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Next month will be our 8th anniversary. It's always been a happy time for us because it was the best decision we ever made. We always set aside time to really celebrate it. We usually plan our summer vacation around it. I never believed we ever took our relationship for granted. We were both stupid for thinking we could handle an open marriage. We both regret where it has led us. I know it's difficult to imagine what we were thinking, but I know my husband wasn't truly looking for a way out. He's always been a wonderful and loving person. We clearly both have a lot more growing up to do. We don't have any children.

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I completely ended contact the day my husband found out. I was not attached. I deleted every picture I could find of him on our computer from times we'd all spent together. I wanted to completely erase him from our lives.

I did come clean to his wife. I let her know exactly what happened, when it started, what we talked about and when we made our attempt. I've never heard anything back from her.

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And is your husband done with this "open marriage" idea? If so, what has he put in place to assure that he never does this again?

CV


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At this point he doesn't know what he wants. He's scared to work on it right now. He doesn't know how to get over it or if he can. Regardless of how or why it started, I still hurt him.

He's asked for time apart. He still very much loves me and wants me, but he wants time to work on himself. He feels embarrassed and emasculated because of my actions. He wants time alone to rebuild his confidence and figure out what he wants with a clear head. He said three months, but I don't really know how to handle that. I worry that he'll enjoy being on his own and stop thinking about me. I have exhausted every possible solution I can think of though. I have to let him decide.

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Originally Posted By: regretfulinMD

He's asked for time apart. redflag

He still very much loves me and wants me, but he wants time to work on himself. He feels embarrassed and emasculated because of my actions. He wants time alone to rebuild his confidence and figure out what he wants with a clear head. redflag

He said three months, but I don't really know how to handle that. I worry that he'll enjoy being on his own and stop thinking about me. I have exhausted every possible solution I can think of though. I have to let him decide.


That's not the way to save your marriage. The way to save your marriage is to have more time together. Almost every time a spouse says they need "time alone" to "think" what they really want is time to be with the other person.

Hon, it's time to figure out what he's been up to.


Me: BS 51
Himself: WH 53, EA/PA w/ RunnerSlut his "running buddy."
Buncha' kids. The two youngest are still minors.
Separated: 08/13/09 after 25 years of marriage
Plan D: Filed 11/13/09 Final 3/30/11
MC told me that he probably has a personality disorder
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I agree that time apart isn't the answer, but I have to let him decide that on his own. I can't force him to agree with me. I have to prepare for the possibility that he won't come back to me no matter how desperately I want him to. I just don't know how.

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Originally Posted By: regretfulinMD
I agree that time apart isn't the answer, but I have to let him decide that on his own. I can't force him to agree with me. I have to prepare for the possibility that he won't come back to me no matter how desperately I want him to. I just don't know how.


no, no, no.... You *don't* let him decide that on his own... That's what got you into this mess... Him making decisions on his own and you going along with them.

For a marriage to work, there has to be joint decisions made. That means you have to sit down with him and talk respectfully about the benefits and the cons of separating. The statistics of working out a marriage while separated are not good.

As far as convincing him, begin reading here . It is about converting your spouse who believes differently, but read what he is saying about how to approach communication. We are not trying to "force" someone, but we are pleading our case before them, encouraging them to view what we believe is right.

A good place to start is with this: Get a pencil and paper handy...

Write at the top of it Marriage:

now make a list of everything you believe marriage is supposed to be... All the good stuff.. Protection, respect, love, support, selflessness.... All of it, even if ti seems silly and unimportant...

now make another list with the same title...

Write down everything you believe it is NOT supposed to be... Scary, hurtful, lonely, dishonest...

Understand where I am going?

Before you can really begin to plead your own case, you need to know what you believe marriage is supposed to be.

Then when he comes home from work, cook him a big dinner, get him a nice glass of whatever he likes to drink, sit down with paper and a pen and ask him to do the same...

Compare the lists... Tell him firmly that you love him, and you are going to fight for these things you believe and share in the marriage. For those things you want in your marriage... honor, trust, respect, commitment... Let him know you love him, you are not forcing him to stay or go, but you are fighting for him because you love him.

DON'T Argue! TALK. This is really important. a gentle word turns away wrath... Don't respond in kind if he gets upset.


Celtic Voyager
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Okay, so first off. If you didn't want an open marriage then why the hell did you AGREE to it? He set up ground rules, two very specific ground rules, and you broke them. Why?

So, you claim that you had a relationship with his best friend but intercourse never happened due to his inability to Ummm....rise to the occasion. However, you continued to see him. So, you're telling me any other time you saw him resulted in his failure to perform?

I don't know what to tell you, do you know if he ever hooked up with anyone? I mean if he tells you he didn't...I have a tendency to believe him. I mean, he can prove that you cheated on him, but you can't. I think that he was weak at the moment with his crisis in faith and didn't know how to deal with it. And said something and agreed to something that was incredibly stupid. But, now you are BOTH paying the price. I strongly recommend that you two seek counseling for your marriage if he'll agree to it.

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regretful,

You got caught up using your religion and marrying young to justify both of your desire to look outside the marriage.

Open Marriage = Oxymoron

If you were not in agreement with your church, find another that values marriage.

You have taken the first step in finding a way to fix your M.

Blessings.


