May 15, 2013

"A few months ago, my husband uncovered an affair I was having with an old flame."

"He moved out and initiated divorce proceedings, but in the time since, I was able to convince him that I am truly repentant and to give our marriage another chance for the sake of our children. The problem I have now is that he says that if we are to stay married, he wants it to be an open marriage. I've tried to tell him that I've gotten that out of my system and I don't want to be with anybody other than him, but he says there just isn't any way he can ever trust me again, he doesn't feel an obligation to be faithful to me anymore, and at least this way we're being honest about it."

Letter to advice columnist "Prudie" from a woman who "just want[s] things to go back to how they used to be."

Who's more wrong, the wife or the husband? It's easy to say the wife, but the husband is also wrong, because the idea of open marriage should be founded on trust, not mistrust. He's punishing her, deliberately, not pursuing what he believes is a positive way of life. (I'm not recommending polyamory, but if you're doing it as an expression of hostility to your primary partner, you're not doing it the way the prominent proponents say you should. I know... should... why speak of shoulds in the realm of transgression? I do get that. But I'm not one of the promoters of polyamory. I'm just someone who's listened to my share of Dan Savage podcasts.)

330 comments:

1 – 200 of 330   Newer›   Newest»
Capt. Schmoe said...

"Who's more wrong?"

Immaterial. It's over.

Renee said...

He's just going to cheat no matter what now, just go through with the divorce.

I wonder if they have 'fault' in their state. He should of kept his stupid mouth shut and filed the cause of divorce as adultery.

David-2 said...

What is your share of Dan Savage podcasts?

I ask because I'm not using my share. You can have it.

bpm4532 said...

He should at least get a hall-pass.

Capt. Schmoe said...

He got the ultimate hall pass. Cause to terminate the relationship - the screwing lamp is lit.

In so many ways.

Bender said...

I was able to convince him that I am truly repentant and to give our marriage another chance for the sake of our children.

How about you give your marriage a chance for the sake of your husband? It is no wonder that he does not trust you.

AustinRoth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sorun said...

"He's punishing her, deliberately, not pursuing what he believes is a positive way of life."

Or, while dealing with heartbreak and initiating the divorce, he realized he was free to pursue other women. He may see that as a positive way of life.

AustinRoth said...

I see no punishment at all from the husband. He simply told her he he cannot completely get past what she did, cannot pretend it never happened, and go back to 'the way it was'.

So, he gave her a choice - accept what he feels he needs to get back with her, or move on with their lives separately.

He could just as easily said 'no thanks' to ever getting back together again.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

The bitch starts it, he finishes it.

Then plays victim.

Feminism!

The guy should fuck whomever he pleases, and if she doesn't like it then she can take the divorce.

No sympathy.

Inga said...

They're both wrong. She should never had cheated on him if she wasn't completely positive the marriage was over, and then she should've waited to separate before hopping in the sack. He is a fool for taking her back and if he isn't a complete fool he should just go his separate way and meet some nice woman as a single man. Joint custody for kids.

t-man said...

His amendment to their marriage contarct doesn't have to be viewed as a punishment, or permanent. Over the years, maybe he has has been unhappy and wanted to find comfort in the arms of someone else, or maybe he has just desired a quickie with a stranger, but held himself back based upon his vows.

Now, he doesn't see point of holding back, and is letting her know that the vow of monogamy will no longer restrict him.

Keeping the marriage intact may, overtime, allow them to rebuild the trust. (I think that is unlikely, but possible, and I don't know what other factors still bind them together.)

Lem said...

I Dont read anything into Althouse listening to Savage other than if you propose free speech advocacy you have to read and hear, maybe even see for yourself, what the people testing it are doing and saying?

Thats my theory and i think its preeety good.

Sorun said...

It reminds me a story I heard of an old woman who kicked her husband out of bed for snoring. She eventually regretted it, as she warned her daughters: "If you let your husband leave your bed, he just may never want to come back."

Matthew Sablan said...

Putting in an unreasonable poison pill to sink a deal you didn't want to make any way is weasley, but not as bad as adultery.

jr565 said...

He's holding her to her own rules. Alyskyites should understand that.

Administrator said...

Yeah, I think the recidivism rate of adulterers is somewhat higher than that of child molesters.

Saying "I got it out of my system" is right up there with "the check is in the mail" and "I won't c**e in your mouth"...

Lem said...

Oh, nobody seem shoked... yet.

Scott M said...

The wife for cheating in the first place. You're right. That was easy.

Sure, it's an asshole move by the husband, but neither of them would be in this situation if she hadn't done, more than once, it appears (fling is usually ongoing, not a ONS), the worst thing a spouse can do to the other.

Matthew Sablan said...

My reasoning: One is playing unfairly against an opponent you know to be untrustworthy. The other is cheating on someone for your own selfish reasons -without any cause except it feeling good.- The husband is hurt and may be acting spiteful, but the wife's actions were purely selfish without any thought to her husband or kids -until- she was found out.

They both need to simmer down and act like adults about it, and I would've just walked out and been done with her, but the initial betrayal is much worse than asking to change the rules now that they've been broken.

elkh1 said...

He is not punishing her, she wants to keep a sham marriage "for the sake of our children", she never said she wanted to "give our marriage another chance" because she loved him. An open marriage will do what she wants to do: keep the marriage for the sake of the children.

Advice to the man, dump her.

She never thought of "our children" when she had the affair. She did not end the affair and asked her husband for forgiveness, she was "discovered". A thief was repentant too after he was discovered, repentant for not covering his track better, or repentant for thieving?

Croppy Boy said...

People always presume that the partners that come next in their lives wont be as riddled with flaws as the ones who have offended them and that they currently want to get rid of.

But marriages are not about acquiring assets that dont change. Marriages are about deciding the state of being married is a desirable one and then making it work every day. These people need to decide how they can make it work and why they should.

Matthew Sablan said...

How can she convince him they need to be fully committed to each other for this to work?

She can't. How can things go back to how they used to be? They can't. Consequences: How do they work?

Marshal said...

There's no evidence he's "punishing" her, that's you imposing your assumptions. He said it's a sacrifice to be monogamous and he's not willing to make that sacrifice since she didn't.

Maybe it would be better if it were based on trust, this isn't a punishment.

Æthelflæd said...

Sad all around. Those poor kids. I think couples can overcome a drunken one night stand, but an ongoing affair is usually too much. I can only imagine the betrayal the husband feels, and her panicked realization "What have I wrought?" Heartbreaking.

Larry J said...

"He moved out and initiated divorce proceedings."

Excuse me, but she's the one who cheated. Why did he move out? She should've been the one to leave.

bagoh20 said...

Yep, It's over.

Plan B: He gets one free affair to last as long as hers did, and she has to pretend she doesn't know about it the whole time. That would make it fair, but she doesn't want fair? If she accepts that, then maybe she is worth keeping.

But really, if you can't resist temptation, you should not be married, and please decide that ahead of time.

AllenS said...

I really can't comment on this until I see if the wife is cute and has big breasts.

Mitchell the Bat said...

I find it unlikely that the husband has much in the way of extra-marital opportunity. Few of us do.

But the open marriage gambit is well-played.

Hopefully he'll be able to reduce the wife to some kind of willing sex slave. That'll be adequate compensation, for a while. She'll catch on, eventually, and stop being so eager to please.

He'll still have a broken heart, though.

Matthew Sablan said...

Then again, I have no kids and have never been married. Maybe if I did and were, I'd be more willing to find some compromise, even if it is as... No. This isn't a sort of agreement I could ever see myself agreeing or proposing and calling what I had a marriage.

edutcher said...

"Staying together for the kids" has never worked.

Sorry.

As for who's wrong, I have to go with the She Devil. I don't agree he's a fool to take her back, but Bender's right. If she doesn't want to stay together because she loves her husband, it's dead and nothing's going to resurrect it.

PS Ann, why on earth would you listen to Dan Savage?

Palladian makes more sense.

Even Titus.

Matthew Sablan said...

As a sidenote: If she has yet to agree to his terms, she has yet to convince him of anything. They're still negotiating. A minor nitpick in her wording.

bagoh20 said...

I've been more faithful without any vows than a lot of married people seem to be able to manage, even when I wasn't in love. It's not really that hard. Why do they do it, when the stakes are so high? Maybe I'm getting old, but damn; it's only sex. Think about baseball or something. Better yet, redirect that passion toward your wife, and try to make some magic that you can feel safe with and make it all good for everyone involved. Just aim higher.

