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Thread: How do I ask for an open marriage?

  1. #41
    Platinum Member katrina1980's Avatar
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    >>I fully believe that humans aren't meant to be monogamous<<
    ------

    Interesting mindset, do you know where that comes from? And what about it turns you off? The lack of variety, boredom, familiarity?

    I do believe in monogamy within an exclusive relationship; what I am questioning now in my own mind is the idea of having any sort of exclusivity "agreement" as if such agreement would prevent someone from wanting to step out and/or leave the RL if they met someone else or otherwise wanted to. It doesn't, imo.

    But re monogamy, there is a saying I quite like and adhere to myself in my relationships.

    "You can have the same experience (sexual) with many different people, or different sexual experiences with the same person."

    Perhaps strive to have different sexual experiences with the same person -- namely your husband.

    You took the vows, honor them, try and save your marriage.

    If you're not up to the challenge, then divorce.
    Last edited by katrina1980; 11-10-2018 at 03:34 PM.

  2. #42
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Aeryn22
    My husband and I have been happily married almost 3 years, but dated for several years before we married.I have made it clear to him ever since we first met that I believe that it's entirely possible to have sex without having emotions for someone. He was raised in a religious family so it took him a while to understand that viewpoint, but he has never been mad about me feeling that way. He has been with a small number of women and dated all of them. I've been with about twice as many people as him, but I've only been with 7 people, male and female.

    He feels a little bad sometimes that he didn't get more experience before we got serious. I sometimes feel like, even though I love him very much, I wish I had more time to have fun, casual sex before settling down. We were in our late teens when we started dating. It's been nearly 8 years since I had sex with anyone else, and I think around 9 years for him! He's had women interested in him, I've had men interested in me. So far we haven't had any extramarital sex. But I'd like to. I don't have a specific guy in mind, but I'd love the freedom to have some fun if a hottie crossed my path. And I am completely ok with him having sex with other women, as long as there isn't some double standard where I can't have sex with other people. So how do I ask for it?

    I did bring up the idea of an open relationship about 4 years ago. He wasn't totally against it, but was hesitant. Since then, the topic has come up on occasion. He brought it up a couple months ago, and I brought it up about a week ago, but I haven't explicitly asked for it since that first time 4 years ago. He knows I am fine with him having sex with other women, and he and I check out attractive people together all the time, usually we look at women together but he doesn't mind if I check out other guys when I'm with him.

    The other piece of this is that, although we love each other and are very attracted to each other, our tastes would suggest otherwise. We are the same age but he generally prefers older women (40+) and I am very attracted to younger men (18-25ish). Neither of us has ever slept with the sort of older woman/younger man that we fantasize about.

    He has two reasons that cause him to hesitate: he doesn't know how he'd even proposition another woman, since he's never had casual sex and also he thinks they will say no because he's married and won't believe that I really am ok with it. And he says it is weird to think about other dudes being inside me.

    What do I do? I've been so tempted by guys before and haven't had anything happen, but it doesn't mean it hasn't been close a couple times. I don't want to leave my husband, or go behind his back and have an affair. If I'm having sex with other guys, I'd rather he knew about it and he also got to have fun with other women. I'd love it if we could share stories and maybe even share lovers sometime. We've danced around this for so long, how do I make it happen?
    I'm coming in late to this thread without reading any other replies so my bad if this has been said:

    There is a whole slew of people out there that want what you want so ask him to join an adult dating site (Adultfriendfinder) comes to mind wherein everyone there is looking for what you want. Suggest it to your husband and if he's against it again then maybe rather then ruin your relationship through "going behind his back, you either break up and have all the fun you feel you need or go to therapy to delve into ways to train your brain to accept monogamy.

    You say that you can have sex without emotions. Well, I don't think your husband can since he didn' jump on board with your suggestion from the get go and he's always been in and enjoyed monogamy.. If that is the case I suspect that he will be the one that betrays you emotionally if he relinquishes to your desire.

    If you go ahead with what You want, then I wish you luck in keeping your relationship together.

    FWIW: I am monogamous by nature but I truly believe that poly relationships will, in the near future, be just as acceptable as any gay coupling has become today and the community will open itself up as has the LGBQT community.

    Polyamorous Pride Parade anyone?

  3. #43
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Oh, Snap... I just read your second post, OP and I really don't think you should get involved with an open relationship when your husband has the issue he does but rather you get yourself into counseling to help you to understand that what you think you want will do nothing to make your home life any less unfulfilling.

    Marriage counselling where you go together as a team may help him to be more motivated into living life and contributing to the relationship in general. You caretake him currently which is the dysfunctional and codependent opposite to caregiving.

    You long for a man it would seem, not a full grown boy (nor a slew of sexual partners.)

    I hope you two are devoted enough to one another to find your joy. If he won't consider marriage counseling then go yourself and get the guidance you need to form personal boundaries with him so you end the caretaking. By being the caretaker, you give him zero motivation to change when he has someone to do it all for him.

