I am a straight man. From high school through college and after, I loved me some women. Then I met my present girl 10 years ago. I fell head over heels for her. I still love her. But, little by little, she has become boring to me. Our sex life has cooled. Days run together with mundane activities like watching TV, going to the store, and hanging out with our kids.
We own a house, we're financially stable, we look very traditional. But I am far from conservative. I love nightlife, crazy friends, and good drink. She was aware of this when we met because we ran in the same circles. My boredom is compounded by a craving for sex with other women. It doesn't matter who—the girl at the coffee shop, the checker at Whole Foods, every chick at the gym—I'm up to my eyeballs in covet.
I want out. I want to be a father to my kids and take care of my wife financially. But I want out. I am a few years from 40. What is the best course of action?
Too Young To Flail
One day, I'm gonna throw my hands in the air and declare that, from that blessed day forward, I shall no longer tinker with the machinery of monogamy. That day hasn't arrived, as I still have mortgage payments to make and opposite marriages to save—so here's a little tinkle for you:
You say you want out, TYTF, but are you sure about that? In her book I Don't: A Contrarian History of Marriage, Susan Squire asks: "Why does society consider it more moral for you to break up a marriage, go through a divorce, disrupt your children's lives maybe forever, just to be able to fuck someone with whom the fucking is going to get just as boring as it was with the first person before long?" (Emphasis added.)
Writing about Representative Christopher "Craigslist Congressman" Lee last week on Balloon Juice—a blog I read daily—BJ contributor "Mastermix" said: "If we want to do something about the high divorce rate, we might want to get real [about] the role of a discreet, mutually-agreed-upon affair as a safety valve."
In other words, TYTF, destroy the only home your kids have known and put yourself and the wife through the hell of divorce, and here's what happens next: You dog around for a few years and before long you shack up with a new woman—a woman who might want or already has a kid or two of her own—and a few years after that, you're trapped in another monogamous relationship that bores you, and a few years after that, you're writing to ask if you should put your second wife and your new kids through the pain of a divorce, all so you can make an embarrassing pass at a barista who has zero interest in fucking you.
Instead of putting your current family—and your hypothetical second family and that poor barista—through that, TYTF, why not risk leveling with the wife you've got now? Your marriage is already on the ropes, TYTF, so you don't have a lot to lose. Ask to have a "safety valve" installed on your marriage in the form of permission to have a discreet, mutually-agreed-upon affair, should the right opportunity/barista present itself/herself. It may not be a pleasant thing for your wife to hear, but "I'm leaving you to go fuck a barista to be named later" won't be music to her ears, either.
She may surprise you, TYTF. It's entirely possible—I hope you're sitting down for this—that you bore her just as much as she bores you. If she's itching for a few adventures of her own, social and sexual, then spend whatever money you were planning to spend on lawyers and counseling for your kids on flying grandparents in to look after the kids while you two head out for a weekend away.
But if all she wants is to stay at home in front of the TV with the kids, tell her that to preserve your sanity and, paradoxically, your marriage, you're going to go out and have some adventures on your own.
If she leaves you over it, TYTF, then you got what you wanted: out.
I'm currently recovering from surgery — a shoulder injury, nothing serious, but I've been told recovery from this kind of surgery (repairing a torn rotator cuff) takes some time and that I'll be laid up for a while and even more useless than usual. So I'm taking a couple weeks off. That means lots of time — and lots of Netflix and Percocet — on the couch for me, but no new SLLOTDs for you. You'll get new columns and new podcasts but no new SLLOTDs. In lieu of new SLLOTDs we will be running previously published letters and my responses. In lieu of flowers or get-well cards please get yourself something nice at www.ImpeachTheMotherfuckerAlready.com — all proceeds benefit the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the International Refugee Assistance Project — or email me a picture of your boyfriend's butt.