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Bdell posted 12/23/2013 04:24 AM

My thread is in the "just found out" section, if you want some background.
Since discovering my wife's long ago affair,, I have been visiting infidelity websites , and one idea has intrigued me. That idea is to divorce my wife and take some time off the marriage to experience the single world for a change. Or perhaps to declare our marriage an open one and thus be free to have romantic experiences with other women. Has anyone done this, here on SI?
The reason it intrigues me is that I cannot see how my wife can prove her love, respect, and desire for me, after betraying all of it with another man? Plus, how can she prove that nothing like this will ever happen again? I understand that a 100% guarantee is impossible, but as ironclad as she can make it. She cheated with someone else, why should I not be accorded the same consideration? If anything, I am at least being more honest than she was.

Nailinmyforehead posted 12/23/2013 04:59 AM

Brother, I am a bit further out on this journey with a FWW and I will admit that I thought along the same lines as you for a bit. I want you to know that doing so will not fill the hole that you have right now. If you want to D, do it for the right reasons, and not just to experience the single life. Your wife cannot guarantee fidelity anymore than you can guarantee it to her. My FWW had a 3 year LTA with someone, and it hurts like hell, no doubt about it, but my wife is a good person. A good person that fucked up. Badly. Horribly. Would I do the same? Probably not, and you probably would not do the same as well. You can build that trust, love and respect back. If you both want it and you BOTH work at it- but an open marriage or a period of time to sow your oats isn't going to point you two in the right direction. I get it. I honestly do. All I can speak of is my own experience. My FWW is basically a great wife when I look at the entire body of work known as our marriage. She got lost for a bit. She fucked up and she owns it. She owns her shit. Me doing the same thing is not on the path to R, despite any semantics I spin on it with a divorce or declaration of an open marriage. The marriage "scales" will never be equal, and they never should be, or can be. To R means no score keeping. No "get out of jail free" card. It is to walk down the path to true forgiveness, as shitty and unfair of a journey that walk can be.

chick posted 12/23/2013 05:04 AM

I have heard of people doing this but I personally wouldn't - I won't say it didn't enter my head for a few seconds but I feel that the way things are at the moment means that I have the moral high ground whereas if I went off and slept with someone (with or without my husband's knowledge) then I would feel like I had broken our marriage vows too and I would then have less right to feel betrayed. And I realised I actually have no desire to be with another man, I want to fix things with the one I've got.

In terms of an actual divorce - I would be worried that she might not be waiting around for you when you decide you're ready to take her back. It is a dangerous game to play.

But each to their own - I am sure there are a lot of people who have done this and found it beneficial but it wouldn't be for me.

sisoon posted 12/23/2013 10:50 AM

In general, you're not thinking clearly, IMO. Better hold off on any big decisions....

Sounds like a different take on a Revenge A (RA). Check out the madhatter thread in ICR. It's a lot worse than being a BS.

An open M means both of you get to roam. Suppose she does better than you do in finding new partners? Then what? An open M is more difficult than M between a pair of people. Ground rules are necessary, and if one of you violates a ground rule, the whole structure can come tumbling down.

What's your W doing to R? Is she NC, IC? Are you in MC? Does she answer your questions, keep you informed of her whereabouts and companions?

The behavior necessary to R is the behavior necessary for a good M. If your W keeps up that behavior with real commitment for several years, I'd think the future for your M looks good.

And if you look elsewhere, what are your assurances that your new squeeze will love you until the end of your lives?

Dreamland posted 12/23/2013 11:00 AM

Oh no I had the chance but first of all I can't think of being intimate with anyone other than my H. I know I would feel like shit because I broke my morals and hence myself.
I just know how hard it is with him so to feel comfortable with anyone else will never happen. So nope not interested in RA.
Remember things never work out the way you see them in your head.
Fantasy vs reality. At least I know what I'm getting with my H.

atsenaotie posted 12/23/2013 11:31 AM

Hi Bdell,

She cheated with someone else, why should I not be accorded the same consideration?

I had those thoughts and understand what you are feeling. Looking back, I am glad I never followed through. What I realize now is that FWW hurt herself with her A. Her A was not about me, it was her messing up her life and the livves of her OM. I was hurt in discovering the betrayal, losing the W and M I thought that I had, and in learning some uncomfortable things about myself. None of that could be fixed or made better through sex with an OW.

There had been times I envied FWW for the excitement of her clandestine meetings with her OM. I too wanted a taste of sex with someone new, new feelings, different sensations, affirmation that I was still desireable as a man, to experience someone lusting after me. The thing is, I do not believe that I could experience this like FWW. She was able to compartmentalize her OM and keep her A life and our life separate. I am sure that I could not do that. The very boundaries that have kept me from straying in the past would suck any fun and excitement out any intentional adultery.

