SurvivingInfidelity.com Forums
Wayward Side
User Topic: BS becoming WS...do 20 wrongs make a right?
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 4:29 PM, April 15th (Monday)

Be advised, H & I have an unconventional relationship. Maybe it's not even appropriate for this board, but I haven't slept in three months and I don't know where else to turn.

I could spin you some half-truth about H having an A, and me never really getting over it. But WTH, I'm going with the truth.

Condensed version: H & I dabbled in swinging early in our relationship, and I have (with H's blessing) been with a couple of women over the years.

This will horrify most of you, but H has always had my permission to screw other women, as long as it's "just sex." He rarely does it, average maybe once a year. Ballpark, 20 women during our 16-year relationship.

Yes, I was molested as a little kid and probably have deep unresolved self-esteem issues, that I would ever accept this arrangement. That's another story. But I am also attracted to women, so I kinda get it. And truly, we've been happy! The happiest marriage I know...I used to always say.

Here's the problem. For at least a year I've gotten little affection or intimacy from H. So I stepped up my game: I got in better shape, I am extra affectionate, I regularly initiate sex (which I never had to do before). But after months of this--if anything I am feeling more alienated, and less appreciated. To top it off, I am in the shape of my life, and he has gained 50+ pounds.

So I figure, if it's good for the gander...right? H tells me (full disclosure is my requirement) about his As, but he doesn't want to know if I ever do it.

Which means, I would have to lie and sneak around. Unfair? Yes. F'ed up? Without a doubt.

What am I even doing here on SI? I don't know. Bottom line, I started an OEA in January, and am seriously considering a PA soon. While the OEA has made me very happy in some ways, I have also been wracked with anxiety and insomnia.

Would be very interested to hear from anyone who had a RA, since that's what it feels like I am doing. Or considering.

Pretty sure H is at least borderline NPD, he refuses to accept criticism AT ALL from me, so I don't know how to initiate the "Do you still love me? Because it doesn't feel like it." conversation with him.

TIA for your input. No stop sign.

[This message edited by 20WrongsVs1 at 6:51 PM, April 15th (Monday)]


^^Everything I write, IMHO & YMMV.^^
fWW: 42, amazing H and two elementary-age kids.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing & rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.

Posts: 778 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
BaxtersBFF
Member
Member # 26859
Default  Posted: 5:15 PM, April 15th (Monday)

Do you believe he cheated? If he didn't, then what you're doing isn't an RA.

And, I don't get what you mean by "I'm going with TT" or "TT is my rule." Can you explain that a bit more?


WH - 44
BW - gerrygirl

Posts: 6049 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Boise
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 5:28 PM, April 15th (Monday)

So you have an open marriage and you are now having an EA?

As I understand it, an open marriage is exactly that. No strings attached sex with a third party. How would having an EA be an RA is the marriage was open to begin with...? In that case, you are the one having an affair, not your husband. And it would be an A, not an RA.

And I agree with Bax. TT is your rule? I don't know what that term may mean anywhere else, but here it means Trickle Truth. And our definition of TT doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of your story.

Regardless, welcome to SI. If you're having an EA, I'm 99% sure that that is not part of the rules of a traditional open marriage. You've changed the rules to the game.

Check out the Healing Library. It has alot of info in there. Also read these:

How much does my BS hurt?
http://survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=327446

Withdrawal Survival Guide
http://survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=137622

Helpful Books for WS
http://survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=318321

The Lifeboat
http://survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=354101

Things Every WS Should Know
http://survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=324250


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"You can do it!" - R. Schneider


Posts: 5465 | Registered: Nov 2011
Tred
Member
Member # 34086
Default  Posted: 5:44 PM, April 15th (Monday)

Have you considered marriage counseling (MC) or individual counseling (IC)? Not being able to communicate isn't really a good reason to have any type of A. I assume TT means total truth about his extra marital activities? If so, I think Aubrie is spot on - if you gave him permission and he is following the rules of your open marriage, I find it hard to understand how he is cheating on you. You may want to look into IC to help you with your self esteem issues. Before you go further with your affair, take some time and read the topics suggested. If you have time, read in the other forums as well - Just Found Out, General, and Recon.

One question - is the person you are having an OEA married?


Married: 16 years (14 @JFO)
D-Day: 11/09/11
"Ohhhhh...shut up Tred!" - NOT the official SI motto (DS)

Posts: 3305 | Registered: Dec 2011
ButterflyGirl
Member
Member # 38377
Default  Posted: 5:48 PM, April 15th (Monday)

The welcome page to this site says:

All are welcome here, even the betraying partner, provided they are remorseful and committed to healing.

