Last Summer M and I went to an event at a lake several hours drive from home. It was a gathering of his friends and their hobby, which is small wooden boats. We took the dogs and a tent and I expected to have an enjoyable weekend.
The first afternoon, M went down to the lake to take pictures and visit with his friends. I stayed behind to finish setting up camp and have a rum and coke. While sitting at the picnic table one of the guys came up to chat. I offered him a drink and we chatted there side by side at the table in full view of god and everyone. We talked mostly of music and his sons of whom he is very proud. We laughed and joked for maybe 20 minutes, sipping our drinks and waiting for the next event to happen. At no time was the conversation remotely improper, not straying to politics, religion, sex or money. At no time did he make a pass at me. At no time did I make a pass at him. It seemed to me that we had an enjoyable, innocent chat.
M came back to the camp and we were off to do something else. I didn’t give it a thought. The weekend seemed to go fine and we traveled home, unpacked, etc. and got ready for another long trip the following weekend.
This second trip was not at all fine. M was very quiet and surly, talking to his friends, not so much to me, but I wrote it off as him being tired after a long drive. We arrived at our campsite and set up the tent and put water on for tea and then all hell broke loose. The campground was almost empty, so there were no witnesses to my humiliation.
What followed was a three-hour monologue about my slutty behavior the weekend before, sitting at the picnic table with D. M informed me that D is a notorious rake and seduces (or tries to seduce) any woman who attends these boating events. I was told that he has a horrible reputation among the group and no one trusts him with their wives. I was told that the others were talking about me and what an easy mark I must be to be talking to D for so very long and it was a stain upon M’s reputation to hear such talk about me.
He gave me his view of the situation as he saw it when he walked back from the lake – D and I very cosy, sitting against each other on the picnic bench, sharing secrets and laughing. It looked “like you were going to start rolling in the dirt fucking any second.” Well, huh.
I didn’t see it that way at all and I said so. I pointed out that at no time did we touch in any way, shape, or form, nor was our conversation “secret” or “conspiratorial.” I refused to let him make me ashamed for a conversation in broad daylight in front of 30 or so witnesses.
He kept badgering me. He said that I should have apologized for “stepping over the line” right away and promise to be more careful next time and he wouldn’t be so angry with me. I should admit that what I did was wrong. I should be ashamed of my slutty behavior. And on and on for three hours.
I cried all night and got very little sleep. He did not apologize for his behavior (he never does) and he has brought up that incident in subsequent “discussions” to point out that I can’t be trusted with men in any setting.
For the record, I have had three sexual partners in the last 25 years, all of them within a committed relationship. At no time did I stray. I am not a flirt by nature, but through M’s eyes I am Jezebel herself. Healthy relationships don’t look like this.