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'My husband's open marriage suggestion backfired on him.' + UPDATE

'My husband's open marriage suggestion backfired on him.' + UPDATE

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"My husband's open marriage suggestion backfired on him."

throwra437893

My husband (Leo, 34m) and I (30f) have been together for 7 years, married for 4 of them. We don't have any kids and we don't intend to. Two years ago, Leo asked me for an open marriage.

I was devastated at the time. I couldn't understand why he didn't just want me. I couldn't even comprehend the idea of sharing him either. He gave me the same song and dance a lot of men give their spouses: swore up and down that he loved me, I just wasn't fulfilling his needs, he needed more than what I could give, it was just to spice up our life, it was just the act, etc etc.

I did ask if there was someone else. He said no. To this day, I'm still not sure if I believed him. But at the time, I was angry and hurt and said no. He pestered me to change my mind for a week before giving me an ultimatum: open marriage or divorce.

I chose the open marriage. I just couldn't bare the thought of him leaving me at the time. We have rules: we can't bring any partners home; we have to get tested for STD every 3 months; one weekend out of the month must be left free for "us time;" any money we spend on/with our partners must come from our personal accounts.

I didn't partake in the open marriage myself for the first three months. Leo obviously did right away. He seemed to be gone or out late almost all the time, but he always acted so happy and loving towards me while I felt like I was dying inside.

It killed me to think he was sleeping with other women, and I felt so lonely and unattractive and not good enough. I told my sister (Katy, 26f) and a few close friends everything. Katy told me to just "play his game" and be part of the open marriage too.

If he can sleep around, so could I. I honestly didn't have much confidence in myself at the time. I'm a bit overweight and I've never considered myself "conventionally pretty." I was afraid this would just humiliate me further.

Katy and my best friend Jessie (30f) set up my online dating profiles for me. I got so many matches that it was overwhelming. When I told Leo, he was surprised, but told me to do whatever I thought was best.

Jessie helped me choose my first date, and I actually had a great time. He didn't pressure me for intimacy and took me out to drinks and dinner. We did have intimacy eventually, but it was all just casual and we didn't see each other after a couple months of casual dating.

That first guy really made me feel more confident in myself. So I kept going on dates with men. A lot of them wanted to treat me, so I didn't have to spend much of my own money.

Not only that, but some of the men have given me the best intimacy I've ever had in my life. Almost like the kind of connection you read in romance novels; it's been amazing.

I am currently seeing two different men, alongside Leo. One (Mark, 38m) is more of a steady boyfriend I've been with for about 6 months and the one (Steven, 25m) is very casual - mostly just hanging out and having relations. They know about my open marriage/other relationships and are fine with it.

My husband has not been so lucky. In the beginning, he definitely was. He was always out and about and didn't seem to care even when I started dating too. But now he just complains a lot and hasn't been going out much.

He whines about how he's usually the one spending money. A lot of the women he tries to be with want an emotional connection before intimacy. He often wants to be with younger women, but they want younger men. He's also been upset that I go out "with random guys" so often while he's at home alone all the time.

He hasn't asked to close the marriage yet, but I feel like he will soon. He keeps saying he misses "us" and wants to spend more time together. He tried to initiate intimacy a lot more too.

He wants to go on dates and go on vacations and all that stuff more and more, and he gets upset when I tell him I can't because I've already scheduled to do stuff with my partners (mostly Mark).

Honestly, I don't think I love Leo anymore. I care about him, but I just don't love him. I'm not saying I love Mark or Steven, but I honestly feel closer to Mark nowadays than I do Leo. Mark makes me feel comfortable and safe, and I love spending time with him more than my own husband. Steven is funny and sweet and really good at connecting with me.

Katy and Jessie have been wanting me to divorce for a year now, but I was afraid of hurting him and thought I still loved him. But I think my love for him died when he asked for this open marriage in the first place. Seeing him get all angry about it now just because he's not benefitting from it is also a turn off for me too.

But I don't know if divorce is the best option. I still care about him and I still don't want to hurt him. Maybe if he finally asked to close the marriage, we can talk about it then.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's initial post:

BentBent12

Divorce. You’re happier without him. He would only want to close the marriage because he can’t get laid not that he only loves you.

The OP responded here:

throwra437893

We've just been together for so long that the idea of him NOT being there feels weird. Which sounds stupid since I have two other partners so it's not like I'll be lonely. But Leo was a part of my life for so long that for him to not be there just doesn't feel right. But you're probably right.

