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I've always been a big believer in the common-sense obviousness that monogamy is hard. Additionally, I like the idea of my wife getting fucked. I don't have any desire to be denigrated or emasculated; I just get off on the idea of her being satisfied and a little transgressive. Early in our relationship, we talked about monogomish guidelines: I'd like to be informed and consulted, and she would rather I kept mine to myself. Last weekend we were having sex, and she asked me if I "wanted to hear a story," code for treating me to a tale of a sexual contact. She'd been out of town for work most of the summer, and she told me that one of her roommates had gotten in the shower with her and fingered her until she came. I asked her if she'd fucked him, and she said yes. It was all hot and awesome. But a few hours later, I was experiencing pangs: Why hadn't she told me or asked me at the time? Also, I felt very alone and depressed that summer, and when I'd gone to visit her, my wife and this roommate acted very strangely. I told her that I thought it was hot and cool, but that I didn't think it was cool that she'd kept this from me for so long. Things got worse from there: Over the last week, we've had some great sex and open conversations but also a lot of anger and hurt. The truth is that she carried on with this guy all summer. It's not the sex that bothers me so much as the breadth of the deception, the disregard for my feelings, and the violation of our agreement. And, yes, I'm feeling a little emasculated. How does a loving husband who intellectually believes that fooling around is okay—and who finds it hot sexually—get over this kind of hurt and anger? Help me get right with GGGesus.
Cocked Up Cuckold Keeps Stressing
Two things have to happen in order for you to move on. One thing your wife has to do, CUCKS, and one thing you have to do.
Your wife has to express remorse for this affair—and it was an affair, not an adventure—and take responsibility for the anger, the hurt, and, um, all the great sex you two have been having since the big reveal.
You don't give her version of events—why she kept this from you—but you were depressed and lonely while she was away, and she may have concluded that informing and consulting you about this guy (first when she wanted to fuck him, and then when she was actually fucking him) would've made you feel worse. This conclusion is a massive self-serving rationalization, of course, because she knew you would veto the affair if she informed and consulted you. Figuring it would be easier to ask for forgiveness than permission, she went ahead and fucked the guy all summer long and then disclosed when your dick was hard.
Your wife needs to own up to the deception, the dishonesty, and the manipulation, and then take responsibility for the hurt she caused—that requires a sincere expression of remorse—and promise it won't happen again. She shouldn't promise not to fuck around on you again. You don't want that, right? What she's promising is not to deceive you again, not to go in for self-serving rationalizations again, and not to avoid informing and consulting you again.
And one more thing that won't do: She won't humiliate you again. You feel emasculated in the wake of this affair because her summer fuck buddy knew what was up when you two met and you didn't. He knew who you were (the husband), but you didn't know who he was (the fuck buddy).
Now here's the thing you have to do, CUCKS: You have to forgive your wife. Mistakes were made, feelings were hurt, massive loads were blown. The fact that there was an upside for you even in this messy affair (see: massive loads, blown) should make forgiving your wife a little easier.
I'm a 27-year-old straight woman. I've spent this last year back on the dating market, and it's HORRIBLE. I have a reasonably pretty face, I'm fit, and I take care of myself. I have my life together—friends, interests, job—and I'm emotionally stable. I go out, I enjoy meeting people, I'm on Tinder. And I keep hearing that with a huge influx of young dudes, Seattle is an easy place to date as a woman. So why am I finding it so hard? I can get casual sex, and that's fun. But as far as finding a relationship beyond just fuck buddies, it's depressingly predictable: Guy acts interested, texts me all the time, but eventually starts fading away. I've asked close friends to be honest with me; I even had a heart-to-heart with an ex-boyfriend. Everyone says I'm not doing anything wrong. Are they all lying to me? I'm currently seeing someone I really like. When we're together, it seems like he likes me a lot. But now he's starting to do the fade. I'm really sad and anxious. It's killing my soul to be rejected constantly.
Bummed About Dating
You've been "back on the dating market" for one year, BAD. Twelve measly months! And in that time, you've dated/fucked a handful of men and nothing panned out. That sounds pretty normal. If you expected to be back in a committed relationship within weeks, BAD, then your unrealistic expectations are the source of your grief, not your thoroughly typical dating/mating/fading experiences.
