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I'm hoping someone here can offer a bit of advice.

 

My husband and I have been married 4 years and things were going pretty well until a few months ago. We've always been quite "open" in our relationship and before we got married we occasionally saw other people for casual sex (in my case of both genders) and it was fine, it was kind of our mutual agreement that we would be honest about it rather than cheat.

 

When we got engaged we made a vow to no longer have sex with other people, not because of any religious beliefs (we are both atheists) but because it felt right to make that promise to each other. We stuck to our resolve throughout our engagement, which lasted about a year, then for the first couple of years of marriage we were both content enough.

 

I've always known he watched porn and masturbated but I was fine with that, I do it too. But from about two years ago, soon after we discovered we couldn't have kids and made the decision not to go down either the IVF or the adoption route, he started to spend more and more time by himself, masturbating pretty much every night (he never made any effort to cover his tracks and every morning I found the tissues at the top of the waste paper basket in his study - even without picking them up, the smell was always unmistakable - sorry about the detail!)

 

In the end I decided to confront him about it. At first he was really defensive, but in the end he admitted that he was finding himself thinking more and more about other women. He didn't want to cheat on me, but at the same time he couldn't stop fantasising about doing things with certain women he knew. He told me one of his work colleagues had been flirting with him and he was finding it really hard not to return her attention.

 

I should have been angry with him, but I wasn't - mainly because hearing him say these things made me realise I'd been doing the exact same thing. When I masturbated (which wasn't every day, but certainly often enough) I never thought about him, it was always about other people I knew, mainly guys but sometimes women too.

 

It made me wonder if maybe we should try to be more like we used to be before we got married: give each other some freedom, which always seemed to make us appreciate each other more. On impulse, I asked him how he'd feel about giving each other a hall pass. "Just a one-off" I said, to spice things up a bit and bring some excitement back into our sex life.

 

I thought he'd jump at the chance but in fact we was really reluctant. He kept saying he wasn't sure if he really wanted to see anyone else, but I thought he just didn't like the idea of me doing it with another guy. So I said "it's your birthday next month, how about we make this a present just for you? You get the pass, I don't. I don't really need it anyway".

 

In the end he accepted and on his birthday I actually wrote him a proper pass on nice paper, giving him permission to go with anyone he wanted, just once. I was honestly fine about it, I felt a bit jealous at the thought but I pushed the feeling back and focused on the goal of having him back to his happy, caring self.

 

In the end he went out with that tart from his office and they had a fairly disappointing one night stand, which he told me all about. He said once they were naked he felt really self-conscious, he managed to get it up but finished things in a real rush for fear of losing his erection, then just spent ages down on her to try and make up for his poor performance. I should have felt sorry for him but I was secretly delighted that he'd had such a crap time with her and that hopefully he'd never want to see her again (she certainly wouldn't want to see him!)

 

Well, the whole arrangement worked really well because afterwards our sex life got much better. He lavished me with attention and stopped masturbating frantically, choosing instead to come to bed with me almost every night. We didn't always have sex, but we cuddled a lot and we sometimes masturbated next to each other, which we hadn't done since before marriage (it might sound weird but we both love it, we try to cum together and we kiss the whole time).

 

Then my birthday came, and to my utter shock he wrote me a hall pass of his own. I genuinely hadn't expected it and I was even more surprised because things had been better between us and I didn't think he'd want to rock the boat. He said he hadn't felt right since he'd been with that girl from the office, he felt like things were uneven between us and the only way to make everything balanced and fair again was for me to have my own night of fun.

 

I must confess, my mouth was saying "I really don't need it" and "Are you sure about this?" but inside I was more excited than I'd been in years. Even as I said to him "Well, I'll think about it" my mind was already racing, going "Who could I sleep with? That guy from work I've fancied for ages? My ex-girlfriend who's now single again and keeps asking me out for coffee? Maybe a complete stranger I pick up at a bar?"

 

In the end, it just happened by itself. This was about a month after he gave me the pass. I was at a weekend retreat organised by my firm - I usually hate them but this time the place was actually gorgeous - and I ended up in that guy's room, emptying his minibar and then ordering room service. This had happened with him before, at the previous retreat, only when he'd tried to kiss me I'd pushed him away and I'd told him I wasn't "that kind of woman", whatever that means.

 

Well, this time I had my hall pass and I very much became that kind of woman. To be brutally honest with myself, I'd known all along that this was going to happen and I'd gone away fully planning in my head to act out what had already happened countless times in my fantasies. My husband had actually reminded me of my hall pass before I left (as if I could have forgotten it!) and I told him "There won't be anyone there I fancy, but who knows?"

 

I still don't know why I didn't just tell him I was planning on spending my pass with that guy. I guess I just wanted the excitement of doing something illicit, rather than something my husband was expecting.

 

Anyway, the poor guy didn't know what hit him. I was a woman possessed! After returning his first kiss I threw him down, practically ripped his clothes off and proceeded to live out three years worth of sexual fantasies in about three hours. To his credit, he kept up with me, just about, but he told me afterwards (not straight afterwards, weeks later) that I'd kind of scared him with how ravenous I was.

 

I slept in his bed and the next morning we did it again, then had to go to some stupid team-building activity. Half way through it I felt the irresistible urge to do it again, so like a naughty teenager I gave him a piece of paper with the message "meet me in my room in 5 min." and slipped out of the activity. He followed me 5 minutes later and we spend the rest of the day and most of the night in my room, having sex and ordering room service. By the end I didn't know if I was more drunk from the alcohol or from the sex, but I had the time of my life.

