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Guy Called Out For Considering Wife’s Offer To Sleep With Other Women To Save Their Marriage

Couple having an argument in bed
Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Images

We can all agree that not all relationships, not even marriages, are meant to last forever.

But that won’t stop some people from doing absolutely everything in their power to try to make their marriage ‘work,’ pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITAH) subReddit.

Because they were struggling with intimacy in their relationship, Redditor vanguard247 was surprised when his wife introduced the concept of turning their marriage into an open relationship, which he at first declined.

But when he met another woman who gave him the attention he was craving, the Original Poster (OP) was shocked when his wife took offense to him developing an outside relationship.

He asked the sub:

“My wife invited me to sleep with other people (twice). AITAH for taking it seriously?”

The OP wasn’t particularly happy with the way his marriage was going.

“My (43 Male) 15-year marriage has been difficult. In some ways, we work well as a couple, and we have great kids.”

“But there’s been emotional drama, and our sex life has been tepid for a long time.”

“My wife (43 Female) almost never initiates sex and usually rebuffs my attempts; we have sex monthly, give or take.”

The OP was initially surprised when his wife offered to open their relationship.

“A year and a half ago, out of nowhere, she said that I could have sex with other people.”

“It was totally unexpected and unprompted, and I was shocked.”

“And she really pushed it, like, ‘Really, I mean it! You can!'”

“I responded that I didn’t want to sleep with anyone but her, and we dropped it.”

“Then, six weeks ago, she said it again, and really pushed it again.”

“And again, I was surprised and said that I didn’t want to sleep with anyone else. But the second time I said that, it wasn’t really true.”

The OP became increasingly interested in the idea of pursuing other women.

“The truth is that when she first offered that I could sleep with other people, it unlocked something in me. I started thinking of other women as potential sexual partners, and thinking a lot more about sex.”

“And recently, I made a friend named Ann. We were part of a local interest group, and then we started meeting one-on-one every week.”

“I told my wife about her, and that we were friends. But it became increasingly clear that Ann was interested in me as more than a friend.”

The OP’s relationship with Ann was definitely going somewhere.

“Last week, Ann came right out and said that she’d sleep with me if I wanted.”

“I told Ann that I was attracted to her, but that I was married and I cared about my family.”

“But I also said that my wife had said I could sleep with other people, that I didn’t understand why my wife said it, and that I’d talk to my wife about whether she really meant it.”

He was shocked when his wife didn’t take the news well.

“A few days later, I had the conversation with my wife. It went poorly.”

“I told her that I loved her, loved sex with her, and wouldn’t put our marriage at risk, but also that I was thinking of taking her up on the ‘sex with other people’ thing if she was really okay with it.”

“Then I told her about Ann’s proposition.”

“My wife was deeply hurt. She thinks I betrayed her by building a relationship with another woman, and she doesn’t think I had her permission to do that.”

“She says that the first time she offered that I could sleep around, she actually wanted to sleep with someone else and was testing the waters (and that she didn’t go through with it after I said no).”

“When she repeated the offer six weeks ago, she said our relationship was in a ‘completely different’ place from where it is today, and she thought that offering me sex with other people was the only way to save our marriage.”

The OP felt conflicted.

“This explanation does not ring true for me at all, for what it’s worth.”

“In both cases, since I had told her that I wasn’t interested in other sexual partners, she thinks the offer was dead and I was wrong to think it could still be on the table.”

“I never kissed Ann, never said I loved her, never even held her hand, and I’ve now told her that we need to remain ‘just friends.'”

“I think my wife gave me permission to sleep around, and that I went above and beyond by talking to her instead of taking her up on it.”

“But she thinks I betrayed her, and she’s now saying she wants a divorce.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some theorized that the OP’s wife had ulterior motives when she offered.

“So she actually wanted to sleep with other people before she proposed it? Then she is deeply hurt when you come to her about the same proposition?”

“Sorry, but it seems like she’s projecting. She might already have slept with someone else, particularly because of the insistence that you go fool around. It seems she was trying to get you to sleep with someone else so she could even the score. I can’t possibly see it any other way; it comes up as very manipulative on her end at the very least.”

“Hope you can find answers and more importantly do what’s best for you. NTA at all.” – Talkingmice

“She wanted a divorce from the very start and offering for him to have an affair was so she could have cause and she wouldn’t be the horrible one when she left. She is selfish and manipulative.”

“If they’ve been married that long and she pulls this, there is no saving it. Chances are, she started sleeping with other people at the same time she started cutting off sex.” – coder_lyte

“Plus, for her to not want to have sex with her husband but does with another man. Their relationship has serious problems.”

“It sounds like she’s been thinking about leaving her husband but doesn’t want it to be her fault so she tells him that it’s okay to sleep with other people. Then wants a divorce when he brings it up to her.”

“I see an update in the near future about his soon-to-be ex-wife.” – Browneyedgirl63

“Whoever ‘offers’ the open relationship is either already f**king someone else or is planning on doing it, and with gaining ‘permission,’ they are trying to get away with doing it without having a tough conversation.”

