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Swinging in a Marriage: Good Idea or Bad?

Dear Eve,

Is it “normal” for your husband, age 54, married 24 years, with two children together, to start wanting you to have sex with other men? He wants to be involved, too. I am not comfortable with this. I have told him this, but he keeps insisting. Please send me your feelings and advice. Thank you very much!

Aloha,

First of all, let’s address “normal.” When it comes to sexuality, I am not sure there is anything such thing as “normal.” People seem to do all sorts of things that seem “abnormal” and find a whole lot of other people to do it with. So what constitutes normal? What may be normal to one person may be an absolute horror to another. Consequently, we all must check in with ourselves to see if behavior is appropriate, or “normal,” for us to participate in. We have to determine these choices for ourselves, based on our own values, comforts, interests, and morals.

If you haven’t had a meaningful conversation with him, I suggest you ask some of the following questions: Why after all these years did this suddenly come up? Has he told you? Clearly I could be wrong but most of the heterosexual men I have talked to who were interested in threesomes where usually pushing for another woman to be involved. Have you inquired as to whether he wants to be with a man himself? Is there a specific man he has in mind or is it any man?  Is he trying to assuage guilt over an affair by having you involved with another man or is he trying to make an affair with a man for him acceptable within his marriage by doing it with you? Does he have erectile dysfunction and is concerned about your satisfaction? Or does he just think it would be hot to watch you with another man, suddenly, after all these years?

While most of us want our partner to be sexually satisfied, changing the “game plan” umpteen years into the game is pretty tough to manage. I have seen the fantasy of threesomes or swinging backfire on “normal” couples time after time. So, let’s play out the possible potential scenarios to help you make a decision. Consider the following possible outcomes of the choice to participate. Ask yourself—and your husband— what the “happy outcome” is that you are after and if you both are prepared to deal with the following potential outcomes instead:

1) You like being with the other man and your husband gets insanely jealous. Imagine how your relationship may change when he is questioning you all the time and insecure that the other man was “better” than him.

2) Since for women sex tends to generate feelings imagine that you start to fall in love with the other man. How will that impact your life?

3) You don’t like being with another man and your husband does. If your husband is bisexual or gay, a lot more may need to be discussed than a threesome.

4) Your husband’s obsession does not diminish and now he wants you to have sex with a lot of different men. Where do you draw the line?

5) Once you agree and participate, your husband then suggests a threesome with another woman. How are you going to feel about that?

6) If you don’t participate, is your husband going to seek his sexual desires elsewhere? How are the two of you going to handle that?

7)  You both like the new swinging lifestyle and want more. How will this impact your relationship and your family?

8) You get pregnant and don’t know if the child is yours or another man’s.

9)  You get a sexually transmitted disease.

While there are many couples that are totally comfortable with a “swinging” lifestyle, it is not a choice that is wise for everyone. The number one indicator that this is not “normal” for you is that you don’t want to do it. Hence, I would suggest you listen to your own wisdom on this, no one else’s.

I wish you the best.
With aloha,
Eve

Intellectual Foreplay Question: When it comes to sexuality, what is normal for you?

Eve’s Love Tip: Bottom line, no matter who you go to bed with, you will wake up with yourself and have to live with yourself.


Eve Hogan

Eve Eschner Hogan is a relationship specialist, and author of several books including The EROS Equation: A SOUL-ution for Relationships. In Real Love with Eve, she shares skills, principles, and tools for creating healthy, harmonious relationships—with friends, family, lovers, co-workers, and the world at large. Her uncommon approach to common sense will help you sail away from ego battles and into the calmer waters of real love. Learn more about Eve's Heart Path retreats at sacredmauiretreats.com. She is the author of Way of the Winding Path: A Map for the Labyrinth of Life.

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