I want a monogamous relationship, but how come sometimes I just want to tell him to go hook up with other women?
December 22, 2008 11:30 AM   Subscribe

He is 26. I'm 26 (female). We're are in a monogamous relationship. I want a monogamous relationship, but how come sometimes I just want to tell him to go hook up (have sex) with other women? I don't have one definite explanation to why I feel this way because it could be a combination of several, one being that my ex cheated on me. I am curious to know if anyone here has ever had that thought and why? and if you expressed it to your SO? how did they react? what do I need to do to stop this?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (26 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
It sounds like you're trying to get control over a situation you expect to happen (him sleeping with someone else). Maybe you're thinking: If you allow it, maybe it won't hurt as much?
posted by ginagina at 11:34 AM on December 22, 2008 [4 favorites]


Is this somehow a turn-on for you, to imagine him with other women? Does he want to sleep with other women (aside from the idle fantasies many people have)?

More info is definitely needed here.
posted by desjardins at 11:36 AM on December 22, 2008


A recent girlfriend of mine acted on a similar impulse when she was in a long-term relationship with a man she was afraid would lose interest in her, even though she was gorgeous. If only she could give him permission to fool around, she thought, it would let off steam, and she wouldn't feel threatened by other women.

In fact, it turned out to be very hurtful to her to watch her man have sex with a Dutch hooker, and it did nothing for the relationship. Unsatiated, her boyfriend broke up with her a while later, to pursue affairs with much younger women, who had not stopped occupying his imagination.
posted by Kirklander at 11:38 AM on December 22, 2008


I am curious to know if anyone here has ever had that thought and why?

Yes. I just like it when he sleeps with other women, it turns me on and makes me happy to see him happy. I'm not a jealous person and it doesn't threaten our committed relationship. Sometimes I participate. Does it turn you on? It's not unheard of.

and if you expressed it to your SO? how did they react?

Yes. He was confused because he didn't really have that urge, to hook up with people, it's not really his thing. He thought I was doing a weird manipulation thing where I would say it was OK and then AHA! He would be in trouble. But that's not the case. We talked about it over time until we were both more comfortable with it. We didn't really feel the need to act on it or put pressure on ourselves.

what do I need to do to stop this?

Talk about it with him.
posted by sondrialiac at 11:42 AM on December 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


I really think you're not going to get a definitive answer on here, at least not without more info. Are you sure you want a monogamous relationship? It sounds like you might actually want to be cuckolded every now and then.

When you say you "just want to tell him to have sex with other women" do you mean you fantasize about it? Do you think about him doing it and it turns you on even though you think that it shouldn't? Or is it more of an unwanted ideation of a deeply haunting fear that makes you feel terrible? Only your therapist can tell you for sure whether this is a healthy fantasy to be explored or the sign of a crucial disturbance in your psyche.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:42 AM on December 22, 2008


I don't have one definite explanation to why I feel this way because it could be a combination of several, one being that my ex cheated on me.

You are trying to . . .

It sounds like you're trying to get control over a situation you expect to happen (him sleeping with someone else). Maybe you're thinking: If you allow it, maybe it won't hurt as much?

Never mind. Looks like ginagina got it. Seriously, by making it happen then you might be able to "control" the pain that you'll feel if he cheats.

But in reality, you likely still haven't admitted how much the past cheating hurt you. Once you do that, you can stop reacting to what happened and focus on this relationship.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:52 AM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


You either (a) want control, as above (b) think you want a monogamous relationship, but don't, and just need to run into somebody you want to sleep with (c) want a monogamous relationship, but get off on your partner "cuckolding" you, as above (but this should probably just turn into an open relationship)
posted by beerbajay at 12:00 PM on December 22, 2008


I don't know how well this applies, but this might shed a little light into his perspective a bit.

I remember that a person I dated a few years ago proposed the same thing to me, saying out of the blue that he didn't care if I slept with other guys.

I didn't know what his intentions really were, though in hindsight I wouldn't have put a cuckold fetish past him. But my immediate thought at the time was a passive-aggressive way to give himself permission to sleep with other girls.

