What if I'm never happy, because I can't be me?
Warning: my writing skills are pathetic! I ramble and jump around but I'm going to try to get this all out.
I am 38 years old. Married to my husband for 19 years! I'll call myself Maria and he will be cc. I don't know how to classify our relationship. mono, half open, poly, Early on in our marriage (we can't agree whether is being 10 or 15 years, I say 15) cc approached me with... open marriage (I don't really know what to call it). He wanted to be able to have relationships outside of our marriage. I was devastated. It took me several months to process what he was asking for and to accept it. Which I did. I came from, no way in hell would I share my man to What's the big deal. He says he loves me. He has no intention of leaving me. So why not! It turned me on to think of him have a loving/sexual relationship with another woman.
The kicker was when he in response to my giving him permission told me under no circumstances could he allow me the same freedom with another man. He would "hate me", and would never be able to be with me again. I was however given permission to be with another woman. And at the time I was so caught up in my bi-curiousity that it didn't bother me that he was not allowing me the same permission.
So over the next several years, he had a non-sexual relationship with a woman (because she didn't want to hurt me, spoke with her on the phone one night) They were on and off, he would visit her, flirt and talk on the phone. This one girl and spending a lot of money on Adult friend finder with no response was all there was to it. That was all that ever came of the half open marriage deal that we had until...
My kids 3rd grade teacher asked me to go out and have a drink with her. The kids were having a sleep over at the school and we were on our own for the night. Her husband worked 24 hours shifts and mine was out of town visiting family. So we went and had a great time. When she called and asked if cc and I would like to go out with her and her husband it sounded like a great idea. We would go out have a few drinks, laugh, have a good time and go home. WRONG. On the car ride in between bars she made it clear that she was interested in more that just hanging out together. We were both nearly naked by the time we got to the next bar. She was amazing. I knew I was curious, but now I was really curious. So over the next 3 or 4 months we started a relationship, she and I alone and she and cc and I. There was talk about a foursome but she was very jealous of her husband and didn't want him to be with me and cc was NOT allowing me to be with him. So mostly we met up when her husband was working. That relationship faded, she moved away and the whole half open marriage thing got quite. Other than an occastional rekindling of adult friend finder (still no serious responses).
Now, keep in mind that this whole time his "permission" has stood and he has had plenty of fun rubbing it in his guy friends faces... My wife gave me permission.
About 3 years ago, I approched him about opening our marriage completely. I explained that I would like the same permission that I gave him. I want to be able to have a relationship with another man. (For the record: I did not have another man in the waiting). When he told me once again that he just could not handle the thought of having another man inside me, I let it go. Suppressing the need, want, whatever it is.
That brings us up to about 3 months ago. He was spending a lot of time at our brother in laws doing man stuff, out late every night, gone all weekend every weekend. I didn't get upset, I let him have the freedom that I thought he wanted and needed not to mention I had just started taking a class and really needed study time anyway. Sometime into this new routine he realized that I had become "distant" his word but I agreed, I was distant. I didn't need him by my side every moment of every day like he thinks I should. We ride to work together, we eat lunch together, we come home together. This new found freedom that I had was feeling really good! Time to myself to study, think, read, whatever... was really nice. In case you didn't do that math at the beginning, we got married when I was 18.
Anyway, back to my being distant. He decided that we needed to get back to where we were before we got so far apart that we couldn't reconcile. I felt like I was on lock down. I continued to go to school and come home to him waiting for me. He had completely stopped doing anything other that being at home watching me. During this lock down period we talked about my need for freedom and his need for me to be where he could control the situation. He didn't trust me, told me so. "I know how you are, you have a great personality and you attract people." So if he didn't control me, there's no telling what I would do. I have done a lot of soul searching over the past few months. I love my husband, I want freedom to live MY life and I want to be married to him.
Then, a couple of nights ago, he tells me about a coworker that is considering a threesome. He told the guy, no way man. It's complicated and you'll regret it. So I replyed. What was complicated about it. It's was just sex. And so started the lastest discussion. He told me that I was still "bitter" (again his word) because he couldn't let me be with another man. And instead of agreeing everything away, I said yes. I am. I want the same freedoms that you have. I want to be able to live my own life. I want to be able to do whatever makes me happy before I die. He now says that he regrets over bringing any of that up. He says now that even thou he had the permission, he would have never done anything with anyone else.
I feel like he has a change of heart now because he hasn't found that other relationship for himself.
I can't decide whether to let this go or keep pushing. At this point, I'm scared to bring it up at all. I don't want to fight with him. But, I want him to see my side.
What if I'm never happy because I can't be me.
What you wrote is very clear. Don't be so hard on yourself. :)
I think the last line of your post is the crux of your situation. Have you considered going to individual counseling? I think this would be a great way to help you sort out what you really want. And keep posting. There's lost of experience and wisdom to be found here.
I think the thing is that you allowed him to be with someone of a different gender but you are stuck with someone from your own. You could really consider yourself to be bitter but that is just normal as you are not getting something of the same level. It would be unfair on your part but I guess you agreed to it, so there must be something in it that you liked. I have to agree that you will really be opened to a lot of things should you just try counseling.
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