{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I didn’t think anything could make an already stressful situation worse but my husband is going to an MBA program in the fall and I have to stay in our home city for work. This morning he told me he’d like to have a “married but available” status while he is completing his degree. I’m heartbroken and unsure what to do next.", "post_id": "5f0b9ecf519a020021b52f20", "reply_count": 123, "vote_count": 31, "bowl_id": "5e6fe1c31f5e51001d267e46", "bowl_name": "The Work-Life Bowl", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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I didn’t think anything could make an already stressful situation worse but my husband is going to an MBA program in the fall and I have to stay in our home city for work. This morning he told me he’d like to have a “married but available” status while he is completing his degree. I’m heartbroken and unsure what to do next.

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Ethically non monogamous person here! 👋 Ethical non monogamy is only great if BOTH partners are excited about it. OP I am so sorry he sprung this on you and I'm guessing you're not excited based on the way you framed it. I'm glad he felt comfortable enough to communicate it to you, as that's a good step in the process if this is something you want. But it sounds like he did it poorly and I'm sorry. You should feel like you have a say in this decision. I think you need to decide if this is something you're into or not. Don't force yourself to do what I call the "cool girl" thing (not assuming you're a woman just using my own language) where you act like you're okay with something you're not in order to save the relationship. Please advocate for your own needs! You deserve to be happy in the kind of relationship you want! If you're not into non monogamy that's okay. You have a choice here.

If you are interested in it, here are some things I've found helpful:
* Require STI testing from every new partner and any new partners they have. You should also ask for copies of these if you choose to have other partners so you can share the group STI status. I also include the HSV 1 and 2 blood test on there and I got the test that determines if you have hepatitis antibodies once which I did so I didn't need to do again. Those are not standard for STI testing so you need to ask specifically but it's made me feel comfortable.
* Encourage open communication. Don't ask don't tell makes everyone on edge. Like y'all should be able to talk about things in depth. I went through my partner having a breakup with another partner... you'll be going through all the tough stuff together.
* More than two is a really helpful book. I listened to it on audible on a road trip with a partner and we would pause it a lot to discuss different parts and it made things a lot easier.

Please feel free to DM me with questions if this is something you're interested in. But if it's not please remember, you have a choice here. Please don't sacrifice your needs for his if it's not something you're interested in. Your happiness and well being is so important!! Hugs. I know this isn't an easy thing.

likesmart

I cheated in B-School while engaged, got caught while going to counseling. We decided to work it out. But had she not, it would’ve been the worse mistake of my life. Bschool is a time where there is plenty of temptation and just a completely different atmosphere than the normal world. I agree that if he is asking to do it he probably will anyway. You need to give him an ultimatum and set parameters around what you are willing to accept in order to make you 100% comfortable with him going to school.

The grass is not always greener. Might be something he learns the hard way. Don’t give him an easy out. Protect yourself.

One alternative that I haven’t seen here is some proactive counseling prior to you making a decision. This can help you get more information as to how you want to proceed. Why does he want to cheat? Are there things not occurring that either of you can work on to improve the relationship.

One thing I will say is our communication has drastically improved since counseling and if I hadn’t gotten caught we probably wouldn’t be together today with our growing family. In my situation it was definitely a short sighted outlook and a general cold feet about settling down forever.

Also this is FAR MORE common in bschool than the comments in here would have you think. Black Friday is the term used for when people go home to leave their S/Os. If my wife (fiancé at the time) wouldn’t have moved with me, we would have not made it.

Just some perspective. I thank my lucky stars everyday she was able to forgive me. Doesn’t mean we don’t have discussions 5 years later where I’m apologizing or something is triggering. But they get less and less frequent and I have to own that shyt eveytime because I’m the one who messed up.

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Wow....interesting.

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Op: I am sorry this was sprung on you. If the idea doesn’t appeal, I would suggest hoping for the best and preparing for the worst by:

1. Get tested now. If you stay in a relationship with him, get tested regularly.
2. Document this and your response.
3. Open new bank accounts (savings, checking, etc) at a different bank from current accounts (if they are joint or he can access your funds).
4. If you deposit money into joint accounts, change your direct deposits.
5. I’d transfer any money you deposited into bank accounts (if joint) into new accounts.
6. Speak to a counselor or therapist.
7. Consult with a few divorce attorneys to understand next steps/options
8. Pull your credit reports to understand your, his and joint liabilities. You don’t want any surprises. Get yourself in good financial shape.
9. Do not co-sign loans for the MBA or assist in financing it.
10. Above all, prioritize self care for yourself.

likesmarthelpfuluplifting

OP if things really go south , let us know if he ends up in consulting 👿 especially when he’s recruiting.

likefunny

Even if you refuse, his mind is already there. He will cheat. Divorce.

likehelpfulsmart

This was my first thought. He’s gonna do it if he isn’t already. He’s just telling you about it this time.

likesmart

Gonna be awkward when US shuts down again and his MBA program becomes online classes...

likefunnysmart

Guy doesn’t know any strategy. MBA won’t help him, he needs chess classes.