There are worse things than being single for a year or two in your 20s. Get out there and meet men, pursue those non-men interests, and throw yourself into your work. Being single is not an aggressive cancer—there's no immediate need for a cure—and panicking about being single isn't the secret to romantic success. (And being single means being miserable only if you convince yourself that single = miserable.)
So here's what you can do: Chill the fuck out; listen to your friends, your ex, and your advice columnist; and stop melting down about what sounds like a thoroughly normal love life, BAD, not an unfolding catastrophe.
This is NGAA, the guy you advised to make a gay friend and listen to some musicals with him. I didn't find a gay friend, but I did buy recordings of the shows you suggested and I've been listening to the songs you recommended. I don't know them by heart yet, so I have more listening to do. But Mr. Stephen Sondheim's message seems to be that I need to quietly move on. Thanks for your answer, Dan. It really helped.
No Good At Acronyms
Thank you for writing back, NGAA, and for listening to the shows I recommended: Company, Follies, and A Little Night Music. My advice for you made a lot of my other readers angry—really angry. They accused me of blowing you off and not answering your question and failing at this whole advice column thing. But I didn't blow you off. I directed you, as I've directed many other readers, to the expert I thought could help you. In your case, NGAA, that person was Mr. Stephen Sondheim.
Oh, so Mr SS was telling you to move on, NGAA.
Ms BAD. Nature is a bitch, that's all I can say. I remember being 27yrs old, dimly, and I remember the ache to find a mate. omg, I was nearly 30 yrs old and alone, except for men who were happy to fuck nsa.
It's just your breeding mechanism trying to control you, LW.
Resist it. Enjoy the boys who come along and develop yourself.
CUCKS: Listen to Dan. He got this one right.
BAD: Listen to Dan. He got this one right. In addition, I'll say that I dated a long time (almost 20 years) without marrying, and relationships came and went. That's how it goes if you're a) picky about who you want to be with long-term and b) unlucky that some of the women I did want weren't in the same place at the same time that I was.
My advice? Enjoy the ride. Have patience. It all works out like it's supposed to in the end (and hopefully that means you get what you want). You're in your 20's...PLENTY OF TIME, so don't get panicky, because desperation is a sure-fire turn-off. And, you may want to do something different to increase your odds...Tinder doesn't exactly give you a wealth of information about the people you're choosing. Maybe try Match or OKCupid where you get relatively in-depth bios and other info to go on. And of course, the old-fashioned way...join a book club, or writer's group, or some other thing you have an interest in. Then you start from common ground and have better odds of finding someone sympatico.
1) Hierarchy of Loyalties violation. LW said he wanted to be informed. Wife apparently thinks more of Roommate's desire to keep it quiet than she does of Husband's desire to be informed. That puts Roommate higher in Wife's hierarchy of loyalties than Husband, temporarily at least. That would explain feeling emasculated. Husband's desires are being discounted and ignored, while Roommates are being honored. And as Dan noted, when he went to visit, he, Husband, was the odd man out in the triad, since he was the one being kept in the dark. No wonder he is feeling like he's just been ousted down to third place in his own marriage.
2) Loving Attention violation: LW does not say so explicitly, but how did Wife manage to behave cavalierly enough towards Husband all summer that he ends up feeling all lonely and depressed? Sounds to me like she was probably minimizing quality time with Husband in favor of fooling around with Roommate. Most likely because she would feel awkward sex-Skypeing Husband, either with Roommate around or kicking out her boyfriend so she could have private time with her so-called partner. So that's two violations in one: 1) Neglect, and 2) a second hierarchy of loyalties violation.
3) Oh, right, and the disclose-when-your-dick-is-hard thing is manipulative bullshit, and she needs to own up to having just been a manipulative twat. Doesn't matter if that has been their pattern for less transgressive Fun Reports. She knew damn well what she was doing. That's another trust buster right there.
So, yeah, she has quite a bit to own up to. She may not have thought it all through yet, but when she finally does, she better realize that her apology is going to have to be a lot bigger and broader and a lot more heartfelt than she realized at first.
"Perhaps... thirty-five and seventeen had better not have anything to do with matrimony together."
