I Love My Wife! But She Wants to Close Our Marriage

Mister Polywog

New member
TL;DR
My high school sweetheart of a wife’s serious extramarital relationship is ending, so she wants to close our 3-year open marriage. I’ve found someone I care about deeply and don’t want to lose them. Bigger than this, polyamory is something I now fully prescribe to and believe in. I don’t want to return to monogamy. She is quite staunch in her stance, but I feel like the bad guy for wanting the life I want. I love her, and she is my absolute best friend and quite a catch, but I do not feel like I am living my fullest life. She knows how I feel, and is worried she will lose me, but is sure of how she feels. Is my brain right in telling me that the kind and good thing to do is to end the marriage, rather than build resentment or live a lie?

CONTEXT
My open marriage was founded on a lie. My wife fell in love (a 3-month “emotional affair”), and was hoping to convince me to open the marriage and she could pretend she met the guy after we did so. I discovered the truth, but we talked through it, and decided to open the marriage. “Well, it sounds like you opened the marriage to solve existing problems!” Oh dear reader, I know this now, and we’ll come back to that.

Three years later, and our experiences have been vastly different. She has fallen in love twice and has been in two serious (nonconcurrent) relationships outside of ours. Any time she wanted to adjust a rule or try something new with them, I adjusted the part of my brain that made me uncomfortable, and everything became easier to accept. Adjusting to these things has made me more and more prescribed to polyamory. I’ve dated around, but it’s always been difficult because her jealousy has a very strong grip on her. Dating always felt like I was doing something bad. It’s not for lack of her efforts, but after three years, she’s just getting comfortable with overnight stays (meanwhile she’s on vacations, going to sex parties with her partner, and living with him part-time).

Which brings us to today. Her other relationship is ending, and she wants to close the marriage. Meanwhile, I’m JUST finding someone who I truly care about (maybe even love). The part-time living situation has also given me a lust for the independent life, and soly poly is calling my name. Now, I know that closing the marriage means revisiting those problems that already existed, and were never directly addressed. But I’d be doing so while also wanting something else with my life, and trying to manage the resentment already built up from how the open marriage was conducted. I feel like this isn’t fair to my wife, or to myself. She is my best friend, and I love her to pieces. But Is my brain right in telling me that the kind and good thing to do is to end the marriage, rather than build resentment or live a lie?
 

SEASONEDpolyAgain

Active member
Yes.

It will be difficult but ending this relationship is the best thing to do right now.

However, it might be an option to revisit this relationship later on under new circumstances where you come into it as a solo poly person and she is free to have other partners if she wants. You need a clean slate and a complete break is the only way I see to do it in this relationship.

If she really doesn't want to break up, ask her to make a thread here of how she can have the best chance of mutual contentment with a poly partner.
 
Honestly, it sounds like even if she wasn't so adamant about closing the marriage, she just hasn't been able to get to a place where she is comfortable doing the things you want to do (more overnights, vacations, etc.). Ultimately, she wants her cake and to eat it too, and when she's not having cake, no one else gets cake. And even when she does get cake, no one else gets cake because it's only ok when she eats it. 3 years is a LONG time for her to not be able to come to accept you being able to do the same things that she wants to do. And believe me, I get it because I'm in a similar situation where my NP has a lot of discomfort around my current other relationship and I've had to set the boundary of "I'm sorry your uncomfortable, but your choice is to accept that this is the life I have chosen for me and be willing to walk that road with me, or accept that this isn't working."

So it sounds like this isn't working. She can be your best friend and you can love each other dearly and still ultimately have serious incompatabilities that make being romantic partners just not viable. It sucks, but people change, and not always in ways that work together. Sounds like you need to set some firm boundaries around what you need for you to be happy, and then draw that line.
 

Fishsticks86

New member
TL;DR
My high school sweetheart of a wife’s serious extramarital relationship is ending, so she wants to close our 3-year open marriage. I’ve found someone I care about deeply and don’t want to lose them. Bigger than this, polyamory is something I now fully prescribe to and believe in. I don’t want to return to monogamy. She is quite staunch in her stance, but I feel like the bad guy for wanting the life I want. I love her, and she is my absolute best friend and quite a catch, but I do not feel like I am living my fullest life. She knows how I feel, and is worried she will lose me, but is sure of how she feels. Is my brain right in telling me that the kind and good thing to do is to end the marriage, rather than build resentment or live a lie?

CONTEXT
My open marriage was founded on a lie. My wife fell in love (a 3-month “emotional affair”), and was hoping to convince me to open the marriage and she could pretend she met the guy after we did so. I discovered the truth, but we talked through it, and decided to open the marriage. “Well, it sounds like you opened the marriage to solve existing problems!” Oh dear reader, I know this now, and we’ll come back to that.

Three years later, and our experiences have been vastly different. She has fallen in love twice and has been in two serious (nonconcurrent) relationships outside of ours. Any time she wanted to adjust a rule or try something new with them, I adjusted the part of my brain that made me uncomfortable, and everything became easier to accept. Adjusting to these things has made me more and more prescribed to polyamory. I’ve dated around, but it’s always been difficult because her jealousy has a very strong grip on her. Dating always felt like I was doing something bad. It’s not for lack of her efforts, but after three years, she’s just getting comfortable with overnight stays (meanwhile she’s on vacations, going to sex parties with her partner, and living with him part-time).

