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Dear Chump Lady, My husband wants a polyamorist marriage

cakemanDear Chump Lady,

My husband has just announced that he is a polyamorist. He is sleeping with at least two other woman at the moment and says that he will never be monogamous again!

He has asked me if I will be prepared to stay married and live as a family. (We have one 10 year old child).

So he wants to stay a family whilst he has this other life which has no rules or boundaries. He honestly thinks he is offering me a good option.

What do you think of that? Is this polyamory thing becoming more common? Or is it just friends with benefits?


Dear Yvonne,

Who cares what it is, how common it is, or what I think of it — what do YOU think of it? It’s your marriage and your husband just unilaterally changed the terms of it. Is that okay with you?

When you start directing your attention towards polyamory trends in West Yorkshire, you’ve given credence to his nonsense. You’re buying into some whacko cheater narrative that All The Cool Kids Are Doing It.

(Mom voice) Would you jump off the Empire State Building if your friends were doing it?

Just because your husband has a notion to swing, doesn’t mean you have to go along with it.

As I’ve written before, the offer of an open marriage after the discovery of an affair(s) is not sexual sophistication — it’s a threat. Give me cake or we’re finished.

On the one hand, you could argue that hey, at least his distaste for monogamy is stated honestly. He cannot live without cake — you at home, and some fuck buddies on the side. And you can have cake too! On the other hand, this isn’t what you signed up for. He was quite content to let you play by the monogamy set of rules while he was boffing two women. (Did he announce he wanted an open marriage and THEN find two women? Or were there two women when he made this announcement? I think it is the latter.)

So let’s say you go along with it. You’re going to be a polyamorist too. Well, you’re going to have to work out some guidelines with your husband. How do you manage the threat of STDs? Who is an acceptable partner? (Are co-workers out? Friends?) How much time are we devoting to extracurriculars? I mean, with both parents sourcing hook-up partners that could take away family time with the 10 year old. So how do we calendar this?

Geez. I’m taking all the sexy out of it, aren’t I? Rules? CALENDARS?

Polyamorists need trust too. Every “arrangement” has guidelines and boundaries. And your husband just demonstrated that he doesn’t abide by agreements. You had an agreement — monogamous marriage — and he changed the rules to suit himself. Who is to say he wouldn’t do the same with an open marriage?

Oh, but he’d be HAPPY then. This is a better arrangement, so of course, that will confer honesty upon him. Really? You want to trust your next Pap smear on that?

And what about your happiness? Is this really what you signed up for?

I think cheaters often wrap themselves up in a cloak of “polyamory” so you can’t call them out on their narcissism. They aren’t cheaters! They’re sexual sophisticates burdened by the oppressive hegemony of monogamy! It’s all monogamy’s fault!

Look Yvonne, some people aren’t that deep. They swap out partners the way other people swap out air filters. Your husband sounds like one of these people. Your values aren’t in alignment. You want to be intimate and exclusive with your husband, he wants no-strings-attached sex with strangers. You’re not a good fit.

Time to stand up for what you want and assert your values. Preferably in front of a judge. While you’re working out the custody and support details, let your husband explain how cool polyamory is to him.

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  • Yvonne, do you want to have sex with other men. If you don’t then don’t. Assume you are married to a narcissistic cheater and make your decision on that. I have been married a long time. I have never wanted to have sex with anyone but my husband. I am not alone. Many of my friends feel the same way. You cannot make yourself into someone you are not. If the idea of sex with another man is anathema then don’t do it. I would take the kid and run for the hills……after I got my fair share of the finances. You realize you need to make a decision quickly don’t you. He is probably spending family money on his new hobby. Good luck.

    • “You cannot make yourself into someone you are not.”

      A really great and simple point, I reckon.

      I guess his reasons don’t matter – he’s shown you, pretty directly, who he really is. Now you are free to make a tough and heartbreaking decision based on real information, rather than speculation.

  • Polygamy, isn’t this what every over achieving cheater wants?
    The right to fuck whom ever, when ever, where ever. While their partner is at home cooking, cleaning and caring for the kids. It is only really ever labeled polygamy when they think it might actually fly with the faithful spouse. Because calling it what it really is would be crass and distasteful and hurtful to the sensitivities of the cheating fuck in the room.

    Your cheating husband is a self entitled dick who need a good swift kick.

    If your child came home to you in 20yrs time and said mum my spouse wants a polygamist relationship after you stood and watched them exchange vows of love, honor, forsaking all others. What would you say to them? First Gut answer is the answer to your own situation.

      • Actually, no. Polygamy is a marriage of a man and multiple women. Polyandry is the marriage of one woman and multiple men. Polyandry or group marriage is the marriage of multiple women to multiple men. Notice the key word is marriage. It is still a commitment and going outside of the marriage for “companionship” is still cheating.

        • It’s the point that polygamy is not polyamory. Specifying the sex specific language is cool and all but I’m not sure it was conducive to the point CL was focusing on.

          Regardless, the outlaw of polygamy is pretty much retarded to begin with. If peeps can marry same sex and it’s cool why not a polygamous relationship that all parties consent to?

          Also you associated Polyandry to group marriage. Was that intentional?

          • These cheaters even piss off the polyamorists. Polyamory is two people AGREEING to have sexual relationships with other people who AGREE to be part of the polyamorist circle. Hubby lied to wife, and lied to the other women. He s just a garden variety cheater.

          • No, I didn’t mean to associate Polyandry with group marriage, darn autocorrect. I meant to associate polyamory with group marriage. And, you are correct, I got a little into the weeds with that one. I guess my point was that regardless of the number of people in the committed relationship, it is still a committed relationship. It pisses me off when scumbag cheaters want to “change” their relationship from monogamous to polyamorous just because they don’ feel like honoring their commitment to their family. It’s gaslighting and it adds to the ton of misinformation already out there. True polyamorous relationships are not sexual free-for-alls with no consequences. They are adult committed relationships and there is much more to adult relationships than sex.

            I agree with you that polyamorous marriages should be legal, but then again, I’m pretty liberal when it comes to marriage. I think that adults should be able to marry who they love whether it is 2 people or 10 people; whether same sex or opposite sex; in a church, justice of the peace office, casino or holding hands around a tree. I think the gov’t should be in the relationship only in that if you’ve made that commitment, you should go to the recorders office and register your spouse(s) as your next of kin.

            But CL is right. OP’so husband is not any of these things. He is a run of the mill cheater who thinks he’s clever. A cheater claiming to be polyamorous is like a vegetarian who claims he can eat beef.

    • “If your child came home to you in 20yrs time and said mum my spouse wants a polygamist relationship after you stood and watched them exchange vows of love, honor, forsaking all others. What would you say to them?”

      Good point, Thankful.

      My family and friends, and my ex-wife’s family and friends, had to deal with that. I told them all that my then-wife was requesting an open marriage, repeatedly, for 3 months with no end. The worst part was that our MC actually went along with this suggestion. (Frankly, I think she should lose her counseling certification).