Me 55, XWH 53, M 22 years
D17, D30
alien replaces my husband "I'm not happy" -7/08
Discover OW-8/08 (his direct report and I work there also)
H moves out 10/1/08, confront Ow 10/28/08
Plan B 1/09
D final 12/09

Quote: "First thing you do is pray; when there is nothing else to do, continue to pray."
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I have told him repeatedly that I will continue to fight for this marriage. It is the most important thing to me and I won't stop until there is no hope. I have continually asked him to see a MC with me, but right now he won't agree to it. Because he feels so hurt, he feels he needs to build himself up right now. I can't fault him for that. He has decide that we're worth spending the time on. He knows exactly where I stand. I love him and will do whatever it takes. Until he feels the same, I can only work on my own issues. I will continue to assure him that I love him and want to spend my life with him. I don't think I can insist we work on this. I feel if I do he'll leave. I can't handle that right now.

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Originally Posted By: regretfulinMD
Because of out history, I understand why my husband asked what he did. However, I was not completely open with him about my feelings. If I had, it would not have continued. I still made a decision to form a relationship with his best friend. I don't understand why, but i'm not making any excuses for it.


Your history has nothing to do with it. Many, many people do not screw around before they settle down and marry. The truth is he wanted to bang some strange and you went along with it.


Me: 56 (FBS) Wife: 55 (FWW)
D-Day August 2005
Married 11/1982 3 Sons 27,25,23
Empty Nesters.
Fully Recovered.
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I felt that agreeing to it was the only way to make him happy. In retrospect, that was a horrible idea. I needed to stand up for how I felt, but I was afraid he would resent me. That's just one of many irrational fears that I have.

I only saw this man once. Every other contact was via text message or facebook. The entire relationship from the time I started flirting until my husband found out lasted two weeks and a day.

I believe him when he says he hasn't been with anyone. He could have at this point if he'd wanted to, but he hasn't. I am going to counseling myself and he knows he has an open invitation to come with me anytime.

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Originally Posted By: regretfulinMD
I felt that agreeing to it was the only way to make him happy.


Regretful,

I think that what Crossbar was asking was why did you choose to break the 2 specific rules your husband had set for you both?

Why did you choose his best friend instead of say a co worker, a guy at a bar or the mailman?

So.. have you formed a plan for what to do yet?

CV


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When I agreed to the plan I had no intention of sleeping with his friend or breaking any of the rules. I had never considered sleeping with him before it started and wasn't even attracted to him. I truly didn't think i'd end up sleeping with anyone. I thought i'd go out with my friends and just have fun, maybe even dance with some guys. I never thought myself capable of this.

My plan right now is to move from my friend's couch to my sisters house. My husband and I are still talking and right now it's very open and without anger. I hope it continues and he sees the value in working on us the way I do.

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Is he willing to let you move back in? it really is the best way to work on your marriage.


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At this time he is not.

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Originally Posted By: regretfulinMD
I felt that agreeing to it was the only way to make him happy. In retrospect, that was a horrible idea.



You didn't break your original marriage vows. Why did you chose to break the vows of no one you both knew and no friends?

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I don't know why I did it. I know that sounds like a cop out, but I honestly never intended to do it. From the first time I flirted with him on March 23rd to the morning my husband found out on April 8th, I felt horrible. I lost seven pounds because I couldn't eat, I spent entire nights awake. I didn't sleep more than a couple hours a night. I was not attracted to this other man, but I still did it. I had actually made plans to go away for a weekend with my friends somewhere more than two hours away just to make sure that if I did happen to meet someone, the chances of running into them ever again would be very little. But we didn't make it to that weekend. I ruined everything before that.

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Ok pardon my confusion here...

As I was understanding what your husband was suggesting, the open marriage thing was about pursuing sex, not relationships...

There were clear boundaries to NOT pursue a relationship, but just get some nookie.

I really think one of the thing you should do regretful is a long hard search as to why you decided to pursue a relationship and not just say "let's get it on".

I suspect you are not being honest with yourself as to why you followed through with this particular course of action...

1. The guy pursued you, but you didn't tell your husband he was pursuing you

2. You let him catch you, despite your claims there was no interest

3. Not only did you engage with him emotionally, you decided you would give sex a try (and I am guessing there were actions leading up to the sex that were engaged in.. Kissing hugging, petting maybe..)

4. despite being "open" you decided to hide it. Why is that? Because you *knew* it broke the rules, right?

Regretful, it wasn't like you said "hey... bob smith has asked me to have a little fun, I'm taking him up on that on Friday honey.." Instead, you pursued a romantic relationship (albeit a short one), exchanged pictures with a guy you weren't interested in, and engaged in an attempt.

I suspect that maybe there was a revenge factor for you. If not, your H was not filling your ENs and you decided that you were going to let this guy do it.

Let's face it, your husband worked really hard to get you on board and you were hurt by that, right?

Being the list guy I am... Take a paper and pen... Write down everything you were feeling during those conversations, and determine why you would do such a thing. Heck, even if the relationship was open, there was no impetus for you to have to follow through right? You could have allowed him to pursue and stayed perfectly faithful.

CV


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Regretful,

I have had a similar situation and it seems followed a similar path. My BH wanted to pursue external relationships that we would both be aware of. I chose to have an EA/PA instead that was completely deceptive.

I try very hard to not blame his request for my actions. I could have chosen to not agree to his request and told him how it made me feel...instead, I found my own completely inappropriate "solution."

In retrospect, I think what hurt me the most was he even entertained the idea to begin with. It hurt that he wanted to share me period. In my fantasy, I was able to make believe that the OM would not have made such a choice...this is in fact ludicrous since he was already aware he was "sharing" me and clearly didn't have a problem with it.

As you can see, my solution to my husband disrespecting me, was compounded by letting another man disrespect me.

Now my BH and I are in agreement that we will never consider opening up our marriage again...I think part of me will always wonder if he is missing the idea but I intend to live up to that regardless of what he says or does...something I should have done from the getgo.

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