Should I offer him an open marriage?
Hi everyone, aside from just spending about an hour lurking around reading old threads, I am brand new here and really in need of advice.
I am trying to decide if I should offer my husband an open relationship.
I've been with him for more than 10 years, and married for more than 7. I was a virgin when we met, but he was very much not.
Up until (literally) two days before our daughter was born, we had a fantastic sex life, with nearly identical sex appetites and tastes.
Then childbirth happened, followed by nearly two years of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is designed to kill your sex drive - you're supposed to be nourishing your existing baby, not conceiving another one, after all - but I thought once she was weaned things would get back to normal. Instead, it's more than two years later and I still have next-to-no interest in sex. We've slowly worked our way back up to about once a week, but it's something I regard more as a chore than something to look forward to. I barely even masturbate anymore, and I used to do that several times a day, even when my husband and I were having sex daily, or close to it.
My husband, meanwhile, still wants sex every day and I know the last four years have been really hard on him. He has been incredibly patient and considerate so far, but I am making no progress at all on re-finding my sex drive and I feel awful about it. I've been thinking for months about offering him an open relationship as a way to make sure his needs are met while I'm trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with me and fix it, but I'm scared it could make things even worse.
My main concern is how to do it without destroying my sexual confidence even more. I've always been a little insecure sexually, partly due to natural shyness and lack of confidence and partly due to his much greater sexual experience level, but it was mostly covered up by sheer sexual appetite in the past. Now that the appetite is gone, the insecurity is all that's left. I can tolerate, and even enjoy, a little good old fashioned missionary action (missionary was always my favorite anyway) but when he wants me to take a more active role, I balk. I don't enjoy it that much in the first place, thanks to the dead sex drive, and I feel incompetent, silly, or both. This hurts him, which makes me feel more guilty and more insecure...
He's a very attractive and charismatic man and will have no trouble finding extramarital action if that's the course that we decide to take, but I'm afraid that seeing him satisfied by other women in ways that I no longer can will do even more of a number on my sexual confidence issues.
Does anybody have any advice or tips for how this could work?
Sorry for the novel - I figured I'd get better advice if I was thorough. I'll be happy to answer any other questions people have also.