Thursday, July 5, 2012


One of the things I've known for a long time is that I had no doubt at all if this prowling lifestyle was right for me. Some things were missing from my marriage - mostly sexual, but not all sexual - that I could get outside the marriage.  When I had those things, I was happier with my life in general, including with my marriage.

The things that were missing were not an indication of a shortcoming on my husband's part at all.  They are just the natural results of many long-term marriages - lack of passion in the bedroom, boring sex, a sense of suffocation from being fused to another human being for so long. There was no "my life" anymore; it was "our life." I didn't have friends; we had our friends.

Our names start with the same letter so half the time (literally, about half the time) people call me by his name. But most people who know us both (which is almost everyone we know) don't even both to call me by an individual name.  It's like we are one unit and our name is a run together version of what used to be our individual names (Mr.-Kat-and-Kat) or just the initials, "Are K&K going to be there?"

When I started prowling again a couple years ago, after an 8-year hiatus from the lifestyle in an attempt to "be good," what I really wanted was some breathing room. I loved my husband (I still do). The lack of passion between us left me wondering what kind of love I had for him, but there was never any doubt that I wanted him in my life.

But after that 8 years, the lack of passionate sex and the K&K straight-jacket were killing me. What happened is exactly what had happened before. I went outside the marriage, found what I needed, felt great, and all was well. For a while. Then I found out about hubby's cheating. And he found out about mine. My reaction to his was to ask for an open marriage.  His declined my request.  Apparently, he was ok with sex outside of the marriage as long as it was for him and not for me.

His reaction to learning about me was to have a breakdown. Knowing I cheated (and he has no idea of the extent of it) pulled the rug out from under him and rocked his emotional world. It has taken many months for him to regain his footing.  In the meantime, I've been on a very tight leash, which of course has made me feel more confined. What he was doing as a way to cope with his feelings and hold onto me was exactly the thing that made me want to get away from him and get some space.

And while I'm getting some space, why not have some fantastic and passionate sex at the same time?

There's a reason I'm recapping this story.  Stay with me.....

 Things are changing. He's trying to give me some room to have at least a little bit of a life of my own. He's trying very hard to make sex more satisfying for me. Is it all that I want? No.  Not even close.  But it's better. When I look into his eyes now, I don't see him looking through me. I see him looking at me. Unlike in the past, when he's with me, he's present. And lately, I have been, too.

This man has been with me for 25 years, through good times and bad.  And I mean really bad. We've hurt each other. We've helped each other.We've got a quarter century's worth of shared history between us. He's willing to let me call the shots. I can have whatever freedom I want. All he wants is for me to stop having sex with other men. That's it.  That one thing.

He won't leave me if I keep having sex outside the marriage, but it makes him terribly unhappy and anxious.  It makes him terrified that I'll meet someone else I like better and leave him. So, if I can just do that one thing for him, he'll work on the rest for me. Specifically, he'll take off the leash he's had on me for 25 years.

What does all this mean?

 It means that, for the first time in the 20 years that I've been prowling, I have some doubt. My certainty that this prowling lifestyle is right for me is wavering. For the first time, I'm considering if I can give my husband the one thing he wants.

 Can I look at fidelity as a gift rather than as a noose?

Can I be happy with a life of mediocre sex?

Can I stop looking at men as potential sex partners?

If he gives me what I want most (some freedom and independence), will I be able to give him what he wants (fidelity)?

I don't have any answers. I only have doubt.


HK said...

Hey Kat.

Two ideas after reading your post:

Even if your husband gave you the sex that you desire in addition to the other missing marital components, you would still be inclined, eager even, to prowl. I don't know if it's a part of your makeup or if it's a deeply ingrained learned aversion, but I don't think you're capable of monogamy. That isn't a condemnation by the way just an observation.

What would happen if you shared that with the hubby, if he knew that you didn't choose infidelity so much as it was second nature for you? His fear is in you leaving right? Could he then relax with the knowledge that you aren't picking another man (which implies dismissing hubby) over him but that you are simply adding to your emotional/sexual stable? Inclusive rather than exclusive?

The second idea, if you decide that you want to have another go at monogamy, is to add enforceable consequences for breaking the rules. Right now, if you continue to sleep with other men, what happens? You feel regret. Your husband feels sorrow and anxiety. This is painful for you, yes, but not enough to overcome your hunger for the prowl.

What if you drew up a post-nup, conditional upon further prowling? Would the risk of losing assets and other perks be enough to keep you "in the marital bed?"

Anonymous said...

Please don't take this as being judgmental (its not, I'm just trying to stay on top of the narrative), but weren't you here a few months ago? Didn't you have a go at monogamy and fidelity for a bit and give it up shortly after he caught you? What's different now?


the naked lady said...

Kat, I've been through this "I'll give you this if you give me that" deal myself (though I'm not nearly so long married as you). It hasn't worked yet. I'll hold up my end of the deal, and my husband won't hold up his. And then we're back right where we started - with me unhappy.

In my experience, ruling out divorce as an option creates a huge stalemate. If nobody's leaving, can't we honestly be as nasty to each other as we want? I know that's a terrible idea, but that's what has happened because of it.

*Can* you stop prowling? Yes. But whether you will be happy or not means accepting that what you have with your husband - history, love, affection, children, etc - is enough. *That* is the hard part, not giving up the prowling.

P.S. - Maybe part of the "freedom" means you're free to try new things in bed with him? Set your terms as you like, but do it explicitly.

Kat said...

HK - You may be right about me not being made for monogamy. I've thought that myself for a long, long time.

I've had that conversation with Hubby more times than I can count, and I've assured him that I'm not leaving him many times, as well. I'm intrigued, though, by your idea of a post-nup.

Mikey-Mike - Yes, I was here a while ago. In some ways, there's nothing different. In other ways, there are some definite differences. Some conditions in my health have changed significantly since then. Maybe I'm feeling a need to stay closer to home and hearth. Maybe I'm getting a glimpse at my own mortality. Maybe I'm tired of lying and hiding.

naked lady - You're exactly right. Will it be "enough." That's what I struggle with. I also struggle with the whole concept of marital happiness. What is "happy enough?"

Thanks to all of you for your thoughtful responses.