Æthelflæd said...

Broken hearts can be healed, but she doesn't sound like she's all that concerned about his heart. Just her own desire for things to be the way they were before.

Matthew Sablan said...

She should read The Great Gatsby: You can't recreate the past.

Seeing Red said...

Now that the excitement of the naughty has been popped, it's for the children?

She didn't give a rat's ass about them while she was hiding.

I hope he gets the kids and she has to pay child support.

X said...

refusing to pretend she's worthy of trust is a dick move. and a rational one.

Matthew Sablan said...

Again, not married, but, if I were, I think the first thing I would do is, you know, cut off contact with "old flames," "high school crushes," and "old girlfriends," or ensure I only see them in situations where I could avoid even the appearance of an affair.

But, maybe I'm just crazy.

Peter said...

People used to understand that "marriage" implied sexual exclusivity and if you wanted something else that was not marriage.

But in our Brave New World, "marriage" apparently means whatever you want it to mean. How many weddings have you been to where the vows ended with "so long as we both shall love?

Tank said...

Omigod, I agree with Inga.


Yiiiiiii.

Lyssa said...

I'd cut the husband some slack, I see him less as hostile or vengeful, and more as emotionally (more so than logically) trying to work out a way that this can work out without him feeling like a doormat. It's pure emotion, and unlikely to work, but I understand his thinking.

But it's unlikely to work no matter what. And wife sounded pretty unlikely to make it work herself, given that she both kept the affair up until she was caught and now thinks that it's at all reasonable to just want things to be the way they were before.

Renee said: I wonder if they have 'fault' in their state. He should of kept his stupid mouth shut and filed the cause of divorce as adultery

Every state has fault, it's just that some (most? all?) states also have "no-fault" or "irreconcilable differences" or something similar, as well, and many people choose those because proving fault is often hard, expensive, and emotionally trying.

In my state (which is pretty typical), the only benefit to proving fault* is that it can impact alimony. So, unless he is likely to be on the hook for alimony (alimony is fairly rare these days - only likely if he makes substantially more, say, she's a SAHP or only part timer), there's really no point in him filing a fault divorce.

* I guess in the very unusual circumstance where one party wants a divorce and the other is willing to fight to stay married, you would need to show fault, but that pretty much never happens.

traditionalguy said...

One senses that love has left and all that remains is a giant revenge game.

Time to call in the Divorce lawyers. That will teach them a lesson.

And we appreciate the business.

X said...

the husband being neither vengeful nor punishing her. he's accepting the open marriage she created as reality.

Æthelflæd said...

Lyssa said... "I'd cut the husband some slack, I see him less as hostile or vengeful, and more as emotionally (more so than logically) trying to work out a way that this can work out without him feeling like a doormat. It's pure emotion, and unlikely to work, but I understand his thinking.

But it's unlikely to work no matter what. And wife sounded pretty unlikely to make it work herself, given that she both kept the affair up until she was caught and now thinks that it's at all reasonable to just want things to be the way they were before."

Yup. Well stated.

Revenant said...

I don't think the husband is doing anything wrong at all.

He is willing to continue the aspects of marriage *other* than sexual fidelity. He is unwilling to commit to sexual fidelity to someone who cheats on him. Makes sense to me. I don't see why the woman has any grounds for complaint.

Lyssa said...

Mitchell the Bat: I find it unlikely that the husband has much in the way of extra-marital opportunity. Few of us do.

I always wonder about that - like the situations where one spouse is unable to participate for some reason, and people like Dan Savage are always saying to just work out a deal and take a lover, like you can just go to the store and pick one up.

Who are all of these people who are supposed to be perfectly happy to just be a bit on the side for a (non-extraordinary) married person who loves his spouse but has an itch the spouse can't scratch?

cold pizza said...

If the rules or roles of marriage can be changed based on society's whims, then why cannot or should not ANY arrangement be on the table? (BTW, not my favorite location, but YMMV). Spousal punishment might be the next big thing. -CP

Dante said...

What the guy is saying makes complete sense to me. The trust is gone, the fidelity is gone. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.

Meanwhile, there are other bonds that bind people in a family, for instance, the children. So the guy is willing to stay with the family.

And finally, it is my belief it is much harder for a guy to keep it zipped. So I see nothing wrong with him restoring his male ego and doing what guys are biologically programmed to do: have sex with as many attractive women as possible.

I've seen a number of men go through this, and I tell them they are trying to make "Lesbians." They have a completely different view of women after being screwed over in this way. There isn't much excuse for cheating wives, in my view, and it's a shame our society tolerates it.

prairie wind said...

I think I see why she cheated.

jr565 said...

The husband just want to get the free love out of his system. The wife should be willing to forgive this, since she wants him to forgive her for the same.

Of course if she doens't, then that kind of proves why he shouldnt forgive her either, and why the marriage should end beucase of HER transgression.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Peter,

But in our Brave New World, "marriage" apparently means whatever you want it to mean. How many weddings have you been to where the vows ended with "so long as we both shall love?

Yeah, that's the new version. I once played (in a gigging string quartet) at a wedding where the line went "Until we are parted by death, or a parting of our own choosing."

X said...

I think it's interesting how the women see his purely rational response as "emotional".

Æthelflæd said...

A woman's cheating usually starts out with some emotional philandering before the physical ever starts. Different temptations don't make them any less real, Dante. If you are chatting on Facebook or "just having coffee" with an old flame or just a sympathetic ear, ladies, you are playing with fire.

Sam L. said...

"I'm just someone who's listened to my share of Dan Savage podcasts."

Well, there's your problem...

Inga said...

Why be married at all if one doesn't love their partner enough not to cheat? Why bother? Children are better off without parents who dislike each other living under the same roof. Some divorced couples actually begin to
like and respect each other again after being divorced, which is a PLUS for the kids. With joint custody and joint placement neither partner pays child support, I believe.

Lyssa said...

X I think it's interesting how the women see his purely rational response as "emotional".

Hyper-rationality, or what seems like rationality, can definitely be an emotional response (I saw it a lot in my divorce law practice - from both sexes). The person seizes onto some idea because it seems so rational in isolation, but their emotion clouds their judgment about whether it can really work. Here, it's very unlikely to, which a more sober-thinking, truly rational, person would likely realize.

Matthew Sablan said...

If he really wanted revenge, why ask for the open marriage? There's no betrayal there; it's a pretty weak sauce revenge.

Dante said...

Different temptations don't make them any less real, Dante

I'm not following your point. Are you saying that women have as much temptations as men? I don't buy it.

n.n said...

Once he accepted her back, there is no longer cause for retributive change.

Furthermore, an "open" relationship is equivalent to no relationship. There is no unique commitment. It is equivalent to treason or betrayal. If they want multiple partners, then they should solicit or force its normalization. Their dysfunctional behavior should not be voluntarily acknowledged by the rest of society.

The comforts of civilization, and the dissociation of risk which it breeds, has led men and women to desire normalization of the most dysfunctional behaviors. The periodic dysfunctional convergence seems to be an inevitable outcome.

Lyssa said...

Inga said: Some divorced couples actually begin to
like and respect each other again after being divorced, which is a PLUS for the kids.


It's more of a plus if the parents can realize that their petty emotional issues have no place around the children.

Also, that like and respect is only as good as it lasts - the moment that there is any room for a dispute over the kids, property, etc., it generally goes out the window.

With joint custody and joint placement neither partner pays child support, I believe.

Only in rare cases where the parties make very close to the same amount. Most states have a computer program that figures out percentages that each parent should contribute based on their incomes, down to the penny.

Also, true joint custody (as in, roughly equal time) is very rare. Unless the parents live (and stay put) living very close to each other, it's unworkable when the kids are in school. Most of the time, it's school breaks and summers for one or the other. Sad, but true.

Dante said...

Furthermore, an "open" relationship is equivalent to no relationship.

I've watched a bunch of these "Scorned" movies on the ID channel. Extra people makes extra complexity. I don't see how it can work.

John said...

Certainly Charlie Brown is at fault for not being willing to trust Lucy... one more time.

acm said...

Dante, I think it's fair to say that if a woman got it into her.head "I would l like to.have an affair", she'd have an easier time finding an accomplice than a straight man would. Women probably have more opportunities, so even if desire for sex (or attention) is somehow less potent than men's (which I'm unsure of) it would still be a similar challenge.

