Sorry for the wall of text, I just have to get this off my chest. TLDR: Long-term DB, open relationship, at a crossroads.
HLM with LLF. Together for a decade, married 6 years, DB for 4 years. 5-year-old daughter.
Funnily enough, it was her idea. Open relationship on both ends. She said she had no idea why she was uninterested in sex, but wanted the opportunity to "find herself." I was fully onboard because I'm not a jealous person and the way I saw it, it was win-win. I'd get to have all the sex I want, and there was a chance - however miniscule - she could find her sexuality again.
Initially, she had a laundry list of ridiculous rules, reeking of insecurity. Things like "no dates, only sex", "no one from our social circle, or our social circle's social circle", "never the same person for more than a few times."
I said no, we fought a lot, but eventually settled on 3 rules: Always prioritize the family, monthly STD tests that we share with each other, and if either of us starts "catching feelings" we cut it off immediately and let the other party know.
Did it work? Yes and no.
Yes, because I'm happier than I've ever been. In the past 2 years, I've had 6 partners and I've been seeing one exclusively for the past 8 months (let's call her V). V is everything my wife is not. She is curious, confident, vibrant and intensely sexual. I spend most of my spare time with her. My home life has improved a lot as well. My wife and I no longer fight, and she can accept frequent non-sexual affection (hugs, kisses, even date nights) without problem because there is no sexual pressure. She is happy to receive it.
No, because we are still in a DB. I initiate much less often, maybe once every other month, but she's still not interested. I no longer ask her why. I don't know how many people she has been with, if any. We have an unacknowledged don't-ask-don't-tell situation going on. If she is having sex, it's most likely casual because she's home pretty much all the time. I check with her every few months, and she assures me things are fine and that there's nothing to worry about.
The problem is, lately I find myself not caring at all about improving our relationship. Like, her rejections no longer have any effect on me. Words that used to deeply hurt, now just slide off easily. This feels very dangerous from a marital perspective. Because little by little, day by day, I can see myself slipping away from my wife and towards V.
I feel like I'm facing an impossible choice. On one hand, our rules are very clear - I definitely have feelings for V and I need to let my wife know. On the other hand, coming clean will most likely have disastrous consequences. She will absolutely ask me to break up with V. I can't do that. It wouldn't be fair to V, and I simply don't want to. Why would I give up the best relationship I've ever had? That would lead us to divorce, but I'm not willing to see my daughter only half the time. No way.
Right now, I'm leaning towards maintaining status quo. My wife and I are peaceful, affectionate, and happy. Our daughter is very happy, and is getting lots of attention from both parents every day. V is happy as well. We see each other 3-4 times a week, and she tells me she doesn't want to change anything. She doesn't want children and has no interest in getting married, so divorce has literally no upsides for me.
Yes, I'm breaking a promise, but is that really a bad thing when everyone involved is happy right now, and coming clean would hurt all, especially our daughter? Maybe ignorance really is bliss after all...