Is Communicating With a Secondary Partner Without Informing My Primary a Breach of Trust



Trust and communication are the most important parts of any relationship. Without these components, a relationship will inevitably fail. This is still the case in an open relationship, if not more so. The addition of multiple partners makes the role of trust and communication all the more important, as it opens up the door to make these factors decay more readily.

When you have multiple partners, you generally have primary and secondary partners. Your primary partner is the partner you see most often, and it is very likely the partner that you are most emotionally dedicated to. Secondary partners, on the other hand, while you might have a great and deep connection to them and you love to spend time with them, you are not nearly as attached to them as you are to your primary partner. In some cases, when asked “who are you dating”, even if you have many secondary partners, you might just simply respond with your primary partner’s name.

Now, given that you are going to spend time with these different partners at different times, it is very likely the case that the conversations you have with all of these different partners will be very different from one another.


This brings to mind the question of breaches in trust. When is it the case that when you begin to communicate with your secondary partner that you have breached trust with your primary partner? It’s difficult to say, but here are a few suggestions.


If your primary partner has specifically told you not to share certain information with others, and you share this information with your secondary partner, that is absolutely a breach of trust. It doesn’t really matter who you’ve told, because at the bottom, sharing information that your primary partner doesn’t want to be shared with anyone at all is a profound breach of trust. This is the clearest cut of the suggestions because it is the most obvious and communicated.


In cases where you have a bunch of information about your primary partner but are unsure which is okay to share and which isn’t, you should get to a point with your primary partner where you feel comfortable enough to ask, “Hey, what do you want kept private?” Asking this question will make it easier for you to know what to communicate and what not to communicate to your secondary partner. Playing the assuming game on this front is to play in treacherous waters. You are bound to fail, and in turn, breach the trust of your primary partner.

Now, if you must play the guessing game, there is a way to do it right.

Now, if you must play the guessing game, there is a way to do it right. When having conversations with your secondary partner, you must ask yourself, “would my primary partner be okay with me having this conversation?” Or, more precisely, “if my primary partner was having this conversation with their secondary partner, would I be okay with it?” If the answer is no, it is very likely that the level of communication you are participating in with your secondary partner is a breach of your primary partner’s trust.

What is most important here, though, is understanding your primary partner enough to know when trust is being breached with your secondary partner. In order to do this, you need to have a good level of communication with your primary partner. Speak with your primary partner for a minimum of 90 minutes a week on any problems you might be having or just about life in general. Doing this will ensure that you get to know your primary partner well enough to make the right calls on what constitutes breaching their trust, or not.

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