Opening Your Relationship: An Exploratory Dialogue

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A few weeks ago I posted an article (on Facebook) from Huff-Post, “My Husband and I Have an Open Marriage,” detailing one woman’s experience of an open relationship with her husband. While it was certainly promoting pro-poly sentiment, I was left with the palpable feeling of imbalance that seems to mark all alternative relationship configurations. This reflection isn’t meant as a criticism, imbalance is life…rather I mention it as an additional voice to what is a complicated and yet extremely attractive alternative relationship choice.

A close friend chimed in on the topic and I thought I would share our exchange:

Her:

I found the personal insights and article so interesting! I personally cannot wrap my head around how the hell a third person would fit into my marriage. I’m the first to admit that I’d be far to jealous of another woman getting time alone with my husband when we already lack the time we’d like.

Ed and I take great pleasure in dating each other and do every chance we get, to share that little time would make me green. In that same breathe, we’ve enjoyed swinger parties and found them to be so blissful, overwhelming and hot as fuck! We’ve never split off from each other at a party though, we’ve had people watch, people join, I’ve even cleared a room once by squirting. lol I think it put a few people off.

Ed has always said that if something’s worth the trade off, it’s worth it. This article and insights in a way made me feel a little sad. I suppose all relationships do hold us back to a certain extent, but they if they are worth the trade off, we stay in them. For instance, I’d love to get into natural medicine, but have accepted that now is not my season to do so. The trade off of putting our kids in school and being distracted from our business and family to get a degree and a full time job is not worth the trade off – my days with my family are everything to me, it’s my season. By the time our kids are older, I may not have any interest in pursuing a natural medicine career, if I do, I will. To think that I could be holding Ed back, in part makes me sad, though I do believe he would open up if he felt he needed to act upon something he was being held back from. At least I would hope he would.

Regardless of relationship choice, I believe that clear communication of all emotions and desires is key! It’s when we don’t honor our voices that we feel the need to sneak. Even though I don’t speak from experience, I’m assuming that many of these open relationships can’t last forever as our seasons in life and trade off values change in time.

Me:

I share your feelings completely…and as I age…it seems that along with the feelings of true deep happiness, confidence, connection…there is also a lingering melancholy…for those things I wish I had…children, a family…I went the career root…and at 40 am JUST now feeling the effort come to fruition…maybe when we are young we are too dumb to understand what we are missing…lol.

As for swing-life…I have been ALL AROUND, only to arrive right where I began, enjoying my time with one man…so strange…so happy…so simple. Yet there is still that melancholia…I say melancholy and not regret purposefully…because I don’t regret my choices…I only am acknowledging my choices in the midst of “other” choices…there is a difference with the article…the sentiment feels sad almost…grasping for happiness a bit…trying too hard…one thing I have learned in life…as I age…is to sit still…and really feel what’s going on…let it soak in, understand how it impacts you and those around you…before you do ANYTHING…and most of the time…change/decisions…will occur organically…meaning life changes…decisions…etc…that’s kinda happening right now for me.

Perhaps this leaves us with more questions than answers, as honest exploration often does…Looking forward to continuing the dialogue…Dr.NB.

(Image credit: Shutterbug Boudoir)

One thought on “Opening Your Relationship: An Exploratory Dialogue

  1. tlsdinkins1981 says:

    I can agree with both aspects of the conversation, as well as the views of the article for a plethora of reasons. My current marriage started as an open relationship. We had decided as newly weds that I didn’t have chance to proverbially be free from a relationship before I entered a relationship with him. The experience was short lived on my end though extended in his ‘get out of jail free card’ years later. I don’t shun monogamous relationships, I am a woman who is a hopeless romantic who still clings to fairy tales. However I believe that every relationship requires the openess and honesty to operate according to its own rules. What one can tolerate or appreciate, another would shy away from and critique. With all of the bumps and scars in my marriage, I appreciate that we never allowed those outside the marriage to judge or make statements towards the multitude of decisions that we have made; sexually or within the commitment. Ultimately, it’s us against the world, for lack of a better phrase. If more relationships defended their love and their choice at happiness, rather than allow others( family, friends, colleagues, assholes, etc) to dictate how they should live, more couples may be married, may remain together longer…may be happier together.

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