What Happens When You Realize Marriage and Monogamy Aren’t For You Anymore?

Originally published at: What Happens When You Realize Marriage and Monogamy Aren’t For You Anymore? - Scarlet Society

Here’s one woman’s story.

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I was hoping to read this article as I feel like I’m stuck in a rut. I have a husband and 2 kids, but I feel unfulfilled as if I’m missing something. Please don’t judge me for what I’m about to say, but I miss the excitement of meeting someone new and connecting with them. I miss the chase and all the new firsts.

I’m not proud of it but I wasn’t always loyal to my husband in the beginning because honestly, he’s my “safe bet”. I knew he would be a great dad, but there were others that definitely I had better chemistry with and he’s a nice guy. After a while, I got tired of the secrets and just gave up that part of me. But I feel like I settled and I guess I’m wondering if maybe marriage isn’t for me?

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Wow, thanks for sharing. I was unable to read the article, perhaps there is any issue with the link because it is an older post?
Not everyone is cut out for monogamous relationships. Just like sexuality, all of these things are personal, and unique to each person I think. It is not simple, or black and white. Often, I think people pick a path that they feel is socially acceptable, it is hard. We’re conditioned DEEPLY by so many influences, and societal constructs. We also don’t always figure things out at one point in life, learning who we are and what we want is an ongoing process, and we grow and change as people.
I cannot say I relate to this specific topic, because I married later in life, and feel I married someone who I still find new ways to enjoy new experiences with. That said, of course it is not the same as when we first met and dated, certain aspects become less exciting. Overall, for me, I feel like I picked someone that I can enjoy the rest of my life with. I have always been someone who enjoys monogamy, but, I can say that in the past when I was not with the right person, I felt like I was missing out. For me, it is being with the right person for me, that makes me want to remain in one relationship. In my previous relationship, I actually cut all ties with my current husband, because when we were around each other we could not keep our hands off each other! I knew I was risking hurting my X if I spent any time with this person, it was too tempting. Well, that asshole cheated on me, I dumped his ass after almost 4 years, and this person asked me out right after. We have been together for almost 10 years now, so it goes to show that for me, it is about the person, and how they keep me engaged and happy.
Lastly, I think we lose OURSELVES in relationships, even good ones. I think it is really important to take a step back and take time for ourselves, to be connected to who we are and our own pleasures. I found myself missing hobbies, and trying new things, and feeling stuck in routine. I’m slowly getting back into making time to reconnect with who I am now, exploring new things that make me happy, learning new things, because I need to feel like a whole person and be connection to who I am-without my partner. That has been a game changer, putting myself first for a while. Getting healthier, doing things I enjoy by myself without him or with friends more, rather than focusing time on what we both enjoy all the time. He doesn’t like hiking because his work is physically exhausting, so I go with my friends, or alone. He doesn’t like horror movies, so I watch them with my spooky sister (friend). He doesn’t watch Drag Race, so I watch it alone, and go to shows with friends who love them.
In my opinion, not knowing you at all, I suggest therapy. Alone first, then couples maybe, or right to couples? It is very possible that this IS the right person for you, and if they knew how you felt, they would want to work to snap out of this rut. If not, that will be very clear. EVERYONE deserves to be happy, so do not settle, but would not give up just yet either.
Does anyone have any helpful resources to recommend on this topic?

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Welcome to Scarlet and thanks for making your first post. No judgement here whatsoever. We are here to discuss all topics, some things may be harder to talk about than others but we are all about making this a safe space.

I think a lot of people go through the same type of feelings and thoughts as you - especially those who married younger or a long time ago.

I’m going to look into the article link and get back to you though! Sorry about that.

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Thanks for spotting the missing link. Let me check and get back to you and see if the article has been published or not.

Great point about sometimes how we can lose our own identify in a relationship - whether that’s a marriage or motherhood. I’ve always felt one key to a happy relationship is to make sure each individual is happy and strong on their own and not needing the relationship in order to survive. Co-dependency can be an unhealthy thing.

Every relationship s different and I know we have certainly had our ups and downs but never to the point where I felt I made the wrong choice. We’ve had to work through our issues but also the desire to work through them needs to be there or else it’s just one person wanting to make change and the other unwilling.

Thank you so much @ModLila and @PinkEdiVan for your thoughts and kind words. A lot of my ex-friends who are still single (we are in our mid 30s) have looked down on me and think I’m a terrible person so I’ve had to hide my feelings over the years. It’s very hard for them to relate.

I’ve definitely lost a lot of myself as I love my kids but I never wanted them. I had them to keep my husband happy and we’ve been in therapy for a couple years now with no resolution but I’m just not sure of what I want to do. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in my feelings.

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You’re not alone! The more we share and discuss these topics, the more we can remove stigma around our feelings and experiences.

I checked in with the editors and the article required some edits so it will be back up soon. Once it’s up I’ll let everyone know.

