An open relationship is a tricky term and open for interpretation. In theory, I love the idea. You get to experience different people and you don’t have to let go of something special. In theory. I wasn’t raised this way. I was raised to get married and kids and live happily ever after. I managed marriage twice, and I have one kid. The happily ever after has eluded me thus far.
Open relationships and Polyamorous relationships were introduced to me much later in life. When I was coming up as a young woman this was cheating, affairs, and anything else awful and morally wrong. It never would have dawned on me. The weird part is that I had a really hard time being in one relationship. I didn’t want to cheat but there was always someone who come into my life that caught my interest in a way that I new was going to lead to problems.
To be fair, I fought it hard. In both of my long term marriages I struggled constantly to keep my focus on my monogamous relationships. It wasn’t all the time, and it wasn’t always the same person. I would meet people at work, through friends, there was always this “thing” nagging at me.
My second marriage was to a woman. I thought maybe my wondering was because I was actually looking for something different. That did not turn out to be the case. I was usually good for the first 5-7 years but then something would snap. All jokes and comments about the 7-year itch could be entered here. It wasn’t that though. I wasn’t educated enough to explore what the real reason was. I am more educated now about relationships, but I am not sure I am any more clear on the kind of relationship I want to be in. I know that looking back my ex-wife would never have been in the agreement of an open relationship or a threesome. Neither would my ex-husband. So maybe it’s a good thing that open relationships were unknown to me back then.
The person I am seeing now is a great guy. We met on line and in the beginning he stated he was in an open relationship. Turns out his live in girlfriend changed her mind and decided she wasn’t happy about it. Much discussion and about three years later we are still seeing each other. There was time period that it was undercover from his girlfriend. He was hiding it but he wasn’t advertising it. But it felt like cheating to me.
We took breaks, didn’t see each other for a while, but we still ended up back together in some way. He had canceled on me a few times because of fighting with her. She called him once while he was on his way over to help me with something and turned around and went back home. Yeah, it felt like cheating. I had been there before and swore I would never put myself back in that situation again. So I told him I was done.
Relationships are just complicated. No matter what kind they are. The first time I tried to be part of another couple went horrible. I was in love, they had been together forever and had their own grove going. We all worked together and knew each other. He and I were in a relationship long before she knew about it. I know, I’m awful. I loved him. He said this would be away for us to spend more time together. We tried. I think all three of us tried for awhile, and then she got cold feet and stopped it. Neither of them decided it would be a good idea to tell me, they just stopped inviting over, responding to me in our group text, and I believe the word is ghosted. Which is weird because we all worked together.
The next time I tried to join an open relationship, they swore to me that they were both cool with it. I stressed my concerns and explained my past experience and they completely understood. Two weeks in and I get a text from her. Very friendly, general conversation and then slips in that she doesn’t understand why he felt he needed another woman, wasn’t she enough? Ugh! While I totally get where she was coming from, it was the same story. So I broke it off. He was confused, she was denying her concerns, I looked like the crazy bitch. But I walked away feeling strong about my decision.
When my current situation started heading the same way, I decided the friend zone was the best option. Relationships shouldn’t have to be over if there is a friendship there. That is what I told him. He understood. His relationship with his live in was difficult. They fought about everything and fought hard. During one of those argument, she asked what it would take to make it work with them. His response was, “I want an open relationship and want to spend more time with someone else.” Interesting. While I have never been “fought for” or “fought over” I appreciated him stating what he wanted.
He is in an open relationship now. A real one or their version of what that is. She started feeling insecure. Anyone else see a pattern here? I told him I’d talk to her. One night while we were hanging out, he joking suggested we all have a threesome. Another pattern. I want to be frustrated and angry but there is a small part of me that was intrigued. Yea, that lasted about a minute. It was already like the other two times and this wasn’t going to be any different. After hearing how she is and how he hates her, I don’t see myself falling into bed with them. I like to fuck but I have to like who I’m fucking.
So, while I am spending more time with him and he stays over night and I’ve been to his house, there is this looming feeling that there is an unknown condition put on this situation and relationship. We have talked about it and he knows how I feel. I guess now the only thing I can do is trust, and hope that the third time is the charm.
Relationships are complicated between two people…and just that much more so when more are involved. I do know people who make it work well though, having a third person or two couples. I struggle more with a single woman than I do a couple. But that is just my own jealousy rearing its ugly little head. It is simply an exercise in deep, open, and ongoing communication. Everyone has to be honest, and everyone has to trust. It is the only way I think any relationship can be truly successful.