I’m female, 27, and have been in an open relationship with my main partner for four years.
During two years of that time, I’ve also been seeing a married man for a strictly sexual relationship of which my main partner is totally aware and he participates in it.
I have no desire for the married man to leave his wife. I don't want anything from him other than what he’s already doing, and don't plan to change the arrangement anytime soon.
While I admit it’s possible for someone to get hurt, it’s most certainly not going to be me.
I have a few friends who know about my situation. While they’re all monogamous, they enjoy asking me questions and getting tidbits of racy details about my alternative
Not A Problem
Great, it’s no problem for you and your “Mr. Main,” nor your titillated friends. No one knows of course whether it’s a problem for Mr. Married’s wife (unless she participates too but you forgot to mention it).
The good news is that you won’t get hurt. So you didn’t ask for advice and I won’t give any to you.
To everyone else: Open relationships work for those who are open and eager for a racy lifestyle. However, they rarely worry about collateral damage to others connected to them or their participants. So, for those who aren’t that “open,” choose a partner who isn’t either.
My husband has a very good 15-year friendship with a nice, kind, co-worker. We invite him and his family over yearly, and they’re always giving and helpful.
I recently became friends with the wife. She's hardworking, kind, caring, adventurous, and smart. When we meet for lunch (monthly), it's 60% fun and 40% stressful.
She complains about her husband, her son, and her lack of exercise. Her husband’s 100 pounds overweight. She says he eats too much and the wrong things, he's not romantic, nor affectionate, she has trouble talking to him and he doesn't like her family (who live in another country).
She regrets that she married him after less than six months of dating. She spoils her kids, especially her youngest.
I like her and her family but I find her whining and complaining a pain, especially now when I'm looking for work full-time and taking care of my husband and young son.
She wants to have lunch with me again, but I don't know how to handle her. She's almost 10 years older than me and never asks me for advice or suggestions. What do you advise?
Friend of a Complainer
Turn the conversation away from its usual course. Tell her you want to draw on her longer experience, and ask for some ideas regarding your job search.
If she starts making whiny comparisons to her own life, say gently, “Hey. I need to be optimistic here; just tell me the good things I should be doing.”
When that course of chat gets tired, talk about positive things you two may have interest in… books, movies, TV shows, events happening in town. Turn some of those lunches into an occasional outing as girls’ night out to take in something you’d both enjoy (less time for her personal complaints).
If the get-togethers keep reverting back to whine sessions from her, get “busy” with your job search and hopefully with whatever work you find.
An annual or twice-yearly dinner get-together of the whole family may be the best way for this friendship to continue without offending anyone.
My brother’s been a high-placed executive. But his job ended when the company was sold and new replacements were brought in.
He has investments and his wife has family money, so the issue isn’t income.
He’s saying he’s depressed, no longer “needed” anywhere, bored, and “too old” to get hired again. He’s 58. How can I help him?
Urge him to see his doctor (in case there’s a health factor) and also deal with his depression. He’ll possibly require medication but should also get referred for therapy.
It’s a new phase and he needs help adjusting. He’s smart and experienced, which means he’d be valuable on community boards, as a mentor in his field, and as a volunteer. He needs a place to go every day where he’ll be appreciated.
He might also enjoy enrolling in an education program he never had time to pursue previously.
Tip of the day:
“Open” relationships are limited, both in who enjoys them, and how long they ultimately last.