Given Dan's sage advice, I suspect that the wife will gladly accept alimony, child support & a dependable ex husband. Either way, CLAP gets the shaft while she gets the gold mine.
Damned (& poor) if he does, just damned to a sexless marriage if he doesn't.
So many arsehole men out there, here's a good man and his woman doesn't notice till it's too late.
With little children involved, I hate these questions.
LW, I agree with Dan.
i do hope she can see that to keep you inhouse as a co parent, will be a whole lot less work for her.
So she has a choice; deal with the emotional work of letting you go sexually or doing the two houses, shared parenting way.

Apologies@2. I forgot, best not to use any body parts in a derogatory way.
I'll rephrase; So many irresponsible, bad fathers and husbands out there, etc.

"The wife either accepts reality—yours is a companionate marriage and you have no claim on each other sexually—or she accepts alimony."

How the hell do you figure SHE gets alimony???

How about he gets custody of the kids and SHE pays alimony/child-support???
DTFMA Divorce the Fucking Mother Already.
@4 - In "no fault" divorce states (including Washington), the court doesn't consider who caused the collapse of the marriage. Alimony is awarded to whichever spouse has foregone a career or education for the sake of the children.
@4 and myself — apologies, looked it up and there seems to be some contradiction here between the first and last paragraphs. Maybe they mean blame isn't considered in deriving the payment amount, or possibly those are revisions to the original code?…

Either way, damn this guy is in a pickle.

Oh you poor man. Go. There is life after divorce, and in your case it will be a better life.
You deserve so much better, LW. You should end this marriage, it really sounds like anything else is just prolonging the agony.
CLAP says "we are great co-parents". Does that mean that the CLAPs are already separated? An estranged couple who lives in the marital home with all their children are simply "parents", aren't they?
DTMFA and get a good lawyer. A good friend doesn't declare herself a stay at home mom, cheat 9 times, and decide an open relationship is off the table. That is not a partner. You can do better.
CLAP was working 70 hour weeks with one kid already. It's tough to have energy for sex or, pretty much, anything when you're working those hours non-stop.

It wouldn't surprise me if their son was her and ?'s son. I can't imagine it would be great for the kids to be in a house with the high potential of becoming hostile and loveless. Disgust is not exactly something you come back from. Dude needs to DTMFA and hope he doesn't spend the next 17 years or so poor from alimony and child support.
Frankly I don't believe her when she says the sex was protected. Once people start lying, they continue to do so.

I'd just open the marriage up unilaterally, and cut back on the work hours/disposable income. Downsize the house, make enough money to keep the lights on, food on the table, and provide for the kid, but that's about it. What's she going to do? Go back to work? Maybe it will drive her away, and make it so that he gets the alimony.
Wow, that's quite the shitshow.

Also, *reins
Is there a rule requiring commenters to assume the LW isn't full of shit? Because I have a hard time believing this letter was written by a man in all sincerity. It reads more like a woman writing about her closet case husband. Or a woman writing about her errant bisexual wife. Or a man just completely making shit up because he's testing Dan.

Assuming it's all true, skip over the open marriage stage and move directly to divorce.
We've seen this letter before:

"Dan, I'm getting older. Sex with my husband (we married young) was acceptable, but after having kids and talking to other women, I realized, there had to be more out there than letting my husband clumsily attempt to make love to me..."

CLAP, I am a strong proponent of both partners in a marriage doing their best to stay monogamous, if that is what they promise to each other. But in your case, I don't see why you think you need your wife's permission to see other people. She has already broken the marriage contract beyond repair: firstly by sleeping around a lot, randomly and unsafely, without your knowledge, and secondly by her unilateral last-minute decision to quit work and become a stay-at-home mom without planning for the change or soliciting your input. These actions indicate that SHE DOESN'T REALLY CARE ABOUT YOUR OPINION, and you don't need to care any more about hers, either. In every way that counts, the two of you are already "divorced" and leading separate lives, just without the long-term financial consequences of a formal legal process. So I'll respectfully disagree with most of the other posters here. You don't have to DTMFA, if it makes more financial, logistic, and parenting sense for you to stay in the same household. If you really think you can peacefully share a home with her for the time it will take to raise your kids to adulthood, go for it. But wherever you choose to find love is now entirely your choice to make, not hers.
@16: 17 may have the sadly more likely answer to this. He doesn't have to be "bad", they just don't get along. And that doesn't excuse the cheating by any means, but they just don't mesh.
Yeah to @14, @18 and others. CLAP, How is she going to stop you from opening up the marriage?
Fetish @17, LOL you nailed it. That's the exact same letter from the opposite point of view. I'd tell your LW (in fact I think I already did) to get a divorce so she could get what she needed without being a CPOS within a nominally monogamous marriage. But in this case I hate to punish the innocent party with the financial and logistical consequences of divorce, when all the the wronged spouse really wants is an open marriage with the same privileges the CPOS wife has already taken for herself. What's good for the goose, etc.
Assuming you don't want to support this woman for the rest of your life like some sort of child who never grows up, don't follow Dan's advice.