"A woman of seven-and-twenty... can never hope to feel or inspire affection again; and if her home be uncomfortable, or her fortune small, I can suppose that she might bring herself to submit to the offices of a nurse, for the sake of the provision and security of a wife."
"It sometimes happens that a woman is handsomer at twenty-nine than she was ten years before; and, generally speaking, if there has been neither ill-health nor anxiety, it is a time a life at which scarcely any charm is lost."
My outrage at her deception will come in time.
Her deception is nasty, especially as you visited her and they deceived you together. She broke the rules big time, and rubbed your face in it. Not pretty.
There are other dating sites out there used by people who actually want to get to know someone, not just order up hot people like pizzas. OKCupid is a good one because you answer a lot of questions about yourself -- in other words, every user has put in some time and effort -- and it gives you a percentage match that lets you know in advance whether that pretty face might actually be someone you have something in common with.
Dan's insights into male sexuality, away from women.. Is like a clear breeze.
Just look at all the hot sex. And that's true.
Now cmon,CUCKS, you stupid or something? You depressed all summer, this thing with your wife going on under your nose.. Oh, they were acting funny, now I know why.. They in the same room/ house, and you gave your wife permission to play.
Guess she was taking what she was giving you. Don't ask. Don't tell.
Yes, she broke the rule you two made together.. And for that she needs to be punished. The whip handy?
Lava @11: That stuck out to me too. What sort of job would pair up two opposite-sex employees in the same living space for an entire summer?
(I know some people are picky about dating and then practically never do an "early exit" after starting. I don't early-exit nearly as much as some people, and whatever works, right. It blows my mind, though, can you possibly know enough about them to pick for the long term before ever dating?)
First, you may be jumping into sex right away to make sure you're sexually compatible before wasting time seeing if you're conversationally compatible, a process that can take longer. Think of it in reverse. See if you're conversationally compatible before wasting time on sex. Take a while to make sure you have a lot in common with the guy first. Make sure you enjoy spending time together in a variety of situations, not just coffee, but dinner and a movie, and drinks and dancing, and picnics and bike riding, THEN check sexual compatibility.
2. Take turns. If you're getting a lot of texts before the fade, it sounds like he's texting you and you're answering, but if I've got that wrong and it's the other way around, same difference. One of you initiates the first contact, and you go out. Now wait for the other to initiate. Each time he initiates whether it's a phone call, a get together, or a 2 week European vacation, wait somewhere between a day or a week before extending an invitation in return. If he's bombarding you with invitations, all the more reason to slow it down.
Nothing wrong with internet dating, but since it hasn't been working for you, try something else. Take a break from the sites and start asking people you know to introduce you to men in group settings. Join new activities to give them a try and to see if someone there is single. I recommend walking dogs in animal shelters and folk dancing, but almost anything will do.
I know that someone is going to accuse me of following The Rules ( laughable 1995 book by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider), but I swear up and down I'm not suggesting playing hard to get, just shaking up a dating pattern that hasn't been working for you.
Enjoy if you want, just don't expect to find a boy there who is looking for a wife/ partner/ co parent. The Whole Catastrophe as Zorba pointed out.
Seriously, a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. Play for a bit, learn stuff. Enjoy your youth and mental skills by taking in your culture. Go look at Art, read books that grab your interests.
Men are fine, just not the whole picture.
Dan's dead wrong, and Avast and LavaGirl are dead right. Your wife doesn't give a shit about you; she didn't do anything she had permission for, she just had a full-blown affair while neglecting you, and now, in typical abuser fashion, is trying to spin it into something that's your fault. Consent was entirely absent, and she's trying to push you past that. She's not a rapist, but she's no better than one. She will do this again, and worse, because you don't matter to her in the slightest. Ignore Dan: He and your wife are both wrong, because they both think she's the only one with feelings that matter.
Do not stay in relationships with people who think consent doesn't matter. They are scum.
@BAD: You've gotten plenty of dates and plenty of sex in one year, so you're still doing fine. And hey, soon you can find someone whose consent you can freely violate, cheat on, shit on, and destroy, and Dan will tell your victim that he should forgive you because hey, you're more important than him, right?
Isn't it nice to be born into the gender whose consent is allowed to matter? It sounds pretty awesome.
Oh and #5? I know it's you, Maxwell Sheffield!