Inga said...

Thanks Lyssa, I was wondering how they figured it out in joint custody. My kids had friends in the neighborhood growing up whose parents were divorced and had joint custody and placement, it worked well for them. They lived only a couple miles away from one another and the kids were in the same school district. I can see that it would be a huge problem if one of the parents had to move to another city or state.

whoresoftheinternet said...

Ha.

Poor wittle whore. She wants to fuck around, and hubby's gonna get his. Problem for her is three-fold:

1. Men desire physical intimacy a lot more than women. So he'll be poon hunting while she's home alone crying for it.

2. He gets better with age, she gets worse. His options are expanding, hers have shrunk.

3. He can pay for sex with hotties. She can't, even if she wanted to---gigolos cater to gays.

Good for this guy, demand what he wants. He should take it a step further--he gets to cheat, she stays her slutty ass home and gets squat.

Women are worthless, the Arabs have it right.

Enjoy the decline, equalists!

MadisonMan said...

he's accepting the open marriage she created as reality.

Yes. She created a new reality, and was living in it, happily. He found out, and wants to join in the new reality.

Suddenly, the new reality isn't something she wants. Why not?

She sounds pretty selfish to me. I pity her children. Maybe their his too. I wonder.

wyo sis said...

If it's for the children they could stay together unmarried and contribute equally to the household expenses.
If it's for themselves they can do any dang thing they want and call it self-actualization or some other pop psy term.
If it's for the marriage or for each other they can forgive and forget and find a way to be happy together again even if it's not quite what they had before. It might be different, but that doesn't mean it can't still be a good meaningful and supportive marriage.
The thing that's required but probably not present is a willingness to make things right on both their parts.
Forgiveness is not easy, but it's the only way to go on and not be diminished by the whole thing.

Æthelflæd said...

Dante-
Before marriage, lovers tend to be on their best, most attentive behavior. After marriage, the wife forgets to be so sexually attentive (or after the first year if we are talking virgins before marriage), while the husband tends to forget to be romantic and emotionally attentive to his wife. So when a spouse has an affair, the are often looking for different things. The man is looking for sexual fulfillment, the woman emotional fulfillment. Usually - I am of course speaking in generalities. Just because they are different temptations doesn't make them less real. Simple. You can believe it or not. There are just as many wives pining for attention from their husbands as their are husbands pining for good sex from their wives. Wise husbands and wives are aware of this dynamic and try to meet the other's needs. Marriage involves sacrifice all around.

I am not excusing cheating, btw. It is a horrible betrayal full stop.

Colonel Angus said...

Dump her and find a new one on a renewable lease program like I did.

Wives are like cars. At some point they need to be traded in for a new model.

Larry J said...

She sounds pretty selfish to me. I pity her children. Maybe their his too. I wonder.

"Mama's baby, Papa's maybe."

BDNYC said...

If the husband cheats:

"My husband, the bastard, cheated on me."

If the wife cheats:

"I strayed because my husband, the bastard, wasn't showing me love."

EDH said...

"I've tried to tell him that I've gotten that out of my system and I don't want to be with anybody other than him..."

His turn to "get it out of his system", preferably by B-ing an L on somebody else's Ts.

Eric said...

He is not punishing her, she wants to keep a sham marriage "for the sake of our children", she never said she wanted to "give our marriage another chance" because she loved him. An open marriage will do what she wants to do: keep the marriage for the sake of the children.

That's my take, too. He wants the kids to have a stable home life under the same roof with both parents, but he's not really interested in having a relationship with his wife beyond sex when the mood strikes them both.

It's a little late for her to be playing the victim. She should give him what he wants and try to change his mind over time.

I Callahan said...

Jesus. What a bunch of cynics we have on this topic. A lot of Heartiste or Dr. Helen readers I'd guess.

That aside - of course she was wrong. But now he is MORE wrong. Because he's stooping to her level and then going lower.

Marriage is a sacrifice, and anyone who is or has been married knows it. It may mean that you live with the fact that your spouse cheated on you once.

If the marriage is worth it (for the kids or not), then be a man, take it on the chin, and keep it going.

Æthelflæd said...

If the wife cheats, "That bitch cheated on me. All women are untrustworthy, cuckolding golddiggers".

If the man cheats, "We are evolutionarily obligated to spread our seed with as many lucky women as possible. Besides, she wouldn't let me have anal, and her boobs are saggy after breastfeeding".

It cuts both ways, BDNYC. Neither sex has a monopoly on selfishness.

Levi Starks said...

most married people who engage in affairs, overestimate the amount of pleasure they will receive, and underestimate the amount of pain it will cause.

Eric said...

That aside - of course she was wrong. But now he is MORE wrong. Because he's stooping to her level and then going lower.

No. She blew up the marriage. He's just trying to salvage enough of it to raise his kids properly.

Of course he'll divorce he when the kids are out of the house. As he should.

X said...

Dear Prudence,

I let some guy bang me for a while and now my husband doesn't trust me anymore. what an asshole, amirite?

Amartel said...

The wife is more wrong because her breach of the trust was first in time. Actions have consequences and any grown up knows that there are rarely do-overs in the game life.

Not sure that the husband is wrong at all. He might be a horrid little bitch crybaby exploiting the situation to benefit himself. Or he might have ample reason to disbelieve his wife's good faith.
Not enough information to know whether that's the case at all.

whoresoftheinternet said...

@I Callahan:

Jesus. What a bunch of cynics we have on this topic.
--Reality infringing on your pretty little lies, I see.

A lot of Heartiste or Dr. Helen readers I'd guess.
---The master is getting quite pleased with his handiwork.

That aside - of course she was wrong. But now he is MORE wrong.

--No. Men desire sex with many, many women. Women search for hypergamy, along with beta providership. He is merely unleashing his natural desires that he repressed for the sake of fidelity. When she cheated, all bets were off.

Fuck her.

Because he's stooping to her level and then going lower.
--He's just being a man, which is ALWAYS better than being a woman.

Marriage is a sacrifice,
--One which she readily sacrificed herself for the sake of a hotter lover. Her fault.

It may mean that you live with the fact that your spouse cheated on you once.
--For a woman, since men who stray aren't usually going to spend more than token resources on a woman. For a woman, never.

If the marriage is worth it (for the kids or not), then be a man, take it on the chin, and keep it going.
--lmao. "Men, let your whores cheat, and keep providing for them and their bastard spawn."

God, you hate men so much, you lousy shit.

Amartel said...

game OF life.
Sorry.

whoresoftheinternet said...

@Ethelred:

Neither sex has a monopoly on selfishness.
---lmao. Women are more selfish, end of story.

Men will fight off invaders and die rather than submit to them.

Women will happily spread their legs to the man who just killed their husband, and become his new bitch.

Men sacrifice, women save themselves. Always been that way. Still is today. Wake up to reality.

Enjoy the decline, white knights

Leland said...

Before saying the husband is wrong, I notice that not once have we actually heard from the husband. The whole story is coming from the POV of a woman that cheated on her husband. If she cheated on him, there's a good chance she isn't being completely honest in her story to Prudie.

If he indeed said "open marriage", I think neither understand marriage. I suspect, as others have noted, he is suggesting tit-for-tat (no pun). She got her fling, he wants to be able to have one when he decides. Otherwise, I think the bit of truth in the story from the husband is that he never will trust her again.

I'm not sure what you are teaching your kids by staying in a relationship that has no trust. Better to get the divorce and then try living under the same roof with a lease agreement. That way, when the "open marriage" fails, another round of divorce talks (usually loud arguments the children can hear) aren't necessry. If she is really reptentent, and he does take it back; then get remarried when your past the midlife crisis.

Wrote comment, then read link... Sort of agree with Prudie, but still think full divorce is better than separation. What's to prevent the other "distrusted" party from using the benefits of marriage to drain the financial coffers for spite. Do we need to bring up Aesop with his scorpion and frog?

I Callahan said...

If he really wanted revenge, why ask for the open marriage? There's no betrayal there; it's a pretty weak sauce revenge.

Really? I don't understand your thinking here.

It's very simple: he's hurt, and pissed off. He wants her to feel like he does. That's the revenge part.

GrandpaMark said...

Not enough info. How old are the children, 2, 4, 12, 22,32,40?

How long has he been out of the house? A week, month, year?