Instead, tell her you forgive her, forego sex with her, and immediately start talking to a divorce attorney about what you can do in the next couple of years to cleanly extract yourself from this situation. This may entail getting fired from your job and living on unemployment for a while. If you can convince a doctor that her infidelity has left you too traumatized and depressed to work, you might even qualify for disability, which would put a quick end to any of her financial claims on you.
@22. Sean. Wow, that sounds like a fun life for their children.
The LW says they are friends, that they co parent well together; yes, the financial arrangement needs to be made equitable. Lose his job, seems an unnecessarily stupid suggestion. They have children to rear.
There are three children here; LW mentions daughter and "our first son". Neither parent can support those kids alone. Alimony doesn't exist anymore. The kids will suffer if the parents live together, whether they have someone on the side or not. Divorce, do shared custody, and each parent works; that's the only way the two adults and three children won't suffer.
@sarah91: Alimony doesn't exist anymore.

Alimony most certainly does exist.
@20 By making his home life such a living hell that going out isn't worth it? By dragging the kids into this mess [more than they already are] and making them suffer? I mean do you really think she's going to let this go quietly? She's already shown a complete disregard for him and a talent for lying. End things now, get a good lawyer and wash your hands of her. Amazing people divorce, pay child support and don't burst into flames and die.
Taking the REINS! Sorry, personal bugbear.

NoSpin @4: Good point. Perhaps Dan figured that she gave up her career and will continue to not work, or struggle to get back into work, while he continues to work long hours. Or it was a thoughtless, everyday-sexist comment.

Sarah @24: He also mentions "the mother of our two kids."

It sounds to me like CLAP's wife was never attracted to him; perhaps she just used him as a sperm donor. Can't disagree with anyone's advice here, and SeanDR will be pleased to see a letter where the answer was that SHE was being an asshole. Either co-parent and have your own sex lives while living together, or co-parent and have your own sex lives while living apart.
SophieX @16: What about this letter made you disbelieve it?

If it's just "no woman would do such a thing," you get the sexist award for the day.
If there's a take-away lesson, it's never to marry anyone with whom you have a not so terrific sex life with in the first place. Marrying someone when your sex life has room for improvement, sure, but not when there's so little good going on to start.

This situation sounds like another example of where we see the extreme of good ideas gone too far. No fault divorce was a great idea because it kept 2 people who had grown apart from wasting money and emotional energy accusing each other of terrible crimes when they ought to be able to walk away. We can wish that Mrs. CLAP had filed for divorce instead of going to Craig's List in the first place, but she didn't, presumably because she felt secure that the divorce, when it came, would be no worse later than it would have been sooner.
Second all the ‘jeez, wotta shitshow’ sentiments.
As others have noted, laws can vary a huge amount from state to state, so pat suggestions of ‘just do this’ aren’t much help.
The one thing I think we can all agree on is that the wife has forfeited all claims for consideration here. Doesn’t mean you need to put bleach in her shampoo bottle, does mean you don’t need to take ‘but how with this make her feel?’ into your various considerations.
‘We’re still great friends.” No, no you’re not, although the fact that she can still make you think so is some creepy Gone Girl shit.
Talk to a lawyer who’ll be brutally straight with you. Get your options figured. Your priorities now are, in order
Your kids
Your own financial and mental well-being
Her. If you care to, at all.
And, #16, WTF?
@28: I'm guessing the meekness combined with the amount of crap he's taken, combined with her never having been much attracted to him.

If you assume that they got married for the right reasons, of course it'd look like there's subtext missing. I'm sure there's stuff that could've been figured out better well before these terrible problems occurred, but does it matter? They both need out of the relationship.
@30: "The one thing I think we can all agree on is that the wife has forfeited all claims for consideration here. Doesn’t mean you need to put bleach in her shampoo bottle, does mean you don’t need to take ‘but how with this make her feel?’ into your various considerations."

On the day to day, this is not a good idea. As far as she's the one raising the kids at home, he should still take her feelings into account. Just not towards the marriage.
Divorced and separated parents is not the best arrangement for kids who crave the stability of mom, dad and family. But it's far from the worst option. Nowadays, divorced parents are practically the norm, as nearly 50% of marriages don't last. Interesting statistics here…

This is clearly a case where everyone would probably be best served by hitting the reset button.
There's a contradiction in CLAP's letter. He says that he's now un-attracted to his wife to the point of its bordering on disgust, that the idea of touching her sexually makes him want to peel his skin off, and that he feels sexually assaulted. In the next paragraph, he says that they are otherwise great co-parents and good friends. I do prefer to take letters at face value without calling bullshit on what's written simply because I have trouble believing it, but one of those statements is true, not both. I'm trying to imagine a situation where there could be that level of animosity between parents that's still fine for the children.

Following up on my comment @29, perhaps it's wrong of me, but I harbor some desire to see Mrs. CLAP punished by the courts. I've tried this with different configurations of cheater-man or lesbian relationship, and I keep coming up with some wish that the person who has cheated at that level could be found to be an unfit parent.

