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Old 07-04-2011, 03:03 PM
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VeronicaE VeronicaE is offline
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Smile New and wishing to hear other people's experiences

Hi!

I've been married to an open-minded guy for 15 years now. We have three daughters and a beautiful family. We are very loving and get along great.

I've always been kind of worried about the impracticality of monogamy, and my hubby knew it. Yet, I've always been 'faithful' in the traditional sense of the word. About 18 months ago, I stumbled about a poly site and felt "Hey, so I'm not the only one feeling like this!"

I read a lot. I started talking seriously about it with my husband a year ago. We rewrote our "marriage contract", so to speak.

And yet, last week I spent a day with someone else and he felt so hurt! I don't want to hurt my loved ones so!

So my questions are:
1) Where in the forum can I read about the practical aspects of starting up without hurting anybody?
2) Is there anybody with my own cultural background who can share their experiences? I'm from Argentina.
3) Does it have to end up in divorce? I know what I'd choose if I have to, but I don't understand why I have to choose at all...

I need to talk to real people with real experience.

Thanks for reading, hope it's not too long for an introduction.

Veronica
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  #2  
Old 07-04-2011, 03:21 PM
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clairegoad clairegoad is offline
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Keep reading. There are a wide variety of experiences documented here. Some will feel similar to yours, some will be wildly different.

Plus, you can see the final outcome. Maybe a promising romance seemed perfect, but later they broke up due to communication issues. Maybe a shaky romance grows and learns and thrives...

Take notes on what works, and what doesn't. Going slow seems torturous, but builds a solid foundation.

claire
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  #3  
Old 07-06-2011, 09:10 PM
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Snowdancer Snowdancer is offline
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Hi there VeronicaE!

I'm new here too. I have a girlfriend who recently agreed to have an open relationship. I've been waiting years to find someone open to exploring this with me so I'm very excited. I'm also very nervous as I want her to enjoy this too, and of course, I don't want to loose her either. I'm hoping to break her into everything easy and slow enough so she can handle it. That is probably how you need to do it with your husband. He's probably scared so you need to be patient and gentle. Remember, you have a closed relationship of 15 years, that's a lot of momenteum to overcome. Keep at it enough so he learns to accept the concept, but not so fast that he panics and jumps ship. If you want to keep you husband and be able to date too, you have to always be aware of his emotional state and not exceed his limits.

I'm also going to paste an article which has some general principles involving having open relationships. Hopefully there will be something in here you can use. Good luck!

Snow

10 Ways to Make an Open Relationship Work

The term open relationships can mean several different things. It can mean a simple dating relationship that is not exclusive. It can also refer to the sexual aspect of a relationship, in that the individual partners are not exclusive in their sexual relationship, and can feel free to have sexual experiences with other individuals. It could also mean open in the emotional arena; an acceptance of a person’s capability of maintaining strong emotional relationships with more than one person at a time.

So, as you can see, the first step in making an open relationship work is to define exactly what it is you mean by an open relationship. Once that’s done you are ready to determine if you can make it work.

1.Mutual agreement. This is absolutely crucial. If the two people in the primary relationship are not both in agreement on having this type of relationship, it will not work. This means that the agreement must be more than in word only. It also means that both parties must be totally comfortable with the idea and not simply agreeing to please the other person.
2.Understanding expectations. As stated above, defining what you mean by an open relationship is extremely critical. Are their boundaries that you expect each other to maintain? What is the point and intention of the other relationships? Will this decision create changes in how the two of you relate to each other or how often you see each other?
3.Respect. Regardless of the type of relationship you are in, treating each other with respect is crucial for the relationship to succeed. Your partner should be able to trust you not to be sharing information about you with other people they are with. If there are things your partner does not want to share with you, you should respect their right to keep things to themselves.
4.Social understanding. Do your friends and family support your open relationship and understand what that means? It is easy to think that this is none of their business, but all your relationships tend to intersect at different points. If others in your social circle are unsupportive, it can easily become a strain on your relationship.
5.Space. And open relationship requires space. Space to allow the other person to pursue other relationship connections without the you watching over their shoulder. Open, assumes less dependence on each other.
6.Ongoing communication. For the primary relationship to continue, the communication between the two parties must continue. If the two people are not able to openly share with each other their concerns about their own relationship, it will easily breakdown. This is true for any relationship.
7.Protection. When pursuing relationships with multiple individuals, it is important to protect each person in your life. We’ve already mentioned protecting their trust of you, but there are other aspects as well. Where sexual relationships are concerned, there are serious health concerns that can develop through STD’s. There is no fail-safe protection in this area, but you should be able to assure one another that you will do what you can to prevent these types of transmissions.
8.Out in the open. This is similar to the social understanding item. If either party feels that they need to hide the fact that your relationship is an open one, the hidden aspect is bound to create strain and stress. If you aren’t comfortable enough with the concept to be open with people about it, you may need to reconsider your own true believes about the situation.
9.Dealing with jealousy. In spite of all efforts to avoid jealous feelings, they still can develop. It is important to understand that not all jealousy is wrong and that jealousy is based on feelings of hurt and loss. The key to dealing with these issues is to determine whether those feelings are justified or not. If boundaries were set and then crossed, the jealousy may be justified.
10.Re-evaluate. People change, situations change. Don’t hesitate to sit down with each other and talk about how the relationship is going. Are you both comfortable with keeping things as they are or are there aspects of the arrangement that are not working for one or both of you?

