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Finding monogamy challenging

(94 Posts)
Barefoot4 Thu 21-Apr-16 21:26:38

I'm 42 and have been married for 18 years. Recently, I've found myself more interested in other men than ever before. This has lead to two one night stands. I realised this was very damaging to me and completely dishonest . I worked really hard to feel fulfilled again in marriage. But, a year on, I'm talking to one of the men again and it's raised these emotions again. Does anyone else feel like this?

GarlicShake Fri 22-Apr-16 04:39:58

I've never been married for 18 years. But, with hindsight, it's really clear that my interest in other men escalated at the point where I should have ended my marriages (both times.) We often act out our true feelings before recognising them consciously.

It's a cliché because it's often true. Is it true in your case?

curren Fri 22-Apr-16 05:58:33

Monogamy is not for everyone.

However your husband (I am assuming it's a man but may not be) deserves to know that's not for you anymore.

He deserves to know, so he can make a decision. He may be happy to have an open marriage or he may decide to leave. But that's really up to him.

Not wanting to be monogamous doesn't make you a bad person in itself. But cheating isn't ok.

You can't help the way you feel but you can help the way you act.

I have two good friends that are in an open marriage. Have been for years. The basis of it is trust though. They don't lie and hide things from each other.

It's often lies that end relationships. Good luck in what lever you decide.

TheNaze73 Fri 22-Apr-16 07:39:13

I think your needs at 24 are different to what they are now. I don't condone cheating in anyway but,I think you owe it to your OH to have a chat. He too may be stuck in a rut & open to seeing & sleeping with other people.

Barefoot4 Fri 22-Apr-16 08:43:21

I don't think I do want to end my marriage.
I like my husband, worry about him and I have three children with him.

We also have a lot of sex.

What I notice about other people is that they embark upon affairs when they're unhappy or not getting sex. I was unhappy a few years ago when I slept with man number 1. I was also unhappy last year when I slept with man no. 2. I'd taken an exciting job abroad and thought it would lead to great new opportunities, but my husband didn't want to move abroad and so I had to come back to the UK to a job I'd lost interest in. It was so hard...

But I then I realised that the only thing keeping me going was the friendship with the second man and I knew that this couldn't continue. So, I did some hard work on myself, changed jobs, working on hobbies and friendships - and I got back into my marriage.

But spring sprang, and I started talking more frequently to the second man.

Is it just

a) the thought of never sleeping with anyone again is awful
b) I've actually fallen for the second man, but - because we spend no time together haven't had chance to discover his annoying habits
c) My marriage isn't what I thought it was
d) I've got the pre-menopause hormones which make new sexual relationships very appealing after the years of nurturing young children.

expatinscotland Fri 22-Apr-16 08:49:50

'I don't think I do want to end my marriage.'

Of course not. You want to have your cake and eat it, too.

Your entire list is a justification of why you think it's okay to cheat on your spouse again.

There isn't one.

If monogamy isn't for you then your spouse deserves to know that so he can decide if he wants an open relationship or to separate/divorce.

Continually lying and excusing it, doesn't excuse it at all.

Get over yourself. You're a garden variety cheater.

magoria Fri 22-Apr-16 08:51:07

Well your poor H's marriage certainly isn't what he thinks it is!

Have you had any sexual health checks as you are still sleeping with your H and condoms don't protect from everything?

There is a lot of difference between an open relationship and a sneaky cheat.

One hurts a lot of people. Family, friends, children etc.

The other is honest.

Let him know so he can decide what he wants.

Costacoffeeplease Fri 22-Apr-16 08:53:57

I've been married for almost 30 years, never cheated, never flirted, never even been tempted, so it's not inevitable

You're not being fair to your husband, either commit to him or leave, that's the only two choices

hellsbellsmelons Fri 22-Apr-16 08:54:27

How would you feel if you DH come to you and said he had slept with other women and he wants an open relationship?
Your response this might tell you all you need to know about your marriage.

MadameCholetsDirtySecret Fri 22-Apr-16 09:08:53

I think you should tell your poor husband what you have done and then leave. It gives him a chance to have an sti check and one day meet someone who isn't a big cheat.

Barefoot4 Fri 22-Apr-16 09:10:50

I guess I would have left my marriage a few years ago if I hadn't got children. I would have stayed abroad.

If my husband had had sex with two other women - I don't know what I would think anymore. I would be disappointed that I wasn't everything to him anymore. But I know that he's not everything to me anymore.

Sometimes adult life seems a bit bleak

Barefoot4 Fri 22-Apr-16 09:12:15

There's no risk of STDs. There has only been sex twice, and both times with a condom. (and I guess we'd know by now - the last time was over a year ago)

Branleuse Fri 22-Apr-16 09:17:28

If you dont want to be monogamous, you need to tell your husband. Non-monogamous relationships are fine if you all know thats what it is.
If youre finding it so easy to explain how OK it is to yourself, then you should be ok to explain that to your husband.

Would you rather an open relationship where he was free to have sex with other women and explore other relationships?

expatinscotland Fri 22-Apr-16 09:22:05

Sometimes adult life seems a bit bleak

Oh, please!