      As you say, my family said it was crazy and selfish and stupid, and not what I’d agreed to when I got married. My in-laws, on the other hand, pretended not to hear, or claimed their daughter/sister was “confused.”

      She was confused, all right. She was confused in thinking that I’d ever agree to a polyamorous marriage. She was confused in thinking that it was even something permissible to ask for. She was confused in thinking that my calm, rational, chumpy disagreement with her request was common/expected/required. (A husband with backbone would have kicked her out of the house at the first utterance). And she was confused when I left for good, accusing me of not trying to work through our problems.

      Move on, Yvonne. These people are not worth the time it takes for us to even discuss their selfishness.

      • That’s what my ex wanted too – but he wanted the right to screw both men and women and I was too ‘vanilla’ if I didn’t want to join and ‘what was wrong’ with me, and how ‘jealous’ I was because I didn’t want to do that. Ok, Mr. Bully. Agree with everyone here. It’s what you want. It’s not what they want to ‘hold’ whatever they think they are holding together in the marriage.

        I gave him what he wanted without me in the mix. I let him go so he is free to screw anything he wants. He was mad at me for that too!

        Typical Narc for ya!

        Do what you want. This is your life first. Make it exactly what you want. Life is so very short.

  • Polyamory. Just another name for ‘I’m a cheating prick and with less sexual sophistication than a mangy wild dog and I have no respect for you whatsoever’.

    Dog poop by any other name still smells like dog poop.

    • I have friends who are polyamorous and it works for them – but those are people who set out the rules together beforehand and it takes a LOT of trust, honesty and communication. The last thing I’d want to do with a cheating partner is become involved in a situation which requires more communication and trust – cheaters aren’t very good at that!

      • I am just not convinced, sorry. The idea of it makes my head melt to be honest. I am at that stage in my life now where I believe people compromise themselves for all sorts of reasons. I just wonder who in their heart of hearts can look into someones eyes and feel happiness knowing that that other person is sleeping with someone else.

        Maybe it’s that my head’s been so messed up by cheater but all the same, I find it hard to get my head around the concept. It just sounds like organised cheating to me.

        • Sure isn’t my style, but they value honesty in relationships. Cheaters calling themselves polyamorous is offensive to real polyamorists.

  • Yvonne,
    On first D-Day, my husband told me that he wished that polygamy (polygyny) were legal in our region. I told him that the difference between polygynists’ relationships in those regions and ours was the woman in the other type of relation knew that she was signing up for a non-exclusive marriage (expected to share her husband). My husband never suggested polyamory, though–probably because he thought I didn’t deserve a loving relationship. On second D-Day, I realized that, to him, I had been just a maid and a nanny with benefits from the moment we met. By the time he filed, he wanted me to pay him–even though I had no income. (He thought I had failed as a maid and a nanny.) For cheaters like ours, spouses, especially monogamous ones, quickly become old news. Unless you are into swinging and don’t mind feeling like the hired help, I don’t think that you’ll find your husband’s proposed version of marriage satisfying or even acceptable. You deserve better treatment.

  • I can’t really call it faux-reconciliation post D-day, more ongoing disclosure by XH as to his terrible predicament with ‘I love you but….’ Said disclosure included many of the OW’s wonderful credentials including how she was reading The Ethical Slut- “The essential guide for singles and couples who want to explore polyamory in ways that are ethically and emotionally sustainable.” So at least 1:0 to the OW then, as I was the boring, monogamous type (who also was not impressed by XH’s porn usage or visits to prostitutes).

    I thought then, and still do, that this MO is essentially a justification for bad relationship behaviour-aligned to the ‘we’re not meant to be monogamous’ mantra. I also suspect it’s employed as and when the current partner is being discarded. I don’t think either the OW or XH would want to share their wonderfulness with others at the high point of their drama- ‘What share MY fresh cake? Oh no!’ Now, when it gets to be ordinary, a bit stale (you know when you get divorced and left with each other…) the polyamory tune probably starts up again.

    Same goes for the ethical and um, emotionally sustaining part. Foreign territory for people who lie and cheat to get what they want from others.

  • Yvonne,
    why dont you say …” Yes, But I do have some conditions… I have prepared this agreement…why don’t you have a look at it and let me know if my conditions work for you” He will say ‘ ah… These are divorce papers! ” and you will say ” BINGO !!!! FUCK HEAD!

  • Yvonne… This made me think of a story from my youth… So i am the eldest of a very large family… And often when i was given something for my birthday it was assumed that i would share it with my siblings… One year i got this beautiful bike… And sure enough the next things that came out of my parents mouth was… ‘Now lets your brothers and sisters take a ride’ . And so it went we shared the bike… And i had to wait for my turn… And be understanding when one of my youngbsibs needed to have it longer.
    Yvonne… Dont know about you … But I am all grown up now… I dont share my fucking bike anymore. Call me selfish! And guess what my sibs all got their own bikes… Thats how it works. 12 billion people on the planet…. They can find their own bikes.

    • Beautiful, Clip, just beautiful! A perfect analogy. This situation of ‘sharing’ is what I was expected to tolerate in my XBF’s delusional mind.

      As I have said before and will continue to do so: His life is really in the crapper now and I couldn’t be happier for him 😉

    • I love this too. From today I will regard my ex husband as a well used secondhand bike that slutty OW got as a booby prize!

        • Grew up in a small town. A woman with a lot of mileage ( wink wink, nudge nudge …) was known as the “town bicycle….everyone gets a ride”.
          I believe Mike Myers used this line as well.


          But seriously – your husband is a giant douche. Time to let this one go and hope he doesn’t come back!

  • After D-Day # 1 cheater ex proposed that he could live in the basement and the kids and I could live upstairs and we could both date other people. He was genuinely shocked when I turned that great proposal down. Told me I was being “selfish and unenlightened”. I told him he could feel free to move in with schmoopie anytime….that is when I got ILYBINILWY…..I just walked away saying “Yeah, right….whatever……

    I was totally disgusted with him at that point and didn’t want him anywhere near me.

    I had explained to him before we got married that if he had any wild oats left to sow he’d better get on out there and get them sown because cheating was a deal breaker for me. Obviously, he did not believe me…..imagine…..little ol” me leaving his fabulousness….. Gag!

    Point is, honey, you are worth so much more, and you do have a choice in this. You deserve to be truly loved, and in a relationship where you can trust the guy truly has your back. You don’t have to accept this sparkly covered turd…..May be time to start getting those ducks in a row? Might be he is spending hard earned cash that should got to maintaining your family on those other OWs. Might be time to get proactive…..What do you think?

    • Yes, Tessie, my cheater ex proposed the same type of arrangement! He would live in the basement and had a “great idea” on us having an open marriage. Yea, right!! That’s why I so love this website. When you hear this crap you think you are the only one to ever live through such craziness. Then you see how many chumps have been fed the same BS.

