Thursday, March 23, 2023
HomeRelationship AdviceSpouse wants an open relationship or a divorce.

Spouse wants an open relationship or a divorce.

I’m sure posts on this topic are a dime a dozen, but I’ll give you my sob story anyway.

My spouse and I are very much in love and have a great relationship aside from a few big things. Namely that he has been sexually coercive our entire relationship, and had been emotionally abusive as well. This finally clicked for him a few months ago and he’s working on it in therapy.

Because of the abuse, I don’t want to have sex with him. I don’t feel safe and my libido turns off and I freeze. It’s been like this for awhile.

He came back from therapy and said that he needs sex, so either he gets a green light to get a fuck buddy or we get divorced.

Clearly we don’t have a healthy relationship, which would make ethical non monogamy impossible. So that’s a dealbreaker for me. But he’s doing work to change his abusive behavior and I love him so much.

Getting divorced would devastate me. Not to mention that I got married very young and getting divorced after just a few years would make the social stigma that much worse.

So, should I suck it up and try to save my marriage or bite the bullet and throw away any chance of making it work?

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  1. >My spouse and I are very much in love

    How are you in love with someone who abused you and bullies you to get their way sexually?

    >He came back from therapy and said that he needs sex, so either he gets a green light to get a fuck buddy or we get divorced.

    Now he’s serving you ultimatums which sounds like more coercion.

    >Getting divorced would devastate me.

    Would it devastate you more or less than him sleeping with other people or you forcing yourself to sleep with him?

    >I got married very young

    May I ask how young? What’s the age of your partner? Is there a large age gap where he groomed you when you were younger? I’m very wary that he manipulated you early on and you’re starting to wake up to his toxic behavior..

  2. You need a therapist so you can figure out why you think you deserve to be with a man who is sexually coercive and abusive.

    Also, I’m going to point out to you that him giving you an ultimatum – “Either I get a fuck buddy bc I need sex or I walk” – is also abusive and sexually coercive.

    He is *not* working hard to change. He’s working hard to get more subtle with his abuse.

    Get a therapist, discover your self-worth (yes you do deserve better than this) and leave him. Do not look back.

  3. He’s already abusive, is the shame you’d feel over a divorce actually worse than being miserable with an abusive man cheating on you for the rest of your life? Apologies if you live somewhere where divorce is actually socially stigmatised, although it may be more in your own head than you think.

  4. You don’t have a great relationship – you’re in an abusive one. Your husband is toxic and this ultimatum he’s given you shows that. He may be getting therapy now, but if he’s saying his therapist told him this, he’s lying. Don’t care about what other people might think of you for marrying young or divorcing young – they don’t matter. Do you really want to stay in a marriage where you’re so disrespected and abused? Do you want a lifetime of this? Constantly giving up pieces of yourself to make someone else happy, when they can’t even do the bare minimum? The bar for him is so low that he can’t even trip on it, and he’s still not caring enough to put any effort in.

    Divorce isn’t failure. You’d be choosing to save yourself from a life of abuse, and if anyone dares to judge you for leaving him, look them in the eye and tell them that. Make them uncomfortable for sticking their nose in.

  5. I think that before you yourself start to question your physique as a woman, you should end that relationship, which in itself is toxic, is no longer healthy.

    As a woman you are okay with your husband spending the night with some random girl, what about your own needs as a woman?

    Of your own problems?

    It’s okay for him to abuse you and you have to put your head down.

    My recommendation to you is that you prioritize yourself before what others say or what society thinks.

    If you need someone to talk to I am always available for you, if you wish.

    Excuse my lousy English but I am from a country where the main language is Spanish and I am using the translator to answer this post.

  6. Girl you had me stumped when you put ‘very much in love and a grest relationship’ and ‘sexually coercive’ and ’emotional abuse’ in the same paragraph. Like??

    Ok so he has been going to the therapy because he’s a dumbass, but are you in therapy because you were traumatized by his coercion?

    When he says he needs sex, does that imply you and him are having zero sex? I get a sense he said that because you still can’t have sex due to his coercion. Are you doing anything to address that (if not for him, for yourself)?

    Also how old are you two? How long have you been together and how long has he been in therapy?

    Honestly, if you are having no sex at all then I understand his need to do something about it. Seems like he is willing to change if he is going to therapy. The only two options are not open relationship or divorce – the third option can be sex with YOU (should you choose that as well, that is).

    If I may add, there are subreddits for people with mismatched libido, you can check them out too.

    edit: typo

  7. Right now divorce seems like the scariest thing in the world, partly because of his emotional abuse towards you. It has the side effect of wearing you down and damaging your confidence. But hear this: he’s STILL being coercive and abusive with his new ‘therapist approved’ give me sex or I will will look elsewhere BS.