Wouldn't that be funny, though?
And if all that happened in that shower was fingering, I'm a Chinese jet pilot.
It unfortunately does look like history will repeat itself, with the wife. LW will have to decide if he gets off on hearing about it afterwards enough to dispense with his permission being asked first.
And if it was wrong for her to reveal in the way she chose, then why did he seem quite familiar and happy with the approach (>> she asked me if I "wanted to hear a story," code for treating me to a tale of a sexual contact. >>) How does that approach fit with his claim that he's supposed to be consulted?
Maybe he now wants to put in a statute of limitations (you must tell me within 48 hours), or insist on being asked before anything happens, but maybe that wasn't already part of their understanding.
My prescription: go back to the drawing board and figure out what you each want now, as far as monogamishery.
"Maybe he now wants to put in a statute of limitations (you must tell me within 48 hours), or insist on being asked before anything happens, but maybe that wasn't already part of their understanding. "
It seems extremely clear to me that this was already part of their understanding, but that she decided to violate it, in just about the most brutal way possible, and is intent on getting away with it. Because consent doesn't matter, apparently.
There's no need for them to figure out what they each want: That was already on the table. Then, she decided that she didn't give a shit about what he wanted.
Not all abuse is a misunderstanding. As seems fairly clear from the letter, they once had a hypothetical conversation about monogamish, and then she spent a summer ignoring him for her affair partner, and parading him in front of her affair-partner as the clueless spouse who it was fun to shit on. Because she places zero value on him.
People who don't think consent matters are scum.
I was single for 12 years and now I'm married. Chill and enjoy the search until you find that one (or that 0.9 that you round up to one). He was worth the wait.
Similarly, when you get depressed and they respond by basically cutting you off and starting an exclusive relationship with someone else? DTMFA.
There are so many dump-worthy offenses in here it's absurd, even without the really fucking blatant consent violation. Look, I know a lot of people here like to push the nonmonogamy line, but it was supposed to be consensual nonmonogamy, wasn't it? You remember what consent is, right?
For instance, if he had consented in advance to sex with Bob, she could wait until he was hard to give him a blow-by-blow (pun intended) of that thing Bob does with his tongue. But it would be bad form to suddenly talk about Max, who she had not gotten a green light for beforehand.
>> I told her that I thought it [the story] was hot and cool, but that I didn't think it was cool that she'd kept this from me for so long.>>
It sounds like she has, other times, come home from a night out and told him some sexy adventure that happened that night -- and that has been hot with no recriminations afterwards. So maybe she has been openly violating the agreement for a long time, and he has always responded happily to finding out after the fact (even though nominally she's supposed to get preapproval) -- and this is the first time he has reacted badly.
He should take some time to think about whether he still loves and respects his wife, and whether he can view this as poor judgment rather than a brutal violation. If he can view it as just poor judgment, then rehashing their agreement (on both sides) is probably possible.
What he wants in a wife isn't so simple to find: someone who will have sex with other men and come tell him about it, and who is willing to let him have sex with other women. And they still seem to have fun sex together.
Right now he's having some uncomfortable feelings. I've been there. This couple needs to talk things out and see if they can get right with each other again. But there's no moral requirement that he end the marriage over this and your view that she's a terrible person isn't the only possible perspective.
I concur. He might have a bit more of a cuckold fetish than he admits to.
I also think that if they were in a monogamish relationship, there would be some hint of that in the letter, rather than one mention of one conversation they once had. If his wife has had extramarital adventures before and told him about them, don't you think he'd have mentioned that in some way, rather than just describing it as a fantasy?
And I don't think it matters whether he loves and respects his wife, since she clearly doesn't feel that way about him. Loving your abuser doesn't change anything; DTMFA. His wife is scum, as is every person who think consent doesn't matter.
At any rate, he didn't write in to get our opinion - he wanted Dan's.
@46 Boring? No, certainly not. Though I have found that there is a certain degree of calling BS if you are actually doing exciting and interesting things in your life unless you religiously document those activities. Perhaps I am not self-centered enough to insist that we spend tons of time taking pictures of me to document every thing I do. While good pictures of me exist, they tend to violate "rules" like not having women in the picture, etc. I am sure we could look at the number of pictures on average of women on websites like facebook and then of men, and the difference would be immense. Generally, I find the only time men have their picture taken is when they're out with women!