Define "open marriage", we stay married but live in separate homes?

If this were a genuine situation, I would bet the husband has found "other interests" and does not want to give her up.

Mark O said...

Of course, for the children. Always for the children. Just as Steve Martin explained.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/115715

whoresoftheinternet said...

lol. This dude should bring some 20 year old home and fuck her on the marriage bed, just before his wife gets home.

"She was just leaving. Open marriage, right? BTW, why isn't your body as taught and firm as that anymore, cottage cheese thighs?"

Then cackle hysterically.

Slutty bitch needs to be reminded of her expiration date. Just like all women.

Enjoy the decline, penis-haters!

Jerome said...

Freud asked, "What does a Woman want?"

Answer; To have her cake, and eat it too. And not gain any weight. And someone else pays for it. And no one else gets any. And ...

Mark O said...

The "old flame" story is a reason no one can believe "he's just a friend?"

A friend who used to, well, you know.

Big Mike said...

I'd like to assume that the husband merely found a creative way to say "no." The advantage of his answer is that she is forced to confront the validity of his pain. Basically he is pointing out to her what a sham marriage it would be for him "for the sake of the children."

The disadvantage is that it makes him look like a schmuck. All in all I think he'd have been better off just telling he "no."

I Callahan said...

whores,

Can't you post anything without being a caustic asshole?

Look - the reason the country (and the world) is so fucked up right now is BECAUSE marriage is not regarded as important as it should be. Marriage is the bond that holds families together. When that fails, society fails as a whole. Follow history anywhere, and you'll notice the cause and effect.

Since you love to rail about black people so much, did you notice how many black children are born out of wedlock? How many are in prison? You think that maybe because there isn't a stable marriage and homelife in so many of these families that it may be a cause?

I'm not willing to throw my marriage away because of one mistake. It isn't because I hate men, it's because I love my wife. Would that change if she made a habit of this? Of course.

Also - a lot of people are reading into this woman's statement a whole lot more than what she said. The assumption seems to be that she only wants to keep the marriage together because of the kids. I'm not seeing that as the only possibility here.

Dante said...

Dante,
. . . Women probably have more opportunities, so even if desire for sex (or attention) is somehow less potent than men's (which I'm unsure of) it would still be a similar challenge.


Now, I'm sure attention is one of the reasons women marry men. But I'd bet the bigger reason is to have children.

I'm not unsure about women wanting sex less than men. I'm quite certain of it, because of the biology of it. The consequences to a woman biologically of sex are quite high: pregnancy. The consequences to a guy are different, fun, ego boost, etc.

Matthew Sablan said...

If he just wanted to hurt her, so: "Sure. Marriage is back on," then find a cute red head. That would be revenge.

Inga said...

Confiding in an old flame and meeting with them for coffee or a drink is a very bad idea, even of there is no possibility of a flare up of that flame. If you must have a friendship, bring the spouses along every single time.

I Callahan said...

Confiding in an old flame and meeting with them for coffee or a drink is a very bad idea, even of there is no possibility of a flare up of that flame. If you must have a friendship, bring the spouses along every single time.

No offense, Inga, but this is bullshit on stilts.

I am still acquainted with numerous ex girlfriends, whom I see now and then. Never screwed ANY of them while married, and never wanted to.

Two things separate humans from animals: one, we prepare our food; two, we are able to control our sexual urges. Your prescription assumes we can't; I refuse to believe this.

whoresoftheinternet said...

@I callahan:

Can't you post anything without being a caustic asshole?
---No.

You mad, bro? :P

the reason the country (and the world) is so fucked up right now is BECAUSE marriage is not regarded as important as it should be.
--Because of women. Feminism, specifically.

When that fails, society fails as a whole.
---Correction: anytime a society grants women more rights, almost equal to men, it follows the society collapses soon after.

Always happens. Correlation, and maybe causation.

Since you love to rail about black people so much
---lol. Got under your skin about the Magical Negroes, didn't I, dick sucker?

did you notice how many black children are born out of wedlock?
---lol. blacks have always been savage people, even when they weren't banging their 6 half-sisters in the projects. Jim Crow happened to prevent civilized people from dealing with their savagery.

Read the story of Emmit Till. Then think to yourself whether Till's actions--which lefties deny--fit the mold of a wild, savage little Chicago ghetto nigger acting like a disrespectful, rude, violent little ghetto whore of today.

Yep, exact same.


How many are in prison?

--Because they belong there. Or swinging from the trees.


You think that maybe because there isn't a stable marriage and homelife in so many of these families that it may be a cause?
--Oh, they were less violent and uncivilized than today. But marginally; feminism and blame whitey politics merely has exposed them to lesser restraints.

I'm not willing to throw my marriage away because of one mistake.
---lol. Beta.

It isn't because I hate men,
--au contraire, penis-hater.

it's because I love my wife.
---And she loves getting gangbanged by the drug dealers down your street while you're away. But you "forgave" the whore. Good for you. She liked that---all the sex she can have with anyone else, and a pussy to do her bidding at home!

lol.

Would that change if she made a habit of this? Of course.
---lmao. Doormat. No, you'd just say"Thank you, may I have another!"

Enjoy the decline, blue pillers!

I Callahan said...

If he just wanted to hurt her, so: "Sure. Marriage is back on," then find a cute red head. That would be revenge.

I disagree. In your example, he could keep it completely discreet, and it wouldn't be revenge because she wouldn't know about it. In an "open" marriage, she knows DEFINITELY what he's doing when he's off somewhere.

Amartel said...

whores attract whores.

whoresoftheinternet said...

@I callahan:

Oh, you laughable beta bitch.

I am still acquainted with numerous ex girlfriends, whom I see now and then. Never screwed ANY of them while married, and never wanted to.
--1) too fat; 2) they won't screw you, cause....

You're a beta loser bitch.

Two things separate humans from animals: one, we prepare our food; two, we are able to control our sexual urges. Your prescription assumes we can't; I refuse to believe this.
---lmao. The ultimate denial of reality: despite all evidence to the contrary, he will not believe facts, because they hurt his carefully constructed, beta dogma house of cards.

Wanna buy a bridge?

Ill bet he "denies" IQ differences in blacks v. non-blacks, and "denies" black crime v. non-black crime.

Take the red pill, loser. And divorce your skanky wife.

Enjoy the decline, blue pillers!

Inga said...

I Callahan, you are a good man, we need more like you, but I believe you are the exception to the rule.

acm said...

Dante, women get ego boost and fun from sex, too. I promise. It's a little weird that you appear to think otherwise or to think that fear of pregnancy (in this day and age) is that big a barrier.

Of course attention is one reason women get married, just like sex is one reason men get married. Attention is one reason women have affairs, too, just like sex is one reason men have affairs. Women who aren't getting enough attention from their husbands will seek it out from other men, and usually attention goes along with sex. Likewise, men who aren't getting enough sex from their wives will seek it out from other women---and they'll often shower attention on those other women because, again, sex goes along with this sort of attention.

Now, some people (of both genders) will cheat no matter how giving the spouse is with sex/attention, and some strong, devoted partners will never waver no matter how much they are deprived. But like someone else said, neither gender has a monopoly---or a "it's too hard" card.

Dante said...

If the wife cheats, "That bitch cheated on me. All women are untrustworthy, cuckolding golddiggers".

If the man cheats, "We are evolutionarily obligated to spread our seed with as many lucky women as possible. Besides, she wouldn't let me have anal, and her boobs are saggy after breastfeeding".


See what happens when you try to make everything equal? Two totally different drivers, and yet you have to view the results through the same moral prism.

I think men ought to keep it zipped during marriage, and women ought to keep their pants pulled up. But this idea that a woman's cheating is in the same realm as a man cheating is simply wrong.

Look at the animal kingdom. The males enter into very significant contests to win the chicks, some losing their lives, others never reproducing.

It's a difference of biology (unlike the MC/PC crowd which uses meaningless skin color to try to construct artificial differences).

Eric said...

It's very simple: he's hurt, and pissed off. He wants her to feel like he does. That's the revenge part.

If that was the case he wouldn't ask for an open marriage. He'd just cheat on her and say "Okay, now we're even. If you cheat on me again I'll divorce you."

I Callahan said...

Eric,

Please read my 1:55 PM post for a response to that.

acm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I Callahan said...

And in an open marriage, he wants to cheat even more than that once. And let's be honest here - he WANTS her to know it, which is the whole point of an open marriage.

