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Five years ago, my wife and I moved to the suburbs. I didn’t want to, but I said yes to keep her happy, to get it over with. That plan didn’t work – I missed the city, and I missed her old self, the adventurous woman I’d first fallen for. Eventually I betrayed her, having an affair with a business contact. When the truth came out, my wife demanded answers and I wrote her an email detailing the history of our relationship from my perspective.

In it, I admitted that in order to reach orgasm during sex, I’d often imagine her with other men. In return, she revealed that she’d had revenge sex with a colleague after learning of my affair. I found her account very erotic, and soon we were sharing stories of other flings, kisses and flirtations that had occurred during our 12-year relationship. We had sex often during this time.

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With my encouragement, she installed a dating app and began seeing other men. Now we sleep with other people, both alone and together. We tell each other everything about these encounters, and enjoy hearing about the other’s adventures. There’s still pain, still fights about the past – who hurt whom – but now there’s something else: fun and excitement.

We’ve decided to be more trusting and open than we have ever been. We know we are taking a risk, and that it might mean we fail as a couple, but we had already failed. Our marriage isn’t perfect, but we like it, the tension and relaxation. It’s based on who we really are, not who we were pretending to be.

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