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Old 04-26-2012, 03:48 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Yelm, Washington
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Re (from desire):
"When I began my relationship with my current partner, I did use the words, 'open relationship.' I was doubtfully asking, maybe we must have an open relationship?"
I could be reading this wrong, but it sounds like at the time you didn't quite *want* an open relationship per se, but you felt you had to suggest it because the alternative (a closed relationship) might be worse.

Re (from desire):
"I do not know if I want him back 'monogamous' now. (Though, even the words that he might break off from her does give me a feeling of being important enough in his life.) Why am I saying this? Because, I know that with that coming back, all communication between us might actually stop. All our playful teasing of each other might end. And, do I just want to continue in a relationship like that, the answer is a definite 'no.'"
So, you are settling for a relationship type ("polyamory" or "sexually open") because what you do want -- on some level (monogamy) -- seems to come with the death of communication and that "spark" between you.

First of all, it should be said that relationships (healthy relationships, whether open, closed, monogamous, or whatever) do evolve over time. Things don't stay in the "honeymoon phase." That doesn't mean you aren't in love with each other any longer, it just means you have to make more of a conscious effort (e.g. planned/arranged date nights) to show (and remember) that love for each other.

Communication is similar in that regard. New couples just starting out are excited about each other, are just getting to know each other, and as a result are talking to each other a lot, naturally and without effort. After you get to know someone better (and have lived with them awhile), (the mundane and the) routines do creep into your relationship. Communication is no longer "automatic;" it takes conscious effort (on the part of both people, but usually someone, just one of the two people, has to be the bigger person and step up to the plate, and initialize the communication).

None of this is to say that "all the fun is gone out of the marriage." It just means it takes a little digging to make it (still) happen. And the effort is rewarding. It's worth it, because you can have a deeper bond with someone you've been with for awhile (even though it takes more effort to get the ball started).

Even if you eventually decide to open up your relationship, to romance outside the relationship, you should probably "go monogamous" for awhile and get the focus exclusively on each other, and on repairing the damaged trust in your relationship. Some couples' counseling (preferably with a poly-friendly therapist) might be a good idea, if you can get it. Your relationship has taken a lot of damage (from his fling with this other woman); it won't be mended overnight.

Make sure he clearly understands that you need him to communicate more (even if he feels he has been communicating -- and you must communicate with him more also), and that you need his commitment to help you keep that spark alive in your relationship. If you ever do "go poly" (in the future), you (read: he -- or both of you) will obviously have to take it slower.

Re (from desire):
"I do feel, if I can form emotionally sustaining relationships which might be erotic, I might be able to take him being involved with another person. I do fear this would change our relationship, though."
That's actually kind of sad, because it's exactly what you fear about monogamy: that is, that it will somehow change, for the worse, your relationship with him. Not all change is bad, some change is good. Some change will probably be necessary for you to save the relationship.

You might find "Opening Up: creating and sustaining open relationships," by Tristan Taormino, an interesting book to read. But remember, the only part of your relationship that *really* needs to be open (right now) is the open-communication part, the open-to-vulnerability part, and the openly-committed-to-each-other part. Don't depend on "outside relationships" to save your "main relationship;" that would be a fallacy.

I hope we can be some small help to you as you take on this daunting task of rebuilding your wounded relationship with your husband. Sometimes it's all about the little things; there's not always "one big answer."

With much regards,
Kevin T.
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"
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