“My wife needs me to stop having sex with my girlfriend. I am very close to doing this.”

47, Seattle

10:58 am:  Very challenging morning with my wife. She is hurting. We have an open marriage, and she needs me to stop having sex with my girlfriend and channel my energy toward our relationship. I am very close to doing this.

11:30am: Wife and I are in our house, moving around and talking. I am married to a wonderful woman to whom I lost my virginity to thirty years ago. We were monogamous for 25 years. We opened our relationship a few years ago, when we recognized that we had lost our intimacy. We went to intimacy coaches, and through that process, she expressed interest in being with women. She immediately met a woman and had a multi-year relationship, and has dated three women total.

3:08 pm: Heading to a little park for a date with my girlfriend. I really have only had two relationships, and am still in both of them. We see each other once a week. Most times I just go to her place, make love, and sleep over.

4:30pm: Sitting in the park with my girlfriend, and just talking. It’s a wonderful time.

5:30pm: My girlfriend and I met when I told my wife that I would like to make out with a woman one night. Literally the next night, I met a woman, and she shared that her fantasy was to date a married couple.  That woman is my girlfriend, and we had a truple for three years. The truple broke up a year ago, when my wife and girlfriend became simply friends. I continued on in a romantic/sexual relationship with her. Rather than breaking up, we’re using the word “opening up.” We’ve released part of our relationship, and agreed to not be sexual for a few months to help shift our relationship.

6:00pm: See my wife again. She is hurting. I need to stay patient and hold space. I see sunshine just around the corner. She will continue to see others—her relationships are not romantic so much as sexual explorations with friends.

7:00am: Woke up with my wife. Another pretty challenging morning with her. A lot of shit is going on in our relationship.

10:00 am: We went for a long walk around the neighborhood and talked.

12:00 pm: Picked up by friends, heading to a big ranch in central Washington to  go outdoor adventuring.  One friend is a former boyfriend of my girlfriend, who is very knowledgeable about relationships.

1:30 pm: Talking with friends about the shifting of the relationship. My friends advise that I need to give my girlfriend space for a while, because our relationship is a distraction to her finding a primary partner to eventually have children with. She decided a year ago that that’s what she wants. This past year has not been easy.

7:00 pm:  Hanging out at beautiful ranch, talking, making food. Yesterday was quite a day.  I fully support my girlfriend, but have to admit that jealousy has come up. But I think our stopping things would really push her to move forward to attract a primary relationship. She’s living on supplements rather than nutrients. For the last 3 years she has had one date a week.

10:00 pm: Sleeping soon at the ranch. My wife is busy this weekend, facilitating a workshop. My wife is in a pretty sad place. My relationship with my girlfriend has put a strain on our marriage.

10:15 pm: I should say that my sex life with my wife is amazing. She’s still my definition of “erotic.” If anything, I’ve had to learn to become sexual with my girlfriend. It hasn’t been completely natural. I’ve had challenges getting erections, and it was almost like learning a new skill.

6:45 am: Awake very early, making food, waiting for the rest of my friends to wake up. The people here are all intertwined. A woman here is an off-and-on lover of my wife’s; there’s a guy who dates my girlfriend to some extent; my dear friends are about to have a baby, and they talk a lot about that. Late-thirties-type people.

1:00 pm: Adventured all morning in a big park.

7:00 pm: Dinner at the ranch. Lots of laughs. Drank a bottle of wine.

9:00 pm: Long night walk with a dear friend of my wife’s. Lots of good insights.

3:00 am: Awake from a bad dream about my girlfriend not giving me attention. Fall back asleep okay.

9:11 am: Wake up to cooking. Communal breakfast with my peeps. Feeling a little heavy. When I look at the past two years, I feel tired. It has been a period of tremendous growth and stretching, and it is time to take a break and incorporate what I have experienced.

3:30 pm: Fun morning in the park, then big lunch with friends. I’m excited to see my wife. I feel like melting into us.

4:39 pm:  Driving over beautiful passes, sharing stories of parenting. I love being a parent of a super cool teenager. He’s pretty informed about my polyamorous love life (nothing sexual or adult, of course), and has been supportive.

7:00 pm: Eating pizza with my son. I’m starting to have emerging feelings about them leaving home soon.

