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January 12, 2024 5:00 am  #1

Open marriage is destroying me - need support and help

My husband and I have been together for 11 years, married for almost 9. 
Before we got married, he told me about his same-sex attraction. However, at that stage, he said he had never acted on it and he didn't consider himself to be gay. 
We got married and due to religious reasons, waited till after we were married before we had sex. We were also both virgins when getting married. I experienced intense pain with intercourse which didn't let up, and decided to consult a doctor about it. Fast forward 6 years, I've  tried everything, from physical therapy to medication, ointments, exercises, vaginal dilators, psychologists, couples counseling, you name it. In the end, the only way we can have intercourse is when I use a numbing ointment beforehand and use vaginal dilators. All this sent spontaneity out the door. The way things were, didn't bother me too much, I wasn't dissatisfied with our sex life. For my husband, it was a different story. He has a great need to explore things in life, be it new places to travel to, new recipes in the kitchen and this was also the case in our sex life. It frustrated him to no end that we couldn't experiment with different positions and that we were never able to have spontaneous sex. We did explore a lot of other options outside of penetrative sex, but it never satisfied him. 
We fought all the time, every discussion we had, revolved around sex and how he was not satisfied. He started seeing a psychologist and worked through a lot of his issues, but the psychologist also encouraged him to "not fight his feelings anymore". 
After countless hours of discussions, sleepless nights, and many tears and a discussion where he told me that he might be more gay than he thought he was,  I decided that opening up the marriage was the only solution left that we hadn't explored.  I just couldn't fight about sex anymore. It was either that, or get divorced, but we had decided that we would prefer to stay married. I should mention that we have a 2-year old son and a baby girl due shortly. I know getting pregnant whilst in this whole mess, might sound crazy, but I desired another baby more than anything else. I ADORE my son, he is the absolute love of my life, and I so badly want another child because I enjoy being a mother more than anything. And it felt only fair that if my husband got what he wanted (ie sex with men), I should get something out of it too. So the very last time we had sex, we conceived our second baby.
About 5 months ago, we opened the marriage and he has been exploring his sexual fantasies with men. We put some ground rules in place, and he has been working with a counselor to also put some rules in place for himself, so as to still prioritise our marriage and not go overboard with his exploration. 
Since then, I have found myself completely withdrawing from him emotionally, which I think is a natural reaction. I feel like he rejected my body and all the effort I put in to make our sex life better, how could I possibly still be emotionally vulnerable with him? Before opening up the marriage, we had a very close emotional relationship. We spoke about EVERYTHING and knew each other deeply. Now, I just cannot bring myself to be open to him about anything for fear of getting my heart broken even further. This is devastating to him, since he claims he still longs to have a friendship with me and build our marriage on what we have left. I don't know if there is anything left. 
As I type this, I realise how bizarre it must sound and ask myself what I am still doing here. I also realise that no matter what choice I make, it's going to be hard and require tremendous work and strength from my side. If I decide to stay in a MOM, it will be hard and so lonely. If I decide to leave, it will be hard raising 2 kids on my own, and even more lonely, since I will never be able to share this experience with any of my friends or family without compromising my husband's integrity. 
Right now, I've asked him to move out for a while, so I can just get some perspective and decide how I want to proceed. I cannot process all of this while he is around, also since every conversation we now have, turns into a fight which just piles on the hurt and confusion. 
I am so heartbroken and confused, but so glad I found this forum. Just knowing that I am not alone in this situation, already helps and I've gained a lot of insight reading some of the discussions on here. 
I guess I am looking for stories where people were able to be in an open MOM and make it work. The statistics for this aren't great, I know. Only about 15% of people decide to give it a try, and of those, only about 7%  end up making it work. Please share your experiences with me.
​Please keep me in your prayers as I try to navigate this mess. 


January 12, 2024 9:26 am  #2

Re: Open marriage is destroying me - need support and help

just here to quickly tell you that you are not alone. I'm sure many with MOM experience here will answer you soon. 
I will say- you don't deserve to live like this. You can have a happy, fulfilled life. You are here, looking for help, and it means you've had enough. You are searching for a solution. You've already been through the worst of it- finding out and living like half a person with someone who isn't there for you 100%. You want more. Try and turn that grief into energy and finding a solution.
And who cares what anyone thinks? This is YOUR LIFE! You want more!


January 12, 2024 1:54 pm  #3

Re: Open marriage is destroying me - need support and help

HBMOM wrote:

....keep me in your prayers as I try to navigate this mess. 

Welcome to our forum HB 🙂

I'm more of a down to earth realistic person and I believe advice is what you need not prayer.
I was in an open r'ship for 4 years and it didn't stop until *I* decided I deserved better than a partner who had other desires.
That is the short story. The long story is that you don't get yourself out of a situation like an open marriage you don't want to be in...easily. And if you were the one to agree to opening it up you basically gave your husband the keys to Utopia. You'll never get them back, and all rules you've put in place and all the counselling you do won't make any of it better.
Deep inside (when you're not arguing with him or upset and you have space to think) you have to ask yourself "is this really what I want my life to be like?"


KIA KAHA                       

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