So please explain to me how this isn't revenge at least several times over.

Dante said...

Dante, women get ego boost and fun from sex, too. I promise. It's a little weird that you appear to think otherwise or to think that fear of pregnancy (in this day and age) is that big a barrier.

I'll take your word on the ego boost thing.

The idea that male and female sex-drives are remotely comparable? It's utter BS. I remember in college each day I would see several women I would go to bed with right then and there if there were no consequences.

Women aren't that way, because they have adapted to the biological consequences of sex. Period, end of story.

Now, I'll share an interesting anecdote, because it was hysterical to me. My friend stated how wonderful it would be if women were as sexual as men (he was married, but we can dream). I made the following comment to him: "OK, let's start with me taking Lisa [his wife]).

You should have seen his face. And therein lies the grand compromise of marriage.

Astro said...

He's already got a girlfriend. Probably was already screwing her when he found out his wife was screwing someone else. Thus the need now for an 'open marriage'.

Eric said...

Oh, I don't think he has any reason to be discreet. But an open marriage implies she has the freedom to do the same thing. If he's trying to get even he doesn't want her to keep sleeping around.

Revenant said...

That aside - of course she was wrong. But now he is MORE wrong. Because he's stooping to her level and then going lower.

Er, no. Being honest is not "stooping to the level" of a cheat.

Marshal said...

I Callahan said...
So please explain to me how this isn't revenge at least several times over.


You can only call this revenge by assuming his motive when in fact that motive is unstated. All he's said is that monogamy's a sacrifice he's no longer willing to make. This isn't revenge.

Clyde said...

Off-topic, but no café thread handy:

Seattle man dribbling soccer ball to Brazil killed in Oregon

A Seattle man trying to dribble a soccer ball 10,000 miles to Brazil in time for the 2014 World Cup died Tuesday after being hit by a pickup on the Oregon Coast.

Police in Lincoln City, Ore., said 42-year-old Richard Swanson was hit at about 10 a.m. while walking south along U.S. Highway 101 near the city limits. He was declared dead at a hospital. The driver has not been charged.


He had been laid off recently and was "between jobs." Another victim of the Obama economy.

You know, of all the things I think the developing world needs least, it's probably soccer balls. Any time you see a picture of a village in one of those places, there's always a group of little kids kicking a ball around. They usually already have a village soccer ball ("It takes a village, blah blah blah") but could use some running water, etc.

If he wasn't between jobs, he'd have been working instead of being off on some quixotic adventure. It's sad that the poor schmoe got hit by a car, though. I wonder if his concentration on dribbling his soccer ball might have led him into the road or if it was the driver who was at fault.

I'll tell you, there are a lot of inattentive drivers out there. This morning, while driving home from work, I noticed the SUV in front of me (in the right lane) repeatedly drifting off to the right into the lined off area where people like Mr. Swanson would have been walking. As I passed the vehicle, I noticed that the woman driving was TEXTING! I honked my horn at her and shouted "STOP TEXTING!" She didn't hear it, but she could see that I was yelling at her. Probably wondered what the problem was. Idiot.

This is the world we live in, a world where naïfs dribbling soccer balls to Brazil take their lives in their own hands whenever they share the road with motor vehicles. A smart person wouldn't.

madAsHell said...

Advice columnist??

Really....I'm going to air my dirty laundry on the Stale website? I'm pretty sure that Prudie writes the questions, and the advice.

Hey...I've got a bridge I can sell you.

acm said...

I'm not saying women (as a group) have the same sex drive as men. I'm saying that women have an attention-drive roughly equal to men's sex-drive. A woman will set out for an affair looking for attention and use (consciously or not) sex to get that attention. A man will set out to have an affair for sex, and he'll use attention to get that sex, or keep getting it.

But incidentally, marriage is one man, one woman, not women-as-a-group or men-as-a-group, so it's perfectly possible---especially when you account for things like age differences---for the wife in a marriage to have a higher sex drive than her husband, or the husband to need more affection. So it isn't as simple as "I am a man, therefore monogamy is just too haaaarrrd".

Larry J said...

I Callahan said...
And in an open marriage, he wants to cheat even more than that once. And let's be honest here - he WANTS her to know it, which is the whole point of an open marriage.


Odds are she cheated on him more than once before being caught. She should've been the one to leave the house, not him. She was the one who destroyed the marriage.

Next month, my wife and I celebrate our 30th anniversary. In all those years, I've never come close to cheating on her and have no reason to suspect she cheated on me. Should I find out she did cheat on me, the marriage would be over. I don't think I could possibly forgive that kind of betrayal and know I could never forget it.

Dante said...

the idea of open marriage should be founded on trust, not mistrust.

Trust in what? The guy isn't going to fall in love? The woman isn't going to fall in love?

How can anyone know these things? And if you can't, how can you trust in these things?

Marriage is an agreement to a set of rules. It's a huge compromise. The woman settles for the guy she gets, and the guy hangs around, raises the kids, and keeps it zipped. The guy doesn't have to be jealous, and the woman doesn't have to worry about the guy leaving her in a pickle with the kids to raise.

Hopefully, the woman puts out from time to time, but that can't be expected.

Æthelflæd said...

acm said...
"Dante, women get ego boost and fun from sex, too. I promise. It's a little weird that you appear to think otherwise or to think that fear of pregnancy (in this day and age) is that big a barrier.

Of course attention is one reason women get married, just like sex is one reason men get married. Attention is one reason women have affairs, too, just like sex is one reason men have affairs. Women who aren't getting enough attention from their husbands will seek it out from other men, and usually attention goes along with sex. Likewise, men who aren't getting enough sex from their wives will seek it out from other women---and they'll often shower attention on those other women because, again, sex goes along with this sort of attention.

Now, some people (of both genders) will cheat no matter how giving the spouse is with sex/attention, and some strong, devoted partners will never waver no matter how much they are deprived. But like someone else said, neither gender has a monopoly---or a "it's too hard" card."


Well said.

EMD said...

we need more like you, but I believe you are the exception to the rule.

What's the rule?

Emil Blatz said...

I discovered that my second wife was having an affair with her boss. I divorced her pronto and moved to another part of the country, met the absolute love of my life, married her and have been very happy ever since. That's not to say it wasn't painful at the time.

The question of what to do in the given situation is complicated by children, in the absence of which I would say that with respect to infidelity it is one-and-done.

Look at the Clinton’s. That's not a marriage, that's an accommodation to the fact that each of them succeeds politically more as a "team" than individually.

What is it that you have when you agree to overlook your spouse's infidelity? Do you have a marriage? Not in my book.

Dante said...

I'm saying that women have an attention-drive roughly equal to men's sex-drive.

Yes, women want attention, sure. But I'm quite certain they would give up attention to keep their kids. Which was my point.

Regarding women needing attention as much as men need sex, I have no idea. I think what they actually need is to feel secure in their relationship with their man, and the attention part of it is the surface proof.

Seeing Red said...

The idea of an open marriage should be founded on the possibility of getting an STD in today's society.

Æthelflæd said...

Dante said...quoting me:
"'If the wife cheats, "That bitch cheated on me. All women are untrustworthy, cuckolding golddiggers".

If the man cheats, "We are evolutionarily obligated to spread our seed with as many lucky women as possible. Besides, she wouldn't let me have anal, and her boobs are saggy after breastfeeding'.

"See what happens when you try to make everything equal? Two totally different drivers, and yet you have to view the results through the same moral prism."

I was juxtaposing this against another quote from BDNYC...
"If the husband cheats:

'My husband, the bastard, cheated on me.'

If the wife cheats:

'I strayed because my husband, the bastard, wasn't showing me love.'"

I was not addressing our little argument. On this blog anyway, you are certainly more likely to see the sentiment that I wrote, rather than BDNYC's. I haven't seen many ladies here willing to give women a pass on cheating.

Dante said...

So it isn't as simple as "I am a man, therefore monogamy is just too haaaarrrd".

I don't want there to be any confusion on this point.

Marriage is the Grand Compromise. I do not condone men who cheat in their relationships with their women. Nor do I condone men leaving because the women have saggy breasts, gain weight, or anything else. It's a union for the children, and that's its purpose.

The guy needs to keep it zipped. It's easier for MOST women to keep it zipped.

Æthelflæd said...

Dante said: "But I'm quite certain they would give up attention to keep their kids. Which was my point.

