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  1. #1
    Swingers Board Guide SW_PA_Couple's Avatar
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    Default How secure is your open marriage?

    My wife and I enjoy an open marriage. But I am not so proud as to believe that nothing can go wrong. What are the foundational elements that insulate a marriage from harm while it remains open?
    IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO LEARN TO PLOW BY READING BOOKS.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: How secure is your open marriage?

    Well, I'm fairly new to the practice myself but I'll still chime in with the obvious: communication. Open, honest, truthful communication.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How secure is your open marriage?

    I will agree with the need for open communication.

    You never know for sure, but the risk of an open relationship is worth the thrill and fun for us. We're not completely open or poly, but we do have many freedoms and emotions beyond swinging.

    I'll add that prioritizing my husband is something I feel is really important. It can be easy to get distracted by other lovers. I think you have to keep on guard to keep your marriage first.

    I feel that we are fairly secure because we have a commitment to each other and our kids. You can never know for sure what your spouse is truly thinking and feeling. You can only know yourself. I know that my marriage and family is my top priority so I feel comfortable engaging with others.

    My husband is very upfront and open. He is also not interested in making attachments. I am ok with him falling for someone, as long as it's in the open. In 8 years of swinging and seeing many of the same people over and over, he's never met someone he's crazy about. (I have several times). It's possible it could happen, but I think we would embrace the situation and make it work.
    Go TeamFun! Read my novella, Rock Hard in the 80's on Kindle or in paperback! Click here to check it out on Amazon

  4. #4

    Default Re: How secure is your open marriage?

    I agree with all, good communication is the first thing one must have.

    After that comes a strong foundation, and I think that holds true no matter what degree of open your relationship is, from same room soft swap on up to totally open. A strong foundation gets built block by block, and I think relationships are the same way. Everything you share, the good and the bad, are another block and another step through life you took together. Sometimes you might not have been totally in stride with each other for each of those steps, but you kept going and one way or another moved forward. That is why I think it is extremely difficult for new relationships to succeed in any type of open arrangement, there just hasn't been time for that foundation to have been built and have cured to maximum strength. I won't say it's impossible, because there's always the exceptions, I just think it is really really difficult, and when it doesn't work out like they hoped, I don't think you can always lay that at the feet of one or both people involved...it was just asking too much of the relationship itself at that point in time.
    Not all those who wander are lost

  5. #5

    Default Re: How secure is your open marriage?

    In the last four years my marriage has been seriously tested and almost rocked off course and it has been somewhat "open" for 12 years. Early on, when he first asked me to be open, it almost broke me apart. But I was honestly curious as to how it would be and after months of contemplating I agreed to try it. We talked A LOT in those months about why he wanted to bring others in, what our expectations were, what are rules would be etc. I still don't truly understand his desire and motivation but I have discovered my own. I find that I really enjoyed some of the experiences we had and felt especially close to him again when we had so much new and exciting things to talk about. I feel my relationship is "secure" because he tells bears his soul and so do I. I believe love is a choice as well as a feeling and I am secure in his choice and his commitment to love me till death do us part and I also believe that the heart is larger than we think and is capable of loving many at the same time at the same intensity. I feel this way because after finding a male play partner, I fell in love with him, but was still head over heals for my husband. If anything, I loved him even deeper, while falling for this new guy.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How secure is your open marriage?

    Lionheart is succinct and spot on; communication. When you think you're done communicating, communicate more. Keep communicating. Also, the very fact you are asking this question is great! It means you are conscious of the possibility of problems, and are proactively looking to nip them in the bud before they become a problem. This is very, very good! I would add; make sure you do things as a team. Even if you are playing separately, keep doing it as a team; make sure the other spouse always knows what is going to happen, and talk about what happened afterwards. My wife and I really enjoy that. It's like re-living the escapades.

    SASS has some great points too; She notes that she doesn't truly understand her husband's desire. Well, as a husband I can say this; *I* don't understand my desire to see my wife having sex with other men Seriously. I don't. I know even the thought of it turns me on, but I can't explain why. I enjoy her being able to play with other men, with or without me. I've come to accept I might not ever fully understand why, just that I do.