Your theory that this is the very first time she had sex with someone else and told him -- that seems far-fetched.
Not disputing that there are people on Tinder for other reasons, but it certainly seems they're the minority, and that the hooker-uppers are finding what they are looking for in spades while the daters are not. Make of that what you will.
Jina @41: I know, right? Made me conclude two things: one, I will never use Tinder no matter how desperate I might get; and two, I am SO glad I'm not in my 20s anymore.
Funnily, someone on the Facebook link where I originally read it said "this is just a big advert for Tinder." I wonder if they read the same article I did.
Creativity @44: Go for older women! Older women! :) Don't listen to what several of these commentators said about cougars. We're awesome.
Eudaemonic: I don't consent to reading any more of your posts about how letter-but-not-spirit-of-nonmonogamous-arrangement-violations are the same thing as rape. So if you type another one, does that make you scum?
It's all negotiable, but getting to real negotiations often doesn't happen without a detour through secrets and hurt feelings.
See, this is where us pre Internet girls were honing our skills. Out in the field, luring boys.
At any rate, early in the relationship, CUCKS wife was given permission to enjoy extra-martial sex, and it doesn't sound like CUCKS made that offer, but then withheld permission whenever his wife asked. So her failure to explain the situation for an entire summer-long affair is a big transgression. Consent violations of this magnitude are a big deal, and CUCKS wife needs to genuinely understand and apologize for her multiple mistakes, as outlined by others above.
He says he's a cuckold, well he's now tasted a pretty clear and strong cuckold. She took his story further than he was comfortable with, so for that she needs to apologize. And both of them have to get a bit more real about what the game is and the rules are.
Interviewing a few New Yorkers does not mean that the author can plausibly declare that we are heading for a dating apocalypse.
LavaGirl, my daughter is only 12 and she has taken THOUSANDS of selfies on our iPad and her phone, and her friends do the same. It's a weird world!
Thank you both for discussing the issue out in the open. It saves us, parents, from having a pretty awkward conversation that is likely to be viewed as a repeat of our lifelong unconditional love approach (and will only result in further enhancing our off springs insecurities.)
It’s good for all of us to hear it from such an authority in bs-free language.
As someone who joined the dating scene in an older age my trauma lines are “I love I long walks on the beach,” and “My best friends are my three dogs and seven cats.” One should be similarly suspicious of pictures of themselves hiking in the snow.
Sit behind PHD (Person being HandeD) as they sit naked on the couch or bed. Place your hands on phd’s thighs, have them place their hands on yours, entwine your middle fingers to ensure you stay connected, have phd lead your hands and fingers.
Most of you are being cucked. Try spending less time at ComicCon or waiting in line for some dumb video game.
Also, you're out of beer.
You do have a valid point that there often is a gender double standard, I have experienced it myself, but going nuclear on each half-or-less opportunity may be weakening yours and others' argument.
But he is also entitled to view it as poor judgment by someone lacking the maturity to discuss changing a consensual hot-wife relationship into another kind of non-monogamy.
I think it's not unreasonable to expect him to post something like "I never thought she'd actually fuck someone else!" if he didn't think he was in a hot-wife relationship.
That's exactly how this looks to anyone who isn't a sexist shit.
All consent violations are consent violations. There are no exceptions. There is no gender that makes it so your consent doesn't matter; there are no exceptions.
It would be nice if more people believed this. No, falsely claiming to believe it isn't the same thing, because lies aren't true.
None of these are arguments; they are facts. Being rude to the occasional rape-enthusiast shitstain does not "weaken" anything.
@72: "Eudaemonic, yes, she disregarded his feelings and violated their agreement (probably even before the summer affair, by my reading). He is entitled to feel he never wants to have sex with her (or see her) again."
Finally. There, was that so hard, everyone? Just admitting the literal and obvious truth, instead of lying about it in order to maintain the party line that women's consent is the only kind that matters?
Anything to protect a woman's right to rape people, I guess.
