This letter will raise any number of red flags with you and your readers so I would understand if you decide not to publish it. It proves that some stereotypes are not true and that some taboos can be broken.
I used to be a school teacher in London. I did it for almost two decades in some of the toughest areas of the city. It was challenging and fulfilling work but I was barely able to make ends meet. Every month I struggled to pay the mortgage, the bills, and put food on the table. I was married to another teacher and we two children but we eventually fell out of love with each other. Circumstances being what they are, we still live together as a family but my husband and I have gone our separate ways emotionally. It was during my second pregnancy that my husband stopped touching me.
Five years ago three things happened. I picked up that "masterpiece" by E L James and read it in one sitting by the light of a torch in our garden. Then I met a man who was the first to touch me with passion in years. Although it was a short-lived relationship, he transformed me and made me believe in myself. I lost a stone and a half and started paying attention to my appearance. Then I made a decision that life was too short to live in misery so I hung out a sign on the internet and transformed myself into a mature escort. I did this with both my husband’s and my mother’s knowledge. It was something my husband actually encouraged because he knew I would bring more money into the household. I knew I would be a success because I enjoy sex in all its permutations and men can sense that.
Escorting is not as glamorous as one would think and it is certainly not as horrible as some imagine.
In reality, I am just an upscale prostitute, albeit a few years older than most of the women in the business. I work out of a flat in London. Over the years my clientele has grown to the point where I see four or five regulars a day and maybe one curious newcomer. I make about £700 a day, which is more than I made as a teacher in a week. The sex doesn’t fit the stereotype that many people imagine. It can be average and it can be mind blowing. I don’t do this work just to make money; I honestly enjoy giving physical pleasure and receiving pleasure in return.
The one stereotype about being an escort that does ring true is that virtually all my clients are married and cheating on their wives. That the stereotype was true for my first two years as an escort up until one day three years ago when something truly magical happened: an American man walked in the door and gave me the honour of being the first woman to touch him erotically since his wife passed away a number of years previously. He came to see me because he wanted a physical relationship with no emotional ties. That’s not how it worked out at all.
I don’t know how to adequately describe the American. Let's call him "Barack." He is six years younger than me, five times brighter, an expat living in London, literally the sort of man that make women gasp when he walks in a room. He is not tremendously wealthy but he is very well off and his success comes from his creativity and his wonderfully complex mind. I didn’t fall in love with Barack first, but he fell for me the moment we were first together. It didn’t take long for me to follow suit. The truth is that we didn’t have full blown sex until a week after we met. The first time he saw me we just talked for three hours straight, touching each other. It was our third appointment when he gave himself to me fully. Barack is the sort of man that takes pleasure in giving pleasure and our physical relationship is right off the scale. Although this may sound like mystical rubbish, right at the start, Barack felt it was if he was destined to be with me. I knew from the beginning that I was the one chosen to heal his heart.
Barack is not conflicted about what I do for a living. In fact he finds it tremendously erotic and, to this day, he generously pays for his time with me, always in an envelope with a nice card. He also showers me with gifts, takes me shopping and we holiday together. I spend two or three nights a week at his flat and have met his children and his friends, all of whom, up to recently, were completely unaware of how I make my living. We have been seeing each other for three years and he has remained faithful to me. As hypocritical as it sounds, it would break my heart if he slept with another woman.
When we are out together with his friends, both male and female, I have always been aware of the barely concealed envy the women in the room have about me. Here I am a few years older than Barack, of dubious origins, and I’ve snatched away their prize. There has always been a lot of curiosity about me. The fact that I am still married but obviously in love with another man who dotes on me has brought out the green monster of jealousy in many of the women, particularly those who were friends with his late wife.
What Barack and I knew would inevitably happen has now come to pass. In the last few days I have been getting phone calls through the number I work through from women I vaguely know through Barack. They have become increasingly nasty and vitriolic. They claim that my relationship with Barack has stopped him remarrying and finding happiness and they have called me all sorts of derogatory names.
