Relationship at a Crossroads Over Monogamy
November 27, 2012 1:57 PM Subscribe
I love my long term partner, but have the urge to be more "open"—do I need to leave if they are 100% against a different arrangement?
posted by anonanonanon to human relations (50 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
My husband and I have been together for going on 13 years. We met in college and have been together ever since. He is wonderful—funny, cute, smart and affectionate. He is my favorite person to spend time with, and I feel lucky all the time. He is a thoughtful introvert with a few very close friends, and I am a bubbly extrovert with a large circle of friends.
We have a very satisfying sexual connection, and in the course of our relationship, we have had some enjoyable threesomes, and gone to a handful of orgies. I have been very supportive of him having his fun with other gals in those contexts, while acknowledging that he feels incapable of sharing me with any other men. All the while, though, I've known that I feel that urge strongly, and that internally have felt that the inequity in this has been an enormous compromise on my part.
I confess that I've not always been so "good"—I've had a few minor flirtations during the course of our relationship, one of which he discovered by reading my chat logs and emails. (I have since become above board with my conduct, but have also gotten in the habit of logging out of these accounts vigilantly.)This happened four years ago, and it honestly never went further than a bit of locker room talk about three ways, and "who's cute." We never spent any time together—but my husband was deeply wounded by what he read and I was incredibly sorry for it. I absolutely do not want to hurt him.
We're now inching up toward the idea of starting our family, and I've become pre-occupied to an extent with the idea of being "monogamish." I worry I can't be "good" for the rest of our lives, and I'd prefer if we were on the level about my desire to flirt, and maybe go further from time to time, but the issue is closed. Last night when we were talking, I casually mentioned "monogamishness," and after a long period of deep, wounded silence, he eventually offered that to have that arrangement, we'd have to not be together.
I'm distraught—this is the person I love above all others, and the person I am dying to have a family with, and to spend my life with. I have absolutely no other complaints or requests. I feel very hurt a lot of the time knowing that weighing a little more personal freedom against all the other qualities and affection I offer my husband, he would choose to spurn me in favor of keeping things tightly closed. I feel pathetic for being so drawn to the idea, and for feeling so helpless in wanting what I want. I feel like an idiot for even putting this in a compelling basket against all the other things my partner offers me—like a sex-crazed feedback maniac. I'm at a loss.
What should I do.