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Question: She is getting close to a man and I need advice

Dear Lounge Advice,

Early this year, my wife expressed interest in adding a third or other couple to our sex life (an interest I've always had, but never pressed for), and we joined a local lifestyle club. We went to one event, but she felt uncomfortable so we left long before anything sexual went down.

However, the next day, she met with a single man who had expressed interest in being part of a threesome with us through another site, and whom we both had met before. She wound up staying at his place for 14 hours, and they did have some sexual contact, though they didn't go all the way.

She continued to meet with him privately for long periods of time every day for the next week, and I was patently excluded from these meetings. He told her he was no longer interested in a threesome, and only wanted to be with her, despite her repeated requests to the contrary.

They continued seeing each other for many hours at a time for the next month, and became fully sexual with each other. (She was completely open with me about all the details.) After that time, she decided to call it off, because she knew that the amount of time she was spending with him and away from me was hurting me. They remained friends, but friends only, and she dramatically reduced the time she spent with him, much to my relief.

She said that the experience was too hard for her and didn't want to participate in anything like that again, specifically saying that she was not interested in swinging until she had had some time to think things over. I respected her decision and didn't bring up the subject for a couple of months, then broached the subject again to see how she was feeling. She said that it "couldn't hurt" to consider attending another swing party, and paying for a full membership on this site to see what it generated.

Last week, I was sick for two days, and basically slept most of that time. During this down time, she said she was going to go visit him, still under the "friends only" rule, which, of course, I had no problem with, especially since I was sick. Over the last week, she spent 8 hours or more (sometimes much more) with him every day except Father's Day, which she spent entirely with me (but she spoke to him several times on the phone.)

Monday night, she came home at 2:30 am to find me waiting on the front porch. She had said she was going to his place to dry some laundry (our dryer is broken) about 10 hours earlier; at 10:30 pm, she called me to say that she was on the last load of laundry. When she came home, I told her that I missed her, and she immediately said that they had slept together that night, breaking their own rule.

Frankly, I'm fine with her sleeping with him. She gets enjoyment from it, is safe about it, and that's one of the things I was hoping for when we first embarked on this path. However, I'm not fine with the amount of time she is spending with him. They have developed a relationship that goes far beyond mere sex, and despite her reassurances that she loves me, she still says she knew it would hurt me if she reconnected with him, but she chose to do so anyway because it felt so good to her.

Today, they are out of town, spending two nights together in a romantic chalet in the Colorado mountains, while I'm home alone in Denver, excluded from the activities.

This is not a swinging relationship; it's more like she's having an overt affair (which she admits readily), and she is now saying that she's not interested in swinging at all, but only in spending time with both him and me individually. He's getting what he wants, she's getting what she wants, and I'm not only NOT getting what I want, but feel robbed by the large amount of time she spends with him.

At one point, he suggested that I get someone on the side, but I said that wasn't what I was looking for. I'm looking for the opportunity for both of us as a unit to explore other people sexually. I don't want an affair or side relationship. My wife also said at that time that she realized it was unfair, but that she was not sure she would be comfortable with me seeing someone else without her.

As you can see, I'm in a rather sticky place. I love my wife very much, and am willing to abandon the idea of swinging altogether if she's no longer interested, but I'm now becoming concerned about how I will meet my own basic relationship needs if she continues to see him on the side.

She has said that she is willing to consider working out a schedule that limits the amount of time they spend together, and that's a possibility, but I'm concerned because there has now been a breach of trust because they rekindled their relationship after she had firmly called off the sex and scaled the friendship back significantly. She didn't lie to me about the sex, but she did break her own rule of being close to him, both emotionally and physically, without talking to me about it first.

Do you have *any* advice for me? Please notify me in our LL Mailbox if you post a response to this (assuming you can tell where this came from, since I'm posting anonymously.)




Dear (Anonymous),

YOU are a very tolerant man. YOU are getting absolutely nothing out of this and while I admire your acceptance of much of this arrangement up to this point, I'm very worried about your relationship as a couple.
Obviously, you love her. I don't doubt that she loves you too, but she's going a bit overboard with the freedom that you have given her. I understand that the initial flame is addictive and anyone would want to spend a great deal of time with a new lover. Under your circumstances, she is lucky to have that openness with you that allows this.
But at this point, I think it has gone too far. If she is spending more time with him than with you, she is putting the marriage into a very delicate situation.
The very fact that you're concerned enough to come to me for advice screams of stressed boundaries. I admire her penchant for honesty, but you both need to have a long talk about this.
Ask her where she sees it going in the long run and talk about how it is affecting you.
If you feel that a breach of trust has occurred, then this needs to stop right now until you both come to a common understanding. Let her know that you have given her a LOT of freedom to roam and that you feel she has taken advantage of that to the point that it is causing you to hurt.
Please don't let this go any further without having a candid heart to heart talk with her. She may just be getting carried away in the fantasy, or perhaps she may be enjoying that feeling of 'first time lust' that we all feel when we initially go through when we find someone compatible.
Just be sure to remind her that after the 'honeymoon' period has passed, that she needs to realize who loves her and who has been with her all along. She doesn't want to lose that merely because she's getting caught up in the moment with someone that is not her lifelong love- someone with whom she exchanged vows.
Just talk.
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