Alternate Marriage Arrangements

Lately I have been thinking a lot about different marriage arrangements. Marriage does not have to be just black and white. There are different ways of creating relationships. What I am doing now, secretly, is not the answer. I don’t want to continue with affairs.

I love my wife. She loves me. We love our children. We have a good life together that is very practical and loving. Our sex life is average at best. Clearly not working for me. It upsets me to think that the only solution is to throw the entire marriage away. Black and white. Only accept a sex life as is or leave my entire life behind. It’s 2018, can we not discuss alternate solutions?

Recently I purchased three different books on open marriage. I have not started reading them yet as I’m finishing up two other books from our counselor. Soon though I will dive into them. I really want to explore this option intellectually for awhile. To understand the philosophy, structure, benefits and struggles. Perhaps this is what I’ve been looking for even if I’ve been doing it all wrong.

When I think of my relationship with Meredith we had a very strong connection on many levels. One thing that upsets me is that we had to think of it as a way to escape our marriages. There wasn’t any other option. We could not be together in any capacity other than exclusive. There were no lasting options that included our spouses. Yet we loved our families, and we loved our spouses. We also loved each other.

At one point we did talk about ways of possibly opening up our marriages. Meredith and her husband both seemed open to the idea, but Claire was not. Meredith’s husband really wanted Claire to be in the loop, but I knew at the time there was just no way. This was all right before the physical affair started. Looking back though it does seem that it could have been a possibility if we could have all talked about it together with openness and honesty. Three of the four were open to exploring the possibility. Meredith was able to talk about it with her husband, but I was not with Claire.

Things have changed since then. Claire has admitted she had been fairly close minded about sexual relationships, and a lot of it has to do with her church upbringing. She does seem more open to exploring our relationship, and discussing things we never could discuss before. Does that mean she is ready to embrace an open marriage? Probably not, but the idea won’t be as foreign as it would have been two years ago.

Also I want to be more knowledgeable about open marriage in general so that I can verbalize what I’m thinking without being vague. That requires me to do some research first. I’m serious about this, and it’s not just an excuse to fuck around.

A major hang up will be trust. Having an affair destroys trust. An open marriage requires a tremendous amount of trust and communication. Previously we were not good at communication, but we have improved immensely with the help of counseling. I want to be able to communicate everything to Claire. I want to tell her my feelings and desires without the judgement and criticism. We are getting much closer. The trust we will have to work on. I think being honest with what I want and open with any other communication would be a good start.

When I think about how I got into the affair I hated myself through the process. I had to hide things. I don’t want to hide things. If I could go back and have a relationship with Meredith and communicate what I’m going through with Claire that would be wonderful. I am drawn to Claire for her stability and love. Sitting on the couch last night holding her I was thinking of that. If she trusted me to have another secondary relationship I would feel differently toward Claire. I would gain a level of respect and admiration while at the same time losing that trapped feeling. I could just enjoy Claire for what we have rather than what I keep trying to mold us into being.

What I have with Claire is really nice. It’s a good relationship. Very functional and loving. We support each other well. Yet it keeps getting derailed by me because I’m not happy when it can’t be everything. I would love if I had another sanctioned outlet for some of my desires so that I could better enjoy what I have with Claire. Honestly I think she would too. There would be a lot of pressure removed from her. I hate that she feels so much pressure.

Earlier this week Claire and I were looking at an online sex toy shop together. I wanted to know what items she finds intriguing, and then get some of them. It wasn’t a great experience. Like most of our sexual relationship she has so little experience or personal desire that she didn’t know what nearly anything was, and was hesitant about even trying most of them. That was frustrating to me. Yet I know she was trying because she didn’t want to let me down. It makes me sad that she keeps trying to conform to me.

Honestly I’m fine with the frequency and type of sex we are having now if I had another relationship that I could focus the kinky sexual energy into. If there were someone like Meredith I could have a secondary relationship with, then I could have a fun side to explore things creatively. I mean Meredith would’ve known nearly every item we looked through at the sex shop, and she has tried most of them. She was kinky. She wanted to be with someone kinky enough to want to use those toys with her. It would be nice to have that type of relationship if I could have it in a way that honored my primary relationship.

In the mean time I will continue to do homework. I will continue to stop my affair with Sydney. I will continue to read books on differentiation and codependency in relationships. I will continue to try to understand what I need to be whole while focusing on an outcome where I can stay married to Claire. It may not happen, but that is my goal. I think it is better to explore non-confirmist relationship options before deciding to just end things.

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10 thoughts on “Alternate Marriage Arrangements

  1. This still sounds very much like a midlife crisis. What you’re considering asking Claire makes me feel so sad for her. You are distorting her confidence in herself. She may not even be aware of it yet since she is probably so focused on keeping you happy to keep her family together. You are so self involved. Everything is about how you feel, what you feel like you’re lacking, and how to make everything better for you. I understand you’ve said this blog is just for that, your desires, feelings, and needs but it’s not just something contained in this blog. It’s who you are currently.

