'I went out for a drink with another man. I came home to an open marriage.'

The following is an extract from the book by Molly Roden Winter titled More: A Memoir of Open Marriage.

I’m not surprised to see the light on in our bedroom. Stewart often stays awake until two or three in the morning, and though I feel like I’ve been gone for ages, it’s just after midnight. I open the door to find Stew sitting up in bed, reading one of the music industry magazines that I constantly find on the floor and pile on his piano stool.

"Look who’s back," he says. "I thought you’d be home in less than an hour. I would have called, but you left your phone." He holds it up as proof.

"Sorry," I say, rushing past him into the bathroom. "I have to pee." I pull down my jeans and sit on the toilet with the door open. It will be easier to talk if I don’t have to look at him.

"So where were you? I was getting worried."

"I didn’t even make it to 10th Street. I ran into Kayla, and we went out for a few drinks."


"One of my teaching friends." Stewart had rarely accompanied me to school functions, but I feel a need to keep talking, so I add, "I can’t believe you never met her."

"Then who’s Matt?"

"Matt?" I ask, trying to sound casual and buying time with a strategic flush of the toilet. "He went to college with Kayla. He was out at the bar with us. How do you know about him?" I walk out of the bathroom with my fingers held tightly together. If I start to chew on my cuticles, Stew will spot my tell.

"He sent you a text a few minutes ago," says Stewart, gesturing to my phone.


"What did it say?"

He flips it open and clears his throat, lowering his voice to a sexy baritone: "Great meeting you tonight, Molly. I hope we can do it again soon. — Matt." He looks at me, waiting.

Watch: A woman decided to try open marriage for 12 months. Post continues after video.

Video via YouTube/TODAY.

"Like I said, he was at the bar with us." I busy myself with untying my shoelaces to avoid Stewart’s gaze. "I forgot my wallet, so I flirted my way into a couple free drinks."

"It looks like you did an excellent job," he says. I can feel his eyes on my face, which has started to colour. "So are you going to see him again?"

"Of course not," I say, pulling off my socks.

"Why not?"

I glance over at him. It’s been a while, but I’ve seen that look before. "Because I’m married. To you. Remember?"

"I remember."

"And we have kids now. And Matt is young and single and definitely not interested."

"He sounds interested to me." He watches me as I unhook my bra. "Seeing his text made me pretty crazy, actually."

I pause to consider this. Before we had kids, Stewart and I had sex at least three times a week— occasionally three times a day. Lately, we’ve been lucky to have sex twice a month. Or rather, he’s been lucky. As if conforming to every cliché I’ve heard about married sex, I’m too tired to be interested. I treat sex like one more wifely obligation. And Stew feels it. In response, he tries to mix it up, to do new things, to kiss me or lick me in a new way, to hold me down or slide a finger into my asshole. But all I want is a quickie, a tried-and-true method for a fast-tracked mutual orgasm that will get me to sleep a few precious hours before I hear Nate’s cries.


"Baby, I’m glad you’re enjoying this. But it’s not gonna happen."

"I disagree," he says as I climb into bed. "It’ll happen if you want it to happen. So I’ve decided."

"Decided what?"

"You can go out with him again. As long as you tell me everything." He pulls me toward him, making me the little spoon, and kisses me on the back of my head.

That night, as I lie next to Stewart, I can’t sleep. My mind jumps from Matt to Stew and back again.

I hope we can do it again soon.

You can go­.­.­. as long as you tell me everything.

I think about a conversation Stewart and I had before we were even engaged. The topic was our respective number of sexual partners and the huge gulf between my number and his. I’d had four; he’d had dozens. Then Stew made a prediction. How unlikely and dangerous it had seemed to me at the time.

"Just wait," he’d said. He looked so much like my celebrity crush— the tennis player Andre Agassi, with that round bald head and brown eyes, doe-like but naughty. "Ten years from now, you’re gonna see some guy and you’ll wonder what it’d be like to f**k him. And it’s okay with me. You just have to tell me about it."


And here we are. Ten years later.

More: A Memoir of Open Marriage by Molly Roden Winter. Image: Penguin Random House.

More: A Memoir of Open Marriage by Molly Roden Winter, published by Ebury Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, 3 April 2024, RRP $36.99.

Feature image: + Instagram @mollyrwitner.

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