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Open marriage and still cheated

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Countrygirl10 posted 2/24/2019 13:36 PM

I found out yesterday that my husband has broken my trust again. We have a open marriage however the few things I ask is to know prior to any encounters. (I ask this because we do not use protection when it is just us)
I have found out on 2 other occasions I did not know. However I forgave and never brought it up again. Thinking for the sake of our kids itís best to keep the family together.
However yesterday I went through his phone I stopped after finding out about 4 people I had no clue about and all of them has been fairly recent. I donít think (actually I already know) I can not forgive again.
He has been bragging to his friends, and actually moved a Ďfriendí into our house recently who he was helping out due to a divorce herself. (I just found out they have been having sex in our home when I am not here)
I have not brought it up yet I plan on it tomorrow . To not be a jerk I decided to wait (however all I want to do is confront them Now) until after my husbands exam tomorrow.
I plan on giving them the opportunity to tell me before I mention I know. And also plan on confronting my husband about the others.
Iím totally heartbroken and keeping everything together and putting a fake smile on my face is so hard.
My kids are young 6 and 7 but I just donít think I can take much more.
I donít really have a questions, I just need to write this down. I have only told 1 person and Iím sure things things I didnít even say to her Iím just so heartbroken and donít really know what to do.

Buster123 posted 2/24/2019 15:00 PM

If you end up filing for D, consider monogamy in your next relationship, you would probably have to go to IC to adapt and create stronger boundaries, open Ms often times create a scenario of loose boundaries and flirting with other people which is fertile ground and a catalyst for A's to start, plus your kids are young now and may not understand that dynamic as they grow up, for better or worst today's society does not look at Open M's as a good thing (I'm not necessarily saying you have to live in a way to the liking of society), I just think it creates loose boundaries with all the flirting involved and that doesn't even take into account STDs, even if you use protection, some deceases are transmitted via saliva, Hepatitis, Herpes, etc, on top of the most common ones.

Marie2792 posted 2/24/2019 16:35 PM

I wonít pretend to know what open marriages feel like for those who live that life. But it sounds like he is blatantly disrespecting you by not giving you the heads up at all anymore and moving one of his sex partners into your home and being with her in your home. Itís a hard decision to leave a marriage especially with small children. Please come back for support as you navigate your path, whichever way it may be.

PricklePatch posted 2/24/2019 16:48 PM

Before confronting get your ducks in a row. Talk to a attorney, make screen shots or copies of your evidence and keep it separate places. Donít tell him how you know.

I am sorry you joined us. Read the healing library in the box to the left.

nortonj posted 2/24/2019 17:25 PM

I suspect he felt the need to up the ante when it comes to sex.

"If my wife is OK with me having sex with X, then it will be OK to have sex with Y and anyone else that pleases ME."

It's like he feels comfortable writing the rules of what an open marriage looks like without your buy-in.

It also sounds like this is his preferred path, and you are trying to accommodate his passions by asking him to respect certain boundaries. Which, of course he values about as much as dog-shit.

I suggest you determine how an open marriage benefits YOU as a first step. If you know that an open marriage with your husband means he feels he is entitled to run amuck, then you may need to rethink the concept of an open marriage and how it applies to this man.

You and he may have to make some very hard lifestyle choices. So sorry you're having to face this.

GoldenR posted 2/24/2019 17:32 PM

Would you have told him 'no' to having sex with any ofthese females?

marriageredux959 posted 2/24/2019 17:38 PM


Would you have told him 'no' to having sex with any of these females?

Your point is...?

kaygem posted 2/24/2019 17:39 PM

I'm very sorry you are here and you are suffering.

I have a genuine question. If he had told you in advance that he wanted to have sex with these women, would that have made it okay? Or would it still hurt? I agree with the above poster that you probably are not 100% okay with open marriage. And open marriage will almost always lead to a full blown affair eventually. It's not sustainable.

You mention wanting to know because of protection/STD issues but truly, how can you know..even if he tells you about the encounters...that he truly used protection?

Anyway, I'd really consider some serious IC and a careful review of if you are truly happy with this lifestyle.

Coreofsteel posted 2/24/2019 20:38 PM

I'm really sorry you're here. I also don't know how it feels to be in an open marriage. It does seems to me that your H may be getting something out of the secrecy and deception. At any rate he is not to be trusted right now, and the fact that he brags to his friends makes it worse in my mind.

You might benefit from some of the information in the Healing Library above left in the yellow box. I would think that in order to get your head clear, you may have to detach from him. Have a look at the "180" in the healing library.

