OP: 5 years in... find myself having straying thoughts

This is rather difficult for me to post, but I'll give it a shot, as much to get the thoughts out of my head onto another medium in order to process them, as to get any advice anyone would be willing to offer.

I have been married for three years now, after dating my wife for two years. I love my wife, and as is obvious from having proposed to her, want to spend my life with her.

But.....lately, I've been wondering what it'd be like to be single again. Or more exactly what it'd be like to be with other women. I had a pretty innocent college life, with one long relationship (with terrible sex) and a couple of flings before meeting my wife and becoming monogamous. Before I married, I kind of put sex on a pedestal, making it seem like some difficult feat, which meant it was difficult for me to hook up with women. But somehow lately, my observations are telling me it is likely much easier than I was making it out to be, between watching my friends hook up with whoever they're hooking up with, or because of women flirting with me when I'm out without my better half. I don't want to say I regret getting married, but my mind wandering to thoughts of "what would it be like to be with her?" or "I wonder what her body would feel like pressed against mine?" make me regret the way I spent my time when I was single. I'm far from acting on any of these thoughts, but I feel like that's not enough. I feel like these thoughts alone are unfaithful and unfair to my wife.

And at this point I am so lost on the matter I'm not even sure what I want to ask about it. I'd like to ask "how do I stop myself?" but that's not quite right, and at the same time I want to ask "how do I ethically explore these feelings further?" which is going the exact opposite direction. Life with my wife is beyond great, but I still have these curiosities.

Jerry Wylder

Posted: 06 Oct 07:55


You are normal. Many men have these thoughts. It doesn't really mean anything as it is just your hormones talking. The real question here is: are you man enough to say no?

The truth is you really do not know your wife yet. You may think you do but - no, you don't. There is so much more for you to learn about her: who she is, what she wants, what she desires and until you have discovered all of that - she will have matured further. The lady is a moving target.

If you stray without her specific permission and active participation - she will feel betrayed and you will have demeaned yourself.

so, which is it to be?

1. open, honest talk with your wife
2. straying and becoming a rutting beast
3. saying no and remaining a monogamous man

Several books to guide you The Ethical Slut and Sex at Dawn.


Posted: 06 Oct 07:55

Thanks, EEK, you definitely have a way of putting a wise perspective on a subject.

I gained a little strength this evening that had been missing for a while. I think at this point, 3. is the answer, but I also need to discuss with her my feelings. At the same time I do that, I need to reassure her that they'll remain only feelings.

I probably do not know my wife completely, but I do know her well enough to know she is for 100% monogamy. This opinion came out when discussing a problem I have with porn, when she found it unfathomable to think I'd be able to look at another woman in a sexual way and still feel strongly about her. "She only has eyes for me," as the old saying goes, in that I am the object of her every fantasy. This coming from her during our conversation, not me speculating. It's not a lie, but it very well could not be true, even if she believes it fully. Daring to get more personal than I should, she doesn't read romance novels, she rarely, if ever masturbates - it doesn't give her the emotional satisfaction of being with me - and any other action on her part leads me to believe she really doesn't think of other men one bit. And I'm not saying this because it would bother me if she did, it is simply summing up what I can tell of her feelings. Now, talking to her about my feelings discussed in this thread may reveal this to be untrue, but that would surprise me.

I don't know my wife well, that is probably true. What is more true is that I don't even know myself. From a young age, I chased a tunnel vision dream of meeting "The One," falling in love and being with her forever. If anyone could ever be classified as "The One" my wife is definitely it. But my tunnel vision blinded me to what else was out there. I couldn't know who was the one, so I approached every girl I longed for as that one. Not only did it blind me, it made me a very jealous person, for fear of losing the one to anyone else.

It's also what stops me from approaching my wife with my current feelings, as I am afraid of what I will find behind that door when I open it. Will it create that unmendable crack in our relationship if she knows I can't look at her as the only one out there? Or even worse, what if she has developed similar feelings and does want to be open? Would I be able to handle that? It's a scary door to open.

I could go on. My head is swimming with thoughts, but there are so many, of so many varieties, that I have to stop, or this will turn into a novel. For now, I'll write the thoughts down elsewhere, and if they still fit into the conversation, I will inject them.

Jerry Wylder

Posted: 06 Oct 07:55

Everyone has these fantasies - man and woman. Some more commonly and some, less, but they are part of the human condition regardless of prior to marriage sexual experience. Do not feel guilty about the thoughts; that will only make them obsessions. A good sex life requires a balance of the sexual desires of the two of you and your comments indicate that your wife is a bit restricted in her openness about sex and, I assure you, she, too, has some wandering thoughts or curiousity.