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He just told you that he wants to be solo, then. Someone who wants to lean on you emotionally and (presumably) financially while getting an MBA in another city, while giving you nothing stable to hold onto yourself, is not engaged in a two-way relationship. A leech sucks up resources and gives nothing back, not a partner.

likesmart

I second this, I feel like he wants the emotional benefits of a wedding but also take advantage of the fact he’s alone in another city. It seems that he’s more invested in himself rather than your relationship and you deserve someone who will take care of your needs and care for you (and vice-versa). I know it’s hard but you will be able to move on from this situation and find happiness again

likehelpful

Sorry to hear about this. I'd divorce him and leave him on his own to pay for his MBA.

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So much this. Having you as a Sugar Mama while he swans around? N O P E.

As they say on Corporette, "DTMFA."

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Well, if that’s not something you’re interested in doing, you divorce him.

No judgement on open relationships — I’ve had personal situations like that, in the past, with some success though I’m now in a regular marriage — but if it’s something that doesn’t work for you, you might as well just end it now because the reality is he just told you he’s going to date during his MBA.

Best of luck figuring this out.

likehelpful

My thoughts exactly. Sorry to hear that OP. It hurts to hear your SO say things like that and obviously hurts even more when they do it. If you’re completely uncomfortable with it and he thinks it’s okay then it’s probably best to move on. No one will know what happens once he starts “dating”. One thing can lead another pretty fast.

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Let me make sure I understand this correctly... Your husband wants to stop working, move away, and date other women... and you’re supposed to finance it?! I’m sorry, OP; this would be a dealbreaker for me. Asking for an open relationship isn’t something you can put back in a box once it’s out, and even if he reneged, I would never be able to trust him after he left for school.

likehelpfulsmart

And also waiting until you are emotionally invested before mentioning this “little quirk.”

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O. He wants permission to get into an entanglement. F*** him.

likefunny

I actually think it’s great that he was upfront with you. Now you have options to decide what you are and are not comfortable with. He’s told you he wants an open marriage and you get to decide if that’s a marriage you want to stay in. I’m glad he opened the conversation vs cheating, assuming he would never get caught.

likefunny

He may be cheating already. Sorry guys, but that's my vote.

likesmarthelpful

I’m honestly surprised he announced his intentions. What was he expecting? “Okay honey, have a good semester!”???

I’d frankly not be comfortable with this and would be looking at a separation, at a minimum. Do you have children with him?

I’d also get myself tested...

likehelpfulfunny

Ew. What a jerk. Good luck.

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I just wanted to say something: OP, I know it’s hard to hear for you to take all these precautions “against” your spouse. It sounds like he is a bad person or a crook. It’s not about that, it’s about protecting yourself because when people get upset or bitter, sometimes they act in ways that surprise even themselves. We are just trying to avoid you having even more issues down the road, it’s about protecting yourself.

likehelpful

Agree. Think of doing all these things to secure your income and credit as “just in case” if you are not ready to make a complete break. Just get your things in order, as you’d advise a friend to do, as unemotionally as you can. Then deal with the emotional stuff, which will be easier if you don’t have to worry about money.
No harm will come from taking him off your accounts. You could always add him back. It’s not permanent.
But, yes, if he’s feeling trapped or vengeful or just delusional (precedent for that, I’d say!) you want your ducks in a row so you are safe.

likehelpful

Tell him “married” and “available” are mutually exclusive. You deserve better. If you still want to be with him, maybe suggest marriage counseling.

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My wife would stab me if I said that even as a joke

funnylike

Didn’t know this was an option..

likefunny

It's an option if you are an a#$hole.

likefunny

Sorry to hear that OP

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If you aren’t the type to want an open relationship, I’d also suggest divorce. You deserve so much better than that and believe me, it will be extremely difficult at first but overtime you’ll heal and meet someone so much better. Who puts you first and that thought wouldn’t even cross their mind. I’m so sorry this is happening to you but I strongly believe everything happens for a reason and someone much better will come your way. Stay strong ❤️

likesmarthelpful

Hold on now. Listen OP, I’m not a poly-kind of person. But I don’t know you, so let’s evaluate the situation logically. options, 1) tell your husband absolutely not, and put out that ultimatum. This also means if he goes, you will be paranoid and completely stressed he will cheat. 2) read a few books and see if you are into the idea. This means freedom for you as well. I know a few couples that are positively happy and open, so there may be something to this thing?

likefunny

“No it never works...but it might work for us?!”

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WTF?! What kind of monster says something like that.

He just showed you the real him. Get your life and finances in order (I.e. secure your half of the assets) and then file for divorce ASAP.

You can do this! Stay strong 💪🏼

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I agree with the comments above, if it’s outside of the realms of what you’re comfortable with (which he should already know) I’d say how you feel & if he ignores that end it.

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