Do you want healing? You seem to be having negative feelings about having this affair, like something about it is wrong..

You mention some bad qualities about your husband, possible NPD, not supportive of you, etc. Are you upset about his affairs? Maybe that's why you are calling this an RA, because all this infidelity is bothering you..

I'm not against open marriages, I just wonder if this is really what you want..


BW~ 35, Two Darling Sons~ 10 and 6
D-Day 9/2012
S 10/2012
Filed D 11/2012
Divorced! 4/2014

Posts: 1374 | Registered: Feb 2013
Neithan
Member
Member # 35924
Default  Posted: 5:58 PM, April 15th (Monday)

Nothing wrong with unconventional relationships, if they're based on openness and honesty and adults sticking to the agreed-upon rules. "Swinging" people can still be betrayed if the rules aren't followed and they're lied to by their partner. And the pain will be just as great regardless of whether the couple expected monogamy, monogamish, poly, or open relationship behaviors.

And if your hub has given you the okay to have outside relationships but doesn't want to know about it, you don't have to lie. Just make sure he still doesn't want to know, and if he asks what's up, tell him this is one of the things he doesn't want to know about.

I'd suggest getting a counselor for yourself. Just make sure they're sex-positive, and ask that question up front before getting too far into it.


Me: BH
Her: WW
D-Day: 2/19/2010
Married 1981
That which does not kill me makes me more irritable

Posts: 295 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: Among the Gaurwaith
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 6:29 PM, April 15th (Monday)

A few questions, just to clarify:

1) Are you upset that he's slept with other women during your marriage? Permission or not, how do you feel about it? Is your H aware of and sensitive to your feelings?

2) Are you really wanting to have closeness and affection with your H, rather than this OEA? Are you wondering how to bring up this topic with him? What would you like to have with your H? Why is your solution, instead of to keep trying to have it with him, to have an OEA (heading for PA) instead? What could be the outcome of doing this? Do you see this going well in the long term for you, your H, and your M?

3) When your H says that he doesn't want to know about it, does that mean he doesn't want to know details, or does it mean that he doesn't want to know at all that you're having EMAs? How does he feel about you having EMAs - or, if you two are in an open marriage, if you also can have sex with others? Does he feel your side of it should be limited to women only? Men allowed too, but with a similar clause about "sex only"? Or is it emotional only but no sexual? What are the boundaries that you two agreed upon?

4) How has the secrecy factored in? Are you doing things that you know would go against your and his agreements/boundaries, or is it that you're doing things within boundaries but the secrecy has thrown you for a loop? Would you rather have it out in the open with your H?

Just trying to clarify. And when you write TT, do you mean 'trickle truth', which means continued lying? Or does TT mean something else?

Welcome to SI.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.

Posts: 3762 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 6:50 PM, April 15th (Monday)

Oops, I shouldn't have tried to use acronyms. By TT I did mean "total truth" I misunderstood that. Sorry.

Thanks for not attacking me...not that I expected it per se, but thank you.

Do I feel like H cheated? No.

Aubrie you are an intuitive woman. Wow. I probably do want to change the rules of the game...or have...and that may be contributing to my anxiety. Hmm.

Healing: yes, that is what I want, but I'm not sure what that means for me. Kinda feel like I made my bed a long time ago.

Given our arrangement, I feel like I should feel totally fine and justified for having an A, but I don't--as evidenced from my insomnia and seeking your anonymous advice.

Yes, the person with whom I am having the OEA is married. And not like I am; I assume his wife actually expects fidelity. Which makes me the OW, and that is not lost on me,

I have been giving serious thought to IC. Sex-positive...I will look into that, thanks.


^^Everything I write, IMHO & YMMV.^^
fWW: 42, amazing H and two elementary-age kids.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing & rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.

Posts: 778 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 7:15 PM, April 15th (Monday)

Thank you for the thoughtful response.

1) Are you upset that he's slept with other women during your marriage? Permission or not, how do you feel about it? Is your H aware of and sensitive to your feelings?

It occurs to me that I am becoming upset about it "now" due to the dearth of affection and intimacy. No I don't think he is aware.

2) Are you really wanting to have closeness and affection with your H, rather than this OEA?

Yes!
Are you wondering how to bring up this topic with him? What would you like to have with your H? Why is your solution, instead of to keep trying to have it with him, to have an OEA (heading for PA) instead?

How do I say: Gosh, I am starting to question my desirability, because you seem not to want and admire me like you used to. Naively, seeking validation from an outside source seemed easier.
What could be the outcome of doing this? Do you see this going well in the long term for you, your H, and your M?

