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Her husband wants her to have a threesome with another guy.



A young woman wrote, and asked me to respond to, the question below. My response follows her question.

Dear John,
I’m not sure if this is the type of question you’d normally answer, but I figured I had to ask.
My husband wants to have a menage a trois with me and another man we know. I don’t know whether to entertain the idea or cry. We’ve known the guy since high school. I was the one who friends with him; my husband just recently started talking to him. I liked him well enough, until he started sending naked pictures to my husband.
He was always very flirty with me, regardless of whether I was single or not. He’s very open about his bisexuality. (He actually took my younger sister on a date yesterday. So, in that way, too, things have gotten a little weird.)
My husband had originally brought up the idea of him and this other man doing sexual things without my involvement, as well as the three of us doing a threesome. I tried discussing both options with him, but the more we talked about the whole subject, the more frustrated and insecure I felt.
I was raised by two loving mothers, so the idea of my husband possibly being bisexual doesn’t necessarily bother me. But I was also raised to believe that relationships should be monogamous in all ways, especially in regards to sex.I’ve always prided myself on being open-minded. But I cringe at the idea of sharing my husband with anyone, whether I’m present or not. Should I be open to the things he wants to try?
P.S. My husband and I have a daughter who will be turning a year old next month.

Just to make sure I have this right: You want to be in a sexually monogamous relationship with your husband, who, with or without you, desires to sleep with a mutual friend of yours, a man who sends your husband naked pictures of himself and recently went out with your younger sister.


Wow.


So, my first question is: Have you considered selling the rights to this story? Because, you know, husbands come and go. But Jennifer Aniston playing you in a Lifetime Movie of the Week lasts forever.


Ah . . . the funny advice giver. How I wish I were one of them. But you’re stuck with me–so let’s get down to brass tacks.


You asked if you “should” be open to fulfilling your husband’s desire for extramarital sex. I really, really don’t like anyone being coerced into doing anything they don’t want to do–and especially anything that makes them “cringe,” as you’ve said the idea of this threesome makes you do.


Also true is that there is no relevant “should” here. There are cultural traditions and conventions, certainly—-and they hardly count for nothing. But there are also a great many unconventional people in the world who are perfectly satisfied with their lives. (As an example of this, see my interview with a woman in a polyamorous marriage.)


I do believe in a universal morality; that is, I think there are some things that all people understand as right or wrong (murder and justice, for instance). I do not believe that monogamy belongs in that category of things. So, again, no “should’s” apply here.

The bottom line here is that you’ve got a decision to make. Namely, are you okay with your husband having sex outside of your marriage? If you are, then, on his way out the door, pat your husband on the back and hand him a condom.


But if you’re not okay with your husband having extramarital sex, and you’ve told him that, then he has a question for himself which he must answer. It’s the same question every person in a committed monogamous relationship sooner or later asks themselves: Is my desire to have sex outside of my relationship worth the cost of what having that sex will do to my relationship?


For now, what’s critical for you is to decide what you need, what you want, what you believe, what you think that you and your husband can and can’t live without–and, arguably above all, what you think is best for your daughter. And the only way to figure out all of that is to have an honest, heart-to-heart conversation between you and yourself, and then between you and your husband.


(Okay, well, I’ve got to tell you that I am not feeling good about the fact that your talking with your husband about all of this left you feeling frustrated and insecure. It shouldn’t have. The fact that it did tells me that this business about a threesome isn’t the real problem in your marriage. What it tells me is that you two need to see a marriage counselor, frankly. Something between the two of you that’s broken needs to be fixed. [Oh, what the heck; let me also say this: If I had to guess, right now, what the core problem is with your marriage, I’d say that your husband is a dick. I don’t like anything about the way he’s handled any of this. But that’s really more than you’ve asked me about, so I’ll shut up about that now.])


In a more immediate sense, though, do let me just say again that you must not allow yourself to get talked or persuaded into doing anything that you don’t know you’re going to be okay with. The waters into which your husband wants you to jump are rapid and deep. He can jump right into that water, if he must. But don’t you hold his hand and leap off that cliff with him if you’re not sure you’re ready for that. Because once you’ve left that solid ground, you can never return to it. Once sex happens, in other words, it can’t unhappen.

My award-winning novel is Everywhere She's Not. The sequel to that novel, Make 'Em Laugh, is now available exclusively on Kindle Vella, a new way for readers in the U.S. to enjoy serialized stories, published one short episode at a time. Vella is a mobile-first reading experience, available in the Kindle iOS app and on Amazon.com—perfect for readers who want to read in short sessions on their phones, but also want to feel the connection that you get from reading a story or author regularly for a extended period of time.

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