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"Be Discreet."

If your husband (wife) told you to, "get a boy(girl) friend but be discreet and don't fall in love" as one of his defenses - would you?

Also, what does this say (what do you think?) to the members of the group about his/her mindset?

AND what does it take to compartmentalize each side?

Do any of you have arrangements like this?
Do they work?
Or is it just a compact with the devil?

I'm a firm believer that kids are lightning rods for this kind of behavior.
We have a 4 yr old granddaughter in the house.
Any experiences with that?
Fool4Waiting Fool4Waiting 56-60, F 21 Responses Aug 19, 2012

Your Response


My wife, in a fit of rage once told me to go out and get a girlfriend. I don't think she meant it -- just venting (duh!!).

This occurred when I had come to the conclusion that she may actually not love me at all and never did. I was still mad about her.

An old friend of mine -- a woman -- had been telling me about how luck my wife was to be with me, etc. At some point I just dropped the statement that the marriage was physically dead and that she had no interest in me whatsoever. She assured me that that was not the case and told me a bunch of things to do -- guaranteed to spice things up.

So I launched an assault on my wife. Cleaning, cooking, always immediately addressing every complaint, etc, then after a few weeks I took her out and we made love afterwards. Over a period of two months, we did it three times -- we were really working it here for us. It may have been a year and a half before that.

But I found after that that she was getting increasingly agitated with me for everything even though I was being the best model husband I could muster. In a fit of rage one night she accused me of hunting her all the time and only doing nice things to try to get her in bed. She accused me of touching her in the shower for the sole purpose of F**king her. Honestly, for the incident in question, that was not my objective -- I was just feeling loving.

So in this "Episode" she blurts out that I should get a girlfriend to take care of my needs. I ignored it and tried to calm her down. After that, I was pretty careful not to give her a massage or anything unless the kids were in the bed with us, etc. Careful not to give off the wrong impression.

After a few weeks, she actually accused me of having an affair. I did not know what to make of that. That was the third such accusation or concern she had had. And at the time, I had never even remotely considered such a thing. I later -- over a year and after a few more deal killers -- I landed myself in an affair. The really strange thing that has never made any sense to me was the fact that she NEVER has accused me of having an affair or even questioned it since I actually had one. If one of you women can explain that, I would be really interested in hearing THAT.

See my response to Bfinally's contribution to Ifoundmehere's story "My weekend with Mr. Thrifty". Not going to type it all up again, 5 minutes later ;-) but it's on topic here.

I think the problems arise with compartmentalization. If you have to keep things secret, duck out surrepticiously, choose your words, have to contain your feelings and select what you can say to whom, THEN things get weird and knotty and sooner or later the ship will break in half and sink, one way or another. That is my considered opinion.

I value honesty and openness above all. Security (in a relationship) does not lie in not knowing, security lies in an unshakable feeling of trust and that can only be supported by openness.

If my wife said she found an interesting man and she wants to boff him and dedicate Tuesdays and Thursdays to him, I'd shrug my shoulders and go 'ok'. How is that different to ME from her being away at the spinning circle or the felter's meet, or at some day-job? (not going to happen, but that's a different story - it HAS happened to me in the past). So I get a couple of days off and if my experience of the past is anything to go by, I then got hotter and better sex at home because she felt inspired.... but the moment dissembling and prevarication and witholding of information enter the picture, I will become quite discombobulated, because it's eating away at the basis of my trust.

If you walk out the door "I'm going to see Brian for 2-3 hours" and come back with a smile on your face and "Had a great time, what would you like for dinner" then that's one thing.
If you duck out "going to do some shopping" and sneak back in with rosy cheeks and walking funny, then that's another ... well i.m.o. anyhow. It introduces incongruity. Even the 4 year old will not pick up on the former, but get wondering about the latter.

f.w.i.w. -P.

Walking funny, huh? I want to meet this Brian

Nah, I heard Brian's a prude. It's Jesse you want to meet. ;)

For some this is the only way. Or it's the brooklyn bridge.

Try wild sex first with willing lover ! The bridge still be there!