Welcome, and once again I'm sorry you're here.

emartee posted 2/24/2019 20:52 PM

No judgment on your marriage arrangement but I must ask, how did this arrangement happen? Is the arrangement for the benefit of both of you, or was it created as a way to give you a sense control in allowing your husband to have new encounters?

Rustylife posted 2/25/2019 04:15 AM

Hey there Countrygirl10. An open marriage/relationship can supposedly work( personally I've never seen it but it can) if there is equal desire to open up the relationship on both sides. And also, the conditions placed by the primary partner are well defined and respected. Can you tell us how this arrangement came to be? Were you pressured into opening your marriage? Lots of folks think of it as just additional sex but to make it work in a serious relationship requires way too much work imo and personally, I don't think a relationship were kids are involved should be jeopardized in this manner. A solid foundation for them is the most important thing to consider. I was in an open relationship before meeting my XWW but it was a 'semi serious' relationship which wasn't meant to last long term.It's gross that your boundaries were violated so badly by your husband. The guy probably thinks of it as guilt free additional sex which really isn't even the start of a well functioning non monogamous relationship. Take care of yourself and get a divorce if this is what you want. He's not respecting your wishes at all. Going as far as bragging to friends is brazen.

[This message edited by Rustylife at 4:19 AM, February 25th (Monday)]

Western posted 2/25/2019 06:00 AM

I agree with Kaygem. Open marriages are almost always going to lead to a catastrophic fail. I don't and never will understand the concept.

None-the-less, wishing you the best of luck in your confrontation

Countrygirl10 posted 2/26/2019 13:52 PM

I am going to try and answer everyoneís answer. If I missed one I apologize.
Originally I had wanted nothing to do with a open marriage actually did not even know anything about the lifestyle.
however I knew my husband has a high sex drive and sexual desires so I had agreed to him having a side girl as long as it stayed out of the house and I did not know about it, and he made sure she was clean. (This was 6 years ago)
I guess thatís where my first mistakes happened when I said ĎAí side girl I ment 1. I did confront him about this last night and he admitted there were several. And he does not see that as cheating because I had said I did not want to know

About 3 years ago he constantly asked and was very persistent that he wanted me to join. After about a year of constant asking I finally gave in.
With the understanding I know before anything happens if I am not present.

No I would not have said yes to more then 1 other partner at a time. I said every time A extra person. Again where I made a mistake and did not give a number answer.

One month ago I suspected things were happening that I did not know about. And I made it very clear I want to know about it before anything happens. His response was it takes away from it when he tells me. However I made it cheat I did not care if he felt that way I still want to know before anything happens..

Once I confronted him his response was he did not conser what he did cheating and I knew about it or that never really happened (I admit I went through his phone this is how I found out about all of this). also said said he was confused about the rules and did not understand why I wanted to know every time.
Again, I agreed to a more open marriage not knowing any Ďrulesí and I feel so hurt because of his actions.

He has been very appologetic and keeps saying he wants to make things better and go get help (mind you a month ago when I suspected something he said maybe he should go get help. Granted I did not say yes I simply said if you think you do then you should)
He also keeps saying I want to make it better.
But after the 3rd time of finding this Iím just so tired of putting my heart back together. His response to that was I donít understand why you didnít talk to be about this (I did I expressed my concerns about how I felt when he is dishonest and betrays my trust.)

I know all of this is confusing Iím still working on processing all of this myself. Thank you everyone for your words

heartbroken_kk posted 2/26/2019 14:06 PM

You sound like you got talked into the same thing I did in my first marriage. My ex had a secret porn and prostitute problem, which I didn't know about initially. When I found out he promised to stop. But then later he met an old boyfriend of mine who was in an open relationship ("wife swapping") with his wife and other couples, and he talked me into joining them. So we had a "one night stand" with the couple.

This was among the worst relationship mistakes I ever made, for two reasons. First was that I learned to rug-sweep my feelings and put my husband's wants and desires ahead of mine, like a nice little martyr. Second, I could not put the genie back in the bottle. I didn't like it, wanted it to stop, and could never get our marriage back to monogamy. My ex was determined to get his fun side sex however he wanted. So he and the wife continued their relationship in secret, while I said I didn't want to do it again. This wasn't an open relationship anymore, it turned into an affair in which I was being cheated on.

I think you need to figure out what YOU really want out of your life and your marriage. I suggest counselling for you. Don't be ashamed and don't worry about having to justify or defend what you agreed to, but do get some help sorting out what you want in your heart of hearts, regardless of what your WH wants.

You do not have to be in an open marriage. If it doesn't suit you, you can get out. There is no reason for you to be miserable for another decade while he won't be faithful to you. Your kids won't benefit from a home that is full of stress and deceit. You may need to divorce him to be able to provide a genuinely healthy and happy home life.