Monogamy isn't for everyone, that's true, but when you're married, you need to make sure the other party knows that and is free to decide if he/she wants an open relationship or to split.

But pigs will fly before you tell your husband, probably.

Toffeelatteplease Fri 22-Apr-16 09:24:08

There is nothing wrong with not being monogamous. Except you have promised another person you will be monogamous.

It us not ok to unilaterally and behind the other person's back to change or break the rules of a relationship any relationship. It is disrespectful, hurtful and damn unpleasent.

Don't confuse polygamy with disloyalty and disrespect. Any relationship monogamous or otherwise needs honesty, respect and loyalty otherwise you are just behaving like a self serving git.

Extract yourself from your marriage vows or your marriage. But don't dress up having your cake and eating it as anything other than abject and deeply harmful selfishness. I'm not monogamous does not excuse cheating.

Goingtobeawesome Fri 22-Apr-16 09:26:21

You're spouting crap to justify fucking behind your husbands back. You say damaging to you in your OP but no mention of the damage being done to your hand or children. Grow up.

VegasJuice Fri 22-Apr-16 09:28:39

My dh and I are now in an open marriage after being together for 20 years. Like you, OP, I felt trapped and bleak and tempted to cheat. It took a lot of very difficult conversations and ongoing honesty and communication to get to where we are now.

We went to a non-monogamy coaching session which was very helpful.

But this can only, only work if it's what you both want. And yes, perhaps it is having my cake and eating it too, but I make no apologies for that.

Yoursecondbest1 Fri 22-Apr-16 09:59:15

Nothing wrong with having your cake as long as your husband knows your eating it smile

Barefoot4 Fri 22-Apr-16 09:59:36

So, it seems very few people do actually find monogamy challenging.
It's just me (and a handful of others) and I guess the people who've got divorced who must have got divorced for a reason

I wish my husband would do something bad so I could have the conversation, or we could just separate for a few years. But I can't do it - I'm sorry if this makes me dishonest and cheatie and horrible and a coward. But I can't be the one to do it when my children are still at home.

I'm not going to continue with the discussion - please feel free to keep commenting, but I can't - too hard. I've been having this circular argument with myself for over two years (which for a total of 1 hour of sex with two men) is disproportionate.

Branleuse Fri 22-Apr-16 10:06:30

I dont find monogamy challenging, but then youve got a few years marriage on me.
I dont have a problem with non-monogamy at all, in fact id probably do it if my partner was ok with it, and he would probably do it if I was ok with it, but im only ok with him doing it if I can too, but hes not, so tough.

I think you should probably look at what need it is you think is being fulfilled by your affairs, because they dont sound fulfilling to me. Are you generally a risk taker? Do you need validation from other men that youre still attractive and you think sex proves that?
Do you get a kick from having a secret?

Would your husband leave you if he knew? Its quite a big risk to your relationship and his heart/mental health for you to have a couple of quick secret fumbles

curren Fri 22-Apr-16 10:13:51

You don't want to end your marriage because you don't want to be seen as the 'bad guy' splitting the family.

But you are being the bad guy by cheating. Can you imagine if your dh finds out and your kids find out?

Are they going to be great fil you kept your cheating to yourself?

You are being incredibly selfish. You want everything on your own terms and not giving any choices to your dh.

You wish he would act like a twat, to start a conversation? Really?

Mishaps Fri 22-Apr-16 10:16:25

Honesty is the only thing that matters here.

Goingtobeawesome Fri 22-Apr-16 10:18:20

You can't be the one to do it sounds like you are saying you want your DH to be the one to do it. That's cowardly and immature.

I get having feelings for someone else. I still have some feelings for an ex but can't quantify them beyond fancying him still. But I'd never shag him.

Make your decision but don't use your kids as a reason to stay as they will not be impressed if all along they knew you weren't happy and wished you had separated.

OliviaBenson Fri 22-Apr-16 10:18:21

Oh please. Do not justify your actions by saying you want to stay together for your kids. What kind of example are you showing them?

You are clearly not happy in your marriage if you wish your H would do something bad so you can separate.

Your the one that is doing wrong by him.

Sort yourself out and don't carry on this charade.

GutInstinct Fri 22-Apr-16 10:28:04

You're not finding monogamy challenging, you're finding it challenging to stay faithful to your husband. There is a difference.

You want him to do something bad so that you can paint him as the bad guy and your affairs can be lost in the separation.

It really is very simple. If you're unhappy in your marriage then you need to have a conversation about what needs to change so that unhappiness can be resolved. It's a hard conversation to have, and even harder to follow through with. And it is in fact easier to enter down the route of an affair, especially if you think that your husband will never find out. Except people do find out, and that unhappy marriage you thought you had will become an acrimonious divorce, where you will be the party to blame for everything that went wrong with your marriage. where your family and friends may disown you because you had an affair, or at the very least will voice their disapproval of what you've done. Where you will worry that no-one will ever trust you again because once a cheat, always a cheat, or so they say.

If your marriage needs to end then end your marriage. If you want to stay with your husband then have a conversation. But you are deluding yourself if you think that you can sell the idea of not feeling you want to be monogamous after you've already slept with someone else.

You're a liar and a cheat. It is that simple.

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