Regarding women needing attention as much as men need sex, I have no idea. I think what they actually need is to feel secure in their relationship with their man, and the attention part of it is the surface proof."

Fair enough.

X said...

Seeing Red, STDs may be why he wants an open marriage. he doesn't want to catch one from his wife and he doesn't want to be celibate.

I Callahan said...

You can only call this revenge by assuming his motive when in fact that motive is unstated.

Fair enough. I was putting myself in the man's position. I know that if I'd asked for an open marriage, my motive would be to get back at my wife and make her feel as bad as I do.

What is it that you have when you agree to overlook your spouse's infidelity? Do you have a marriage? Not in my book.

I agree with this. "Open" marriage is an oxymoron; it's not a marriage if your'e allowed to cheat.

I'm not saying overlook it by any means. I'm saying that marriage is too important an institution to end over a single indiscretion. If it's habitual, of course it's over.

People make mistakes, even huge ones, where they really do regret it. You have to weigh what's best, and all I'm saying is that it isn't always best to just end it.

That's just my opinion.

Joe said...

As was pointed out, this letter is from the wife's POV. Despite this, she comes off pretty badly. So much so that Prudie responds "I assume you were the little girl who wouldn't let anyone else play with your toys, but you insisted on hogging everyone else's."

Prudence also correctly points out that the writer suggests that her sudden discovery of "religion" was because she was caught, not because she independently felt guilt and confessed the affair. In other words, had the husband not discovered the affair, she would probably have continued it.

As for what the husband actually said, I'd suggest it was more along the lines of "I'll get back with you when pigs fly."

(I do love--heavy sarcasm--how many of the posters here immediately went down the whatever happened it must be his fault route.)

ricpic said...

Primary partner. What horrible language the beautiful ones impose on us lesser beings.

acm said...

Er, no, Dante. This woman didn't give up attention to keep her kids. She still indulged in it, to her kids' detriment. Tiger Woods still got the sex, to his kids detriment, while other men bucked up and stuck to their wives.

Sure, most women will give up the sex and the attention for the kids' sake. So will most men. The whole point is that it's not automatically easier for one gender or the other.

But if you want to talk evo-psych like we're all animals, consider that attention-seeking is also protection-seeking. We're biologically wired to keep on seeking out good providers every bit as much as men are wired to seek out good child-bearers.

But we're not animals, so neither men nor women get to use that.

I'm really sorry about your "that can't be expected" thing, though, sincerely. It should be expected.

Æthelflæd said...

Joe said..."I do love--heavy sarcasm--how many of the posters here immediately went down the whatever happened it must be his fault route.)"

Who did that? Seems everyone was pretty much unimpressed with this woman's behavior.

Aridog said...

... who are these losers who write to professional column writers for advice?

Usually, they are figments of the advice column author's imagination. Got to keep the material flowing. Sort of like daily mini-bodice rippers.

grackle said...

… the husband is also wrong, because the idea of open marriage should be founded on trust, not mistrust.


This is not an "open marriage." What they have now is not even a marriage, except legally. The marriage was over as soon as she cheated. What exists now is an arrangement to live in the same house while they raise the kids. I don't see the situation as the husband punishing the cheating wife. I see a wounded human being insulating themselves from further humiliation.

Marshal said...

Æthelflæd said...
I haven't seen many ladies here willing to give women a pass on cheating.


No, but we do see many overselling the man's perceived flaws in order to equalize the criticism.

Dante said...

But we're not animals, so neither men nor women get to use that.

If that's what you think, we don't have much to talk about on this subject.

Sam L. said...

well...She started it!

ricpic said...

Who says a marriage without love is dead? Maybe he's a good provider. Maybe she makes a comfortable home. Maybe the kids feel secure. All those things can continue without love. Romantic love is a peculiar and shaky cornerstone to build a marriage or a life on. It's only because we live in an in love with love culture that we think otherwise.

And who says an open marriage is doomed to failure? It very much depends on the temperaments of the husband and wife. I don't see why good compartmentalizers couldn't make it work.

B said...

Astro said...He's already got a girlfriend. Probably was already screwing her when he found out his wife was screwing someone else. Thus the need now for an 'open marriage'.

More likely he found her after he left and had the free time and disinclination to resist temptation any longer but essentially that's my guess also.

Marriage starts with a one time deposit into the Fidelity Trust. You get as many withdrawals as you want (or rather can get away with) but only the one deposit. She has already tipped it into an open marriage as far as he is concerned. He's willing to cohabit for either their children's sake or financial reasons or both but has made it clear to her that he now has other interests and affection for her is now incidental at best.

My father put it to me this way long long go before I married. Don't ever cheat with someone you wouldn't leave your spouse for because it may come to that. If it's someone you wouldn't leave your spouse for or who won't have you if you did you end up with nothing.

R. Chatt said...

Neither of them is more wrong. He didn't say he would cheat on her just that his trust was shattered. He was being honest about no longer feeling an obligation to be faithful. That's a normal reaction.

Clearly he is a more honest person than she. She should be asking for help in how to reestablish trust, not complaining about her husband or demanding forgiveness "for the sake of the children."

From what I've read these issues can be worked on with professional help, but that marriage is over unless they actually work this through.

B said...

X said...Seeing Red, STDs may be why he wants an open marriage. he doesn't want to catch one from his wife and he doesn't want to be celibate.

Or as is sometimes the case he discovered she was having an affair when she passed him an STD. She doesn't say how she was outed in her letter to "Prudie".

Blue@9 said...

The wrong was hers, but everything that flows after carries no moral weight--it's just the negotiation to continue the relationship. She cheated, so now he has proposed modifications to their original contract. She can either accept or decline.

Jane said...

What if he's bluffing? -- he has no intention of taking up with someone else, either because he is committed to her or because he doesn't have a stable of women waiting for him anyway, but he wants to feel like he's "even" with her?

Dante said...

She should be asking for help in how to reestablish trust, not complaining about her husband or demanding forgiveness "for the sake of the children."

Is trust possible after that?

Darrell said...

He's been cheating, too, and now he wants a formal "pass" to do what he's been doing all along.

Nothing to save here.

Geoff Matthews said...

Can the children be taken from BOTH of them?

Ann Althouse said...

1. As was noted above, we don't get husband's point of view. It's possible that he presented the idea in a more positive way that wasn't centered on punishing her. He could have been very clear that he was staying in the home for the children and his relationship with her was centered on them and that was the deal (and she could take or leave it).

2. On the idea that cheating behind her back would be a better punishment (if that's what he wanted to do), maybe he doesn't have the energy or attractiveness to find women who would have him, in which case telling her what he would do if he could is the only way to punish her.

Dante said...

Ann, I don't understand this remark in your comments:

the idea of open marriage should be founded on trust, not mistrust.

My comment (and I am quite interested in your line of reasoning here), is:

Trust in what? The guy isn't going to fall in love? The woman isn't going to fall in love?

How can anyone know these things? And if you can't, how can you trust in these things?

Amartel said...

"No, but we do see many overselling the man's perceived flaws in order to equalize the criticism."

Who's this "we" person?
And since when is Inga "many?"
There is but one Inga.

ThomasD said...

She broke the deal, that one is void. He's willing to negotiate a new deal, on different terms. But she wants to renew the old one, even though she's demonstrated a propensity to not abide by the terms.

His offer eliminates that problem, why does she not see this as a win-win?

Larry J said...

R. Chatt said...
Neither of them is more wrong. He didn't say he would cheat on her just that his trust was shattered. He was being honest about no longer feeling an obligation to be faithful. That's a normal reaction.

Clearly he is a more honest person than she. She should be asking for help in how to reestablish trust, not complaining about her husband or demanding forgiveness "for the sake of the children."


While I've heard of some marriages that survive adultry, I can't imagine how it'd be possible to ever reestablish his trust. You can't unsee something and while someone can forgive, it's almost impossible to forget the betrayal.

And if she ever gave a damn about her children and not just herself, she never would've had the affair.

Kimberly said...

"the wrong was hers, but everything that flows after carries no moral weight--it's just the negotiation to continue the relationship. She cheated, so now he has proposed modifications to their original contract. She can either accept or decline. "

Agreed. This is not a moral issue, but a contract one. I'm a little astonished to see how narrow the definition of a valid "marriage" is being presented here, as though only one definition is possible for the universe of consenting adults. No one understands a marriage except the two people in it, and it's up to them to find a contract, as it were, that works if they want to remain married.

