There are exceptions to every rule of course, but I have learned from various sources that men deepen emotional attachment through sex, just as women tend to seek an emotional attachment before being vulnerable to sex.
As I said, there are exceptions. ONS, past abuses and so on. But to expect a WH that has already broken your loose boundaries to respect them and meet your emotional needs is unrealistic in many ways. He's not going to show you any more respect and love than you show yourself.
Please explore in IC why you are willing to make concessions for him at your own expense.
Whatever his issues are...if he loved you like he should, he'd not only work on them but he'd damn well show you love and respect by staying within the M, at the very least through your healing process. He's showing he loves only himself and he knows you'll take whatever he throws at you.
[This message edited by Holly-Isis at 6:46 AM, June 18th (Tuesday)]
So I don't think what you want is sustainable.
[This message edited by I think I can at 9:48 AM, June 18th (Tuesday)]
We agreed that he could have casual sex in August -- after he'd already done it, but that's beside the point for now
Hmmm.....I think that is actually the point. If you are fine with him having casual sex that is fine and all but he didn't respect you enough to get permission first. Open marriages need far more clear boundaries and rules than non-open ones.
Do you have permission to have casual sex as well or just him? You say sex is not as important to you but you are young and your opinion may change over time. Sex is not as important to me as it is to my WW but I don't think I would have an open marriage if the same rules didn't apply. It may be less about you wanting to are more about if he would allow if you allow it for him that you may find important in the end.
There was a post on power dynamics in a M and A's a week ago. I think that is such an underplayed theme in discussing these A's on SI. In your relationship it seems your WH had all the power in the relationship and you have very little. He gets to pretend to be or not to be married whenever he wants and you are left with whatever scraps he is willing to share. I am afraid you will find yourself always wishing you had more than he will be willing to give you.
It seems to me that the core issue in all of this is your low self esteem which has led to you agreeing to a type of relationship that is only damaging you further. You need to ask ourself are you really ok with him sleeping with other people or are you doing it to keep him.
It seems that he is using your confidence issues against you, he is trying to make you feel that your very normal reaction to his behaviour is abnormal, paranoid and unreasonable, believe me Hun it is not. He is blaming your physical appearance for his desire to go outside of your marriage which again is rubbish, he is making these choices simply because he can and he wants to.
I know what it's like to accept behaviour and bargain like crazy to keep some one and how confusing it gets when they blame you and make you feel somehow at fault. I was with my ex from when we were teenagers, he was all I knew and I accepted allot, to the detriment of myself to keep him.
He left anyway once he found someone else he wanted to be with.
it took a long time to rebuild my self esteem. But I am much better off without him, I suspect that you probably will too.
He traded both cars because he bought both. The Camry I bought kicked the bucket and he bought me a car to replace it so it was his to sell
I really hate to keep harping on the car issue, but I actually think its a big deal. So, you're saying that he owned both the cars he traded in? Right? But you don't have a car as a result? I think it is an excessively selfish partner who leaves their partner without transportation. Who cares who bought it? I mean, even those with separate finances tend to watch out for each other - when it is successful, neither person has "less" - they balance it out even if it means the person who makes more money has to contribute more.
ETA: after that rant, I am wondering if I have your car situation wrong. I am having a hard time making sense of the situation.
I am just really disturbed by all the one-sidedness going on. Love, if that's what you're looking for, is a two-way street. Maybe you can let us know what he's doing to fill your love bank? Other than just being present and taking up space?
[This message edited by RockyMtn at 8:30 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)]
we are in a MUTUALLY open marriage
[This message edited by mysticpenguin at 6:23 PM, October 25th (Friday)]
Im assuming he doesn't tell these women he is married...because he certainly doesn't seem to feel married to you at all...so you are ok with him using women for sex? You're ok with him lying to these women? You're ok with the enormous amount of disrespect he shows you and these women he lies to?
Open marriages can work..but not like this. A successful open marriage is based on trust and honesty..and there is neither in this marriage. If he had wanted an open marriage,he should have made that clear before the weeding day...not after he cheated.
He is not your best friend. Best friends don't lie and hurt their BF.
[This message edited by confused615 at 10:14 AM, June 19th (Wednesday)]
..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.
If I could 100% GUARANTEE that he will only ever have sex with these other women and never develop feelings for them or make comparisons or slide down the slippery slope to an outright affair, yes, I'd be fine with it
I can almost 100% guarantee that. I honestly don't think this man is capable for true "feelings" for someone else. Anyone. Including you.
You need to get a car and work on becoming independent. Hopefully though that process you can also work your way away from him.
Finding a good IC is not easy but could be really helpful too.
[This message edited by uncertainone at 10:19 AM, June 19th (Wednesday)]
'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth
[This message edited by mysticpenguin at 6:24 PM, October 25th (Friday)]
Another thing to consider...you already know he won't respect your boundaries...but what about these women he is using? What if one of them decided she isn't ok with being used? What if she becomes attached? What if she had an STD? You said you won't have sex with him after he has had sex with another woman until he gets an STD test done..ok..but what about HPV? IIRC,there is no test for HPV for men.
I think you are risking alot for this man..too much,really.
