Is honesty always preferred?
I have a question related to honesty and cheating. I've been in a monogamous marriage for 12 years, but "came out" to my husband about my feelings for another man a couple of years ago. To his great discomfort, I insisted on discussing things thoroughly, and we concluded that he was in no way comfortable with my getting sexually involved with another man. I pushed for some specific boundaries, but he wasn't willing to set any. In spite of all the advice I got on this board, I came away feeling like there were things he wouldn't want to stop me from doing, so long as he didn't know about them. Like kissing, probably, but not getting naked.
I have left it up to my conscience, the other man's conscience, and whatever communication I can coerce my husband into, to guide this other relationship, and it feels pretty comfortable now. Last time he was in town, my husband was happy to have him spend the night (on another floor of the house) and they had a fun time playing music together. Lots of mutual respect all around.
Half a year ago I started to get emotionally involved with another man, again letting my husband know right away, and insisting on a lot of conversations he really didn't want to have. While he had already known the first man for several years, this time it was someone new to both of us, so my husband seemed far more upset by it all. I took a step back, but the feelings prevailed even without seeing each other. Many more conversations with my husband ensued, and the relationship has developed in baby steps. (No sex, again.)
This is all compounded by the fact that I have continually felt a lack of affection, admiration, desire, etc. from my husband, whose ideals in marriage tend more towards hard work, sacrifice, and focusing on the children. I bring this up periodically, and sometimes he'll make a contrived effort, but it never feels sincere to me. He's content to go months without sex, and I think in his mind romance is a tool to woo a mate, but not necessary once the marriage is established. Not to say he isn't kind, generous, and devoted and in many other ways a wonderful person. I just think maybe he's short on testosterone. He likes sex, but I'm always the one initiating, which is hard on the ego. Plenty of times I've had conversations with one or the other of these two men and come away feeling so much more self confident and sexy, it is the nudge I need to get things going in the bedroom at home.
Recently my husband announced that I am free to do what I like with other men. This astonished me. I haven't acted on it because I have no idea what made him say it. If I were to have sex with another man, I'd want my husband to know (and accept) who and when and why -before it happened. Yet, he resists theses conversations again and again. I get the feeling he really does not want to know about it. I recently read a comment on one of these threads, I think, about some Asians (which he is) accepting affairs as common to marriage, but lack of discretion is the truly unacceptable act. What if he really doesn't want to know?
I don't want to cheat. I love my husband. Yet he and I seem to be coming to the conclusion that I have needs he is just not meeting. My preference would be that he would fall madly in love with me all over again, find himself unable to keep his hands off me, tell me how lucky he is to have me for a wife, and repeat ad nauseum. (I try to do those things for him, but it's hard to keep up solo.) I do love the other two men, but the sexual and romantic pull would be so much more diminished this way. Yet I wonder if my husband is getting tired of this effort, and wishing I would just quietly go get my needs met elsewhere and be happy? His main argument against polyamory is propriety (decent upstanding people don't act like that -his view not mine) so turning a blind eye would be his way out, right?
The answer to every question on this board is: communicate. I will draw him into more of these conversations. I will ask him just why he suggested I am free to be with other men. But is there ever a point where a partner would really rather remain in the dark?