I also do not want to ever give up the moral high ground. I have fought hard to not just abandon this space I occupy. This is not to say FWW cannot lead a good and rewarding life going forward, but I can look back and know that at the very difficult times when there were opportunities I did not step off the path. When I look at my family, I can know I consistently (so far) have done the right thing on the big issues.

…thus be free to have romantic experiences with other women.

It may depend how you define romantic. I could not have an emotionally and physically intimate relationship with another woman without feeling connection. Especially given the state of my sex life with FWW, I think I would want to transfer my emotional connection to the OW. If this is what I want, and where I want to go, then I need to D FWW first. It would not be fair to the potential OW, to myself, or send the proper signals to my DS.

OTOH, if just having NSA sex is what is meant by romantic experience, I do not think that it is that simple. You cannot just have sex with a casual acquaintance and be sure that she understands it is truly NSA. I think that if you are truly looking to have NSA sex while M’d you have to evolve a lifestyle of finding similarly oriented OW on PoF or Ashley Madison with membership, advertising and responding to adds. Shifting available social time from friends and family to potential sexual partners. Then taking steps, I would hope, to ensure you are not having an A with another married woman. This lifestyle is not for me.

JustDesserts posted 12/23/2013 13:12 PM


I'm a Wayward Husband who reads freely all of the sections here on SI. Your JFO thread is one I've followed with interest. I won't say why, as I am not allowed to comment in JFO and won't do that by proxy here in Reconciliation. But I will say this: you should listen very carefully to suggestions regarding what you've described as, IMHO, a revenge affair (the "you go sow your ego depleted oats" scenario) or your very (I'm sorry to say) naive sounding "open marriage" scenario. Both will backfire. Both will fail. Both will compromise the love your wife has for you, and yours for her. Again, IMHO.

If you can listen to what the experienced folks here are sharing with you, and if you'll pledge to yourself NOT to make any major decisions for a while (start with 90 days), then I believe you'll look back at this thread and say "who was THAT guy".

I believe you love your wife. I believe you are close to your family. In the spirit of "no more secrets and lies" would you tell them what you are thinking about in this thread?

Your ego has been stabbed and poisoned. You need help healing. Use this incredible place for THAT, and you'll be glad you did. Right now, you are in a very thick fog. Let the folks here hold your hand and shine a light.

Good luck,


PS I'd suggest "joining" the Menz thread in ICR stat.

[This message edited by JustDesserts at 1:17 PM, December 23rd (Monday)]

Marathonwaseasy posted 12/23/2013 13:12 PM

I understand your anger. I do.
But in life it is always best to be true to yourself. A RA will not be true to the man you are. If this is a deal breaker for your marriage fair enough. That's your choice. But bringing more betrayal and NSA sex and the potential for more hurt feelings in APs and their spouses? Is that really who you are?

ascian posted 12/23/2013 14:45 PM

My thoughts:

First, marriage is not a zero-sum game. There is no "get even" in a healthy relationship, not for something like infidelity. There shouldn't be any balance sheet of who's ahead on "points." Your wife hurt you, hurt you badly, but it won't help things if you hurt her back. To crib a line from The Fiddler on The Roof:

Villager: An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.
Tevye: Very good. That way the whole world will be blind and toothless.

Second, go watch Chasing Amy. It's not going to be exactly what you're struggling with, and Kevin Smith may be a bit vulgar and/or wordy for you, but the central idea of that movie is directly applicable to your question.

Skan posted 12/23/2013 19:32 PM

Oh, I had thoughts along this line. I am a vital, attractive woman. I have no doubts whatsoever that any time that I make the decision, I can go out and find someone, point my finger at him, and essentially say That One, and go screw like a rabbit. I headed out a couple of times, when I was full of rage and pain, figuring that I'd go see what was available. Luckily for me, that core being that IS me, reminded me every time ... that I am not a rabbit. I am not an animal, subject to my lusts or instincts or hurts.

I am a woman worthy of love. I am a woman worthy of honor. I am a woman worthy of the best that a man can give to me. I am a woman meant to shine in the light of love God's love or the love of the universe, pick your deity.

I am worth SO much more than that. And further:

*Any skank of a man that would screw a stranger at a bar isn't worthy of me.

*Any person that would be worthy of me, would be someone that I would need to get to know, but as a woman with honor, that is not something I can grant to a honorable man while I am married.