"Additionally, I like the idea of my wife getting fucked. I don't have any desire to be denigrated or emasculated; I just get off on the idea of her being satisfied and a little transgressive. "
He's clearly describing a fantasy. He's clearly not in a hot-wife relationship. He still isn't; he's in a CPOS-abuser relationship. I don't know why most of the people here decided to enable his abuser.
Oh, wait, I do: It's because he's not a woman. Therefore, it's okay to abuse him. Always. Always.
I'd say to a female LW as I'm saying to the male LW, you play with matches you might get burnt.
"You know how upset you all would get... " Who are those "you all?"
You seem to be very sensitive in this regard and I wonder where it stems from.
The issue at hand is part of a more complex situation than the way you paint it: all rape, all the time, DTMFA right now!!!.
I believed I have addressed similar situation the same manner as I did in this case, regardless of genitalia. For good or bad I only represent myself.
I would say that the two of them acting all awkward when he came to visit meant that they were already quite clear on the concept that she was breaking the rules. And then she waited to spin it out a bit at a time while she was fucking him, as a method of getting the story out while his guard was down. Delivering a story when you are not breaking the rules, and delivering a story in a supposedly identical fashion when you know damned well you were breaking the rules, are worlds apart in terms of acceptability, regardless of the superficial similarity in delivery method.
*** *** ***
It sounds to me as though she was considering leaving him that summer. He was depressed and she was disengaged. There might be more to the story.
@36: I don't read this as their first attempt. He sounds quite committed to the idea of monogamishamy, which to me seems incompatible with a single, hypothetical conversation. The thing about "would you like to hear a story?" sounds like they already have a routine established. I agree that she abused that established routine to sneak in her transgression, but I don't think this was a case of her breaking every single rule right out the gate after only having talked it over once in hypotheticals. YMMV.
The affair/sex/rape/whatever is irrelevant anyway. He was alone and depressed and she was indifferent. That is incontrovertible, and sufficient for DTMFA.
We had the equivalent to Tinder in New York in the 70s: singles bars,.swinger clubs for heterosexuals, the bath houses for gay guys.
Eventually, everybody got older, married or hooked up permantly, anyway.
Again, YMMV, but those seem like some pretty extreme interpretations of the wording that is actually in the letter. Acting uncomfortable and awkward around someone is not synonymous with making it clear that you wish they would just go away. You can give your spouse back home less attention than he deserves without being as extreme as "basically cutting [him] off and starting an exclusive relationship with someone else."
Regarding the Only One Hypothetical Conversation theory, his wording is, "Last weekend we were having sex, and she asked me if I "wanted to hear a story," code for treating me to a tale of a sexual contact." So, they have a code, well enough established that he can recognize it for what it is, in the middle of sex. That does not sound to me like it's only ever been discussed as a fantasy. So I am not reading this as the complete lack of consent that you do, other than that she withheld the information this time far longer than he expected.
I agree with Erica that his complete silence with respect to his own sexual exploits is kind of problematic. It could mean many things. Maybe he would like to be open and isn't having any luck. (Which would explain him feeling lonely all summer. If he was keeping as busy as she was, it would be kind of hard to feel lonely.) Maybe he fools around a little (or a lot) but never forms emotional bonds, which would also explain him feeling lonely, and make the evidence of her bonding with Roommate sting, as he would feel not only ignored from all sides, but rather casually replaced.
You want her to be transgressive but only on your terms( that she said yes to with her mouth and no to with her body).
Of course open relationships do have to have rules, I just think transgressive sets a pretty wide scope. She just took it.
Women's sex released is not the same as men's sex released. Guess that's why most men don't want to risk it.
I'm not excusing your wife. I see she pushed it very far and Id be interested to hear what she thought she was playing at.
On the other hand, you were turned on by her story. You managed to do the same to me in describing a sexual play.
I think you may be conflicted. And you got to be clear in your head what rules you want and hear her in what rules she wants.
You can always re negotiate, if one or other wishes.
I am interested what you mean by this. Pray expound further.
The whole point of the poly lifestyle seems to be lost on you. You've got a pussy hall pass. There are honorable and decent men out there sneaking around like dogs risking everything for pussy, all because they don't have a pussy hall pass. But you have one!
You're feeling lonely and depressed? I've got a time tested remedy for you. Grab your pussy hall pass, get out there, and see if you can get some pussy. Even if you only get close, I promise it'll cheer you up.