The fact that I am now "outed" doesn’t bother Barack in the least. I admire that in him so much and makes me love him more. The truth is I know that Barack would propose to me at the drop of a hat if I hinted to him that I wanted us to be married. He would love to know that we will be together for the rest of our lives.
As unusual as our relationship is, it works. I don’t want to disrupt my children’s lives. They are happy with the arrangement between my husband and me. They have never met Barack but they have heard about him. I know his children and their nanny although they have no idea what I do for a living, but they are aware I am married. I do tuck them in at night when I am over and do in many ways feel that they are now my children too.
The question I have for you is this: Should I divorce my husband, prompt a proposal from Barack, and marry him? It would have to be a sort of hybrid marriage for a few years, at least until my children were mature enough to deal with the situation. If I were to do this I would split my time between Barack and my home and carry on with my work. I know Barack would love this to happen and it wouldn’t break my husband’s heart, as long as he knew that I was paying the mortgage.
It is my 46th birthday coming up and if I told Barack to get me an engagement ring it would make him the happiest man in the world. Furthermore, I would love to flash it at those bitches who think I am not good enough to have their golden boy.
Lady In London Likes Yearning
I should probably do some Googling before I post your letter, LILLY, just to make sure you're not recounting the plot of a British romantic comedy I didn't see or summarizing a leaked treatment for an as-yet un-produced Julia Roberts film. But it's late on Friday and at least three cocktails (and one more work commitment) are calling my name.
But I am going to forward your letter to Rob Delaney. I think your story, if true (or false), would make an excellent plot for season 3 of Catastrophe—with Sharon Horgan playing the ghost of Sharon Morris, of course. It's Catastrophe meets Blithe Spirit: Sharon dies tragicomically, Rob stays in London to raise his Anglo-Irish-American kids, he falls in love with a mature escort with a family of her own, the escort divorces her husband and marries Rob, and then Sharon (insanely jealous, Irish temper) returns to haunt Rob and his new wife, ultimately orchestrating the untimely deaths of Rob, his second wife (that would be you, LILLY), and Fran too because Fran is horrible. (Let's have CAA set up a meeting, Rob, and make this happen.)
Anyway, LILLY, I honestly don't no what to tell you to do.
Your sprawling, unconventional family arrangement—three homes, two husbands, two sets of children (one biological set, one affectional set)—seems to be working well right now. I would hate to upset the delicate emotional/sexual/obligational balance you've managed to strike. All involved are happy right now, LILLY, other than those jealous bitches (and fuck them), and there's no guarantee all involved will remain happy if you decide to upend your current living/loving arrangements. On the other hand... there's no guarantee everyone will remain happy if you don't upend those living/loving arrangements.
So, yeah. Like I said: I don't know what to tell you to do.
But here's one thing to consider: You say nothing would make Barack happier than being able to marry you. And how do you know that? Because presumably Barack told you that. But did he mean it, LILLY? People have been known to tell their married lovers that they really, really wish they could marry them without really, really meaning it. Sometimes people say, "I really, really wish I could marry you, married lover, and be with you all day, everyday, for the rest of our lives!" because they're trying to be really, really nice and they think that's what their married-to-someone-else lover really, really wanna hear. So ask yourself—and ask Barack—if the sentiment he expressed was meant sincerely or whether it was meant as a compliment. Because like a long-distance relationship that works due to geographical distance, it's possible your relationship with Barack works due to the logistical distance, i.e. he not only doesn't mind sharing you with your other/original husband and family, LILLY, but he prefers it that way.
Just saying you might want to double/triple check with Barack on the whole marriage issue before you ask your husband for a divorce.
Or, hey, maybe he wants to marry you—like I said, I don't know what to tell you to do. But here's your letter, published despite the red flags, the stereotypes, the taboos, and the doubts I have about its veracity.