My Open Relationship Conundrum
I'm in a long-time open relationship where we've both decided that talking about our infidelities is unwise. But I found out about one of my wife's affairs, that occurred at a time when we were having difficulties together, and I'm not sure whether to confront her over it...
"Your Relationship Questions, Your Answers!"
QUESTION: What should I do about my wife's affair - we're in an open relationship?MORE FROM Rory...
My wife and I got married young and as such have always kept a loose arrangement around our ability to sleep with other people. I wouldn't call it traditionally open, but we never wanted sexual restriction to turn into resentment, or worse deceit. However, I have always been concerned about jealousy, and so we agreed on a 'don't ask don't tell' policy to keep any indiscretions under the rug so to speak.
We have been married almost ten years, and so far we haven't had any real issues with our arrangement, my sneaking suspicion is that neither of us take advantage of it as much as we imagined.
That being said, I recently received a Facebook message from a woman telling me that my wife had slept with her husband who was on her degree course. They have children (we don't) and she obviously felt like their infidelity had jeopardized her relationship and had hurt her children. I have no reason to doubt the story.
The woman obviously sent me the message as a way to hurt my wife, for which I don't blame her, but now I have been left in a conundrum. The alleged affair took place over a year ago, during what was a very difficult time for my wife and I in our own relationship - and this obviously answers some questions.
I'm not angry at my wife for her infidelity - this has always been our unwritten agreement, though I do feel that perhaps I should discuss this with her as I'm sure there was a whole traumatic experience that has happened off screen and that I'm only just hearing about.
I have my own mixed feelings about the whole thing - the woman claimed the sex they had was unprotected, she also claimed they had an ongoing affair, which wasn't really what our agreement was built for. It was supposed to be about sexual release, not other intimate relationships. And of course, I'm always wary of my own feelings of jealousy.
So my ultimate question is, do I a) keep the event hidden - pretend that I never received this message and let the past stay in the past, or b) attempt to bring up the subject with my wife - potentially digging up some skeletons, but also allowing her an opportunity to talk through a difficult experience...
Any advice you can offer is appreciated!
Hope this makes sense...
STEVE'S ANSWER"Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Rory, I don't really know where to begin with your question, but I thank you for asking it and believe that you just doing that has already helped you.
So let me, please, ignore the theme of your relationship question - open relationships - and, instead, focus on a vital ingredient on *any* relationship: openness.
It doesn't matter if you're in an open relationship, a gay partnership, or a more 'traditional' heterosexual and monogamous relationship, you're in a relationship.
A relationship is a relationship is a relationship.
And ALL relationships flourish on openness, and flounder on closedness (secrecy).
Love represents openness. And dumb question of the year: guess what represents the alternative to love?...
So is fear more important than love to you?
I think answering that question will help you answer your own question, and any other questions that might arise in your relationship with your wife, and indeed your relationship with yourself.
Thanks again, man, and I wish you well...