This woman's scenario is for me very erotic. Especially as the husband is a cuckold, at least a part time one. The moral part of it, cmon.
This guy discloses nothing of his own sexual adventures.
A woman is programmed to put all her sexual and or nurturing energies into just one man, release her to share that amongst a few men, and anything can happen.
So, what's your thesis about "men's sex released?"
Not the whole story , men go into other stories as well. Yet, as we may have observed, men can seperate the act from the heart a bit easier than women can.
How is it not transparently obvious to everyone else that they are not poly? It seems incredibly obvious to me that extramarital shenanigans had been fantasy-only up until his wife turned into a CPOS and decided to gaslight her way out of the consequences, with the help of Dan and the rest of you.
@85: "Acting uncomfortable and awkward around someone is not synonymous with making it clear that you wish they would just go away."
To your spouse? When he's come to visit you and the asshole you're cheating on him with? Who knows more about his relationship than you've been allowed your spouse to to? Whose wishes are treated as more important than your spouse's? Wow. Yes, yes it is. What the fuck.
@81: "So Eudaemonic, are we to understand that infidelity is rape? "
Look, fuck you. If you're trying to obscure the distinction between consent and nonconsent, then you are a rape apologist. If you're trying to tell someone whose consent has been violated that his consent hasn't been violated--if you're helping his abuser gaslight him--then you are scum. But in your case, you've already made that extremely clear.
Stop trying to find loopholes. It is not possible to be an anti-consent activist without being a rape apologist. There are no loopholes.
"It sounds to me as though she was considering leaving him that summer. He was depressed and she was disengaged. There might be more to the story."
She did leave him that summer. What would she have had to have done for this to be more clear to you?
Leaving someone and not telling them is not better then leaving someone and neglecting to mention it.
This is not DTMFA territory--or it certainly doesn't have to be. This is SIT-DOWN-AND-HAVE-A-SERIOUS-COMPREHENSIVE-MUTUALLY-RESPECTFUL-CONVERSATION territory.
If they'd never put their monogamish attitudes into play before, they need to see where and how things went both wrong and right. The wife needs to own up to the fact that asking forgiveness after the fact is not the same thing as asking permission beforehand, and acknowledge that she probably feared she wouldn't get that permission given some circumstance or set of circumstance: perhaps the fact that she and her husband were separated for the entire summer, the fact that she was living in such close proximity to the guy she wanted to have her fling with, and the potential for that extra-marital encounter to become an ongoing fling (as it did), rather than a one-off, which may be what she and her husband may have been envisioning when they set up the initial rules and parameters for extra-marital activity. She needs to acknowledge that those reasons don't add up to a good reason to violate the terms of their agreement. She further needs to acknowledge that by allowing her husband to meet and interact with her lover when her husband didn't know the man was her lover and the lover knew that her husband didn't know what was going on, she was humiliating her husband, something he explicitly had not signed on for. She was selfish.
But she clearly thought that somehow this was part of their agreement, and who knows, if her husband had been less depressed and felt less alone that summer, he may not have been nearly so upset. The fact that they have a code (she asked me if I "wanted to hear a story," code for treating me to a tale of a sexual contact) suggests that the monogamishness of their marriage has been put into practice, not merely existed in the realm of the "someday, maybe" before, and perhaps she thought that she was just pushing it a little further than it had gone before. And who knows, if the husband had had a better summer, he might have simply been turned on by the whole thing.
It would be interesting to know why he was depressed and alone that summer. Was he depressed because he was alone or were those two states independent, not interdependent? Was he "alone" because his wife was out of town and she constitutes his whole social life? Was he "alone" because while she was out of town, they made little effort to stay connected in a way that made him feel less alone? Was he envious of her getting to go away for the summer--away from their routine, the city they live in; away for an exciting work project, or in a new and exciting or fun or glamorous place; away to the possibility of a sustained affair with a man who would be right there with her while he, the husband, held down the fort at home?
Maybe his unhappiness is an aggregate and not simply a case of "she violated the terms of our agreement."
He needs to communicate to his wife the depth and breadth of his unhappiness, its origins and the way it continues to ripple though their relationship, and she needs to listen to him. But then I don't see any reason why they can't come to a greater closeness and understanding and not make the same mistakes again.
