She’s great, and you love her. After all, that’s why you married your wife in the first place. Unfortunately, there’s more to life than spending every night at home with her and things aren’t working for you. You could get a divorce, but that seems like the wrong choice. Alternately you could be miserable the rest of your life, but that also seems like a crummy option.
Is There Another Way
What else can you do? Open relationships or polyamory are options. So we decided to explore this nontraditional option for you. Once you know the facts, you’ll be more able to talk to your wife about opening up your marriage.
It might seem daunting at first, but not every polygamous relationship is like the Big Love TV show. There are lots of ways to include more in your life without losing what you already have. Every relationship is different and more people than ever are coming around to the notion that an old fashioned monogamous life isn’t the right fit for them.
There’s nothing wrong with coming to an adult and mutual decision about how to handle your personal life and needs. You can even find a partner on sites like No Strings Attached, where lonely married people are looking for love. Not every discreet relationship is cheating, after all. Sometimes it’s just not feasible for someone to let the public know they have two (or more) partners. Click Here to get the details on No Strings Attached.
How to Be Open
Having an open relationship isn’t a casual choice. You need excellent communication skills to have any healthy relationship. Handling two people’s emotions and needs is a challenge. Moreover, when you add other people, it increases the need exponentially. More people can mean more satisfaction and love for you both. It could be wonderful and life-changing, or it can go south very quickly. The difference is all in how you and your wife handle the situation.
Two Forms of Monogamy
There is more than one way to be monogamous. In Classical Monogamy, two people meet and marry as virgins. They have sexual and sexual-emotional relationships with each other, and no one else their entire lives. If a partner dies, celibacy is the only option for the other partner.
In Modern Monogamy, one or both partners have had other monogamous relationships, or they intend to. This means that each relationship is exclusive while it’s happening, but if and when it ends, both partners are free to seek other options. People who date and have sex exclusively, or remarry are Modern or Serial Monogamists.
Polygamy Pros and Cons
Discussing the ups and downs of what this will mean for you both is a vital part of the decision making process. For some couples, making an actual list with a pros and cons column may help. There’s no doubt, an open relationship is more complicated than when it’s just the two of you, but it can also be more rewarding.
The downside is scheduling and handling more complex emotional structures. Does your wife want to meet your girlfriend? Is she getting a boyfriend you want to get to know? Are the two of you planning to share? All these are things you need to consider. Just remember, it’s ok to change your mind and the way you do things as long as everyone involved knows and consents.
Types of Open Marriages
Choosing to be open is one thing, but knowing how to go about it and even what to call it is a whole different issue. Though every relationship is highly individual, the overall structures are fairly universal. Each type of non-monogamous relationship has a name.
Everyone knows what cheating is. When you dishonestly go behind your partner’s back to see other people, it’s cheating. Anything that isn’t consensual non-monogamy between knowing adults is a form of cheating. The law calls this adultery, and you can get in quite a bit of trouble for it in states with adultery laws.
Dan Savage popularized the term Monogamish. He is a relationship advice columnist who often speaks openly about things other advice column writers are afraid to tackle or which they disapprove. The concept of monogamish involves limited sexual contact with others. A couple sets their own standards for what is acceptable.
For example, some couples may say that anything short of penetrative sex is okay; others may feel that oral ‘doesn’t count.’ Meanwhile, others might find that one night stands or even prostitutes are just fine. To some, it only feels like a threat to the relationship if the contact happens in a certain way. When the relationship has rules for only specific types of contact with others, but some is allowed, that’s monogamish.
Traditional swinging involves partners in two different relationships agreeing to ‘trade’ spouses for a night of sex. Some do it only once, and others have regular partners they trade with so everyone can have a little adventure in their beds. The extent and nature of these mutual trysts are always up to the people involved.
Unlike having a threesome or foursome, each temporary pair of partners is alone for the evening. Trading off with other committed couples is one way to make sure there’s no issue with permanent attachments. Each person is committed to their primary partner, typically a husband or wife, and they go home together at the end.
If you need tips and strategies to convince your partner, Click Here.
- Polygamy (Polyandry & Polygyny)
If you’re an avid watcher of cable TV, you’ll have seen or at least heard about shows like Big Love and Sister Wives. While these forms of polygamy (relationships with multiple, usually permanent, partners) focus heavily on men with multiple wives, known as Polygyny, there’s a flip side. When a woman has more than one husband, it’s called Polyandry.
Unfortunately, since this is less common, so many people don’t hear about the practice. Useful information is hard to come by. Luckily it’s not as complicated as it may seem. A woman with multiple husbands often runs the home just as a man with multiple wives, and like other relationships, the details are between the partners involved.
In The US, and most countries, multiple marriages aren’t recognized. The tax status and legal validity of one marriage is the only accepted format. However, many people engage in successful multi-marriages. Sadly, it means going without the benefits of paperwork, insurance benefits for all the spouses, and so on.