    I get that divorce would be awful, for a while. But you know what else would be awful. Realising that you’ve spent another 10 years with a man who treats you like this. Going to bed every night for 10 years wondering who he’s screwing tonight. Or being guilted into letting him use your body for sex just to keep him there.

    You mention that you married young, so perhaps you don’t have a lot of experience in relationships? I promise you, they are NOT meant to make you feel like this. There are almost 4 billion men on the planet, the one you choose as your partner is meant to be the one that makes you feel safe, loved and cherished. Even when you’re mad at each other. The fact hat you don’t feel safe and he’s still being manipulative means the chances of you ever being happy in this marriage is zero. Listen to the little part of you that is trying to protect you, that made you write this post and RUN. In 10 years time you will be sitting on a couch beside a wonderful man who makes you feel safe, sexy and loved, and you will be SO glad you didn’t waste another minute on this man who didn’t deserve it.

  8. He hasn’t stopped abusing you, he’s just become better at manipulating you by using the therapist as a proxy. You have to decide whether this relationship is worth the pain you are feeling. Also the social stigma of being divorced is still better than being with a man who sexually abuses you

  9. OP I’m sorry that he didn’t love you like you deserve. I hope you realise that him insisting on getting a fuck buddy or divorce is just another form of sexual coercion. He is counting on the fact that you will give in and have unwanted sex or allow him to fuck strangers because you desperately don’t want him to leave. Either way, your needs and wants are being pushed aside for his, and you’re the one being hurt.

    If he really was changing he wouldn’t ask for this. He would be doing everything he could to make you feel safe, even if that means being celibate for some time. Then eventually, once a healthy and secure relationship was established, you could work together to reconnect sexually.

    Divorce him because loving someone is not a good enough reason to accept abuse. I promise that the freedom and power that comes from not accepting this treatment any longer and putting yourself first will far outweigh the love lost.

  10. You can’t coerce someone into opening a relationship. That’s not what an open relationship is. He’s going to cheat on you, has stated his intention to cheat on you, and is threatening you with divorce unless you let him cheat on you. And if he’s emotionally abusive he’s going to use his new partner to make you feel worse about yourself and abuse you further.

    Abusive partners rarely change. Even if they get therapy it just gives them new language to frame their abuse in. You don’t want sex with him because of what he did to you. His actions, his fault. If he can’t suck it up and take the blame and go without sex until your relationship and trust is rebuilt then I’m sorry, but he hasn’t changed at all. He’s still being sexually coercive RIGHT NOW! He’s trying to coerce you into letting him have sex with other women!

    You’re better off without him, I promise you. You don’t have a chance of making this “work” – best case scenario he sleeps around on you and continues to emotionally abuse you (because that’s what sleeping around on you is! Him telling you you aren’t good enough!) Is that what you want for yourself? Make the best of a bad situation and leave him.

  11. easy to say

    dump the mo Fo.

    harder to do.

    I am not sure what benefit there is to staying unless you would like some fuck buddies that won’t abuse you, that might be a win, if you got your needs met.


    him? I have no sympathy for unchanged abusers. and this is just more manipulation verging on / if not already / abuse.


    good luck, you deserve better

  12. He has given you his truth, which is that his need for sex is stronger than his love for you. If you don’t find yourself wanting to have sex with this person, prepare an exit strategy so you both can be happy with other people.

  13. Divorce is better than abuse. Forget social stigma and what other people think. They are willing to take the abuse for you. His abuse will just worse because he will find more ways to push boundaries and to see what he can get away with. Run from this psychopath.

  14. Sounds like he’s using therapy as a new tactic to abuse you further. Are you also in therapy? Why do you want to stay with your abuser? Get the divorce and work on yourself. Understand why you have trouble setting boundaries and why you’re willing to put up with so much disrespect.

  15. Hun, he has been abusive, sexually so even. I don’t know what culture you live in but divorce is very common place these and really means next to nothing most places. You have your whole life ahead of you, you deserve someone who HAS NEVER abused you.

  16. Is he really in therapy? Because nothing of what you said sounds like a man in self reflection.

    The abuse is still there, it’s just different than before.

    Please leave him and also get into therapy yourself. You need healing after years of abuse too.

  17. Divorce. I know it sucks. Feeling alone can be horrible. But staying isn’t going to make it better, it will only get worse. It’s better to be alone while actually alone instead of with someone.

  18. >My spouse and I are very much in love and have a great relationship aside from a few big things. Namely that he has been sexually coercive our entire relationship, and had been emotionally abusive as well. This finally clicked for him a few months ago and he’s working on it in therapy.

    This paragraph is like one of those collage ransom letters where every letter is from a completely different magazine, and it all adds up to something terrible.

    You need your own therapy. You’re not making sense of things.

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