It made me very upset, plus I had no interest in doing such a thing and made me not want to get too emotionally involved with him in the long run because it seemed like he might eventually cheat on me anyway and was just trying to manipulate the situation.
posted by deinemutti at 12:32 PM on December 22, 2008


I used to think things like this when my ex cheated on me. I wanted all kinds of intense drama in which we played romantic roles and I was the martyrish masochist, because I felt like I'd been repeatedly clubbed over the head and my romantic and sexual self esteem was in the gutter. But I also knew that I was smart and open-minded and therefore how could I possibly be hurt at all by this? Wasn't it 'real love'?

It was very exciting, oh yes, but I was miserable and way too HURT to even deal with the first cheating over which I had no say. I then (once he dumped me the second time around, part work pressures and part being interested in someone else) developed a complex around men where I was convinced they were just interested in sex, and sex could be acquired better elsewhere, and I believed I had to prostrate myself in order to keep them interested at all times. My ex was happy, because he has commitment issues that continue long after we broke up and self-esteem problems that relate to sex, and the subsequent guys I acted like a crazy person around in the expectation that I would be treated appallingly do not speak to me and do not care to speak to me. Thankfully, two years on, I've realised that my ex was a spoiled childish drama queen who should have been dumped unequivocally and forever more at the point of the first cheating, and I was being stupidly naive and far too attached to ideas and notions.

If you wanted a monogamous relationship, if you want whatever it is you want, irrelevant to what he wants, stand for it. You're only 26, other people are out there who will give you what you want, beware of the potential spiral of hurt as kirklander says, and be aware of your feelings. People can be irredeemably selfish. Don't let them be, and beware of them if you suspect that might be the case.
posted by iamnotateenagegirl at 12:34 PM on December 22, 2008


I speak from (very) personal experience when I say that you need to do some serious soul-searching regarding WHY you feel this way. The other answers here are a good place to start. You may think, now, that you would enjoy him sleeping with other people, and it's possible that will be the case. However, it is also quite possible that once he is in the position to do so, you will find yourself uncomfortable with the idea. Please be careful with these thoughts. Be certain that it's not just you trying to control what you believe is his inevitable infidelity, or that you're not putting yourself down.

At the very least, don't encourage this until you have very open, clear lines of communication and understanding with him.
posted by Night_owl at 12:47 PM on December 22, 2008


Any man who truly likes his significant other will not want to have sex with anybody else. i am 27 and my gf is 26 (we are engadged to be married) . You really have to figure out why you feel this way.

It might lead to you not being ready for a relationship.
posted by majortom1981 at 12:53 PM on December 22, 2008


You're more evolved than most when it comes to relationships.


Any man who truly likes his significant other will not want to have sex with anybody else.

What nonsense.
posted by Zambrano at 1:14 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]



Any man who truly likes his significant other will not want to have sex with anybody else. i am 27 and my gf is 26 (we are engadged to be married) . You really have to figure out why you feel this way.


This is factually incorrect and not helpful to the questioner. It could just as easily be the case that she is kinky and is berating herself for it because of the trauma of the past cheating. Your situation is not universal (or even common, but I digress). She needs to figure out what she is feeling before she knows why, and that will take ridding herself of blinding self-judgment, not adding more on top.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:20 PM on December 22, 2008 [6 favorites]


Any man who truly likes his significant other will not want to have sex with anybody else.

Seconded as nonsense. Questioner please disregard this.
posted by gagglezoomer at 1:37 PM on December 22, 2008


my two-cent backseat psychological eval is this: you feel sexually inadequate because your previous guys sought sexual gratification elsewhere. (understandable.)

you feel that by permitting your current partner to do this, you are not forcing him to choose between the fabulousness that is you and the fabulousness of sex with others. alternatively, as others have said, you are afraid this is inevitable and this is your way of controlling it.

perhaps you might be able to channel this urge more profitably (and enjoyably) by having a frank discussion with your partner about what he enjoys and how you can make him happy in bed (and likewise, how he can make you happy in bed--men are goal-oriented and like these conversations).
posted by thinkingwoman at 1:58 PM on December 22, 2008


Hard to tell here whether this is a kink on your part or the hurt/control thing. In any case, anecdotally:

An ex of mine said he didn't care if I slept with other guys. Also out of the blue. I didn't want to, but he kept insisting that "it's ok, it's ok, there's room for that." It was very hurtful to me, but he also coupled it with some baseless flirting accusations. His motivation was related to what some are saying here (try to control it so it doesn't hurt so much), but he was pretty abusive about it (and other things), eventually assuming I had (I never did) and saying that I was lying that I hadn't or hadn't wanted to.

