When one partner wants an open relationship and the other doesn't.

Misfit Momma Misfit Momma
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.
07/22/2011
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Ansley Ansley
This is a really difficult situation for anyone to be in and probably requires more compromise and understanding than a lot of people would be comfortable with. It doesn't have to be a win-lose or lose-lose situation.

Let's say Jack wants and needs another partner but Sally is happy with just him. The question then becomes about whether or not Sally can work through the jealousy and anger issues she might be facing and will Jack be patient enough to understand why she's having those issues. Providing that both are willing to take things very, very slowly a situation like this can work. There has to be a very good foundation of understanding how the other feels before finding a new partner for Jack. And why is it that Sally doesn't want to open the relationship?

I think if I were in this situation myself, I would allow him to find someone else - as much as it would initially kill me to do so - and try my hardest to work through any issues logically. What would I really have to lose if the relationship was going to end and/or my partner was going to be miserable in monogamy anyway.
07/22/2011
Beck Beck
I think that it is only fair that the person who does not want to do this gets there way. The person who wants open relationship very well may want to sleep with others, but if the other partner does not want to do this or allow this then that should be it. If they wanted to be with many then they should not of settled with one person and especially one person who they did not bring up this idea to in the first place. This relationship after something like this I find it hard to believe it would survive.
07/22/2011
Elnoa Elnoa
This recently happened to a friend of mine. Her boyfriend of 10 years wanted an open relationship and she didn't. Eventually he convinced her to do it, and she agreed. She ended up sleeping with 5 random men she met on OKCupid, and eventually got picked up by a guy old enough to be her father at a coffee shop, fell in love with him, moved in with him, and then came crying to me after she found out he uses cocaine. Seriously.

I don't think this is most people's situations, but the lesson here is: stick to your guns. If you aren't comfortable with it, don't do it.
07/23/2011
AngelvMaynard AngelvMaynard
I think if one partner is reluctant but goes ahead anyway to please the one wanting an open relationship, feelings of resentment and jealousy will creep in and eventually destroy or damage the relationship. Thats a mine field that has to be navigated carefully. Of course without knowing the 2 personalities it would be hard to give advice on what to do. What could work for one couple may not work for another.
07/23/2011
Orion Orion
Yup its bad news all around there can not be any doubts in either party or its over. Sorry to say that but i was in an open relationship for 10 years and it was mutual and it still didn't work out. The funny thing is about that in mine the ex liked women and wanted to watch me etc she is the one who wanted it and hell i was young then and was like hell yeah and the longer it went on the more i didn't like it. N

Needless to say she got jealous i got jealous and she bounced for a coworker took my son and cleaned out my bank lol. Leaving it open was basically like allowing her to look for others the whole time so once something came along seemingly better she was out.

Now if both are in to i would say from what i learned is there needs to be rules said aloud silly shit like you can not kiss her etc jut so the you know your the boss and have control if not then your basically letting them cheat on you emotionally and physically and the longer it goes on the more the bond is broken.
07/23/2011
emiliaa emiliaa
That pretty much sucks. And if you aren't both 100000% open and honest with each other -- even if that means ending the relationship -- things will just get messier. I am all for working things out, but if you just plain aren't wired the same way, it's better to go your separate ways than force yourself into something you can't be comfortable with. I don't see how that could be considered honest, therefore, how it could possibly work as an open or poly relationship. Honesty is the most important part.

But as you said, that for some reason isn't an option. xD
So I just suggest some serious, honest compromise, for this situation, though in the end the one who wants an open relationship will probably have to convince the other of why it's a good idea...or vice versa? *shrug*
07/24/2011
El-Jaro El-Jaro
I don't see how not ending the relationship is an option. From my perspective, this would be emotional blackmail. I mean, no harm in bringing it up if the timing's right. But if the instigator won't let it go and tries to manipulate the person into an open relationship if they aren't open to it, it's pretty harsh.
07/25/2011
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by El-Jaro
I don't see how not ending the relationship is an option. From my perspective, this would be emotional blackmail. I mean, no harm in bringing it up if the timing's right. But if the instigator won't let it go and tries to manipulate the ... More
I have to agree...that option should ALWAYS be on the table. It's a nasty minefield to navigate and the option to peacefuly walk away should always be an option. Like has been said before neither party should force their beliefs onto the other. Usually there is a compromise somewhere it just takes real committment and above all a sense of fairness. Even in our very committed and tight triad the option to walk away is always there.
07/29/2011
dmpill dmpill
Quote:
Originally posted by Misfit Momma
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 ... More
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
07/31/2011
Willow Wand Willow Wand
I have an odd one for you....I want an open relationship, he doesn't. I don't want it because I want to be with other people, but because I want HIM to! I really have no interest in sex most of the time, and I'd love for him to still get some action if we are in drought phase, but he refuses....his loss, I say!
11/23/2011
Total posts: 11
Unique posters: 11