8:00 pm: My wife will be home soon. Looking forward to connecting with her. It has been over a week since we were intimate.

11:15 pm: Made love with my wife. Enjoyable, but we are still in a tender place. I see that changing and am excited about it.

7:33 am  Dreamt last night that my parents were getting divorced. My dad was seeking it. They’ve been married half a century, and there’s never been a clue that they haven’t had a perfect marriage.

9:33 am:  Had a sweet phone call with girlfriend. She’s hurting. We are doing the right thing, but it hurts.

9:34 am: Very sad.

11:24 am:  Driving up mountain with friends. Feeling very good inside. My relationships will work out alright.

7:13 pm:  Home from a great day of adventure training. Am now home waiting for my beloved wife to return. Looking forward to making love tonight.

7:30 pm:  Feeling sad for my girlfriend. She is really in a place that I have never seen her. I am staying the course and see beautiful things for us all down the road. She needs some separation now to get her mojo back. She needs to attract the right one for her long-term.

8:33 pm: Walking home from dinner, my wife saw a text from my (former) girlfriend. It was simply a sweet “goodnight, sleep tight!” My wife asked if I had sent one back to her, which I had during a bathroom break at dinner. This brought up feelings from previous dates where I had texted.

9:00 pm: Debate. Sadness. I am tired of this circular logic we get into: she is hurt, I get defensive, she gets mad, I get mad. No lovemaking. This sucks.

11:36 am: Sitting in a coffee shop, decompressing. About to go have lunch with a former boss.

6:37 pm: Just did home yoga. Off to my monthly mens group meeting. I formed it a year ago. We discuss why we do things, how we can become happier. It’s been a great grounding asset in my life. Should be interesting.

10:35 pm:  Made beautiful love with my wife. Hot, sexy, fun, connected. Smiles and groans. Feels so wonderful to be in an easeful place with her. I felt a slight shift yesterday that I think may be here for a while. We spoke a lot about the next month and the fun things we have planned. I think she is realizing that things truly have shifted with my former girlfriend (current dear friend, someday maybe-lover). I feel very grounded.

7:30 am: Woke up remembering another rare dream. My FGFCDFSML (former girlfriend current dear friend, someday maybe-lover) was walking through a party holding hands with a nice-looking guy. I didn’t realize it was her until after. The feeling I had of her was one of excitement for who she was with. I felt cautious compersion.

7:34 am: Tomorrow night I will have my first non date-date with my FGFCDFSML. Will be interesting to see how we do being loving toward each other, but not romantic.

10:57 am:  Sitting in a school awards ceremony for my kid, who is receiving some big awards but does not know they are coming. Goose pimples!

5:08 pm: Just had a wave of sadness come over me regarding ending the romantic relationship. It is like a wave of a head rush…but it flows through. Man, love and attachment are powerful drugs.

5:09 pm:  About to go grocery shopping for the family. Grilling Salmon. Need to start eating lighter…and exercising a bit more.

8:07 pm :  Lovely family dinner tonight. My family rocks!  About to go for a walk with wife and settle into her for the night. My wife is the one I have chosen, the one I desire, and the one I see my future with. In a decade, I see myself in an amazingly loving relationship with my wife, and potentially a few relationships with other women that are loving, and occasionally sexual.

