A while ago I replied to a man who is trying to open a relationship with his wife of 5 years. They are both interested in going down that road and… Well if you’re interested you might as well keep reading.

My wife and I (married for 5 1/2 years) have recently decided to open our marriage. We have already had a handful of issues so I am coming to this community for some advice.

Due to sheer chance I (the Husband) met an individual that I started to get involved with first. Before our second date, my wife told me that kissing is OK provided it was mostly innocent (citing the episode of the Simpsons where homer kisses Mindy) but she told me to just use my best judgement. The girl I was seeing already knew we were in an open relationship but at the end of that date I made sure to explain to her that we were new to open relationships and we continued to have an understanding discussion of the complications that might arrise, what the relationship entails and so forth. She was totally fine with the situation and was still interested in seeing me. So after this discussion, before we went our separate ways for the evening, she asked for a kiss. So I went in for it expecting for it to be quick. Sure enough she immediately slipped me the tongue once ur lips touched. Well I was already there and I didn’t quite feel like pulling back in revolt so I let the kiss finish (it was fairly brief, just a second or two) and that was that. Well, my wife wasn’t happy about that. She flipped and spent some time that night basically completely destroying me and this other girls relationship as well as dragging my name in the mud on Facebook and to our friends. As unfortunate as it was, I allowed it to be and figured we weren’t ready or meant to be in a polyamorous relationship. No big deal, it was worth a shot.

Well, after a few days she felt really bad about what happened. She told me she did want to be in an open relationship and that her jealousy and the newness of the situation got the better of her. Swell, understandable, we live in a society where monogamy shoved down our throats, it makes sense that the transition might have some rockiness to it. So we decide to take a stab at it again.

A few weeks have gone by since then. She has met a guy who seems like a nice individual. She asked if it was OK to go on a date this Friday with him and a fairly nice and pricey local restaurant. I was fine with it of course. Well, a day or so ago she brings up that afterwards they want to do something after the date such as seeing a movie. This date was turning into an expensive affair so I asked her how she planned on paying for it. Apparently she assumed that I was going to offer up the cash. I am the primary money maker, but it is not by choice and I don’t exactly make enough to support random expensive dates for other people. And she does have money coming but it seems to be coming in late. I told her that I don’t think it is fair for me to have to pay for her dates. I even mentioned she could borrow the money until hers came in.

My suggestions were not good enough. She quickly jumped to the conclusion that I am just being jealous and that I was forcing a double standard where it is OK for me to go on “all these dates” (3 total mind you) while at the same time I am effectively blocking her from ever going on any.

After a while of arguing she suggested that she go to his place to watch a movie instead. And while in general I am not opposed to this. I expressed that for her first date I would prefer it to be in a situation less intimate because I didn’t want to be overrun by jealousy and end up acting irrationally and end up ruining the possibility of an open relationship and potentially damaging ours in the process. I explained to her that naturally we’re going to have to get used to these boundaries being lifted. And I even explained it will be in the immediate future otherwise how could we expect to even have a relationship with anyone? I just wanted to gauge my feelings and reactions before we dove in 100%. Unfortunately this upset her greatly as well. And again more yelling and accusations were thrown around. She has is now leaving with the car and refuses to tell me where she is going.

So here I am asking for advice. I do believe a polyamorous relationship can work for us, but this is clearly not the way to get things started. After todays conversations and arguing I find my trust in her weakened and I don’t think that is fair to either of us. So what advice can you offer us to make this transition work out?

My Response:

You both have some jealousy issues, which is entirely normal, you just need to work through it. Opening a monogamous relationship is very hard work, very emotionally challenging. I’ve been there.

What I suggest you both do is put all extra-curicular relationships on hold for little while, sit down and talk things through entirely because it sounds like you are both handling the hot-button issues as they come up. Not the best way to go.

Each of you needs to create a list of your own hot-button issues and discuss how you are going to handle them.

I also suggest that you both establish rules ASAP. I won’t suggest any because everyone’s situations and sensitive issues and desires are different. It’s up to you both to agree on them.

Some reading I recommend for you both:

Opening Up By Tristan Taormino

Good luck.

I got this quick message from him letting me know how he was doing.

So we have been talking and we’ve worked through a lot of our issues. We’ll be budgeting to help pay for her dates and we understand jealousy is a natural occurrence that will have to be worked through. We’ll be ordering the book Opening Up and just try to do our best on our crazy journey into polyamory 🙂

There are many paths in life, and you never know where it will take you. The most important thing is you treat each other with respect that you always keep the lines of communication open.

~Matt Adams