      • Crickets, I agree with you. Hearing other people’s stories takes away a lot of the shame of feeling like there’s something wrong with you because you experienced the ILYBINILWY speech, or other such cheater’s crap. You start to realize cheaters are all alike…

        • OMG, they are all alike. After the ILYBINILWY, I got the “open marriage” suggestion! She knew it wouldn’t fly, but she tried anyway.

          • Add me to the list of people whose ex brought up the open marriage, AFTER I learned it had already been done for over a year. It’s only an open marriage if you’ve been, you know, OPEN about it.

            Chump that I am, I did a lot of research on open marriages and how to make them work, and EVERY SINGLE ONE I found emphasized how important trust and respect was in an open marriage. So basically being asked to open up a marriage with a liar is a recipe for failure. Just get out now.

            • THIS!! Open. Trust. Absolutely.

              I know a woman who brought up open marriage in the first decade of her marriage. They had a quickfire family and she says in retrospect, she was probably feeling a little lost in babies and no longer a woman, just a baby factory. She thought they BOTH discussed, researched and decided together to go ahead. It seemed to start well, open, honest. But, then she started to notice he felt threatened by her sex partners, whilst he was very happy to have plenty of his own. So she sat down with him and they talked. She said she felt he was not happy with the arrangement, so they talked a lot and “closed” the marriage again. Or so she thought. Eight years later she found whilst she had been faithful, HE had been fucking around on her for six years. She is totally devastated.She was always open and honest, whilst he crept around in the shadows. Ultimate cake eater in my book.

    • Tessie, I had something similar. My ex wanted us to keep the kids in the house we each moved in the house every other week – so one week on, one week off and the kids stayed in the same house.

      It’s weird where they get their ideas and how the explain how this is ‘ok’. oui vey

      • Ex and I had a vacation home near the beach that I loved. In the course of our divorce, he offered to buy it from me with his AP, saying he would keep it “family neutral,” and that way the children and I could use it when he and the AP were not there. Like one big happy family. I asked him, “let me get this straight— you and AP want to buy the vacation home I bought and paid for, and the place you know I love better than any place on this earth?” He responded–“the irony is not lost upon me.” I told him a lot more than irony was lost upon him, and that I’d rather it burned to the ground.

  • Yvonne,

    Couple of problems here. You’re wired to be monogamous, he’s not. Also these wacked out people he’s dealing with are potential danger to you and your child. These are wacked out people.

    File for divorce now. Don’t let him call the shots.

  • Humans have developed many different types of marriage/social systems. I still remember my college Anthropology class–
    Polygyny: one husband multiple wives
    Monogamy: one wife, one husband
    Polyandry [my favorite 😉 ] : one wife and multiple husbands
    A few select groups– no marriage at all, adult children stay in the birth households, their children raised by the mother’s family

    As was mentioned above, the key thing is that each person in the relationship knows what is expected: Responsibilities, etc.
    They know going in how things will be (as much as you can before getting married).

    As for a polygamous relationship after the fact, it is simply wanting cake. If is not what you signed up for, then walk away. Your husband broke the agreement (marriage vows), not you.

    • I think the class is actually only a couple pages of bullet points. Cheaters aren’t really good at focusing for that long. Come to think of it I can’t recall mine ever finishing more than a couple books that didn’t involve large print and big pictures, ever. Even those only got finished because the children he was reading to insisted on it.

      • Mine was great at coloring books and making lists.

        1. Buy more coloring books.
        2. Blame husband for lack of coloring books.
        3. Insist coloring books aren’t in front of husband’s eyes.
        4. Tell husband if he was more like coloring books he would be just right.
        5. Tell everyone husband is the one with the coloring book problem.

        And to think, I didn’t see the signs! Sheesh.

        If only I knew all her coloring books were 10 page cheating manuals…

  • Has anyone ever seen polyamory actually work? By actually, I mean not suck the soul out of someone’s marrow while leaving them to walk around hollow-eyed? Has polyamory/gony/gyny ever been wonderful for all parties involved?

    • Yes, but only when everyone is on board with the arrangement from day 1; and with lots of open communication and respecting of boundaries. It’s a *lot* more work than a simple monogamous relationship to do it right, and frankly I don’t know how people find the time, but it definitely happens.

    • I dated a polyamorist and we talked about it on date #1. There were no kids involved with any partners which made it simple, but it wasn’t a marriage-level commitment either. In retrospect I probably would have been a whole lot happier with someone that open and honest despite the funky arrangement but I was destined to find and marry a narc.

      • I only know of one, my cheater’s MOW. At one point she and her husband were full on swinging in Corona CA. Maybe they still are. Anyhow, she’s the one with multiple APs. I think the swinging thing was to enlighten her cheater/chump husband.

        That stated, due to my cheater fucking the Corona CA town bike, I have also fucked, by proxy, most of Orange County, Atlanta-area and God knows who else. But not to worry, “she’s clean”, according to my cheater.

        Nonetheless, Yvonne get a full panel STD check. Make that part of your annual physical for a long, long time. I am so sorry.

    • I know a couple that has made it work, well, kinda. However, I’m not sure that cake-eating narcissists would be happy with how this couple makes it work. They have a ton of rules and structure about their arrangement – strict limits on who else they can date, how often, “veto” rights, and more. Also they both told me that they think monogamy is much easier, because they are constantly navigating feelings of jealousy and insecurity! That it makes marriage really tough! Really they make it sound like so much work, I don’t know why they bother with it. Deep down, I’m skeptical that they will last. There is always drama with them! (They used to be friends, but I relegated them to acquaintances – I can’t handle them.)

      But still… just because SOME couples MIGHT make polyamory work is a total red herring. Yvonne’s husband is holding their marriage hostage! It’s a shitty ultimatum! How could she ever, ever trust her husband again?? And him having two other “partners” ALREADY is just straight up cheating.

    • Group marriage is a legitimate and viable social construct, but it won’t work for cheater narcs. The successful group marriage I know is both men and women in a sort of hippy commune set-up. They have fairly strict rules on everything from dating, to roles in the family to who’s turn it is to have a baby. The commitment to the relationship is just as strong as in a good monogamous marriage, but it is a lot more work to make it work. Not only do you have the inevitable disagreements and hurt feelings that crop up when living with a group of people, but everything is done by committee. It can take weeks just to decide to buy a refrigerator. Then it can take another few weeks to decide which refrigerator to buy. My friend’s group works because they do love each other very much as well as respect each other. They are all best friends. No relationship works without love and respect, and cheaters don’t have either. As for the Op’s (hopefully) soon to be done, he’s just using a $10 word to gaslight his wife and obviously has no clue what it really means. I hope she divorces his associates and takes him to the cleaners.

    • It’s pretty common in my social circle (I’m poly, as well) and I know of polyamorous relationships that have been going for 20 years or more and seem pretty happy.

