Dear Dr. Ava
Questions from Married Women
by Dr. Ava Cadell
Question: My husband is insisting that we have an open relationship. We’ve been married five years and this isn’t the first time it has come up. I was once warm to the idea, but now I have my reservations. I’ll be honest, we’ve not really had much sex in the past year and it’s entirely my fault. I don’t know why, but I’m 38 and just don’t want to have sex with him. I’m turned on at times and often feel sexy, but just not as much with him as I used to be. I have a feeling that the majority of open relationships ultimately fail. Am I right or what?
Answer: What do you expect, if you haven’t had much sex in the past year with your husband? Most men will cheat behind their partner’s back, so you’re fortunate that he is open and honest about his sexual needs. You mention that at one time, you were warm about the idea of having an open relationship, but now you’re not. I wonder what changed your mind. It sounds to me like you have some deep anger issues and resentment towards your husband. The fact that you don’t want to have sex with him, even when you feel sexy confirms that. You’ve only been married for five years and the passion has already faded. This is not a good foundation for a successful relationship. You have two choices here and I’m going to let you know the pros and cons of each one.
First, you can agree to have an open relationship with your husband. This will make him happy and give him the opportunity to seek sexual gratification with your permission outside the marriage. You might also have some fun with someone else, yet maintain the security of your marriage at the same time. It’s quite possible that this new element could add some sizzle and spice back into your marriage too. On the flip side, it’s possible that your husband will find someone else he would rather be with and so might you. So, the risks are high, but it’s up to you whether or not you want to take them.
The second option is for you and your husband to work on saving your marriage in a monogamous lifestyle. However, you have to deal with your pent up anger and resentment towards him first because you won’t be able to make love to him until you forgive him. If you both have the desire to proceed with a monogamous relationship, I can help you to achieve this, but both partners must want the same thing. I do sense from your letter that you want to try to repair your relationship and find the love you once shared. Perhaps you could both make time to sit together and watch my seminar, 12 Steps to Everlasting Love. You have nothing to lose by doing that, and everything to gain.