Friday, March 29, 2013

SL Letter of the Day: My Best Guess

Posted by on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 5:16 PM

My wife and I have been married and in love for seven years. We've traveled the world, have great kids and have always, for the most part, enjoyed a crazy good sex life. We've been swinging in most ways since early days and we've learned how to play well together. She identifies as straight but has dabbled with women. I identify as straight but am open to a wide spectrum of possibilities. We've been to swingers' parties, hosted a few, been to fetish nights regularly, been tied up and whipped in dungeons, and caressed each other and others lovingly. We love each other a lot, but lately it's been hard. We're working at launching our own business right now, which is definitely a source of stress, but we usually fuck when we're stressed. Recently she said that the only way she thinks our marriage will continue is if we have a completely open relationship. The only rule being no "old friends."

I've put myself out there but I don't really see her doing the same. We recently met a great couple with whom we swing from time to time. But our sex life—just the two of us—has become passionless. She says she doesn't have another lover and I believe her. (I would be happy for her if she did.) I have a couple new "friends" that have yet to become lovers, but that's an eventuality that will cum to a head soon enough. I don't want to lose my wife, best friend, business partner, and the best sex I've ever had. Our sex has been so good that we didn't know where her body began and mine ended. I'm usually the rock in the storm, but now I just feel lost at sea. I'm at a loss for what to do. The word divorce has entered our conversations lately and my heart is heavy with woe and sorrow and I fear my kids may soon have to deal with their parents' breakup. Your advice would be much appreciated.

Seven Years In

My response after the jump...

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

I don't know for sure what's up with your wife—I can't know what's up with your wife for sure—but here are my best guesses:

1. Your wife's desire for you has tanked—maybe it's the stress of that new business—but she doesn't want you to go without. So she's encouraging you to get out there and fuck other people. Once her desire for you kicks back into gear, which might be when your new business isn't such a fucking stress fest, she's expects your marital sex life will kick back into gear as well.

2. Your wife wants out and she's encouraging to go find and fuck other people because she thinks you'll take the news better if you're seeing someone else—or a few someone elses—when she tells you it's over.

If Best Guess #1 is correct, SYI, then the passage of time—the passing away of stress—will sort this problem out. So you could safely keep doing what you're doing, screwing who you're screwing, etc.

But if Best Guess #2 is correct, SYI, continuing to do what you're doing—lining up new sex partners—could have disastrous consequences. Watching as your new friends become your new lovers could reinforce your wife's decision to end the marriage. She might say to herself, "Clearly he's going to be just fine without me. Time to call a lawyer."

My advice: don't fuck anyone else right now, SYI.

If your wife is feeling less attracted to you these days because of the stress of parenting and businessing—Guess #1—then having a little less sex over the next six or twelve months isn't going to do your marriage any harm. But if your wife thinking about divorce—Guess #2—then seeing you happily involved with other women could reinforce her decision to end your marriage. Refraining from fucking other women won't stop your wife from divorcing you if that's what she really wants to do, of course, but seeing you prioritize your marriage over your sex life might convince your wife to rethink her decision to divorce—if, again, that's what she's thinking about.

Better safe than sorry, SYI. Hope that Guess #1 is correct but act like Guess #2 is correct. Good luck.

 

Comments (46) RSS

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TomJohnsonJr 1
Great response. And you were very kind to persevere in answering even though he used the phrase "cum to a head".
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on March 29, 2013 at 5:26 PM · Report this
2
And "woe". Seriously, woe? Woah!
Posted by LateBloomer on March 29, 2013 at 5:33 PM · Report this
coriander 3
@1 That would have disqualified him from a serious answer were I in Dan’s seat. Thankfully Dan is a better advisor than I.

If you aren’t already, LW, please see a couples counselor with experience in non-monogamous partnerships. It sounds like you don’t know what’s going on in your wife’s head (as Dan had to guess himself) and that in itself may be a reason why she feels such despair.

