Man Called 'A Dunce' For Asking To Open His Marriage While Expecting His Wife Could Never Get A Date

Hopefully, this husband learned an important lesson about assumptions.

jealous husband who asked for an open marriage Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

Open marriages are such a controversial topic precisely because they rely so heavily on trust and honesty in order to work, things that all too often aren't on the minds of those who ask for them.

A man on Reddit is a perfect example of this, and how his request ultimately blew up in his face.

He asked for an open marriage, but now that he has one he's begging to go back to monogamy.

Open relationships and polyamory are legitimate forms of partnership according to therapists, but they get a bad rap from many people in part because it seems they are so often based on one partner's desire to essentially cheat without consequences. 


This man is a perfect example. "I feel like a complete idiot," he wrote in his Reddit post before he went on to tell a familiar story. "My wife and I have been married for 19 years … I love my wife but I felt like the spark was gone from our lives." 


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He didn't want a divorce but he didn't want things to stay the same either. "So I proposed an open marriage," he wrote. "She was upset initially but eventually she agreed.

He assumed no one would want his wife and he'd have all the dates he wanted. Instead, it was the exact opposite.

Referring to the fact he asked for an open marriage as "a mistake," he went on to say, "I have learned that just because I wasn't as attracted to my wife as I was when we got married it doesn't mean other men would feel the same."

In reality, he was dateless, and his wife, "has so many men and dates she doesn't know what to do with them all." 


In fact, he's so hard up that he resorted to asking a female colleague out on a date. "Even though I wasn't her manager and I am in an open marriage she complained to her manager and showed HR my messages," he wrote. "I lost my job."

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He's now desperate to go back to monogamy, but his wife is categorically refusing. 

"It's killing me when I know she is with other men," he wrote. "I told my wife I want to close our marriage again because I was an idiot for suggesting it in the first place." Her response? "She said no, she's happy with how things are." Oops.


And it wasn't just his wife that wasn't at all sympathetic to his plight. "My brother called me a moron when I told him," he wrote, "and said expecting my wife to look like she did when she got married made me a dunce." 



His brother didn't stop there. "He even went so far as to say she takes good care of herself and is in great shape for 44, she just doesn't look 20, [and] had the nerve to say my wife looks better than me and I could stand to lose some weight."

"I love my wife and I don't want a divorce," he concluded. "I never wanted a divorce which is why I proposed this in the first place. But she doesn't want to close the marriage." Quite the dilemma! 


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Therapists say that when it comes to men who have asked for an open marriage, it is not uncommon for them to become jealous.

Therapist Leslie Doares said problems like these often arise because of a fundamental inequality in the relationship. "If you neither believe you are equals nor claim your space as an equal," she wrote, "you leave yourself at the mercy of your partner's desires."

You couldn't really come up with a better summation of what happened here. Legendary therapist Esther Perel believes that over time, open relationships and polyamory will become more and more the norm, especially as we all keep living longer and longer.



But she said the key to the successful version of these relationships was their motivation. "It is done not out of disillusion," she told us, "but out of hope and commitment." Here again, a pretty perfect summation of what went wrong for this couple. 


And, as always, the way out of the mess that's been created is pretty simple, even if difficult: an honest appraisal of the mistakes that have been made and a willingness to discuss them openly. Here's hoping this situation can be an opportunity for growth — or more accurately, growing up — for this man to learn from. 

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.