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Thread: How do I ask for an open marriage?

  1. #21
    Platinum Member katrina1980's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Matt0050

    Don't be surprised when your husband meets someone who rocks his world and you find yourself divorced.
    That can happen even in a non-open marriage. And it's not gender specific, she could meet someone else too.

    Emotional affairs under the guise of a "friendship" are not all that uncommon.

    Originally Posted by Matt0050

    Lust is a crazy drug and eventually turns into love.
    Not always but agree it can happen. The openness, freeness and non-pressured environment within which sex and lust are happening with a new person is a perfect recipe.

    Unlike marriage where there are "obligations" "expectations" and "rules" that can sometimes lead to complacency, boredom in the bedroom, lack of passion, love lost.

    Hence the reason OP is considering this imo.

  2. #22
    Gold Member maew's Avatar
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    You have shared some really great insight OP... in your second post you get honest about what is really going on... have you sat down and spoken to your husband about any of that?

    I love what bluecastle said about intimacy... and I 1000% agree with him... that what people are often searching for when they are dissatisfied in relationships is that next level of intimacy with their SO.

    You need to take the burden of his well being and life off your shoulders... you are in a codependent relationship where you are essentially twisting yourself into a pretzel trying to make sure he will be okay. It's like watching someone be in a relationship with an addict or alcoholic. It isn't because of you that he is alive today (you don't have that much power I'm sorry) and it wouldn't be because of you that he did do something foolish like try to hurt himself.

    I see an open relationship in your case as an excuse to escape the feelings you are having and to potentially relieve yourself of the burden of caring for him by getting him to fall for someone else. I suggest that instead, seek a couples therapist that can help you guys discuss these feelings you are having.

  3. #23
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    updated...not the right advice after reading a follow-up post

  4. #24
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    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 suggest you seek counseling to address the sexual abuse you have endured instead of seeking sex outside of marriage and stop suggesting an open marriage.
    Men often feel that their wives don't love them if they are not having sex/seeking it elsewhere and it will only break it down.
    His education was not a waste -- if he didn't try it, he would have regretted it and always wondered - it was a risk that didn't pan out.
    Maybe he will be able to use some of those skills in some way.
    Are you living within your means? Are there other ways you can "right size" your life? whether that means a more sensible car, coupons, etc, and maybe
    you knew the job he had when you met him.

    Telling someone they are a financial burden doesn't help the person get motivated.

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  6. #25
    Super Moderator Capricorn3's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Aeryn22
    I'm sure I could point out all kinds of reasons for why I might have my casual attitude about sex: , 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.
    OP, when reading all of the above, asking for an open marriage should be the last thing on your mind. Having low self-esteem and looking for attention this way has disaster written all over it and will not end well for you. The situation with your husband in general, again, I highly doubt an open marriage will ever work for him. If anything, it will backfire on you so badly.

    You mention that your husband is seeing a therapist, but maybe YOU should look into therapy yourself to help you sort out all of your own issues. I think it will be of benefit to you - far more than looking for attention outside of your marriage.

  7. #26
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    Originally Posted by Aeryn22
    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.
    No, it doesn't sound romantic at all. It sounds very unhealthy, and a lot of emotional responsibility to bear.

    An open marriage would be really, really unwise under the circumstances of your marriage, OP. You two have significant issues to work though. Adding the element of sexual liberties with others - and the confusing emotions that could very well provoke - is going to make things worse.

    Your husband's current emotional state and the dynamic between you two are not solid enough at present to withstand the risks associated with an open marriage. It won't be worth the chaos that is almost sure to unfold here.

  8. #27
    Bronze Member thisisrichey's Avatar
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    All you can do is talk about it again. I think it's obvious you both are curious and interested in giving it a try. So the next time it comes up talk about it more seriously and "i think we both will kick ourselves later if we didn't at least give this a try and see how we feel about it."
    On his concerns, you can allevaite by saying you'll be his "wingman" and help him find people (say on dating sites, be on the lookout yourself for people yo know he'd be attracted to, put out on ad outlining exactly what you are looking for, etc.) Offer to reassure the women he's interested in that it is OKAY with you and that it is because you both have agreed to have an open marriage.

    As far as his jealousies.. well, he'll just hav to deal with that. If he can imagine himself inside somebody else, he's going to have to be okay with somebody else being inside of you. That's the deal. If there is any hesitation at all by either - then you should drop it for good (and make sure when you talk about it that if it just seems it'll make things worse than better - that you agree to drop it for good).

    Good luck. and..where do you live? lol.. j/k

  9. #28
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    Originally Posted by thisisrichey
    All you can do is talk about it again. I think it's obvious you both are curious and interested in giving it a try. So the next time it comes up talk about it more seriously and "i think we both will kick ourselves later if we didn't at least give this a try and see how we feel about it."
    On his concerns, you can allevaite by saying you'll be his "wingman" and help him find people (say on dating sites, be on the lookout yourself for people yo know he'd be attracted to, put out on ad outlining exactly what you are looking for, etc.) Offer to reassure the women he's interested in that it is OKAY with you and that it is because you both have agreed to have an open marriage.