Which brings us to today. Her other relationship is ending, and she wants to close the marriage. Meanwhile, I’m JUST finding someone who I truly care about (maybe even love). The part-time living situation has also given me a lust for the independent life, and soly poly is calling my name. Now, I know that closing the marriage means revisiting those problems that already existed, and were never directly addressed. But I’d be doing so while also wanting something else with my life, and trying to manage the resentment already built up from how the open marriage was conducted. I feel like this isn’t fair to my wife, or to myself. She is my best friend, and I love her to pieces. But Is my brain right in telling me that the kind and good thing to do is to end the marriage, rather than build resentment or live a lie?
Oh my.. Mr. Polywog, I am sincerely sorry you are having to face this battle. I personally believe that if this is what you want and desire, you deserve your chance at happiness and love as your wife has had numerous times. Jealousy should be a shallow, adjustable feeling like you have so graciously dealt with. Jealousy should not be so consuming and controlling as it is for your wife.. I had that kind of jealousy and it was because I did not value myself and lacked the ability to speak my dealing honestly with my husband. Hell, I would get jealous over the porn he would watch. Now we can successfully encounter gorgeous women who I help him hit on. The tides have turned, and very swiftly.
The only reason why though, is because we faced our issues. Preventing a necessary conversations due to fear or losing one another is not justifiable because if you don't want to lose each other, then you will not. It sounds like your wife has some deep seeded issues she has to work through, and you both need to heal your relationship for it to work in general. Closing the relationship now will leave you bitter and resentful down the road. I would not recommend that.. oh deary. I am so sorry, and I truly hope you find some shred of resolution for this matter!! ❤️
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
FWIW... this stuck out to me.

You been practicing Open marriage for 3 years and there are STILL issues on the table that are unresolved? WHY? Do you guys just not talk?

Could start being up more up front. I think you could be honest with her and say something like...

"I don't want to Close. Is this going to be a deal breaker for you? Do we need to talk about a trial separation or right to divorce?

I love you and you are my best friend so I prefer to try to work something out rather than part ways. But no. I do not want to Close. And even if we stay together, there's still those problems that already existed, and were never directly addressed that we could work on.

So... where do you stand? What do you prefer? "

Have the honest conversations you need to be having. LEAN IN. And figure out if things still can line up here or not.

Do not avoid conversation, arms distance, ostrich, or lean away.

Is my brain right in telling me that the kind and good thing to do is to end the marriage, rather than build resentment or live a lie?

I think it better to "save the people" than worry about "save the marriage." It's a legal paper. It doesn't care.

What matters is how you are in relationship to each other. And perhaps "good exes and friends" is a better relationship shape now that you both can do. So she can be free FROM open/poly things she does not want. And you can be free TO pursue open/poly things you do want.

Because "marriage shape" no longer fits well of you have grown in different directions.

Galagirl
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hello Mister Polywog,

It occurs to me that you and your wife have never had a level playing field; she has always had the upper hand. Even this idea of closing your marriage, benefits her (as she has no external partners right now) and hurts you (as you have just found someone whom you care about and don't want to lose). Are you comfortable with this marital dynamic? Some people have a D/s relationship, and you may be a sub here. But I'm thinking that that's probably not the case. It seems to me that, once the only choice she is giving you, to give up your new love interest and remain closed/mono with your wife, has played out, you are likely to gradually come to resent her and not because of the monogamy, but because things always work out in her favor. Heck, she could (have another emotional affair and) decide to open the marriage again, and you would have to go along with that because once again, she has the tempo and the initiative. I don't know if maybe you could stay married under a different set of ground rules?

I hope you can work things out.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

tdh

Member
Okay. If you agreed to allowing other partners then that is current agreement. That can keep going for the time being.

If one partner wants to change it then this is a time for open negotiation not ignore everything and do what 1 party wants. That is unhealthy and could lend to an abusive relationship. There should be some consideration of all parties involved.

One issue in reading your above statement is everything is this or that which is binary thinking. Try to be more flexible with yourself in your thought process to see if there is some creative solutions that meets both your needs.
 

Mister Polywog

New member
Thank you all for your advice! We’ve certainly had many difficult conversations, and agree that we are at a difficult place from which both of us are finding I difficult to bend any further than we already are.

I’m finding that, in addition to desiring polyamory and not wanting to lose my current partner, I’m also fantasizing daily (almost constantly) about being single/solo poly. It’s on my mind when I go to sleep, and when I wake up. This of course creates so much more angst, and I’m hoping to work through it and understand it. I’ve connected with a polyfriendly therapist, and am hoping they can help me untangle this mess.

I appreciate your support!
 

FallenAngelina

Well-known member
I’m finding that, in addition to desiring polyamory and not wanting to lose my current partner, I’m also fantasizing daily (almost constantly) about being single/solo poly. It’s on my mind when I go to sleep, and when I wake up.
This implies divorce, yes? Solo poly means that you're not part of a nesting, primary or marital partnership, but instead are essentially single.
 

Marcus

Active member
I don’t want to return to monogamy. She is quite staunch in her stance, but I feel like the bad guy for wanting the life I want.

She wants what she wants, and you want what you want, and those two things are diametrically opposed.

There is no bad guy here, though I get that you may feel that way. It rarely feels great to tell someone "I'm just not willing to give you what you want", but when we are treating each other like adults, and making decisions based on long term flourishing, we aren't really left with any options when our wants and needs are incompatible.
 
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