3 Huge Things You Must Consider First If You Want An Open Marriage

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By:Dr Tammy Nelson/yourtango.com

If you’re looking for ways to expand the horizons of your relationship, a polyamorous relationship may have crossed your mind. You and your partner get to experiment with new people — it seems like a win-win — but in reality, an open marriage or relationship takes a TON of maturity, honesty, and openness between you and your partner.

Before you jump in head first, consider these 3 rules to see if its good fit for you and your partner. You never know, you may enjoy the terms set before you.

1. An open marriage is not a “free pass” to cheat on your partner.

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Cheating with permission is not “open,” it is consensual cheating. If you’re looking for a permission slip that says you can sleep with other people, you aren’t ready..

Being open means having a consensual agreement, and both of you have to agree on what that new monogamy agreement is going to look like. You each create the monogamy agreement and honor the rules, negotiating your relationship in ongoing flexible ways in an attempt to avoid the dishonesty and betrayal of infidelity.

2. It’s never a method for testing the strength of your marriage.

If you are trying an open marriage to test your relationship to see if it can survive a heartache, don’t do it. Being on shaky ground is a bad foundation for trying new and edgy things. A polyamorous relationship is not an experiment in testing the boundaries of your commitment.

Wait and see if your relationship improves before you test the limits of your monogamy agreement. Get some good couples therapy and sit down and talk to each other about what needs to change in your marriage before you blow it wide open.

3. It should never be used as a way to piss off your parents.

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When authority figures try to tell you what is “moral” or how to run your lives, it is natural to respond by  running in the opposite direction.. Be cautious. Don’t be reactive. Make sure you are creating the lifestyle that works for you and you aren’t just being rebellious because you don’t like someone else’s rules.

Be responsible for your own monogamy. There is nothing old fashioned or trite about a solid, committed and monogamous partnership. It is one of the hardest things you will ever do in your lifetime. If you feel you have the skills to broaden your horizons to a more open marriage, do it because you want to and are ready to explore.

An open relationship won’t work for everyone, and it doesn’t work if you are being dishonest with your intentions. An open marriage should be a mature and clear decision. It can be a way to explore and create exciting opportunities for passion for both of you.

But think about it carefully. Know whether or not you are one of those couples who can talk honestly about how you feel — about everything. If you can’t communicate, an open marriage may not be for you, at least not for now.

Dr. Tammy Nelson is a Licensed Relationship Therapist and a Certified Sex Therapist and the author of The New Monogamy. Find her at www.drtammynelson.com.


Published by CityFella

Big city fella, Born and Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lived in New York (a part time New Yorker) for three years . I have lived in the Sacramento area since 1993. When I first moved here, I hated it. Initially found the city too conservative for my tastes. A great place to raise children however too few options for adults . The city has grown up, there is much to do here. The city suffers from low self esteem in my opinion, locals have few positive words to say about their hometown. visitors and transplants are amazed at what they find here. From, the grand old homes in Alkali Flats, and the huge trees in midtown, there are many surprises in Sacramento. Theater is alive is this area . And finally ,there is a nightlife... In.downtown midtown, for the young and not so young. My Criticism is with local government. There is a shortage of visionaries in city hall. Sacramento has long relied on the state, feds and real estate for revenue. Like many cities in America,Downtown Sacramento was the hub of activity in the area. as the population moved to the suburbs and retail followed. The city has spent millions to revive downtown. Today less than ten thousand people live downtown. No one at city hall could connect the dots. Population-Retail. Business says Sacramento is challenging and many corporations have chosen to set up operations outside the cities limits. There is vision in the burbs. Sacramento has bones, there are many good pieces here, leaders seem unable or unwilling to put those pieces together into. Rant aside, I love it here. From the trees to the rivers. But its the people here that move me. Sacramento is one of the most integrated cities in America. I find I'm welcome everywhere. The spices work in this city of nearly 500,000 and for the most part these spices blend well together. From Ukrainians to Hispanics and a sizable gay community, all the spices seem to work well here. I frequently travel and occasionally I will venture into a city with huge racial borders, where its unsafe to visit after certain hours. I haven't found it here. I cant imagine living in a community where there is one hue or one spice. I love the big trees, Temple Coffee House, the Alhambra Safeway, Zelda's Pizza, Bicyclist in Midtown, The Mother Lode Saloon, Crest Theater, and the Rivers. I could go on and I might. Sacramento is home.

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