Then -- without any warning -- she dropped a bomb on me. "I've been thinking that one way we could start this was to maybe invite someone else to join us. Someone we both trusted."We did not bring this up in the full week in between sessions. As DW said later in the week, she didn't want to talk about this topic if we were exhausted or the kids were around. This week, the first thing I did was bring up this exchange. I said that, since she was almost always exhausted, and if the kids weren't around it was evening and she was exhausted and getting ready for bed, "In my head, I'm thinking you are saying no" to talking about this topic. This got DW upset and accusing me, again, of thinking the worst about her. "I want to talk about this," she said, "but if I'm exhausted I can't give enough energy to it. It's an intense topic." I didn't respond because I knew that I could ask enough of the right questions to back her into a corner and get her to admit that she didn't really want to talk about it. In my mind, she's simply not serious about it.
I picked my jaw up off the floor and laughed, which was probably the wrong thing to do. I apologized, but I said, "How am I supposed to react when you hit me with a revelation like that? You've never, ever discussed anything like this before."
"It's been on my mind a while."
But DW's admission gave me an opening to bring up setting the stage for an open marriage. To her credit, DW didn't shy away from this topic as I expected her to. She wasn't exactly comfortable with it either.
From my recollection of the session, DW has three major concerns over an open marriage: 1) that I'm going to be secretive about it and lie to her again about what's going on; 2) that she's not going to be able to handle seeing me with another woman or knowing that I'm with another woman; and 3) if she's able to handle it, that I'll eventually fall for someone who can give me sex and a future, and I'll leave her. That last one is, of course, a biggie. I've written before that if it weren't for the kids being young and needing both mom and dad in the house, I probably would have already left the marriage. And I said as much during the session. But, I added, a few years ago I decided with the help of my men's group to recommit to the marriage, and I successfully fought through all the feelings of grief over the end of our sexual relationship in order to do that. "So really, I'm in it for the long haul now. There's no one else I want to grow old with. I know you're struggling with trusting me, but you're just going to have to trust me on this."
As for her first concern, she thought that her consenting to my having sex with other women necessitated being secretive about it. I reminded her of something I said in an earlier session, which was that there was exactly zero benefit for to be secretive and deceptive about this. "The only way this is going to work is if it's out in the open. Particularly in light of your idea to have someone join us in the bedroom. It has to be open."
Since I'm now writing this ten days after the session, my memory is a bit fuzzy, but suffice it to say that we agreed to head in the direction of open marriage and that there was no turning back.
The downside was that we did not talk about it again at all that week. Our anniversary was last weekend (closing in on 20 years!) and it just didn't seem right to talk about my having sex with others. We didn't have sex either, although on our anniversary I gave her a beautiful card with a heartfelt note in it:
Love doesn't mean we just look at each other; it means looking together in the same direction. There's no place I'd rather be than in love with you. I love you more than these words can convey. Please be my wife forever and ever.The card was propped up against a vase of her favorite roses that grow in our garden, all of which I'd set up while she was out at the gym. When she got home, I was in the shower, and when I got out she came into the bedroom where I was dressing. She had a huge smile on her face and said, "That was such a beautiful card and note! Thank you, honey!" She put her arms around me. "Here," she said, "I want to give you a big kiss, with tongues." I hadn't yet brushed my teeth and I literally had the worst breath ever, so I lovingly took a raincheck. She was a little disappointed. Later in the day, she tried again to kiss me, but our kid walked in the room and again I stalled. "Later, when the kids are asleep," I whispered. We finally got around to it once we got to bed. But it progressed no further, as expected.
The next session had us digging deeper, and starting to hash out the details of how such an arrangement would work. By no means is she there yet. I truly believe she'll never be ready to have sex with me or anyone else, ever again, and I kept playing devil's advocate with her ideas, explaining that I was trying to poke holes in them to see how serious she was about them, or if they were "just thoughts" she'd had. So far she hasn't given up, but she hasn't pressed anything forward. In fact, I told her that this next week I wanted to press forward physically and sexually with her. As it turned out, this entailed spending some time together in bed fully undressed, touching each other, making out a little. I treated the time like I would have with someone I was dating and getting intimate with for the first time, asking her "Is this alright?" each time I touched a different part of her body. When I got to her pussy, she said yes and thanked for asking her. In retrospect, I really can't believe I have to do this with my own wife, but it doesn't hurt things after having not been sexual with her in over two years. We've done this twice so far. The second time I tried to massage her clit and see if she'd get wet, but no luck. She stopped me after a few minutes, claiming that she was getting irritated down there. I offered to go down on her, but she said no to that. It was progress, and I was satisfied as far as our marriage was concerned, but all week I've been literally thinking that if I didn't fuck a beautiful woman soon, my dick was going to shrivel up and drop off of me.
In the upcoming week, our older kid will be travelling out of state with some friends, before the two kids then leave for camp for eight days. During this time, I will not hold back if there is some free time the two of us have to talk. I told DW to see about making plans to send the younger kid away for a night to a friend's house, so the two of us could have some adult time to talk about things, which was something we'd agreed on during our last session.
God, this is going so slowly, and my patience is being sorely tested. But hey, on the bright side, there's no way I'm not getting laid, so when the time is right, I'll take care of that.