Dating outside your marriage

Our son was three at the time, and finally sleeping through the night.

Although I had toyed with the idea of an open marriage for a few years, it felt impossible to make this work for our relationship. ) It hurt more than anything I’ve ever experienced.

We’ve traveled the world by plane, train, and rickety old RV. We are adventurous, creative, and not particularly risk-averse.

Three years ago, in addition to all the other novelty in our lives, we decided to see other people.

I already had two short-lived, failed attempts at non-monogamy with previous partners. I wasn’t hurt by my husband sleeping with someone else, or having feelings for them. And this is a whole other story in and of itself, because there are so many layers here.

To answer the first and most obvious question: no, it hasn’t always been easy.

I didn’t want to erode the foundation of trust in our relationship by exploring other relationships outside of my marriage—I was too scared to risk it. If even thinking about non-monogamy makes you feel awful, honor how you feel. So let’s be clear: I’m not here to convince anyone to give ethical non-monogamy a whirl.

The only way I would feel comfortable seeing other people was if he did so first. If you this is not for you, be clear, be firm, speak up. I don’t think it’s the best or most enlightened way to do relationships.

We’ve read some books and seen a therapist, but even three years in, it feels like we don’t really know what we’re doing. Because we want each other to be as happy, as passionate, as turned on, and lit up as we can be. We are committed to navigating difficult terrain, reaching deeper levels of honesty and intimacy, and to forgiving each other when one of us does something that hurts.

I’m not going to speak for my husband, but I will say we are very different in a lot of ways. I love physical intimacy, particularly when it is nourished by emotional intimacy.

Leave a Reply