      I think crappy and mediocre poly relationships tend to die quickly, because you need really good communication/boundary-setting/self-awareness skills and a high degree of integrity/compassion towards others in order to make poly work. So I see a lot of people cycle through relationships very quickly, either because they don’t have those skills or their partners don’t. But when they finally DO have those skills, and meet someone who does, they have a really solid relationship.

      Anyways: Yvonne’s husband ought to be ashamed of himself, and no, suddenly announcing to your wife that you have 2 girlfriends is not polyamory. It’s cheating.

      Yvonne, even if some part of you is interested in the idea of polyamory, do NOT do it with this guy. He’s not mature enough to be good to one partner, let alone multiple.

  • Your husband doesn’t want polyamory.

    He cheated on you and now he’s asking to be open because something probably happened with one of those women. I’d bet money one/both of them threatened to tell you if he didn’t. So he’s misappropriating polyamory to make himself look like less of a jackass.

    Polyamory is had when BOTH spouses discuss and agree to the setup TOGETHER. And this needs to happen BEFORE there are any outside sexual partners. Agreements and rules must be set up and adhered to. One or two regular outside partners or swinging? Triad or separate partners? What is off limits? WHO is off limits? It’s not just “Whelp, I’m gonna go fuck whoever I want that isn’t you while you stay home and run my house!”

    No. That’s not how it works. Polyamory requires rules, agreements and trust. If he can’t be trusted to be honest with one partner, then there’s no way he can be trusted to be responsible and communicative with more.

    Your husband was being a narcissisting cheater asshole and he thought if he tried to wrap it up in cheap cellophane and present it to you as polyamory and get away with it. He knows openness means you can have partners too but he doesn’t really want that. He knows you’re not ok with sleeping with other men so he thinks it will be him having as many as he wants and you at home because he believes you’d just never look for someone besides his “glorious” sparkly turd ass.

    It really pisses me off when cheaters do that. Have a bunch of affairs and then declare to their spouses they want open marriages/are poly. No, they’re not. They’re cheaters trying to pretend they are something better than a dishonest shitstain.

    • Kara hit the nail on the head, and said it a hundred times better than I could. I agree, almost guaranteed one of the cheater’s OW threatened to tell, and that is what prompted this sudden desire for open marriage. 100% the cheating husband would flip his lid if Yvonne actually took him up on it and fucked someone else. This is nothing but a huge bid for cake. Yvonne is to stay at home like a good little wifey and take care of the 10 year old, while husband fucks whatever woman strikes his fancy.

      Yvonne, please at least talk to a lawyer without your husband’s knowledge. Please, please get your ducks in a row before going a step further. Because this isn’t going to end well, and the chances are high that your husband is spending a lot of money on his OWs or is already hiding money in preparation for divorce.

      • Yeah, I sometimes wonder if Miss 22OW hadn’t gotten pregnant whether I would ever have known anything and we would just have kept going on and on and on. Just all of a sudden he had to go…..I love that baby ;).

    • Yup, you hit the nail on the head. My ex was a cheater, I caught him several times and stayed a shit sandwich eater for a long time because I forgave and forgave. Finally, he said – I want an open relationship the last time I caught him. That’s when the divorce proceedings began. He ended up taking off with her and moving far away – He’s marrying her this April LOL – I think she swings with him though, so he’s in his glory.

  • Dear Yvonne,
    My STBX husband is the same, he has a secret ( not so now because I found out a year ago) family for over 8 years over in China with a girl 20 years younger. This liaison resulted in a young child. Now that I’ve found out, he told me accept it or opt out of the marriage. He actually blamed me for finding out and rocking the boat. For the past couple of years I knew something was wrong but could never quite put my finger to it as the OW was in another country. He was a seasoned and proficient liar as you can see.
    I tried, for a year to accept this situation for our 2 teenagers and our 24 year marriage. My friends tell me to also date other people and just go about my life as per normal. I tried very hard to ignore the huge elephant in my home but I failed miserably. I felt that the past decade of my life was nothing but a big lie and that I owe it to myself not to live like this anymore. We signed divorce papers 2 days ago and I’ve never felt this good in years. Trust me, he is not worth risking your sanity or health for because in the end, there’s a good chance he will leave you anyway. I’ll be 50 soon and divorce is definitely not going to be easy for me. But I think it’s way better than staying married to a pathological liar cum serial cheater and getting admitted into a mental instituition some years down the road, don’t you think?

    • Justme, congratulations on your divorce. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. At least you have some closure and can start your new cheater-free life, as painful as it is. Sending karmic hugs.

      • Justine, believe it or not you are not the first wife I know of going through this. With men traveling internationally it has become something of an issue. The latest that I heard of found out her husband had actually married and fathered children. Because his business was based in the US and she could have made mincemeat of him she got a ton of money plus the family home and vacation home. She said he had been gone so much over the years she didn’t miss him and is living large. I hope your life turns out like this.

    • Justme, what a horrible thing to go through. It sounds like you’re doing really well and have a healthy attitude. You’re on to much bigger and better things! Support!

    • JustMe, be strong, and try not to worry too much about how hard it might be. I got divorced at 58, and now 2 years later, I am just having fun, and enjoying life at last. My X was completely selfish, so I got turned into his servant, while he quit working, and was running around cheating and drinking! Now, all my money is my own, I got some cash from the sale of our house, my sons are grown and doing well, and I have a fun, nice Boyfriend who treats me like a queen! I have some tough days where I wake up and go – WTF happened? But, I tell myself he would have done it to anyone, and I am starting to think philosophically about the whole mess, that I learned so much about life from it, and I am better now at protecting myself from Assholes. You will be fine, and even much better someday, without him. Stick close to ChumpNation! That is the key!

  • My cheater used the claim that he was in an “open marriage” to bed his coworkers who knew me and were perfectly aware that he was married and had a family. I of course new nothing about this much less consented to it, but I began to suspect it when his coworkers said mysterious things to me about our “arrangement”. Arrangement? What arrangement? Ah yes I must admit I was the naivest of chumps. I was puzzled. Honestly I can say that for 28 years I never even imagined sex with anyone other than my husband, and adjusting to the idea was one of the hardest parts of the transition after Dday. The bottom line is that unless YOU want to have sex with multiple other partners like he does you are mismatched and should get the heck out of there. Otherwise he is just taking advantage of your desire to hold together your family.

    • Looking back on some curious things that were said, I’m pretty sure he told some of our mutual friends that we had an open relationship. Made him look like even more of a dumbass when it hit the fan. He may have told the same story to one or more of his regular whores (as opposed to the one-night-stand ones).

      Who knows what Yvonne’s hubby told his ladies to get them in the sack, the point is — it was a lie. You aren’t emotionally safe with anyone who is that comfortable with lying to get what he wants. You aren’t safe with somebody who is completely unconcerned with your feelings.

      What CL said is right….the “offer” was an ultimatum. Let me cheat, or pack up!

  • I should add that if you agree to this ridiculous charade he’s trying to label as polyamory, he will throw that in your face if you ever voice any discomfort with him having partners or voice any of your feelings on the manner in which he approached this, which was cheating on you. He will use it as an excuse for everything.