I don't see my M breaking up in any case.
3) When your H says that he doesn't want to know about it, does that mean he doesn't want to know details, or does it mean that he doesn't want to know at all that you're having EMAs? How does he feel about you having EMAs - or, if you two are in an open marriage, if you also can have sex with others? Does he feel your side of it should be limited to women only? Men allowed too, but with a similar clause about "sex only"? Or is it emotional only but no sexual? What are the boundaries that you two agreed upon?

Until recently I never imagined I'd want to have a PA (or EA) with a man, because my needs were being met, and now they're just not. Theoretically he says I can have an A if he never knows about it, but I know it would hurt him if he ever found out. But I would expect forgiveness, given our history.
4) How has the secrecy factored in? Are you doing things that you know would go against your and his agreements/boundaries, or is it that you're doing things within boundaries but the secrecy has thrown you for a loop? Would you rather have it out in the open with your H?

Part of it is, I feel like I'm hitting that legendary 40-year-old woman's sexual peak and he's not peaking with me. It may be that simple. If I have to be honest with myself: I resent that he has the freedom to openly have an A and I don't. And I've considered having an honest conversation with H about this. But, then the cat is out of the bag...and he says he never wants to know.

Just trying to clarify. And when you write TT, do you mean 'trickle truth', which means continued lying? Or does TT mean something else?

Edited, sorry, I misunderstood the acronym.


^^Everything I write, IMHO & YMMV.^^
fWW: 42, amazing H and two elementary-age kids.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing & rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.

Posts: 778 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
SoVerySadNow
Member
Member # 36711
Default  Posted: 7:16 PM, April 15th (Monday)

BW here. I agree that you are in an EA, heading to a PA.
Within your agreement, the simple sex with other partners for you both was in bounds. All fine there.
Add emotional attachment, bam, EA. Adding sex with that EA partner becomes a PA, and outside the rules.
That's just my take on it, not an A until the relationship with someone else than your husband became "special". Maybe that's what's troubling you.


Me:BW
Him:WH
D-day(s),after years of TT and Gaslighting was Labor Day Weekend 2012, continuing for a week after. *Dammit! More TT 3/9/13
Really trending toward D- planning about it is my "happy place" now.

Posts: 1264 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Sunny Florida
wifehad5
Moderator
Member # 15162
Default  Posted: 7:18 PM, April 15th (Monday)

Yes, the person with whom I am having the OEA is married.

Are you still active in your affair? If so, what steps are you taking to end it?


FBH - 42
FWW - 43 (BrokenRoad)
2 kids 7&12

The people you do your life with shape the life you live


Posts: 35366 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Michigan
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 7:35 PM, April 15th (Monday)

So it sounds like you really want that closeness with your H. Honesty is part of that closeness.

What I mean about the outcome of your OEA, I mean less about whether your M would break up or not, and more about what it would do to both of you emotionally. I don't think it would enhance your life. It sounds like it would keep you in this place and probably make it worse.

It is reasonable to ask your H to work with you on the closeness and intimacy you seek with him. After all, you two are married - you should be able to be a team. Don't give up. It sounds like there are a lot of difficulties in your communication with him, but there have to be tools that can help. Are you worried that he won't hear you? Is it that it might lead to a fight? What's your exact fear?

Are you planning to end the OEA? At this point, it's beyond your marriage: the OM is married, and this is hurting his wife and family.

Your resentment that he can have an A in the open and you can't might indicate something very important: you value honesty between you and your H. So having this OEA is going against your honesty because you're not telling him about it. Change that. If you value there being no secrets between you two, then stand up for it. If it hurts him to know the truth - then it might be important for him to question why he said it was OK in the first place. Would he feel cheated on? If you having an A would hurt him, then why did he say you could do it as long as he doesn't know about it? Guilt, because he slept around? Then why was it OK for him to do it? And why the differing standards between you two? He can be open and you can't? This is a really important discussion to have with him. Why is he allowed to be open and you're not and supposed to hide behavior that he himself is open about? That seems really unhealthy.

Are you going to stop the OEA? This is an important first step - it's not fair to your affair partner's wife. This is hurting and betraying her.

Do you really want to talk to your H? You can do it. You might be scared, and you might be worried that he won't be receptive... But it's better to get it out into the open. Maybe a letter, maybe MC, maybe just sitting down and letting it all out, starting with, "Husband, I really need you to listen and support me right now..." Who knows, maybe it will help both of you heal. If it doesn't, if he won't take part, then still do your best to get YOU healthy and to deal with all of this openly. The secrecy will keep making you feel sick and anxious.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.