 

As I drove back home to my husband the next day, I was terrified. I knew I had to tell him, but I was so scared that he would be able to tell just how much I'd enjoyed my pass. That he'd somehow smell it on me, even though I'd had the longest shower of my life before leaving the hotel.

 

I decided the only way to make myself do it was to say something before I got there, so I stopped the car and I texted him the message "On my way home baby. I spent the pass btw. I'll tell you all about it when I get there. Love you loads x"

 

It was so hard to press that send button, my heart was racing, but I managed to do it. From that moment on, I knew there was no going back.

 

He was waiting for me at the door, we hugged and kissed and straight away he wanted to know all about what had happened. I must confess I didn't tell the whole story, I majorly played down how good the sex had been, also in view of the fact that his own pass had been such a disappointment. Plus I didn't want to sound like a total ... I only talked about the first night and never mentioned the morning, or the next evening. I also told him it had lasted about an hour, when in fact the first night had lasted nearly three. I didn't mention swallowing him, which I'd done both nights, nor was I honest about the intensity of the pleasure I'd felt, choosing instead to make fun of the guy's super-thin legs (which in fact aren't even that skinny).

 

I thought I'd better mention the anal sex, in case something about my butt hole "gave it away", but I told him the guy had insisted on doing it and said I'd found it quite uncomfortable and made him stop straight away. In reality, I'd asked for it and loved every minute.

 

Even with this heavily censored version of events, I could read the jealousy and pain in my husband's eyes, despite the fact that he kept trying to cover them up by saying things like "wow, that sounds amazing" and "good for you baby".

 

We kissed again afterwards and he said "there you go, now we're even. And you know what? It just confirms what we already knew: that we are what's best for each other and there's no one else out there who's worth the trouble".

 

I smiled and said "You're right" but inside my heart sank, because I didn't feel like I wanted it to end there. I wanted more passes...

 

For weeks afterwards, I kept hoping things would settle again, that we'd go back into a normal routine. Then Covid happened, and "normal" went out of the window forever. We went into lockdown and ended up spending every hour of every day with each other, week after week. It should have been nice, but it wasn't. I kept thinking about the other guy and every other man and woman I now wanted to sleep with. I felt like I'd just rediscovered my sexuality and sex with my husband (though we still did it) just wasn't filling that void, quenching that thirst.

 

So, when lockdown finally ended and I returned to work, I invited that guy out for coffee, then went back to his place and we had sex again. But this time I didn't tell my husband. I'd just become another cheating wife. And it hasn't stopped, I've slept with three other people since, two guys and one girl (not at the same time, I should point out!)

 

I feel so disappointed with myself. I can't bring myself to confess because I know he'll hate me for it, not just for the sex but for hiding it from him. It's such a disgusting betrayal and he doesn't deserve it. But I'm finding myself needing these extra-marital experiences like I need air.

 

I'm not sure what type of advice I'm looking for, but please don't tell me we need marriage counselling. The thought of sitting in front of a stranger and telling him all about our private life... it's just not for us, I know my husband would feel the same.

 

What I'm asking myself is: do I really need to confess, or is it possible to learn to cope with the guilt and actually lead a fulfilled life as an unfaithful spouse? I know plenty of people who do, I just don't know if I can.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I think you should just tell him you had a better time at the retreat than you let on and that you miss the open relationship you both initially enjoyed. Don’t mention the other slip ups. See what he says. Be honest with him and tell him you think you need this. Also encourage him to have a good experience with another woman. It sounds like his appearance may have changed since younger years and he’s not as confident now. Build up his confidence again and I think he will be more on the same page with you again. I would test the waters though before confessing to more hookups. Then go from there.

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  • 2 months later...

I like hhousewife’s idea. Definitely, don’t keep cheating. If you think your husband would leave if he knew then you’re being incredibly selfish and you should end it!

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Well to be honest it sounds to me like at least on your end, you are someone who is actually polyamorous. I think you need to think about what kind of marriage both you and your husband want to have. If you both want to be polyamorous then you should probably be ethically non-monogamous. But ethically does actually mean being very honest about who else you are dating or sleeping with. And you can only be polyamorous if your husband also wants to be.  If only one person in a couple wants to be polyamorous then that's not fair on the other person because it would hurt them. I think in a relationship first of all you need to have openness and trust. If you're sleeping with other people but you don't tell your husband, that's not trust because you're not honest. I think you need to tell him everything and see what he says. I understand not all relationships are monogamous but this needs to be discussed and mutually agreed on. What you're doing is wrong because you're doing it behind your husband's back.

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  • 1 month later...

Hey @meg90just curious you haven't posted any updates. You know you really have 3 options only: 1) Talk to your husband and tell him your true feelings that you have been cheating on him since your intial hall pass, and that you would like to continue having a "open relationship". (this is the best and honest approach) I think you already know that. 2) Do the above without saying that you have been selfishly continuing to cheat on your husband these past few months and go out it like you want to start now. 3) Continue as you are behind his back by flat out lying to him or lie by omission and compartmentalize and go on and try and be guilt free cheating 4 on your poor trusting unsuspecting spouse.  4) Divorce him and apologize for what you have done and allow both of you go on with your lives.

Please share with us and update.

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