I have been married for 22 years I love my wife and she loves me. I have carried a lot of childhood issues that caused me to treat my wife badly for a long time and it took it's toll on her even though she stayed with me. In October last year she started talking to a guy on line and they developed a relationship. I was that self involved even though she told me about the site she was on and mentioned the guy I didn't chase up and find out more. After having this guy care about her for 4 months she wanted to leave me as I was not giving her enough attention. I went to see a councillor and am getting help and getting better and we are still together but she will not give this guy up. This guy lives on the other side of the planet and is not going to leave his family but he and my wife have formed a bond as they are very much the same. They have a very sexual content to their communications and pictures have been sent but that is as far as it will go they both are certain. My wife put it to me that either we split and ruin a 22 year good marriage or I get to know this guy and we can have on line sex 3somes with him watching and we would all be part of the relationship. My wife and I have had 3somes and that is fine but it's the way my wife feels for this guy that gets me. It may last it may not as his wife and he may fix things or my wife and I may reconnect and she will no longer feel the need for this guy but all this is not known and the only other option is to leave and break up my whole family as all the hurt I have caused her she doesn't trust me so will not give up this guy (her support) for me.
My question is am I an idiot to even try this (the sex may be exciting and I still love my wife) or is it a lost cause.
If people have been part of an open relationship before I would appreciate your in put.
It's probably a lost cause. I'm sorry this happened.
I wouldn't have much faith in an open relationship working for very long ... but, you're not in an open relationship. You're being coerced into living with an affair with the dude she wanted to burn your life to the ground over. That's not an open relationship. Its closer to marital extortion ... and I suspect it has even less chance of lasting than a genuine 'open relationship'.
As I understand it, "open relationships", at least in theory, exist when the couple mutually and honestly agrees to sex-outside-the-marriage, and some surrounding ground rules, with the understanding that there is to be no interference with the marriage itself. You didn't mutually agree ... you were coerced. She wasn't honest ... you caught her in an affair. There weren't any ground rules. And, there has already been interference with the marriage, to the point that she almost left you for this guy. Not an open marriage.
I agree with Will. This is probably a lost cause. Sorry to hear it. But, if you let her have this, it won't be the last affair. Or the worst. She'll be flaunting guys in front of you, until the day she decides she's just going to leave you anyway because she found somebody else.
There are times when its worth drawing a line in the sand. Even if the line is bound to be crossed. This might be one of those times. If you can't save your marriage, save your dignity.
I would like to add a further agreement: I don't really know what she's thinking, so it's grain of salt time, but if you're worth so little to her she would do this demand, is she going to think more highly of you if you agree to it? I don't expect so.
I can only speak as to what I would do.
Which is throw her face first out of my house.
ruin a 22 year good marriage
Unpossible. You don't have one of those.
What has you holding on to nothing after 22 years?
Fear would be my first guess, inertia would be my second.
There is no point in staying married to some one the clearly doesn't want to be married to you.
the sex may be exciting
Might just be me, but having sex with a woman who is clearly which I was some one else is not what I would describe as exciting.
First: You say you love her, still, but the question becomes "Does she love you?". If both parties in a relationship are not in the same place in that relationship then the relationship is in trouble.
Second: If she has this intimate online relationship with another man with your blessing could you have a similar with another woman? If the answer is no then it is not an open marriage it is a one-way marriage. My response would then be abandon the marriage, get a divorce and get rid of her. Further what happens when she finds someone closer to home? What do you do then? Will you allow that person to take over the marriage bed? Would you do the same and would it be OK for either of you to do so?
Third: This is not all your fault but it isn't all hers you both take the blame for this.
Can it work, for some, for very few, it has.
How territorial are you? Can you really deal with another man being with your wife? If the answer is that you cannot, which is what most fine. Then this will not work, and trying it will cause nothing but pain and suffering.
If the answer is not no, look up a book call the ethical slut. Get FOUR copies and have your wife, her proposed lover, his wife, and yourself read the WHOLE book BEFORE this goes any further.
They all MUST respect you enough to accept delaying anything more until EVERYONE has had a month or two to read the book. After that if someone has not done their part to read an research then they will not do their part to make this new relationship work.
It is a two step process at this point. Self knowledge for you and possibly relationship training for the 4 of you. If anyone balks at reading the book fully to learn how to deal with this type of relationship, it is doomed and hellish pain is the road you will take if you try without clear open communications, which is what the book discusses in relation to the feelings and thoughts this type of relationship causes.
I have a few friends who are in this style of loving caring relationship, they make it work. I looked into it at one point in my life and realized it is not for me, and not for most, it is another layer of work and stress on the relationship.