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Open marriage? Sex on the side?

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StuckinBetween posted 4/21/2021 20:41 PM

He is feeling very relieved and hopeful that this could be the answer. Let me set the stage. Last weekend he was sleeping. His phone buzzed and I happened to check his texts: unknown number. ‘I will have the Airbnb again tomorrow’. He woke up grabbed for the phone and all hell broke loose. Long night. He agreed to leave if I wanted. Said he was going to sleep with her but nothing had happened yet.
We have been working hard, building a life, raising our kids. He said he’d changed, had matured blah blah.
He doesn’t want to leave. Said he went behind my back because we have always been sexually incompatible (made worse on my end by his repeated betrayals). He said he couldn’t bear for me to cry after sex. Couldn’t ask me to do things I was not comfortable doing. But was so frustrated with it (not me, it) and resentful. He would make the odd complaint. I would apologize but, life has been busy and hard.

Back to the weekend. He said he knew he’d get caught. He doesn’t want to leave e family. I can’t bear to face what that would look like (fear - perhaps my biggest problem). His solution: so get his needs met at a gentlemen’s club, or with an escort. He would be as open with me as I wanted. He hates the lying and sneaking around. I actually thought this might be a solution. But I’m not so sure. He almost cheated again. Would have if I had not caught him. Maybe he did already (how would I know?). I just feel loss. He has been so loving, thoughtful and attentive. Doesn’t want me to hurt. Apologized for a blowup on me that had happened earlier the night I caught him. Is cleaning the fridge! This is because he is hopeful supposedly. That he wouldn’t have to resent what I don’t give him? Or sneak around to get what he wants?

The thing is - I agree we’ve never been compatible sexually. (I think he’d like me to come on like a porn start - that will never be me).

landclark posted 4/21/2021 20:57 PM

So basically he’s guilting you into an open marriage?

I’m sorry, but this is all kinds of messed up. His sex issues or inability to stop cheating are not your fault, incompatible or not. You don’t have to agree to an open marriage so he can feel better about getting some on the side.

HellFire posted 4/21/2021 21:02 PM

She told him she would have the airbnb AGAIN.

He's already cheated. Again.

In order to have an open marriage, you must have complete trust in your relationship.

Please don't entertain this idea.

[This message edited by HellFire at 9:03 PM, April 21st (Wednesday)]

landclark posted 4/21/2021 21:09 PM

She told him she would have the airbnb AGAIN.
He's already cheated. Again.

That’s how I read it as well.

StuckinBetween posted 4/21/2021 21:19 PM

Okay I just reread the text. (I took a photo) It actually said: I’m at the Airbnb tomorrow also

So not sure what to think. Track record is bad. Though probably 8 yrs since the last infidelity, although who knows right?

I’m not sure he feels guilt or truly believes that this is the answer. He won’t have to sneak around. He gets his ‘needs met’ and I don’t have to feel pressured. I do take some ownership- sex isn’t happening much lately. My interest is low (perimenopause?) and was never really high to begin with.

He calls this idea a means to an end. But then why not just porn?

ChamomileTea posted 4/21/2021 22:22 PM

His solution: so get his needs met at a gentlemen’s club, or with an escort. He would be as open with me as I wanted.

So, where will you be getting your needs met? Have you asked him that? Certainly, a guy who needs to frequent prostitutes in order get whatever kink he's looking to satisfy is NOT someone who's an attractive candidate for YOUR bed, right? Who wants some hooker's sloppy seconds?!
He's so broken up about you crying after sex because his BETRAYAL has triggered you but he doesn't consider giving up sex until you're on the same page? No. He's rather cheat again or hire a whore.

You've either caught him at the beginning of a new affair or in the middle of one. Either way, dude's cheating again. I'd lawyer up and see if that change's his tune. And I'll be frank with you... if you really can't beat back your fear and accept nothing less than what you deserve, go ahead and open up the marriage. Just make sure he understands that you're going to be getting yours too... just not from a whoring little creep like him. You really do deserve better than what he's offering though.

