Cheating In An Open Relationship, Part 2

I’m on a roll so I may as well keep going.

This is from a Newsweek “article” that explores Reddit threads. This is a new one though. It’s called TrueOffMyChest and not the usual AmITheAsshole.

Unsurprisingly, 52 percent of Ashley Madison members think that society would benefit from normalizing non-monogamy. 60 percent believed the divorce rate would drop, while 50 percent felt there would be less pressure to meet a partner’s sexual needs.

Oh, Ashley Madison members think this? Well, it must be true then! I know I base all of my decisions and thoughts off of people who sign up online to defraud their partners.

I’ll bite. So 52% of you think society as a whole would benefit from normalizing non-monogamy and 60% of you think the divorce rate would drop? Hmmm… why is that? Is it because you once again place the onus of infidelity on the faithful spouse who doesn’t want to “share”? You think that being allowed to have sex with other people suddenly makes all the lies and deceit go away? You wouldn’t have to be slithering around a website, using a username, and meeting up behind your spouse’s back if only you had free reign to hump anything that moved?

Interesting. I think the woman from the previous would disagree.

And then along comes the writer who tells her tale. A year ago her husband told her he was no longer physically attracted to her (definitely a her issue) and he wanted to open their marriage. Not sure if this is important to the story, but it does note the couple hadn’t had sex in almost five years, since their youngest child was born.

The husband assures his wife that he loves her “more than anything in the world” and tells her that the rest of the relationship is perfect but he has to have sex or he’s going to go crazy.

Surprisingly, the wife does not toss him out on his ass. Instead, she asks questions. What is his definition of an open marriage? What are the rules, if any? They discuss it for several weeks and eventually the wife agrees to it. The rules are as follow: 1) They won’t bring new partners to their home, 2) They will always use protection, and 3) They will keep each other up to date with who they are with and where they are.

Pretty simple, right? Nothing outrageous. The wife didn’t even have a list of people who were off limits. No: Don’t fuck my sister. Don’t fuck my boss. Don’t see anybody more than two times.

In this case, they didn’t even have an, “I have to be there and participate, too,” rule. They were what I like to call free range open marriage. Some couples prefer to play together and can’t imagine doing it any other way while others, like this couple, opt to have encounters away from their primary partner.

Within a week the husband was meeting new women, showing his wife their pictures, and being gone most nights. Meanwhile, the wife is at home taking care of their kids and as she put it, “feeling like shit.” To her credit, she decided she needed to give it time instead of pulling the plug on this experiment.

The wife goes on to explain that she needs to feel a connection to her sexual partners. She eventually begins to flirt with a co-worker. The co-worker reciprocates. She tells him about the arrangement she has with her husband. The co-worker, after giving it some thought, decides he’s okay with it and agrees to meet up with her.

Wife goes home, asks her husband (who, remember, is out banging everything in sight) if he is doing anything on Friday. Husband says no, she tells him about the co-worker and shows him a picture. Tells him she’s meeting up with this guy on Friday. Husband was silent.

Interesting development. He loved an open marriage when he was the one showing pictures and meeting up with various women while the little wife stayed home and took care of his progeny. Now he’s a little hushed. Interesting.

To no one’s shock Friday rolls around and the husband texts to let the wife know he’s stuck at work and couldn’t watch the kids. I’m sure it was just a one off. But no! The story continues… This happened for several weeks. Wife’s supposed to meet up with co-worker. Husband is stuck at work. No one to watch the progeny. How does this keep happening?

Finally, after being annoyed that her plans must continually be canceled due to her husband’s sudden heavy workload the wife begins to think outside the box. We shall meet for lunch. She schedules a nooner.

The wife writes that it was amazing and she had missed this so much. She felt desired and lusted after. It was perfect.

You know who wasn’t happy? Her husband. Mr. Let’s Open The Marriage himself. He was livid! He insisted she had broken a rule by not telling him beforehand. The wife replied that she had told him and that he had known for weeks that she was trying to make time to meet up with this guy. I hope she pointed out also that she would have met him far earlier if not for husband’s unfortunate job responsibilities making it impossible for him to be home to watch their children.

He gives her the silent treatment for the rest of the night and then wakes her up in the middle night for sex. Rude! The writer goes on to say they had sex 3 times that night and they have had sex every night since.

Conveniently the husband is now attracted to her again and he believes that they need to close the marriage again.

Again, interesting.

I’m being facetious when I say it’s amazing how often they want an open marriage until they realize that you, too, get to fuck around. Then it’s not so much fun.

The commenters had a lot to say:

Read this story so many times. Husband suggests open marriage to get a free pass to screw around, at the end, wife finds out she liked the arrangement, husband is furious. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry.

He wanted to have his cake and eat it, too. He actively did things to avoid having you go out and meet J but he was able to go out and do whoever, whenever.

Your husband didn’t want an open relationship. He wanted to be able to screw around.

Sadly, another commenter notes: I hate to tell you this but I don’t think there’s a lot of options for your relationship long term.

I will say once again, louder for those in the back, these two posts have not been about whether open relationships are good or bad. They have been about the hypocrisy of people advocating for an open relationship when in reality what they want is an open license to fuck around. They say they want an open relationship and that monogamy isn’t natural (neither is shitting indoors and flushing a toilet but I don’t hear anyone complaining about that) but what they really want is the ability to go out and fuck around while the partner remains at home- cooking, cleaning, taking care of the children, maybe even bringing home the paycheck. Yes, I know. Not all couples in an open relationship feel that way. Perfectly aware of that. But there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people out there who use open relationships/polyamory as their get out of jail free card. Honestly, I think those who are polyamorous should be more upset with those people for distorting it than with me for pointing out that polyamory and open relationships isn’t a cure all for infidelity.

I think this final comment from someone on that thread pretty much sums it up:

You see, the problem is that a lot of the posts recently are failed relationships or failing marriages that resort to poly or open relationships to fix their problems. Shockingly, it rarely works.

2 thoughts on “Cheating In An Open Relationship, Part 2

  1. I think most folks who are poly are really upset, it’s just there’s only so much space for their message. How do you say ‘I’m super upset about my lifestyle being used as a crutch and a typecast facade for the fuckface over there who actually just wants to be an over controlling knobhead and knock boots while leaving their spouse appliance in place’ … it’s a really nuanced conversation for most, and it often takes months and or years of research before a couple will open their relationship. They define their conventions- do they like dinner table poly, where partners are encouraged to meet so everyone is comfortable, people get to dialogue. Or is it behind the curtain, but still people know about each other… is it anarchistic- meaning that each person is autonomous and whomever they are bonding with more at any given time might be a bit more “primary’ or is there a hierarchy- where a couple is each other’s ‘first’ and others may fill other spaces on their puzzle board. No matter the math or layout, it involves mature discussion and does take some real consideration about how people deal with the idea of jealousy. Often, the feeling of compersion- a feeling of happiness from someone else’s happiness- is meant to overcome and be forefront. But it doesn’t mean feelings don’t get hurt. The reality is, poly is not for the faint of heart and it does bring work to the table- you have to work emotionally to maintain balance and ensure that people are getting a fair deal. It already sounds like she wasn’t getting a fair deal, and then when he got to also get laid, it was even worse. Her finally opening up the Pandora’s box of ‘what it’s like to be desired ‘ is a pretty key part of actually being in a partnership. I roll my eyes at that dumb man who thought he was just getting gravy upon gravy train. Ugh. What a turd


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