I am an oddball, but what's this thing about 'cheating?'

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My two cents worth and if you deem it as a judgement, so be it:

You’ve been married to your wife for 44 years, and maybe love doesn’t exist between you now, but once upon a time it did. If the shoe were on the other foot, wouldn’t you want your wife to tell you the truth, to acknowledge the time you’ve spent together and respect you as a person with feelings and emotion? You’re adamant against rules, but what about basic decency between two people who have spent over four decades together? No, I’ve never been in your shoes but I do believe that being with a person for that long commands a certain level of honesty and truth - otherwise, it’s a slap in the face to the love and devotion you once shared.
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To me a marriage is someone you are building a life with. You have to have common goals, what type of home, do you want kids, etc. If the goals in your marriage is to include other people, so be it. Marriage is 100-100, not 50-50, and as long at both people are 100% fine with it, then I guess to each their own. I would never want that, but I didn't marry someone that would go for that anyways.

IMO though, this situation does not seem to be one where both people mutually want more sexual partners. It just seems like a loveless marriage.
That's a tough situation. I've always been a very sexual person in relationships. I couldn't go very long without sex. For me it's a very important part. It brings people together. I don't know how I would handle a relationship where the other person no longer wanted to have sex with me. I always assumed in later years both people would slowly loose interest in sex and the relationship would continue fine without it. But, I've never been in that situation.

My gut reaction would be that I wouldn't want to have sex with someone else. But, I'm sure after awhile I would want to. I'm speaking hypothetically because I haven't had sex with another person in more then a decade and don't plan to ever again. So, maybe I would be fine not having sex with my mate.

But, I can't image that. Even now if a woman wanted to have a relationship with me I would both assume and want to have sex with her. Otherwise I would atleast partially think why bother. We would just be friends.

That is a tough situation. I guess it's just another bullet that I dodged.
I’ve tried to understand it… I’ve been cheated on, i’ve got men to cheat… the lesson is … it makes no sense. It means nothing… we will all be nothing but dust one day so do what you gotta do…
When I stopped having sex with my husband I thought he would divorce me. Instead he was angry but then was livid when I suggested he find someone else to fulfill his sexual needs. He didn’t want to cheat he claimed. It wasn’t cheating if I knew about it. Ok then divorce me. Nope he didn’t want to do that either. I finally left him. He finally moved on about 5 years later but the ****** still hasn’t divorced me. His silly ass did get remarried though. He still cheated because I didn’t know about the new wife until he canceled my insurance.
Im loyal to a fault. I have never cheated on anyone I was with, but I have been the side piece without knowing it. That ended when once I learned of his deception. I support open relationships so long as its mutually agreed upon. Its funny because I've recently found out about a select group that have been having key parties every few months. I used to want to have one of those but we couldn't find enough couples to participate. Anyway, that's not an option now since I'm without a partner. Oh yeah...my point in this was the relationship with my husband was probably the closest thing I've had to what would be a traditional relationship. I realized 3 months into the marriage that he was no longer fun, exciting, spontaneous, experimental, open, nothing like the person I remembered. He grew up and conformed while I never did. Yet another reason I've chosen to be alone. I realize that I over share but its just what I do. I realize that no one cares but I'm not going to stop until asked to. I have to add this for Finished because he has been the only one to address it...yes, I've told another story.
Spicy topic. But I agree that mutual agreement is what matters - rules of the contract. You can pick the game but you can't change the rules. If you choose monogamy, so be it. If you choose polyamory, so be it.
Cheating, having friends of the opposite gender, and feeling unacted upon attraction towards those friends are entirely different things OP. To be honest it sounds like you're deliberately mixing these issues up.

If you want an open relationship or a divorce then be honest about it. At the very least you owe her that.
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I have a theory that cheating is different than just wanting mutiple partners. There is an element of build up, planning, sneaking, even the aftermath, most serial cheaters will never admit it but getting caught is even part of the fun, the chaos, the tears, the pain.. the winning them back… so simply getting into a open relationship or staying single just wont do it for everyone… some people wanna know they can do their worst and still be loved after, as thats the closest thing to unconditional love they have ever felt.
I would say that you need to have an understand of the rules when you enter into any relationship, (every relationship is different) and if you are doing something that goes against those rules, its cheating plan and simple. If you are messing around with someone else who is in a relationship, and it goes against what ever rules thay have in place with their other half, its cheating.

Personally, I don't think I could do it myself, if I am going to open myself up to someone, and they have accepted me as I am, I don't think that I could be with them, looking over their shoulder for someone else, and I would hope that if I was lucky enough to be in that situation, they wouldn't be looking over my shoulder for someone else.
Basically you want your cake and to eat it too. Cheating, regardless of any "religious rules" you refer to, is based on what you vowed to your wife on your wedding day. It's not cheating you have friends of the opposite sex, but it is cheating if you sleep with someone else if you said you would forsake all others or something similar when you got married. I cheated. I broke my vows. We worked through it, but over time we drifted apart. We were too different from each other. Our 25th wedding anniversary was yesterday as a matter of a fact, but we've been living separate lives under the same roof for some time now, due to financial restrictions until our youngest completes school at the end of the year and can move out, if she does. I'm playing the lottery in the mean time. We're civil to one another, and we've both pretty much given up on being with anyone else again. There are polyamorous relationships that work, and some that don't. Maybe you need one of those. I've tried various dating apps and online sites and I don't like what I see on them. I am so jaded with people and relationships. I don't see myself being with anyone ever again. I barely even have any friends.
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