    As far as his jealousies.. well, he'll just hav to deal with that. If he can imagine himself inside somebody else, he's going to have to be okay with somebody else being inside of you. That's the deal. If there is any hesitation at all by either - then you should drop it for good (and make sure when you talk about it that if it just seems it'll make things worse than better - that you agree to drop it for good).

    Good luck. and..where do you live? lol.. j/k
    Did you even read what the OP came back and wrote about her past sexual abuse history before you gave this advice??

  10. #29
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    I hadnít thought about my desire for an open relationship as an attempt to escape an unsatisfying marriage. To be fair, I have been in favor of one ever since before we married, back when we were deliriously happy with each other and didnít have the financial problems we have now. So I donít think that it is the only reason for me to want one. I fully believe that humans arenít meant to be monogamous. It is my fault for not making sure that we were clear on that point before we married, I realize that now. I set it aside for a while, waiting for my husband to come around to it. He has told me before that he was working on getting used to the idea of it. But I wonder if the reason that I am feeling so strongly right now that I want to push for it has to do with different reasons than my original reasons for asking for it.

    I donít generally feel like my marriage is horrible, Iíve never found myself looking at another man and wishing I was in a relationship with him instead of my husband. Like I said, for the most part I am happy. Part of the reason for wanting this now is that we are both looking at going back to school. Considering that I am so attracted to younger men, I knew I would be facing a lot of temptation. I have a magnet on my fridge that says ďI can resist anything except temptationĒ so that should give you an idea. Like I said, I havenít cheated on him in the past. But I have been sorely tempted. Tempted to the point that if the man in those situations had actually propositioned me, instead of just flirting a lot, I donít know what I would have done. I donít know that I would have had enough control.

    Wiseman, you said that I have a huge role in the mothering, smothering, etc. What makes you think that? I have always encouraged my husband to be independent, learn to do things on his own, go hang out with his own friends, etc. It seems like generally he just doesnít want to. Heís happy to have me take the reins and heís happy to spend all of his time with me. In situations that were important and time-sensitive, such as finding a new job so we actually have enough income, or finding a new place to live so weíre not on the streets, I try to get him involved and encourage him to look on his own. But he doesnít. He will be sort of interested in seeing what I found, but wonít go searching on his own. I have to take action to prevent bad things from happening. He went straight from his parentsí house to living with me, so I think he just never grew up and learned how to do things on his own. Now that he knows I am capable, he is happy to let me do it. He has straight up told me before that he isnít interested in learning about our budget, heíd rather just have me tell him how much money he has to spend and let me take care of budgeting, paying the bills, etc.

    I apologize that I didnít mention it in my last post, I was in a hurry. But I have attended counseling on my own for my past sexual abuse, unhappiness, etc. Iíve never had satisfactory results from it, almost everything they ever say to me is not useful or is something Iíve already thought about on my own. And truthfully, I donít think the past sexual abuse is as big of an issue as it might seem from the outside. I was very young when it happened and I donít remember it. The best advice I got was from my last visit, when the therapist told me that I should go back to school and not just let my husband do it, if thatís what I want. Iíve wanted to go back to school for 5 years but always put it off. But once I started thinking about going back to school, all of this mess came up.
    We do live pretty frugally, and I have never told my husband that he is a financial burden, he said it about himself. We donít eat out much, we have home cooked meals and I shop the sales and make enough for leftovers to eat for lunch. We rarely ever buy new clothes, we get what we need from thrift stores. I donít get my hair dyed or my nails manicured. We live in pretty much the lowest priced apartment that we could find in our city without going into an unsafe/unsanitary/unpleasant living situation. We do, sadly, have 2 car payments and we canít get rid of either one right now because one is leased and we are underwater on the other one. It was a huge mistake, we just didnít expect to have to replace both of our 20+ year old cars within 12 months. In a little over a year we can get rid of the leased car and we plan to do that and find a cheaper car to help cut costs.

    We donít particularly have the money to pay for coupleís counseling right now. The therapist I was seeing was a free perk from my employer, but it wouldnít work for coupleís counseling. Iím not sure what else to doÖ I'm quite confused about all of this. I wonder if I am even overreacting. I love my husband. I wish he was more independent/less needy. I wish I didn't feel like I had to support him emotionally. But wanting to sleep with a younger man does not mean I want to date or marry a younger man. I straight up told my husband not that long ago that I wouldn't want to be responsible for helping another man "find himself" and mature into a suitable spouse. It is true. I'm not trying to ignore what you all have told me, and I am thinking very hard about it. I just wonder if the pieces of my marriage that I am unhappy with are really the reason for this, or just the knowledge that I'm about to be spending plenty of time with hot college guys.

  11. #30
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    This does not seem like a happy marriage!

    I think your desire to have an open marriage is just a way for your distract yourself from the miserable set of obligations you've assumed, or maybe it's a subconscious plan to blow up your marriage so that you can be free.

    What you have taken on is too much!!!

    Take a look at your post. It's like a misery sandwich. I've realigned it here so that you can see what I'm talking about. The two bolded sentences are the only positives--"the bread" if you will.

    Originally Posted by Aeryn22
    When I say I have been happily married, it is true..... I love my husband as a partner in life most of the time. And we actually have great sex together!
    ...he claims that he'd be dead if not for me.... 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.

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