Dr. West

Afterwards, Things

Are Never the Same

Rewritten email from a husband

We tried the hotwife thing, and although we were able to avoid major blowup based on jealousy or whatever, it has damaged our marriage in subtle ways -- at least from my perspective

Bypassing all the issues we had to go through to keep things on track, as I look back on things, I have to conclude that opening the door to this was a mistake.

First, the fantasy thing that so many men seem to be caught up in dissolves and you are left to deal with some stark realities.

For one thing with sex a kind of bond is formed, especially with women, that's just the way humans are programmed.

Even though I've tried to factor out jealousy -- I think I learned to deal with that after a while -- the once close relationship my wife and I had has been damaged in subtle ways.

" It's hard to describe, other than we are not as special to each other as we once were."

Although she never flaunts the experiences she has with others, which I know in many cases go beyond what we do together, there have to be comparisons.

And I'll admit some of the women I've been with were better lovers than my wife, at least in purely physical ways.

I've thought a lot about it and I think the lure of this comes down to something that is new and exciting, but that passes after a while.

What doesn't pass -- or at least shouldn't -- is the special relationship you can have with a special person.

Dr. West replies:

I couldn't agree with you more, and if you can keep that special relationship intact, then never do anything to threaten it.

But, for a variety or reasons many couples lose that, and rather than jettison the original relationship, especially if children are involved, many couples stay together and open their marriages, at least temporarily.

Sometimes they discover "the grass isn't greener" elsewhere and they again try to make a go of the original relationship -- which is something that's almost impossible after a rancorous divorce.

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