Infidelity In M/M, by Louis Stevens
Originally posted 12/23/2015 at Prism Book Alliance
My father was a good man. He was a good husband, and an amazing father. He also had an affair with another man, and cheated on my mom. I lead with this intro in case there are any concerns as to whether I am intimately familiar with the consequences of extramarital affairs and infidelity. Admittedly, fiction is different than real life. But that just completely makes my point for me.
If I’m at all honest, I have always been intrigued by readers who get so vehemently worked up about infidelity in the books they read. Some people dramatically refuse to read books that contain any cheating whatsoever. I appreciate their point of view, obviously.
For me, fiction has always been an escape. It’s a beautiful world that the author creates, something new, something unexplored, something that isn’t real. I read a lot, and I often read stories that I enjoy wholly that would totally make the hairs on my neck stand upright if I had to deal with it in real life. So reading about infidelity in a story isn’t a deal breaker for me, but dealing with it in real life has been, and would again be devastating.
But I am able to separate fiction from real life. If the author includes infidelity in the plot line, and it is done with a clear purpose and reason while handled sensitively, I have no qualms about reading about it. I know this isn’t the case for a lot of romance readers, and again I respect that.
With Quillon’s Covert, a collaborative between the gifted and lovable Joseph Lance Tonlet and myself, we made a conscious effort in our taboo story not to include the story of the wife and mother. The story plays off at the family cabin, and each chapter spans a year in the life of the two protagonists.
If we were to have explored the mother’s side of the story, we would have had to delve deep into her psyche and character to do her story justice. And the more I think of it, the more I know that there is a hell of a story to tell! But ultimately the book is about the father and son’s unconventional love affair, and we couldn’t, and didn’t want to, distract from it. It’s their bubble, after all.
Lifting his eyes, Martin looked out over the peaceful lake and decided he’d ask a question that had been on his mind since last year. “So we’ve talked about my feelings toward Andrew, but I’m wondering how you…I don’t know…deal with seeing your mother and me together? Does it bother you? Do you ever feel guilty?”
Marty’s fingers, which had been caressing the outsides of Martin’s thighs, stilled. When Marty didn’t respond right away he looked down. Marty seemed lost in thought as he rested his chin on one of Martin’s furry knees, and Martin wondered if he should’ve kept his curiosity to himself.
“No,” Marty began at length, “I don’t feel guilty.” He looked up and met Martin’s interested gaze. “What I mean is, I look at the cabin, at our time here, as a bubble—and I’ve thought about it in those terms for years.”
Marty nodded against Martin’s knee. “Our ‘real life’ doesn’t touch our time here, and our time here doesn’t touch our ‘real life’. I said before I’ve accepted that we’ll never live as a couple, and I meant that. It’s taken me a long time to get to that point, but it’s true, Dad.”
Martin thought he understood where Marty was going, but he let him continue.
“You love Mom. I get that. I love Mom too. And, yeah, I think I could love Andrew. So, I choose to think of this place as a bubble. What we do here is between us and no one else.”
It was times like this when Martin was taken aback. Times like this when he was so surprised at how similarly he and his son looked at life. Indeed, Martin had chosen to see their time at the cabin—their intimacy—in much the same way. He loved Allie, of that there was no doubt whatsoever, and he’d never voluntarily hurt her, or their deeply loving relationship. But, that said, the thought of giving up what he and Marty were creating was quickly becoming nearly as unfathomable. Could they do this long-term? Could they grow something special that wouldn’t ultimately affect their ‘real life’? God help him, but he couldn’t imagine not trying.
He smiled down into his son’s kind, yet serious eyes. “A bubble. I gotcha.”
Marty smiled back, pushed his face into Martin’s crotch again, and then quipped, “Okay, now that that’s out of the way, I’m wondering if you could perhaps give Andrew a few pointers? The man can’t fuck ass to save his life! And you know how much I enjoy a good pounding.”
Ultimately my wish for every reader is to take the story for what it is – a fictional look into the lives to two people, and to remember that this is fiction and not a case of art imitating life. Take away from it what you will.
Had my father’s affair resembled Martin and Marty’s bubble, and not become public knowledge, would the infidelity still have affected or family’s life? Who knows. But again, one is real life and one is fiction.”