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Wedding Woes

Open Relationship

DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
Dear Prudence,
I have been with my husband for 10 years, but we have always been mismatched sexually. We have a good life together, I love him, and want to stay together both for his sake and our child’s. However, I need more than half-hearted sex once a year, after begging and prancing around in expensive lingerie for months. I have talked about this with my husband probably every year since we got together; I’ve cried, asked for counseling, tried to do what he wants, but I get nothing. There’s very little physical affection in our relationship, and I have to believe that this is all he’s capable of. This past summer, it became clear that a good friend and I have serious chemistry. He is in a similar situation at home, and we have discussed the idea of a mutually beneficial, strictly sexual relationship. It would allow us both some relief. I considered discussing this with my husband, but I think he would react badly. I have no desire to remain celibate for the rest of my life, which seems to be what my husband wants. This seems like a reasonable solution. It gives me hope. I realize there’s a possibility of harming those I love, but I believe it is minimal. Am I crazy?

—Sanity-Restoring Affair

Re: Open Relationship

  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    Your husband doesn't care about your needs. He's likely not going to change. Just go get divorced, find someone else who's unmarried, and get your freak on.
    OurWildKingdomInLoveInQueenseileenrobOliveOilsMom
  • LW shouldn't have to live in a relationship that doesn't fulfill her.  Her husband shouldn't have to live with someone that is lying to him.
    DrillSergeantCatcharlotte989875SP29OliveOilsMom
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    I have a good friend in a similar situation. She's been having to beg him for sex for at least 2 years and the only time he's interested is when she offers up a threesome. She's told him over and over that she needs more and she misses their sex life. She's asked him to get his testosterone checked and he's refused. Last week (they've had sex once in 6 months) she offered a threesome and he said no, she got suspicious. Now out of the blue, he's decided to go get his hormone levels checked. Now I'm suspicious. It feels to me like he's found someone else he wants to get it up for.

    As for LW, this is odd to me too. This isn't a new issue. She settled for her H for some reason. 
    charlotte989875
  • I'm honestly thinking therapy. Find out what the issue is before jumping to other ideas.
    <a href="https://babysizer.com/geeky"><img src="https://babysizer.com/geeky-2018-06-08.jpg" alt="Babysizer Geeky Pregnancy Tracker"></a>
    OurWildKingdom
  • VarunaTT said:
    I always think of Dan Savage's quote about how sex is only 5% of a relationship but if it's not working, it's 95% of the problem.

    This was one of the biggest issues in my former marriage.  I still cannot believe the damage done to my psyche from the lack of physical affection (I mean, just getting him to touch me in a hug or kiss had to be asked for) and constant rejection.  It's a helluva lot to work through and just when I think I'm getting better, something rears it's head.  

    Husband might be asexual and that's totally fine, LW still has needs that need to be met.   And if husband is unwilling to do it (and it sounds like from her letter he is), she absolutely has the right to take care of herself. *I* would say leave the marriage b/c it's not going to get better probably, but everyone has their own journey to work through.

    And honestly?  Even if DH and I had a kid, I still would've left.  I thought about that so much, b/c I'd either be raising someone who behaved like DH or me in that relationship.  And I wasn't going to do that to a small human.  No way, no how.
    I also agree with this too.  I don't think it makes any sense to stay in a marriage that isn't working at all "for the sake of the kids".   Marriage is work but you both have to be open to working on it. 

    LW hasn't said "I told him this is a deal breaker" yet.   But I think she needs to.   

    It's the skirting around a possible affair that makes me wonder if she's so deprived that she's thinking that what she reads in romance novels are possible. 
    VarunaTTOliveOilsMom
  • Time for a real conversation with the husband. He's not meeting her needs and doesn't seem interested in doing so. Either talk to him about an open marriage or talk to him about separating. Lying and cheating, while it will solve the sexual desire, will cause even more problems in the marriage. Talk. Now. 
    OurWildKingdomeileenrob
  • @VarunaTT, it sounds like you made the best choice for your situation.   Your ex DH wasn't just refusing to give affection but he was refusing to acknowledge his participation in the dissolution of the marriage.   And there's no success when half of the relationship fails to see that his/her actions are part of what contribute to a beneficial relationship.