It sounds as though talking about sex has given the two of you some problem but it is important to get this stuff out. For you to simply say that your mind is wandering could be very dangerous to your relationship. The entire topic of sex needs be discussed to establish context. Perhaps the two of you seeking some counselling would be helpful. You both seem quite typical and most counselors could you assist you rather easily and quickly.


Posted: 06 Oct 07:56

As much as I enjoy sex, even I have to admit "it ain't everything" and I would NOT recommend doing that silly sacrifice of a good current relationship for the, no doubt, dubious, joys of a new one. Yes, novelty and variety are nice to have and very invigorating - for both genders - but not at the cost of the person you SAID you loved.

No one completely knows another person nor every facet of that other's desires but by being 'there' and by 'inviting' him/her to reveal those hidden facets - hey, there's your variety and novelty right there! Seek and, maybe, ye shall find?


Posted: 06 Oct 07:56

> I love my wife, and as is obvious from having proposed to her, want to spend my life with her.

> I've been wondering...what it'd be like to be with other women.

> I'm far from acting on any of these thoughts, but I feel like that's not enough. I feel like these thoughts alone are unfaithful and unfair to my wife.

1. What if the tables were turned and it was your wife who wrote this story instead of you?

2. What would be your reaction should she follow thru and have an affair?

3. Each of us, man and woman, is entitled to a healthy fantasy or two. As long as you do not act upon these "what if's", no harm no foul.

If you do want to act on them, then why not do some roll playing with your wife? Ask her to play the part of the other woman in your fantasy for the night.

> It's a scary door to open.

Please ask yourself "of what benefit is it for her to know....."? Not all doors need opening. On the other hand, I agree with Brandye and suggest you look into a short counseling session.

> If anyone could ever be classified as "The One" my wife is definitely it. But my tunnel vision blinded me to what else was out there. I couldn't know who was the one, so I approached every girl I longed for as that one. Not only did it blind me, it made me a very jealous person, for fear of losing the one to anyone else

To every single guy out there who is also reading this thread:

Such is the nature of dating and how people should go about the process, and, why several of us recommend dating lots of people and not stopping with the first warm body who expresses an interest--even though s/he may eventually prove to be "The One".

"Jealousy" is is in the brain of the beholder, not expected/anticipated actions of the other person. Unless and until your partner gives you reason to be jealous by his/her actions, then of what good purpose is it to worry about something that has yet to happen. Jealousy is the product of a person's lack of trust in someone else. Jealousy is also the product of (my} low self worth.

As Dr. Phil often states: "What I fear I create". That said, why not "wake up every morning and ask yourself 'what can I do today to make her/his life better'?" Then do it.


Posted: 06 Oct 07:56

Let's look at the 'worst case scenario' here.

You stray, end up divorced, and then you marry the woman with whom you strayed - only to find in another 3 years that once again your mind is straying. Repeat.

This is known as "serial monogamy" where one goes from blonde to blonde as a mountain goat leaps from crag to crag. (ty P. G. Wodehouse)

What you have done, gentlemen, is to mistake lust (short term) for love (long term). Usually the only criteria for these 'other women' is that they're NOT your wife. As you age, you will find, unless you gain serious wealth, the quality of subsequent wives decreases and you end up looking like a fool who traded-in a Lambo for a Yugo. (This is the worst case remember.)

Why we recommend dating several 'possibles' SIMULTANEOUSLY, and may the best of the bunch win, is so you DON'T find yourself in this position. The endless search for "true love" or your "soulmate" - trying to recapture your irretreivable youth - satisfy some 'need to know what else is out there'.

Some night, go out to an average bar and scope out the sad single men in there vainly trying to chat up the 20-something waitresses in the hopes one will have pity on him. He ignores the pros and is ignored by the cougars. Then there's that creepy old guy to whom no one will talk. THAT'S what is out there. Upscale bars get more attractive people who are doing the same things as above. Tawdry.

All of which makes TALKING with your spouse much less frightening.


Posted: 06 Oct 07:56

humans are not naturally monogamous. The amount of straying that goes on must be massive.

There was a program on British TV when it was said that 30% of kids are not their fathers child - i.e the woman has been straying. (presenter was a gynecologist so I assume he know what he was talking about)

So women, at the fertile part of their period, have an urge to stray, to procreate with an available man.

men have that urge most of the time.

we have this urge to keep the species going.

The love thing, the till death do us part. all that is a social construct. a complex modern society would fall apart with many illegitimate children. So we are all conditioned to be monogamous.

so decision time. are you going with nature or society norms?
remember, one partner means a lifetime friend apart from the sex part.

or do what many do,keep the partner and do sex outside marriage. but thats a high risk strategy.

Posted: 25 Nov 15:28

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