*Were I to indulge my rage, my fury, my sense of injustice, by settling for someone unworthy, then what does that really say about me, the innermost core of me, who I have to live with every day?

I am worth far, far more than this. And nothing that any person does to me, will affect that essential core person. No one can cause me to abandon my values, my beliefs, that thing that makes me who I am, without my permission. And I do not give it.

(((hugs))) Go spend Christmas with your children. They need you. And you need to bask in their love. Be the man that they love and look up to. It's easy to be a great role model when things go well. It's the proof of your character, of your inner goodness and decency, to be that man, that father to them, when things go to shit. I'll be praying for you these next few days.

heforgotme posted 12/23/2013 23:02 PM

I had very similar thoughts in the first few weeks after Dday. I remember thinking that now I had to go do this...that it would be the only way that we could ever understand each other....that it would actually be good. In the topsy-turvy world post Dday, this sounded completely logical to me. I also very much wanted to get divorced, basically so we could get back together. Because I figured that way if he stayed with me I would know that it was bc he wanted me badly, not bc it was easier or something.

I actually still think there's some validity to the second point, but the first one was pretty off the wall.

Oh and one more...when I hit the anger stage, I wanted 5 months to be "single" (that was the length of the A), in order to be "fair" (as if any of this is fair). I thought, hey, he got to try that out to see if he liked it while still keeping his safety net in tact. Turns out he didn't like it better, but who knows....maybe I would.

Unfortunately, besides being a little loopy, none of those plans took into account the fact that I still loved FWH and also wanted to keep our family in tact. Whoops.

Listen, through no fault of your own, your head's not on real straight right now. So, like many have already said, let this simmer a while. All those choices will still be there in 6 months or so. Let the dust settle a little. Not for her, but for YOURSELF.

Btw, check out the betrayed men's thread down in ICR if you haven't already. I think you'll find it helpful.

Take care.

Kalliopeia posted 12/23/2013 23:17 PM

Her affair was long ago?
How has she been acting during the intervening years?

Of course you are upset and hurting and have a right to be.

Don't make bad choices, though. You need time to process and heal so you aren't hurting your own self as a reflex.

Bdell posted 12/24/2013 02:00 AM

She ended the affair , 4 years ago, and has been a great wife since. I only found out about it from phone records I was backing up.
Look, everybody, I'm not really gonna have a revenge affair. But being on the beach in Aruba, with lots of semi nude women and plenty to eat and drink and no worries or pain or anger or sadness, sounds very, very good to me.

sisoon posted 12/24/2013 11:28 AM

Hey, man - beach in Aruba even while in pain and angry sounds very good to me. And enjoying scenery, without disturbing it, is a very natural pleasure. JMO, of course.

lordhasaplan? posted 12/24/2013 13:18 PM

Ill pack my bags and join you. Glad to hear your not willing to throw your charachter away because she did.

Skan posted 12/24/2013 15:29 PM

Oh, ARUBA! Dang, why didn't you say so? I'm packing my bags as we speak. I want the chair that's in the water so the waiter has to wade out a bit to bring me my fruity drink!

4better4worse posted 12/25/2013 15:27 PM


What a very well thought out and wise post! I am sure so many of us have maybe thought about a RA (and/or how it would feel to them if the shoe was on the other foot) Very good points you make. I can't imagine a person would feel better, only worse-- it couldn't really help anything to go out and do the same, although I totally understand wanting our WS's to feel the same way we do.

Just Desserts, your advice also had so much wisdom!

Holly-Isis posted 12/25/2013 19:42 PM

The reason it intrigues me is that I cannot see how my wife can prove her love, respect, and desire for me, after betraying all of it with another man? Plus, how can she prove that nothing like this will ever happen again?

And how can she prove that by your S or D from her and dating other women?

It may temporarily assuage that BS feeling of low self esteem but if you intend to R it causes more problems than it solves.

Bdell posted 12/26/2013 17:28 PM

The way I look at it, Holly-Isis, is that if I date other women either because of an S or D, and if she still wants to reconcile afterwards, that would mean that she love me, for me, and not in order to stay married. I have even thought of divorcing her and just living with her, without the marriage vows. I can see how she could be committed to the marriage but isn't in love with me anymore.

sisoon posted 12/26/2013 18:44 PM

I don't get that, Bdell. If she courts you, no matter what the context is, how can you tell if she wants you or wants the meal ticket/prestige of being M/whatever?

Maybe love can be proved, but I don't see how - my W cheated after 42 years of a good M.

The are no unequivocal external markers of love and desire to be with you. You're going to have to observe her, make a judgment, and take risks, no matter what you choose.

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