    I also 100% agree about loving many at the same time. I think it bizarrely illogical that we can love two parents, four grandparents, many kids, but when it comes to romantic love, suddenly we're incapable of loving more than one? That just doesn't make sense to me. I'm deeply in love with my wife. I'm also in love with a girlfriend from long ago, with whom I am still very close friends (but nothing sexual happening). My wife knows this, my old girlfriend knows this, everyone's fine with it. My old girlfriend loves me too, and so does my wife. My wife has had sex with her primary partner (other than me) probably more than a hundred times. They are in love. Not to the same depth as she and I are, but they are in love. I don't feel our love is somehow replaced by her love for him, nor replaced by my love for my old girlfriend.

  7. #7

    Default Re: How secure is your open marriage?

    A simple answer would be love. Your love and bond with each other.

    My wife fell in love with the first man I talked her into having sex with. It was something I hadn't expected and the more she had sex with him, knowing her feelings toward him, the more insecure I felt.

    He fell in love with her also and wanted to possess her for himself. In the end she chose me and our marriage over him. Her love for me was stronger than her love for him.

    I am now confident and no longer feel insecure when she has sex with other men.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How secure is your open marriage?

    I think communication is important and also, if your relationship is going to be open, it is even more imperative to DATE your primary partner or spouse. if you are actively pursuing each other while you are engaging others, it is less likely that one will fall in love with another and not have kept an open bond with the partner. As I stated above, I did fall in love with my other partner, but I also was maintaining my bond with my spouse and he was fully aware of my feelings every step of the way and we were also closer than ever. I never had a desire to leave my husband in favor of this other guy, I just wanted to spend more time with both them but if I was not openly and actively communicating and connecting with my spouse after each encounter with my other partner, I could easily see how that could bring me to want to leave one for the other more attentive partner. Both of us are agree that feelings that develop remain outside of our union and that our union is primary. That keeps me secure. if a relationship seems to be becoming a problem, we both agree that we will end it. That is all it takes for me to feel secure.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How secure is your open marriage?

    It seems that most of the responses are from people that love more than one person, or are open to that.

    Are there any that consider their relationship "open", but not poly, and have advice on how to stay within boundaries or agreements over the long haul?


  10. #10

    Default Re: How secure is your open marriage?

    My ex and I had what I consider to be an "open" relationship. That is, we would both have sex with other people of the opposite sex. Sometimes, we would get emotionally close to the other person.

    We had rules, of course. If either of us was uncomfortable with a situation, we could call a halt. Normally, we would tell the other before having sex with others, even if it was an ongoing relationship.

    Our open relationship lasted for more than a decade, I can only remember one serious problem in all those years, it came because of a misunderstanding.

  11. #11

    Default Re: How secure is your open marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamgunn View Post
    My ex and I had what I consider to be an "open" relationship. That is, we would both have sex with other people of the opposite sex. Sometimes, we would get emotionally close to the other person.

    We had rules, of course. If either of us was uncomfortable with a situation, we could call a halt. Normally, we would tell the other before having sex with others, even if it was an ongoing relationship.

    Our open relationship lasted for more than a decade, I can only remember one serious problem in all those years, it came because of a misunderstanding.
    what was that misunderstanding? I understand if you don't want to share that detail, however it might help shed light on the lessons you learned. How can we prevent such misunderstandings?

    Thanks for your reply

  12. #12

    Default Re: How secure is your open marriage?

    SASS, no problem. One evening we had a threesome play date scheduled with one of her favorites. I understood that he might show up before I got home, but that they would just sit with each other, maybe have a glass of wine, and wait for me before playing. When I got home, he bounced nakedly down the stairs, they had been screwing for a couple of hours.

    Now, perhaps I wasn't clear enough about my desires. Or maybe she figured I just wouldn't care. It might of been that the other guy wanted some alone time with her and pressured her into changing her mind. Who knows? (Although to this day I'm pretty sure I got her to say she wouldn't play till I got home. But I could be mistaken; I just don't think so.)

    My wife and I talked about it, she assured me it would never happen again, and (as far as I know) it didn't.

    Other than that one time, there was never a problem regarding sex with other people that was caused by one of us.

  13. #13

    Default Re: How secure is your open marriage?