I've done this. In 1999, my husband told me to "do whatever I wanted, but don't bring home anything I didn't leave with." My kids were 6 and 9. I was "discreet" until about three years ago, when I lost control of a relationship w/a significantly younger, single, man who didn't seem to recognize boundaries. My then 16yr old caught us kissing and screamed out my transgression during an argument w/me, hoping to cause me grief with her father. He pretended not to hear. Today, my daughters are 19 and 22. The 22yr old has just begun her 1st year at a Top 10 law school. The 19yr old is an RA on the Dean's list at a great university where she's on track to graduate in 2.5yrs. Neither is promiscuous. Both are extremely judicious about the types of guys they choose to date. Whatever you decide is up to you. Choose wisely. Be careful.

So, would you do it all again?

Do what? Marry? Or have an affair? If the latter -- Yes. But in re: your question of mindset: it bothers me that my husband appears concerned only about "appearances." I wish he cared enough to be furious at the thought of me with someone else.

Having "something" on the side, even with a blind eye by your mate, is in my opinion treating the symptoms of a problem, and not the root cause. Lets face it, how long can one realistically continue to have extramarital interludes before time takes its toll, and there is no one left to meet. With good fortune we hopefully will continue to collect birthdays, what does one do when they reach an age where the only individual left is the partner that they have been avoiding! Honestly, i would rather start over again, as tough as it may be as a mature individual, and find a compatible mate for the long run t grow old with. The way I feel today is, she better be a good kisser even at the ripe age of 75+.

I have none. If you have read my story, that just about sums it up. I do believe that children, when especially when they get a bit older, sop up things around them like sponges. Discretion is hardly ever very discreet. I get the feeling that you are still together at this point, mainly for your granddaughter. Tough situation, as, is she was a child, I would advise you to leave your SO...I don't have the same type of experience and I do not know what I would do in your situation. All that I can draw on is my experience, so I will leave this to others...

It is very personal choice but I could not do it.

This is harder then you might think. Don't forget your most active sex organ is your brain. It is hard to get naked with someone you don't love. 30 years in the service I learned how to do it but, I always felt guilt when it was over. We baby sit our 3 year old grandchild and have done the same with all our GCs and it is do able.. We have learned if you don't want the answer don't ask the question. If you are wanting to do this always meet in a very public place for coffee several times before you get naked with the guy or gal. And don't ignore your husband.

I have an open marriage where H is aware that i see others...Like FullMoon I didn't ask permission nordid he didn't tell to go there...I just went. <br />
After 2 years of sexlessness he drove me there & it was after trying eveything else so when he found out about 8 months in...he was shocked and hurt but he also blamed himself and we breifly tried to be intimate but jezz by then I wasn't into him anymore and ga ga over a new that was short lived and we are back to sexlessness...only I have my now second boyfriend and he is aware of it. <br />
It isn't perfect and not for everyone but we are simply not ready to walk away from our family and each other. Pretty sure eventually we will, when ready. Or when one of us is sick of living this way. <br />
As for love--yes I'd say I loved both boyfriends--the first one the most & he was single & far away so of course it didn't last. My new one is married and local like me and doesn't want to change his situation--this is probably best suited. <br />
Best of luck to you.

on the surface it sounds like a simple solution - but people and relationships are anything but simple. what you would really be doing is bringing another individual's experiences, fears, pains and complications into an already difficult situation . - that would make everything very upsetting and confusing for any children who rely on stability and security. Multi- tasking usually doesn't work in business in the long run ( people burn out eventually ) and never in intimate relationships

I think very dimly of people who tell their partners: "Let's stay married. You go get some on the side, I don't mind." I bet the next thing they think is "Ok, I am done with this; now I can plan on my root canal tomorrow, yay." If they stay in the marriage, the least they owe the refused is to mourn with him/her.

The other side has nothing to mourn if they don't love the person. And generally speaking, if one spouse is telling the other to "get some on the side" they do not love them.

Well, at the very least they can still be jealous and possessive ;-)

Nah. If they do not love you they are NOT invested into being jealous and possessive! There would be no point to it!

However, upsetting their marital "comfort" zone would get a response!

1 More Response

It is not up to them. They lost all say when they refused, structurally. <br />
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And usually, they don't mean it.<br />
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My personal take is that I couldn't hack the complexities, nor could I reconcile being with someone who wasn't prepared to bust a gut to help me get what I want.

