We had a long chat about where things are, and also discussing the idea of a third person. In other words having an open marriage arrangement. Unfortunately this is not our therapist’s strong suit, although I will give her credit for having an open mind.
We reviewed a lot of things about my own progress. She has been very impressed by how quickly I research, absorb and apply new material. She asked me how I thought that part was going. I said “Fine. That’s how I live my life.” She said “Yeah, but you applied it so quickly. Don’t you think that’s positive?” I replied “Yes I do think it’s positive, but it’s also not unexpected. I always work to apply new information.” Then I went on to describe how I did the exact same thing in a business setting from the conference I just came back from. It’s funny watching as she learns more and more how I operate. Clearly not her average patient.
Either way, yes I am growing, and learning about myself, and my relationship with Claire rapidly. My main complaint last session was that Claire is not doing her own work fast enough. Really it was more that she didn’t appear to be putting in the same level of effort, but the impact is the same.
The discussion about open marriage came about 1/3 of the way through. Essentially our marriage is doing really well, and we have a lot of positive things going for us. Even sex is pretty good, but there is this one aspect – the BDSM side of it – that is absent. I’ve been much more open in discussions with Claire about it, and frankly it just isn’t her cup of tea. No matter how many times she says she’s into it, what it keeps coming down to is that she will do it for me because she loves me. But that always comes with limits and penalties that are not always spoken. Frankly there isn’t a spark. She does not get the erotic excitement from the kinky side that I do.
Why then can’t we explore other options? Really the only option I can find that seems to be able to work is introducing a third. Once you cross that threshold though, there are many ways to address it. Many different ways to add a third. I won’t go into them all here because it’s pointless right now. First is to address the issue of adding a third.
Apparently our therapist is also working with another couple on a similar issue. She’s not gung ho about it, but willing to discuss, learn, and see where things can go. She does keep asking “are there ways without a third?” To which I reply “I have not seen any that seem viable.” Which I haven’t. If you know of any, let me know.
I do think she is a little nervous that I’m moving forward faster on the knowledge side of this than she is. We even agreed that for me individually we probably don’t need to meet anymore unless something changes. That is the second counselor that has told me such. She commented that she’s impressed with the knowledge I’ve gained, and applied so quickly. She’s very happy with my own journey, and growth. I need to continue working on the things I’ve been doing for myself, but so far it seems to be on auto-pilot where she isn’t really adding much right now.
We will continue with couples counseling for now, and at a later date when it appears Claire is more stable coming off the shock of the affair, then we will introduce the idea of the third person. I want Claire to be able to have discussions openly about a third person which will have to wait until she’s not still reeling from the affair.
The therapist also made a comment at the end that she does not think introducing a third person into a marriage has a high chance of success, but “if anyone could make it work it is probably you. I agree you have the personality that would find a way to make it successful.” That was nice to hear. I’ve felt that way, too.