Polyamory is a blanket term that includes loving more than one person in all it’s forms. It might be applied to any of these situations.
Like Polyamory, Polyfidelity is a blanket term. It refers to a closed relationship between more than two people. Unlike open relationships where partners can seek outside the relationship, a polyfidelitous relationship is like a traditional monogamous arrangement, but it involves three or more people.
Most forms of polyamory involve sex. However, Polyaffective relationships are purely emotional. People who conduct emotional affairs online but never arrange a meet up in real life are one form of polyaffective, though not a ‘good’ one. Asexuals may find being polyaffective outside their marriage is the best way to meet their needs.
Another generic term, the Open relationship, can take many forms. For some couples, never meeting or seeing outside partners is preferable. Essentially any relationship where partners have some ability to seek outside sexual or emotional partners is open. Polyfidelity is the only option on this list that cannot be part of an open relationship because it is closed by definition.
Some People Don’t Share
For lots of people, it’s just fine to be open about your relationship and let anyone know. Sadly, that’s not always the case. Public figures, first responders, lawyers, and judges are just a few examples of people who don’t want to shout their open-status from the rooftops. The social stigma can be a problem, but there are healthy and sane ways to handle this as well.
If you or your wife prefer to keep your open-marriage status private except for whoever you open up to, then don’t post on social media about it. You may need to be discrete when visiting your alternate partner or having them come to you. This is not about being ashamed of them or cheating. It’s merely a practical solution to other people’s close-minded judgemental nature.
Unfortunately, they can take this out on you or your partners in many ways. It’s tough to prove your boss overlooked you for a promotion because they don’t like your girlfriend. If caution is necessary and desirable, then always be very clear from the get-go. Make sure your partners, including your wife, know that this is a confidential situation. Only seek out partners who know how to keep things to themselves. Check out No Strings Attached. It might be just what you are looking for.
Your love life is no one’s business unless you make it so. We’d all like to share our joy with the world occasionally, but this is one time when it’s alright to be selfish. Enjoy your private time with whoever you choose to spend it with, but respect the boundaries of the relationship.
Hopefully, your relationship with your wife is mature enough that you can tackle essential subjects. Bringing up your unhappiness, and this nontraditional solution can still be a bit tricky. You can’t just say “I want to see other people,” there’s a lot more to it. Open the conversation gently. Tell her you think it’s important to discuss your feelings and personal needs.
Next, let her know that you love her very much, but you’re also deeply unhappy. Explain what you’re unhappy about and why. Also, let her know you have a solution if she’s amiable to it, and you think it could be a fantastic way to move forward.
Using words in this way makes a woman more receptive to what you have to say. You can’t just announce that you’re getting a new girlfriend. Plus, you never know, she might also be unhappy. Moreover, she might want a boyfriend, lover, or even a girlfriend you can share. There are so very many ways to be in a happy relationship that it’s simply not necessary to restrict it to one other person.
When you have children, albeit, in a very different way, you open your two-party relationship up to more love. As an adult, you can also have sex and love in addition to your primary spouse.
What About the Kids
For couples who already have children, there are only two ways of handling this sort of arrangement. First, you can be open with them. You can tell your kids that Daddy and Mommy have other special friends (depending on their age you’ll want to adjust the wording). Let them know that nothing changes for them because of this.
Unless you really are getting a second wife, then an outside partner typically doesn’t share the child-rearing responsibilities. So be clear with them about the limits where your kids are concerned. If you go the other route, it won’t matter.
Speaking of the other option, you can choose to obfuscate the whole relationship. Perhaps you have friends who are another open couple, and they come over to hang out. Things could wait until after kid-bedtime in that case, but you’d still get the whole evening together. Otherwise, you can choose to conduct your polygamy outside the home.
Be aware that kids are incredibly observant. They may eventually decide one or the other of you is being cheated on if you hide the other relationship from them. Talk to your wife about what you will say if they catch on. Make sure you’re on the same page.
Do We Tell Our (Extended) Family
This is always a personal choice. More often than not, unless your extra partner moves in and becomes a part of your household, there’s no need to say anything. Just as you would with the kids, be prepared for the questions if your parents or siblings happen to notice something has changed.
You’ll find that most families don’t want to talk about what’s going on in your bedroom. Parents/grandparents may have concerns about their children or grandchildren and wonder if the arrangement is hurting someone. Think about what to say to them if it comes up.
Remember, as long as this is a consensual and safe adult relationship, and your wife is fine with it, you’re doing nothing wrong. Cheating only happens when your actions hurt someone. The laws may be a bit outdated and backward, but if your wife isn’t going to leave you for it, then there’s no real issue.
However you choose to love, and whoever you share it with is up to you. Open relationships don’t work for everyone. That said, if you’re unhappy and other solutions aren’t working out, it may be the best solution. You don’t have to end a marriage if you can change the terms in a way that works for the better. You may even be surprised to find your wife is unhappy or excited about being able to expand her options as well.