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About a year ago, my husband and I finally reached an impasse.

We’ve been together for 12 years, married for 8 of them.  We’ve always been a little mismatched sexually. I’ve always had a much higher sex drive, and over the years, that mismatch became much more pronounced. I’ll write more about the effects of that in a future post.

So 11 years in, I asked for an open marriage. My interest and intention was simply to find a compatible sex partner. I can almost see the responses – the “uh oh” expression, the “I could have told you that would happen,” and maybe a few understanding expressions.

It’s now 8 months later, and we are going to start engaging in polyamory, not an open marriage.

What’s the difference? For us, an open marriage was simply an outside sex partner.  Polyamory is an outside romantic partner.

So why not divorce?

My husband and I are still very much in love and love each other. We are partners. However, our sexual incompatibility issues have had significant and lasting negative effects on me.  And I believe for my husband, but I don’t (at least I’m trying not to)  assume other people’s feelings without asking.  Sex is far more important to my mental health and quality of life then I realized.  I find nothing noble in suffering, and i was suffering.  Neither of us have been successful with changing our drives in any significant ways.  I’ve also reached a point where I cannot compromise on my needs anymore.

I don’t see the logic in ending a 12 years partnership because of this one compatibility issue. I wouldn’t expect a marriage to break up because one partner loves museums and the other hates them. I assume the spouses would have friends.  Of course, sex isn’t the same as wanting someone to go see horror movies with… Right? I guess that’s the hardest part for people to understand. Sex is just like all kinds of other activities. There’s just a lot of cultural baggage (and yes, hormones and brain chemistry) surrounding it.

There’s a lot of background that I’ll need to fill in. I’ll work on that as I keep going forward.