I agree with Dan: put a freeze on extras and focus on your relationship and making sure your wife is getting what she needs from you. Exhaust all possibilities until you know for sure she wants to maintain the marriage or move on.
Posted by coriander on March 29, 2013 at 5:35 PM · Report this
4
he should also consider backing off this 'new business' a bit....or at least be aware that if that stress is creating cracks in the marriage, you'reessentially trading financial rewards for you marriage. is it worth it?

ive seen it over and over again with friends who have made that trade. it rarely seems worth it, from the outside at least.
Posted by Cassette tape fan on March 29, 2013 at 5:45 PM · Report this
Fred Casely 5
The word divorce has entered our conversations lately
Since he uses the passive voice here, it's pretty safe to assume the divorce talk came from her. Feel bad for the dude, but my money's on scenario #2.
Posted by Fred Casely on March 29, 2013 at 5:57 PM · Report this
seatackled 6
That first paragraph is quite the brag. And, yeah, "cum to a head" was bad, but when he continued with "rock in the storm" and "lost at sea," I knew we had a winning letter.
Posted by seatackled on March 29, 2013 at 6:14 PM · Report this
eclexia 7
After dungeons and sex parties, maybe it's time to get really freaky and have a romantic weekend away.
Posted by eclexia on March 29, 2013 at 6:22 PM · Report this
8
we never learn, do we girls.....

cheating is ALWAYS the path to divorce.

that, or an "arrangement" masquerading as a marriage.

why do you people have kids?

asholes.

and, yeah; LW is totally full of shit.

Posted by rutters on March 29, 2013 at 6:34 PM · Report this
9
It sounds to me like there's something wrong with the relationship that she's not being honest about (or she has talked but he isn't hearing), something non-sexual that's bleeding over into their sexual relationship. I suspect that the great sex has masked the fact that the relationship is, from her perspective, rather shallow.
Posted by Erica Tarrant on March 29, 2013 at 6:49 PM · Report this
10
A couples sex life will wax and wane over the years. Maybe they're both just freaking out because its the first time they've lost that "mad with lust" feeling for each other. Sometimes you got to power through to the next phase. Maybe something has to change. I don't see any reason here to throw away what seems like a loving relationship
Posted by Zbot on March 29, 2013 at 6:53 PM · Report this
TVDinner 11
Sounds to me like she's already gone.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on March 29, 2013 at 7:20 PM · Report this
12
I would bet money his wife is depressed. He is basically describing me when I'm in a depressed funk. She says you should go fuck more people, but I think you should focus on her mental health for awhile. Find her a good talk therapist. She really sounds under a TON of stress and really unhappy -- feeling like your future is bleak and your partner would be better off without you are really big red flags for depression.

Maybe I'm projecting. But she really should be seeing a therapist before a divorce lawyer.
Posted by wxPDX on March 29, 2013 at 7:47 PM · Report this
13
"Hope that Guess #1 is correct but act like Guess #2 is correct."

Sure, good advice. But for how long? How long before you decide/realize that This Is The New Normal? How long before you reevaluate in light of that possibility/fact?

If this is new baseline, then you have to decide: does this meet my needs? Does it meet hers? If it does, great! Marriage means different things to different people. If it doesn't...
Posted by Sesquipedal on March 29, 2013 at 8:14 PM · Report this
Helix 14
Sounds doomed to me.
Posted by Helix on March 29, 2013 at 8:32 PM · Report this
15
wxPDX beat me to it with the suggestion that depression might be the cause. Aside from this, is she exhibiting any other signs of depression or anxiety? I also wonder if there might be a physical issue of some kind. Has she had any kind of a check up to see if her hormone levels are good and her thyroid is functioning properly? If her health is fine, you definitely want to get to a marriage counselor to help you both figure out what has caused this emotional and physical distance. (Though, if it's not health-related, I'm thinking suppressed or repressed anger about something, such as the new business.)
Posted by Hi there on March 29, 2013 at 8:38 PM · Report this
16
She needs to see a doctor to find out if there is a physical reason for her lack of desire. There are myriad problems that could lead to a loss of sexual drive, and some of them are age related. Others are hormonal.
She may be seeing divorce as the best way out of a situation that can be fixed with proper medication.
Posted by BakerB on March 29, 2013 at 8:40 PM · Report this
17
If you're married 7 years and have great kids, that means you have LITTLE kids. Maybe she's just exhausted. Little kids are hard on any sex life, open or swinging or monogamous or whatever. She needs to give herself break, and y'all need to grit your teeth and push through the little-kid years; it gets better!!
Posted by fotini901 on March 29, 2013 at 9:07 PM · Report this
18
Yes #17! Kids kill it for awhile... they don't call it the 'seven year itch' for nothing. Divorce should always be the LAST option. Especially when you've got so much going for you.
Posted by bodhirungus on March 29, 2013 at 9:27 PM · Report this
Hawke 19
#8 don't be an asshole. Poly relationships are just as valid as monogamous ones and it isn't cheating if all parties agree. And FYI, it ain't always the guys asking to open it up. My wife brought the idea to me. And now the 3 of us live happily ever after. You know, our wife.
Posted by Hawke http://facebook.com/thehawke on March 29, 2013 at 10:28 PM · Report this
seandr 20
I agree with the advice to make her your focus. Sounds like she's either not communicating about some needs, or maybe she doesn't really know what she needs. Either way, you have to get her talking.