Here's a good recent article on oral sex, STD, and the need for protection:…
Someone on another site recently called something "fullproof"; I'll put "taking the reigns" on a similar level.

Ms Fan - My guess as to Ms Sophie's comment was more that "no man would ever..." take your pick of the ways the letter suggests or states he's shown fortitude in the face of adversity, or perhaps it's a doubt of his really feeling sexually assaulted - meaning probably the same thing as yours.

We have three references - "my two kids", "our first son" and "our young daughter". Assuming she's not pregnant again, what seems closest to making sense is that he's taking responsibility for her child from a prior relationship but is accurate about having only two biological children himself.

The specificity of the number nine feels significant, but there are too many ways how.
I'm starting to get tired of the advice to open the marriage in cases where the marriage completely sucks. He says they're friends, but his description of his disgust makes me think that he's a nice guy who thinks he shouldn't hate the mother of his children - but actually, I bet there's a ton of resentment and anger there under the surface. Opening the marriage is a good option for some couples with different issues than this - say, different libidos or one person wants to experiment with something the other is unwilling to try. Or, one partner is sick and can't be sexual anymore, but wants their spouse to be fulfilled. Or maybe both people are just cool with trying it. That's great. And I'm all for it (or even cheating) if it's a case of "we can get out of this marriage in two years, as soon as we finish massotherapy school/I help this person get through their illness/the kids are out of diapers/etc" then cool - hang in there, open the marriage, and wait it out - its like a stop gap measure to get through a definite time period.
But i don't think having a companionate marriage forever to someone who makes your skin crawl is really a better option than divorcing. It's lonelier than being single, in a way, and only delays the kids getting used to a different arrangement and delays or reduces the possibility of each person finding a new partner and/or happiness & fulfillment.
As a man who was actually sexually assaulted, I'd like guys to stop throwing that term around whenever a woman cheats on them or otherwise behaves badly. We need to distinguish between actual sexual assault (overwhelmingly perpetrated by men against women) and philandering and all the hurt that comes with it. I think men especially need to be careful to not conflate the two.

That said ... LW doesn't need the wife's permission at this point to fuck other people. Legally though, probably best that they just get a damn divorce. From a parenting perspective, if he feels so disgusted sexually by his wife, their relationship is going to serve as a terrible model for their children. Spare them that and go find someone to love properly so they can see what that looks like.
@36 I was in the "not fake" camp until I read your post. And I also completely missed 'reigns'! I would wager that with that mind of yours, being in relationships can be difficult; sometimes it's better to not know.
Divorce. Get as much as possible a joint custody agreement.. The best thing to do is stop torturing yourself on this. You (the LW) respect her as a parent, work on the positives that you have with her, (parenting, negotiating on anything besides booty call), and throw out the negatives, like the marriage. Don't delve on the STI paranoia. It is over, you are clean... Just take baby steps to heal your own psyche and end the marriage is a start.
@16 I think it's a genuine letter since I feel that the guy is genuinely upset and is at wit's end. It's hard to fake that sort of emotion.

Yeah they're definitely NOT great friends. I can just imagine the sort of back-handed, sniping comments they make to each other.

"me taking the reigns, her taking the reigns, me as a sub, her as a sub, porn, erotica, etc, etc" are his ideas of making their sex life better. What I don't see in that list is his learning to be a great pussy licker. I think she was never getting off and got really pissed about that. No, that in no way excuses fucking and sucking rando guys in cars, probably unprotected as one of you suggested. But I agree that the sex with this guy was never good.
And yeah saying "taking the reigns" not one but TWICE made my hair stand on end. Just yesterday my T shirt arrived in the mail which reads "Grammar Police. To Serve and Correct."
@megm1: What I don't see in that list is his learning to be a great pussy licker.

You're just casting about for reasons to blame him for her awful behavior. The problem with their sex life is clearly stated in the letter:

"Finding out that what did it for her was "literally anyone but me" hurt a lot.

She just isn't attracted to him. Not uncommon. From what I've seen, it's the number one reason middle-aged mothers cheat on their husbands.
Fetish @17: One has to wonder whether Dan advised the writer of your letter from the other side, advised the wife to cheat discreetly. From the recent trend of his advice, I bet that's exactly what his answer would have been -- and here's the result. Something to think about, Dan.

Venn @36: I read "our first son" as "our first child, who is a boy." As there are no other references to prior marriages, kids that aren't his, etc, this is the closest interpretation that makes sense to me.

As far as whether a letter is fake, my questions are: Is this situation plausible? and Would anyone have a motive to make something like this up? CLAP's answers are Definitely, and I can't see one. Therefore I presume the letter is genuine.
megm1@41 Where on earth do you get that he was not a "great pussy licker"? (As if that alone could be the deciding factor) What I did get is that he "tried all sorts of things to find out what turned her on but was never able to find anything that worked with consistency" and that he was "working crazy hours to support the family". "Dining at the Y" is not the be-all and end-all for sex (though it's a definite plus if you do it like your partner likes it) and probably not a deal-breaker for most marriages as long as you make up for your ineptitude and inability to learn even the simplest task in other ways. (But maybe I'm wrong...ladies, what say you?)

