The two of you have been together longer than most str8 marriages have lasted. And that’s the problem – you’re both in your forties, maybe fifties, and you’ve invested too much in the relationship. But you still want IT, and he doesn’t, not with you or anybody else. He may older, or it’s just that his libido and yours are in different universes. He’s content with fantasy; you want the Real Deal. He suspects you may be fooling around, and may not even make a big deal about it, but you know him well enough to know that he won’t accept an open relationship. And you’re tired of the deceit which, in your mind, is unjustified. After all, he’s the one who hung up his jockstrap, not you.
What the fuck do you do?
Start by asking yourself these questions:
How important is the sex with different men to your psyche and ego, not just as physical release? How much longer do you feel you will still be interested in sexually bedding down with men, not just fantasizing?
Are you substituting the sex for physical intimacy and self-affirmation you no longer get from your partner, something many of us need as we grow older?
Are there other benefits in the relationship to compensate for this lack of sex? Do you have shared interests which you enjoy together or are you operating in separate universes? Or, while they may be of value, do you still feel straight-jacketed because you can’t freely do what you want, when you want to do it, with whomever you want to do it with?
Could you live alone without not only your partner but anyone else directly in your life? Do you actually prefer being alone even if that means being lonely some of the time?
Recognizing commitment is more and more difficult to find, and the chances of meeting someone for an LTR less likely, again, particularly as we grow older, are you ready to live the rest of your life alone? Do you have the resources or other support when the time comes and you will need it?
Your partner may not be making a big deal about your philandering but the fact he’s around and you have to sneak around makes you feel uncomfortable and detracts from the sexual experience. If sex is truly out of the picture between the two of you, and he is not having sex with anyone else, it’s time to have that talk. But you must be ready to end the relationship or have him end it if he is uncompromising.
If you are unwilling to end the relationship or know that talk would not be productive, then you have to construct an infrastructure of deceit and deal with the limitations such a quasi-closed relationship places on a free and easy sex life. Guilt should not be in your vocabulary.
Otherwise be ready for all the financial unravelings ahead, and, oh, on who gets Fido.