“The marriage was over the second ‘open relationship’ exited her mouth.” – Fearless-Ratio947

“I actually know a couple that’s had an open relationship for years and are very happy. I think the big difference is this couple is also capable of sitting down and having big conversations. It’s not as simple as just going, ‘Oh, we have an open relationship now.’ You gotta talk about boundaries and what you are and aren’t comfortable with and be willing to have tough, uncomfortable conversations at times.”

“Truth is, most couples I know who are open also happen to be queer, and I’ve noticed the couples it doesn’t work for typically tend to be straight. I honestly think it has to do with the difference in queer culture vs straight culture when it comes to sex. There are (generally speaking) way more conversations about boundaries, interests, etc., in between people in sexual interactions when it comes to queer folk than straight in my personal experience, so I think there’s just a level of comfort about having tough conversations amongst queer people that straight people just don’t have.”

“That being said, if the only reason she said anything was because she wanted to have sex with someone else, then the whole thing was a bulls**t manipulation to begin with. In a healthy relationship, she would just come out and be honest about what she wanted, not try to trick her husband into letting her do something to avoid that conversation.”

“OP isn’t the AH but his wife sure is for lying about her intentions.” – Sl*ttyBunnySub

But others felt there was a difference between one-night stands and emotional affairs.

“NTA, but I can kinda see why your relationship is going poorly. Your communication is… pretty bad. ‘You can sleep with other people’ should have triggered a long, in-depth conversation right then and there, about why she said it, did she want to do the same, what made her say this, how did she envision it working, any rules, etc.”

“You say you weren’t interested the first time so that’s why you dropped it. Thats fair. But you say she asked again, and this was your second chance to have a deep, in-depth convo about how exactly this might work.”

“Instead, you again dropped it without any conversation, but worse, you were dishonest, because you told her you weren’t interested, and that wasn’t true, you DID want to. If you want your relationship to work you have to go tell your partner how you really feel… in a timely manner.”

“Most people are saying she’s wrong for being upset, but I get it. In her mind, she got up the nerve to ask you, and both times, you assured her you didn’t want that at all. She accepted that… and then you randomly came home one day and said you developed a relationship with this woman (I know you say friendship but if you wanted to have sex with her, your girlfriend is going to see it as a relationship), and you’d like to have sex with her please.”

“Again, this is after assuring her that wasn’t the case. I’d be upset too, to be honest.. not so much about wanting sex with her, but about you not telling me how you feel when I flat-out asked. It makes it feel like you did it behind her back.”

“I’m not sure if it’s salvageable or not, but if that’s what you want, I’d be 100% honest with her. Explain, truthfully, why you told her no the second time when that wasn’t true. Ask her to honestly tell you why she suggested it. If you can both start talking more and keep it real with each other, you might have a chance.” – kittygoespaw

“I see so many comments saying she is cheating and a hypocrite. What I see here is terrible communication. She said okay to sex, and he went out and started an emotional relationship. There is a huge difference in those things.” – DMCDKNF

“I will say that building an emotional relationship with someone else and sleeping with someone else are two completely different things.”

“She wanted to have sex with someone else, so told him she was okay with him doing it. He said no, so she didn’t either. Next time, same situation. She told him he could have sex, he didn’t want to. Fine.”

“Now he comes to her with an actual RELATIONSHIP. How could he not see that it’s different? He’s been seeing this woman ‘one-on-one’ for weeks, and now wants to take their relationship to a physical level.”

“Obviously, his wife will say no; she never floated the idea of him having a relationship and caring about someone else, just sex.” – EponymousRocks

“I think she’d have been less upset about a one-night stand. She doesn’t want you to have an emotional connection with another woman.” – texastica

“Someone blurting out that you are free to sleep with other people is different from opening up a relationship. And telling her that you’re thinking of taking her up on it with a woman that you’re already entering into an emotional affair is a recipe for disaster.”

“Just because she said she was okay with you having sex with other people doesn’t mean she wants you to have relationships with other people.”

“Even IF it wasn’t a test or a random thought that popped into her mind that she wasn’t serious about, you needed to really talk about what opening your relationship up would look like and what the rules were BEFORE striking up a close friendship with Ann and broaching sleeping with her specifically.” – anotherbabydaddy

“My answer would be NTA with a big BUT starting a relationship with someone is very different from having a sex partner(s). Just on the face of it, your wife said she’d be okay with you having sex with other people, and you said no thanks, so she thinks it’s off the table.”

“You then came to her saying that you’ve started a RELATIONSHIP with another woman and would like to know if she’d be cool with you sleeping with her… I appreciate that you went to her before actually starting any sort of physical relationship, but this is not what you were given an opening to do.”

“I agree with many of the other posters that the wife is unlikely to be completely innocent here, but this is my opinion based on what OP knew as he was making decisions.” – LZbite

The subReddit was torn over this situation, with Redditors either calling unfaithfulness or poor communication to blame, and it seems they were right to be conflicted.

While there’s a very real possibility that the OP’s wife was unfaithful and wanted to give him an “opportunity to explore” to cover up her own pursuits, this also could have been communication gone horribly wrong.

As interested as the OP’s wife might have been in “wanting” to have sex with someone else, her opening the door for sex was very different than the OP going out and developing a whole second relationship to fill the holes in his marriage.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.