The last few weeks have been tough at Chez AM. I’m not going into details, but both my Wife and I seem to have felt increasingly that We’re on the brink of divorce. Even our weekly counselling sessions have been turbulent.

Amidst that, somehow We agreed We would sit down this last weekend and talk. One thing that has become increasingly apparent recently is our ability to have the same conversation and yet walk away from it as if We had had two entirely different conversations. So even that conversation nearly didn’t happen. Nearly.

Kirsty, our counsellor, has recently asked Us to think about what would be Enough to save the marriage. What would We respectively need as a minimum for it to be worth saving?
There was some discussion of Enough, and other things – fractious discussion – and then, at my insistence, We talked a bit about sex.
Yes. Dear Reader, We actually talked about sex.
Again, I’m not going into detail for the most part, but …

Acknowledging Our disparate libidos – my Wife has always had a far lesser libido than mine – She suggested We need to talk to Kirsty about how to deal with that. Not a paradigm shift, but a near unprecedented acceptance, nonetheless, that sex might be worth addressing.
I reported that, having previously read up on such situations, the consensus of received wisdom offers 6 options:

  1. The partner with the greater libido just has to put up with not being sexually satisfied.
  2. The partner with the greater libido should masturbate.
  3. The partner with the greater libido should have sex with prostitutes.
  4. The relationship should become sexually non-monogamous.
  5. The partner with the lesser libido should concede to have sex even if they’re not really in the mood.
  6. Divorce.

And my Wife asked “Would any of those work for you?”
I worked through the list:

  1. Not an option. It would mean We stay how We are, and that is not sustainable. I can’t do that any more.
  2. It’s not working. Sex is not just about orgasms and a chemical high, and masturbating is not making anything better.
    [Ed: It should be noted that, in some ways AM jerking off actually makes the situation worse, not least as it highlights just how much of an issue an asexual marriage is for Him.]
  3. I have no problem with prostitution per se, but again, sex isn’t just about scratching an itch. And there are health concerns anyway.
  4. Yet again, is this just about fucking for the sake of fucking? I want to fuck someone with whom I have an emotional connection. And even if it were an option, it’s profoundly complicated: Would I have sex with women other than my Wife in the family home? Or would it always have to be the home of whoever else I was fucking? Sorry dear, I’ll not be home tonight – I’m going out to have sex. Or would it be hotel rooms? And if so, as sex is part of a notional marriage contract*, and that contract is not being fulfilled, should the cost of escorts and/or hotel rooms come out of the joint account? And then there’s the emotional side of having sex with someone. It’s just too fucking complicated to contemplate.
  5. I’d rather my Wife and I had a functional sexual relationship, but when She has said She wouldn’t be bothered if She never had sex again, and She has the legal right to deny my sexual satisfaction (I can’t legally insist on having sex with Her and if I fuck anyone else She has the legal right to demand divorce), there’s precious little I can do about that. And when She has repeatedly said She is how She is, it’s difficult not to see that as at best disinterest in addressing anything about Her sexuality.
  6. Which leaves us with Divorce. Jeez – not a great choice!!!

I’m not really sure where the conversation went from there, but it slowly ground to a halt. Other than to say that, firstly having to keep saying I want to talk about sex makes me feel crap, because it sounds like I’m just sex obsessed, when sex is really only one (important) facet of our problem. To quote a blogging friend – When sex is good in a marriage, it’s 10% of the relationship. When sex is bad in a marriage, it’s 90% of the relationship. And secondly that my Wife is going to email Kirsty to say that We need to talk about sex and, more importantly, not get side tracked.

Later I went for a walk,vand as I did, I found myself deeply confused:
My Wife had asked “Would any of those work for you?” By doing so, She had implicitly not ruled any of them out.
Conspicuously She had not ruled out me fucking other women.
What the fuck?!

That question stuck with me.

The next morning I had to ask for clarification. Had I come away from the conversation with something entirely different to my Wife?
At breakfast, We talked for maybe an hour, and to cut a long story short, things that are not explicitly off the table include:

  1. An open relationship.
  2. A sexual relationship between my Wife and I, in which She gets 100% of the sex She wants, I get 20% of the sex I want, and then I get the other 80% with someone else. This possibility was explicitly mentioned, and not explicitly ruled out.
  3. Prostitutes were not explicitly ruled out.

She had assumed, based on what I have apparently said in the past, that I wouldn’t be interested in having sex with someone else, so had not really considered these options as real. So had not considered it necessary to shoot them down on sight. And if We could have an emotionally functional relationship She said would hope that She would want a sexual relationship with Me. [Ed: At that revelation, AM was in tears, and not for the first time in the last week.] A simple statement that gave Him hope, possibly the first real glimmer of hope, for the first time in years.

Paradoxically, when I have previously thought about the implications of staying in this marriage and having sex outside it, I think have only ever considered reasons to not do it. And now I find myself considering the benefits:

  1. It potentially takes the pressure of sex off my Wife.
  2. It potentially stops the family being blown apart.
  3. It potentially avoids the catastrophic logistical impact that divorce would inevitably have on my life.
  4. It potentially means I get to have good sex.

The suggestion feels remarkably liberating. Or it could all be completely misguided to even contemplate any of this. False hope. Me delududing myself. And there really is no benefit to investing emotional energy in figuring out how I would feel about a non-monogamous marriage if it’s not even an option.

If I ever thought I knew which way was Up, right now I’m not even sure I understand the concept of Up and Down.


* By marriage contract, I do not mean in the historic, patriarchal sense, but rather in the manner of a mutual agreement. We got married, and what I was buying into included an agreement that We would have sex.

2 Responses to “Openess”

  1. I have a couple things for you to consider, if you desire.
    Would you both be able to openly discuss the sex outside of your marriage, or would she/you not want to know about it?
    Do you think she would accept your kinks if you were engaging elsewhere?
    Can you even share your kinks with her?

    • All good questions that would, if it were likely to happen, need discussing.
      I read an article by a counsellor about open relationships and jealousy was mentioned, along with the suggestion that each partner should encourage the other to have sex outside the marriage. But that was predicated on both partners playing away from home.
      The sort of scenarios I can imagine being difficult could include whether my Wife would be comfortable with me kissing Her if She knew I’d been going down on another woman?
      It’s all so complicated and, if I’m honest, it all seems so unlikely, which is why my Wife’s apparent openness to even discuss the principal seems so at odds with so much else that has passed.
      It all messes with my head!

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