I think he sounds emotionally abusive.
I had built him up in my head to be someone who could never hurt me (I've been horribly betrayed by my own family), and he could hurt me grievously
Well, just my armchair diagnosis after reading dozens of books on relationships and self help and self improvement, IC/MC for years, retreats, etc. But IMO, your feelings of betrayal by your family is EXACTLY why you are going along with this open relationship that you didn't agree to in the first place. Maybe by agreeing to have an open relationship AFTER finding out he cheated, you are feeling like you have a bit of control in the devastating situation you are in, therefor you can "protect" yourself from the betrayal that you've felt since you were young. Since you've been so hurt by your family, you are willing to do whatever you can, no matter the cost, to control any future hurt.... even though you absolutely can't control whether your WH hurts you again or not. It's the perceived control over this potential pain that makes you feel comfortable and safe in this new "arrangement" where you allow your WH to cheat on you til his hearts content, regardless of the cost it comes with for you.
Just what exactly do you plan to do when he gives you HIV after having sex with so many random women in bars that he brings it home? Will it be a good arrangement then?
Many people in open marriages will tell you that it is more about the love and trust for each other that builds up to an open relationship. They find great gratification knowing their spouse/partner is getting such great pleasure, and attention from others. It's not about just being able to F' another person.
I too see many red flags here in this relationship, and things that you need to really understand your motivation for allowing them.
The whole it's his money, so he can do with it what he wants is BS. You are married it is a partnership, and you both bring things to the table for you to share and make it work. That being said you should have a car. PERIOD. You are isolated, and trapped in your current situation. You lack the ability to even attempt to better your situation for yourself by not having a way to get to and from a job, where you can make money so that you can be more independent.
You also lack the ability to go see friends and family without his allowing you to. Again keeping you isolated, and allowing him to have complete control over you. This is not a healthy relationship. This is not love and respect.
If you truly are ok with having an open relationship then you need to lay clear cut boundaries, and rules, yes rules to allow it. Your current set up is only allowing him to do what he wants without any consequences. It also validates his choices prior to making it an acceptable situation. So what happens when he does develop a relationship with one of these women, it will happen, does he have consequences then? is he open and honest with you now? Or is he hiding his phone, deleting messages, getting po'd if you do ask, snoop, or check up?
Open relationships have more trust in them than nonopen ones. They have to to make it work, and there is a HUGE group of people out there that participate in this lifestyle. The ones I know have NO secrets, and will even talk about it, and ask advice from one another when seeking out a new 'playmate'.
Educate yourself to what others in these relationships do. Go to a few Lifestyle/Swinger websites, read, ask questions. Learn.
I think both of you are young, and have a lot to figure out about yourselves before you will be able to have a healthy relationship. He definitely needs to get into IC, and realize and deal with his issues that make him want to seek validation from others.
He seems to think this whole issue stems from my lack of self-esteem.
I have struggled with self-esteem issues in different ways throughout my life, but something I read a long time ago has affected me profoundly throughout my life:
You must love yourself before you can get the love you want and need from others. I really believe this. It is my opinion the man you are married to is never going to respect you or love you the way you want because what you have alredy tolerated from him illustrates your lack of self-esteem and lack of self-respect.
I doubt anything could fix your relationship, but after you dump him, if you engage in counseling that will help you learn to respect yourself and demand that others treat you with respect, I think you are more likely to get the love and respect you deserve.
What will happen when attractive women look at your H and choke or laugh at him? Internally, my bet is that he'll crash. I have no idea how that will show up in his behavior, but I'm worried.
He'll go after good-looking women in bars in preference to you? This sounds seriously dysfunctional.
He'll lie to the women he wants to pick up and can fuck them only once? This is seriously dangerous (STDs, boyfriends, etc.) and seems pretty unhealthy emotionally IMO.
I always thought open M meant honesty, but my bet is that your H is lying to himself as well as to his victims - he's just philandering, not being part of an open M, IMO.
I admit I don't understand the whole deal - but what I DO get makes me want to stay far, far away from this guy, and that's not even considering how he's treating you.
WRT your finances, independence, etc., have you considered charging him for the services you provide? I think the latest estimate is that the average woman spends 27 hours/week doing household management. Why not present him with a bill, beginning with the start of your living together? That could make you a lot more equal in assets.
How is this relationship good for you - what are you getting out of it?
[This message edited by sisoon at 5:23 PM, June 19th (Wednesday)]
Financially speaking, it would take me like forty YEARS of working and saving every last dime to save an amount equal to his current assets, so he does definitely dominate this relationship from a financial standpoint.
I find this hard to imagine. Not that I doubt someone in their 20s could be financially stable and well off, but in your profile you said that just last year he was a student. Plus he needed to trade in 2 cars to get one 35k truck? All this, and it would take you nearly a lifetime to match his assets? Hard for me to imagine... but I think this ties in with you understating yourself and overstating him. I think you really need therapy. Your self esteem is in the can, and your current lifestyle is not adding to it. Plus, it seems like you have him on a pedestal. I hope you are able to re-evaluate your situation with a clear mind.
[This message edited by Dark Inertia at 5:38 PM, June 19th (Wednesday)]