What to Expect From a Woman Who Knows You’re Sleeping with Her Ex-Husband

In the weeks fol­low­ing my first encounter with Patrick’s ex-wife, I came to under­stand that there is a par­tic­u­lar pro­to­col to being the young girl­friend to a sugar daddy. It involves lay­ing low and not hav­ing many—or any—expectations when it comes to his fam­ily. It also has a lot to do with under­stand­ing that, while it is pos­si­ble you’re the only woman he loves, he will always love his fam­ily more, at least in cer­tain ways.

Deb­o­rah, the ex-wife, was not a threat to me in the typ­i­cal ways. I sensed she had no ongo­ing inter­est in Patrick, other than to nee­dle him and make sure he under­stood that she was the matri­arch of their fam­ily, and always would be. And I could cer­tainly see he had absolutely no phys­i­cal desire for her anymore.

My main encoun­ters with her now usu­ally hap­pened when I called his office and she picked up the phone. There couldn’t have been a colder or faster way to put me on hold than what she did with me. She never said, “Hello,” and she never used my name. In fact, she didn’t even say, “Please hold” or “Hang on.” After I asked to speak to him, I would almost instantly hear the sound of music as she put me on hold. For­tu­nately, she had the man­ners to at least tell him there was a call wait­ing for him, although I doubt she told him that it was me wait­ing on the line. On the plus side, if it was around 5 o’clock in the evening, Patrick expected my call, so usually—as was his way with me—he would rush to answer the phone when I called.

Patrick and I always planned our evenings that way, and it always involved drinks and din­ner at an upscale restau­rant in the down­town area. I loved that part of the lifestyle.

When we walked into a Chicago restau­rant together, heads always turned. Peo­ple were fas­ci­nated with us: the strik­ing, gray-haired, mus­cu­lar, immaculately-groomed older man, with an obvi­ously much younger, attrac­tive woman dressed pro­fes­sion­ally, but sexy nonethe­less. Peo­ple were friendly with us; they always smiled and nod­ded and I rarely saw smirks. The wait staff and bar­tenders were eager to serve us; I think they sensed big tips.

One night, we were in the Cape Cod Room at the lav­ish Drake Hotel and our wait­ress asked us if we were movie stars. She was seri­ous. That took us by sur­prise and we laughed. But she did get a very large tip with that compliment.

Patrick always ordered the wine, usu­ally after he con­versed with the bar­tender. I learned a lot about wines from him, espe­cially French wines—Bordeaux, Bur­gundy, Cham­pagne, we drank it all. Patrick thought Cham­pagne was an every­day drink, not just for spe­cial occasions.

And he never failed to toast me, never. He had charm and wit, so his toasts were always new, unique, per­sonal, and in the moment. There is an old French say­ing that says, “A man falls in love through his eyes, a woman through her ears.” I think it is def­i­nitely true. Patrick was a lover boy in the first degree and I basked in the adoration.

Our life together was always spent “in the moment,” and I knew that if we stayed together, there were hur­dles that would involve not just Deb­o­rah, but his three chil­dren. This was just the beginning.