I did this after months of the wife telling me to go bother someone else for sex. When she found out i had taken her advice her reaction was Volcanic.<br />
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You cannot win here. If you are being told this you are being set up to fail<br />
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Stay Strong & Good Luck

See? As Elaine said, "fake, fake, fake and fake."

I see Frustrated's scenario as the most likely to occur. You're married to someone whose psyche is messed up. What may seem like a perfectly reasonable solution one day, may very well seem disgusting the next. If you're that gung-ho to do it, just do it. But please, meet with an attorney first. Know upfront what you'd do if he suddenly changes his mind. Hell, I'd even get him to sign some kind of paperwork acknowledging he approves of this (depending on the divorce laws in your area.) I cheated. Once I felt that passion, experienced fulfilling communication...I asked for divorce. My advice...just get the damn divorce...stop dancing around the obvious.

Vast majority of us here are in dysfunctional marriages bereft of intimacy.<br />
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Looking beyond the marriage to meet this need for intimacy means you are looking for a level of normality in your life. You are actualling looking for the component your spouse is not providing. And, whereas sex is part of that, it ain't all of it.<br />
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A spouse who suggests you simply go out and root someone else is missing the point completely.<br />
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In effect, they are suggesting you find a masturbatory aid - in the form of a person - and that ain't actually what you are looking for.<br />
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Tread your own path.

as usual my friend you have a talent for cutting through all the garage and geting right to the point. well said.

And that's probably why they then blow up, like Frustrated's one.

Or not. I've been in two relationships with an 'open' option, and I never had sex outside the relationship with a 'masturbatory aid' (nor did I need to for that matter) but I shared a great experience with friends whom I cherished and loved, aside from my S.O.

Personally I can see no benefit to me in having sex with a person whom I do not have a close, warm and trusting relationship with, just to "get my rocks off". That may be ok for drunk teenagers, but I am not one of those.

So it goes. -P.

I just had to join in with Ein and say what a wonderfull line.Its the best laugh i have had for a long time.

We actually had this conversation earlier this year, when I thought if I could just get some physical attention I could hang in there. He agreed that we could open our marriage, and then started to make demands, like "but don't sleep with someone just for sex, you have to feel something for them..." etc. <br />
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At which point I went, huh? Why are YOU setting boundaries here?<br />
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I decided I didn't want an open marriage after all, I wanted to "move on". <br />
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We are now separated but I haven't actually found someone else, as it's a "little complicated" and I'm just feeling relieved that I'm no longer "married". <br />
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Once I found I didn't have to rely on HIM for sex, I felt much more free to just relax about the whole deal.

Yes, sex will go the way of movie entertainment. People saw movies in theaters a lot and still do, but the number of hours they spend in front of a family television is far more than hours spent in a theater. Then the single family telly got split up between the parents and kids. So for some time there was duo entertainment, but now it's all solo thanks to phones and tablets where you watch video all by yourself. Sex will go the same way, all solo, all the time.

It works perfectly for me... I did not ask permission (I don't like any control over me)... My marriage won't change(Nothing can make my husband healthy young and not depressed), so I had to do something... He does not know and I am not going to hurt him, unless (there is always a risk) something goes pear shaped... I am fully aware of it... What happen in the future nobody knows... but I am fully alive last 6 months... I can't give any advise everyone chooses his own way...

Happy for you!

Pointless complexity and inviting all kinds of bad consequences. Nyah, I will pass. (Helps that I have essentially no social life, and there are no potential candidates in the workplace. I also doubt that sex with a woman will ever do it for me anyway. What's the point?)

It seems unlikely that one will just casually happen to meet the right person, and then gain that person's complete understanding regarding the complexities of their situation.

I wouldn't be able to help you here, it's not what I want. I can't imagine there being a woman (in my case) who would be interested solely in sex. At least not one I would find attractive, or be interested in. It seems like a recipe for disaster. Good luck :)

