Best-Of Advice

On an open marriage full of lies

My husband’s been cheating on me. We are supposed to have an open marriage, and the agreed terms are that we know what each other has been up to. Not that he hasn’t denied doing anything until he has to bring me antibiotics from the clinic because he’s caught something.

I don’t mind the sex, I mind the lying for I don’t know how long, at least a year. Not just not telling, lying when asked. I’m not possessive or weird, but we had an agreement about how this was supposed to work. If one of us wants to change the terms, it’s a negotiation, not an unilateral change.

We’ve been married for nine years. We both want an open marriage, but this whole time he has had trouble actually admitting that he is doing it with anyone else.

If it matters, we’re both bi, and he’s mostly hooked up with men, though I just learned there was one woman 10 months ago, maybe more, I don’t know. Now what?


It’s entirely up to you.

First, you need to make a rational and realistic assessment of your husband’s character, and then decide whether his potential for infidelity is enough of a glaring flaw to end your marriage.

You need to take into account that an open marriage isn’t enough for him, and it probably never will be. Cheating itself is obviously part of the thrill. He’d rather tell lies and keep secrets than put the minimum amount of effort required to keep an open marriage healthy, and that’s not something you can easily remedy.

It’s a terrible thing to learn that your husband can’t be trusted, and I’m sure he’ll come up with a long list of bullshit reasons why he lied, but at the end of the day, the fundamental reason is that he just couldn’t be bothered to be honest.

In an open marriage, he was morally lazy. It was simply easier for him to lie — and perhaps even more fun — right up until the moment it wasn’t. The question you have to ask yourself now is, can you see yourself ever being in a position to trust your husband again? Better yet, do you want to even bother?

Nine years is a long time. Maybe you want to try and make it work. Then again, nine years is a long time. Maybe you’re ready to move on.

What do you want to do?

Sure, it’s a tough decision either way, but if you do a gut check, you probably already know which way you want to go. Don’t be afraid if you have an answer. Even if he can’t be honest with you, you still have to be honest with yourself.




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