Open Marriages and Relationships:
From An Affair To
An Open Marriage
E-mail from a woman
My husband caught me in an affair.
He just sort of shut down for a few days and wouldn't talk to me.
When he finally started talking again, he asked how long I had been seeing the guy.
The time for deceit was over -- I had gotten damn tired of that anyway -- so I said, "Eight or nine months."
He asked if I was in love with him, and I said, "No, it's not like that; it's just sex."
I explained that I thought he and I were doing it for the same reason -- the risk and excitement involved in two married people secretly meeting in motels.
"And that's all it is with him?"
"He says his wife isn't into sex, but he's got kids and I can tell he won't leave his family. Neither of us want that.
My husband said, "So it would be okay if I had an affair too?"
I thought about it. "I guess now it would have to be, as long as you didn't find someone you thought was better and leave. We have a lot of history together and I don't want to throw that away."
Things were very quiet for a while, and finally after a few days, my husband said, "I've spent a lot of time thinking about this, but first I needed to know some things.
"I guess we should consider an open marriage with stipulations. That way it won't be like I've been made a fool of through all this."
I realized that agreeing on an open marriage would remove the need to sneak around, and the justification for divorce -- assuming adultery was still a justification -- and it would allow me to continue with my affair.
He said, "But, you've been having an affair with one man and that's threatening to me and our marriage, so if we are going to have an open marriage then it has to look like an open marriage."
I was confused. "So what are you saying?"
He said that if I wanted to do this I had to go out with other men too.
I said, "Wouldn't that make me promiscuous or something?"
My husband said, everyone undoubtedly knew about my affair, anyway --such things aren't kept secret very long -- so this way it's like we agreed it's okay. So it's no longer an affair; it's an open marriage.
As strange as the conditions were, a major weight had lifted from my shoulders. I responded with obvious relief, not knowing how I would carry it out.
Although I thought fulfilling this sgreement would be difficult, it wasn't. I regularly go out for drinks with different guys and things are out in the open now Most importantly, I don't have to always worry about getting caught.
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