Let Me Introduce Myself

I am currently in my second long-term open relationship and love it. While my first such, with Mary (all names have been changed), ended after twelve happy years, it speaks well for the viability of the arrangement that we lasted that long, and relationships break up for all sorts of reasons!

I met Mary on my way out of a disappointing "closed" marriage, towards the end of which I was increasingly drawn to getting involved with other women but despised having to cheat on my wife. After the first time we had sex (we were friends before that) and wanted to carry on seeing each other, Mary explained that she was not interested in committing to one person. She said she liked me but would continue to see other men too, and if I couldn't live with that I shouldn't continue with her and she would understand, as she had no intention of making me unhappy. I accepted her terms wholeheartedly and we eventually moved in together (after my divorce) and stayed together happily for many years, during which time she ****** quite a few of her friends too. For a long time I didn't "play" myself, though I always knew I could and I shared my fantasies about other girls with her. Eventually I did get involved with another woman - but that's another story.

It all started somewhat differently with Christy, my current partner, with whom I have now been living happily for several years. When we met I told her the truth about my recently ended relationship with Mary, but Christy made it clear that that was not what she was looking for. I gave her the monogamous relationship she asked for with the same joy with which I had said yes to Mary's proposal. This was after all a new start. Only after several years did Christy begin to feel that she would like to meet other men and be free to have sex with them, although we still loved each other and both wanted to stay together. So that is what we did. Christy enjoys partying and often when she goes out at night (without me) she doesn't come home until the morning because she has either gone home with someone or got herself laid in someone's car, in a secluded spot outside or even in a toilet. She takes her precautions and is actually fairly selective, but she just wants to have fun and I can't see any reason why she shouldn't. Again I am much less active than her, but in my own discrete manner I have my "interests" too. Maybe I can tell you all some of the details another time if there is interest.

One point to be stressed is that we are both happy with this relationship and love each other, probably more than ever thanks to it. Another point is that we are very honest to each other and enjoy telling each other about whatever we do. There is no obligation to tell every single detail but we just enjoy sharing. A third point is that we support and encourage each other, sometimes asking and giving advice, and generally act as good friends as well as lovers and life companions.

Unfortunately most of the people we know do not think like this and we cannot tell them about our lifestyle. Even with the other boy/girlfriends we have, attitudes vary. Mary generally used to explain the situation between us to the friends who she ****** with - they could like it or not but that was their problem, not Mary's! I have always done the same with the girls I have done anything with. Christy's sex buddies tend mostly to be more superficial and short-lived relationships and she normally doesn't tell them anything about herself, so they don't know about me, at least not when they start having sex with her. So these are two different approaches. I wonder what the rest of you do about that...

Rapha Rapha
41-45, M
4 Responses Jul 28, 2009

Asdpoi, thanks for the input!

Hey, just read your message. Looks like you have figured out something that works for you, and that's fantastic.<br />
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The truth is that every marriage is unique. Open marriages are more unique than others, but there are many variations on the theme, and each couple has to figure out what works for them.<br />
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To me the biggest danger is not being honest -- with your partner or more dangerously with yourself. As long as there is honesty and open communication and a willingness to make it work for all concerned, then it can be a beautiful thing. Sexual expressiveness is wonderful and is to be encouraged.<br />
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I'd love to hear your other "interests".<br />
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It is great to hear from others who are actively navigating open marriage.

I'm a bit disappointed that nobody has cared to comment on this, I was actually looking for some support here...

On re-reading this I want to add an observation: this is not just about sex. The sex part is important of course, but I think a true open relationship (of this kind, anyway) also involves open loving, not just open *******. Reading ssadie's writings brought this to my attention and it occurred to me that maybe I have overlooked the point in what I wrote above, so would like to correct that. It's not that I had forgotten the love, it is too important to forget, I was just trying to be concise and thereby may have distorted some things.<br />
Most of Mary's **** friends were friends first and foremost, and she loved some of those friends dearly. With certain ones it may have gone even further than that.<br />
Christy's other sex partners are that first and sometimes little more, or so she claims, but she probably feels a bit more than she admits, and I know for sure that she is in love with one - she has told me so. I think that is fine, and don't feel threatened by it.<br />
As for me, love comes before sex for me. Christy knows that and sometimes it makes her feel a bit insecure, but I try to reassure her that it's okay because I can love more than one person deeply and fully...