La Presse offers you a weekly testimony that aims to illustrate what really happens behind the bedroom door, in privacy, far, far from statistics and standards. Today: Marie*, 40s.

Marie has been in a relationship for over 20 years. A beautiful happy duo, solid, with children and full of projects. And for a year, to be exact, her couple has been, as a bonus, “open”. She gloats: it is her “revenge”.

“Motherhood, it kinda fucks women,” says the tall, blonde, blue-eyed forty-something, sitting in a pretty café in Villeray. “It fucks the couple. Because we [women] are expected to take care of a bit of everything. Even if he [the partner] is extra, I invested a lot in motherhood, I gave everything. But it’s over. “I am now the girl who puts her needs first. And I have zero guilt. »

She tells herself with obvious pleasure, in an assumed and carefully thought out discourse, and it shows. That’s how she met her husband in college, after having had a handful of stable, sexually “satisfying” relationships, albeit without an “exploratory” phase, she says.

With her boyfriend, it’s love at first sight. “He was older, he had explored a lot […], partied, dated. […] It was the first time that I had met someone with such self-confidence. »

In bed ? “It’s complicity, attraction, times a thousand,” she replies. Fire ! They are like “two lovers”, making love all the time. Obviously, the crazy chemistry of the beginnings lasts a while. Then, after 10 years, they get married. “And it gave us a trippy little kick. »

In short, yes, “everything works”. Monsieur has “super emotional intelligence”, as a bonus he is an “invested” father and a generous companion. “He gives me a lot of slack, she says, if I have a contract in such a place or a trip with a friend, he says to me: go! He’s a cheerleader. »

All is well in the best of all possible worlds, so until what? You guessed it: “Ah, the pandemic,” Marie laughs. “There, the age difference kicks in […]. Me, I’m 45 years old and the hormones are in the carpet, while he works a lot… ” But there’s more: “Me, I’m on fire, and there, we are always together, a lot. Until Mary couldn’t take it anymore.

And then one fine evening, armed with all these reflections, Marie and her husband meet in a restaurant to take stock. The latter is not crazy: “I can see that you are bad,” he begins. Effectively. “I’m not satisfied, she replies, I want something else, and I suggest we become an open couple. Like this, crack? Affirmative. “I don’t know anyone [open], all my friends are single or in a straight relationship. I read that somewhere and it sounded interesting! »

The husband, “with his usual calm,” nods. “I think it’s a good idea. I don’t find it uninteresting, I don’t know if I’m going to enjoy it, but you are there…”

For a year, to be exact, Marie and her spouse, rules (sorry, “marriage contract 2.0”) included, have been exploring this “sexual non-exclusivity”.

It all happened last summer. Marie does not dare to appear too much in town, and therefore waits to leave for the South, sometimes alone, sometimes with the husband and the children, alternately, to dive. And what a dip: “The party. […] I started on an app, for the first time in my life. […] And there, it is the avalanche. Especially when you say you’re in a relationship and only here for the summer, that’s an open door for sex. »

That’s what she wants and what she finds: half a dozen encounters with 30- to 35-year-old men (“a natural match,” she laughs, “with the energy of a 40-year-old woman years on fire”), she experiences a combination of “stress and adrenaline” that obviously suits her. She sees herself leaving the children to the husband to leave to meet a first stranger. “Am I really going to do this?” […] It’s like having a double life. Yes I do. And I slept with [him] at the beach…”

“I just want to have fun,” she sums up, “lightness, so it clicks!” Besides, since she took ownership of her sex life, Marie knows it: she is calmer, more peaceful. In a better mood, what.

Good for morale, all that? “It feeds your ego,” she confirms. Is it superficial? I do not think so. I think I needed this. »

What exactly ? Her eyes shine as she tells us about a midnight swim here, or a naughty shower there. If she gets off? “Most of the time, but not always. It’s not that bad, it’s not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is to have fun! “, she repeats. Only once did she have to set her “limits” (“he was clumsy, it didn’t work”).

She has been back in Montreal since the fall, and her adventures continue, albeit more quietly. “My ideal would be to have the person I love that I live with, and three guys that I see once in a while. »

Besides, him, this “person she loves”, how does he experience it? He’s met a few girls, and Mary says she’s “happy for him.” We will not know more, because they do not say more either. It’s not their thing. “It’s like it’s another file. “Whether they got a boost in doing so? ” No. “If it goes out? Neither. “It’s just that rhythm. […] But I think that it removed a pressure to him, advances Marie. He’s my best friend, the best father, the best partner, we play sports together. »

Because she got it: “We need two cases,” she intellectualizes again. Security, stability, comfort on board. And then novelty and adrenaline on the other. And as one of her lovers once remarked, “I got myself a solid deal!” she laughs. “I’m lucky…” she also knows. “I already had great admiration for my boyfriend, now I admire him even more for his openness…”

And if you want to know everything, no, she is not afraid to fall in love. “I’m not here at all. Is this a risk? Of course it’s a risk. In the meantime, “I’m straight with guys, my boyfriend, and myself.”

Frank to such an extent that Marie intends to eventually tell her children about it. “I am the girl who had a model, saw a track: monogamy, family, as a great well of happiness. And that talk is still there and it bothers me, she says. I would like my children to know that there are many ways to do…” And to live.