A Rock-A-Holic named Karen wrote in asking for some Group Therapy with a big problem.
A few months ago her husband uncovered an affair she was having with an old flame. He proceeded to move out and initiated divorce proceedings. In the time since however, she has shown him that she is truly repentant and that they should give their marriage a second chance for their children.
The problem now though is that he says if he were to give it another shot, he wants it to be an open marriage because there is no way he could ever trust her again. He doesn’t feel the obligation to be faithful to her anymore and at least this way that could be in the open.
Karen tried explaining that she got it out of her system and she doesn’t want to be with anyone other than him and the thought about him with another woman makes her ill. She just wants things to go back to how they used to be.
I didn’t want to be mean to Karen but I could really feel she has no idea how beyond unbelievable she sounds. Guess what, things are not going to be like they used to be! When a person betrays their spouse’s trust, hearts get broken…sometimes beyond repair.
I don’t think Karen’s husband is out of line for asking for an open marriage because it’s not an unfair situation. He’s not saying she’s not allowed to sleep with anyone but him, he’s saying they both can have sex with each other or whoever they want and it’s out in the open.
They both need to seek some form of help whether a mentor they trust or therapist because they both have proven they don’t have the ability to repair this relationship by themselves.
He needs to cut his loses and get joint custody. Even if he gets to poke whomever he wants, she'll do the same, and the fighting and heartbreak will continue.
I remember hearing this one on the air and I like what you've said above: she is oblivious to the damage she has done and the fact that he's even willing to entertain staying married shows he still has a love for her, because frankly she has no right to ask for or to expect anything but complete severance. And her comments about having gotten it out of her system... really? What a jackknob... we really aren't built to be in a monogamous relationship and it's just mental commitment that keeps us bound to each other. Once that mental commitment is fractured - it's more easily broken the next time, and the time after than. Karen's husband has offered a perfect solution that very much adjusts for that reality.
In short, she's one lucky woman and should take the deal; if she chooses to be a one-man woman, let her actions speak - and not her untrustable promises.