"I'm Sick of Putting Myself Last in Everything"

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 09:07
Submitted by Edgerman58

As you know, my wife and I have been undergoing an evolving revolution within our marriage ever since it became clear to her that I was bisexual.

We went through a lot of ups and downs for a while, until we both decided that we didn't want to just throw away all those years of marriage---but, it was obvious that things could never be the same as before.  While on a recent trip out to California, we had a lot of time alone, and we had some significant conversations regarding the future of our marriage and what that might look like.

The upshot is that (according to her) she's bored. She's bored with herself, her job, her "daily routine." She's bored with being taken for granted for years as a mother and wife, and she's bored with me, as well.

"It isn't that I don't love you. Okay? It's just that I want some freedom. I want to do things I've never done before. I'm sick of being so 'reliable', and always putting myself last in everything!"

I asked if she wanted a divorce. She said she didn't.

We talked a long time. We were setting out under the early evening sky where we were staying, and she said to me: "I've met this other guy."

I felt so strange hearing her say that. I couldn't speak for a few moments. She went on to explain that they hadn't had sex. But, wouldn't deny that she was interested in such a thing. Still I said nothing. I didn't really know what to say. I asked her if she really did want to have sex with him, and after a pause she said: "Yes. I think I do."

What an answer. Strangely enough, I didn't feel angry with her for saying this. Is that sick, Betty? If I am to be honest about all this, I actually felt---relieved! Yes, relieved.

We just sat there together for a long time in silence. (I remember that she took my hand and squeezed it. She was trying to be reassuring I suppose.)

I hadn't told her that after I had come out to her about being bi, that I had sought out another guy; but setting there under that dark sky, I told her.

She said: "I figured you had. I just somehow knew it."

So, maybe I have blown it for sure now. Perhaps I have, but I don't think I have. A lot has happened between my wife and I since I came out; and I think this recent development won't push it over the edge, either. At least, I hope it won't. But there's nothing I can do about it if she should decide to leave this time around; and I'm not going to try and stop her should she want to.

Without going into details, my wife (and I) have been through a lot with certain family troubles, and, in a way, this may have proved to be the last straw for her. Women and mothers in this society get a lot of shit. They are expected to carry it around and never complain. It adds up after a while. It has for my wife!

I understand why she's frustrated with her life, and bored with our marriage. Any generally monogamous marriage runs the risk of boredom. Boredom, in fact, seems endemic in any long term marriage. Monogamy may be incompatible with human nature. It's too much to ask of any human being. This seems to be the juncture my wife and I are presently at: Monogamy leads to monotony.

I have no idea where any of this is going. I'm not going to try and stop her should she wish to go ahead and see this other guy. I'd be such an incredible hypocrite if I did that. I have no room for protest. I do understand why she wants to do things she's never done before. After giving, and giving, and giving, and giving---as a mother, and as a wife, her desire for an adventure seems a just one. Does that sound totally crazy of me to say such a thing, Betty?

As a mother, she's taken a lot of shit in the last two years (as I have as well), but she feels rightly betrayed as a mother who tried her very best, and has now been repaid with a kick in the teeth----and then, there was the discovery that I was bisexual---another shock. So, why shouldn't she want to have some freedom that she's never allowed herself to have?

I'm sorry if all this is so mixed up and inarticulate. My thoughts are in such a state of flux, though. I wanted you to have some idea of where my life currently is. I'm scared, on the one hand, but, on the other, I admit I feel a strange sense of excitement, of anticipation, of dread, as well as a certain feeling of relief. If my wife does end up fucking this other guy, will I lose her? I hate the word lose, because it seems to imply ownership; and yet, I do want her in my life. That can't be wrong, can it?!

So it seems that if my marriage is to continue (though different than it was before), certain changes to the narrative of our life together will have to change as well. (Will we survive it?)

I am really not angry with her for wanting to fuck someone else for a change. I'm scared (I won't deny that), but angry I am not. I'd greatly love your opinion on all this, Betty.

Do you think that we can find some sort of middle way here? Can a marriage morph over time, and still be valid? I love my wife, but I understand (I think) where she's coming from in all this. I am TRYING to understand. What else can I do? I wonder how many other couples are facing such a situation? There has to be others.

Love you, Betty!

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We opened up our marriage

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 11:36
MichelleC (not verified)

We opened up our marriage this spring and it sprinted to divorce. I don't know how it happened. I thought he would always love me but his love for his new love seems to have made me obsolete.

Good luck

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 14:48

Thank you for writing. I'm convinced that over time relationships can and should change. Nothing stands still forever so I'm hoping for a good outcome for you and your wife.

Bjorn Bjorn has written well on this site about introducing a third person into his relationship. It seems to have strengthened the relationship rather than breaking it. Maybe this is because he clearly prioritises his prime relationship.

Bordeom is a killer for long term relationships. I hope that you find your middle way!

Monogamy, marriage, bisexuality, affairs

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 18:01

Monogamy isn't incompatible with human nature; my wife and I have been monogamous for over thirty years. Monogamy is incompatible with people who don't want to be monogamous, which is a different question altogether.

How has your marital sex life been since you told her you're bisexual? Is it mutually satisfying? Does your wife believe that you still want her, or does she assume you'd rather be with a man? Perhaps she just wants to feel desired again, and the other guy does this for her. Have you told her you love, want, and need her lately? Maybe it's time to do that. (There's nothing about bisexuality, of course, that precludes making the choice to be monogamous. Monogamy in this case simply means not acting on one's same-sex attractions, just as one has promised not to act on one's opposite-sex attractions outside the marriage).

It's natural to feel threatened when a rival intrudes on a marriage. I think your wife has already gone through this stage in facing your desire for other men. She has dealt with her own fears, and now you must do the same. I hope you can have an honest meeting of the minds, in which you can each express what you want, need, and long for from the other. There's no need for your marriage to end if you both want it to continue, but I think that you and your wife need to agree on clear, caring, and honest rules for dealing with any desires for sex outside your relationship. Since your wife has so far stuck with you through all of your changes, she does seem to value your marriage. Maybe you can both think of ways to spice up your relationship and rediscover what drew you together in the first place.

Long term Monogamous Relationships

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 03:22

Patrick,

Congratulations on 30+ years of marriage. I would be very interested in hearing your story some day, especially in maintaining a loving committed relationship through the inevitable challenges. My husband and I have a whole series of life changes ahead (retirement, kids leaving home etc) so I'm feeling a little anxious.

I think the recent blog by Princess really struck a chord for me - there is a difference between sex/orgasms with a partner of 20+ years and casual, uncomplicated hook-ups.

Maybe the trick is to focus on the former with as much energy as the latter.

Long-term monogamy

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 17:29

NLH,

Thank you. I'd be happy to share more someday. I will say that there have indeed been many challenges including my wife's serious chronic health problems. And though we mean a great deal to one another, we haven't been able to fulfill one another's every wish in a partner, or anything close to it. But what we do have is a kind of caring that has been able to survive every challenge. We've simply decided to make it work, and to live with whatever will never be perfect. Although I think that almost every couple worries about transitions, I'm confident based on what I've read in your posts that you'll be up to whatever the challenges may be.

Sex with a long-term partner does tend to be more comfortable but less exciting than sex with someone new. I like the idea of trying to put the same delight and willingness to please into lovemaking with our spouse as we'd put into a fling with that attractive stranger we fancy.

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