Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Sexually Curious Bride” Responds (for a third time)

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today, we hear from “Sexually Curious Bride” who first wrote in worried about how her soon-to-be-husband had a much lower sex drive that she. She wondered if she should discuss her desire to possibly open their relationship at some point or just hope that desire went away on its own. She updated us twice before (first here, and then here). In her most recent update, written last July, she said that her fiancé was willing to have an open marriage if it made her happy. She has now been married for a few months and has a third update for us.

So, I said last time that it would be my last update. But it’s been a while, and I thought I’d let you know how things are going. We’ve been married for just about 6 months now, and I have begun acting on our open relationship. I was really nervous at first. There was a part of me that was afraid he wasn’t really okay with it, but at some point I realized that I need to trust his word and trust that he’ll tell me if there’s a problem. Still, we talked about it a lot before I acted on anything. We lay down ground rules, boundaries, and expectations. We talked about every pitfall we could possibly think of, and I made sure he knew that he has complete control over things (as far as asking me not to see certain people anymore, or closing the relationship completely if it’s coming between us).

Anything could happen in the future, but so far (it’s been a couple months) everything is going really well, and I would describe our married life as downright blissful. We have a once-a-week “no electronics” night where we just talk to each other without any distractions (well, we usually play board games actually). Any small issues that we have come up then so that nothing becomes huge or unmanageable.

I’m happy that I can have my own needs met and continue to live an honest life. He’s happy because there’s no pressure on him to keep up with me and he doesn’t have to worry that I’m straying because all of the details are right at his fingertips.

I’d say, if anything, having an open marriage has actually improved our own sex life. The majority of my time and attention and energy are spent on work and friends and being a good wife to him, but having the freedom to step out occasionally is pretty awesome. I feel so blessed to have such an incredible man in my life. I never imagined being able to love anyone as much as I love him.

Thank you Wendy, and DW community, for helping me get through this. Seriously, you guys rock.

 
Thanks for the update! I’m happy everything is working out so well for you. Best of luck in the future.

***************

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at wendy@dearwendy.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

You can follow me on Facebook here and sign up for my weekly newsletter here.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

36 comments… add one
  • avatar

    lets_be_honest April 22, 2013, 1:27 pm

    Love the no electronics night.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      GatorGirl April 22, 2013, 1:31 pm

      I think we might need to start that in our house. We already have the tv free bedroom, but one night a week with no phone/tv/internet sounds lovely.

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      bethany April 22, 2013, 1:47 pm

      I think we might need to start that, too. When we have dinner out in the sunroom, we usually sit out there without or phones for a while and just hang out, which is really nice. But if we’re inside, forget it. It’s TV, WWF, FB, whatever, all night.

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      ktfran April 22, 2013, 1:51 pm

      I live by myself and I refuse to look at or answer my phone while making and eating dinner. I’ve had that rule with boyfriends too.

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      Boosker April 22, 2013, 10:48 pm

      I like the no electronics night in theory, but I also might die. Any time my internet cuts out for more than 5 minutes, I get the freak-out sweats. I might have a problem.

      Reply Link
  • CatsMeow

    CatsMeow April 22, 2013, 2:11 pm

    I am totally OK with multiple updates.

    Reply Link
  • Alena

    Alena April 22, 2013, 2:11 pm

    Initially I was wondering if something had changed, or something dramatic happened, and that’s why we were getting an update.

    Nope, things are going nice and smoothly. How dull, LW! Not giving us drama, how rude!

    In all seriousness, I hope in the future you update us again, just to tell us that things are going just as swimmingly, even a few years into your marriage. 🙂

    Reply Link
  • AKchic_

    AKchic_ April 22, 2013, 1:21 pm

    Good for you. I hope that you can continue down this path happily and without complications.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Amanda April 22, 2013, 2:41 pm

    Awesome update! LW, don’t hold back on future updates; we like to hear from you 🙂

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    j2 April 22, 2013, 4:04 pm

    I keep hoping for an update on the one where “we” were so concerned that multiple posters asked Wendy if she were doing something in the meanwhile (she posted that she was).

