My DH and I have had long standing problems with our marriage. Basically, we get out and in fact enjoy each others company. We both contribute equally to the parenting of our two DCs (both in their early teens). The main problem is that we don't find romantic and sexual fulfuilment with each other. We have been to counselling, but this hasn't really helped. We are now considering staying together and keeping what works between us, but finding the fulfiment that we need in other parts of our lives by taking partners outside of the marriage.
Has anyone successfully achieved this for any length of time? The alternative is obviously separation, but we both feel that we have enough going for us to try this alternative, if unusual solution to our problem.
sorry to hear about your problems. This could be an amicable solution but I would say that you should ensure that you don't make a long term decision in order to solve what could be a short term problem? Do you have young kids which has impacted your relationship? or has it always been like that? DO you both want this?
It is good that you are both talking but lots of questions about the context.
Isn't this sort of what happens in (a lot of) long term relationships - ie the romatic/sexual side of things slips away and one of other partner can get itchy feet?
The traditional solution was the secret affair/separation/divorce but all are fraught with hazards.
Some people seem to be able to make an open marriage type of situation work, at least for a bit. The problem often seems to be that one person wants it to be more open than the other!
There do also seem to be some long-standing couples who stay living together, with or without sexual/romantic connection, and who also have "other lives" which they may or may reveal details of to their long standing partners.
Are you thinking of a house sharing/co-parenting type of situation? Whatever the solution, I think your situation is quite common in long standing relationships.....
Ye,s people can make this work. Get a copy of this book and have a read of it. It's an American book so unfortuntaely the resource guides are irrelevant and some of the therapy-speak annoying, but the main content is very useful and interesting. Basically to make this work you have to put effort in to being kind and fair, to making time for everyone, and you really do have to have respect and liking for your primary partner/co-parent, because if you don't it;s all going to go horribly wrong.
To answer your question, dadulike, I have come across one couple who lived together, were very close friends and shared the bringing up of their children. They had been in a relationship (not sure if married) when they had the children. Not quite sure why it went wrong or they split up. But the long and short of it was that they lived together amicably (in separate bedrooms I am fairly sure - although not 100% positive....) and they also dated other people. I asked him (we went on a few dates) about the arrangement and how they had made it work and he told me that it had taken a long time. I am sure he was not romantically involved with his (ex) partner, I met her when we were on one of our dates and I am sure that they were just very close frinds. She had been curious about me, but she was in no way jealous and I didn't feel at all threatened by their relationship. As it happened, my relationship with the guy didn't really go anywhere, but I actually really admired him for making such a big commitment to his child and for retaining a close friendship with an ex. It was much more attractive to me than a man who had gone through a nasty divorce or who had all sorts of angry ex-wives or girlfriends in the background because it suggested a huge amount of effort and not walking away from a difficult situation.
Hope that helps - I think anything is possible if you can work through the emotions together. Good luck!
(Interested in such matters as friends in vaguely similar situations.)