AwesomePossumID

7 years is not “so long” considering you’ll (possibly) live for another 50 years.

mxx12221

I can't help but feel schadenfreude for your husband... He trampled on your heart, completely disregarding your feelings. Now he loses it all. Serves him right. And yes, divorce is a good option; do you want to stay with a man you don't love? A man who obviously never loved you enough either? Nevermind what he's saying, he demonstrated clearly that he doesn't care about your feelings.

The OP again responded:

throwra437893

I really do think Leo does love me, in his own way. Even when he was more active in the open marriage, he still made time for me and still did a lot with him/for me. But you're probably right on the divorce.

here4mysteries

Oh gosh. Divorce him. You are so young. Enjoy your men, have fun and lose the loser who was fine with you sitting at home by yourself at the beginning when he was gone with other women all the time. And he is only unhappy now because you’re happy and he’s not pulling.

Eight days later, the OP returned with an update.

throwra437893

Hi everyone. I got so many comments and messages on my last post (which got deleted for some reason) that I was a bit overwhelmed. Especially when a lot of you kept saying the same thing: divorce, divorce, divorce.

But, the thing is, I think a part of me does still loves my husband. I know in my last post that I didn't think I loved him anymore, but I can't just forget about the things that I do love. I love when he sings in the shower.

I love when he laughs so hard, he snorts. I love when he kisses my forehead when I've had a bad day. I love when he holds my hand when he watch TV together. Leo has done a lot of shitty things, but he really isn't the big asshole people think. Maybe that was my fault.

But even if I do still love him, I'm not in love with him anymore. I don't think I have been for a while. I care about him, a part of me does still love him, but you all were right; I should have just divorced him when he gave me that ultimatum in the first place.

This past Saturday, we had "the big talk." I initiated it, but he didn't seem too surprised. I just told him that I noticed he didn't seem to like me going out with Mark or Steven and asked if there was a problem.

He said there was. But he didn't ask me to close the marriage. He just asked me if I still loved him. I said something like "not like I used to." He broke down crying, which made me cry. I guess he had known for a while that I wasn't in love anymore, but he had hoped he could win me back if he funneled all of his energy into me.

I was honest and told him that during those first three months of our open marriage, I think my love for him died and I just couldn't get it back. I did tell him that I still cared about him and that I did love him, but it's not the same as it was. He asked if I loved Mark or Steven, and I said no. I like being with them and I care about them a lot, but I can't say I'm in love with either of them.

I also finally asked him why he wanted the open marriage in the first place. A lot of you in the comments said he already had someone lined up and you were right. He had someone at work he was interested in and she wanted him too.

The open marriage was just to get permission. He honestly never expected me to also get my own partners because of how unconfident I was, but he didn't want to stop me either because he thought nothing would come of it.

He didn't really like me seeing other men, but he knew it wouldn't have been fair to tell me no when I gave him permission first. I guess Mark and Steven made him insecure because I was spending so much time with them on a regular basis.

The open marriage was just intimacy on the side for him; he only did hookups and they never lasted long. He genuinely always just loved only me. But he thought I was falling in love with my partners and he was losing me and wanted to win me back.

We cried a lot and talked a lot. We've decided to get a divorce. Since the house is in his name, I'm going to move out and live with Katy for a while. He told me I didn't have to and I could stay until the divorce was finalized, but I just can't. It's too hard to even look at him sometimes.

I don't know I feel, to be honest. I thought I would be relieved or sad, but I'm just tired. I wish I could have been like you all wanted me to be, clapping back or being sarcastic and snarky or rubbing it in his face, but I don't feel like I've won anything. I just feel lost.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:

PrincessBella1

Unfortunately, this is what happens when opening the marriage is not mutual. But you two are handling it as adults and I hope that both of you find the happiness that you deserve. Just not with each other. It is a situation where no one wins. Thanks for the update.

ayymahi

Him wanting to win you back after He threw everything away just to sleep with a coworker is wild to me! Onward & upward to you✨

Theunpolitical

I'm wondering if that maybe the other woman ended it so now he was back to what he was comfortable with: his wife? He went and had his fun and when that died out, he was not left with a wife waiting for him at home.

The OP responded here:

throwra437893

He and his co-worker were only sleeping together for maybe a month. She fulfilled his kinks that I never liked indulging in. That's why he was with most of his partners, because I wasn't interested in his kinks.

Sunflower-and-Dream

At least Jessie and Katy stopped Leo from having his cake and eating it too, while OP got the short end of the stick.

Solid_Letter1407

Something about this post makes me really sad. It’s a reminder how fragile love is. Tend your garden, it is true.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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