    That’s also how you know he doesn’t really want polyamory. He won’t care about how you feel.

  • That’s quite an “announcement,” Yvonne. Note that it wasn’t a discussion. Notice the “I”s.
    When you decide how you feel about it, you can make an “announcement” of your own. Remember, no discussion. And if you decide to opt out of the proposed deal, don’t let him frame your decision as you not wanting to stay married and as a family.

  • My X tried this on me too. Of course, only after discovering multiple affairs. CL is right, it was a threat. He wanted to stay married to me, and continue screwing other women. Um….no thanks.

    Take a moment and step back from the crazy. Think about it. I hated it when people in the beginning said, we obviously shouldn’t be together, (but but, maybe I can dance harder and he’ll pick me). It took me a while to realize that we shouldn’t be together because we don’t have similar characters. He likes to lie, deceive, and cheat. I don’t. I would continue being honest and faithful, he would continue being a lying cheater, Oh……that sounds like fun! NOT. So yeah, not a good fit at all.

    • And that’s a great point LivingMyLife – what if one of his OW decides it’s ‘love’ but she doesn’t want to share, and he decides he’s so ‘in love’ with OW that he’d be prepared to take up monogamy for her? This status of polyamory wasn’t a mutual decision, it was ‘forced’ on Yvonne. He’s already proven he can, and will, ‘change horses mid-stream’ so why not change his philosophy again? He obviously doesn’t want to change his philosophy for Yvonne but you can hear the conversation – ‘But it’s true love Yvonne – I didn’t plan on it, it just happened’ and then poor Yvonne is left, after a diet of mega-shit sandwiches, abandoned and fucked over ANYWAY! Yvonne – scientists have proven that, particularly for women, we ‘bond’ when we have sex. If your nasty, nasty man of a husband fucks an OW who is sparkly and thrilling enough to him, and she ‘bonds’ enough with him that she thinks it’s ‘true love’ you’re going to be history anyway. Read everything people are saying about true polyamory, about the rules and scrupulous honesty and respect, and see how none of that applies to the ‘new relationship’ your husband has now declared you have with him. He’s a POS who doesn’t give one damn for you or your feelings or your wants. I hope, really hope, you take him to the cleaners and he lives his life in the shallow, lonely, miserable nightmare he deserves.

      • Hahahhaha

        This is exactly what happened to me! He fell in love with OW after declaring polyamoury. This website kills me with its accuracy.

  • This post brings back some memories of my cheater. When we were first together, he was extrememly jealous. If another man so much as looked at me, he would get angry – wouldn’t talk to me for the rest of the day. Of course, being a good chump, I learned my lesson… stopped wearing makup, stopped dressing up, did my best not to attract the attention of other men. Several years ago I noticed something had changed. He would encourage me to dance with other men, if asked. He would tell anyone who would listen what a bore I was; said I needed to “loosen up.” It was so confusing at the time but makes so much more sense knowing what I know now. He never went so far as to suggest polyamory but I’m guessing that he would have been happy had I flirted or developed a relationship with another man. He could have used it to justify his own cheating.

    Yvonne – someone here already said it but ALL cheaters want polyamory/polygamy/poly-WHATEVER. Yours just had the nerve to tell you but that doesn’t make him any different from other cheaters. He probably just discovered a fancy new name for cheating and now he is going to use it to create some “fog” around his behavior to confuse you. Don’t let him get away with it!

    • Lizzy, from day one, my X was the most jealous man on the planet!! Me being young and naive, I felt flattered. I honestly think now, that it is one of the biggest red flags for I’M A CHEATER. They think you think like they do- that anyone is fair game. My X ended up cheating for over 30 years, and he was such a smooth, smooth liar, I did not know. He was jealous of me even looking at another guy the entire time.

  • “He honestly thinks he is offering me a good option.”

    Don’t get sucked in by his sparkles. Do you think this is a good option? Sounds like you view it as something else. Adultery is adultery. It’s not a good option. It stinks. It is soul rape.

    Hope you’ve gotten tested for STDs and had him tested as well for your safety (just for sure). Do you want to live with that risk? Is the type of relationship you want your child to learn as acceptable (i.e. mom and dad did it)?

    Cheaters aren’t original as CL and others point out here. You don’t have to put up with this humiliating behavior from him. Divorce is certainly an option in the face of such bold-faced arrogance and selfishness.


  • Polyamory is a great relationship structure for some people. What it’s NOT, at ALL, is an easier relationship structure or an excuse to do whatever you want. Real polyamorists work their butts off at HONESTY and COMMUNICATION. Open relationships can ONLY work on a foundation of trust and total honesty.

    It’s the exact opposite of cheating, actually. But cheaters try to use it to cover their butts all the time. But someone who lied and cheated in a monogamous relationship will lie and cheat in poly relationships too. Tigers don’t change their stripes when you put them in a different cage, and for a cheater, ANY rules (and poly relationships have, if anything, MORE rules than mono ones) are just another cage to break.

  • Yvonne, you are in good company. Listen to CL and your follow chumps. Let their experience be your guiding light. Whenever you waver stop by this site. Trust me, it helped me to grow a spine and regain my dignity. Love and Light!

  • Polyamory is something that both partners want. It isn’t one person imposing it on the other.

    If he is a cheater than he is not capable on any level of managing a polyamorous situation. Period.

    I’m in a poly situation now and it is working. I know other people who it works for. The main thing is that it requires rigorous honesty from everyone involved and there have to be specific rules and guidelines to keep everyone involved emotionally and physically safe.

    It isn’t easy and it isn’t a free for all. It is about adding a relationship or two to your current relationship. That means that everyone involved needs to focus on maintaining relationships with each other. It is NOT about casual sex. Ever.

    If he is non-monogamous, fine. That isn’t polyamory. Polyamory is different. Polyamory, again, requires RIGOURS HONESTY. If he couldn’t be honest with you in the first place he won’t be honest with you now.

    • In short, divorce him and get the best settlement possible. He’s a delusional cheater throwing around terms to gaslight and confuse you.

    • The word “polyamory” already suggests it’s about “loving” many. Not too “loving” to be lying and cheating before he’s even started, is it? Love, mutual respect, whether its between one couple or many couples. I reckon too that he could “love” lots of people without having sex with any of any of them…..maybe?

  • He’s like some polyamory, and you can stay home and wash his undies and mop the floor and stock the fridge full of his favorites and do whatever it is you do for that small person who lives with the two of you. THEN you can get yourself a boyfriend on the side, but the dude better not take away anything from your “husband.” You don’t mind, do you?

    Fuck that.

    Your (hopefully) soon-to-be-ex is screwing other women because he feels like it. Period. And since this arrangement is pretty nice for him, he wants to shame you into accepting it. (You can do it, too! Except you can’t AND still keep things nice for him.)

    Leave him. He’s gross.