As for "taking the reigns," it seems like an easy usage faux pas to miss as you're banging out a SL letter (spell-check won't catch it, and might even substitute for you). And, since most Americans are only semi-literate anyway I'm inclined to give LW a pass on this one. As George W. Bush once said, "...You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test."
...A few more Bush-isms...
"Reading is the basics for all learning."
"Rarely is the questioned asked: our children learning?"
"If you believe every child can learn, therefore we ought to know whether that's the case."
"Of all states that understands local control of schools, Iowa is such a state."
Venn @36: "perhaps it's a doubt of his really feeling sexually assaulted"

We have -- or possibly had -- a board regular who frequently claimed women cheating or committing lesser infractions was the same thing as rape, and called anyone who disagreed with him a "rape apologist" among other choice epithets. Therefore, I took CLAP at his word that he "felt sexually assaulted." Melodramatic, yes, but anyone in this situation gets a bit of leeway. Hopefully once the raw pain has passed he'll see that there's actually no comparison. As Smajor notes @38.
The reason that you don't want to stay in a marriage with what reads like a selfish borderline sociopath is that the longer the marriage goes on the more likely the wage earner will have to pay maintenance for longer and or a greater amount. He also really needs to work on work life balance so HE can be a parent as well. As is stands, she'll get maintenance and much more time with the kids because she was the stay at home mom. He'll be left working the 70 hour weeks because the court tends to look at the amount of income and not how much work goes into it. He probably should speak to a lawyer just to make sure he understands the specifics of his situation legally in his state.
Donny @44: "Dining at the Y" is not the be-all and end-all for sex (though it's a definite plus if you do it like your partner likes it) and probably not a deal-breaker for most marriages as long as you make up for your ineptitude and inability to learn even the simplest task in other ways. (But maybe I'm wrong...ladies, what say you?)

This lady says no cunnilingus = DTMFA. Sorry. (But no cunnilingus is justification for DTMFA rather than marry the MF, not cheat on him after you've bred.)
And The Stranger has editors. They could have changed reigns to reins. I'm sure they fix other typos.
So let me get this straight. SHE decided to be a stay-at-home mom, forcing CLAP to work 70-hour weeks. SHE decided because of the reduced time spent together that CLAP "didn't love her anymore and that the marriage was over." SHE "decided to start responding to ads on CL" and expose CLAP to risk of STIs without his knowledge. But when the issue of opening up the marriage is broached, SHE gets insecure and denies CLAP the ability to get his needs met in order to salvage the marriage?

Fuck. That. She's already forced you into the same insecurity she's afraid of. She's continuing to betray you by expecting you to live your life without sexual pleasure. And I'm willing to bet dollars to donuts that she will cheat on you again. You haven't been sexually assaulted, but you have been emotionally abused by this garbage can of a human being who chose to use sex as her means of abusing you.

The marriage is over. Don't stay together for the kids. They deserve to grow up seeing what an *actual* happy, healthy relationship looks like, and you can give them that (while she probably ends up repeatedly cheating on the next dude unfortunate enough to end up with her). Start talking to a divorce lawyer. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. This woman is a vile, manipulative piece of shit, and you would do well to cut her out of your life.
Speaking from personal experience, there is highly likely to be a deep well of resentment and rage under the surface here, that will absolutely not go away if the marriage is opened, and if left to simmer may eventually break out into the kind of violence you might not have ever thought yourself capable of. I recommend getting out in a controlled, dignified way, saving whatever good will you have left for the difficult task of ironing out the divorce details and establishing a positive relationship on the other side.
I actually know someone who was in a similar situation. There are lots of users out there, men AND women. I think the LW should follow @14's advice, work only 40 hours per week, remind his roommate, er wife (and himself) he is missing too much time with the kids with the 70 hour shit and they're getting older all the time.. If there's not enough money then she can take a job working a different shift so he can take care of kids while she's at work. Then after a year or so file for divorce and AT LEAST half time shared custody. No alimony, no child support AND the kids can still be with both parents. There are even jobs that are 7 days on 7 days off (medicine, half-way/rehab clinics/Metro etc.) where he can stay home with kids for weeks they're with him. I think this discovery might be new so LW is still stuck in the we're good friends/parenting partners delusion. This is a big betrayal that comes with major rejection and "she made a fool out of me" baggage though. No way on from here but hate if they stay in same household. Cut your hours way back, LW, and spend that time taking care of your kids, learn about and be part of their lives, friends, schedules; then you'll have a good case in family court for at least joint custody. Don't be put in a position where divorce means you have to work 70 hours a week to support her (and probably her boyfriends), and only see your kids every other weekend in your dingy overpriced apartment (think Don Draper) while she lives in your house with random men who might be pedophiles and child beaters.