    Here’s a question for you, and you may not want to think about or answer because thinking this way will take away from this about yourself, how do you think your children will feel if they find out about how your acting? Would you care if they found out you convinced your wife, their mother, to have an open relationship. Would you like your daughter to find a man just like you, stepping out on her, and asking her for permission to sleep with other women? How about your son? What if he followed your example and was unable to be satisfied and happy in a marriage. What if he lead two separate lives and neither made him happy and he was lying to everyone so much he couldn’t keep up with his lies. He got to the point where he didn’t know what was real or fantasy.

    If you keep going down this path there is a very good chance both of them will find out. They will struggle, kids will call you names to them, and they will linger somewhere between sad and angry for a long time. Will your 100% fulfilled life on your terms be worth their mental health? Is this the example you want to lead with? Is your path the one you want them to follow?

    Open marriages seem risky. I guess if you begin a marriage with it open it could work but changing your marriage so drastically after this many years…seems impossible. Claire will retaliate and actually find love or never agree. That’s my guess. You continue down this path and your children will lose you to the distractions. There’s no way around it. Imagine texting, talking, and making plans with 3 different women as well as penciling in time for the family. Don’t you think time would be taken from them? I can’t believe it’s isn’t already.

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  2. Basically, this whole thing is “I want my cake and eat it too”

    PM! Come on! Stop thinking about it, reading about it, deciding that is what YOU want. Sit down and ask Claire.

    Then you will know if this thing you want can happen.

    Side note: I hope Claire finds a man that will treat her right in this open marriage you want, and gets the hell out.

    It’s very selfish. I feel so bad for all of you. Yes, even you. You have something so broken inside.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. One thing is for certain, the love that Claire has for you will not be matched by another woman. Here’s a thought, let her influence you. Read your Bible and submit/commit your heart to the only thing that matters, the Lord. You’ve been resisting the one thing that could change your life and your sex life is just a biproduct of your spiritual state as a couple. I am so glad you are finally recognizing what you have with Claire is worth saving.

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  4. At least you’d be taking a step towards a more honest marriage. Anything is better than what you’re doing now. She might disagree but at least you’ll discuss openly with her.

    But know that once she finds out about Sydney – and she will at some point – she’s going to feel like you set her up and lied again. If the goal is open and honest for a new marriage, you need to really be wide open for it to work. Continue your research, I think that’s a good start.

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  5. What you want is far too temporary. You are being duped into believing that sex is the important ingredient in your marriage relationship. It’s only a component, and tainting it with what you are considering is a huge mistake. I think you might realize that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is only a component. It’s the component that can only happen with Claire though. It’s also a component so powerful that it has destroyed legions of men and women through history. Suffice it to say it is a very important component. I was right there with you before I found myself capable of being in an affair. I now understand it’s true power and know that I am not able to harness it. I’d much rather find a way to direct it rather than let it tear my family apart.

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      1. Hmmmmm… so what you are considering is not going to damage your family?

        1. Dad cheats on Mom, decides that he wants to play around with an alternative lifestyle. Sure. That will work.
        2. Dad leaves. Messes around. Finds out the grass is not greener, turns into a sorry old man.

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  6. Divorce already. It will save Claire a lot of heartbreak.
    You seem to be confusing Polyamory with Open Marriage in the situation with Meredith & husband. Open marriages are usually supposed to be short term. Often couples set rules such as you can’t see the same person more than 3 times, to avoid falling in love etc. Often there is an agreement that details/names of ‘dates’ are not discussed with spouse.

    Polyamory is a significant, long-term relationship with another person or couple. It is based on the idea that we are able to deeply and intimately love more than one person at a time.
    Example: Claire would be your Primary relationship. Meredith would be your other partner. (Some couples would include her husband and have a fourway if they want). Meredith might have another lover besides you and her husband. Claire would also have as many secondary relationships as she felt she could handle.
    Besides your primary relationship (wife & kids) you also need to give your other lovers plenty of attention both in and out of bed. Date night etc. Scheduling and giving everyone equal time is one of biggest issues with polyamory.

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  7. I hope you are able to find a way to be truly honest with your wife about how you feel and that opening up your marriage would help. Don’t listen to the “have your cake and eat it” crap. It’s unrealistic and just not how it works.

    I was so scared to tell my husband that I wanted an open marriage – but as soon as I did we have been able to be so much more honest with each other and it has strengthened us. Yes there is a lot of talking and you need to understand it will take time to work through but it’s all part of the journey to making your relationship with Clare stronger.

    Liked by 1 person

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