Posts: 3762 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 8:56 PM, April 15th (Monday)

Don't mean to pile on to what everyone else has said but here goes anyway.
I resent that he has the freedom to openly have an A and I don't.
Here's the thing though. He's not having an A. You have willingly and openly allowed and agreed for him to have sexual relationships with other people. That was an agreement between the two of you.

You say he isn't meeting your needs and you are hiding a relationship with another person from your husband. You have changed the rules. And it seems to me that you have decided that your husband is cheating as opposed to participating in the "open" part of the marriage. He's doing what he's always done in y'alls relationship. kwim?

Are you guys seriously lacking in communication? Yes. Do you need to have a "come to Jesus"? Yes. Is he cheating? No. Because it was part of the open marriage thing. You however are cheating. Because your husband knows nothing about the other man. That is the diff.

Are you planning to end the OEA? At this point, it's beyond your marriage: the OM is married, and this is hurting his wife and family.
And that's the question of the day. You are helping to ruin that woman and her children's lives and she doesn't even know it yet.

The secrecy will keep making you feel sick and anxious.
Pretty much.


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"You can do it!" - R. Schneider


Posts: 5465 | Registered: Nov 2011
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 10:03 PM, April 15th (Monday)

Don't mean to pile on

I don't feel piled upon at all, and I sincerely appreciate everyone's insight.
You however are cheating. Because your husband knows nothing about the other man

In fairness, the secrecy is H's stipulation--which in retrospect was myopic for me to agree to. But honestly I never expected I would want to have an A.
You are helping to ruin that woman and her children's lives

FWIW, they don't have kids--only adult children from previous marriages, so there are no children to ruin. But I have tacit permission to cheat, he doesn't. My conscience feels like a really inconvenient accessory right now.
Do you really want to talk to your H? You can do it. You might be scared, and you might be worried that he won't be receptive...

I really want things to be better with us, but I am apprehensive to talk to him, considering how these sorts of conversations have gone in the past. Superficially our relationship is good; is rocking the boat worth it? But maintaining the status quo is pretty miserable. And the deception may be worse.

Gee, I should've come here before I sought out the OEA. But I think I needed to "go there" first, as perverse at that sounds.


^^Everything I write, IMHO & YMMV.^^
fWW: 42, amazing H and two elementary-age kids.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing & rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.

Posts: 778 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
wifehad5
Moderator
Member # 15162
Red  Posted: 7:13 AM, April 16th (Tuesday)

20WrongsVs1,

I'll ask once again. Are you still active in your affair? Please answer this question.


FBH - 42
FWW - 43 (BrokenRoad)
2 kids 7&12

The people you do your life with shape the life you live


Posts: 35366 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Michigan
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 9:19 AM, April 16th (Tuesday)

the secrecy is H's stipulation
So secrecy is the rule. Neither of you tell one another when you're both sleeping with other people? Wow talk about a recipe for disaster. Even if the relationship is open, I would like to know if my husband was screwing other people. Also, if everything is secret, how do you know he's been with 20 others?

And the deception may be worse.
If "secrecy is the stipulation" then why are you so sick? Why are you so scared? Aren't you doing the same thing you claim your husband has done all these years?

FWIW, they don't have kids--only adult children from previous marriages, so there are no children to ruin.
And!? Do you think that because the children are adults that they won't be devastated that their father is a lying, cheating bastard? You think they won't be angry and hurt that their father is cheating on their mother? And what about the wife? Do you think about her in this at all?

You've been asked several times if you are still in your A. I would venture to guess the silence means yes.

Wrongs, dump the boy-toy. Get out of the A.


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"You can do it!" - R. Schneider


Posts: 5465 | Registered: Nov 2011
solus sto
Member
Member # 30989
Default  Posted: 1:23 PM, April 16th (Tuesday)

FWIW, they don't have kids--only adult children from previous marriages, so there are no children to ruin.
Please, please don't make the mistake of believing that adult children are not profoundly affected by a parent's infidelity.

Seeing their mother (or stepmother)harmed is agonizing. Seeing their father (or stepfather) as the agent of that harm compounds the pain.

Your choices have the potential to harm many. But really, isn't just one too many?

I know your conscience seems inconvenient---but it's there to spare YOU the pain of knowing you've caused unspeakable pain to others.


BS-me, 52
WH(Mr. Trac-fone), 52, PD
2 kids-DD25, DS17
multiple d-days
DIVORCING
Alone, most strangely, I live on~Rupert Brooke

Posts: 7967 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: midwest
Topic Posts: 17