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Thread: How do I ask for an open marriage?

  1. #11
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    I dated a girl a few years ago that wanted an open relationship. Having recently left a 25 year relationship that started when I was 14, I was up for new experiences.

    It's all good fantasising about an open relationship, but in real terms it's not all beer and skittles.

    The first issue we faced was jealousy, especially if one is meeting more people than the other and neglecting the main relationship.

    Second you need to trust your partner does the right thing. I found once she got drunk and didn't use protection.

    Thirdly and probably the most likely thing to happen is...... Don't be surprised when your husband meets someone who rocks his world and you find yourself divorced. You can say it's casual sex and you won't get emotionally involved, but that rarely happens. 4 months in I met an amazing girl and broke it off with my girlfriend. Honestly by that stage, I'd almost had enough of the lifestyle anyway. Juggling multiple hook ups is tiring.

    What you forget when being in a long term relationship are all those amazing emotions when you meet someone new. Lust is a crazy drug and eventually turns into love. Once both of you get a taste of it, you will never be able to give each other the same intense feelings. It can be a slippery slope to losing control of everything.

    Like another person said, it's probably better to get divorced or at least separate before meeting anyone new, as there is a good chance it could lead down that path anyway and cause a lot of pain if one of you leave for another person.
    Last edited by Matt0050; 11-08-2018 at 04:25 AM.

  2. #12
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    The only way to "make it happen" is to get divorced since you don't agree on things and want to be single to pursue your fantasies.
    Originally Posted by Aeryn22
    -I've only been with 7 people, male and female.

    -I did bring up the idea of an open relationship about 4 years ago. He wasn't totally against it, but was hesitant.

    -We are the same age but he generally prefers older women (40+) and I am very attracted to younger men (18-25ish). Neither of us has ever slept with the sort of older woman/younger man that we fantasize about.

    -We've danced around this for so long, how do I make it happen?

  3. #13
    Platinum Member Annia's Avatar
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    It seems to me that you and him are not compatible on that aspect. You can't change him nor him can or should try to change you.

  4. #14
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    Well I'm no expert on the subject but I will leave here a quote from Lucretius that worth a reading

    "Moreover, we move ever, we spend our time amid the same things, nor by length of life is any new pleasure hammered out. But so long as we have not what we crave, it seems to surpass all else; afterward, when that is ours, we crave something else, and the same thirst for life besets us ever, openmouthed".

    Today, society makes us believe that all desire are legitimate, that the important thing is to have "fun" but is the fullfillment of each and every of our desire, a constant seek of the "fun", through casual sex in your case or whatever activities in general, really a path to happyness ? is it really liberating or do we just enslave ourselves to our moving desire ?

    If you go down that road, I bet that what Lucrecius say will happen, you will jump from one story to another, seeking "fun" "adventure" and as soon as one casual sex will be yours, you will crave another one, and another until it bores you and you will seek another thing than sex and so on.

    So, my advice would be that before asking the question "how do I make it happen?" why not take a few days/weeks and ask yourself "is it really worth it for this to happen ? what am I looking for in this open relationship and at the end of the day if that happens am I going to be happier going around and having sex with other partners ?"

    My opinion on the matter is obviously bias and I'm not saying I'm right but the question above worth thinking about imho.

    Also don't get me wrong, I love shot of adrenaline and dopamine, I still love the "deutsche romantik" the feeling of the absolute unmediated and it is true that passion is a powerfull drive but in principle the passion has tragic ending whether it is in history (great men have tragic destiny) or in opera and I don't see it coming a different way in the life of regular people so think twice before making a move.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Wish you well.

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  6. #15
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Annia
    It seems to me that you and him are not compatible on that aspect. You can't change him nor him can or should try to change you.
    I agree.

    Instead on focusing on sex, maybe it would be better to look at the marriage as a whole. It sounds like you both rushed into marriage. You sound like two young people who figured marriage was the thing you had to do, but this isn't actually a match nor were you ready for a lifetime commitment.

    It's one thing if two people from the start decide to be non monogamous. You married someone though promising to commit yourself to only him. No matter how it is framed, going outside the marriage is breaking that vow.

  7. #16
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Are you sure? It doesn't seem so.
    Originally Posted by Aeryn22
    I have been happily married

  8. #17
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    My best guess is by asking prior to making a lifelong contentment through marriage.

    I can compartmentalize sex. I can appreciate attractive men and women. Neither is even remotely an implication of an open marriage. We do have a "don't ask, don't tell" policy that was conveyed prior to getting married, but less so as a license to go wild as it was a matter of not wanting to kill the relationship if a one-off, completely incidental / physical thing does end up happening over the course of however many decades we plan to be together. But, again, that was communicated and agreed upon prior to vows being exchanged and, ideally, isn't a privilege that's ever exercised.

    That you'd like not only to open the marriage but have dinner talk about your extramarital weekend bangs speaks to the fact you ****ed up marrying this man. If you insist on it, I'd do so with a counselor present.

