If only I was not me.
I should have learned to stay away from women outside of my marriages. It’s not that I run around on my wife, but rather that while I am not sexually faithful to only one person she and I agreed to live together as husband and wife, with a specific agreement to provide her with some comfort that I would be sensitive to her feelings and not cause her to be confronted with my relationships. We agreed that I would be discrete, stay away from anyone in our circle of friends, and not inflict disease or another child with a lover on our marriage. I was also to keep the details of my “affairs” to myself. She didn’t want to hear about them.
It might sound unusual, and maybe it is, but it was a natural outcome of our situation, and how we became a couple in the first place. She had been one of my lovers during my first marriage, who had become pregnant with our son. The pregnancy had led to an ongoing relationship as friends and parents, as well as sometime lovers, which meant that when my previous marriage ended, we were still involved with each other even if mostly as the parents of a small child.
During my first marriage, my former wife and I had an explicitly open marriage. It’s not very good training to being a successful husband.
The only real problem is not the lack of sex, it’s more likely the lack of real communication and trust between you, on this subject, if not on any other number of subjects, including this one.
Well, that didn’t work out so well. She ended up feeling completely betrayed sexually and emotionally, which she more or less kept to herself for more than 30 years. She also withdrew emotionally more and more over the years, until it got to the point where sex would have been totally pointless since we no longer even shared emotional intimacy.
She, on the other hand, assumed that I was lying all along. In other words not telling her that I was faithful, when in fact I was not. I assumed that she was well aware of my other friends when she actually hoped that they didn’t exist, but she was always angry that they probably did.
She, however, wouldn’t now feel as though she has been living a lie for all this time, and so angry that it’s impossible for her to get over it.
The weird thing is that I really can’t imagine my life without her in it, and don’t want to. But it’s far too late in my life to change who and what I am, or what I have always believed. Same is true for her. What can we do?
It has occurred to me many times that it would have been a lot better off if I were not me. Or at least, made a life with someone who shared my desire for multiple partners rather than someone who really feels that I ruined her life.