Go get some grief counseling to deal with your feelings of betrayal and rejection. Then quit one of your jobs and spend more time taking care of your children. Sell your home/cars and move into an apartment near your job/kids' schools/buses. Cut out anything you don't need, cable, internet etc. You can take your kids to the libraries to do homework, and the parks for fun and entertainment, and your wife can't troll for sex dates from home, which will make you feel less assaulted. DON'T SLEEP WITH HER, your kids won't have anyone to take care of them if you catch a serious disease.

what a sad commentary. Alimony as the reward for dishonesty and intolerance? I don't get it.
Get thee to a divorce attorney forthwith my good man.
Get a private meeting with a divorce attorney and bring up a parenting plan in addition to all the other financial issues. If you decide to divorce, get the parenting plan in motion ASAP. If there is no parenting plan and she gets wind of you wanting out, she can leave the state with the kids, file a parenting plan in that state, and you will have no say in that move out of state which will further complicate matters. You can dictate how this goes, but you've got to be the first one to act.
I am the LW, and I can tell you that this is a true story. I won't even begin to describe the rest of the relationship to you (what happened during the 15 years we've been together) as that is still being refreshed/rehashed in therapy. We just started with a new therapist yesterday and he was very clear that the prospects are pretty dim. The only thing I left out of the letter was that I moved out of the house (she is still there with the kids) a week ago.

To clarify a few things, Dan changed the genders on the kids in what I am assuming is an attempt to mask some details in case she read the letter (we have two sons).

As to why we are still together, because I am not an angel either. I have latent feelings of guilt about stuff that I did in the marriage. About 5 years ago I went and saw a domme for a few (non-sexual, fully clothed) beatings, and I have had a more than a few chat sessions online with strangers over the years when I was feeling lonely and disconnected. I never exposed her to an STI and I never so much as saw another person naked (other than in porn) during the marriage.

We are both pieces of work who have been bad for each other but I can honestly say until the last week or two we were friends. We hang out and live our lives much as they were before all this came out. We take care of our kids, eat, watch our television shows, go to movies, sleep, etc. This string of one-night stands though is next-level bonkers. The fact that she let us have another kid (one child was born before the infidelity and one child was born after) without raising this as a serious "we need to stop making new people until we get our shit sorted out" is a huge problem. So many huge problems.

Anyway, if you have any other questions I'd be happy to answer what I can.
@56: "As to why we are still together, because I am not an angel either."

That does explain the onesidedness of it all, but not why you're still trying when you seem to loathe her as everything but a caretaker of your kids.
"The fact that she let us have another kid (one child was born before the infidelity and one child was born after) without raising this as a serious "we need to stop making new people until we get our shit sorted out" is a huge problem."

She didn't steal your penis to do so, nor was this forced. You agreed to make a life in this dysfunctional marriage, so blaming her is doing you zero good.
I'm not saying it wasn't a mistake of hers, but it's a shared responsibility.
I know the sexual assault thing is a bit of a difficult issue and the language is loaded, but my consent to be sexually active with her was based on monogamy and always was from the beginning of our relationship. She knew that. She had sex with me and other random people within the same 24-hour period. Sexually violated may be a more appropriate way of saying it.
@58, no she did not steal my penis. I love both of my kids and the fact that their mother is an asshole doesn't affect that. But her making the decision to say "I want to have another kid with you despite the fact that I am hiding some pretty significant details about shit that I have done in this marriage" is pretty damn shady wouldn't you agree?
You sound very contemptuous of your wife as a person. Being friendly with her (eating, watching movies) is not the same thing as being friends exactly.

Is it fair to either of you to attempt to continue having some sort of romantic connection? It sounds like your respect for each other (at least on a deep, romantic level) died many years ago, and now by forcing it you are just being cruel to one another.

But of course all I have to go on are a few paragraphs you've written.
Thanks for coming on the thread, clap.
All acedemic now whether she should have told you before your second boy was conceived, he's here now and you two are connected in one way or another for years to come.
If you two are talking with a therapist still, that is good. Yes she behaved badly and yes to a lesser extent you behaved badly. Forgive each other and focus on how best to look after your children.
@58 Wow, Undead, did you misread what he said or do you really think that he can't blame her for not suggesting they hold off on their second kid while she was actively (and secretly) fucking other people? I really hope that you misunderstood and didn't realize that they deliberately had a child at a time when she was cheating and he was in the dark about that. There is no reason to believe that his own (milder) indiscretions were ongoing at the time either child was conceived.
BiDanFan @28, Despite Undead's valliant efforts @58, SophieX is the runaway winner of the sexist award for the day.
@clap: is pretty damn shady

Yes, it's hella fucking shady. Obviously. Don't waste your time seeking validation from @undead, she wouldn't give it to you in a million years.