  • WOW, it never fails to amaze me. This guy run into a wall or is this simply Cheater Playbook 101. Yvonne, take a really hard look at your life. Has your marriage been happy or has there always been “something missing”? What does your gut say? What do you believe a marriage should be? Wedding vows are sacred. You know my Cheater sampled others too before he ran off with his racquetball fuck buddy. In the process he stole my half of the community property because while he was out doing everything he could to “make himself happy” he was busy destroying our finances. Whores aren’t cheap. Turns out we had nothing in common. Twenty eight years, three kids, and a beautiful home all abandoned so he could pursue his dick’s desire. I discovered his old HIV test after Dday which came about because his fuckbuddy threatened to disclose the affair. Cheating, fucking other women, sneaking around, and lying in a marriage are all deal breakers. I knew this at seventeen and I knew it at 44. My advice? Get to a lawyer’s office and freeze/protect those assets. As for your ten year old child, he is a witness to crap and wouldn’t you rather model the fairy tale? I am talking about the marriage that is successful. You and your child deserve someone in your life that recognizes what love truly is.

    • That’s a really good point Drew. PolyaMoury is too much drama for a 10 year old. How confronting and confusing would it be for him. I couldn’t do that to my kids.

  • Yikes – being married to one person or having sex with more than one person is a narcissist’s dream that I don’t want to be in. Where’s the love, the commitment or caring about another person? I just don’t get it, and as Drew mentioned this is a dealbreaker. Hugs…

  • Hi Yvonne,

    I totally agree with CL on this. Is polyamory OK with you? I’m guessing not, or why else would you have written? Perhaps you are in two minds about it? If you are, is that because your husband has basically presented it to you as a fait accomplice? He’s cheating on you with two other women and has announced he’s never going to return to monogamy – pretty much told you to ‘put up or shut up’. Well, he didn’t ask you if you wanted to be in a polyamorist relationship, actually told you that to be with him you have to accept a polyamorist relationship, and that’s it – no discussion.

    Even if you think a polyamorist relationship would work for you, I’d still advise you to kick this man to the kerb. He doesn’t love you enough not to cheat on you. He doesn’t love you enough to want to stay married to you if you want to maintain a monogamous relationship. He didn’t love you enough to even discuss this whole change of philosophy and abandonment of the ‘contract’ you both went into when you got married – no. He’s told you who he is and, even if he tries to mindfuck you now with a ‘change of heart’ – how are you ever going to trust he won’t change his mind again and then declare a complete change to your reality, like he’s got the right to even do that without even discussing it with you? FWIW – I don’t like your husband AT ALL – what an entitled POS!

    Be rid of him Yvonne – he made his announcement fully knowing you had a different understanding, therefore he knew he risked losing you, he obviously didn’t care about that. Marriage is meant to be a partnership where you make big decisions between each other, not a dictatorship.

    Big hugs

    Jayne x

  • This question (which CL also asked) is key: did he tell you he wanted to be a polyamorist and then hook up with these other women? Or did he start things up with these other women and then later tell you about it? The latter means cheating. The former, while slightly more honest, is still lacking in mutuality and consent.

    And even if you are down with the idea of having an open marriage, a lot of these idiot cheaters don’t get that for both of you to see other people requires coordination. When my XH and I split, he initially had every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening free to schmooze around with his mistress. Then I insisted that we change our visitation hours to give me every other Saturday night off. He calls me almost every time to see if he can weasel his way into returning the kids earlier, but I don’t budge.

    Also, I used to read a fascinating polyamory blog. The author admitted that she has seen a lot of people use “polyamory” as an excuse to line up a new partner while still being married to the first partner. FYI.

  • Yvonne, pay attention when someone changes the rules in the middle of the game. Your H has reasons for wanting to stay in the marriage that have nothing to do with love for you or your child. You are in the ideal position right now to file for divorce and full custody as being told “polyamory or else” is pretty much a deal breaker for most people. Get your ducks in a row. Make sure you know as much as you can about the OWomen and about your finances. Talk to your family or other people you trust to gain some support. And see a lawyer who will know how to use H’s activities to leverage the best settlement you can get.

    No marriage can recover from what you are experiencing. He isn’t even trying faux reconciliation–it’s his cheating way or the highway.

    • BridgetJackJeffries posted this while I was writing. This is exactly what I mean; “The author admitted that she has seen a lot of people use “polyamory” as an excuse to line up a new partner while still being married to the first partner. FYI.”

  • Yvonne– I think this is a super-cake eating variant on the “I decided (in my head) that I wasn’t married to you anymore”…but i never told you, that many of us here (including me) got from our cheaters. Except with more cake. It’s a really nasty, passive aggressive take-it or leave-it statement. “My way or the highway, oh, and ps. my way is super enlightened and if you don’t like it, you’re just some uptight prude.”

    Judgement! Imagine, judgement by a cheater. Don’t they just feel entitled?

    To hell with that nonsense. Go on with your good self, and ditch this guy. You deserve better.

  • Yvonne, your husband isn’t a polyamorist; he’s asking for permission to cheat on you. If he was an honest and ethical polyamorist, he would’ve told you before you married him. Or, if he just came to this realization recently, he would’ve told you before pursuing other women so you could renegotiate the terms of your marriage together, or, if necessary, offered you a very generous settlement if you chose to leave him.

    I know quite a few people who claim to be polyamorists, but only ONE successful (thus far) polyamorist marriage The wife identifies as polyamorist and the husband as monogamist. She was upfront about her desire for sexual partners outside their relationship at the VERY BEGINNING so he could decide for himself whether this was a dealbreaker before committing himself further. They came up with a set of rules together, which she faithfully abides by. He has met and approved all of her partners outside the marriage. She refuses to date or sleep with other married men unless she’s met their wives personally and knows for a fact that they approve.

    My friends would be the first to tell you that their arrangement isn’t easier or even preferable to monogamy. It requires frequent and honest communication (perhaps more then in a monogamous relationship). In their relationship breaking the rules (such as sleeping with someone the husband’s hasn’t met or having unprotected sex) is considered infidelity.

    This is the complete opposite of what your husband has done, which is unilaterally change the terms of a commitment that you made together and go behind your back pursuing extramarital relationships. He’s basically asking you for a “blank check” to do whatever he wants consequence free.

  • I haven’t read all the comments because CL nailed again, as usual: It’s not polyamory if it wasn’t discussed in advance.

    I mostly just wanted to thank CL for not dismissing polyamory out of hand. I have only known one polyamorous couple, and after about 3 years, they broke up (he wanted more poly- than she did, I think), but they had rules and such (no kids). — I just wanted to say thanks for being open-minded (except towards lying cheaters, who suck, and deserve every dissection CL so adroitly performs on their bullshit.)

