JJ23 wrote: “Hi Liz! My wife and I have been married for 20 years. She is my best friend and we seem to grow closer with every passing year, in most areas. I consider myself a Hotwifer and have had the desires of such even when dating in my late teens. After many discussions and sharing my fantasies with her, later in our marriage, we eased into trying a few things. We even attended a few swinger events even though my desire is not toward other women.
My problem is that she tells me she doesn’t want to engage in that activity anymore. I know my wife and I’m confident most of the encounters with other men (and women for her) turned her on, so why doesn’t she just let go and explore our sexuality? She does admit that she must temporarily disengage her feelings for me when with another but I’m ok with that! I know the strength of our marriage and love for each other. I also know no one could ever take my place in her heart. I’ve done so much research on the matter and I know most professionals would tell me “Hey, she tried it and doesn’t like it, if you love her you’ll let this go.” I simply can’t let it go. We have a great sex life and I can function without this but knowing our sex life will not “progress” is disheartening. I’ve tried and I can’t just forget about it but I feel dirty talking to her about it anymore. It feels to me that one must sacrifice and that one is me. I almost, secretly, resent her for it. Sorry, I vented a little bit there. My question is, is there a method to loosening her up to be more sexually adventurous? I’m in, no matter how long it takes.”
Liz says: This is tough, I feel for you. On one hand, you love your wife but on the other hand, this world is something you enjoy far more than she does and it feels like a major compromise to stop participating only because she doesn’t want to anymore.
She explained to you that she must “temporarily disengage her feelings” for you when having sex with others. This means she has to dissociate to some degree, mentally and emotionally step outside her real self to satisfy a role. It may have turned her on, but it required giving something of herself that has seemingly (over time) made her feel disconnected to you or disconnected to herself. In other words, what she’s responding to is an instinct to protect herself and what you two have with each other.
Imagine, if you will, she had a fetish or desire to participate sexually in something that wasn’t really your thing but you’re an open-minded person and you want to make her happy so you explore it with her. While participating you discover it’s not something that does it for you or it actually disturbs you, do you continue anyway? Do you think you’d begin to resent her for pressuring you to continue if you said you didn’t want to anymore?
You say “we have a great sex life and I can function without this” right after saying you “can’t let it go”. Those two statements contradict each other. If you don’t need to swing or be cuckolded, then why can’t you let it go? Maybe you do feel like you “need” it but have a difficult time acknowledging this to yourself? Or maybe you don’t need it since you were happily married for quite some time before exploring your fetish with her?
You should be thanking your lucky stars you have a wife who was open to trying it with you in the first place! She doesn’t seem like someone who needs to be “loosened up” to be more sexually adventurous. However, there has got to be some sort of happy medium that you two can work out. Start that conversation with her again, admitting your feelings of resentment and asking if she’s been resenting you as well. Open up that dialogue with total honesty–that’s the only way you both can go forward in a healthy way. Burying your feelings will only make things worse, because resentment often turns into contempt and contempt often leads to divorce.
You don’t mention how often you participated in these activities, maybe your wife would enjoy it more if you were doing it only once or twice a year? Maybe she’s afraid (reasonably) that this world opens up more chances for one of you to fall in love with someone else? Maybe she had little or no say in who was chosen to participate, and giving her more control would make her enjoy it more? Perhaps you could incorporate your fantasies in the bedroom, in a way that satisfies your fetish, by pretending you’re watching another man with her or something like that. There are all sorts of ways in which you both could end up happy with new rules.
But if in the end she makes it clear she never wants to cuckold you or swing ever again, you have to decide to respect that because her needs are as important as yours.