Saturday, February 6, 2016

How Much Trust Is Involved in Maintaining an Open Marriage?

This is not one of my old posts, but one by Pervertically Virtuous
In the process of recovering my own old posts via email I discovered some of hers. Like me, her old accounts have been terminated, and she seems to have disappeared from the internet. This is a damn shame since I consider her one of the best sex bloggers I've ever had the chance to read and follow. I'm reposting her old posts as a historical archive, and if she ever returns to blogging I'm happy to hand them back to her. 
To be clear: the copyright on this work is hers, and remains with her - I didn't write it and I make no claim to it. (FYI: all links in this post are dead)


Pervertically Virtuous posted: "Upon discovering my blog, a new reader had many questions for me. I'm answering them one by one, every Thursday.  #3 How much trust is involved in maintaining an open marriage?? As in do you follow what I believe to be the swingers couple rule that your "

recovered post on Pervertically Virtuous

How Much Trust Is Involved in Maintaining an Open Marriage?

by Pervertically Virtuous
trustUpon discovering my blog, a new reader had many questions for me. I'm answering them one by one, every Thursday. 
#3 How much trust is involved in maintaining an open marriage?? As in do you follow what I believe to be the swingers couple rule that your partner must know when & who your sleeping with & vice versa?
That's actually two different questions. Let's break them down.
How much trust is involved in maintaining an open marriage??
A LOT.
But this is no less or more than what is needed for maintaining a monogamous marriage.
In both cases, there are rules and expectations that you and your partner have agreed on. In a monogamous marriage, you expect your partner not to fuck other people. In a nonmonogamous marriage, I expect mine not to fuck other people without a condom.
In both cases, you need to be able to trust your partner that they are going to stick to your rules.
If you can't trust your partner, then you are dooming yourself and them to a life of paranoia, constant jealousy, and ultimately, misery. It doesn't matter which rules you don't trust them to follow.
In both cases, you need to be able to trust your partner to tell you if they failed to stick to the rules.
Rules sometimes get broken. Your monogamous partner might have sex with someone else. My nonmonogamous partner might have sex with someone without a condom. It happens, we're not perfect. You need to be able to trust your partner that if they break a rule, they'll tell you. Honesty is key for any healthy relationship.
Do you follow what I believe to be the swingers couple rule that your partner must know when & who your sleeping with & vice versa?
There is NO golden swinger couple rule. This is a question of specific rules in an open relationship - and no two open couples are the same in this regard. Some people require their partners to let them know when & who they are sleeping with. Some want to know who but not when. Some want to know when but not who. Some don't want to know anything ('Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy). Some want to know everything before it happens, but not after. Some want to know everything after it happens, but not before. Etc. There are as many open relationship rule arrangements as there are open relationships out there.
What rules do I follow in my own relationship? (see also My Open Relationship Rules)
Well, when my husband and I are doing things together, obviously we both automatically know what the other one is doing. When do things on our own, here are the rules.
My partner is not required to tell me when and who he's sleeping with. If it made him uncomfortable for whatever reason, he's free to withhold that information. But he is highly encouraged to share: I love hearing about his sexcapades, so he usually tells me about them. Sometimes he tells me before he goes somewhere, sometimes he tells me after, whatever is more convenient.
The rules for what I am supposed to tell my husband have changed somewhat over the years. In the beginning, he didn't want to know. It was technically a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy. Then, as he got more secure in our relationship, he started asking some questions, usually the basics: who & when, but not all the details.  Now he wants to know everything, but only:
1) After it has happened. He says that knowing about it ahead of time makes him create all sorts of stories in his mind about what's going to happen - and that uncertainty is anxiety-provoking and distressing. Once it's happened, there are no uncertainties. The reality is always less scary than the imagination.
2) If and when he asks. Every sexcapade of mine needs some processing on his part. And he's not always in the right mental state to put in that kind of effort. So he wants to be confronted with that information only when he's ready for it.
And that's currently my biggest challenge - to wait until he asks. I always want to share a great experience with him, and often forget to wait til he asks. But I keep trying. And he is slowly getting used to it.
As he says "I always expect that you are fucking someone else every night I'm out of town."
Pervertically Virtuous | February 6, 2014 at 11:14 am | URL: http://wp.me/p3F90k-xV

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