    Reply Link
    • Classic

      Classic April 22, 2013, 10:59 pm

      That one stays on my mind, too.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    Older and (hopefully) wiser April 22, 2013, 5:09 pm

    Since you’re already married, what can we say? A man with an extremely low sex drive and lack of jealousy over other men touching his woman may not be producing enough testosterone. I’d make sure he has a complete physical.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      MissDemeter April 23, 2013, 7:16 am

      This is not always true, my husband and I are poly(completely open, we have full relationships with other people) and his sex drive is lower than mine(mine is very high) and he’s hardly ever jealous of the men I’m with, but his testosterone levels are normal. I don’t see how lack of jealousy = low testosterone. My husband and I hardly ever feel jealous of the other people in our lives, and when we do, we figure out why we’re feeling jealous and work thru it.

      Reply Link
    • katie

      katie April 23, 2013, 7:50 am

      yea, i feel like this is an almost offensive, men = cavemen beating others with a stick over the females of the tribe thought process…

      of course a man can be healthy and functioning and have a low sex drive and be ok with a poly relationship.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    sarita_f April 22, 2013, 5:30 pm

    Awesome updated LW! Glad things are going smoothly so far and it sounds like your ability to communicate as a couple will be very helpful in navigating this. You may want to pick up the book “Sex at Dawn” and have a read. I actually just started “Sex at Dusk” which seeks to refute many of the conclusions the SADawn author came to.

    Best of luck!

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    tbrucemom April 22, 2013, 5:45 pm

    OK I guess I’m just an old fart but I’ll never understand open marriages. If you want to sleep with more than one person, why even get married? I don’t have a problem with people who don’t want to practice monogamy if they’re not married or seriously committed, but it sounds like the LW wants her cake and eat it too. I totally agree that something’s up that the husband’s sex drive is that low and he’s not jealous about another man fucking his wife, even if it’s not behind his back. I’d get him checked out pronto if he was my husband, but maybe then they’d be able to get him on track and the LW wouldn’t be able to screw around.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Desiree April 22, 2013, 6:30 pm

      I could see an open marriage lasting for a period of time, but I have trouble envisioning it continuing in a happy and stable fashion for decades. All of my friends who practice polyamory have eventually ended their polyamory or ended their primary relationship. Maybe other people have seen this work successfully for a long time?

      Reply Link
      • fast eddie

        fast eddie April 22, 2013, 7:18 pm

        I haven’t seen or heard of any monogamous marriages being continually stable for multiple decades.

        Link
    • fast eddie

      fast eddie April 22, 2013, 7:05 pm

      Your being sanctimonious tb. Back in the swinging 70s (I miss those days) several of my friends had very happy and successful open marriages. It all boils down to trusting your spouse enough let him or her go have fun and come back to you for love and commitment among other valid reasons for being married. I submit that having an open marriage is better then remaining monogamous and unfulfilled emotional, physically, intellectually or anything else.

      Reply Link
      • Classic

        Classic April 23, 2013, 12:13 am

        She is not being “sanctimonious”, she is being honest. I appreciate that. And I am not being sanctimonious.

        Link
      • avatar

        Ammie April 23, 2013, 12:36 am

        They aren’t mutually exclusive, though. A fair number of older folks I know are sanctimonious about how other people live their lives, and they’re not lying about feeling that way. They are, quite honestly and sincerely, sanctimonious.

        In this case, I think fast eddie’s right. None of us are the arbiters of what makes a marriage. Two people in love have every right to define the terms of their relationship in the way that works best for them.

        Link
      • Classic

        Classic April 23, 2013, 12:53 am

        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sanctimonious

        Sanctimonious means “hypocritically pious or devout”.
        Honest means “Free of deceit and untruthfulness; sincere”

        I maintain that she is not sanctimonious.

        Link
      • Lindsay

        Lindsay April 23, 2013, 1:15 am

        Agreed. A person can express an opinion without being sanctimonious. If she is, then anybody who is expressing the opposite viewpoint would be also.

        Link
      • avatar

        Ammie April 23, 2013, 7:53 am

        And I maintain that she is sanctimonious.

        Link
      • avatar

        MissDemeter April 23, 2013, 7:28 am

        fast eddie, I agree with you. I’m young and in a new marriage that’s poly, and I’m hoping that we stand the test of time. I feel that we will considering that our relationship is stronger and more open than most of the monogamous ones I know.

