The man isn't sure whether to tell his friend's partner (stock photo) (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The man isn't sure whether to tell his friend's partner (stock photo) (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Dear Coleen,

I’m a 40-year-old woman and have been married for 15 years.

We’d been together since we were 20 before marrying at 25 and I haven’t had any other serious romantic relationships.

Although we love each other and we’re good parents and make a good team, I’m not in love with him anymore, we never have sex and even the thought of it makes me cringe.

I haven’t talked to my husband about this yet, but I’ve been thinking about the possibility of an open marriage, so we can keep the family together and remain close, but pursue sex and romance with other people.

I’d love your opinion on whether an open marriage can work.

Coleen says,

For me, it would be a no because of your reasons. What you’re saying is you’re only staying in the marriage for the kids, but you don’t have to do that.

You have to tell your husband how you’re feeling (although leave out the hurtful bit about him making you cringe).

Some relationships come to a natural end and the two of you have been together since you were very young, so you’ll both have changed a lot in that time.

I don’t think an open marriage will keep the family together – it’ll be an added complication, especially if it’s only you who wants this arrangement.

Plus, what happens when the kids leave home, will you leave your husband then?

I don’t know why you’re trying to cling to the marriage unless it’s the fear of the unknown.

This relationship is all you’ve known, so walking away from it is a scary prospect and requires a lot of adjustment.

Perhaps the first step should be a trial separation rather than going out and having sex with other men.