Man Requests 'Open Marriage' After 15 Years with Wife

Gillian Sisley

Is every marital situation acceptable, as long as it’s consensually agreed upon?

Marriages come in all shapes and sizes, and they will look completely different from one couple to another. Every marriage is unique, because every person is unique.

With that said, though a traditional marriage would see two people in a mutually exclusive relationship with one another, times are changing. It's becoming more common to see polyamorous relationships, and even open relationships in modern marriages.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a man requests that he and his wife of 15 years open their marriage, and his request is not received well.

Is every marital situation acceptable, as long as it’s consensually agreed upon?

A Mumsnet post published on November 21st, reported on by Alice Gibbs from Newsweek, has gone viral with close to 800 comments.

The author begins her post by explaining that she's been with her husband for 15 years. She is currently 30 years old, and she and her husband have been together since they were 16. They now have two children, ages 4 and 16 months. Though it would seem they have a picture-esque life together, there's a serious issue that's getting in between them.

The author clarifies that ever since her first pregnancy, she's been struggling with low libido and for this reason, she and her husband haven't been very intimate. Just the other night, her husband asked if they could talk, and expressed that he 'wasn't happy' in a marriage that is so low-intimacy.

He even explained to his wife that they've only been intimate five times since the birth of their daughter 4 years ago. He expressed he was getting increasingly frustrated, and 'feels lost in their marriage'. He clarified that he does love his wife, but is concerned that their 'relationship is in trouble'. That was when he made a suggestion to his wife that shocked her to her core.

Is intimacy a foundational part of a healthy marriage?

The author reiterated that the issue is not with her husband, but because of her libido. He suggested counseling, but the author doesn't like the idea of ‘talking about their intimate life with a stranger’. It was at that point that he made an alternate suggestion—opening up their marriage. He asked if she would consider this so that he could get his needs met, while also ‘taking the pressure off of her’.

He re-expressed that he ‘loves his wife’ and ‘wants the family to stay together’, but there has to be some sort of compromise. Either therapy, or opening up the marriage. The author became frustrated with her husband for 'ruining the status quo', but also understands that something needs to change.

What do you think? Was the request from the husband reasonable considering the state of their intimate life in their marriage? Or was he completely out of line to request the compromise of either therapy or opening up their marriage to meet his needs?

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