My husband is bisexual.

When we first began our relationship he told me he hadn't expected to fall for a woman because sexually he preferred men. He broached the subject of having an open relationship but I wasn't cool with it so he dropped it. Fifteen monogamous years later we're married with two kids, three dogs, and a mortgage. I thought we were happy but something seems to have snapped in him this summer. In just the last few months he has cheated on me three separate times with three different men. Then, he gave me your speech. You know, the one where you advise people who are trying to stay in relationship that's missing something in the bedroom. He said he wants to stay with me, but he feels like he's denying a part of himself and he's afraid he'll end up resenting me. I can understand that. I'm even willing to give it a try—theoretically. But putting that idea into action broke my heart, and it was I who began to resent him. I want to keep our marriage, but I also want monogamy. Is there any way I can learn to accept this as our new normal?

Scared And Depressed

I'm not sure what speech your husband gave you, SAD, but it doesn't sound like one of mine.

Yes, under certain circumstances I believe a person can and perhaps should unilaterally open a closed marriage—a person can cheat to stay married and stay sane—but most of the speeches I've given on the subject have addressed unhappily sexless marriages, i.e. marriages in which one spouse has unilaterally ended the sex life of the other and no amount of working on it, counseling, listening, dishwashing, etc., is going to change things and divorce would create hardship for all involved. Your marriage presumably wasn't sexless, SAD, it was merely dickless—or bonusdickless.

And, yes, I've argued that someone who makes a monogamous commitment and only cheats once or twice over the multi-decade course of a successful marriage—with "successful" here defined as "loving, emotionally fulfilling, mutually gratifying"—can and should be viewed as having been pretty good at monogamy, not bad at monogamy. But there's a difference between cheating once or twice over thirty or forty years and unilaterally imposing a new relationship model on a partner who didn't want to be in that kind of relationship in the first place—particularly if that partner isn't free to walk away because kids, economic interdependence, social and emotional inertia, whatever the fuck, etc.

So for the record, SAD: I take dim view of what your husband has done. He made a monogamous commitment to you fifteen years ago—monogamy was the price of admission he willingly paid to be with you—and at some point he realized he couldn't do it anymore. He could've and should've raised the subject of opening your marriage up at that point instead of running out and jumping up and down on dicks.

You want a monogamous marriage, he wants an open marriage—and an open marriage is what he's got right now, whether you like it or not. Seems to me a textbook example of "irreconcilable differences," SAD—unless being in a non-monogamous marriage is the price of admission you're willing to pay stay married to this dude.