by Dan Savage
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.