  • I agree with everyone here Yvonne, … Your cheater is using “polyamory” because cheaters can’t stand to be “judged” as on some level they know the verdict should someone judge them….My EW, was the most judgmental person on the planet, yet would often accuse people of being judgmental towards her when she was the one being awful to the other person. … She tried the “Cletus you are being judgmental” thing on me after D-Day while trying to get her to see how deeply this hurt the kids and myself …my response “…it is not being judgmental to point out that your actions are dangerous, cruel and all around shitty”…. she even went so far as to say the girlfriends that were her alibi were good friends because they did not “judge” her… Both of her friends were cheaters themselves, go figure.

    • CL…how about a column or two on “to judge or not to judge”. I’m all for judgment, I think it keeps us sane, enforces our understanding of how civilized and responsible people act, and helps control the worst of those who our society must live with. If we all didn’t judge, then the molestors, murderers, rapists, and cheaters would run the streets wild. We judge out of prudence, it’s a natural defense mechanism against what we inherently know is wrong. And yet, I rarely hear those who have lived pretty ethical, decent, wholesome lives, walking around telling others not to judge. It’s usually the people who have overstepped every possible boundary that have an anti-judging bias.

      • I had a friend who had a pretty good yardstick by which to judge what kind of behaviors were ok: it was what reasonable, decent people would not get a queasy gut feeling about. I think that worked for a long time and still works – however, society has sunk so low that many people today don’t have a clue about what’s reasonable and decent.

      • CL has dealt with the judgment issue (and the related “conditional love” issue) in several columns, though a single column only on that issue/those issues would certainly be welcome.

        Take a vow and break it–yes, you’re judged. And marriage is not based on unconditional love; the closest most of us may come to “unconditional” is from dear old mom or dad.

  • My XMIL told me about the time she and XFIL went to a party in the late 1960s. They drove 45 minutes to get there, and when they arrived, they were told to take off their shoes at the front door. They did. When a man grabbed her shoes and told her to follow him to a back room, she started asking questions.

    Turns out it was a swinger party, and if anyone picked up your shoes, you were supposed to go have sex with them. Appalled, XMIL found XFIL and told him what was going on. He said, “I know. Have a good time.”

    She demanded that they leave then and there. He refused. She demanded to have the car keys so she could drive herself home. He refused. So she went and sat in the car for hours, waiting for him to come out and drive her home. That was the night their marriage died.

    Yvonne, you’re looking at the same kind of thing. As CL and the others have said, when one partner unilaterally changes the marriage arrangement, it’s over. If him sleeping with other people doesn’t work for you, it’s time to get out. Call his bluff and leave.

    • OMG Red! I can’t believe the gall of the XFIL!! WTF! OK – so let’s say, just for arguments sake, that XFIL had TOTALLY misread his wife and, whereas in his mind she was all up for this ‘surprise’ he’d sprung on her, she made it clear at the party that NO, she wasn’t up for this idea – what the fuck did he tell himself about forcing her to STAY there! OMG! We can kid ourselves that this was a different age and men had a different idea about their entitlement to dictate to their wives what was going on – but really, honestly? this is what LOVE looks like to XFIL? I really, really hope he’s old, miserable, STD riddled and, above all, ALONE, now! I also hope XMIL found happiness with someone else, and also heartened to hear she didn’t stay as a Chump with that POS!

      • Jayne – XMIL was totally clueless about those types of parties and what XFIL was up to when she wasn’t around. I think he did it because he was a serial cheater, sneaking around had gotten boring, and he wanted to shock her for his own amusement. Because traumatizing your spouse is hilarious, don’t you know.

        They divorced in the late 1980s and he’s been married to wife #2 ever since. He’s had lots of health problems, apparently – I haven’t talked to him since I called to tell him XH had filed for divorce back in early 2011. He hasn’t contacted me or the children since, and hasn’t seen them – his only grandchildren – since 2007. S12 says he doesn’t really even remember him. Forgotten by his own grandchildren. Quite the legacy…

      • Yes – and sadly, just one of many. XFIL was a flaming narcissist who felt he was too fabulous for just one woman. Oh, the stories he used to tell…

        XH told me repeatedly he would NEVER do to me what XFIL had done to XMIL family. And yet, here were are…

  • Cheaters are so disordered and delusional in their thinking process. My husband is also an ex-chump. His XW proposed that he allow her boyfriend (one of her many OM) to move into their home, into their basement! And her bf had the nerve to call and make the same proposal. They were still married at the time, basically separated under the same roof. Good Lord! Where do these people get this nonsense?

    I suppose there are people in polyamorous relationships that enjoy them and it works for their lifestyles. But it’s only fair if you knew about it upfront. Being asked for this kind of relationship, after you’re already married or in the relationship, is essentially being sold a fraudulent bill of goods.

  • Yvonne, here’s a riddle: If you call a bird a dog, how many legs does it have? (The answer is “two”–you can call it whatever you want but it’s still a bird.) Just as you can call cheating ‘polyamory’ or even ‘toothpaste’ if you want–but it’s still cheating.

  • I had a neighbour – a 45 year old self employed guy whose partner of 20 years (and two sons) threw him out for suggesting polyamory as a way for them to live…of course after years of being a cheater. He bopped any woman he could get his hands on. And moved along fast, kept in touch with most of them, and probably averaged getting laid three times a week. Now that’s sex drive.

    So, wife let him go. She was strong. I was never involved with him, but after the split, he lived next door to me, and whenever he got high and lonely, we would have a beer and chat. Often. He tried really hard to get in my pants, to get me to accompany him to swingers clubs. He never succeeded. I was basically grossed out by the idea.

    However, I did keep in touch with him, partly out of curiosity to see how his habit turned out. He is now about 50, looking haggard, lonely, and has basically lost his sons’ respect and his wife will never take him back. She has moved on and is a success – great!

    I think if I asked him, he would admit that his “polyamorous” existence WAS simply about getting as many women as possible…an addiction…a drive….whatever. But, the outcome is that no one wants him and he has failed to invest in his own family life.

      • Ahhh yes, karma……though the facts are different, the end result of my XBF’s life is as stated by Marci. His life is in the crapper and I couldn’t be happier for him 😉

        • When I think about it, one of the characteristics of these polyamory types is that they seem to feel compelled to tell others about their compulsions. Shock value? Attention whores? Gee, I’ve always thought of cheaters as attention ho’s. The neighbour I describe above used to tell me about his “sex adventures” as if he thought I would be impressed and perhaps want to participate. He used to say “I like variety in my women”. Now I think of it, my fascination with his never-ending escapades was like wanting to look at the aftermath of a car accident, just couldn’t bear not to take a peek. But truly, at the end of the day, their “needs” take them to a lonely anf pathetic place.

    • Boo hoo. Sucks to be him huh?
      Basing your entire life over being sparkly and admirable and all that stuff, when looks fade and people get wrinkles as they age which are verboten to people like that.
      Game over. You lose. You lose x 100 because you have nothing but an empty soul behind trying to base your life off looks and shallow crap. 🙂
      Now thats the karma bus!

  • My husband also suggested an “open marriage” AFTER D-Day. I said no.
    And was then told the statistics about cheating, as if the fact that 40% husbands cheat makes it OK …

    Now, not only are you cheating on me, you’re insulting my intelligence.