Stop talking to therapists (and internet commenters) and start talking to a divorce lawyer. Immediately! A lawyer would have advised you not to move out of the house. Go find one, today, before you make any other self-defeating decisions that will cost you dearly.
And for what it's worth my money says that the sexual incompatibility boiled down to LW/Clap_20160412 being on the sub side and the wifey wanting a dom. In the straight circles in which I travel, anal on a one-night stand (if that's really what they were) is associated with submissive women. Trying for you to be the sub sometimes (because that turns you on) and for her to be the sub with you gong through the motions at other times probably won't work for a woman who wants the old-fashioned domminant male.

But it's just a guess. I could be wrong.
Ah, I assumed post-affairs referred to post-disclosure.
moving out of the house very likely puts you in a much much worse position if you are to divorce. get back into the house and/or secretly talk to a divorce attorney STAT.
Seriously. You will find, if you are out of the house, that if you divorce you will likely lose the house, have to pay alimony and have to pay child support, and may not have very good visitation. That is not the position it would seem you want to be in. Move back in immediately. Secretly talk with an attorney immediately. Watch you bank accounts. Don't kick her out or block her adequate access to the finances. All the time you spent working and not with the kids will mean the likely outcome, unless she agrees otherwise, is that you will continue to work that same so she can continue to watch the kids.
Jesus you guys, lawyer, lawyer!!
Clap' s wife has no doubt owned up to being a piece of work, hopefully clap has owned up to his deceit. They have been together for over 15 yrs, he says they have a friendship, what they do have is two small children to look after.
Yes he should keep an eye on the legal needs of the situation, get his rights in the situation sorted. He also needs to keep talking with his wife with a therapist to try and work out how they are going to look after the children's needs.
Clap, thank you for chiming in. If there's ever been an LW that I hoped would follow up, it's you.

Lava is wise. Heed her words at @63. People here have some good advice, but they don't know you and they (we) are of necessity projecting our own personal experiences and those of people close to us onto your situation. I agree that her knowing the marriage was so bad she was seeking sex elsewhere, but still expanding your family, was seriously not on. And "violated" sounds like an accurate word. She violated your marriage vows, if she didn't technically violate you. She betrayed you; you feel abused. And you were.

Clap, you sound like a reasonable, fair person. I think there's a good chance your wife and you can be friends and co-parents once you dissolve this marriage in hopefully an amicable way. Good luck to you. I hope your next partner is a monogamous, dominant woman who likes other people's kids. Hugs.
@49 that's silly, OF COURSE the Stranger does not have editors.
@12: The infidelity began about a year and a half after the the child was born. If one of her one-night-stands managed to father her child, she should be forgiven immediately. I don't care who you are, you don't turn down Time Lord dick.
Honestly, I wasn't really a sub and don't consider myself one. I was willing to be one if that's what turned her on and since she was holding the REINS of the sex in our marriage anyway I thought why not try to fetishize it and have fun.

Going to the Domme was intentionally non-sexual but let me feel connected to another person if only in a very inauthentic way to me. I ended that relationship with the Domme for a lot of reasons, and the fact that I wasn't into it was one of them.
"Bordering on disgust."

Come on, man, you know it's over.
@64, there was a lag of about two years between when she ended the affairs and when we started trying to have our second kid. That was plenty of time to tell me and she chose to keep it a secret until after he was born.
Clap, since you have moved out, what do you think is the chance your wife has seen a lawyer herself?
@74: Never mind, I overlooked kid #2. But my statement still stands for the first kid, dammit!
clap; what outcome would you like to have happen here? Articulate that to yourself, first. Then look at how realistic that outcome is. nobody but you guys know your relationship, and with long marriages and children, shit does happen.
You say you are disgusted with her, then that's it, isn't it? As Rhone @75 has pointed out, it's over if you are feeling that way.
Yes, you have to rage at the betrayal, just don't let it overwhelm you. Don't jeopodize your relationships with your kids and your financial security as you go thru these feelings.
This marriage is over, yes? Then look to How you guys are going to navigate the future.
I'm very excited to accept the Sexist Comment of the Day award. I usually skim the comments to Savage Love, but do not read them religiously, so I was unaware that you have/had a regular commenter who could be counted on to compare cheating to sexual assault. I find that a terribly inappropriate equivocation and, yes, it is one normally made by women not men. Men commonly don't see themselves as the victim of a sexual assault when it's a legal textbook violation, never mind engage in that kind of hyperbole over unprotected oral sex with a different partner.

(Noticing that men and women display, in aggregate, different tendencies is not the same thing as holding to rigid gender norms. Does it make me sexist to notice that far more women consider it cheating when their male partner looks at porn vs. men who view their female partner's porn viewing a problem?)
" there was a lag of about two years between when she ended the affairs and when we started trying to have our second kid. That was plenty of time to tell me and she chose to keep it a secret until after he was born."

So, the cheating actually stopped years before you found out about it and before you started trying for the second kid, as far as you know she has been fully monogamous for years now, which makes her desire to not do the open marriage a lot more understandable than the way the letter originally read. I still think you should get a divorce, because you're obviously not compatible, but I don't think you would've gotten the same advice as you did from Dan and others if you'd stated your case more plainly.

It's ok to be incompatible. Nobody has to be the bad guy. Divorce. Focus on being good co-parents and carry on your romantic lives elsewhere.

