I’ve had this question enough times it’s time we addressed it publically. Should I let my husband sleep with another woman? What does it mean if he wants to? Is it the right thing for our relationship?
There’s a big difference between infidelity and having an open relationship. Whether or not you should let your husband sleep with another woman (and what that means for your marriage) is going to very much depend on the two of you and your relationship. The short answer is it really depends on why you both want to do this.
I’ve certainly seen marriages that have been saved by open sexual relationships but I’ve also seen it take a marriage that was teetering right on the rocks and smash it straight into the cliff. It’s not a complete cure but it’s also not necessarily the death of your relationship.
Note: I want to be very clear before I go any further. I don’t think you should let your husband sleep with another woman purely because you think it’s a better alternative to cheating. Letting your partner sleep with someone else should be a choice to make things better, not a way to pre-empt cheating due to an underlying problem. Dealing with the cause of an issue is what saves your marriage in the long-term.
I’m going to (have) to make some fairly large assumptions on this one. There’s a lot of reasons you might consider something like this. You might have an absolutely great marriage and you’re just looking for ways to make it better, or this could be a final Hail Mary attempt at staving off divorce a little while longer.
If you take the marriage assessment quiz we can look more specifically at your marriage (and how we get things back on track).
Why Does My Husband Want to Sleep With Another Woman?
I’m going to have to be blunt on this one because I don’t know your husband so I’m talking in general terms here. I’m also going to speak some truths which might not be true for your marriage. These are just reasons I see and if you’re asking should I let my husband sleep with another woman you need to be honest with yourself about what you’re dealing with.
- Sex is fun. Sexual desire is perfectly human. We’re hard-wired to procreate and while we’re perfectly capable of staying with the same partner there’s no off switch for sexual attraction.
- It might be he’s seeking something that he’s not getting from you and your sex life together. There could be numerous reasons for this and we’ll not get too crude but it might just be he wants something different.
- It could be he’s already seeing someone else. If your husband is the one proposing the idea of letting him sleep with other women there’s a chance he’s already one step ahead of you.
- Maybe his libido is simply higher than yours. He wants sex more often than you do.
- It might be there’s a deeper issue in your marriage and your husband is trying to deal with it by making the sex more exciting. I’ll get to this in more detail in a moment.
I don’t know your husband. For all I know, it might be because he thinks another women is a two headed alien here to enslave the human race and the only way he can stop her is by having sex with her. He might even be right.
So while I can’t tell you why I can help you understand if it’s a good idea for your marriage.
Start With Honest Conversation
The only way this is going to work is with honesty.
A Conversation With Your Husband
Be clear from the outset. Ask him why he wants to sleep with someone else. Maybe making some changes to your own sex life or making more time for each other is a better option for both of you.
Have an open conversation about what he wants and why he wants it. Don’t be pressured into making a decision right away – let him know you’re thinking about it (which I’m assuming you are if you’re reading my opinion on the matter).
A Conversation With Yourself
After you know what he wants – you also need to work out for yourself what you want. Some women love the idea of their husband sleeping with someone else. Some want to be involved.
I’d start with small steps and ask yourself a few questions:
- Can you cope with him being with someone else?
- Do you trust him to not let it go further (not letting it venture into the emotional affair territory) and keeping it purely physical?
- Do you want to sleep with someone else?
Set boundaries for both of you.
- Who can he sleep with?
- How often?
- Are you also sleeping with someone?
- How much are you to know about it?
- Is this a trial period or something long-term?
- What happens if she gets pregnant? No matter what precautions are being taken this is a conversation that needs to happen.
Can it Work?
There are relationships where physical encounters like this are seen as no more than a hobby. A husband having sex with someone else is no different from him going bowling with his coworkers.
But that only works if you’re both very open and honest about what the rules are and why you’re doing it.
Covering Up a Deeper Issue Won’t Work
If you’re entertaining the idea of allowing him to sleep with other women because “he’s going to cheat anyway” then this isn’t going to work. Adding some fun to your sex life is one thing but this isn’t a panacea to all your marital problems. If you’re using it to cover up a deeper issue then you need to really learn how to save your marriage properly.
Otherwise, you’re just kicking the can down the road for a while.
What if I Can’t Accept Him Sleeping with Someone?
I assume you have at least some doubt and there’s a couple of ways you could try dealing with it.
- Flat out denying the whole thing and hoping it goes away.
- Looking for a compromise. Maybe watching videos together or using a webcam together.
- You might take it as an opportunity to look at your sex life. Maybe there are just smaller things you can change there or make more time for each other.
- You might consider it on a trial basis. A one-time deal or a provisionary agreement to be looked at again further down the line.
What you should not do is pretend the conversation didn’t happen. I mean, it’s an option, but not a good one. If the conversation has started there’s a reason for it and if you let it simmer, it’ll come back to bite you later on.
Getting Further Advice
I’ve had to make a lot of guesses here about what’s going on. If you want some advice that is more focused on your marriage then take a moment to tell me what’s going on.