How to Have a Successful Open Marriage

In an open one where expectations are even less clear you need to be more conscious about what you’re negotiating with your partner, Isaacs says. As for what you should do, well, I think you should break up with your boyfriend. Your incompatibilities are significant enough that they have you actively pursuing an affair . Notably, your DM doesn’t mention anything you particularly love about your boyfriend or any positive aspect of your relationship together that would make it worth fighting for. And frankly, it’s clear that you don’t have much respect for this man, given how ready and willing you are to cheat on him.

You say that you plan to meet up with this guy whether or not your boyfriend consents to it. So really, framing this conversation as “asking” him for an open relationship would just add another layer of deceit to the whole situation. You’re not actually interested in gauging your boyfriend’s feelings about an open relationship; continue reading you’re interested in having sex with someone else regardless of how he feels about it. You should not present this to your boyfriend as something he has a say in when you’ve already decided he doesn’t.

This could be an intellectual, emotional or sexual attachment to someone other than your partner – and it could be sporadic or more or less ongoing. Once you’ve established that that isn’t what’s going on here, consider what you hope to get out of opening things up. Maybe you want to try something new that your partner doesn’t, sexually or otherwise. Maybe you’re starting to feel like monogamy just isn’t a fit for you.

  • The same is true for partners who are struggling in potentially irreparable ways, but are perhaps “too enmeshed or codependent to break up,” they say.
  • To engage in a healthy open relationship, you have to be extremely frank about your feelings.
  • If non-monogamy was a scale, with monogamy on one end , “open” would sit at the other end.
  • I always equated it with sacrifice, but I’m coming to learn it means a willingness to understand the changes in a person, to understand their fullness.
  • Effy Blue, a relationship coach specializing in open relationships, offers additional advice for those wary of a partner suggesting polyamory or an open relationship.

“When you are ready and able to listen with a generous ear, ask your partner why they are drawn to an open relationship.” Open relationships do not work if only one person is happy. You may come to a point where you no longer need the open relationship or you may come to a point where you no longer want to stay in a committed relationship. Be sensitive in bringing it up, but be clear and honest with your emotions. If not, talk about other ways to evolve your monogamous relationship.

While sometimes it is no problem for people, at other times the desire to establish an open relationship or transition from monogamy to polyamory can come with pain and discomfort for everyone concerned. Those seeking consensual non-monogamy can feel shame, guilt, and self-doubt when confronted with a loved one who is suffering as a result of their desire for romantic or sexual open-ness. The monogamous partner might feel inadequate, unloved, or angry that their beloved wants to change the rules of the relationship mid-stream.

Some advice from a person with experience doing it all wrong

After all, you’re doing this because you value your existing relationship and don’t want to end it. Miranda Davis is a freelance writer in relation and psychology area. Miranda is interested in such topics as building healthy relationships between people, love/sex compatibility, and how to find the right balance in life in general. She is currently doing specific research on the best online dating sites on the topic. Given the complexity of negotiating and maintaining consensual nonmonogamous relationships, it is not a surprise that choosing it as a strategy to mend a damaged relationship generally does not end well.

Ease into the conversation

Opening your marriage will only add complications to an already difficult situation. It was once a taboo concept that couples felt they had to keep private, but times have changed; open marriages have grown to encompass between 4% and 9% of total relationships in the United States. Ivy Kwong, LMFT, is a psychotherapist specializing in relationships, love and intimacy, trauma and codependency, and AAPI mental health. We also both have jealous tendencies, so I don’t know how good we’d be at keeping those in check.

Control your external jealousy triggers by agreeing to rules and boundaries about what you and your partner will or won’t do with others. I’m in a monogamous long-term relationship with my wonderful partner, and we’re very happy together.

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Some people in open relationships regale one another with stories of their sexual exploits, while others have rules against revealing specifics like names or when an encounter took place. After you’ve weighed the risks of losing or embarrassing your partner, if you still want to ask them about opening the relationship and they agree, you’ll have plenty of time to act on your fantasies and impulses.

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