Open relationships are becoming more and more common, and honestly, we’re all for it. Everyone should be able to pursue the kind of relationship that works for them, whether that’s monogamous, non-monogamous, or somewhere in between. Before you jump into ethical non-monogamy, though, it’s crucial to really solidify your communication and make sure there’s equal buy-in from all sides of the relationship. And that’s where things can get tricky, especially when – as a new Reddit AITA addresses — the reasoning behind opening the relationship is a little suspect.
Case in point: a woman on Reddit is questioning the rationale behind her husband’s new desire to open up their marriage, especially because it’s following his (relatively recent) career success. She was the breadwinner and supported him for years while he got his business off the ground, and now that it’s taking off, he’s acting differently around her and suddenly considering other options. (Yep, we’re cringing already.)
The OP (aka original poster, in Reddit-speak) doesn’t want to open up their relationship and joined the “Am I the A—hole (AITA)?” subreddit to source outside opinions. As you’d expect, Reddit commenters delivered, and they are not mincing words on this one.
The Start of the Relationship
To fully understand the context of this AITA, let’s go back to when OP and her now-husband started dating. Her husband spent his twenties and early thirties building a business, as he “had a tough time holding down jobs, to the point having a business was the only way he could earn money,” OP says. OP understood the reasons why — controlling supervisors, bad hours, not having the experience or degrees for certain jobs — and accepted being the breadwinner back when they first started dating, 14 years ago. (They’ve been married for eight.)
More context: OP’s husband told her she was only the second serious girlfriend he’d ever had. “When we started dating he was the one always actively trying to pursue me and telling me how lucky he was to have me,” she adds.
His Career Takes Off
Almost a decade and a half later, OP and her husband share two daughters (8 and 5) and her husband’s business has started taking off in the last several years. “I’ve never been anything but supportive,” says OP, who also quit her job to take care of their kids after her husband moved the family to a “nice Connecticut suburb.”
Here’s where things get interesting.
His Behavior Starts… Changing
OP says that for the past few years, her husband has been treating her differently, “like me and our daughters are a source of annoyance.”
How so? Well, her husband goes to a lot of business-related social events, and OP is “increasingly not his date to any of them.” Making things worse is the way he talks about and acts around other women. “[I]f a beautiful girl joins the group it’s game over for me, and I’m excluded from his social interactions from that point forward,” OP says. “He talks to people within earshot about how beautiful this or that woman is. He tells me he’s allowed to find other girls pretty. The final straw was during a company family thing where my daughters and I arrived and my husband ignored us until somebody said hi to us. Then he waved his hand at us like he was bashful of our presence and dismissing us.” The way her husband’s employees act around OP is also making her suspect that he’s been going to events with dates, when he told her he was going alone. UGH.
Time For an Open Relationship?
Now, in couples therapy, OP’s husband is telling her he wants to “test” an open marriage for two years. His rationale? He wants to “explore sexually in a way he was never able to in his 20s. He says while I had the chance to play around when I was young and attractive… he never could.”
OP is not having it. “This is not what we signed up for,” she says. OP’s husband “accused” her of liking the lifestyle he provides and told her to “go carve out my own life instead of complaining.” Her response: “If he has sex it has to be with me or I’m leaving.”
So… who’s the a—hole here? According to Reddit, it’s the husband all the way — and OP should get out now.
“Quietly get a lawyer and live YOUR life with your daughters,” says one commenter.
“Op, please choose yourself,” says the top-rated comment, with 14K upvotes. “He’s probably already testing the open marriage route he just hasn’t told you.”
One issue: OP supported her husband for over a decade years, during which time he apparently had no issues with being monogamous. “You supported him for 14 years and now he thinks that since he has money, he can go buy women that will have him?” one commenter writes. “He would be nobody without all of the support (emotional and financial) you gave him… Don’t let him treat you like a doormat and think very carefully about what example you are setting for your daughters.”
“Nice that he built an empire for himself and now forgot about you,” says another commenter. “It’s time for you to go and give him space to stretch out his wildest dreams that his new money can buy. He seems to have his mind made up and you’re not in that picture at all. Just remember to claim half his empire when you divorce him, take half his equity and demand spousal support for the years you put in. Get as much as you can and build your own empire.”
Other Redditors branded OP’s husband a narcissist and speculated that he may already be cheating. “Get a lawyer and quit going to therapy with him,” one commenter wrote. “He’s going to cheat if he hasn’t already, because he’s already decided that he is entitled to.”
“He’s already cheating,” another Redditor agreed. “He’s asking for an open marriage so he can date her in the open.”
“IMO, the open marriage is just an excuse to keep you as the fall back plan if he can’t find what he would considers an upgrade without her being a gold digger, and he most likely won’t. Get on with your life and best wishes for you and your kids.”
“You are being manipulated for even considering you are the AH here,” a commenter stated. “He’s successful so he figures he can do what other successful men do…sleep around … Totally ungrateful for the years you supported him.”
Reddit’s in agreement on this one, and we think they have it right.
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