How to Open Up Your Relationship

I’ve thought about open marriage. My wife and I have discussed it over dinner, drinks and pillow talk. I’ve written about it a number of times.

But nothing – and certainly not this article, “How I Made Consensual Non-Monogamy Work,” is going to change my mind.

I have no moral problem with those who put the pursuit of sex as the highest ideal; I’m just not one of them. Sex with others is something I did BEFORE I got married. To do it now would be akin to opening Pandora’s Box, and honestly, I can’t imagine that what I stand to gain (sex) would be greater than what I stand to lose (everything else).

The author of this piece disagrees. He starts by laying out terms.

Ready for Lasting Love?
Ready for Lasting Love?

I have no moral problem with those who put the pursuit of sex as the highest ideal; I’m just not one of them.

“You can be “monogamish,” meaning that you and your partner have agreed that some degree of sexual activity outside of the relationship is okay. There’s “polyamory”—literally, many loves—which means that you and your partner can be romantically and not just physically involved with others. “Swinging” generally means couples consensually exchanging partners for sexual play. There are lots of other ways in which people agree to go about it too. My partner and I initially decided that being monogamish was for us, but a few years later we had secondary and tertiary partners. We were then polyamorists, but of course, that sounds a bit too ‘70s. So we went with “open,” though I feel that in the eleven years since we started down that road, “consensual non-monogamy” is the more up-to-date term.”

See? Simple as that!

I don’t mean to tease because the advice here is probably quite sound. Ex.

“Pressing pause for an agreed-upon length of time and letting the more apprehensive partner become more comfortable is likely going to improve your chances of success should you decide to give it a go. So take your time, sit with your feelings, and use your words. If at the end of the agreed-upon period, you’re still nauseated by the thought of sharing bae, own the fact that that non-monogamy may not be for you.”

It’s true. You should be extremely cautious before you agree to break your wedding vows and you should only break them if BOTH of you are really comfortable with it.


I was going to write more about the six important steps that the author used to make this lifestyle choice work for him, but to me, the existence of such an article is all the proof I need that “open” relationships require WAY too much work for my taste.

I’m always saying that good relationships should be easy.

Given the amount of terminology, patience, moving boundaries, misunderstandings, fears, judgments, overcommunication and inevitable jealousy with “consensual nonmonogamy,” I’m perfectly happy with my vanilla marriage.

All of these swinging options may be viable but they strike me of Icarus flying too close to the sun. More sex with new partners sounds fun in theory; tiring in practice.

Your thoughts, as always, are greatly appreciated.