Also, sex waxes and wanes over the course of an LTR. Kids, job stress, exhaustion, differing life goals can all throw things off. Personally, I've found that many years into a relationship, a woman's interest in sex increases when she feels like you're taking care of her.

Good luck.
Posted by seandr on March 29, 2013 at 11:02 PM · Report this
21
Perhaps he should try asking her why she is thinking about divorce (if it is her bringing it up). It seems like the first question I'd ask, and he doesn't say why in his letter. Attempting to address what she feels the actual problem to be might be a good start.
Posted by gnot on March 29, 2013 at 11:20 PM · Report this
22
Also, small kids, starting a business in a terrible economy and dating or swinging or intense sexual passion or whatever? Somethings gotta give, and sex stuff is the least important of those three if your kids financial well-being is riding on the small business's success.
Posted by gnot on March 29, 2013 at 11:22 PM · Report this
OutInBumF 23
Seandr- and here I thought you were a single dude.
Posted by OutInBumF on March 30, 2013 at 12:46 AM · Report this
shurenka 24
@5 that's not the passive voice

But yes I think you have a good point
Posted by shurenka on March 30, 2013 at 1:50 AM · Report this
25
17 > 15 & 16. Unless he is doing primary parenting for the (how many?) kids (who presumably are all under 7), then she has been bearing that burden in addition to the business partnering and the busybody sex. Assuming for a moment that LW and wife are awesome partners and equal and respectful, she would likely be massively stressed out because she wants the business to succeed but knows that someone has to keep up with the kiddies too. She's succeeding at the "Having it All" but since the sex is problematic, she's seen as "ill" or "sick".

A couple's counselor to draw out whether these are issues first is much better than jumping to some "wimmen's hormones" issue.
Posted by MemeGene on March 30, 2013 at 4:31 AM · Report this
26
25

No one succeeds at "having it all"

There are always compromises and sacrifices.

Usually by the kids.

Unhappiness and divorce are frequently the outcome from greedily demanding to Have It All
Posted by Kids are mere accoutrements in Gommorah. Afterthoughts... on March 30, 2013 at 5:05 AM · Report this
27
#19 Don't be a dope.

When your wife wants to open it up it is because she isn't satisfied with the status quo.

Congratulations.

When "married" people fuck other people it is adultery and cheating. That is what "married" means. At least it did in the Late Great US of A. In the Qunited States of Gommorica there are no rules. Except this one. Cheating always leads to the bust up of a Real Marriage. Sure. Lots of folks are pathetic enough to stick around for whatever scraps get tossed their way. And sure, you can call that "valid" if it makes you feel better. But it is not Marriage. Just a non-exclusive arrangement for fucking.
Again.
Congratulations.
Posted by In Gommorica "Marriage" is a Special Olympics event on March 30, 2013 at 5:14 AM · Report this
28
19

If Poly relationships are Just As Valid why won't Danny let you Marry your sweethearts?

Why does the King of Marriage Equality
tell you and people like you to Fuck Off
with your mongrel third class arrangements,
that He and Terri can get Married
but Hell No You Can't, ScumBag?

Does Danny think your Poly Relationship is
Just As Valid
as what he and Terri have?

Ask him.

And ask him why YOU can't marry the One's You Love.....
Posted by Danny is a Bigot and Hypocrite. Not Your Friend... on March 30, 2013 at 5:36 AM · Report this
29
I'm impressed by the degree to which the LW seems fixated on sex as the...barometer? extent?...of his relationship with his wife. Not much evidence that he has any intimate insight into her thoughts, emotions, or goals. Seems problematic.

So, in essence, agree with the major points above. LW should focus on restoring emotional/nonsexual intimacy with his wife. He should encourage her to get screened for depression or health issues. He should relieve as much of the burden of childcare, household work, and business stuff as possible (hiring out for help might be ideal if financially feasible). And yes, put other lovers aside until his marriage is either healthy or broken. In fact, LW might even want to seek therapy for himself.

