Mar 19, 2009
I was just getting relaxed into the fact that our marriage was getting back on track. Initially I was a bit nervous, on edge, when we started being a couple again, but after a couple of months of things going well, I was feeling more relaxed, happy, confident that we were on track and had a future. My wife had also been telling me that she felt things were going well, she was happy and enjoying being with me. It all felt good.
We had a deal. I don't expect most people, even most people on this forum, would agree with this or even really understand it, so I hadn't mentioned it before, but here it is. The deal was that she could occasionally have sex with other guys. The conditions were, that it was JUST sex, no emotional content to it, no "relationship"; also she had to tell me when she did it. She's got a particular thing she's into; I enjoy it too occasionally, and was very happy to do this with her, but for her it's a really important ingredient, while it's not such a big thing for me. She wanted to explore this with other guys who were also into it. There was never going to be any emotional content to it for her - it was more like going to play tennis, you need a partner to do it with, it's good to do with someone you get on with, but she'd be no more "involved" with the partner than she is with friends at her tennis club. I'm not jealous of her tennis partners, so I shouldn't be jealous of this.
I can't pretend I was particularly happy about this deal, even though the reciprocal arrangement was also there, that I had permissions to have sex with someone else if I wanted, but I didn't want, so that deal didn't really give me much. But I was prepared to give this deal a try, to try and be OK about it and deal with it and accept it. I wanted to find a way that our marriage could work, could survive - I could see she had this urge, and if she just stifled it there would be a build-up of unhappiness and resentment and feeling like she wasn't free to be herself within the marriage and the marriage would collapse anyway. It was supposed to be about respecting each other, thinking of each other as totally free individuals who choose to share their lives, but respect each others individuality and freedoms.
Like I said, I don't expect most, or even any, person reading this to understand, but I wanted at least to try living this way, to give it a chance, to see if our marriage could work this way.
For a couple of months she didn't actually take advantage of the deal anyway (at least as far as I knew). Then Monday last week she told me that she'd arranged to meet someone later in the week. OK, so she was keeping her end of the bargain, she was being honest with me about it, so my part of the deal was to try and be OK about it. She spent Friday night with the guy, and it wasn't easy, but I coped OK with it, and I welcomed her back the next morning, and we hugged, and it was OK.
She was out the next night, having dinner with a friend and staying over so she could drink. Then on Monday night she said she was spending the evening with another friend, then last night with a different friend, both times coming back very late. That was too much, so I asked her this morning whether she had really been to see these friends, or whether she'd been spending the evening with the same guy again. She'd been seeing him. She hadn't even gone over to her friends first. She'd broken the deal about being honest with me about it.
Then she really hit me with it - she told me that she couldn't keep up being a couple with me. She'd been trying to make it work, but it felt like she was acting a role with me, she was making an effort to make it work, it wasn't coming naturally. She doesn't want to keep doing that. She doesn't want us to be together any more.
She said that this was unrelated to her seeing this other guy, but it's too much of a co-incidence for that to be true. Also, she's been with him 3 or 4 times in the last 6 days, and even when she's come back later at night she's been spending at least 4 or 5 hours with him, and that's too long for them to have been having sex all that time. So there's got to be more going on.
I really don't know what to do with myself now. I'm sitting at work, but I can't work. I'm shaking. I sort-of know who the guy is - I found out that she belongs to a web community, and she met him through this community, so I know what his username is and those details about himself that he put on his homepage (scarily he sounds very like me, in terms of job, height, looks, build, views on the world etc.). I took out a membership on the website and right now there's a seriously vitriolic hate message I've written to him, and I can't make up my mind whether to hit "send" or not. I know it won't do any good, but there's something in me that wants to do it anyway. I really want to rip his ****ing throat out.
I've called my counsellor, but she can't see me until next Wednesday. I don't know what to do with myself. I need something now. Hence me pouring this all out here - it's the only place I've got.
Even now, if I could save my marriage, I would. I still love her, she means the world to me. We get on really well, we have fun together, we enjoy each others' company, we are good parents together, we have fun when we go out together, we like lots of the same things, we have a similar sense of humour - we are really far better together, much better friends, than a huge number of couples who still manage to stay married. We have 3 great kids, and I want us to bring them up together. In the last month or two we've been making plans for the future - buying a new car, re-decorating parts of the house, planning for her to return to studying when our youngest starts school next year so she can build a new career. I still want that future.
I have done absolutely everything I can to make this marriage work. I have been as respectful, and considerate, and generous as anyone could be. I've accepted her for who she is, and accomodated that, and even agreed to this "deal", as hard as that has been for me. I just don't know where to go from here. I don't know what else I can do now.
OK, I'm going to shut up now. I'm not getting anywhere, I'm not feeling any better. I don't think anything can make me feel better. Sod it, I'm going to send that message. I doubt that will make me feel any better either, but I want to do it.
Sorry everyone for dumping all my sh!t on you.