I’ve been in a 20-year relationship, considered very good. We’re late-40s and early-50s, and have raised two children.
My wife has expressed the desire to join a swingers’ club. She had many partners before me and says that I’m the best.
Yet now she’s bored and wants to express her "lesbian curious" side. We agree on almost everything else but this.
I absolutely hate the idea. I'm also afraid of STDs. I’m a medical professional and fear being recognized by clients in such a setting.
I do love my wife, I want her happiness, and I want us to stay together.
But I resent being coerced into doing something against my values. I'm afraid that she’ll resent not being able to be free in this regard.
She views this as a more honest alternative to cheating, as we’d be doing it together in the open.
Should I go along and watch her do what she needs to do without participating?
Should I categorically state that I want no part in this lifestyle and let her go alone?
Or risk ending my long and otherwise happy relationship, and accept that it’s run its course.
She says she loves me and has no intention of leaving me.
Be true to yourself - it’s the only way you can live with whatever results.
Do NOT participate in something that goes against your values, and about which you feel so negative.
Tell her she’s an adult and free to explore what she wants, without trying to make you part of it so that she feels no guilt.
Insist that she protect both of you physically against STD’s.
Do not feel “torn” because you want the marriage to last. If she also wants it to last, she should weigh any new experience she tests, against what she knows you two have as a couple regarding love, trust, family connection, and history.
Last year, one of my two older sisters was unexpectedly diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
She was disabled, lived on a very fixed income, and didn’t have any savings. Sadly, she died five weeks after her diagnosis. I coordinated and paid for her memorial service, cremation process, and distributed her ashes.
My oldest sister’s demanding that I “promise” to pay for HER burial too and coordinate it according to her wishes.
She’s not disabled, is currently unemployed, and has made financial demands of me that come across as selfish/bratty entitlements.
She has no health concerns that would warrant immediate concern about her burial.
I feel resentful and angry that she’s demanding that I pay for this expense. I’m not responsible for taking care of her before or after her death, even though our parents are both deceased.
She apparently has no partner or other close relatives.
Her approach is off-putting, but then you two clearly have some history of difficulties with each other.
Suggest that, though she’s well, she prepare a will (can be done without a lawyer) of her burial request. Also, she should list any assets that can be sold (car? furniture?) to pay towards her funeral expenses.
Say you have no desire to make “promises,” but, if you survive her, will make sure she’s buried with dignity.
I’m guessing that, despite your annoyance, and given the decency and respect you showed on behalf of your other sister, it’d be hard for you not to at least assure that your sister’s burial is appropriate.
But you don’t have to commit to specific details, now.
Reader’s Suggestion - For those of us who cannot afford therapy and yet need to understand the consequences of a negative relationship, one very useful book is How to spot a dangerous man before you get involved, by Sandra L. Brown, M.A.
She has over 20 years of experience; the book is quite an eye-opener.
Ellie – The author, a domestic violence counsellor, matches real women’s stories with her research and years of experience in this field.
She describes eight types of dangerous men, gives defense strategies and a Red Alert checklist for each.
But professional counselling is often crucial, to personalize the learning that’s needed to heal yourself, and prevent future unhealthy relationships.
Some community agencies and organizations fighting domestic violence and/or providing safe havens for abused women, can provide or refer to counsellors with fees geared to low incomes, or waived.
Check with your local YWCA, and Abused Women’s organizations for resources.
Tip of the day:
When a partner’s lifestyle-change request clashes with your basic values, stay true to yourself.