In today’s society, open relationships are becoming more common. Is it just an excuse to sleep with more people, or is it a mature way to prevent cheating and keep marriages happy?
One of the biggest reasons marriages and long-term relationships end is because of infidelity. One of the partners feels that something is lacking, and they go looking for it in another person. Often the reason for cheating is sexual, sometimes it’s emotional. The question is: can it be prevented?
I’d say that the biggest thing people can do to prevent cheating and breakups is to keep an open line of communication. If you frequently talk about issues in the relationship, and discuss ways to solve them, you’re far less likely to have fighting or cheating. But what if the problem is that your partner loves you, but the spark is gone?
Well, if possible, you should try to find ways to get the spark back into the relationship. Experimenting with positions, locations and role-play can all be ways to spice things up again. However, there are times when people are mentally and emotionally compatible, but the sexual aspect just isn’t what it needs to be. This is where open relationships come in.
Now, there are varying levels of openness. Some couples employ a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and there is no limit to the number of outside partners that can be seen. Other couples want to know who and how many. Some couples have rules set up, like needing to meet prospective outside partners, never bringing other partners home, etc. Each couple decides what works best for them.
Now, some people would consider that sleeping with anyone outside of the committed relationship is cheating. However, cheating is typically defined as something sneaky, done without the other partner’s knowledge. In open relationships, everyone knows what’s going on, permission has been given, and therefore it is not seen as cheating.
I know many couples in open relationships, and it works great for them. It gives them variety, or whatever it is they need outside of the marriage, and keeps them happy at home. Some couples only need to be open for a short time, and in the end it brings them closer together, so outside partners are no longer needed. Some couples maintain open relations throughout their entire marriage.
So is an open relationship right for you? That’s something only you and your partner can decide. If you think you’re on the verge of cheating, or you’re feeling seriously dissatisfied in your relationship, you might want to sit down and have a long talk with your partner about it. Maybe you can solve your issues without bringing in other people. If not, you can bring up the topic, and see where it takes you. I strongly suggest looking into the various types of open relationships, and having rules in mind before you start. For some couples, open relationships are the answer, for others it’s not. Talk to your partner to see if it’s right for you.
Some things to keep in mind:
– Don’t use the open relationship idea just as a way to sleep with other people.
– Jealousy can be a problem. Make sure it won’t be an issue before proceeding.
– Be open with outside partners. Make sure they know what they’re getting into.
– Choose outside partners carefully and always practice safe sex.
– Any rules you make should apply equally to both partners.