Got that right, Lava@79! Clap, you're in it for the long haul so try to make the best of this shit sandwich, maybe a little oregano to hide the taste enough so you can co-parent your kids who need you just as much (maybe more) than they ever did. GET COUNSELING (for yourself – not joint – I'd say that ship has sailed.) If you actually are still "friends" enough with the ex, and if you both acknowledge that not all marriages are destined to last forever but your commitment to your kids does then a mediator is the way to go. But, no matter what, talk to a lawyer first and get your ducks in a row. And get your ass back in the house. Running away is the easy fix in the short run, but a disaster in the long run.
Had LW not clarified the editing (which I suspect is a good deal heavier-handed than we tend to suspect), I'd have gone on with Ms Fan about the "daughter" clearly being older. It's quite a relief to know that the editors made a deliberate muck of it. I'm not sure whether to be pleased or annoyed, though, at how much support this gives the feeling I've voiced on occasion that the letter Mr Savage is answering and the letter presented to readers have significant differences.
Don't tell Dan and the experts, but this seemingly irrational and compulsive sexual behavior (and to be fair, our only source is LW) sounds like a sexual addiction of some sort.

LW- I’d also recommend incorporating some meetings with the therapy. Maybe you should too, if only to hear others and their experiences, challenges, and even joys.
Screw stigma- no one starts attending 12-step meetings just because they want to, it’s almost always after something bad happens.

I’d recommend different meetings to you and her to ensure privacy, trying different groups and see where you feel most comfortable. It usually takes some time to find the right one.
@61: I'd say the whole thing is "pretty damn shady." The more I think, the more I learn, the more that I have a niggling suspicion your wife is deliberately setting you up to be a cash cow of an ex.

(1) "She decided at almost the last minute to be a stay-at-home-mom." That's creating a huge disparity in income--more so because you had "almost nothing in savings" and thus had to work "crazy...70 hour weeks." So she gets alimony as a dependant, plus as primary caregiver, she gets custody and therefore child support.

(2) What does it for her is "literally anyone but [you]"--in other words, she sexually can't stand you to the point that she basically had to go hop on some random dicks--but she still wanted you enough to conceive a second child? Why? She wants more kids for more child support?

(3) She gets "extremely insecure and refuses to allow" an honest open marriage, although she admits to hooking up with 9 randos on Craigslist, AND she essentially told you she's sexually repulsed by you? Why the heck would she even care if you want to seek it elsewhere, if she doesn't even want you? Sounds like she's trying to torpedo the marriage by forcing you to be the one to file for divorce--thereby making her the put-upon, wronged single mother who gave up her career for the children and was abandoned by the big, mean, porn-&-domme seeking husband, and thus even more deserving of an alimony check.

Oh, this whole thing stinks. I agree with @56 and @70: it's dangerous to move out! Be careful--very careful.

P.S. @84: Regardless of whether the addiction in question is legit or not, 12 Steps fosters a mentality of identification with one's vice ("I am a ___,") and learned helplessness that has been shown to exacerbate conditions in the long-term and reduce the odds of successful recovery. Sex addiction counseling may be helpful to the wife, but preferably it should be obtained somewhere with a better track record than 12 Steps.
P.S. While we're being grammar nazis, I'll admit that "long term" should NOT have been hyphenated in my last post. It was being used as a noun (e.g., "for the long term..."), not as an adjective (e.g., "a long-term relationship"), and thus a hyphen was inappropriate. Autocorrect, perhaps?
Clap @76: "there was a lag of about two years between when she ended the affairs and when we started trying to have our second kid. That was plenty of time to tell me and she chose to keep it a secret until after he was born."

Ah, that changes things, to my mind. Projecting to her point of view: Things weren't good after the first kid. She starts idly browsing Craigslist, as I'm sure many of us have done for a laugh *cough*. No, she shouldn't have taken the step of actually contacting anyone, let alone cheating several times. But let's say that whatever she had to get out of her system, she realised she made a huge mistake and recommitted to fidelity in the marriage, because she realised she really loved you and didn't want to lose you.
If she wanted to stay in the marriage, what was the best way to accomplish that:
A. Confess to behaviours that even Dan deems DTMFA-worthy, or
B. Put everything behind her, take the secret to her grave, and strengthen the bond by having another child?
Okay, the child bit was probably unncessary, but if she knew your thoughts on monogamy and knew that you'd dump her over cheating, what motivation could she possibly have had to confess to something you'd otherwise never find out about?

Not sure on the timeline here -- How long has it been since this cheating spree?
I'm inclined to agree with Sophie @81 (I can be charitable, since I get to be so smug about her "this letter must be fake"). Perhaps your current "I want to open the marriage" means "I want to even the score," and her "No" means "I learned my lesson; that only makes things worse."