We women tend to really beat ourselves up over what you've referred to as "sexual compatibility", and yeah... lots of men complain that their wives aren't on the same page as they are. But you know what?.. when you've been married to the same guy for five, ten, twenty, thirty years, and you'd rather be knitting than making love, maybe HE's the one who's boring. Maybe HE's the one who has turned a special expression of loving feelings into a pornographic chore. Maybe the fault lies with the guy who decided having sex was more important than the woman he's having it with. Isn't THAT what your WH is telling you when he suggests that his need to have kinky sex is more important than how his cheating makes you feel?.. that his sexual appetite is more important than anything else? Guy's like that, who treat their wives like appliances, who diminish the emotional connection, just can't seem to understand that the problem is THEM. Who's gonna be weak in the knees or wet in the crotch over Mr. IndiscriminatelyHornyGuy. A guy like that has all the appeal of an ankle-humping chihuahua, humping for the sake of humping. It's no wonder he has to lie, cheat, or pay for it.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. I've just about hit my limit with men who claim their wives are frigid for no damned reason at all when it just stands to reason that if he's been her only one for years on end....
Not trying to threadjack, but I do hope you will forcefully REJECT any guilt you might be harboring about "sexual incompatibility". Your WH cheated because there's NOTHING inside him which takes cheating off the table when it comes to getting what he wants. That's pure ENTITLEMENT. He thinks he has a right to whatever he wants and it doesn't matter if he hurts you to get it. That's a pretty sick and twisted outlook when you break it down, but regardless of his manipulation tactics, that's who he is right now. He might charm you with "loving, thoughtful, and attentive", but that doesn't stop him from putting himself first, even when it means causing you harm.

I really do think you'd do well to at least meet with an attorney. Face your fears head on. Make a list of what you're afraid of, then challenge each item on your list. Don't let your fear keep you hostage in a bad marriage. There's a thread pinned in the Separation/Divorce forum called Fear vs. Reality. Have a read on that. It might make you feel a little better to know that you're not the only one.

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 11:10 PM, April 21st (Wednesday)]

sillyoldsod posted 4/22/2021 02:47 AM

First of all I'm sorry you're here StuckinBetween. I haven't read your full story but I think this is important and something worth exploring further...

The thing is - I agree we’ve never been compatible sexually. (I think he’d like me to come on like a porn start - that will never be me).
Have you had any kind of counselling/coaching re the sexual incompatibility between the two of you? I appreciate you may not want to go into detail on here (TMI) but was what he was asking for from you completely off your scale of 'healthy' and acceptable sexual behaviour?

[This message edited by sillyoldsod at 2:51 AM, April 22nd (Thursday)]

OwningItNow posted 4/22/2021 03:00 AM

Though probably 8 yrs since the last infidelity, although who knows right?

Given his explanation about how this is a solution, it seems he went 8 years without being caught, NOT 8 years without cheating.

Are you really mentally and emotionally able to have your WH go off to "get his needs met" while you stand by? It does not sound like it at all. It sounds like a shit sandwich that will choke you to death.

Is he offering not to meet this escort if you object? Or are your only choices: accept or divorce?

He does not sound like he considers or values your needs whatsoever; it does not sound like you consider or value your needs either. I think this is a recipe for the implosion of your mental health.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 3:04 AM, April 22nd (Thursday)]

jadedangel posted 4/22/2021 04:13 AM

If he wanted an open marriage then he should have started with a conversation with you about it. He didn't. You found a text message. That's not the time to bring up an open marriage talk.

I really think it's so one sided with him. So what if he is cleaning a fridge because he thinks that is going to get what he wants. What about you and your wants?

You need to educate yourself on what an open marriage is really like. Will you be okay knowing when he is out screwing another woman? And what is he going to be like if you were out with another man? Because I promise you, he hasn't thought that far. Only his so called needs.

My opinion is you would be better off without him. He does not care about your feelings at all.

Emotionalhell posted 4/22/2021 06:21 AM

What do you want in a relationship? This is about what you want too. If your differences are a dealbreaker that is okay.

As far as people being sexually compatible, you could really grow as a couple by working on the differences and being respectful and understanding of each other’s differences.

Sounds like he does not truly understand how his betrayal has hurt you. If he doesn’t understand how his actions have hurt you he may repeat it.

Be careful of using reverse psychology . I tried that with my xhusband and it didn’t go well but it did show me who he really is.
Most cheaters what it all the family and the secret life.

DanielJK posted 4/22/2021 07:03 AM

You have to live comfortable. Are you comfortable?

Don't live like this, it's not worth it. There is much more to life than this. I know the feeling of "what's on that fucking phone" all too well. Don't live the rest of your life wondering who was that last text from?

Long night. He agreed to leave if I wanted.

This is a bluff. The next time he offers to leave tell him to go and stop talking. Trust me it's a bluff.

sillyoldsod posted 4/22/2021 07:20 AM

I haven't read your full story...
I'm sorry I fell into the trap.

I wish I'd had the time to read your backstory StuckinBetween before replying to this thread. Now that I have had time to look at your previous posts I take back everything I suggested.