I can point to countless evidence that she knew damn well that this wasn't part of their agreement. So have other people. Can you point to any reason to think otherwise?
Look, if your partner agrees to be tied up for no more than 20 minutes, and to sex but not anal, and then you leave them tied up for two hours and do anal repeatedly? You don't get to claim "I thought it was part of the original agreement!"
And no one should tell your partner to just get over it. No one should make excuses for you. No one should gaslight your partner by lying and claiming that this was part of the agreement.
Anyone who does is scum.
"It would be interesting to know why he was depressed and alone that summer."
Or did she decide to abuse him because he was depressed, and depressed people are vulnerable?
"He needs to communicate to his wife the depth and breadth of his unhappiness, its origins and the way it continues to ripple though their relationship, and she needs to listen to him."
They already did the communication thing, and her response was to decide his consent doesn't matter. And she got away with it. She'll keep doing it, because she's scum and she's exempt from consequences.
When a man violates a woman's consent, no one calls it a "mistake," no one says he was "selfish," and no one tells the woman to get over it because it will "bring them closer."
What the fuck is wrong with you people.
It still seems relevant to me that he made it clear to her that he found the idea of her with other men to be exciting. She confessed to him in bed because she had reason to think the facts would turn him on.
I will only say, as I've said before, that it appears that you and I have read the same letter and have different interpretations of parts of it. That happens. We aren't being presented with objective Truth; we are being given a letter, a description of events and feelings from the perspective of only one of the participants. We don't know if that letter was edited (it often is), and if in the editing, something that might help us arrive at an objective Truth has been left out. We don't know if the letter writer twisted or misrepresented some part of this story in order to support his own reaction and to gain support; people do that when they feel aggrieved and tell their stories. And the truth is, there is no objective Truth--not when it comes to human feelings and reactions, and understandings. We can't say that the wife was thinking such and such or that she felt a certain way; we can't--even though he's the letter writer--know exactly what the husband thought their arrangement was supposed to be, or how long it had been in place, or whether it had been tested or executed before. We have no way of ascertaining whether either of us (or anyone else's interpretation) is correct, and furthermore, as there are two people involved in this situation, it's highly likely that they themselves don't share the same interpretations of the actions. You find evidence to support your interpretation in the letter and I find evidence to support mine.
Since we all bring our individual and particular biases to every situation we assess, I think it's likely that your biases may lead you to a different reading of this letter and situation than I or others end up with.
So by your interpretation, you come to the conclusion that this is a case of DTMFA; mine leads me to say this is a situation that needs to be thoroughly talked through and that this marriage, if the actual participants in it think is otherwise good, can be salvaged, should they want to do that. The husband is free to follow your advice or mine or Dan's or anyone else's on this thread. More likely, the couple is unlikely to care a whit about what either you or I actually think and they will find their own solution to this problem.
Therefore, she's scum. If she's not a rapist--and we don't know, but it's likely--then she's at the very best no better than a rapist, because she thinks his consent doesn't matter.
New question, now that we know his wife is ethically identical to a rapist: Should rape victims be pressured to date their rapists? Should they be told it wasn't rape-rape, because hey, she consented to something, just not to the thing he actually did?
"yes, when a man has a secret affair people call him selfish. And either they tell the wife to run or they tell her that this is an opportunity to rebuild with more honesty to achieve greater intimacy in the future."
They do not lie to her and tell her she gave him permission to have a secret affair, or lie to her and tell her the affair wasn't "really" secret or wasn't "really" an affair.
Even when the nonconsenting party is not a woman. I'm not sure why this is so hard for everyone to grasp, since this is trivially obvious to anyone who isn't a bigot.
Dear nonmonogamy enthusiasts: Please go back to pretending that you're only pushing consensual nonmonogamy, and that respecting consent is more important than getting to do what you want.
She's made it clear that she sees him as someone whose consent doesn't matter, and who therefore can and should be raped with impunity. That's nothing like love.
People who think consent doesn't matter are scum. At best, they're no better than rapists. Don't stay married to them.
P.S. I know you won't, but I needed to get that off my chest.
It's like with my sons. One day where some nasty words don't pass their public lips is a good day. Another thread ruined.