Who Is Breaking The Marriage Vows?

To many of us I believe are tied to a false system of loyalties related to vows taken at the marriage ceremony, These vows including the abandoning all others are taken serious by most people but i think we often forget that basic algebra we learned way back in school - probably in seventh or eight grade. A+B = C But that also means that C- A = B and C - B = A etc. Well it seems to me that unspoken in our vows are equal principles too often ignored.

I will meet all your sexuall needs and as many of your sexual wants as I can = your abandoning all others for an exclusive relationship with me. We may only pledge faithfulness but when we do it is understood or damned well ought to be that unspoken is the requirement - NOT OPTION, but requirement that we meet the partners needs.

All through these sections are those including myself struggling with this idea of I am not having my needs met but I do not think I can break my vows. Well in my view your partner broke their wedding vows a LONG time ago - the minute they abandoned the idea of meeting your needs. There is NO legal agreement once it is broken by your partner. If they adondom meeting your needs, you are free from exclusivity. They cannot have it both ways.

You are forced to take actions you would rather not because of their actions or inaction as the case may be. It is not you breaking the vows. Oh sure they may never have actually cheated by having sex with someone else but their actions in refusing to meet their partner's needs are every bit as destructive and probably more so than a physical fling would have been

So in the end - you did not break and vows they did.
thomascan thomascan
4 Responses Feb 2, 2013

Thomascan, I have to agree with you about breaking vows. I also believe that people don't really realize what those vows mean, especially over time. All relationships change, but some people change radically, resulting in a sexless marriage, sometimes after having a really intensely intimate relationship early on. Some loss of intensity is normal. What is also normal is that people get jealous, feel insecure, have mixed feelings, and in general get upset about things that may seem rational when they are using the logical part of their brain. It think it's likely that most people would not want to know about an affair by their spouse. A frank discussion about revisiting the terms of the relationship--that it should be open--might work for some, but don't rub your spouses noses in it once that's accomplished. Honesty is not what it's cracked up to be. Compassion trumps it almost every time.

I am sorry.

I was the refused and I completely agree that no person should be forced to live in forced celibacy. However, I also do not believe the reprehensible actions of one person gives the other the right to respond in kind.

You have every right to seek to fill your needs. There is nothing immoral or unethical about seeking to find a partner who wants to share a physical relationship with you, and you don't have any need to feel guilty about it. However, it does not give you an excuse to lie. Your wife has the right to say no, and it is up to her whether she wants to stay in the marriage if you seek outside companionship.

If she doesn't, then she has a choice to leave. Just like you have a choice to seek to meet your needs outside of a celibate marriage.

It isn't the sex. It is the dishonesty.


I get everything you posted except for: "However, it does not give you an excuse to lie." Exactly how did I end up accused of lying. I have been up front about my view and the situation. At some point it is her choice and mine - if those choices can find a way to be compatable that is great - but I see no lie involved - She knows the entire situation the why behind it and why Ii am looking outside the marriage. The only lie involved might be face saving one for her is asked where I am and I have no issiue if she wants to claim my work she does not owe anyone an explaination that I am with my mistress.

I was speaking in general. Sorry.

Thomas, I agree completely. This is accepted here on ILIASM as being the truth - and I hope newbies reading your story will grapple with this and come to realise how RIGHT you are.

As Baz says, "Vows are not there to be cherry picked! You do not get to say:
"I like the bit about sharing your worldly goods - so please give me your credit card. I'm not so keen on the part about 'with my body I thee worship', so you can forget about the sex!"

OK, I am totally convinced by your arguement that the vows are broken.

So now, you are going to - - - - - - - - - - - what ??

Tread your own path.

Do what? you asked. For me, I have concluded that false ideas of loyalties to vows which might be nobel when jointly adhered to are far less than nobel when exercised by only one and that personallyI refuse any longer to honor such exclusivity when the mutiual obligations of such are not being met and my partner will either accept this and allow it or we have reached an impass where I cannot give in.

I accept that her illness has played a role but so have her choices. I have a need to be loved and wanted and to have a loving woman conusmate her desire for me. My partner had 25 years and simply was unable or unwilling to do so, even when she was able to do far more than she can now. I cannot invest another 25 waiting any longer.

Are you going to leave?

Don't pull another woman into this mess, if you don't. You want this love and connection, but many men don't want to have to give up THEIR comfort and security to be with a new partner.

If you fall in love with another woman, and keep her on the hook while you have your cake and eat it too...you are no more ethical then your refusing wife. For everyone of these stories, I see a third party waiting to get hurt. Victim to two selfish people's needs.

So, what you are going to do is to tell your missus you are proceeding with the affair, and she can like it - or lump it.

It ain't such a bad plan - as long as you are prepared to pay the potential price (see a lawyer a.s.a.p. about that), and as long as you are totally up front with the other chick. Everyone in this dynamic really need to be making really informed choices.
You, that the upsides you see are truly there - and that you are prepared to pay the price if need be.
Your missus, who's main choice will likely be whether she cops this or elects to divorce you.
The chick, who is running the biggest risk of any of you of getting burned in the crossfire.

We discussed this at length and as she said she looked at divorce and decides she did not want that. Nor did I for that matter. We are good partners in many ways. And in no way is this marriage all bad or never sexual just rarely (we had sex together last night) and perhaps we are unique because so much of this is related to her health but she frankly decied to move forward - it was her idea and look at what a shared situation would look like and we both relaxed.

We plan a written agreement about this so no one can claim it was nonconsentual. It was afer all her idea in the first place and she not all that much changes - she maintains appearence of a normal home and sex life gets her sexual needs minimal as they are these days met and continues to enjoy our joint income and efforts on child rearing. I continue to love her - it would actually be easier if i did not. My resent over the situation has not killed my caring for her.

We will revisit it down the road to make sure it is working for all - that is only fair. Who knows maybe we are odd, but we might just make this work and if not are we really any worse off than we were before - I do not think so. In essense we created a open marriage with set understandings and guidelines to protect all of us. In fairness if she wants someone else and thinks it will jumpstart her sex life - feel free but she claims no interest there.

Probably be a good idea to get that agreement notarised by your lawyer - and discuss the ramifications of divorce - to be on the safe side.
Your missus will make her own choice about what she does I guess, and things can turn on a dime.
I see the chick didn't figure in your ruminations about this. Are you taking the attitude that she is over 21 and is going in 'eyes open' ?

The other chick is fully aware of both the situation and that it is our intent to maintain the marriage and is completely and totally content with that.

She figures only as she is getting what she desires - if she wants more than I could offer or was prepared to offer thety dynamic would change. She sought me out as possible safe older partner based on my writings she had read and we then have emailled. texted. talked and met in person over several months - she is as you point out adult but i am actually grown quite fond of her. Certain far too fond to recklessly use her without careful considerations of her feelings but she wants a safe sexual relationship with an older man who is caring but who will not want to keep her forever but allow her the freedom to leave when the time is right - which for her is after her graduate education is done - some years in the future

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