Would you describe yourself as an open-minded or conservative person? Regardless of what your answer would be, some questions can leave you surprised.
That was probably your reaction to what your partner requested recently. If you discovered that your husband wants to have an open marriage, you might be confused.
In this article, we are focusing on offering guidelines on how to deal with this situation, so don’t waste any more time and start reading.
What Is an Open Marriage?
In an open marriage, one or both partners can have physical and other forms of contact with other people. It is polyamory, but with mutual consent. In layman’s terms, you have a primary couple who agree that they can have intimate relationships with other partners.
The terms of polyamory depend only on what the couple agrees on while establishing the boundaries. That is why it is crucial to have an honest conversation about what will be allowed in your open marriage.
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Start with the basics, and establish only one partner has the right to being intimate with other people, or both partners have the freedom of engaging with whoever they want.
You can also set other boundaries, and limit things to kissing, or only sexual contact without any emotional component or regular messaging involved. Remember, you are the ones that set the terms, and your consent is crucial.
Why Do They Want To Have an Open Marriage?
Before you accept the idea of an open marriage, you need to ensure that you are completely ready for it. The chances are it is not something you want to get on board with immediately, which is why you should think carefully.
For starters, try to understand your spouse better by asking them why your husband wants to have an open marriage. Some of the potential reasons may be:
- He hasn’t slept with any other women but you, and he wants to live that experience.
- He feels that you do not have the same spark as before, and an open marriage might make you both happier and even contribute to reigniting that spark.
- He wants to experience something new and exciting because marriage has become a routine.
You want to understand his point of view, and it is always better to have all the information than a guess. If your hubby came to you with a request, the chances are he wants to be honest with everything related to it.
It is important to note – you do not have to respond right away, and it is not obligatory to accept. It is a huge relationship change midstream, which is why you want to make sure it is the right move for your marriage.
It Is Not an Excuse For Cheating
An open marriage is not an excuse for cheating! Furthermore, the foundation of an open marriage is trust, honesty, and following the rules.
If you ask your husband to tell you everything about his other partners, he should honor that. Unless you both agree on it, the element of secrecy shouldn’t exist in an open marriage.
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Also, an affair shouldn’t be a reason to start an open marriage. Your hubby might try to use it as an excuse, but if they cheated on you before you agreed on being in an open relationship, that’s infidelity.
Cheating makes your husband untrustworthy, and that might make you wonder if they are only looking for an excuse to leave you.
The Current Partner Must Remain a Priority
An open relationship has a primary couple, and it must stay that way. Experts suggest that meeting the needs of your existing partner should be the basic foundation of an open marriage. You may want to talk and specify what that means.
You can ask from your husband to be there for anniversaries and other special dates, as well as continue handling daily tasks like taking the kids to school, shopping for groceries, etc.
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You can set a rule where you will have several dates a month as a couple. Additionally, make sure to maintain the communication at the highest level, and continue respecting your partner. That means there should be no bullying, shaming, or any other form of abuse.
If you feel ready for an open relationship, and you established rules and boundaries, it is time to begin the new stage of your marriage. It won’t be easy, which is why you might agree to start slowly.
For example, ask your hubby to stick only to flirting or messaging others for the first several weeks. The idea is to get used to the idea of other intimate partners in his life (your lives).
You can also agree on doing things together, such as visiting a swing club. Did you know there are swing clubs where you do not have to sleep with anyone?
Instead, you can only watch and talk to other people, which can be a great way of feeling the pulse of the open relationship. Once you are comfortable enough, it is up to you how far you want to take things.
Be Ready For Some Emotional Pain
If you have been in a monogamous relationship, and you imagine your marriage like that, it may be difficult to get used to how things work now.
You can expect some emotional pain in the beginning. It is only natural because it is hard to accept the fact that your husband has other intimate partners.
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However, please remember you gave him permission, which is why you need to control your emotions. It can help to focus on yourself, and find a new favorite hobby, or do your favorite activities.
If you like running, make sure to head to the local park every day. You can also use free time to spend more time with your friends and family, or anywhere else where you feel comfortable.
Know When To Give Up
You were surprised that your husband wants an open marriage, but you agreed to that. You are the one who complied with his request and made the extra effort to accommodate.
However, switching to open dynamics of a relationship doesn’t guarantee to save your marriage.
That is why it is important to evaluate things after a while. If you believe there are progress and your relationship benefited from the new dynamics, you may have done the right thing.
But if you think that it only deepened your crisis, it may be a sign that the marriage is beyond repair.
If that is the case, you shouldn’t waste any more time in a relationship that makes you unhappy. It is a much better option to leave and start your life from scratch.