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  • Not sure what to do.

    Hi People,

    I really need some help.

    So I'll try and keep this to the facts but feel you may need a little back story for context. My wife and I have been married for 3 years and have been together for 8. We have gone through a lot of bad stuff.

    I have had serious issues with my mental health. My coping mechanisms were incredibly destructive. Drinking, drug addiction and self harm. It got really bad in my late 20s and through into my 30s. I thought I was coping - but I was just suppressing and self medicating.

    I met my misses (now my wife) and she saved me from the worst of myself but my demons still wreaked havoc with my mind - worthlessness, failure. It was all very dark. I still stayed medicated, drink and drugs, more suppression still didn't deal with anything. Last year i tried to kill myself. I didn't intend to still be here.. I hadn't considered the consequences.

    Through all of this my wife has been my rock I wouldn't be here without her support. Sadly her feelings and needs have dropped by the wayside. I have no sexual desire but she is a very sexual person. This is a combination of my meds and my inability to cope. We have had sex twice in 6 years. I dont even think about it - she feels rejected. I never meant to make her feel like this. I feel like such a failure. I've been too wrapped up trying to keep myself together.

    This week she has told me that she needs to address this area of her life. She wants a relationship and not a friendship. She has suggested having an open relationship so she can furfill that side of her life. I'm heartbroken. Im so confused. I don't want to lose her but feel like this is it. What do I do? How should I feel? I feel hurt. But I understand completely where this is coming from. How do we work on this? I'm not sure that I'm comfortable with an open relationship but I really do understand why she has asked. Thing is I can't forget this conversation but i don't know what to do to address the situation.

    I'm hoping someone can help.

  • #2
    Mature, healthy relationships involve sex. It's as simple as that.
    Not just because of the sex itself, but because of the intimacy it creates between you as a couple, because it makes you feel attractive and loved, and because sex releases hormones which recreate that lovey dovey feeling you had when you first fell in love. It's a powerful bonding tool. It's what distinguishes your relationship from that of friends or roommates.

    You have your issues, which I can understand, but in the end those are your problems, not hers. She can't turn off her sex drive because you have. She's been more patient than most people would be and she's given you years and years to work on yourself and get your act together. You haven't. Again, not her responsability and not her fault. If anything, you've gotten worse.
    And now she's taking the first step towards checking out of your relationship.... Who could blame her?

    I don't have anything against open relationships per se, when 2 people make that choice together, fully aware of the risks and the consequences. In your case, this is a recipe for disaster. You think you feel bad now? Wait until she actually speels with someone else. You won't be able to cope. Your marriage won't survive. The thing is though, and this is the harsh truth, your marriage most likely won't survive anyway.
    You've made the past years all about you, your needs, your depression, your issues, and you've completely forgotten there was another person in this with you who has her own needs. The fact that she's asking for an open relationship is a sign that she's halfway out the door already, and she's not coming back. I know, because I was the one to ask the same question to my ex a while ago. It was my way of making the transition easier, softening the break-up.

    What I suggest you do, is have a long conversation with your wife, where you explain you're really not okay with the open relationship and you won't support this.
    Then, you stop your self-centered attitude and get to work on yourself. See a psychologist/psychiatrist. Start going to counseling and taking the proper, prescribed medication. Fix yourself, if not for you, then for her. She deserves better than this.
    Start couples counseling is well, if your wife is up for it, maybe even see a sex therapist, who can help you reconnect sexually.

    I won't guarantee that she'll have any more patience, but it's the best chance you have at fixing this.
    But if your wife says no and she pushes the open relationship, I'd do her a favor and end the marriage alltogether. She can move on to having the kind of relationship she deserves, and you can take the time you need to actually fix your own mental health.
    You can't control the waves, but you can learn to surf


    • #3
      Talk to your doctor or whomever is medicating you and tell them the effect that the drugs are having on your system, libido and your marriage. There may be alternatives or an update in the pharmaceutical world you're not aware of. I think you're depending heavily on your wife for support and that needs to be fixed. I'm not sure what part of either of you thinks sex twice in six years is all right for the past six years! Of course she has to address it. Deal with the issues one by one but first speak to your doctor and if your doctor is a quack and doesn't have anything else to add or suggest, get a second opinion.


      • #4
        Mark37 An open relationship should be divorce. Then she can do whatever her heart desires and you can focus on your mental and physical health.
        "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."