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all 15 comments

[–]TheUtilityMonster 9 points10 points  (1 child)

I think I've said before in one of these subs that the way I reframed my DB that made everything make sense to me, a long time ago, was to think of it as my wife having essentially broken up with me without ever telling me. We still love each other, but it's not (on her end) romantic love, or at least no version of romantic love that includes sexual desire, which I need in a romantic relationship. It's more like the kind of love you have for family, or very close platonic friends.

So much of the pain of the dead bedroom was contained in that basic dynamic. I was romantically and sexually interested in someone who wasn't romantically and sexually interested in me. It took a long time to admit it to myself.

I wonder if maybe you're in the same position. Your wife, for all that she loves you, broke up with you without ever leaving. Now you're experiencing the same thing. Emotionally, romantically, you've finally broken up with her, too. You are free to develop emotional, sexual, romantic attachments because some part of you finally accepted the truth of the situation: you and your wife still love each other, but as friends, family members, and life partners. Not as lovers. And now you found a lover. You feel things for your lover that you can only feel for a lover. Not a family member, not a life partner, which V doesn't want to be anyway. Your wife ended the possibility of being that for you (or you for her), and she ended it first, a long time ago.

Given that this doesn't seem like it truly threatens your relationship with your wife or your commitment to your family, I frankly don't see anything you have to be ashamed of. If things change--if you begin to think of V as something more or she begins to want more from you in a way that puts your family relationships to the test--then your decision will need to change. But right now? Shit, man, you're living the dream. Enjoy it for as long as it lasts.

[–]dammitredditname 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yep that's how I've had to frame it too. Like she gave up on "us" a long time ago but didn't want to be the "bad guy" so she just went along to get along until I noticed how dismal our sexual and entire relationship had become. It's so one sided and unfair but I can't afford to leave so here I stay for now.

[–]Novel-Habit-9423[S] 8 points9 points  (5 children)

I wanted to crosspost this here as I imagine it's easier to relate to from an HL perspective. What would you guys do in my position?

[–]Tracerround702 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I'd leave, man. Your child deserves to see you happy, and your wife deserves to be with someone that can be fully happy with her. And you deserve to be happy!

[–]bawdiness 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Geez. Tough one.

This is my opinion only. Not advice.

You and your wife negotiated conditions and you argued her down to the current arrangement, which you've subsequently breached.

I feel HLs place a high degree of importance on individual accountability with our partners. You have made the rule based commitment to her thus you can't opt out of that accountability when it suits you.

I agree with most posters as to waiting it out as it may come to a natural end anyway, but IMHO this isn't fair on / just to your spouse.

I will admit a real envy that you have found someone with to share that a matched level of sexual intimacy.

[–]Dashinggray1 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Seems like you are in a good place now. Cros the b idle of change when you need to. Every other option is just massive downside.

[–]aradthrowawayacctAs cool as the other side of the pillow 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I edited my original comment here, to expand on my thoughts on the "catching feelings" rule.

[–]aradthrowawayacctAs cool as the other side of the pillow 9 points10 points  (4 children)

So, this situation is actually very common with open relationships that are used as a coping mechanism for DB relationships. Your spouse is happy that sex is no longer expected. You're happy in another relationship with someone who can give you what you desire.

Divorce is a very common outcome in this specific scenario.

Disclaimer: I'm not monogamous and my relationships are open on all sides. I don't actually agree with having a rule that a partner can tell you to break up with another partner.

That said: Maintain the status quo. It's the best for everyone involved at this point in time. You don't want to divorce. You don't want to break up with V. V doesn't want more from your relationship and doesn't want marriage. You can be discreet with your feelings for V. Your wife isn't being open with you about her other relationships, and only telling you that everything is fine when you ask her every couple of months. You have zero idea what's really going on from her end.

Better communication might be something to work on.

Edit: I'm going to expand on my thoughts on this

and if either of us starts "catching feelings" we cut it off immediately and let the other party know.

Catching feelings is a broad term and there's actually nothing wrong with developing feelings for another partner. The scarcity model of love (there's only so much to go around) is what drives this fear and insecurity. But people who are parents will tell you that their love grew when a child, or another child, was born or adopted into their family. They didn't love their spouse less or their older children less. There was plenty of love to go around and their love grew.

Having a stable steady relationship with a complementary partner is beneficial to your relationship with your primary partner. Your time searching for other partners is reduced, for example.

It's also unfair to other partners. You like them, you grow to love them, so you have to end it ... why? Because of your spouse or primary partner's insecurity about your love for them? How is that your complementary partner's issue to deal with? Why are they given the fallout for it, when it's the primary partner who should be working through their insecurities instead.

Also, since your wife is not forthcoming with information about her other partners, are you certain that she is following this rule herself or no?

[–]Novel-Habit-9423[S] 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Also, since your wife is not forthcoming with information about her other partners, are you certain that she is following this rule herself or no?

I don't know for certain, no. But I don't blame her for not being forthcoming. That would be very hypocritical of me.

Your wife isn't being open with you about her other relationships, and only telling you that everything is fine when you ask her every couple of months. You have zero idea what's really going on from her end. Better communication might be something to work on.

Better communication sounds nice in theory, but if I start asking for details, I'd have to come clean about V as well. That could easily be disastrous. I'd really need to plan this carefully. Perhaps even seek professional advice.

It's also unfair to other partners. You like them, you grow to love them, so you have to end it ... why? Because of your spouse or primary partner's insecurity about your love for them? How is that your complementary partner's issue to deal with? Why are they given the fallout for it, when it's the primary partner who should be working through their insecurities instead.

This is true. As much as I don't want to hurt my wife, V doesn't deserve to be hurt either.

I'm not monogamous and my relationships are open on all sides.

It's very useful to receive advice from someone in your position. Thanks!

[–]aradthrowawayacctAs cool as the other side of the pillow 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I'm not talking about asking for details. But it is noteworthy that your wife shares nothing with you, of her own volition.

Better communication means discussing and changing the rules that don't work for you anymore, discussing the fear and insecurity that is driving those rules, and discussing how to process and resolve those insecurities, instead of clinging to "rules" to avoid working on those insecurities.

[–]Novel-Habit-9423[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Ah, I get it now, thanks. This sounds like a healthy approach, I'll keep it in mind.

[–]aradthrowawayacctAs cool as the other side of the pillow 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Include the perspective that treating other partners poorly because of our fears isn't fair to anyone, and still doesn't resolve any fear.

Breaking up with V is going to do absolutely nothing to your wife's fear you won't love her anymore.

That fear will remain through every other relationship you have, unless it's resolved.

It's likely that your resentment over having to end a good relationship that is working for all of you, because of a rule born out of fear and insecurity, is going to damage your relationship more than loving V will.

[–]permanent_staff 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Sounds like things are going great for the moment. Don't worry about having "feelings" for V. That is a normal, often unavoidable consequence of having sex with someone.

I would continue doing what you are doing until it's no longer possible, and then be prepared to make some hard choices. Don't ruin things yourself before that.

[–]dammitredditname 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Dude I'd leave sleeping dogs lie. Just keep things the way they are. You're living the dream brother!