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The Open Relationship

16 Jun

As soon as it’s feasible, we all learn the tenet of “one man, one woman.”  Monogamy is the watchword of our society and everyone’s goal is to find that one person who we can spend the rest of our lives together and, hopefully, forsaking all others while doing our level best to ward off any sundering of our bonds.

These days, it doesn’t matter if it’s woman/woman or man/man, monogamy is still enforced as the desired behavior.  And while this behavior is mostly leveled at married couples, even when people are together and not married, the same rules applies because, historically, we’ve seen when having more than one partner and, indeed, more than one mate can cause… problems and, ideally, problems that should be avoided at all costs.

For some of us, this arrangement works fine and we find ways to work through all the issues and problems that come along in any relationship; we stay the course and stay true to the expected behavior.  For others, well, um, that might not really work as well as anticipated.

Some people just cannot be monogamous and others, having done all the “usual” things a couple can do, seek something else that can best be described as having one’s cake and eating it, too:  The open relationship.

It’s negotiated infidelity in that, ideally, both people in the relationship agree to do this under an equally agreed-upon set of rules – but maintaining their current relationship at the same time.  I can tell you from experience that if you think this is extremely difficult to do, I’m here this afternoon to tell you that it’s even more difficult than you might imagine and to the point that when a lot of couples start talking about this, it appears to be so ludicrous and unrealistic that talks usually tend to break down… and a few arguments have ensued.

We’re a versatile animal… but some of us don’t share or play nicely with others when it comes to this because first and foremost, it’s supposed to be just us; three’s a crowd and all that.  I’ve known this topic to come up in relationships and effectively end them mere minutes after it comes up; I should be all that you’ll ever need and no outside assistance is required and, if you think it is, well, there’s the door – don’t let it hit you in the ass on the way out.

While monogamy is supposed to be the way to have a relationship, at some point, some folks might start to notice something that begs an important question:  Is this all there is?  Most of the time, when relationships hit the wall, either a break-up is on the horizon or, sadly, some cheating is going to ensue because we find out that, oops, we might not be everything to each other and to even presume something like that is pretty ballsy – yet, this is how we behave; this is the promise that we make, essentially setting ourselves up to fail.

I’ve been there, done that, kinda surprise I survived it so I feel that while I’m no “expert” on this, eh, I know a little something about it and enough to say to any couple thinking about doing this, “I wouldn’t, if I were you…”  It’s not something everybody can do, not for the insecure, faint of heart, and definitely not for anyone the little green monster spends time fucking with; it sounds good on paper and, more often than not, totally fails in execution.

I mean, I can understand why a couple would want and even need to do this and, really, you have to be able to think out of the box in order to see why this could be a good thing to do.  At the same time, I don’t know which is actually worse:  Being open or cheating on each other.  The whole conversation of an open relationship has been known to cause feelings of inferiority (“What, I’m not enough for you?  What do you mean I’m not?”) as well as feeling betrayed, dishonored, disrespected, and played for the biggest fool that’s ever been born.

This can stir up the muck that lies at the bottom of each of us and in ways that’ll make you wish you hadn’t; the first worse thing that comes up from the murky depths is finding out all of your faults – and I do mean all of them – and in terms that I’ll say are unpleasant at the best, totally demoralizing at the worst.  Then comes the confusion:  Whoever brought this up does, in fact, love and need you in their lives – it’s just that they need more.

Yep, have your partner tell you that they love you, need you, don’t want to live without you… but you’re not enough and see how that feels; in a word, it hurts like nothing you’ve ever felt before in your life.  Oh, and now that they’ve told you this, you are now expected and required to look at this intelligently, logically, and with common sense.  Sometimes, this is what happens when you tell your partner, “I love you and I’d do anything for you!”

Would you really?  You realize at this point that way back on, oh, Day Ten or so, you put your foot firmly in your mouth and made a promise that, now, you know you can’t keep – it’s unspeakable; how could you say this to me?  What did I do to make you hate me so much that you’d suggest such a thing?  Calling this moment a shit storm really is putting it mildly because, um, they’re asking questions you can probably bet they really don’t want to hear the answers to.

Some couples get their noses bent out of shape and the conversation on this ends, never to be brought up again and, hopefully, life together goes on without this foolishness; however, some couples will not only either get past or avoid this shit storm altogether, they’ll actually start talking about how it could possibly work – and that’s despite the likelihood of hearing some shit that was previously unknown.

What I wonder is whether or not the person who brings this up is really aware that, as they say, the door swings both ways; if it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander.  A lot of people do, in fact, think of this as a one-way street; it’s something they want to do for themselves and since this is what they want to do, that’s all that really matters and, often, they get really upset when the partner who got the bad (or good) news says, “Well, if this works for you, then it has to work for me, too!”

