You are married. You love your spouse, kids and life. It's everything you ever wanted except for one thing. You dream about impassioned entanglements--which are a rarity in your marriage.
If you have a disagreement about domestic chores you can hire someone to clean your house. But if you are out of sync sexually-- who do you hire? A therapist? What if you gave that a try and it still didn't correct your divergent libidos. It seems as if your only options are have an affair or get a divorce.
But what if there were other choices? That did not include lying or leaving? What if you sat down with your spouse and politely asked if it would be possible to have sex with other people--and still stay married?
After months of reading and researching open marriage and polyamorous relationships that's exactly what I did--sat down with my husband and asked if we could have sex outside of our marriage. Let's just say--that opening line is a conversation starter. In my case my husband agreed. Surprisingly he was struggling with some of the same issues I was. My request initiated long heart to heart talks about both our needs. This brought us closer.
Being out of alignment sexually doesn't have to mean the end of your marriage. It also does not mean you have to lie and feel ashamed. Honestly discussing the truth can be liberating. It can also be terrifying. Your spouse could be horrified that you even proposed the idea. But keep in mind there are people successfully pulling off open marriages. It is an option. We don't often hear about successful open marriages because many people are in the closet. There is a lot of fear around the whole subject and many people in open marriages don't discuss it at the PTA picnic or even with their friends.
Although it is radical to imagine opening things up, it is a possibility. Consider this: the person who lies and cheats, becomes the "bad guy" by default. But more interesting than that is that the hiding and lying covers over the original issues that then may never get addressed. When a person cheats the possibility for positive transformation is lost. I know what you are thinking--you already talked to your spouse about sex. But does your spouse truly comprehend how important your need for sex is, so much so that you are considering sex with someone else.
My friend has a cousin who cheats on his wife every time he travels for business. He loves his wife but they have not had sex for years. He has tried to explain to her how important this aspect of their marriage is to him but it had no effect. I have often wondered if he had honestly asked her if he could have sex outside of their marriage what would have happened. It might have been a true eye opener for his wife. She might have realized that this aspect of their marriage was much more crucial than she thought. Or she might be relieved that she had a choice to forgo sex and under clear agreements create a situation in which her husband could get his needs met. She might also reveal that she wants a different kind of sex with her husband and /or with other people. It could become a huge eye opener for everyone that could bring their relationship to a whole new level. Or it could end the marriage entirely. There's no denying the stakes are high.
But not being happy, and even lying about it, is also a high stakes scenario. Recently several studies have revealed that lying effects our physical and mental health. Lying repeatedly about stepping out could surely add to stress levels and our perception of ourselves as a "good person."
An open relationship is not a panacea. It can take considerable effort to create careful agreements that work for both people. It can be risky to bare your soul and ask for what you need. But when you speak your truth, you open up the possibility of what feel like miracles happening in your life, but when you lie you often seal the fate of what you most fear.
I love getting e-mails. Please contact me at http://GracieX.com if you have thoughts to share about your marriage.
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