What do do if partner wants an open relationship?

What To Do If Your Partner Wants An Open Relationship?

What To Do If Your Partner Wants An Open Relationship 

What To Do If Your Partner Wants An Open Relationship 

For many people on the receiving end of having the 'I want to have an open relationship' conversation, they have a thought process that sounds a little like this; 'am I not enough, and does my partner not love me are they going to leave me?'  

I want to reassure you that this immediate concern is entirely natural and normal, and I have been in both situations, so I know what it feels like. 

In this article, I’m going to shed some light on what open relationships can look like, and how they are not as scary as you may think! Honest!

Is It Weird To Want An Open Relationship? 

No, not really. Open relationships and non-monogamy are quite natural and normal. It's only society that dictates they are taboo. As human beings, we are not meant to live monogamously forever. 

Monogamy is helpful for raising young, and it indeed allows us to create strong, lasting bonds (great for building on), but we are still hard-wired to procreate with other humans. 

Ask yourself this, if we are meant to be monogamous, why is it that so many people cheat?

Now, in no way am I anti-marriage, but I feel if we accepted that we are simply responding to human nature and spoke about these feelings with our partners and then discovered ways to be non-monogamous ethically, it would save a lot of heartaches! 

Signs Your Partner May Want An Open Relationship

it is essential to remember that it takes a great deal of courage and vulnerability to talk about sexual desires.

OK, so there are no telltale signs to look for as such, but if your partner wants to talk about sex and intimacy with you and have an honest conversation about how they are feeling, I suggest you listen up. It may be that they want the two of you to watch porn together or share with you something they have overheard or watched, which will lead to that conversation

However, they bring up the topic of having an open relationship; it's essential to remember that it takes a great deal of courage and vulnerability to talk about sexual desires. So even if you are not on board with it, don't dismiss or ridicule your partner for being open. Just because you haven't brought it to the table, it doesn't mean it should go undiscussed. 

What To Do If Your Partner Wants An Open Relationship 

Many people falsely believe that one person wanting an open relationship spells the end of life as you know it. And that your partner wants to either replace you, or they no longer love you, or doesn't find you sexy and desirable anymore or wants to have an affair. 

I know exactly how it feels when your partner suggests you open up your relationship, and I also know how it feels to be the one suggesting it to your partner. 

What To Do If Your Partner Wants An Open Relationship 

The first thing many people experience, and I understand their thinking behind it, is fear and apprehension. Our relationships are our private worlds; we nurture and cherish them, defending them against outsiders and keeping them sacred. Responding with fear is normal, but overcoming and understanding why we experience relationship anxiety in the first place is the next step. I know it is easier said than done, but let me assure you if I can do it, so can you. 

Having an open relationship does not mean your partner is going to leave you. The fact that they want to go on this journey with you is a reassuring one. 

Put yourself in the shoes of your partner, and try to imagine how much courage it must have taken for them to have the conversation with you in the first place. 

Imagine the alternative? They either never speak up about what they desire and become steadily more repressed and resentful or, they feel unable to communicate their needs and end up cheating? 

 

Both of these sound pretty awful, and I, for one, would hate my partner to be miserable within our relationship, and I would also hate for them to feel like having an affair was the only way they could have their needs met.

I would respect them coming to me to say, 'look, I feel like this, what do you think? Is there a way we can work together to find a solution?' 

When you start viewing an open relationship or ethically non-monogamous relationship as a journey for you both to go on, instead of an obstacle or challenge, your relationship starts to grow. You begin communicating in ways you haven't done before, discussing possibilities that you didn't think were feasible, and as a couple, you become more grounded and secure. 

Think it's impossible? Watch the Instagram Live I did with Nikki at celestial soul coach and listen to her story. 

Rules For Open Relationships. 

Many people falsely believe that one person wanting an open relationship spells the end of life as you know it.

Having rules and boundaries within any ethically non-monogamous relationship that you both follow are essential ingredients if your relationship is going to be a success. 

An open relationship is no different, and before either of you even start seeking out other people to play with, you need to be clear on what is and is not OK within your relationship. 

It may be that you start off with safe sex and work from there, or discuss what type of sex you are happy to engage in with others or not. 

How often will you play? Will it only be in clubs, or will you meet people online? It's OK if you are unsure of your rules and limits, especially if you are yet to start in the lifestyle; as a guide, check out my dedicated article here on rules and boundaries.  

My Partner Wants An Open Relationship- Help!

If you are reading this because it's your partner and not you, who wants an open relationship, then don't worry; I'm here to help you too.  

Yes, I may write about open relationships and coach people on how to have them successfully, but I have also been on the receiving end of having that conversation, so I know how it feels and what thoughts are probably racing through your mind. 

It can be really easy to fall into the trap of believing that the reason your partner wants an open relationship is that you are not good enough, that you don't satisfy your partner, or that they want to leave you.

I certainly did when I heard that my partner wanted an open relationship, and the first thing I did was cling onto them and then blame myself for not being enough. The second thing I did, and again, I'm sure so many of you have experienced this, was to feel hostile to the point of defensive. 

I was not welcome to the thought of my relationship being opened up and was highly protective over it. 

Having an open relationship does not mean your partner is going to leave you. The fact that they want to go on this journey with you is a reassuring one. 

I now realise that all I was doing was responding naturally to a situation that I had never encountered before, one that I concluded was a threat to my relationship.

Therefore, in my mind, I needed to fight it off. 

I'm sure you are thinking, well what happened, to go from there to here? 

The first thing I did was educate myself about why we human beings may want an open relationship, and I listened to my partner and his reasons. He has no intention of replacing me or becoming emotionally involved with anyone else. 

What To Do If Your Partner Wants An Open Relationship 

He wasn't looking to sneak around. And I realised that if he wanted to cheat on me or be deceitful, he would have done so.  

He came to me and explained that he wanted to experience sexual scenarios with other people; some of which I couldn't provide for him because I was a woman. This actually meant it wasn't as make or break as I first imagined it would be. 

And yes, he did have sex with other women too, but again, I found that after we had discussed what that was going to be like, i.e. not in our home and always with protection, then I was OK with it, and sometimes we would talk about what he had experienced over dinner.  

Your partner having an open relationship does not spell the end of life as you know it; the fact that they are having the conversation with you in the first place is an encouraging step. 

They want to preserve what you have rather than be deceitful; by talking to you in the first place, they demonstrate that they want to be open, honest, and realistic.

Having an honest conversation allows for you to layout your fears and concerns for them to see so that you can both find a solution that benefits your relationship. You may not want to have the conversation, and it may be uncomfortable. However, for you to both achieve what you want in your relationship, you should demonstrate to them that you are listening to what they are saying and are willing to work with them and make a relationship that you both are happy with. 

Put yourself in the shoes of your partner, and try to imagine how much courage it must have taken for them to have the conversation with you in the first place. 

If they are met from the offset of that conversation with hostility, then chances are the next time they want to open up to you about sex or intimacy, they may be reluctant to do so.

Showing compassion may not come easily if the words 'open relationship' shock you, but to progress forward, demonstrating that you are compassionate towards one another is a great first step.