My husband of ten years recently decided he wants to have an open marriage. That means it would be okay for each of us to have extra marital affairs should we choose to do so, and that either of us could bring a third person into the relationship if the other one agreed. There would be a lot of discussion before doing any of these things and both of us would have veto power, particularly over a third person brought into the marriage. Let me tell you I was shocked when my husband suggested this. We’ve had an extremely good sex life, so I don’t understand why he wants to expand it other than he’s met a few people at work who are polyamorous and who might have influenced him. His suggestion was, “Let’s just try it out for awhile.” But once my husband makes up his mind, it’s final. I can’t pretend that the idea of a third person entering the relationship isn’t erotic, but it’s also scary and I fear it would end the marriage. Given a choice, I’d rather stay the way we are.
What to do?
I would like to poll readers on this. My personal view of marriage is that it works best between two people. Remember the old adage, “Two’s company, three’s a crowd”? Well, in a marriage three definitely is a crowd and you might be the one to lose out. If sex is getting a little stale for your husband, you might experiment here and there with an erotic night with a third person, but to move that person in on a permanent basis would be dangerous and would shift the powers and balance of your relationship. I can pretty much guarantee you that it would end your marriage. So would having affairs outside the marriage, because one of you would end up falling in love with someone else. So my advice is to tell your husband no. If he threatens to leave you, then you have to ask yourself what your marriage is made of.
All the best to you,
REACTIONS TO CONCERNED FRIEND
Dear Concerned Friend,
It may be impossible to just sit there and say nothing. You want your friend to know what’s going on so she can make her own decision, right? It it were me, I’d take the chance of ruining the friendship, because that’s what my conscience would tell me to do. As women we need to stick together. The husband’s a hypocrite, so screw him. All dark things must come to light. That’s what I think.
Adriana D, Ithaca, NY
Dear Concerned Friend,
It’s not that I think it’s okay for men to have mistresses, but it happens all the time and usually the wife is none the wiser and so what? As CD said, life goes on. Meddling in the situation will only make it worse. I’d leave it alone.
James K, New London, CT
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Disclaimer: CD Knowles is not a doctor or psychotherapist. Any opinions expressed on Knowles Knows are just that — opinions.