Here are 4 open relationships stories, with people’s names changed.
Opening your relationship up to other sexual partners is difficult.
Some people do it, with mixed results.
If an open relationship makes you happy, go for it.
I recorded these stories as a podcast episode that you can listen to below.
Or if you prefer text-based format, keep reading.
Open relationships story #1: Nick and Janet
A husband, Nick, entered in a polygamy sect.
Before that, things had been going well between the spouses.
But now the couple was on the verge of a breakup because the wife, Janet, didn’t want a polygamous relationship.
When the husband worked with a life coach, they uncovered a reason that had driven Nick to the sect.
Right before this, his mother had died, their first child had been born, and they had moved into a new house.
Nick felt uncertain about these changes and needed an outlet for negative emotions.
Janet and the coach helped him cope with the emotions without the sect.
When one of the spouses makes such a radical decision, it’s good to uncover the root cause rather than to tackle the symptom.
If there is trauma behind it, it’s important to deal with the trauma first.
Open relationships story #2: Marc, Mary, and Jane
The husband, Marc, had a female friend, Mary.
They were working on a project together and liked each other.
They flirted over email.
One day, Mary told Marc that she felt lonely.
She wanted to come over, talk to him, and spend a night at his place.
Marc asked his wife, Jane, whether she was fine with this.
That didn’t come as a surprise to her because she saw what was going on between Marc and Mary.
She said it was okay for them to sleep on the couch together.
The two of them had sex that night and officially became lovers.
Jane felt jealous at times.
To make it easier for her, they agreed that Marc would keep her from knowing about sex.
What I like about this story is good communication.
Marc didn’t lie to Jane but was honest and transparent.
Honesty makes the other partner feel less insecure.
And it also helps establish rules that make the open relationship work for everybody.
An ethical non-monogamy coach Laurie Ellington said:
“No doubt, communication is the biggest area of focus for anyone practicing ethical non-monogamy. Why? In order for any kind of relationship to work, we need to have the necessary skills to be able to express ourselves and hold space for others to do the same. ”
Open relationships story #3: Annie and Tim
After 12 years of marriage, Annie, a wife and a mother of two kids, wanted to explore her sexuality with others.
Her husband, Tim, hated this but chose to be supportive in order to save the marriage.
They also started couples counseling to make the transition easier.
Annie tried all kinds of sexual experiments like going to a fetish club.
It didn’t mean she constantly had sex.
She wanted to build a connection first.
And ended up having a permanent partner for 1 year.
Annie loved him but didn’t want to live with him.
In the meantime, Tim couldn’t stand her polygamy anymore and insisted on separation and co-parenting.
If the other spouse doesn’t want an open marriage, they shouldn’t agree to it.
Tim did that to show up as supportive and save the marriage.
And he also hoped that Annie might change her mind after a while.
But things didn’t get better as he had hoped.
And because Tim had agreed to something he had never wanted in the first place, he was so jealous and unhappy.
It’s better for the other spouse to understand how they really feel about an open relationship.
And separate if they are not fine with it.
Open relationships story #4: Steve and Marsha
Steve and Marsha have been together for 13 years and had two kids.
Marsha was bored with their sex and had the courage of bringing up the idea.
She wanted sex with other people but didn’t want to cheat.
Steve totally supported her idea.
That’s how they ended up with consensual non-monogamy which means having sex outside of the marriage whereas polyamory is loving several people.
They found sexual partners by posting ads online.
Each of them looked for partners individually.
They agreed not to have sex in their home and established rules for protection and not falling in love.
They communicate a lot about this.
And that’s the reason for the success of their open relationship: openness prevents jealousy.
Openness helped Steve and Marsha create a healthier alternative to cheating.
Having a set of clear rules means they have fewer misunderstandings.
These 4 open relationships stories show that both partners need to be on the same page.
Discuss a potential open relationship to make sure this is something that both want.
And don’t agree to it if you don’t like it and just want to save the marriage.
Break through your barriers
If you need help figuring out open relationships, check out my life coaching services.
Personally, I don’t need an open relationship because I love the feeling of oneness with my intimate partner.
I don’t want to share her with several people.
That said, as a life coach, my goal is to help clients design the lifestyle they want.
After all, happiness is more important than almost anything else in life.
Here’s a link to contact me.