Now, sometimes, that statement is enough to make the move toward being open grind to a screeching halt and, yes, I have heard of men and women insisting that they be allowed to be open – but their partner better not even think of it because, you selfish motherfucker, this ain’t about you – this is about my needs and what I want!  You ain’t got nothing to do with this!

I’m guessing you can smell the shit storm about to roll over everything, huh?

I’m not saying that it shouldn’t be done; I’m not even saying that it can’t be done.  What I am saying that unless you and your partner are really kinda special, don’t even go there; it’ll probably be easier for you to break up with them and go your separate ways than to try something that scares the shit out of most people to think that, hey, someone else is going to be fucking my man/woman!

Sounds inconceivable, doesn’t it?  Totally outlandish, huh?  I’ve heard people call this being selfish, being greedy, lacking maturity and other things.  Oh, my friends, this topic comes up, you will quickly find out what “I love you” doesn’t mean and that there are, in fact, some unvoiced – but somehow implied – limits; that whole “I do” thing can be such a killer, for instance.

So, here’s the way you’re supposed to behave if things get to the “Is this all there is?” stage:  Break up.  Get a divorce and try to start all over again if you can; those are, officially, your only choices.  Still, there are people who don’t buy into this; there must be another way, something else we can do to keep things going and improve our happiness.

And there are things that can be done, all of it out-of-the-box so it’ll require you to change a whole lot of shit, beginning with how you think (and maybe even feel) about relationships or, as I’ve said, you have to unlearn what you’ve learned.  That, all by itself, isn’t as easy as it sounds because we just can’t conceive a condition that’s not just “me and you.”

Given the way men and women are, you’d think this conversation would never come up… which doesn’t change the fact that it does.

 
19 Comments

Posted by on 16 June 2012 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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19 responses to “The Open Relationship

  1. MysteryCoach

    17 June 2012 at 16:57

    I had someone ask me one time and I agreed. I smiled sweetly at him, said “Look at you all happy” He was too. Then I said, I hope you don’t mind watching them do me though. Smile gone. 🙂

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    • kdaddy23

      17 June 2012 at 17:25

      Well, yeah; usually, one of the rules of doing this doesn’t include having to watch stuff going on; it’s easier not to see it – that takes much more out-of-the-box thinking. Okay, some rules:

      1. Home always comes first.
      2. Never do your dirt at home.
      3. Don’t even think about bringing anything home and especially anything that’s gonna be calling you “mommy” or “daddy” or requires pharmaceuticals.
      4. Full disclosure is optional depending on the degree of one’s need to know

      That last one is interesting; some folks who’d do this is okay with it as long as they don’t know what’s going on when he or she isn’t home. That makes sense (and not so much) because, say, if you know she’s met someone, that they’re gonna be scrumping at some point is almost a given (at least once). I know that some couples will invoke full disclosure because if they’re doing this to spice up their own lives, well, there’s a whole lot you can learn about each other and, on the downside, some of it might hurt to some degree.

      Here’s the one important thing that can be learned: Just because you can doesn’t mean you have to; sometimes, just knowing that you could is enough.

      Do some couples, ah, expand this, revoke the “no dirt at home” rule and share the experience with each other? Yep and I’d have to say that the results will definitely vary because it’s one thing to think/know that someone else is screwing your man/woman; it’s something else to watch it happen which is much harder (and it’s harder than you can imagine – trust me).

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  2. MysteryCoach

    17 June 2012 at 17:32

    I’ll take your word for it that it’s harder than you’d imagine. I wouldn’t be a fan I think you’ve got a pretty valid point to about how if one person brings it up, it’s all about them although I have read stories over the years where it did work out, watching or not.

    I just watched a woman who was in her late 50’s who has a soft port video show on TV and people pay her and she does what she wants from home but whatever they want her to do. I thought really? I was like… okay, whatever makes her happy and I missed the part where she was going to tell her daughter about it.

    There was also a couple who were in their early 20’s and that’s how they made their money, by having sex live and people would pay to watch them. Okay, whatever and they were making good money. I thought… wow… There is so much going on in the world today and it’s like everyone’s head is all screwed up… I do’nt think it wasn’t around before I just think the access is much greater.

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    • kdaddy23

      17 June 2012 at 17:57

      It can work but, like anything that’s not monogamous, it’s not for everyone and it always sounds good on paper… until you really get a glimpse of how it’s gonna work. That’s when the “great plan” tends to fall apart at the seams, usually at the “If you can do it, so can I!” part.

      Voyeurism… well, that’s something else and more so if it’s being done for profit, which is a bigger motivator, I think.

      But I understand why some folks actually give being open a try and, well, the pathologically monogamous would probably explode their brains to think that there’s actually some good reasons for doing this. Some folks just reach a point where they’ve done all that’s possible with each other to keep things hot and fresh and all that, things designed to keep them together as a couple.

