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Anyone have experience with an open marriage? How did you approach your spouse with the idea? How did it work? What were the outcomes— positive and/or negative?
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This is a big question to ask. As I’ve been a privileged spectator having one family member and one friend in an open marriage I would suggest that you read your partner right before presenting such an idea. When my friend was asked such a question she received it as rejection. She questioned what did she do so wrong that she was no longer good enough followed by questioning her performance , body and everything about herself. In this case the marriage failed and both parted ways as my friend couldn’t get over the asking of the question. For her it was pretty loaded.
As for my my family member. The wife read her husband right and was on point with interruption of varies conversations as well as signs she picked up in the bedroom. Four years into their open marriage all seems well. They keep their partners private and don’t speak of dates or details. They seem to thrive with the freedom of exploring and being creative
Proceed with caution as if you get the signals wrong you might not be able to continuing in your marriage without counseling and a whole bunch of reassurance
Good luck 👍🏽
I don’t but you could watch Wonderlust, a great series on Netflix, just about that!
I have a bunch of friends in open marriages and it seems like a lot of emotional work! I would love to open my marriage but my husband would just freak out. But I'll be watching this space to see what others say.
Anyway almost all the ones that work well, they went into it knowing the marriage would be open. I have one friend who kind of forcefully opened her marriage and I think she's eventually going to end up getting divorced, but they are living together and each doing their own thing right now. I've heard rumors that there is a meetup in Oakland for people curious about this but googling it just gave me hives.
My spouse and I recently opened our marriage. It took multiple conversations over several years to get to a place where we are both comfortable and secure and supportive of one another finding some fun and independence outside of the home. And it's working out really well! In practice, there's not a whole lot of time to invest in other people and experiences, but we are careful to make time for this kind of self-care and self-exploration without taking away from our shared priorities (each other, our kids, our work). Managing relationships with people who aren't core to that can be tricky, but it's all a practice in setting boundaries and being assertive.
We constructed some rules that worked for us. We did some research (there's a ton of books on the topic) and found a lot of other people who are open in the Bay Area (not a shocker). Everyone with whom I've talked (or people that I've seen) does it differently. You might have to go to therapy. You might have to set rules and then examine and readjust them. Figure out what what's most important, what you want, what will keep you grounded, and what will work for you. Good luck!
My husband and I have an open marriage, but we went into our relationship knowing we were both "poly" (polyamorous). I do think it's super tricky opening up a relationship that has been built on certain expectations. I did that once, long ago, at the beginning of my poly journey and it involved MANY hours of conversations over MANY months (or longer?) to explore the possibility. There are some great books on the topic, and in the Bay Area there are some really great relationship coaches/ counselors who help people through this very thing. But I do think, as the previous posters have warned, you need to be very careful how and when you broach the topic. Sometimes talking about sexual fantasies can be a way to open the conversation and test the waters in a hypothetical way. I think you need to be very honest with yourself, though, about why you are looking at this as a possibility - are you actually wanting to get out of your marriage, and this is a half-step (that is likely to become the full step out at some point)? Or are you truly, deeply in love with your partner and want to be married to them forever, while also having outside experiences? What kinds of agreements or commitments would you be willing to make in order to make this work for them (and for you)? Do you have a sense of where each of you might fall on the spectrum of "don't ask, don't tell" to "tell me everything!"? For us, there is no way we could go back to monogamy - polyamory has enriched our lives beyond measure and is a core aspect of our community. To quote a friend of mine recently "nobody said being poly was easy". It's not. But for us it's so worth it.