Guess what? He cheated. And blamed me.

This might be of limited value, because this guy was definitely abusive (borderline personality disorder, too) and controlling, but it might shed some light on possible motivation for feeling this way. Additionally, mine actually did have a cocaine-induced fetish related to this, but it was mostly unrelated, because he was actually crazily jealous and it really did seem to be the drugs.
posted by Pax at 2:01 PM on December 22, 2008


My partner and I are in the same boat, where we completely feel and act in a monogamous relationship, but have talked about the possibility of sleeping with other people. This is because we felt we should set 'deal breakers'. If he hits me, degrades me in front of other people, or makes an emotional bond with another man/woman, that would be a deal breaker. On the other hand, if he is in the moment and really really feels like exploring with another person without beytaying me emoitionally, I not only don't find that a deal breaker, but feel it would help him grow. So if he finds himself in that situation, why should he do it (or think about doing it) with guilt and shame and later try to hide it from me? I think guilt, shame, dishonesty and (sexual) frustrations are the stuff that break-ups are made of, not sexual adventures. So maybe you think that your boyfriend has feelings that he is not sharing with you because of how he thinks he must act in a monogamous relationship and whats expected of him, and if you think it's eating him on the inside or that you could make your relationship work better, or if it really is not a deal breaker for you, I think all the more power to you for feeling this way.
posted by shamble at 2:32 PM on December 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wait, do you want to tell him to hook up with other women, or do you actually want him to hook up with other women? How would you feel if he did?
posted by losvedir at 2:49 PM on December 22, 2008


Sounds to me like you enjoy drama and want to live inside Sex & the City.

Or maybe I'm old-fashioned. My girlfriend saying something like that to me would be the equivalent of saying she either a) wants to do the same thing herself or b) wants to break up with me, but in the same manner an employer might suggest to you that "have you been looking around at the market?". All I can see is major issues down the track, for example: "Remember that time I let you sleep with that slut?" Some might call it secure and open-minded, I call it a fucking headache.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:50 PM on December 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well, one reason I haven't seen listed here for this might be that if there's something the boyfriend wants to do sexually that you don't, and you still want him to get his without your having to do it.

That said, it sounds like pure "let me control the pain after he cheated" here. I don't think you should go for it. It won't solve the problem, really.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:04 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think the OP is genuinely concerned by this impulse. I don't think there's any kink or polyamory involved. I think your previous experience left you insecure and anxious, understandably, and therapy can have a great role in helping you get past this.
posted by sweetkid at 5:19 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'd trust your impulse that it has to do with the past cheating. But the time that I felt this way, it was an early sign I wanted to break up with him.
posted by salvia at 6:39 PM on December 22, 2008


You're more evolved than most when it comes to relationships.

What nonsense. "More evolved," really? So when we all grow up and get a clue, we'll want to have open relationships? It works for some, doesn't for a lot of people. It doesn't sound like an open relationship is what the OP wants (although it's hard to tell from such a detail-free question).
posted by MadamM at 6:49 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


This impulse could be anything... including the doorway to a really great, open, low-fear-anxiety-scarcity/high-freedom-variety-pleasure relationship.

Maybe this is just the OP's reaction to low expectations (as, frankly, it probably is) ; on the other hand, since many men have a much stronger drive toward new physical connections than toward new, long-term relationships... this is actually an excellent way of keeping them around, *and* physically passionate. It's the Rooster Effect: Men often find Partner A more attractive after an interlude with Partner B, than they would if there was just Partner A, Partner A, Partner A.


/ genderfilter >

/ soapbox >
posted by darth_tedious at 7:19 PM on December 22, 2008


The one thing I haven't seen (or maybe I've merely missed it) is the idea that maybe you're hoping someone else will take him away from you or he'll be interested in someone else and let you off the hook. Perhaps even subconsciously.

Not that this is necessarily what's going on, but is another option to consider, if only long enough to rule it out.
posted by batmonkey at 10:56 PM on December 22, 2008


Be careful what you wish for. The reality seldom resembles the minds eye.
posted by Mark H at 10:51 AM on December 24, 2008


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