      Like I said, they’ll ask themselves, “Okay, is this all there is? What else can we do together?” And, yeah, they’ll feel they have to come up with something because to fail at this will sound the death knell for their relationship – and that’s just not gonna work for them.

      And, yeah, sometimes, it’s just not about sex exclusively or even in particular – but this gets a little complex because, sometimes, you have an open relationship just to be able to express your feelings to, with, and/or for someone – but sex isn’t the prime form of said expression.

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      • MysteryCoach

        17 June 2012 at 20:35

        I don’t think any of this sounds good at all on any level honestly. To each their own though, not my idea of any fun whatsoever.

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      • kdaddy23

        17 June 2012 at 20:42

        Of course you don’t; most women don’t.

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      • MysteryCoach

        17 June 2012 at 20:43

        Lots of men too… 🙂

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      • kdaddy23

        17 June 2012 at 20:51

        Most certainly; like the dogs women often say we are, men are too territorial…

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      • MysteryCoach

        17 June 2012 at 20:54

        ROFL and so are some women LOL:) I assure you that both men and women have the same issues about the same things. It’s not one or the other.

        Cept of course medical things. Way different but you know what I mean.

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      • kdaddy23

        17 June 2012 at 21:15

        No, not really different; just a different reason; easier to see this as some exception to the rule but it really isn’t that much of an exception because you’re still opening up the relationship so why it’s being done/suggested doesn’t matter. I know men and women who have asked their partner to take a lover because they are physically unable to handle that particular part of the relationship; more often than not, the partner who was asked chooses to be celibate despite the logic of the situation. Yep, you vowed for better or worse, sickness and health and all that… but there is a degree of mental “suffering” that imposed celibacy can extract and it’s not all that surprising – and correct by monogamy’s standards – that one winds up going without.

        This is one of those situations where emotion overrides common sense and logical discourse. Now, which would be the greater evil: To tell the infirm partner that it’s okay, you’ll manage somehow – but turn around and start getting some on the side and behind their back (as it were) or to go ahead and choose a lover – with their blessing and knowledge and knowing that this is being done because they truly do love you? And love is the reason why it gets put on the table in the first place because if, say, you were in that situation, loved your guy that much and didn’t want to lose him, the moment you told him you couldn’t have sex with him, he’d be in the wind before you got the last syllable out of your mouth!

        Still, this is one of those relationship states that not everyone is capable of thinking about, let alone enacting; as I’ve said, if ya asked me if it were a good idea – and you laid out why it might be – my first piece of advice would be not to do it.

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  3. A Bi-Submissive's Journey in the Vanilla World

    18 June 2012 at 10:33

    Lol….hmmm, I wonder what inspired this post ;)? In all seriousness, I really have tried to look at things from both of our perspectives. Actually, I think it would be totally hot to watch him get laid….however, I don’t think he would like to see it in action.

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    • kdaddy23

      18 June 2012 at 13:45

      I wonder… And, yeah, seriously, it’s good that you’ve tried to look at both perspectives – but it’s not a replacement for open dialog about this between you. Now, whether ya get to watch each other get nailed, well, that’s slightly different and, as I’ve said, it’s a difficult thing to see happening – very difficult. You have to be able to shed a lot of negative emotions connected with this and while some folks can do this, some folks can’t.

      Bad enough to think about your woman getting boned by someone else, even worse to see it happening. Which is why people starting out with this – and who really aren’t swingers in that sense – invoke the “no dirt at home” rule and “if you do it, I don’t wanna know about it.”

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  4. A Bi-Submissive's Journey in the Vanilla World

    18 June 2012 at 14:11

    Although, from the way he banged me after he saw the pics of my female friend & I he enjoyed that ;)…we actually are talking a little more

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    • kdaddy23

      18 June 2012 at 14:31

      That could be a good sign; just remember, though: This particular rabbit hole runs very deep.

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      • A Bi-Submissive's Journey in the Vanilla World

        18 June 2012 at 16:42

        Have you heard the song Somebody that I Used to Know; it reminds me of him, he’s become a stranger to me.

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      • kdaddy23

        18 June 2012 at 17:03

        I’ve heard the song but it begs a question (and I ask your forgiveness for asking it in advance): Is he the stranger now… or are you? I’ve read your blog so I know what you’ve said about him but something I’ve noticed is that when someone changes their behavior – or even their manner of thinking – their partner somehow becomes someone they can’t recognize – they’re not the person you used to know. There are some reasons for this apparent strangeness: Either they have changed – or have been made to change – or it’s a different perspective of them from your point of view. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is now thinking that you’re the stranger and, of course, this happens when you’re not even close to being on the same page with each other about stuff.

        I told you the rabbit hole for this one goes very deep, right?

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  5. themercyfuck

    18 June 2012 at 22:18

     

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