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Could I consider someone else’s feelings without immediately making them about me? A few weeks later, I went back to Sam and told him I was willing to give it a go—with one condition: “I want your wife’s permission and I want to hear it from her,” I said. We sat and talked about politics for a while, but when she and I were alone together, I had to ask her, “How are you OK with this?” “Honey,” she answered, smiling and taking another sip of wine, “when you’ve been married for 30 years, you’ll understand.” For her, commitment from Sam wasn’t about not sleeping with other people—not anymore.I began reading a book called by cultural anthropologist Wednesday Martin that challenges the long held belief that we are all monogamous by nature.Martin argues that, contrary to popular opinion, women often get bored with monogamy even faster than men.
When I got up to leave, Sam told her he was going to walk me home.One night, Sam came over late and started complaining about what a nag his wife was and what a relief it was to see me. “I am not the person you go to to complain about your wife,” I said.“I’m not interested in having you compare me to her.I had to be the So when Sam—a man I befriended more than a year ago—told me flat-out that he was in an open marriage and would like to have an “affair” with me, I laughed and turned him down.I was certainly attracted to Sam, but I knew I couldn’t handle sharing someone’s husband.