  9. #18
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    Wow, thank you all for your responses. I've got a lot to think about! I was saddened to see that most of you think this won't work out. But you all make excellent points, and you've made me think about some things that I had not thought about. This situation really is a Pandora's Box, as someone mentioned, and I've realized that there are lots of emotions involved. Not emotions that I feel for other men, but rather my emotions about my marriage.

    When I say I have been happily married, it is true. Not 100% of the time, but who is? Everybody has some dissatisfaction in their marriage I'm sure, nobody is happy with every aspect of their partner and their relationship. I do feel that I married too young, that is something I have been aware of for a while.

    I'm sure I could point out all kinds of reasons for why I might have my casual attitude about sex: I was sexually abused as a child, I was raised by a single father who always talked about sex as a casual thing, I have low self-esteem so it just feels good to have the attention, etc. Are any of them truly the reason? Maybe, I don't know.

    I love my husband as a partner in life most of the time. And we actually have great sex together! He has been there for me through some tough situations, and he claims that he'd be dead if not for me. That last piece... it sounds romantic but I know he means it. He suffers from suicidal depression. It has become worse over time, starting with events that happened with his job shortly before we married, after we got engaged.

    Things have become worse and worse for us, financially, over the course of our marriage. Often I do blame it on him. Not to his face, never to his face, but I've been working full-time for the whole marriage and he has been scraping by working part-time. He changed careers and stopped working for several months to go back to school, then after he got certified he realized he hated the new career and went back to the one he originally went to school for, leaving us about $5000 in debt for nothing. The original one, which he still does now, requires lots of networking, but he can't push himself to do that, so he makes barely any money. So I do get resentful, feeling like I work hard and it's his fault we can never get ahead. He knows he isn't pulling his weight, and feels bad. But he just sinks into depression instead of letting it motivate him to take action. I have always comforted him, assured him we'd get through it, etc.

    I guess the more I think about it, the more unhappiness I find within myself. I have always had to be the strong, mature one in our relationship. He has always let me wear the pants, despite me always saying I want to be equal with my husband, not his mom or his boss. I handle all the finances. I plan and cook all the meals. I do almost all the grocery shopping. Whenever we need to move, it's up to me to find a new apartment. When either of us wants to find a new job, I have to be the one to find it unless a friend of his knows someone who is hiring. If I am upset about something, I have to be careful that I don't trigger him to be depressed if I try telling him about my problems, because that will be worse than struggling on my own with what makes me unhappy. Then I'm still unhappy but have to focus on making him feel better.

    I'm sure there's more I could say but I am running late getting ready for work. But wow, I had no idea how much was festering inside me. What do I do with this? I am about 98% certain that if I asked for divorce, he would kill himself. He is a good, kind, generous, funny man who is loved by so many people in our life. How could I possibly do that?

    Edit: I feel I need to add that he has actually been diagnosed with a mental illness that causes his depression, and he does take medication and see a therapist about it. He is bipolar, and his meds seem to stop the manic episodes but they no longer seem to do much for the depression. He has had his meds adjusted many times.
    Last edited by Aeryn22; 11-08-2018 at 11:26 AM.

  10. #19
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    So I would say this isn't really about sex but about wanting a temporary escape from a stressful and unsatisfying marriage.

    I predict that if you don't get the "open marriage" you ask for you will just end up having an affair. And you will fall in love with your affair partner, who will either be everything your husband is not or will be exciting and fun.

    Why do you feel responsible for your husband's very life? How did you end up getting assigned this role?

  11. #20
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this. With all due respect, your marriage sounds horrible. Asking for an "open marriage" will not fix anything. That is like trying to fix a caved in leaking roof by shining your shoes. It sounds like an excuse to shop for a better partner without feeling guilty for cheating or having to divorce him and feel guilty about that.

    Also what you are asking is "does anyone have ideas on how I can sell this idea to him without making it sound like what it is?"

    Sadly you have a huge role in being the mothering and smothering and domineering. It sounds like a horrible situation that you wish to find a guilt-free solution for by spinning it as "an open marriage".

    You label him as the sick fragile one. However being with someone like that means you would benefit greatly from your own private therapy where you could discuss reasonable, effective and viable solutions.
    Originally Posted by Aeryn22
    He suffers from suicidal depression.
    Things have become worse and worse for us, financially, over the course of our marriage. Often I do blame it on him.

    -I've been working full-time for the whole marriage and he has been scraping by working part-time. He changed careers and stopped working for several months to go back to school, then after he got certified he realized he hated the new career and went back to the one he originally went to school for, leaving us about $5000 in debt for nothing.

    -I do get resentful, feeling like I work hard and it's his fault we can never get ahead.

    -I guess the more I think about it, the more unhappiness I find within myself. I have always had to be the strong, mature one in our relationship. He has always let me wear the pants, despite me always saying I want to be equal with my husband, not his mom or his boss.

    -I am about 98% certain that if I asked for divorce, he would kill himself.

    -He is bipolar, and his meds seem to stop the manic episodes but they no longer seem to do much for the depression. He has had his meds adjusted many times.

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