Open Marriage – How Can I Convince My Husband?

Unhappy marriages can often lead to one or both partners cheating and having long term affairs.

More often than not, the marriage doesn’t survive the affair. In truth, it’s not just the affair, but the deception and lies that truly kill the relationship.

But what if you really want to stay with your current partner, although you realize that your partner is not able to fulfill your needs for sex and intimacy?

Some people consider an open marriage as a solution. While this is definitely not for everyone, there’s no reason it cannot work for some.

There are certainly other options for resolving intimacy issues couples face, but when counseling and other measures just don’t work, what can you do?

This question is from a lady facing this very dilemma. She has been in an extramarital affair for over a year, but she desperately wants to stay married to her husband. So hopes to pusuade him to consider and open marriage.

How can she approach him about the open marriage, considering her affair is ongoing?

Dear Dan and Jennifer,

I am finding myself in depression. My joy and juice for life is diminishing. My energy is dwindling. I want to break out, I want to be free. I have a family, three little girls 3, 5, and 6.

How do you open up a marriage? I realize that the only solution to the bind I have gotten myself into is to talk truth. The truth is I have been having an affair for two years. I have no idea if the affair will last, but do we ever know if anything will ever last?

I have to make myself have sex with my husband and thank god to my large sex drive this is not a problem, however I do have to overcome a resistance each and every time, and it is starting to get to me. My affair is also no dream around sex, but I lust after him, he smells and tastes good to me and he can talk and move through stuck places, unlike my husband.

My husband is a good provider and a fun dad to the kids. I respect that and there is a certain turn on in the providing role that he holds. I can get off with him. However, we lack intimacy. I feel alone in this marriage and I went and got what I needed to feel connection and companionship.

Oddly enough orgasm is tricky with “the other man”. Partially this has to do with his story, but also it has to do with mine. Something about guilt of withholding from my husband, something about not feeling truly wanted by the man that would get involved with a married monogamous woman. If I was truly available for a one on one, my affair would be on a plane and out of here. He, although I get intimacy, connection and friendship from him, is intimacy and relationship phobic. Go figure!

In any case I need to open up the door. I am not sure if I need to mention my affair in talking with my husband about opening up the marriage or if I can simply let it be. I do realize that opening up the marriage requires more attention, communication and integrity than staying monogamous.

I have issues with jealousy. My main concern would be sexually transmitted diseases, impregnation of another woman and thereby loosing my provider’s full financial support. I know that he lacks the capacity for intimacy on the level that I want and need so there is no jealousy possible from that point, but I could encounter this from my affair.

Do you have any insights as to how I can work with jealousy so that it makes me aware of the love versus the loss that I fear?

My hope is that if I open up the marriage, I will not feel guilty; therefore I could enjoy myself more sexually all around. I also hope that it moves my husband out of the position of the bad man that doesn’t give me intimacy, and I can simply enjoy him for who he is without putting up walls.

I am pretty sure that he would be open to seeing other people. I am just not sure how to structure that, and seeing that we have three small children, I do believe we need to set up agreements around how this could work. Got any insights?

– Dona (California)


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