I've been married to my wife for nearly 20 years. About five years ago we made the decision to open the marriage, and while I think the decision has been great, lately we've run into some complications.
What underlies our arrangement is that she has been losing interest in sex in general. She's going through menopause and is on antidepressants (which doesn't help). With the open marriage I got the sexual connections I craved while she was alleviated the burden of being the sole source of my sexual attention. It worked well for both of us.
The challenge is that my wife is now having second thoughts. She's thinking she might not be as amenable to the open marriage as she originally thought. She tells me she did it because she feels I'm a good guy and I should have what I want. But she's no longer sure it's what she wants.
In fact, it's starting to cause marital trouble. Which leads me to my question.
I'd prefer to keep the marriage intact if possible. We're best friends and good co-parents, and I'd like to grow old and die with her. On the other hand, the past five years have made me realize how much I value an open relationship. I treasure the wonderful web of delicious and close connections I've made and don't want to give them up for the world.
But she's not sure she can live with it anymore. I could keep the marriage together if I agree to close it again. Or risk losing it if I dig in my heels and insist on keeping it open. Hence my conundrum.
While I have my own opinion of what I should do, I would love to hear what you advise.
Kevin T. Belvedere, California
Conundrum. Yup, that’s what you’ve got there. What a tough spot! Being trapped between your love for her and the need for the wonderful web of connections you’ve cultivated through your open marriage isn’t an easy place to be. I sure wish I could tell you how to keep your marriage open and have her be fine with it in 140 characters or less, but sadly, I can’t.
Here’s what I will say, though: I’m pulling for you two to figure out a creative solution that works for both of you—a solution in which everyone gets “enough” of what they need. For the two of you to be in a healthy, happy marriage that will continue to last, you each need to do your part in sorting this out.