Seandr - I was expecting to read some outrageous comment from you, but instead what you wrote was entirely reasonable. Are you okay? Are you off your feed? ;)
Posted by feliquid on March 30, 2013 at 5:46 AM · Report this
30
29

Very insightful.

And points up the problem with "marriage" in Danny's world.

Where it is nothing but a vehicle to sex.

Dependable cheap sex.

And when it no longer satisfies that shallow requirement it is ditched or mutilated to facilitate the procurance of other sex.

Actually LW is playing the game by the rules....

"swinging in most ways!"

"identifies as straight but has dabbled "

" but am open to a wide spectrum of possibilities...."

"swingers' parties"

"fetish nights"

"tied up and whipped in dungeons"

"caressed ... others lovingly."

" met a great couple with whom we swing from time to time"

blah blah blah.

He is a regular fucking poster boy for How We Do "Marriage" in Gommorah.

He justifiably should feel peeved that Danny didn't pat him on the head and congratulate him.

The Wife?

Her response is also very predictable.

Her Soul (and the Soul of their "marriage") has been wrung out by the shallow carnal short term frenetic hamster wheel charade their lives are.

Congratulations LW. You did "sex" just the way Danny tells you to.

Unfortunately you nor Danny know Jack-Squat-Diddly about Marriage. True Love.

Again we ask-

WHY THE FUCK DID YOU HAVE KIDS? asswipe.

Posted by The Shallowness of Marriage in Gommorah Breaks One's Heart on March 30, 2013 at 6:20 AM · Report this
Rotten666 31
Swinger falls in love with someone other than her husband. Starts mentally preparing him for the imminent split.

Hope that business works out cause you're gonna be paying child support.
Posted by Rotten666 on March 30, 2013 at 7:20 AM · Report this
32
@29 - great response. The husband is talking about sex but really seems worried by the loss of connection with his wife. These do not have to be the same thing. By focusing on sex he may be demanding too much of her, so she tries to deflect. Lots of people talk about the feelings of mothers with small children that everyone wants their body all the time.

The connection can come back in other ways, especially if sex needs more energy than she can give at the moment. Sometimes all one can cope with is a fleeting and kind moment of intimacy, like an understanding smile or a kiss on the cheek.

Delving into everything is important some of the time, but other times you just need to stop making it all about you - whyyy are you having these problems? I need to understand them! Let the other person know you're there for them even if you don't understand.
Posted by misspiggy on March 30, 2013 at 7:31 AM · Report this
33
Unregistered comments from stupid haters always sound like they came from people who are stupid and hateful.

*Sit down, be quiet, and see if you are able to learn something. *
Posted by chilly1 on March 30, 2013 at 12:22 PM · Report this
biju 34
@29 makes a great point. Great response btw, would be interesting to hear the wife's pov.
Posted by biju on March 30, 2013 at 1:42 PM · Report this
35
The sheer scope of the sex life this guy is describing sounds, frankly, like a high-pressure environment. This as what sounds like a fairly constant requirement, on top of the business startup, and of course two or more kids under the age of 7. If I were her, I'd be exhausted too. My take on this is that she's telling you to go find whoever you want to fuck as wildly as you want, just to get you the hell off her back while she copes with the pressures of the business start-up.

If she's the one who instituted the "no old friends" rule, that sounds like she doesn't want to risk losing you either, so I'm going to venture the opinion that she doesn't in fact have one foot out the door -- at least not due to having found somebody else. But she may feel like she has one foot out the door purely because she needs a break. I get the overall impression from the letter that you are the one who treats your sex life like an Iron Man Triathlon, and she needs some time off from the pressure to perform.
Posted by avast2006 on March 31, 2013 at 2:54 AM · Report this
36
My advice is that you should take a substantial portion of that excess energy and funnel it into making your home life as pleasant as possible for the family and for her in particular, and into making sure she feels appreciated for all the wide range of things she puts into the family. Somehow I just don't see either of those involving a frantic effort to bring yet another new couple up to speed as your latest playthings.

If she is feeling nonsexual right now, and you have folks you play with already, I'd say blow off some steam with them, because if you turn your obviously considerable sexual attentions entirely on her right now, she will feel just as pressured by being the sole person who is supposed to meet your needs as she does by the rather daunting demands of "putting herself out there," as you put it. But you need to focus your energies inward, into the family and relationship, not outward into finding the latest set of sexual conquests.
Posted by avast2006 on March 31, 2013 at 3:13 AM · Report this
nocutename 37
@35/36 (avast2006): That's pretty much what I was thinking, too. SYI seems to have very high expectations about what constitutes a satisfying relationship. When he complains that she isn't putting herself out there to meet more new sexual partners, it sounded like he has an idea of who he is and who they are, which is people who must always be cultivating newer and bigger kinks, experiences, partners. More extreme, more edgy, more. Just more.