Relationships are complicated because people are complicated. Regardless of what type of relationship you enter into with other people, it will require work and communication to maintain it.
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Last edited by Snowdancer; 07-06-2011 at 09:19 PM.
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  #4  
Old 07-06-2011, 11:31 PM
transitapparent transitapparent is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeronicaE View Post
So my questions are:
1) Where in the forum can I read about the practical aspects of starting up without hurting anybody?
2) Is there anybody with my own cultural background who can share their experiences? I'm from Argentina.
3) Does it have to end up in divorce? I know what I'd choose if I have to, but I don't understand why I have to choose at all...

I need to talk to real people with real experience.

Veronica
1. just keep reading. there are a lot of stories here and I'm sure you can relate to any one of them.

2. I'm not sure about Argentina specifically but I know this website is worldwide.

3. it does not have to end in divorce. communication is key. take it slow, don't overwhelm him.

at first, I'm not entirely possible that the pain is unavoidable. hurt, jealousy, anger. all emotions I felt when mama put open marriage on the table and then found her BF. you 2 just have to keep talking. reassure him that you still love him, that you aren't tring to replace him. hope this helps.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:05 AM
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River River is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeronicaE View Post
1) Where in the forum can I read about the practical aspects of starting up without hurting anybody?
Veronica,

In order to open the relationship without unnecessary pain and suffering, it is necessary that the communication be excellent between you, as well as the loving itself. When your husband felt hurt, he had a very particular fear or concern, and if you can help him to examine and work with that very specific worry or fear, you might help him to realize that it is illusory.

If, for example, he's afraid you're going to run off and leave him for another, listen with empathy and love to this fear, take it in, empathize, and with an open heart and heartful eye contact..., tell him that you love him completely and that you never want to lose him. (If that's true.) If it is true, he will feel that truth. He'll perhaps be willing to collaborate with you on addressing his own fears and concerns. And so on....

And, yes, I've been practicing this way with my own partner of many years as I begin to explore a new loving relationship. It's working. He knows I love him. He knows that my love for him cannot be divided and thereby diminished. And he's quite happy for me--sharing in my own happiness in loving more.
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Last edited by River; 07-07-2011 at 12:07 AM.
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  #6  
Old 07-07-2011, 02:20 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowdancer View Post
I'm also going to paste an article which has some general principles involving having open relationships. Hopefully there will be something in here you can use. . . .
Where did that article come from, and who wrote it? Please cite your sources and provide a link, so people can bookmark it, and for copyright reasons. Thanks!
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Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein
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  #7  
Old 07-07-2011, 03:56 PM
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VeronicaE VeronicaE is offline
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Thank you all for such a warm welcome!
Thanks for the advice, and the article (I'm not sure #8 is feasible, though).
We'll take it slow and sweet, and see what happens...
In the meantime, I'll keep reading

Veronica
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  #8  
Old 07-08-2011, 02:44 AM
Meringue Meringue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowdancer View Post
4.Social understanding. Do your friends and family support your open relationship and understand what that means? It is easy to think that this is none of their business, but all your relationships tend to intersect at different points. If others in your social circle are unsupportive, it can easily become a strain on your relationship.

8.Out in the open. This is similar to the social understanding item. If either party feels that they need to hide the fact that your relationship is an open one, the hidden aspect is bound to create strain and stress. If you arenít comfortable enough with the concept to be open with people about it, you may need to reconsider your own true believes about the situation.
I know there are people on the forum who are very open about their nontraditional marriages, but I disagree with the assertion that a desire to keep an open marriage a secret indicates hesitation. I have told a couple very close friends about our open marriage (we're not polyamorous--that's perhaps an important difference), but I wouldn't dream of making it public knowledge. People are judgmental and we live in a small town.
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