  4. #44
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    I can see now that this is not the right time for me to be suggesting this to my husband. However, I don't just say that I want an open relationship and I don't believe in monogamy as an excuse to cheat on my husband. Truly I don't. Like I mentioned before, I first suggested an open relationship to him before we married. I still would like to find a way to make it happen someday. I don't want to go behind his back. But I can see now that there is some resentment that has developed over time against him, and I need to work on that first so that we can get to the point that it would make more sense to have the open marriage conversation. So that I can feel confident that I am asking for it with the right intentions, asking for it the right way. So I will hold on to my goal, but set it aside and do some work on our relationship first.

    Thanks everyone for your advice.

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  6. #45
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Good attitude, OP. The way you're processing all this—listening to yourself, being "open" to incorporating new perspectives, trying to figure out the deeper needs beneath the surface needs—is quite inspiring.

    I think the other night you got a taste of what you may be seeking most, or at least what you need before the "open" talks drift from theory to reality: a deeper sense of intimacy with your husband, as well as with yourself. You both pushed things outside of your comfort zone and found, well, more comfort, more heat, more vulnerability, and maybe softened some of that resentment that's been forming. And you did it without sleeping with a 23-yr-old grad student, without him sleeping with a 40-yr-old, but together.

    I'm not saying you stumbled upon The Answer with some light kink, but I'd celebrate what happened for a moment, sit with it—both as a reminder that there is more to explore inside the "closed" space you two share, as well as a possible glimpse of what you may be looking for, generally, inside of something more "open." The possibility being that it may be more complex than multiple partners.

    I can relate to so much of what you're wrestling with, but from the never-married-at-39 position. I've kind of been biting my tongue on this thread, because in ways I feel that I've lived a bit of of the life you're curious about—sometimes with elegance, sometimes not. Multiple partners, a certain sexual fluidity with friends, an openness, questions about monogamy—plenty of history with that. Unexpected drama, infidelity, pain, loss, disconnection, a dark sense of being hollowed out by the very thing I thought would fill me up—yup, check. Childhood sexual abuse, a cad of a dad, a lust for attention, particularly from the opposite sex, that's led to plenty of fun and plenty of fires—that's all in me too. I've spent a lot of time (in my own head, in relationships, in therapy, in the laboratory that is being alive) exploring the connections and untangling those knots.

    I'm open to just about any idea of a relationship, have a pretty high threshold for experimentation—with love, with sex, with life. I'm still very much trying to figure out what works, how to reconcile what can feel like so many contradictory needs and desires inside me: for new experience, for the comfort of familiarity; for deep lust, for deep love; for total honesty, for total mystery; for danger, for safety; for freedom, for partnership.

    I could go on and on. But I'll simply say this: the idea of finding a way to explore all that with one person, rather than many, sounds a lot more radical than spreading it out among the masses. Gun to head, most of us will cherish the deepest, most intimate connections we have. If openness and non-monogamy can stem from that intimacy—great. But if it's a way of sidestepping it—maybe not so great.

    Anyhow, bravo and best of luck. Keep us posted.

  7. #46
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Aeryn22
    I can see now that this is not the right time for me to be suggesting this to my husband. However, I don't just say that I want an open relationship and I don't believe in monogamy as an excuse to cheat on my husband. Truly I don't. Like I mentioned before, I first suggested an open relationship to him before we married. I still would like to find a way to make it happen someday. I don't want to go behind his back. But I can see now that there is some resentment that has developed over time against him, and I need to work on that first so that we can get to the point that it would make more sense to have the open marriage conversation. So that I can feel confident that I am asking for it with the right intentions, asking for it the right way. So I will hold on to my goal, but set it aside and do some work on our relationship first.

    Thanks everyone for your advice.
    Read everything you can on codependency and the difference between caregiving and caretaking (which you are currently doing with him). I have a feeling that if your husband can change (through therapy and no longer being enabled) to be the man you need him to be, then your perceived need to be sexually active with stranger men will no longer be even necessary.

    Good luck going forth. Work on you and let him work on himself... that's his job, not yours. You only have control over yourself and having the courage to change the things you can.

    Here is a link to explain the difference between caretaking (an act of codependency) and caregiving (an act of interdependency)

    [Register to see the link]

    I think this would be a good book for you to look into as well:
    [Register to see the link]

  8. #47
    Platinum Member katrina1980's Avatar
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    Great article TwT on caretaking versus caregiving.

    What I have sometimes experienced with this, caregiving, is that the other person actually wants and needs me to caretake, and when I don't, they interpret that to mean I don't care.

    How does one navigate that? I have found it's a fine line.

  9. #48
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    You do no one any favors when you enable them to not grow and become interdependent. It takes a lot of self-reflection, reading up on codependency behaviours that need to be reprogrammed to more healthy perspectives and learning how to be able to say "no" without guilt.

    How do you navigate people who view non-enabling as not caring? By pointing out to them that you care and you will support them in their self-help but it's up to them to learn to figure this out for themselves and do the work they need to do to fix whatever it may be that needs fixing. One actually cares more when they allow others to grow to their full potential or sink to their rock bottom so they need to do the work they need to do because no one else is doing it for them.

    I hope that made sense.

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