To me your WH basically appears to be a narcissistic ass!

Maybe when your children have flown the nest it'll be time for you to find someone worthy of your love. It's clear he doesn't deserve you.

Best wishes.

StuckinBetween posted 4/22/2021 08:40 AM

Thank you everyone so much for your replies. This stuff is so hard. I really think that if there weren’t the kids to consider this would all be easier. I don’t want to not see them half the time. I don’t want them to not have him in their day to day lives. I don’t want to put that on them (I know it’s him not me who would be putting that on them). But it’s true.

hikingout posted 4/22/2021 08:52 AM

The thing is - I agree we’ve never been compatible sexually.

It sounds like you have never been compatible morally or spiritually either. Yet, you are willing to compromise this as a need? Think about what it is you want and need. Forget him for a moment, what would a great marriage/relationship look like for you? I am going to guess that when you imagine it, it's not this.

I would recommend maybe you doing some IC and contemplate how you can love yourself enough to protect your own boundaries and peace. Through that process evaluate how you want to show up to this situation. You are going to be miserable under this proposed construct, and you are worthwhile enough to have a partner who will be on your page on the construct you do want and need. And, I think you will learn you would rather be alone than go down this path.

Best wishes to you. In the meantime, I would tell him no. Protect yourself from further damage, read about the 180, get in IC, and look out for yourself, sister.

Thumos posted 4/22/2021 08:56 AM

Boy oh boy you are being subjected to some serious gaslighting horseshit here. The bare minimum of a satisfying marriage for most Homo Sapiens is a faithful monogamous bond.

There’s actually plenty of scientific evidence that humans are built for monogamy, contra the drumbeat for polyamory in the media today. Meta studies of hunter gatherer societies for example reveal a huge preference for monogamy. This defies the “natural state” arguments of perverted Enlightenment philosophers who were among the first to push the “free love” narrative. Most clinicians will say anecdotally they’ve seen more open marriages fail than succeed. The failure rate is something like 92 percent.

Increasingly it appears that “monogamy is a social construct” is just a line out of the cheaters’ handbook someone came up with along the way because they needed to justify their shitty choices.

The bare minimum for a successful marriage is faithfulness, loyalty. Monogamy helps foster an environment where partners can be present for each other in all ways because they are forsaking all others. Nota bene I didn’t say that spouses would always succeed in this, but it’s there for a reason. Not to punish.

Stand your ground. He is not “maturing” at all. Sexual “compatibility” - that takes work. That takes honor. That takes thinking about your partner’s sexual needs as much as your own.

It’s one thing to ask a spouse to live in a dead bedroom for eons, but if that’s the case he could divorce. Open marriage is not the answer here. It almost always privileges one spouse over another.

Your husband is acting like “men without chests” to use the CS Lewis phrase. A man without thumos. And that’s no man at all.

[This message edited by Thumos at 8:59 AM, April 22nd (Thursday)]

nekonamida posted 4/22/2021 09:17 AM

Thank you everyone so much for your replies. This stuff is so hard. I really think that if there weren’t the kids to consider this would all be easier. I don’t want to not see them half the time. I don’t want them to not have him in their day to day lives. I don’t want to put that on them (I know it’s him not me who would be putting that on them). But it’s true.

Stuck, I think you may need to re-think this a little. First, are you sure he even wants 50/50? Sounds like he will be too busy with his new freedom to even want that.

Second, what exactly is he bringing to the table in terms of parenting? Your post history suggests that usually he brings strife, arguments, various forms of abuse even in front of the kids (belittling, stone walling, etc.), and a general unsettling environment. You can't "make" your kids not feel the tension. Maybe they need a break from being around him and his unpleasantness as much as you do. Maybe they need to see ONE happy, stable parent instead of one angry parent and one distracted, sad parent. Kids need a good example of what a marriage looks like and a peaceful, stable home to be in. What example are you setting for them? Is your home peaceful given what your WH does?

sisoon posted 4/22/2021 10:22 AM

Suppose he's been truthful - no A for 8 years, no sex yet with the airbnb woman. I'm pretty sure that doesn't make much of a difference in your sitch. Lots of cheating in the past, cheating set up for his future ... now he wants to cheat in am open M, which actually allows him to cheat without guilt. Truthful about the last 8 years or not, he doesn't seem to want monogamy.

He gets to chase external validation; you get to wait for him. You can find an open M partner, of course, but will you?

You deserve better than this.

I think your kids will do better with one healthy parent than with 2 unhealthy ones. Don't get me wrong - if my GS's experience is common, the kids won't have an easy time. It'll just be better than living under the conditions your H has set.