    (mind you, I think he was totally making up these %).

  • More than likely he is a serial cheater like the narc I put up with for years. The cheaters that have multiple women at the same time are truly disordered. The ow has no idea he is still seeing other women even though he has been living with her for 8 months. They are masters of deception and can’t change. I filed for divorce and wished I did it sooner. I find it hard to believe his other women know about each other. Narcs prefer to make each one feel special. But he’s not special, just a cunning cheater.

  • Page #63 out of the cheater playbook. Cheater #1 told everyone “I knew and was OK with it” and “We have an open marriage”. Really? I, too, found that out after d-day. Oh, and the slut-o-rama who tried to tell me that I knew and was OK, got a finger broken when she tried to wave me off. Oh, so sorry, thought you were trying to hit me and I was defending myself. Policeman bought it. Probably a chump himself.

    • Adding: Not my finest moment and I was lucky to walk away not ride away in the police cruiser. In my own weak defense, I was breaking a lot of things at that point: dishes, pictures, you name it.

  • Polyamory would be a natural fit for a person that is narcissistic or borderline or otherwise compromised with a personality disorder/disturbance or for someone that is high on the narcissistic spectrum or for those that are psychopaths
    Narcissist are incapable of genuine authentic intimacy and often severely lack the capacity for empathy and/or emotional coherence or attuned intimacy. They are focused on self serving agendas and lack the capacity for many things that genuine relationship with others requires. People that are capable of genuine intimacy, authentic meaningful relationships, attainment with others, where empathy and integrity matter, these people most often do not knowingly choose these sorts of open relationship dynamics that are non exclusive and or one sided.

    Most therapist I have seen address this issue will point out that more often then not the polymory based relationships and open marriages do not hold out or work out in long run. Most often at some point one of the partners is unsatisfied, disillusioned and hurt in these open relationships. My bet is it is the non narcissistic partner that is the one most often eventually harmed or dissatisfied with the situation.
    People that are actually capable of genuine authentic intimacy and have the capacity for an attuned relationship with others ultimately find the lack of authentic intimacy, attunement and meaningful relationships intolerable.

    Why would someone capable of authentic meaningful intimacy choose anything less? Anyone in a relationship with a narcissist can tell you that it is a situation destine to cause suffering. People capable of authentic meaningful intimacy more often than not choose authentic meaningful intimacy. To me this is like asking someone if they would like a shit sandwich or a warm tasty wholesome sandwich made with their choice of authentic human food ingredients. It is a no brainier.

    People that are capable of genuine intimacy most often choose genuine authentic intimacy and protect and invest energy and effort into the relationship where authentic intimacy and mutual respect are honored

    Polyamory and other arrangements may work for some but my bet is they most often do not work for people capable of the real thing.

    A few years ago the Magazine, Maria Clare, had one of the best articles I have seen regarding this issue of open relationships. It was written by a young women who was describing why the open relationship her boyfriend wanted was not for her. Her perspective was why bother. She found someone that was capable of authentic relationship and that wanted the authentic intimacy that a monogamous relationship provides.

  • Yvonne, the fact that you wrote to Tracy means that your gut is telling you that you are not cut out for polyamory. Whatever you do, listen to your gut and do not compromise your values. I threw out the cheater after the first OW but everyone (plus stupid reconciliation books) told me to forgive him since we had a one-month old baby. That’s when my 20+ career in spackling started. I lost my soul, my sense of self, and self-respect. I was in a constant state of feeling emotionally unsafe. I was lucky I decided to get individual counseling a few years before the final OW. By then, I was beginning to be myself again, I thought the marriage was really going well, and then the final OW. Threw him out immediately and divorce was final after 4 months of finding out.

    Do what’s best for you. You have a moral compass. Go with that. Your asshole husband can practice his cheating ways elsewhere. He can knock himself out. You don’t have to be part of this. You have options.

  • Yvonne-I think CL is right. You need to decide what your deal breakers are. Polyamory is not my cup of tea, which I suppose makes me very unenlightened. The disordered ex wing nut in my life didn’t propose polyamory so I guess I’m lucky in that regard.

    From what I’ve heard though, polyamory has more rules than a typical monogamous relationship. Monogamy only has one rule-we both sleep with each other exclusively. Pretty easy to follow. Polyamory has guidelines about who, how long, what, where and when pretty much. STDs have to be discussed because there is multiple partners. In theory you wouldn’t have to have that conversation with a monogamous partner. (I only say in theory because all of us here thought we were in monogamous relationships.)

    The bottom line is that whether or not a relationship is going to be one or the other is decided up front by both parties. Your hubby is trying to change the rules mid-stream. He probably realizes how expensive child support and giving up half of his shit will be so hey why not try an “open relationship”

    I call bullshit Yvonne and so should you!

  • I remember when I first became suspicious that my ex-wife was having an affair and she threw out the line “I could fuck another man in a heartbeat” and kind of hinted around that she wanted an open marriage.

    I’m not sure where I read it but someone wrote once to be careful when a spouse proposes an open marriage because you are probably in one already, you just don’t know it. True in my case, probably true in many others as well.

  • Yvonne- please don’t even think of stepping into that nightmare world. How disgusting of him to suggest that now. Move on, he’s given you your out. As if he is worth compromising everything you were promised, expected and deserve! He is not worthy to lick you boots, throw him to the curb like the piece of garbage he apparently is. As someone who saw through my ex decades before D-Day said to me after I threw him out- “water seeks its own level.”

  • Firstly, someone who suggests ‘open marriage’ or some other tripe is almost always cheating, you just don’t know about it yet.
    You cannot have an ‘open marriage’ with a liar and a cheat – given that there is supposed to be an agreement and rules on everything and basic trust.
    (I personally think that the term ‘open marriage’ is a crock of shit though (taking vows to forsake all others and all that), why get married if you’re just going to fuck around. I have no problems with people who desire multiple sexual partners – I just personally am not one of them, and desire honesty on that part with anyone I am with).
    I can also bet with near certainty that if you said ‘Okay then, I will go and fuck some random man’ (as a woman, do the gender math if you’re a man/differing sexual orientation) that the other party would explode in narcissistic rage and do everything to destroy you. They can do whatever they want, but when the same rules apply to someone else they get mortally pissed off that the spotlight ain’t on them.
    Whats the most offensive of all though – is I’ve noticed that almost EVERY article thats slated towards ‘monogamy being unnatural’ and ‘we’re all polyamorists at heart’ (you know the kind, the ones the ‘more evolved’ morons are crapping on about) and that tripe, other stuff that glorifies fucking multiple people – they all pretty much imply that cheating on your partner is perfectly okay, but are not talking about the kind of relationship where rules and boundaries have been established. Its like mindfuckery-squared.
    Yvonne: Nail this bastard’s balls to the wall with divorce papers. Screw him. And make sure you get STD testing. What a dirty prick.

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