sex diaries

The Mom Trying to Hook Up With Her Ex on Family Vacation

Photo-Illustration: James Gallagher

This week, a woman navigates an open marriage, turns down sex with a married man, and fights with her movie producer husband: 38, married, Downtown Brooklyn.


7:00 a.m. My daughter wakes up and crawls in with me on the couch. My husband is in our bedroom. We had a fight last night. My daughter is only three so she thinks nothing of this.

8:30 a.m. Pre-school drop-off is over and I hop on the subway to work.

9:00 a.m. I love these few early hours at work. I sit at my computer and get shit done. I’m not really doing work, more like personal life things, mom things, etc. I also use these morning hours to think quietly. There’s no time to think at home with a toddler.

1:30 p.m. My husband and I opened up our marriage kind of accidentally last year. We were both traveling all the time for work, and checking in with each other less and less, and finally I just said, “Are you fucking someone on the job?” He’s a movie producer. He said no, but after a bottle of wine or two we both admitted that we’d been thinking about it. We got super open and revealing and told each other about the various people we had crushes on.

For some reason, it didn’t devastate me to hear about his crushes, and it didn’t feel that uncomfortable talking about mine. We came up with some rules. Basically, family ALWAYS comes first. Also, any sex or hookup must remain completely painless for the other person. For example, if he has sex with someone on a movie set, I never, ever have to feel the aftermath. No drama, no feelings, etc. I don’t want to hear about it or deal with it. Since this talk, I’ve fucked around with someone else two times and I have no idea about my husband, but it hasn’t been much. It’s honestly no big deal. The things we fight about are basic domestic things; like last night, I was irate that he came home after three days away and went right to sleep instead of finding the energy to help me with laundry, dinner, cleaning up etc. In his defense, he was drop-dead tired.

7:00 p.m. Every night I try to figure out how to work out in the gym in our building, but then every night it becomes impossible. I love being a mom, but there really isn’t one single moment of free time.

9:30 p.m. My husband and I are on the couch watching Below Deck. He starts rubbing my feet, then my legs. I end up straddling him for some really enjoyable sex. We fuck about twice a month, and when we do, it’s really good. I don’t know if he’d like to fuck more … I think he’s as okay with it as I am.


9:00 a.m. At my work desk. I do events for a film company. Lots of parties, hence my access to cute men.

12:00 p.m. I’m pretty open about my open marriage. Today I have lunch with a friend from work who’s figuring out how to open hers up, too. The problem is, I don’t think she can handle it. Many people will disagree with me, but I think it doesn’t work if you are madly in love with your partner. It might sound horrible, but I am not madly in love with my husband. Our life is great and we made a wonderful kid, but I am very much able to emotionally detach from him. I like him, he’s wonderful in many ways, but my heart doesn’t bleed for him. The friend I’m having lunch with is way too emo about her marriage to pull it off, in my opinion. Things will get messy … I’m upfront about this when we talk.

6:00 p.m. My husband is taking care of our daughter tonight so I can go to a work event. I love getting dressed up and hanging out in the city. It’s been fun keeping my eyes open for potential sex partners too… though it’s usually slim pickings. I’m glad I’m not single.

10:00 p.m. Home. Taking a bath. I’m going to pass out without even saying goodnight to my husband (who’s on the couch watching some documentary). I’m not mad at him tonight.


1:00 p.m. So the two guys I’ve slept with since opening up my marriage were both married, too. They weren’t in open relationships though. So while the sex was amazing with each of them, the guilt afterwards was not. I regretted (yes, twice) betraying another woman like I did. So now, I’m only interested in single men. That is very hard to find. Keith, a guy I am dying to get with, is on the brink of separating with his wife. I’ll take that, I guess. He and I are having a “work meeting” over drinks, later today. Keith is incredibly good-looking and his job is very sexy. He works in criminal law. We met when he was consulting on a film project for my company. I knew we’d have sex at some point the minute I laid eyes on him.

