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It seems easy enough to say that if someone isn't interested in swinging or an open relationship, that they shouldn't be forced to do it. On the other hand, what if the person who wants it truly does not feel fully satisfied in a monogamous
It seems easy enough to say that if someone isn't interested in swinging or an open relationship, that they shouldn't be forced to do it. On the other hand, what if the person who wants it truly does not feel fully satisfied in a monogamous relationship to the point of cheating or even breaking off the relationship all together. (By satisfied I do not mean frequency of sex or lack of attraction/emotions. I mean completely, physically and emotionally satisfied.)
There is really no middle ground that I can see, it's one way or the other and no matter what only one partner will be getting what they really want. Who should it be? What kind of compromises can be made so that both people in a situation like this can be happy?
Lets assume here that telling them to move on and find someone who would be a better match is not an option.
I am in that situation. The solution for us is that we have a small, closed sexual network in which my husband (the one who wants an open relationship) limits himself only to at most two other partners and makes them serious, long-term girlfriends, and chooses people I can get along with and who can be trusted on the subject of sexual hygiene. He also makes sure that he makes the other relationships as low-impact as possible, so that I lose as little of his time and attention as possible. I (the person who is monogamous) accept my husband's partners as part of my close family, and I work to develop outside interests and sports activities to take up the time that he is spending with the other women, so that it won't hurt as much. It is not ideal for either of us, but it is a working compromise - essentially polyfidelity rather than a completely open relationship or a monogamous one. The absolute key is that I don't lose out, that he doesn't give time and attention and and affection and sex to other women that he denies to me, that he does EXACTLY what he said he was going to do when promises are made (even if deviations seem trivial to him) and that he doesn't ask me to accept people in my marriage that I don't like and that I can't respect (and vice versa). He has to accept that for me, these people are in my intimate personal space even if I'm not sleeping with them, and so they have to be people that I can accept as intimate friends. It makes it tough on him because of course he falls for people who don't fit with me, but he knows that the only way to make it work is to forgo those potential partners and to pick ones that it will work with, without resenting me. Does this make both people happy? Well, not as happy as they would be if they agreed on the issue of open vs monogamous relationship. But happy enough. It's a workable compromise if the primary priority is to make it work rather than dumping one's partner and trying to find someone else who's a better fit. And it's certainly worth it in terms of the self-development and maturation you achieve. There is very little room for bad behavior in a mixed mono-poly relationship, so you end up learning to be a better person than you otherwise would have to be