  • Trololol says:
    How often do open relationships work out anyway?
  • Katie says:
    I love this diary. You are so inspiring- calm and collected! An inspiration to all of us younger adults voyaging out into the open relationship world :-)
  • Jess says:
    Your life is so unique, thank you for this glimpse! You sound like such an interesting, sensitive person.
  • dodo says:
    If she is hurting, maybe you should stop?
  • Kat says:
    Thank you for writing this! If I return to polyamory, I hope my partner(s) and I practice the same caring attentiveness that you and your loved ones do. And congratulations to your awesome kid!
  • Anonymous. says:
    Honestly, I feel that open marriages are outrageous. If you love your wife so much, if she's so good in bed, then why look for something else? If she seems to have everything you need, why would you feel the need to have a wandering eye? Yes, she's doing the same thing, but it's with females. And I'm not saying that make's it any better, but the fact of the matter is, is that she's exploring her sexuality. She's not looking for someone else to have a relationship with. You, on the other hand, aren't just exploring what other people have to offer sexually, you're building relationship's with them. Your wife is sad, and upset all the time because she feels like she's being replaced. It's no longer trying out sexual partners, she know's you had feelings for this other woman and it hurts her but she can't say anything because in a way, she's involved with other people too so it's not seen as fair. Jealousy is part of human nature, and if she's seeing text from this is other woman and it's hurting her, then obviously there's more thing's running through her head than she tells you. If you love her, then stop trying to find other people, & focus on making her happy rather than these random woman you form relationship's with. If making other people happy is more of a priority, do her a favor and divorce her. She deserves better.
  • New Here says:
    I understand your conflict and pain. In choosing extraordinary relationships, there are not many people to can ask for help because so few people have experience. Thank you for sharing your story, for being an open pioneer. I hope your wife's pain is resolved soon and everyone is safe and taken care of.
  • New Here says:
    I disagree that his wife is unhappy all the time and that he should either love only her (while she continues in other sexual relationships!) or divorce her. It sounds to me as if they are all being honest and trying to do something where the rules aren't so well-known, but they are trying to do the best they can -- and they still love each other (notice the hot, close sex a couple of days ago.) There is no life free of pain. We're all still learning. I wish them all well, but I don't necessarily prescribe going back to traditional roles just because they are familiar.
  • James says:
    "Your life is so unique, thank you for this glimpse! You sound like such an interesting, sensitive person." Interesting and sensitive? One partner has undergone an immense amount of emotional grief over a long period of time, and the issue has clearly consumed an awful lot of time and attention to the detriment of more productive pursuits. And this: "I wish them all well, but I don't necessarily prescribe going back to traditional roles just because they are familiar." is not the issue.
  • Sex Ed says:
    Twice you mentioned that your wife is hurting. You don't say if you asked her what is she is hurting about. It's easy to say "your girlfriend" but it has to be more than that. Is he afraid that you are leaving her. Does she feel neglected? Does she some how feel "cheated" when you spend time away? Together, you need to process this or she will continue to hurt and you will continue to feel frustrated. (just an outsiders opinion; take or leave as you wish). Thanks for sharing.
  • Sex Ed says:
    Curious about the separation from your girlfriend. You said she "needs" this but did she? I understand that her long term desire is for a primary and a family but why can't you two continue until that happens. If being away from you is making her sad, that does make your a great catch for a primary. If she's happy with you then she will be happier in general thus, make a better candidate for a primary. Just an opinion, (you know the rest). Peace
  • Some guy says:
    You have a very confused and confusing life. No wonder you need a "men's group:" you've got the morals of a civet cat and you're paying the price for it.
  • Seriously says:
    Seriously? This is a banal and superficial journal.
  • Open minded woman says:
    I think none of us can judge this man. He has put himself out there and gave us a glimpse at his life.Thank you for that sir . I myself have thought about having a open relationship, but my husband wont consider it . I think they are lucky to have found a partner that allows them to be who they are . Instead of pushing the other one into a affair or being forced to live a life in prison . I do not believe we are meant to be mono relationship, but that society/religion says that is what is right so we feel that is what we have to do . Thanks again sir for giving me a insight into a open relationship
  • private person says:
    How strange to write a diary that other people can read and express opinons about. One should be leary of putting much stock in what strangers say. If someone says open 'relationships don't work' I would feel inclined to point out the endless pain and strife that comes with the (supposedly) monogamous kind.
  • A person needs to express their intimate problems
  • Beccah says:
    I appreciate the glimpse into your predicament, however, there is one aspect that leaves me puzzled. If you have reached a place of peace, rectitude and contentment, then why must you continue to invest effort into searching for fulfillment outside of your marriage? Why not continue to nurture that relationship, at least until you and your wife have reached a point of mutual satisfaction and understanding of your desires before you haphazardly begin seeking excitement or whatever else elsewhere? The path you and your wife have chosen to explore is yours to endure, whether that brings happiness or anguish. I believe that when you have chosen a person to enter into a marriage with, there are sacrifices that are made in consideration for your partners general emotional, mental and/or physical well being. I truly wish you all the best of luck in all of your endeavors.
  • Scooter says:
    Life is always changing and that's where odd feelings come from. Take time to digest before making new decisions.

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