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When your partner wants out of the lifestyle; now what?

You and your spouse have been in the lifestyle for quite some time when one day, your spouse wants out.

Now what?

It is perhaps something that happens more frequently than we know. How often do you take a step back and realize you haven't seen so and so in a while? Remember that couple? Whatever happened to them?

The lifestyle, although it encompasses a lot of people, is actually a very small community. If you reflect back, you will realize you have seen many couples come and go. Couples you thought were in the lifestyle forever, have actually slowly drifted away.

So how does this work?

One morning your spouse wakes up and tells you they have had enough. Your spouse announces that they do not wish to remain in the lifestyle.

For many of us, over time, the lifestyle takes over our social lives. We build friendships here because this is where we spend our nights and weekends. Our vanilla friends would never understand, and so we put some distance between us and them. We hope they will stop pressuring us to make time for them on Friday and Saturday nights. The weekends have become one party after another. Our sex lives have become full and exciting with new possibilities.

Why does the lifestyle become so important to us?

For most couples in the lifestyle, weekends are spent out with lifestyle friends. The conversations are sexier, there's touching and flirting and the ability to be completely open and free. Our lives begin to revolve around the lifestyle. For most couples, their social lives begin to encompass swing clubs, private parties and hotel takeovers.

The lifestyle is a very seductive way of life and the thought of giving it up can be hard to imagine.

When your spouse suddenly wants to leave the lifestyle, it’s hard to fathom your life going back to the way it was before. Although they assure you the sex will still be great, somehow you know that your wild and crazy nights of sex are about to become a thing of the past. The 4-5 nights a week will start to dwindle down to a few times a month. You even suspect your lifestyle friends will only make time to see you during the week so they can be with their lifestyle friends on the weekends.

I have known some couples who have left the lifestyle and stayed out for a year or two. Eventually they got bored and returned. Others we know, got divorced, but I do not personally know couples who were really vested in the lifestyle who left, stayed married and just turned to other interests. Surely, there are couples who have done this. It would seem to me that it would take a lot of patience on behalf of the spouse who wants to stay in the lifestyle, but with time and understanding I'm sure it can be done!

Why might someone suddenly decide the lifestyle is not for them?

Perhaps one of the most important things to do in this situation is to figure out why one person wants out. If everything was going so well, it is hard to imagine that someone would just wake up one morning and change their mind.

Is there some kind of jealousy or insecurity involved? Perhaps you have been too busy fulfilling your own needs or desires and did not notice your spouse was unhappy. Maybe she/he is a 'go with the flow' type of person but inside, when it's enough, it's enough. You have to know your spouse and you have to pay attention to what is going on with them when you are out.

Chances are, this has been building up for some time and they have finally reached their tipping point. For couples who spend all of their weekends at lifestyle venues, it is probably a good idea from time to time to ask your spouse if they would like to do something else.

Do all of your vacations revolve around the lifestyle? How about a vacation for the two of you to reconnect? If your partner insists that they are happy to go to a swing club or party, maybe you should make it a point to make some of these evenings just about them. Sure, there are a lot of willing and sexy people around ,but making your partner like the most special one is very important. Without this, one day, you just find yourself in this situation.

So now that she has decided she wants out of the lifestyle where does that leave you?  What if you absolutely cannot imagine being out?  Do you cheat?  Try to hang on to lifestyle friends in the hopes they can help sway her to come back?  It's probably best to try to fix the problem and maybe in the future she will go back.  Then again, maybe she won't.  It would be sad to think that a marriage cannot survive the departure from the lifestyle, after all, it is only for fun, right?

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