    It is good that you got past it. I wonder is there anyone else who has tips who is not open to loving more than one person at the same time? I never thought I was open to that until it happened to me and I still do not know how I would feel if it was him that fell for someone else. I purposely withdrew from the man but would he do he same? would I want him too? I have questioned this recently. I would love to hear from someone who kept their relationship secure even after unintentional love attachment.

  14. #14
    Swap Meet Enthusiast Dont.Stop's Avatar
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    Default Re: How secure is your open marriage?

    I got too close once. It was a coupe that we had fantastic times with. We'd spend the weekend at their place and it was really a great time together.
    But I got too close to her. We didn't feel like we were to close, but when you find yourself having conversations and hiding them... even if there is nothing in the content... it's no good.
    I was upset when Mrs. Stop said stop, and that of itself as a problem. Our rules always consisted of either one of us could apply the brakes if needed.
    So, I let go. That was three years ago.
    In the past year we've caught up with them again and have done vanilla things. Mrs. Stop is open to hooking up with them again.
    While I firmly believe you can't help who you are attracted to or who you fall in love with, and reigning in that NRE is really tough, sometimes it's just the NRE you get addicted to. While I still find her very beautiful and sexy, that extra burn inside isn't there.
    I don't know that we are really poly oriented. Mrs Stop and I have so much fun together that I don't want to spend the time away from her necessary to nurture another relationship. It has nothing to do with strength of our marriage, nor is our marriage so much better than anyone else's who is poly. But swinging and the occasional lone escapade is enough for us.
    Did I miss the point? Sorry.

  15. #15

    Default Re: How secure is your open marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dont.Stop View Post
    I got too close once. It was a coupe that we had fantastic times with. We'd spend the weekend at their place and it was really a great time together.
    But I got too close to her. We didn't feel like we were to close, but when you find yourself having conversations and hiding them... even if there is nothing in the content... it's no good.
    I was upset when Mrs. Stop said stop, and that of itself as a problem. Our rules always consisted of either one of us could apply the brakes if needed.
    So, I let go. That was three years ago.
    In the past year we've caught up with them again and have done vanilla things. Mrs. Stop is open to hooking up with them again.
    While I firmly believe you can't help who you are attracted to or who you fall in love with, and reigning in that NRE is really tough, sometimes it's just the NRE you get addicted to. While I still find her very beautiful and sexy, that extra burn inside isn't there.
    I don't know that we are really poly oriented. Mrs Stop and I have so much fun together that I don't want to spend the time away from her necessary to nurture another relationship. It has nothing to do with strength of our marriage, nor is our marriage so much better than anyone else's who is poly. But swinging and the occasional lone escapade is enough for us.
    Did I miss the point? Sorry.
    you may have missed the op's original ? but you answered mine when I fell hard and I think he did too. I only have his actions to go on, but when we moved away for a year and a half, he was one of the first people to come and visit us and tell us all about how his life had been lonely. I began discouraging him even though I was still very attracted and interested... I think it was because of my feelings that I pushed him away because I was beginning to feel afraid of them. I wondered if anyone else had felt the same before. Thanks

  16. #16

    Default Re: How secure is your open marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by SW_PA_Couple View Post
    What are the foundational elements that insulate a marriage from harm while it remains open?
    I wonder this too. Could there be a line of boundaries that if you go beyond that line you end up in polyamory territory? Of course, such lines overlap, in my opinion.

    One such rule could be "no sleeping with others over night and waking with them". That's just an example.

    Any other similar boundaries?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: How secure is your open marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoNatural View Post
    One such rule could be "no sleeping with others over night and waking with them". That's just an example.

    Any other similar boundaries?
    This is not one of our rules but it is a _very_ good example of a rule.

    An example of a rule to which my wife and I have agreed is we will inform each other in advance of where we plan to be as well as with whom.
    IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO LEARN TO PLOW BY READING BOOKS.
    ~Richard Linklater


  18. #18

    Default Re: How secure is your open marriage?

    Secure as ANY other type, or style, of relationship. A wobbly marriage will disintegrate no matter what rules or boundaries are put in place. The advice people are giving is relevant to non-swinging couples as well. Trust, respect, communication, empathy, etc.

  19. #19

    Default Re: How secure is your open marriage?

    Great thread ! As this has been my wife's biggest concern since I finally told her my Kink 2 years ago ... Thks for the thread !

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