Look at it this way - the woman was wrong for vowing to be faithful and not doing so, and she's being stupid and naive to think things can go back to the way they were before. But almost no one cheats in a vacuum (and the "all women are whores" argument is both incorrect and incredibly immature). Was the husband ignoring her? Demeaning her? Not listening to her? Why does she want him back? Maybe she really wants an open marriage too. Maybe an open marriage would work for them. Maybe she'll realize he just wants this as an excuse to have sex with other women. Maybe they'll realize that they can get past this, especially for the sake of the kids. Maybe they'll soon be old enough that sex doesn't matter as much, and they'll realize it would have been stupid to break up a household over it. Maybe they'll fall back in love. Maybe they'll realize they hate each other, and move on. I don't see any of these choices as more or less "moral" than the others.

gadfly said...

I am utterly amazed that a highly educated professor actually wastes time reading an advice columnist and then goes on to dig deeply into the made-up malarkey contained in the article.

Personally, I have better things to do and I can only ask where can go to verify information contained in the writing? The answer, of course, is "nowhere."

Sigivald said...

Furthermore, an "open" relationship is equivalent to no relationship. There is no unique commitment. It is equivalent to treason or betrayal. If they want multiple partners, then they should solicit or force its normalization. Their dysfunctional behavior should not be voluntarily acknowledged by the rest of society.

So a relationship must be a commitment that is sexually unique? Rotsa Ruck with that assertion.

What's being betrayed or treasoned in this formulation? Can't betray a requirement that is not present.

And, again what does "normalization" or "the rest of society" have to do with their working out the rules of their love life?

It's none of society's God-damned business, as long as they don't ask "society" (cue Thatcher: it doesn't exist as such) to pay for it or approve of it.

Sounds like you got personal issues, bub.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Who's more wrong?"

At this point what difference does it make (see what I did there?)

It is broken and it will never be back to how it used to be. Even IF the husband was to forgive.....there is no forgetting.

You broke it lady....deal with it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Omigod, I agree with Inga.

Yiiiiiii.



LOL...Me too!!

Conserve Liberty said...

The real asshat is the other man!

Larry J said...

Conserve Liberty said...
The real asshat is the other man!


Not excusing him, but unless he raped her, she's at least as big an asshat.

Synova said...

I don't see that as punishment of her... he's protecting himself. She doesn't love him and he knows it. Is he supposed to invest in her emotionally? Does she expect him to invest in her emotionally? Why? So his heart and trust can be fully engaged before she betrays him again?

He's not asking for an "open" marriage. He's asking for a convenient marriage or a marriage in name only... for the sake of the children.

Besides which (and rather irrelevantly) an open marriage isn't polygamy or polyamory anyhow because neither of those involve sleeping around or having lovers. They involve having more than one spouse. (Or if not *spouse*, then more than one established domestic partnership that involves all parties.)

Marshal said...

Amartel said...
Amartel said...
"No, but we do see many overselling the man's perceived flaws in order to equalize the criticism."

Who's this "we" person?
And since when is Inga "many?"


"We" is all the readers, and "many" includes Althouse, Scott M, and Callahan.

MadisonMan said...

I am utterly amazed that a highly educated professor actually wastes time reading an advice columnist and then goes on to dig deeply into the made-up malarkey contained in the article.

Personally, I have better things to do and I can only ask where can go to verify information contained in the writing? The answer, of course, is "nowhere."

I am shocked, utterly shocked, that you took the time to read the article in question, determine it was malarkey, and then spend several minutes composing a condemnation of this complete waste of time!

You. A Gadfly!

Synova said...

BTW... I think they probably should stay together for the children. It's more important for the kids to have them both in the same house and both involved in the lives of their children on a daily basis. They're adults, they can figure out how to coexist for the sake of the kids and they can figure out how to be discrete about their other activities.

For the children.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nomennovum said...

The husband is a fool to stay married to the cheating whore. She will inevitably divorce him citing irreconcilable differences under the local no-fault divorce law and take him for much more than he could have gotten away with initially.

Dumb chump. He should have kicked her out and sued for divorce, telling everyone, kids included what hse did to destroy their family. He might even have been able to keep them, thus avoiding child support.

Dumb, dumb foolish chump.

Inga said...

If they're truly concerned about the children they should divorce. Why expose the children to a loveless marriage that is a marriage in name only? Life is too short to waste with someone you dont't love. Sorry I guess I'm old fashioned and believe in marriage because two people love one another. Children can do as well if not better in a stable household (or households in the case of joint custody) than in a home filled with strife.


AllenS said...

Good go to hell. Just wait until these advice columnists have to listen to homo married men talking about what to do about his taking it in the... and his response to taking it in the...

There's going to be some shitty stories.

Nomennovum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

If they're truly concerned about the children they should divorce. Why expose the children to a loveless marriage that is a marriage in name only? Life is too short to waste with someone you dont't love.

Agreed. The children are smarter and more perceptive that people give them credit for. They will sense that something is wrong, not right, uncomfortable. Depending on their ages, especially if they are very young they might even assume some of the blame or feel responsible in some vague way for the problem. If they are teenagers, their cynicism and low opinion of adults (already pretty large at this age) will be reinforced even more.

Unless you are both Academy Award level actors there is no way to hide that the marriage is a sham between two people who just don't like each other very much anymore...much less have any love between them.

The kids AND the adults deserve better.

Amartel said...

Speak for yourself, Marshal.
You "see many" [3 people] "overselling the man's perceived flaws in order to equalize the criticism."

In the wider world of standard-issue knee-jerk feminism the man's perceived flaws would be oversold in order to equalize the criticism. In here, not so much.

Nomennovum said...

If they're truly concerned about the children they should divorce.

Typical female justification. Kids rather stay in an intact family, even if the parents are miserable together. Kids are better off with two parents.

In this case however, divorce is inevitable, despite what this cheating wife says. She is lying when she says she's got the fucking around out of her system. She will divorce him soon enough -- on her terms, unfortunately for him.

The only reaason he should have divorced her is that he could have gotten better terms than when the time comes when she serves him the papers. This guy owes it to himself to avoid divorce rape.

Synova said...

"Confiding in an old flame and meeting with them for coffee or a drink is a very bad idea, even of there is no possibility of a flare up of that flame. If you must have a friendship, bring the spouses along every single time."

Exactly.

(And avoid the virtual romances at all costs. Emotional cheating is cheating.)

bagoh20 said...

"The real asshat is the other man!"

He didn't break any promise or vow, and he didn't cheat on anyone. He agreed to fuck a woman who wanted to fuck him. There is only one person to blame for that.

Nomennovum said...

He didn't break any promise or vow, and he didn't cheat on anyone. He agreed to fuck a woman who wanted to fuck him. There is only one person to blame for that.

Precisely. I don't know why this is sometimes so hard to see.

Dante said...

He didn't break any promise or vow, and he didn't cheat on anyone. He agreed to fuck a woman who wanted to fuck him. There is only one person to blame for that.

He could have had the respect for the woman's husband to not encourage a deceitful relationship.

And who wants to have sex with a woman who is being double dipped? Disgusting.

Inga said...

He's an asshat if he was married too.

Meade said...

I agree with traditionalguy who said...
"Time to call in the Divorce lawyers."

Once the divorce is settled the couple can meet and talk about a remarriage, open or otherwise.

For the children's sake, the husband/father should only negotiate with the bad faith wife/mother through his attorney. Anything less would set a bad example for the kids.

Synova said...

"Children can do as well if not better in a stable household (or households in the case of joint custody) than in a home filled with strife."

You're assuming strife. You're assuming that the parents are walking founts of anger and tension.

What I don't understand is why two adult people can't treat each other at least as well as total strangers they have no relationship with whatsoever. If they're staying together "for the children" why is it not a positive thing for the children to see how two adults can work together and set aside their own selfishness because they love others?

Yes... there are some abusive people that should not stay married and probably shouldn't be allowed custody of children at all. But this notion that the most important parenting trait is to love your spouse and that a lack of love, absent any abuse, is the worst horrible thing ever for children is just moronic. It's excuse making for supposed adults that couldn't put someone else's needs before their own even if they DID love them.

And anyone who goes into marriage thinking that they're going to always feel loving and loved and that faithfulness will be effortless is truly a supposed adult.

Inga said...