I am in such an arrangement and it has worked for over 2 years. I did not ask permission, I notified the spouse of my intentions. Additionally, if someone has removed themselves from the intimate equation within the context of marriage, to my mind, they don't get a vote or in any way control with whom I fall in love with nor will I allow them to continue to exercise automony over my intimate behavior.<br />
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I do not consider this to be a pact with the "devil", and it does not resolve the core dysfunction - the marriage.<br />
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There are no minor children in my home. I have a real love (Not a FWB) with whom I keep company. My marriage is platonic.<br />
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This is a response I wrote to LonelyST in her recent story OPEN MARRIAGE:<br />
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Open marriages, or Don't Ask/Don't Tell (or a combination of both) arrangements are rare and difficult to pull off. <br />
<br />
These sorts of arrangements normally will appeal to two groups of people:<br />
<br />
1. Those who are truly polyamorous. I don't read that you are in that category.<br />
2. Those who have nothing to lose. You might not be in that category either seeing you have minor children in the home. You need to seek legal counsel to find out exactly what you have to lose within the context of your particular jurisdiction.<br />
<br />
With that said, these arrangements - even if mutually agreed upon and you BOTH have released each other from the bonds of sexual exclusivity - are not for the faint of heart. They demand nerves of steel, a willingness to compartmentalize your life to a degree that you might find unacceptable, money, lots of TIME and some game. In other words, they demand a skill set that not all possess. They also tend to work a bit better when there are little to no complexities in the household (no minor children, no sexual jealousies from spouse, some discretionary income of your OWN which normally means you and spouse are carrrying little to no debt, a strictly platonic marriage where you enjoy complete freedom with little to no household responsibilities and you both do as you please, etc).<br />
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An affair would add to the already complex circumstances of your life (job, kids, etc) and your energy might be better spent on either fixing the marriage or departing it.<br />
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And when the affair is over, you core problem still remains: your dysfunctional marriage. Back to square one again.<br />
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Your marriage will change once you step out - even if your husband does release from the bonds of sexual exclusivity. REMEMBER he gets the same deal - he can then sleep around too.<br />
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For better or worse, your home life will "feel" different. You might be happier, you might be sadder as affairs do have a tendancy to highlight what is dysfunctional at home.<br />
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You can approach this in more than one way. The first way is to ask PERMISSION and see what happens. However, asking permission allows him to simply say NO without further explanation and no further action on HIS part. Back to square one.<br />
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The second way is to NOTIFY HIM of your intention. In a respectful way notify him that you will no longer will live without intimacy in your life and that you are going to seek intimacy elsewhere. This is not meant to hurt him but is meant to get crucial, life affirming needs met. This then allows him one of three options:<br />
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1. To get reengaged in the marriage where you work together to get you BOTH to a better place, intimate wise.<br />
2. For him to accept, without complaint or grudges, that you are going to go outside the marital lines.<br />
3. Separate or divorce.<br />
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BEFORE you engage in any behavior that could jeopardize your marriage you need a contingency plan. That includes knowing how a divorce would pan out in your jurisdiction.<br />
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-----" I don't feel strong enough to do more..."<br />
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The open Don't Ask/Don't Tell arrangement will test and stress every fiber of your being and I think you will find it to be very arduous. It will NOT decrease the complexity of your life.

And, we are forgetting someone here. The 'love' (girlfriend) you speak about often ends up getting the short end of the stick. She gets to fulfill the romantic role, so you can maintain your and your wife's financial stability. My current boyfriend had been in a platonic marriage for years and living apart for near a decade when we got together, and I made it crystal clear that I would not abide the situation long term. He is now legalizing the process, as he had decided he wants his relationship coommitment to be solely to me. I tell you this story to let you know that this solution may seem neat and practical, it doesn't work that way in reality.

I agree with rosedl's comment. There is another person involved that has to be taken into consideration too, and you were correct in taking your stand on the role you would play in his life. It is up to each person to set boundaries in these arrangements. The solution is never neat and practical in real life and few could maintain this sort of arrangement over the long term without being very pragamatic. Game changers can and will happen over the course of the arrangements, and everyone involved must be flexible and able to stand on their own two feet. My lover and I go back 27 years, he is not new on the scene in my life, so we were much more ahead of getting to an understanding relative to if we had recently met.

He does not care about sex anymore and his love for you is minimal, find someone to talk with or find a special friend.

No experience with that. Given the current state of things I would be sorely tempted but would expect my wife to meet the other person so that we can be FWB in a larger sense. However, wouldn't know where to start at my age to find somebody mature and independent enough to work at a FWB relationship.

What's FWB? Sorry I'm so dumb - been this way all my life.

Friend(s) With Benefits (normally those benefits are sexual in nature).