IF you believe that this really was a one-off lapse of judgment and you can trust her not to do it again, I think you can move past it. It would be a gesture of goodwill on her part to give you at least one get-out-of-monogamy-free card, I mean she definitely owes you big time. But it sounds like your sex life is in the toilet anyway, this pooch can't be unscrewed, as Dan puts it. Forgive her, but end the marriage anyway.
Venn @83: I wouldn't call changing the sex of a child "significant differences." The sex of their children makes no difference to the facts of the situation. And if any of the LWs' partners are abusive and recognise the details, that could lead to some big problems. I can understand why Dan changed the sex of the child. But I can't understand why he can do that and not fix a misspelling ;)

CMD @84: Agree, there have to be some lurking demons for Mrs CLAP to have engaged in such risky practices -- not just risking her and her husband's sexual health, but risking the marriage and her relationship with her child. If Mrs CLAP isn't exploring her motivations in counselling, she absolutely should be.
What Xiao said at @85.
I can smell the stink of setting up half the world away.
SophieX @80: It makes you sexist to assume that any individual can't possibly think or behave in ways not associated with the norms for their gender.
Xiao @ 85
" it should be obtained somewhere with a better track record than 12 Steps."
Please elaborate on the "track record" - Any research or just your own assessment?
@85 & @89; what conspiratorial minds you guys have. Choosing to be a stay at home mother at the last minute, you think this proves she had some great plan to become a single mother and rip the guts out of the child's father?
I'm guessing neither of you have children. Neither of you know the care that is needed in rearing a child. Being a stay at home mother is still being a working woman.

Good points Fan. She had finished her betrayal behaviour, after realizing what she was doing. I wonder how clap found out then? Did she suddenly decide to come clean, and then he's reacted by feeling such repulsion for her? What a sad story.

His wife betrayed clap sexually and left him open to catching sti.. she didn't betray him emotionally.
Maybe you have a point CMD, her impulse may have come from some very dark place. She stopped though, then had their second child. Then wanted to suddenly be honest about it all?
His repulsion is understandable. I don't however see why clap feels she is saying by this behaviour that he is
not good enough. It is saying more about how she felt about herself, while she had sex with these random men.
@91: "Please elaborate on the "track record" - Any research or just your own assessment?"

Since they are anonymous, "success" claims are based entirely on anecdotal evidence, I'm not aware of any research that indicates that they are more successful than facing your addictions without them.
I perfectly know that staing at home doesn't mean having nothing to do. It's not the staying at home by itself, it's all the things combined that reveal someone who is at the very least someone who doesn't care at all about her husband. For example deciding all by herself, having previously said else, to not work anymore in a moment when the family hadn't much money, thus forcing hubby to work like a mule - and consequently not see his children enough - is manipulative in more than one level and it's very different from the ideal situation where a couple decides together whether one of them can stay home with the kids instead of working (and ideally the other one doesn't kill him/herself of overwork and gets to see the kids while they are awake).
Can you see the difference?
Ashara; do you know the cost of child care? The child has to be somewhere. And I assume he was involved in that decision. We don't know how that came about. Clap is a little coloured at the moment Which given the news of his wife's past behaviour is to be expected.
He didn't mention in his letter that he too had had a sexual adventure.
@96. Sorry, his erotic adventure.
BiDanFan, you can be as smug as you want, I still don't think the letter is an honest accounting of the situation, and LW's follow up comments confirm that impression.

"It makes you sexist to assume that any individual can't possibly think or behave in ways not associated with the norms for their gender."

It makes you a bad reader to assume "I have a hard time believing" means "this is something that can't possibly happen." There's weird shit going on in that letter. There's weird shit going on in clap's follow up comments.

Assuming everything LW has written is true, here's the timeline: first son is born, 18 months later wife starts hooking up with men from CL, however long it took her to hook up with 9 different guys (keeping in mind this is a woman with a toddler, so child care needs, and a husband who worked 70 hours a week to support them, so tight budget, her ability to hook up isn't quite as flexible as hubby who hits a glory hole on the way home from work), she ends the affairs 2 years before they start trying to get pregnant with second child, however long it takes for her to get pregnant, 9 months to gestate, second son born and at some point after that (about a year ago) he finds out about affairs. That potentially puts the trip to the domme "about five years ago" in the same window as wife's initiation of affairs. And it definitely puts the trip to the domme post birth of first son. That seems like a relevant detail to have included in the original letter.

And about that domme, while it is certainly possible that he found some nice lady on the internet to serve him a few beatings for free, as a woman who's spent some time in those spaces dealing with curious men, "(non-sexual, fully clothed) beatings" reads as the sort of thing he paid for. And that isn't cheap. It's not really the sort of thing you'd expect a man working 70 hours a week to support his wife and newborn child to be able to afford. I would not be surprised if LW is fudging the timeline to try and disguise his identity* (it seems likely he learned about the infidelity far more recently than a year ago), but the story as told doesn't really cohere.

*Although I'm pretty sure "I visited a domme a few times for non-sexual, fully clothed beatings, but I wasn't really into it" is a much clearer identifying detail than the timeline or the gender of the children.

@98: I wonder if she was told before deciding to carry on with baby #2, was that timeline mentioned?

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