Children are not little fools as DBQ alluded to. If this couple stays together and doesn't fight, they are good actors as DBQ also said. Being a good parent doesn't mean one has to stay married and pretend to be happy. Being genuinely happy will be evident to the kids, it's not like 50 years ago when divorced parents were rare and had social stigma attached to them.

Happy parents, happier children. Who knows maybe they would meet someone else they were better suited to and could actually show their children what a good marriage can be.

acm said...

I kind of do think they should stay together for the kids, if they can manage it. Kids don't need to see Mom and Dad in luuurve, perfectly fulfilled by their marriage---they need a mom and dad who are cooperative, forgiving and willing to put the kids first. When parents divorce recklessly, kids are exposed to the parents' new dating life with all that drama, they end up having to divide their milestones between their parents, and finally they're put at a financial disadvantage. No matter how much you contort around the child support issue by having the parents live next door to each other and split everything down the middle, the bottom line is that maintaining two households is a stupid waste, unless it truly can't be avoided. The money spent on buying/renting and furnishing Dads new place---and the time spent negotiating and handing kids back and forth---would be better spent on the kids. Very few families can split in two without seriously downgrading the kids' standard of living and denying them the opportunities they could've otherwise had. I think very few families can really manage the shared-custody-with-both-parents-on-the-same-block situation without ever putting the kids in the position of choosing one parent or fighting over whether the expenses are 50/50...but maybe I'm wrong.

That's not to say that people should be doormats for the kids---if the cheater in question her has left out that this old flame was just one in a series of small fires she's set, then that's different. Some behaviors are deal-breakers. But in general, if you can stay married and be civil---not necessarily in love, but civil---you should do that til your kids are grown. When your kids stop needing you, THEN, life is too short to be unhappy.

Rich Rostrom said...

edutcher said...
"Staying together for the kids" has never worked.

And you know this how?

Because you've conducted millions of deep, searching interviews with married parents, and not one of then recalled that he or she ever contemplated divorce, and decided against it because it could harm the children?

I.e., I've examined a very large number number of swans, and none were black.

Or because no personal acquaintance who is a non-divorced parent ever told you that?

I.e., I've never happened to see a black swan myself.

You may be aware of some failed cases. But that is not proof of universal failure.

I.e. I've seen only white swans.

As to the husband in this case: he says what she did was wrong. Now he wants to do the same thing. Two wrongs don't make a right. And what he wants to do is wrong, even under the rubric of "open marriage", because he would be spending his time, energy, and money outside the family.

He's being a dick. If he cannot forgive, then he should just get the divorce. If he does forgive, he shouldn't want to do the same thing.

That's if he really wants to. It seems like wanting to rub the wife's nose in it, make her grovel, more than actually have sex with other women.

It reminds me a little of the backstory in the 1931 Lord Peter Wimsey mystery Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers.

The heroine, Harriet, had been "living in sin" with the victim, Phillip, despite her own scruples, because he professed belief in "free love". After some months, Phillip announced that as she had thus shown true devotion to him, he now proposed marriage.

Harriet promptly broke off and moved out - very angry to have marriage offered as a "bad-conduct prize". {Phillip was poisoned a few months later - not by her.)

That's what this smells like.

Nomennovum said...

He's not asking for an "open" marriage. He's asking for a convenient marriage or a marriage in name only... for the sake of the children.

Apparently, it's OK for her to fuck around but not him. Sounds fair to me. It's for the children. The coming no-fault divorce she files for will be for the children too. She will collect 25% of his gross earnings in child support ... for the children. She will get the house and half his assets ... for the children. She will be entitled to receive alimony so she can continue to live her accustomed lifestyle ... for the children. He, of course, will be allowed some visitation rights ... for the children. And he will pay college tuition, room, and board ... for the children.

What a schmuck.

Synova said...

"Being a good parent doesn't mean one has to stay married and pretend to be happy."

Perhaps we could talk about how foolish it is to make your spouse the determiner of your happiness now.

Because being in love doesn't make you automatically happy, and blaming your spouse for your unhappiness when it's NOT THEIR FAULT is probably the #1 cause of divorce... for the children.

And if divorced people suddenly become happy... I never met them. They just keep on blaming their ex for how unhappy they are.

Nomennovum said...

By the way, Synova, I was agreeing with your comment. I not sure that was clear through the fog of my sarcasm.

acm said...

Happier parents, happier children.

---

Even if that were absolutely true (and it's not; I was blissful at Disney World while my poor mother blistered in the sun and wheezed in the pollen-filled humidity and cringed at the crowds) I've never known anyone to be happy during or immediately after a divorce involving kids. Well, except when the marriage was truly dysfunctional, nearly abusive, and in that case, I say divorce away. But, really, kids are naturally, developmentally self-centered. They really don't care whether Mommy or Daddy is really happy, as long as their needs are met and the house is peaceful.

Synova said...

I know that some relationships are abusive. I know that people here were in abusive relationships and yes, they were right to get out.

But life is life and too many people get married these days with the notion that they'll be faithful for as long as it's effortless and they'll stay married for as long as they feel like it. And when life isn't easy and they don't feel happy or *fulfilled* they blame the person they're married to. In a way, putting that burden on another human is sort of abusive but the abuse is from the person who thinks they have a right to be "made happy" by another human, and not by the human who fails to manage it.

Tim said...

Lol.

Too bad they weren't married gays.

Those are the best ones, right?

Nomennovum said...

Too bad they weren't married gays.

Happy gay parents, happier gayer children?

X said...

Happy parents, happier children.

many people wait until the kids are out of the house. the selfish ones do not. divorce does not improve kids lives.

Tim said...

"...is from the person who thinks they have a right to be "made happy" by another human, and not by the human who fails to manage it."

Right.

People are increasingly inclined to make other people responsible for their conditions, whether it's idiots voting for Democrats to create government programs to fix their broken, empty lives, or idiots expecting their boy/girlfriends/husbands/wives make them "happy."

Losers, all.

Take responsibility for yourself.

It is the key to everything.

Inga said...

Synova, I don't believe I said one should expect their spouse to be their sole source of happiness. I don't see the need to be married if one doesn't care for their spouse, simple as that. Furthermore, the children will see that their parents stayed in a loveless marriage for them, will they as adults say "thanks Mom and Dad, but why the hell didn't you get a divorce? We knew you two were miserable."

Or in the case of a friend of mine, her grown children thanked her for divorcing when they were young, because not everyone has the self control to not fight in front of their children and after the divorce the home life was much calmer and more stable. They both went on to marry others and actually get along well now, years later.

Tim said...

"Happy gay parents, happier gayer children?"

Some, no doubt, hope that to be the case.

But, they have a fundamental problem, don't they, lol?

Nomennovum said...

Or in the case of a friend of mine, her grown children thanked her for divorcing when they were young ....

This is absolutely beyond all belief. Never happened on planet earth. Ever. Bullshit on stilts. A lie. How dumb do you think we all are?

X said...

Inga's just passing on the very old very discredited anti-science talking points.

X said...

her grown children thanked her for divorcing when they were young, because not everyone has the self control to not fight in front of their children

Super Bowls were the worst.

Inga said...

NoNo, I find it quite unbelievable you were actually married long enough to have children. You are a prime example of just exactly what I'm talking about. I can't imagine some woman having to live with someone like you. What would he children be exposed to? You prove my point.

Nomennovum said...

Super Bowls were the worst.

Indeed, during each game I would consistently ignore my wife's needs and otherwise emotionally abuse her, while she would sigh, huff and puff, and tell me again to take my shoes off while I was in the house. Of course, emotional abuser that I was, I would ignore her bitching. And, boy, would the kids just beg us to divorce already!

X said...

no kids, we're not leaving you at Grandma's house. she has no self control.

Inga said...

I never knew a woman who divorced her husband because he kept his shoes on in the house. I'm sure there must've been a bit more to it. Not my business, but judging by the tone you exude here, it's a good bet.

Nomennovum said...

You prove my point.

LOL. Liar, your only point is to play stupid amateur psychologist and lie stupid inane lies. Do you ever tell the truth? You seem to have one incredible story after another to tell us to justify some asinine point you wish to make. Did your husband kill himself? I bet he did.

Nomennovum said...

I never knew a woman who divorced her husband because he kept his shoes on in the house.

Oh, Jesus, you are dense.

Inga said...

NoNo, I congratulate your ex wife, lol.

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