I don't know how the word "divorce" has entered the conversation, but I am not entirely convinced that the wife wants one. Maybe it was said by her in response to his incessant need for more. ("I can't/don't want to do this right now. If you need a wife who is always up for going to dungeons, hosting swingers' parties, going to fetish nights, having soul-mate-style passionate alone-time intimacy-producing sex, and continually cruising for new lovers, while raising two young children, and starting a business together, maybe we should get a divorce and you can find someone else better suited to your needs.")

Posted by nocutename on March 31, 2013 at 8:02 AM · Report this
38
Just a thought - maybe she's going through early menopause. The libido often takes an extended vacation during that time, only to come rushing back with a roar. (BT, DT)

If she's really too young to be premenopausal (that is, under 40) she might want to have some bloodwork done to see if her hormones have gone wonky.
Posted by Chakolate on March 31, 2013 at 12:55 PM · Report this
39
sheesh. when i got to the end and found out the marriage was ONLY 7 years, i wanted to smack the guy. he writes like it's been 14, or 40!
Posted by PinkieB on March 31, 2013 at 2:18 PM · Report this
40
i recommend testosterone cream 2%, applied to the vulva daily. couldn't hurt. might help a lot.
Posted by ellarosa on March 31, 2013 at 7:23 PM · Report this
seandr 41
@OutInBumF: Nope, not single, although you might say I'm on a long leash.
Posted by seandr on March 31, 2013 at 7:52 PM · Report this
Cory 42
Time to go get counseling. Some quick advice isn't going to fix this problem.
Posted by Cory on April 1, 2013 at 1:48 AM · Report this
43
A new business, multiple young children and a sex life that I, at least, see as utterly exhausting and far too much work. Ease off the business, ease off the social/sex life, focus on your kids and each other. Get some counseling. DIAL IT THE FUCK DOWN. Take a week off if you can - spend the first half of the week reconnecting with each other and then the second half of it spending some quality time with your children who are probably feeling pretty damn adrift and insecure right now.

I know when I am under deadline at work, my stress can lead to unpredictability. Sometimes want to have sex like a damn bonobo and sometimes I just want to find a quiet place to lie down and turn off my brain. The description of the lifestyle in this letter practically made my severely ADD brain explode. It struck me as two people losing interest in each other because of too many distractions and stressors.
Posted by JrzWrld on April 1, 2013 at 4:49 AM · Report this
Fortunate 44
I'm with @9 and the others who think there is more going on with her than is being presented. Just because the LW thinks this all revolves around their sex life, if she is bringing up divorce just because of a low libido period that very well could be associated simply with the temporary stress of creating a new business, I would be surprised if that is really what it is all about. There is something else going on.

I used to be a crisis counselor and have a knack for being able to tell when I'm not being given the full story, and my Spider sense is tingling with this one.
Posted by Fortunate on April 1, 2013 at 9:21 AM · Report this
Fred Casely 45
@24: I have been humbled.
Posted by Fred Casely on April 3, 2013 at 2:29 PM · Report this
46
I usually don't comment, but all the alarm bells in my head started going off when I read SYI's letter. a partner who tells the other person to have sex elsewhere, and talks about divorce, but has no lovers of her own, that sounds like depression, or some other deep feeling of sadness, inadequacy and disconnection. Sounds like SYI knows something is wrong, because his letter becomes write sad- sounding towards the end, but isn't somehow aware of how serious it might be. if she is distant, but cold rather than vulnerable and sad, then she might have someone else, and might genuinely be moving away. but in both cases there is an enormous problem with communication in this relationship, and his wife might be troubled by this more than anything else.

talk to your wife, SYI. listen to her. give her time, but work on the communication until you know she will tell you if something is wrong. Don't pack her off to a mental health professional immediately. If the problem is communication, if she feels alone and unheard, nothing will alienate her more than a partner who decides he knows what her problem is without even trying to ask her. if you make her feel that she can be a flawed human being in front of you, and still have respect and support, she will open up more readily.

It sounds like you really care about her. Good luck.
Posted by relatively on April 4, 2013 at 9:36 AM · Report this

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