So, You Want an Open Marriage...
You’ve met someone outside of your marriage that you’d like to see again, not necessarily to form a relationship with but because you have an incredible physical attraction that won’t go away. You’ve never talked about an open marriage with your spouse, or maybe you have and it’s one of those ideas that didn’t go anywhere, but either way, you want to talk about it now.
How do you go about bringing up your desire to seek another relationship, outside of your marriage, without offending, or worse hurting, your partner?
Step 1 - Take it slowly
There’s nothing more unlikely to succeed than dumping the idea on your partner with no warning and expecting them to go along with it! It might take weeks, months or longer but if it means you keep your relationship intact, it’s worth it! Start by enquiring if they would even be open to the idea before you move ahead full throttle on a mission to convince them.
You want to avoid a situation where, as a knee jerk reaction, your partner says ‘no’. It’s hard to come back from that position, so you want to ease them into the idea. Trying to whine, cajole or cry your way into an open relationship is about as effective as the five-year-old who cries to get another stuffed animal. It won’t work!
Step 2 - Introduce your partner to others who are like minded
This isn’t about ganging up on your partner, but instead showing them that what you are asking them isn’t completely out of the norm; that others participate in open relationships. Like a good novelist, you want to show them, not tell them, why this would be good for both of you.
You can always mention a couple that you might know of who are rumored to have an open marriage: for some people, that could be what sways them!
Step 3 - Explain why you want an open marriage
If your partner is new to the concept, they might initially see your desire to have sex with other people as a rejection or veiled cheating. It’s important to discuss this with them so that they understand that your interest in pursuing sex dating with others has nothing to do with them directly. Interestingly, some people pursue an open relationship when their marriage is already faltering, but this is precisely the wrong time. For an open marriage to work, it needs to be on solid ground.
If they understood that doing this would make you happy and in fact would probably strengthen your relationship, they might be, for lack of a better word, open to it!
Step 4 - Be honest
Answer their questions and any reservations they may have as honestly and fairly as you can and don’t get upset that they are asking them. For a lot of people, this is a new concept that they never entertained as part of their married life or permanent relationship and they may harbor some negativity towards the idea of it for a while.
By being honest in your discussions with them, they will grow to see that you are not acting out of a desire to hurt them, but in fact want to bring them into the fold and keep them closer than ever. Your vulnerability in sharing your feelings will do you credit and make it easier to keep your partner by your side.
The whole process of transitioning from a traditional marriage to an open one isn’t easy or quick, but if you love and trust your partner and they love and trust you, anything is possible.