        Link
    • avatar

      Sasa April 23, 2013, 8:42 am

      You can have your cake and eat it too if you keep on baking…
      But no, seriously. You’re assuming that wanting to sleep with more than one person = not wanting to be committed or in a serious relationship. But the two do not exclude each other. It’s perfectly possible for people to have a serious, committed, open relationship.
      There are men who have low sex drives, just as there are women who have low sex drives. Some people are jealous, others aren’t. You don’t have to understand it in order to respect it.

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 23, 2013, 12:31 pm

        Its very difficult to wrap your head around that though. I know it was for me, prior to DW. For many people, and obviously tbruce, it just doesn’t make sense to them. Marriage equals two people only and the idea of adding others to that is bizarre to some. I don’t think its judgmental. I think its just confusion.

        Link
      • avatar

        bcamber April 23, 2013, 12:39 pm

        Agree.

        Link
      • avatar

        Sasa April 23, 2013, 3:28 pm

        I agree it’s not necessarily meant to be judgmental, but the phrase “I just don’t understand X behavior” IS often said with judgmental undertones so it’s pretty hard to tell if it’s not meant that way. I just had to point out that linking the desire to be in a serious relationship with one’s preferred number of sex partners is not sound reasoning. You could have a serious relationship with one person, and some casual flings on the side, or even more than one serious relationship at once. I understand being baffled by this possibility though. It’s very much cultural mainstream to link serious relationships with sexual exclusiveness. It’s hard to think otherwise, for me as well. I don’t think it’s because other models “don’t make sense”, but because we’re all culturally conditioned to be monogamous, or at least to strive for it.

        Link
      • avatar

        Ammie April 23, 2013, 8:05 pm

        It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that it’s just confusion when it’s phrased thusly:

        “I don’t have a problem with people who don’t want to practice monogamy if they’re not married or seriously committed”

        Implied: I do have a problem with people who don’t practice monogamy if they’re married/seriously committed.

        “but it sounds like the LW wants her cake and eat it too.”

        Not a positive idiom; one implying greed and selfishness.

        Really, those two things are what come off as judgmental. These two people have decided on a lifestyle that pleases them both and doesn’t hurt anyone else. Sounds to me like they’re doing better than a lot of folks.

        Link
      • avatar

        Sasa April 24, 2013, 5:14 am

        I agree with your analysis regarding this particular case. It’s not really confusion, but in SOME cases it’s not really judgmental either (I think in this particular case it is judgmental), but more something like “being honestly baffled by a non-culturally mainstream way of doing things”. Cultural norms do structure our lives to a certain degree and they give security. Like, in relationships they reduce the amount of complexity because you can follow the monogamy rules and feel safe. I think it’s often also limiting because some problem-solving strategies – like the one the LW and her husband sought out – are excluded for no good reason. I do commend people who question the monogamy mainstream, but I also have a certain amount of understanding for people who are so deep in the mainstream that they dont’ get it at first sight. I’ll add that there are also many people for whom it’s simply best to be monogamous, maybe even a majority. That makes it hard for the non-monomamy-inclined to be understood.

        Link
  • avatar

    snarkymarc April 22, 2013, 6:55 pm

    I wonder what it is like being married to Sheldon Cooper?

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Rouge April 23, 2013, 12:25 pm

    LOL you made me spit my food with this Big Bang Theory reference!

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Rouge April 23, 2013, 12:26 pm

      That was for snarkymarc comment.

      Reply Link
  • CatsMeow

    CatsMeow April 23, 2013, 12:55 pm

    I’m kinda peeved at the idea that since a man has a lower sex drive than – gasp! – a woman and isn’t possessive/jealous then there must be something physically wrong with him. Really? That’s incredibly sexist toward men. And another thing – I’m of the mindset that whatever consenting adults do in the bedroom is their business, whether they’re married or partnered or complete freaking strangers.

    Reply Link
  • Stonegypsy

    LW April 23, 2013, 2:05 pm

    For the record, we actually did get him a couple physicals and had his testosterone tested twice. It’s on the low side, but within normal range. This is just the way his body works.

    Reply Link

Leave a Comment