4:00 p.m. Drinks with Keith. We talk about work for maybe thirty seconds before things get personal. He tells me his marriage is on the rocks (though not officially over or separated … damn it!) and I tell him about opening up our marriage last year. I can practically feel his dick stiffen to this information. I tell myself, “Don’t hook up with him … don’t hook up with him …” and luckily I’m very disciplined because when he suggests meeting up later at night, and we both know what he’s talking about, I tell him straight up that I won’t play with men who aren’t single. It feels good to say this out loud and to finally mean it. But ohhh I’m horny for him. Oh well!

9:00 p.m. Watching more Below Deck with my husband. It’s a nice, boring, easy night.


6:00 a.m. It’s a crazy day and luckily my husband doesn’t have work. I have to be at work by 7:00 a.m. to help set up a big luncheon we’re having. I love being a working mother, I really do, even though I’m always bone tired.

7:00 p.m. It was a long, long work day. I can’t wait to come home to my daughter and my husband and hopefully a good dinner.

8:00 p.m. I walk into a trashed house, dishes piled to the ceiling, and my daughter not bathed or in her pajamas. I want to kill my husband. He didn’t work today and I did. This is not fair.

10:00 p.m. I’m on the couch because I don’t want to lay near him. Lazy shit. These are where our issues lie.


7:00 a.m. After pissed-off nights we usually just get on with things in the morning. No need to examine every little fight. Generally, it’s nothing a good pot of coffee can’t fix. And he’s the one with the coffee skills … so I won’t bite the hand that feeds me.

9:00 a.m. We’re both taking the day off work and pulling my daughter from preschool to go see friends in Philadelphia. I have an ex-boyfriend who lives out there and my goal is to see him somehow. He’s divorced and looking good on Facebook. I DM him that I’ll be in town and would love to hang out, but for all he knows I’m just a married mom now. Let’s see if he bites …

2:30 p.m. I like this city. We had such a great lunch with our friends. My daughter is behaving so nicely too. I check my Facebook messages and the ex is totally available for a drink tomorrow night. Should I do it?

10:00 p.m. We’re all getting into bed after a nice night of dinner, wine and board games. I decide to be totally honest with my husband. “I’d love to see my ex tomorrow night. I just want to be very honest with you: It could lead to more.” My husband is not thrilled with this for a few reasons. The ex is someone I once loved. And leaving our Philly friends for a night of sex with someone else is somewhat in poor taste. Our friends know we’re experimenting with new ways to keep our marriage happy and healthy but this is very in-your-face. As I lay in bed, tense next to my husband, I decide it’s not worth it.


10:30 a.m. I message the ex that tonight won’t work.

2:30 p.m. I’m a little bored and wish I had this date with the ex to look forward to. Instead I get a milkshake with my daughter. Pleasure is pleasure.

9:00 p.m. We got a sitter so the grown-ups are all at a restaurant. It’s really fun and relaxing. I’m glad I’m here with my husband and not anywhere else.


10:30 a.m. Back to New York. It’s always good to go away, if for nothing else, it’s a nice reminder of how much you love your home and love New York when you come back.

3:00 p.m. I read a long “life update” message from my ex. Details of his divorce and what he’s been through. He sounds a little worn down by life, and sad to say, it makes me want to fuck him a little less. He used to be so strong and stable! Ah, life. I proceed to tell him all about my marriage and how we opened it up a year ago, and how so far, “it’s working out pretty good” for us. I anticipate this information will lead to a lot more flirting and probably plans to meet up somewhere soon. This feels like murky waters since I have real history with him, but it also feels very exciting … and isn’t that point? To feel good?

9:00 p.m. Back on the couch with my husband. I choose not to tell him about the ex. We agreed to not let these affairs cause the other person pain, and this guy is a trigger for my husband. So I’ll keep it to myself and hope no one gets hurt …

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The Mom Trying to Hook Up With Her Ex on Family Vacation