. I do not know what to suggest other than to love him and try to enjoy the sex. Your's is a situation I have never contemplated. Please be looking for some replies from me to some of your comments to my stories. God bless you.

  4. MaxLoving says:

    I agree with PacMan's thoughts. I don't think it as much him thinking he's having sex with his first wife as much as he is placing you into his memories of his first wife. Unless he's getting dementia, he probably knows you're not the first Marge when he's having sex with you. What you probably should focus on is making new memories with him. That may help his memory as well. Otherwise, you might have him go to a neurologist if he shows signs of dementia in other areas, or just to rule out that possibly that this is more than simple forgetfulness.

  5. A Better Pastime says:

    @SecondMarge you certainly have a beautiful and tender heart... what an incredibly challenging dynamic that you are trying so hard to love your husband through. My thoughts definitely dissent from those of PacMan, Slinger, MaxLoving, and ConstantLover. Do you think that your husband has the ability, with a heart of understanding for you, to read through the book "codependent no more"? Even if you were to read the book on your own, and just for yourself, to start: there are deep insights and healing strategies for overcoming codependency. Blessings to you Marge. PS. What do think about changing your user name here on MH to "RealMarge"? 🙂

  6. SecondMarge says:

    Thank you all for the replies and advice. For the time being I will go with the flow and just put myself into the situations he describes. Should he show more signs that indicate it's dementia, I will bring it up with his doctor. When I don’t fight the accuracy of what he is saying, I can sometimes get turned on by it. When I can’t, I can just go along to please him.

  7. Landscaper says:

    Sorry Marge,
    All I I can say is that I will pray for you and Carl. This has to hurt on several levels. I like Pacman’s suggestions, sounds like the logical way for you to enjoy Carl and yourself. He has replaced the first with you. That is what is important.

    • SecondMarge says:

      Landscaper

      Thanks for your kind words. Others have far greater hurdles to jump in life. While it hurt at first, I have adjusted. Now it’s about moving forward in the way that brings him happiness without distracting me from my enjoyment.

  8. RMD says:

    Marge,
    I married a widow almost eight years ago. Her first husband died due to cancer twelve years before we met, so there was time for her to heal. He was a good man who died a noble death. I had to think through the same issues - did she ever think of him when we were making love? Did our intimate times remind her of him? You know all the questions. I am a professional counselor, so I have an understanding of how people work. Pacman in right, he is not thinking of her when he makes love with you, but he is replacing the memories of her with you now in her place. I think the proof of this is his reaction when you told him of his error. He does not want to hurt you, and the thought of that made him unable to even get an erection. In a man's heart and mind, that was profound. I know it's hard to think of them, but he is thinking only of you. Make new memories with him, different ones than all the others so that they are yours alone. I know my wife never thinks of her late husband in that way; she said goodbye, knows he is safe in Heaven, and has fully turned forward toward us. I think that if you could read your husband's heart, you would see the same thing.

    • SecondMarge says:

      When he starts “remember when we stayed in that condo by the lake and we had a great view out the window so we left it open” I know he is enjoying an old memory with her. The best thing for me to do is to play along as best I can so he enjoys it. I’m learning to picture the scenes in my head and enjoy it too. She was apparently more of an exhibitionist than I am but since it turns him on I go along as best I can.
      I am happy you worked it out with your wife. All marriages test us. To see if we are willing to do what it takes to make each other happy. Seems you got an A. Hope mine is pass/fail.

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