Steps To Opening Up Your Marriage. I came across this great article about what to know before asking your spouse for an open marriage (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/what-to-know-before-asking-your-spouse-for-an-open-marriage_us_56f17f5de4b084c67221a77b) I want to share the possibilities that tend to limit Couples’ fantasies about what could be a very satisfying outcome. As a Marriage Counselor in private practice for the past 21 years I have had the opportunity to work with my Couples utilizing nonconventional psychotherapeutic techniques developed by innovative relationship and sex experts of the 21st Century to bring back the intimacy they desire and enhance the relationship that was once great to becoming good again. Open marriages or just having the discussion about them can create this objective.
Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net and dan
If you’re ready to explore an open marriage, here are 3 steps author Tammy Nelson suggests be taken before actually following through with the process:
Talk about what your definition is of open. Is an open marriage just an excuse to have an affair? Do you already have someone that you are interested in and you want to pursue the relationship, but you want permission from your partner?
If that’s the case, then you need to slow down the open relationship conversation and start talking about the affair that is either about to happen or is already going on. An open relationship isn’t about integrating a third party who is going to interfere with your marriage or your monogamy. An open marriage is something that you both agree will enhance your relationship, not hurt your intimate connection.
What is your vision of what your open marriage will look like in a year? This is an important conversation for several reasons, it will help you get clear about where this open relationship idea might be going.
You might think, “Oh, we will be done with this little experiment in a year. I just want to try it, I think I can get it out of my system after a month or two, or after we have sex once or twice with other people.” But your partner may think, “I am hoping we will have outside partners that may be living with us and sharing our lives within a year.” When you share these two very different visions, you will soon realize that you have a problem. You will need to look more carefully at your ideas of an open relationship.
Is having an open relationship about finding casual sex and a little swinging on the weekends, or is it more about finding love and a polyamorous relationship where you can expand your emotional connection and integrate other partners as long term relationships into your lives?
Go over the rules. Be clear about what your boundaries are regarding sex, including what you define as safe touch, kissing, whether you agree to intercourse, if it is ok to be in the same room, or if you want to watch your partner be sexual or not, if you need to approve of each other’s outside partners, if there will be contact outside of the date nights, etc.
In Couples Counseling I incorporate Tammy’s book, The New Monogamy, when helping my Couples explore questions in which to ask to negotiate agreements that work for them.
For more information on initiating a conversation about Open Marriages please contact me at (858) 735-1139.