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.
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?
She cheated with someone else, why should I not be accorded the same consideration?
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.
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.
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.
PS I'd suggest "joining" the Menz thread in ICR stat.
[This message edited by JustDesserts at 1:17 PM, December 23rd (Monday)]
"We're not broken, just bent. We can learn to love again."
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.
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.
D-Day, June 10, 2012
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.