There are many things that people like to talk about throughout their relationship with their partners, and this may not be one of the first ones you think of. However, if it crops up in your mind as the one you’d like to bring about in conversation, let’s talk about a few things first.
The Right Reasons
First, let’s talk about why you want to go into an open marriage and make sure they’re the right reasons. If you’re looking to fix a relationship by going into an open marriage or an open relationship, then you’re not going to have much luck in either finding someone that’s willing to help you fix it, or you’re going down a road that will end in heartache for everyone involved.
Ensure that you’re going into this situation for the right reasons. First, sit down with yourself and think about why you want this and map out how you think it will go. Thinking about an open marriage’s goals and outcomes is usually the best way to force yourself to consider whether it’s worth bringing it up as a topic or not to your current partner.
Bringing It Up
When you’re ready to bring the topic up to your partner, ensure that you’re prepared to answer any questions. Also, be ready to be flexible, understanding, and even accept that the answer may be no. Not everyone is going to accept that this is something that they’ll feel comfortable with.
Bringing it up in a comfortable way for not only you and your partner is the best way to go about doing this – and you know the two of you best. If talking about it over dinner or taking a long walk together while discussing things is the best way you’ve found to bringing up hard to talk about topics, then plan for that rather than just diving into it headlong spontaneously. This isn’t some spontaneous decision you made (hopefully), so it needs careful thought, consideration, and time.
Avoid Using “you” Language
While talking to your partner about going into a relationship such as this, avoid using ‘you’ statements. Using ‘you’ words will usually throw most people off and make them feel defensive or like they’re being attacked. Saying things like “You make me feel like this when you do this…” isn’t as good as “I feel like this when this situation arises…”
If you find yourself using ‘you’ statements a lot, think about what you’re talking about and how you would feel if you were approached that way. Try to retool how your conversation would go in a way that focuses on how you’d like the outcome to be in a successful conversation. That means looking at just how you’d approach the subject and how you’ll communicate effectively in a manner that is positive and accepting of the other person’s views.
Listen and be Prepared to Accept ‘No’
Don’t make this all about you. After all, this is something you’re asking you and your partner to go in on together. It’s not something to be taken lightly either, and it may very well be something that they’re not comfortable with. Be prepared to take no for an answer and be okay with that. If you’re not okay with that, you should think about just why you’re not and re-evaluate your relationship priorities.
Listen to what they have to say as well, as, more than likely, they’ll have questions or concerns that they’ll bring up and want to be answered. Sometimes it’s even best to let them talk it through themselves instead of you doing all the talking. If you find yourself explaining everything away and they’re entirely silent, ask them how they feel, what they’re thinking, or what their thought process is. They may need time to process or want to say something and don’t know when or how to do so.
It’s okay to be disappointed if there’s a no involved; however, be careful how you display that disappointment to your partner if you’d like to be able to bring this up in the future after they’ve had time to think it over some more.
Suggest They Go First
Sometimes the other half hesitates because they’re afraid that what you’re asking is that you’re asking to cheat or see someone else and that you’ll develop feelings for that person. It may be best in that situation if you know you have someone insecure or the jealous type to suggest that they try it out themselves first to see what it’s all about.
While this doesn’t do much for you initially, this is a long term solution to help you along the road in getting where you’d like to eventually be should they find the experience pleasurable and want to continue with it. They may even come back and decide they’d like to share partners with you if that’s something that you’re willing to do.
Discuss Boundaries, Rules, and Safety
Ensure that you’re always discussing these things when you’re talking about opening up your relationship. Honesty, communication, definite boundaries, rules, and safety are critical to a good stable relationship. This is the case if you’re in a monogamous relationship or an open relationship, so it’s something that you need to make sure you’re clear on before moving forward.
Brush Up on Your Communication Skills
Lastly, make sure that your communication skills are up to par with what you’re discussing and just in general when it comes to the relationship. Honesty and communication are the cornerstones to any good stable relationship, and that’s no less important for an open relationship with multiple partners. Ensuring that you’re communicating your needs, wants, desires, and feelings properly and clearly is essential to ensuring that everyone is on the same page and no one is feeling left out, jealous, left behind, or jilted.
No matter how you bring up the subject, just be prepared that it may not go the way you want it to. Of course, we hope that it will come to a great ending and set you on the path to having an open marriage sharing love and joy across several relationships, but be prepared for several outcomes so that you’re not disappointed or resentful should it not turn out the way that you want it to. Find ways to communicate that are positive, uplifting, and in tune with your partner, and more than likely, you’ll find the two of you seeking out other joys and shared love.