Hey, thanks for sharing and don’t ever feel judged here, this is a safe sacred space to share! The article will go back up shortly. I definitely should not have gotten married, looking back in hindsight. But, hindsight is 20/20 and I have 3 incredible, beautiful children. I tried non monogamy but it didn’t work and I wasn’t living my truest, most authentic life. I turned my life upside down about 2 years ago. We filed for divorce, he moved to a different state, we worked out custody with the kids, and I threw myself headfirst into exploring who I wanted to be in the second half of life and what I wanted it to look like. I can truly honestly say that I feel so aligned to my core of who I am and I am living my absolute best life. It wasn’t without road bumps and some heartache, but I can’t imagine a better situation. My ex and I are still good friends, great co-parents and I feel lucky that I did choose the best person to procreate with. I’ve had the opportunity to explore sexuality and differently non-traditional relationships. I’m dating an amazing man now when I truly thought 2 years ago that I’d never be in a serious relationship again in my life. I feel grateful that I had this opportunity to explore and redefine my life now rather than when I’m 60. Everyone’s journey is their own. I wish you all the magic in the world as you go down your path. I thought that the book The Way Of Integrity by Martha Beck was a great one. When you aren’t aligned in your truth, no matter how much you try to make it work, your world, your body, your health… everything will let you know//

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By the way, this article is back up now!

Thank you so much! The article helped ease some of my fears. I’m definitely not looking for an open marriage but I’m hugely worried about rocking the boat with my husband. He’s a great dad but he’s definitely not the love of my life. We also married really young right after college. Therapy has been going on for a couple years and I’m still not sure if I should be married. I’m worried about the next stage if I ask for a divorce as I do live a very good comfortable life currently but it feels safe (just as my friends have told me for years that I took the easy way out and settled)…what happens to my kids, what happens if I meet someone else or what happens if he meets someone else, and then what happens to our kids with these new people? Will my kids hate me? How will I feel about my husband dating someone new? How would I date again (I’m only 35)? Would my husband and I still get along? Or should I just not rock the boat and continue to be married? I’ve asked for a trial separation but my husband says he is not open to the idea at all. I just wish I had a magic 8 ball with answers or I wish I had more married girlfriends.

Those are all very valid questions and difficult ones for sure. Have you been going to couples counselling or therapy together or is it separately? Or just on your own? Has it been helpful in determining what is it that you both want and need and whether those can be met mutually? Does he actively work on the marriage or is he turning a blind eye to your dissatisfactions? Are you ready to hand in the towel or are there ways you think to make this marriage still work without compromising yourself?

I am married with children and I would definitely share in your concerns in all of those questions if I ever were to think about separation. As @JADE pointed out, there are couples who remain good friends and separate amicably and there are of course the flip side of that which is incredibly damaging to children. However if he can’t even talk about a trial separation or acknowledge your feelings on the matter, that might spell trouble for initiating divorce.

Remember also, 35 is YOUNG. So don’t let your age hold you back. You’ve got the rest of your long and healthy life to live!

So many women stay in their situations and don’t want to “rock the boat” for all those reasons and those all stem from fear. Sometimes these things take a little time to come to grips with also. I was in that stage for probably two years before we finally decided to take the step of separating. When you’re ready, you’ll know! Also, the way I thought of it was, wouldn’t I rather do this now than 20 years from now?!! Check out this article, maybe it will inspire you:

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We’ve been doing counseling separately and together. It was helpful in the beginning but we are a couple years in and just status quo for now. He does try his best to make me happy but I think we are just at a point that a decision needs to be made. I can’t go on doing this just to keep my kids with 2 parents.

My husband is wonderful and he’d definitely want it to be amicable but I’d worry that he’s putting up a brave front. I’m torn between wanting to find someone I really and truly love or staying with the “safe bet.”

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When the time is right, you’ll know! At some point, you’ll probably get fed up with it being in limbo, your desire for more in life will overpower the fear, or your relationship will just deteriorate. All of those happened to me and I was in limbo for about 2 ish years before we mutually decided to go out separate ways. We are actually in a much better place now than before when we were struggling to make it work. Everything on its own time, you can’t rush any of it! Sending you lots of hugs and good vibes! Xo

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@SocalGirl and all the other strong women out there. Thank you again for the kind words. It honestly is a relief to know that I’m not the only woman who has felt this way. I’m going to continue with therapy and make a deadline for myself. If nothing changes still then I’ll make a decision for myself and my family. Appreciate all of your advice, wisdom and life experience.

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Sounds like a really solid plan. Just know you are not alone and so many of your feelings are natural and experienced by others. Keep us posted when you feel you need support and encouragement!

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So sorry your friends look down for you for feeling a certain way, just because it doesn’t fit their lives! That’s very unfortunate (for them!!)

Time to find some new girlfriends who really know how to have fun!! :smiley:

A good read, I think we need to normalize this -

It definitely feels like tables are shifting within the past years - women are speaking up everywhere :+1: :clap:

We need to teach our girls love is sometimes just a hormone - there are lots of guys out there, definitely no reason to “settle”

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My ex-friends are out of my life for a reason but I always prioritize my kids and have very few friends outside of them. They are a lot of fun that’s why I don’t speak to them anymore because they would ask to go out and I’d rather stay home with my kids and prioritize them.

Thank you to all the women out there for the kind words. Still in counseling and just trying to make sense of everything going on.

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Does your counsellor help you make the decision of “stay or go” or is it strictly about dealing with keeping the marriage together? If he’s safe and wonderful is this someone who you might like to grow old with? Could it be that you need non monogamy where you play together or apart? I knew two couples who’d have flings once a year. The rule was that it was never the same person. Also what’s your idea of real true love? When you describe it, was it something you ever felt with your husband ? I expect you explored all these questions, but just in case I’m throwing them out there for your consideration.

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