You are not alone. Keep posting, let us know what is happening and how we can support you.

Bigger posted 2/26/2019 14:09 PM


From all I have heard and read then a key factor in a successful open marriage is that there are clear ground-rules that both partners agree on and are happy with.
From what you share it seems that was totally missing in your marriage. It seems that you both had different views on the rules for your open marriage.

Out of curiosity: When he pressured you to join what do you mean? Especially since you wanted to know beforehand if you are not present? Are you allowed to have lovers? Does your H have to know? Does he want you to take part in threesomes with him and OW? Iím not certain what you are sharing with us when you mention giving in to his pressure.

kaygem posted 2/26/2019 14:35 PM

So he basically forced you into this lifestyle? I don't want to sound harsh but I really believe that what he really wants is to live the life of a sex addict and wrap it up in some kind of "open marriage" package to validate his addiction.

Do you want to deal with this Shiz all of your life? Read up on sex addiction because what you are dealing with is not really a consensual open marriage but rather a man who is a serial cheater. He says telling you "takes away" from the fun of it?
...there is your answer right there. You have young kids? Is this what you want them to believe is normal when they grow up? You are allowing him to cheat under the guise of an open marriage. Your WH has a HUGE amount of issues to deal with and it sounds very much like he doesn't want to come out of his addiction and deal with them.

And also, I would be 99% confident that you haven't even scratched the surface of what's gone on behind your back. Cheaters only admit to what you find. If you do some digging, a will find much much more.

This is not a recipe for a happy marriage or a happy life. And who knows what kind of diseases he will bring home to you? I never tell anyone what to do, but I know in this case I wouldn't stay with a person that has no desire for healing and becoming mentally healthy.

Take care of yourself, and I hope you get some time alone to really consider the ramifications of staying with a man who will probably never stop cheating on you. Sending you hugs.

paboy posted 2/26/2019 14:38 PM

You need to return back to your core values. The things that make you happy. And I'm not referring to the things that you consider fun, but the core values that make you happy. Like love, honesty, respect for one self and others. Return back to these.

From what you say, he encouraged this lifestyle against your better judgement, and like heartbrokenkk has stated putting the genie back in the bottle...

Draw a line in the sand.. decide whats best in the future for you and your children. Let this become your focus and what to do from here. Dont let one persons fun spoil 3 other people's happiness.

And last of all, dont wallow in this infidelity. Dont allow yourself to be manipulated. It tears down your self esteem/ your self image. The longer you remain in it, the deeper it stains you.

Countrygirl10 posted 2/26/2019 15:04 PM

Im sure there is more then I know about if I were to do some more undigging. However he always has a reason either ĎI knew it would never happen itís just to get offí or Ď I was just busting balls with a friendí.
He openly admitted he has a sex addiction problem and needs to get help. Last night I flat out said yeah you should if you even want me to attempt to work this out. And this morning he asked several times what do you want me to do.
I called a counselor and was able to make a appointment for myself. Today he said I donít even know where to begin to find help. I simply said just said google it.
He has also asked what I want him to do to make it better.

I donít want to be assisting in answers to his questions (I donít even know the answers) I donít want to be a jerk to him. But I fee like I should not be doing the research for him either. I donít even know if I should be. Iím so confused with the entire situation (I just knew I needed to talk to someone about this situation so I researched quality therapists)

Coreofsteel posted 2/26/2019 17:55 PM

You're right. You don't have to be looking after him. Let him do his own research. Look after you. Put yourself and your needs first. Take time, you don't have to decide anything right now.

I suspect your H gets off on the secrecy, which would be really hard for me to deal with.

Bigger posted 2/26/2019 18:07 PM

Be careful about applying the SA label.
ONLY accept it if a certified and acknowledged counselor that has extensive knowledge and experience in SA diagnoses him as a SA.

Addiction Ė like SA Ė is not like the flu where he takes some pills, tells a shrink how his mommy wouldnít let him suck his finger and maybe does a half-ass 12 step itinerary. Addiction is a lifetime deal. True addicts that are committed to sobriety/abstinence need to stick to a lifelong treatment fraught with relapses. The typical alcoholic does 6-8 attempts at sobriety before ďsuccessĒ.

IF he is a SA then serious therapy, 12-step work SA Anonymous meetings and all that might help him. They might get him on the straight road. But IF heís NOT a SAÖ then itís like placing his left foot in a cast to heal his twisted right arm. Itís applying the WRONG treatment to the WRONG ailment.

If heís not SA and getís away with ďIím a SAĒ as a reason to cheatÖ he will cheat again because (a) the cause hasnít been dealt with and (b) he got away with cheating to you on the reasons for his infidelity. He can get away with everything!

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