Sex is not your H's problem. Sexual incompatibility isn't your H's problem. If either of those were the problem, your H would have D'ed. Instead, he chose to cheat.

CT has a point - maybe you have a low sex drive, maybe it just hasn't been turned on. By staying with your H, you'll never find out. By staying with him, you'll never have the opportunity to be with someone with whom you are compatible.


Further by staying with your H, you're letting him call the shots. What happens if he meets someone who puts stars in his eyes? What happens if a gold-digger chooses him? My guess is that he'll throw you and the kids under the nearest bus.

I'm all for R when the WS is going to do the work, but your H seems to get more and more over-entitled as time goes on.

The ball is in your court. Please take care of yourself - and your kids.

[This message edited by sisoon at 10:25 AM, April 22nd (Thursday)]

Buster123 posted 4/22/2021 10:51 AM

Your WH is an unrepentant SERIAL CHEATER, please get tested for STDs ASAP !, yes he has and is planning to keep playing russian roulette with your health, your kids deserve a stable parent, that's YOU, life's too short, you deserve so much better than a proven serial cheater and liar.

File for D and have him served without warning, also EXPOSE him with ALL family and close friends and tell your children the truth (they were betrayed too). Do you even know who the AP is this time ?

Bonetired posted 4/22/2021 11:05 AM

....Oh the games we play.😳 Now I know I am not the sharpest crayon in the box however I have had a world of experience in many relationships in my past .First thing I want to impart to you Stuckinbetween is you are enough.You're enough for your children,future partner and especially yourself.You can find someone if you so choose to have a healthy trusting beautiful and yes sexually satisfying relationship with.I know your husband is being really nice right now. It reminds me of a child that really wants something from mommy so badly they try to behave in a way that mom is gonna say "Oh you have been such a good boy.Yes you can have that!" What ever the reasons are he doesn't want it to end with you and I am sure some of it may be (I could be stretching it here ) honorable...uhoh ..excuse me .I feel better now.There also may be other reasons such as the financial and emotional impact it would have on him if you were to decide on D.He is being a bit of a cake eater for sure.The open relationship he wants so badly is a way of negating the responsibility he has in this.He is responsible for the infidelity and lying.Making this an opportunity does not erase that .Just like saying you are not satisfying his needs makes him any less culpable for what he has done.Being in a open relationship doesn't erase that.It can compound it making you even more resentful of him eventually.Truly poly amorous individuals understand that.You can still be a decent person in an open relationship because there is still a set of values both partners need to uphold.There are still rules both need to agree upon.Your husband has already shown he does not have those values.I prefer monogamy to poly however I am trying to be open minded.(No pun intended).I actually watched a show where one partner finally lost it and it ended in the other partners demise because one was pressured into the lifestyle.I read in your post you have children.Try to think of the type of life you would want them to have with their future partners.We as adults don't realize sometimes that what we choose and what we do in our lives has a huge impact on our children's development.You are setting a parent tape in their minds while they watch how you navigate through a marriage and yes maybe someday a divorce.I remember my own parents and their impact on my Life.I so badly needed my mom to rise up and be a champion through the hardships she had with my father.It didn't happen.My mother was so subservient and beaten down by the time my father left she had nothing left for her kids or even a future partner.I struggled with that and yes made bad relationship mistakes because of the example set early in my life.I struggled with confidence and self worth which lent it's hand in the partners I chose.We are all a work in progress and yes we struggle but it doesn't mean we won't have victory over the hardships.I don't know if your kids are a boy or a girl but if it's a boy.He is being taught how women are to be treated and viewed.If it's a girl.The parent tape may be showing her how she will be treated and viewed.The only decision I can see right now for you is what you decide.You have no control over what he chooses.If you decide to try it his way you may quickly find out this only deepens the hurt of infidelity because it sounds like you aren't really choosing it He is.You can decide to walk away from this relationship if you want.You can decide enough of his moral ineptitude and rebuild a life you choose to have.Maybe even more fulfilling for you.With or without someone.Marraige isn't just about sex.It's about family.Your husband sounds like an addict.He sounds like he is in denial of this and is projecting his issues onto you.Unfortunately some addicts never recover.They have picked their poison and stick with it.Believing that it's a need not an addiction and nothing is wrong with them.I know this post sounds a bit disjointed.I had started writing it while getting a crown for one of my clippers. Any way StuckinBetween hugs for now and do some soul searching.Find the champion in you.

BluerThanBlue posted 4/22/2021 11:18 AM

You’re going to be in an open marriage with this man whether you want to or not.

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