Pushing Back on Criticisms of Everything I Did Wrong as a Non-Monogamous Woman

Liz Sinclair
6 min readFeb 21, 2024
Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

Over the last few months I have written several columns about the breakdown of my non-monogamous marriage after my husband met someone and decided he wanted to be with her and not with me. In large part, I have received a tremendous amount of support, care and wonderful insights from people who have read my stories (and I am extremely grateful for those comments). But, perhaps not surprisingly, I have also received many “I told you so” comments to these stories. It’s made me more aware of how many people believe that if a couple opens up their relationship there MUST have been something wrong with the relationship. And made me aware of an even more disturbing number of people who believe there was something wrong with ME.

To sum it up, over the last few months, I have been accused of being naïve, a toxic feminist, a bad wife and, quite simply, just plain ol’ stupid, just to name a few.

I am going to push back a bit on those accusations…

[Quick note: I am in no way going to try to convince anyone here that I’m perfect. I am a perfectly and averagely flawed person. I’ve also been doing a lot of self-reflection on both my actions and my intentions in my marriage, so not unaware of my role and contribution to what happened. What you read below should not be interpreted as though I’m saying I’m totally blameless; but I am going to challenge some of the criticisms.]

All of these criticisms have made me wonder if any woman who decides to open her relationship will ever be applauded for her decision. What conditions would satisfy all the people who have criticized me over the last few months to say, “yes, good call, you decided to embark into the dark world of non-monogamy the right way”?

The top criticism I’ve received is that, clearly, I didn’t give my husband enough sex before we opened up. Apparently, I owed him sex as part of our monogamous agreement — not giving it to him was emasculating and depriving him of a need (note, not a want) that was his God-given right to receive in exchange for agreeing to be with me for life.

Like. What the actual eff? Since when does a man committing to a woman equate to her owing him sex?

--

--

Liz Sinclair

Ordinary, middle-aged, university educated, working mother of three in a long-term loving marriage. Oh, and also non monogamous.