    FWIW I have friends in an open marriage but my understanding is that they're BOTH open about it and it's with a mutual understanding.   I don't think it works when it's open for one person's benefit.    
    charlotte989875VarunaTT
  • banana468 said:
    @VarunaTT, it sounds like you made the best choice for your situation.   Your ex DH wasn't just refusing to give affection but he was refusing to acknowledge his participation in the dissolution of the marriage.   And there's no success when half of the relationship fails to see that his/her actions are part of what contribute to a beneficial relationship.

    FWIW I have friends in an open marriage but my understanding is that they're BOTH open about it and it's with a mutual understanding.   I don't think it works when it's open for one person's benefit.    
    There was a Prudie a few weeks ago (it was from the chat, so didn't get posted here) where the guy wanted an open relationship on his side because she has a low sex drive but not for her. He said they both have jealousy issues (RED FLAG) and she's self conscious about the low sex drive (RED FLAG), but Prudie basically told him to have a talk and figure out what they both need from sex before talking about "which one of you gets a hall pass." Which I thought was terrible advice. She ignored those two huuuuuge red flags that, while not red flags for the relationship, are most definitely red flags that a convo about an open relationship and especially a one-sided open relationship is not going to go well. 

    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2016/12/dear_prudence_i_was_accused_of_thinking_all_hispanic_women_look_alike.html

    I just can't imagine telling H or H essentially telling me "I want you to let me sleep with other people but I'm not going to let you." I could never do and I don't want to do an open relationship, but I would think in order for one to be fair and reduce chances for problems in the relationship, it has to be open on both sides, even if one party doesn't take advantage of it as often. 

    VarunaTTSP29OliveOilsMom
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    @VarunaTT sometimes it takes just knowing someone else finds you attractive to help build up the courage to leave.  I was in a relationship with a man who found me "disgusting" (yelled out during a fight) and didn't realize I started to blame myself until I met someone else who made me feel pretty and like myself again.

    Maybe this chemistry can be the affirmation LW needs to know that she can find a relationship with someone she likes and wants to be sexually active with.
    image
    charlotte989875VarunaTT
  • I was willing to do that for ex-DH, but it was really freaking hard and I told him why.  B/c in our particular situation, it was "you won't have sex with me, won't fix the problems why you won't have sex with me, BUT you want the option to go have sex with someone else."  That is a really devastating thing to have to deal with. 
    short+sassy
  • There was a Prudie a few weeks ago (it was from the chat, so didn't get posted here) where the guy wanted an open relationship on his side because she has a low sex drive but not for her. He said they both have jealousy issues (RED FLAG) and she's self conscious about the low sex drive (RED FLAG), but Prudie basically told him to have a talk and figure out what they both need from sex before talking about "which one of you gets a hall pass." Which I thought was terrible advice. She ignored those two huuuuuge red flags that, while not red flags for the relationship, are most definitely red flags that a convo about an open relationship and especially a one-sided open relationship is not going to go well. 

    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2016/12/dear_prudence_i_was_accused_of_thinking_all_hispanic_women_look_alike.html

    I just can't imagine telling H or H essentially telling me "I want you to let me sleep with other people but I'm not going to let you." I could never do and I don't want to do an open relationship, but I would think in order for one to be fair and reduce chances for problems in the relationship, it has to be open on both sides, even if one party doesn't take advantage of it as often. 
    I read that one, and I was all DANGER WILL ROBINSON, because yeah, that's not going to work. At all. 

    Honestly, I have to think that having an open relationship (or being polyam, or whatever you want to call it) isn't going to work if you're doing it because something's broken in your current relationship. H and I are technically polyamorous - we've talked a lot about it, but there hasn't been an actual additional relationship yet - and we didn't get into it because one of us doesn't want sex. I don't see how there's any way to have that conversation - "I need a hall pass because you're frigid" - that won't sound exactly that hurtful and awful. 
    image
    OurWildKingdomVarunaTT
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