Having trouble to take the first step


New member
Hey there!

So my husband and I are beginning this journey. We've been talking a lot about our open relationship model.
We both agree that monogamy isn't a value we would like to keep in our marriage.We also had a couple of interviews with a positive sex/poly friendly professional who help us settings up rules and boundaries.

We were almost done with the setting up, agreeing on an open relationship,.mostly looking recreational sex, but keeping our relationship as the core one.

Still, I feel my husband is more inclined to swinging rather than have an open relationship.
Me on the other side, I feel that swinging is something I would like to do, but having an open relationship is also important.

We discussed this with a member of my family who's been into swinging for a while now, and they suggested we start with swinging since going from monogamy to open relationship could be hard to handle.

Now I feel like I'm stuck, feeling I would have to compromise my preference to avoid conflict.

Would appreciate some else's outlook about this.



Well-known member
To me "swinging" is a kind of "open."

Could agree to swinging and open on both sides. And make sure you are using those words in the same way so no misunderstandings happen.

Then if husband does not want to exercise the open relationship part on his side because he mostly likes the swinging part that is up to him. Maybe you don't want to swing all the time, but want to have a regular FWB or kink or practice poly or some other kind of "open" on your side.

In your setup I see that you want your relationship to be the "core" one... But you might discuss in counseling what happens if that needs to change from a primary-secondary model to a co-primary one so it doesn't catch you by surprise if that ends up happening.

Could also discuss what happens if a swinging relationship becomes more than that so that also doesn't catch you by surprise if it should happen.

You don't have to be afraid of doing conflict resolution. Do you usually avoid it?

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Staff member
Your one family member who swings is not the ultimate expert on how to open a mono relationship. You can take their advice, consider it and see if it works for you. You don't have to follow it.

Conflict resolution skills are important and healthy for all humans. Even children can and should be taught how to do this. Certainly adults in any romantic or sexual relationship need to learn how to do it. Avoiding conflict just to get along will lead to misery. Speak up with confidence and state your needs and desires. Some compromise is OK, but not to the point where you're bending yourself into pretzel shapes to please your partner.

You are each individuals, and will want different things in life from time to time. Maybe you're a morning person, he's a night owl. Maybe you like pepperoni pizza and he likes pineapple. Maybe you want to go to the beach on vacation and he wants to go to a city. Maybe you can't have sex with someone unless you talk to them a while, say, for weeks, and become fond and feel you trust them. Maybe he can just jump in the sack with a random stranger after 10 minutes of flirting, or less! These are not trivial differences like pizza preferences, so it takes skill to work things out.

The book Non-Violent Communication is often recommended as a guide for conflict resolution skills that really work.


Well-known member
We were almost done with the setting up, agreeing on an open relationship,.mostly looking recreational sex, but keeping our relationship as the core one.
Now I feel like I'm stuck, feeling I would have to compromise my preference to avoid conflict.

To me it seems like youre looking for conflict where none really exists. Open relationship mostly looking for recreational sex but keeping your relationship as core. Principally that sounds a lot like swinging. WHAT would you specifically have to compromise ? And what is your concern in moving forward ? Youre going to be asked to be his wingman or something at a swing club ??


Active member
Further to @GalaGirl's comment about exploring what you mean by keeping your relationship as the 'core' relationship, it could help to identify what specific commitments you may have with your husband.

It could be simple ones like date nights, or rituals you both value.

It could be commitments to share activities/goals.

Personally, I live with two partners at the moment but the nature of my commitments with them are different. One partner (Ocean) I'm committed to supporting as a life partner - I want us to live together when practical and share finances and make each other's life easy. We've been married for 11 years now and I guess one overarching goal we have is to make a home together.

With the other partner, Lobe, I have a commitment to healthy co-parenting our kids, and we have a loving/sharing relationship. I don't have specific co-habiting commitments with him but living together makes sharing care of the kids easier. And I really love living with him too. In a different way we are committed to making a (family) home together.

I already had a "home making" commitment with Ocean when Lobe and I were negotiating family stuff, so for me anything new with Lobe had to be compatible with my existing commitments to Ocean.

Of course, we can always find ourselves in situations where we may lose the desire to keep commitments (and that's a separate thing to deal with).

But as a starting point, I found it helps to be clear on what things I already have "locked in" to understand what parts are flexible.


Well-known member
Now I feel like I'm stuck, feeling I would have to compromise my preference to avoid conflict.

I want to encourage you to re-frame the way you are looking at conflict. Conflict is just the word we use to describe two parties trying to come together, but there is a difference of opinion or value system that is keeping them from aligning perfectly. The goal in addressing conflict should be to investigate where the common ground is so that decisions can be made in how to proceed.

In my opinion, conflict resolution isn't about persuasive arguments in trying to make a successful sale. Changing where people stand shouldn't be the goal, nor should the goal be to "get what we want", it should be about understanding where people stand so that when we move forward we can do it under the umbrella of full disclosure and honesty.

Once you know what everyone wants and why, take a look at what is on the table and build the new scenario so that it only includes those items. Where there are incompatible interests, leave them off the table. Now look at the overlap of interests and decide if it's something worth keeping or if parts (or all of it) need to be tossed.


Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello Rg_Leia,

It seems to me that open is easier for some people, while swinging is easier for other people. It's not a one-size-fits-all situation, you do not have to compromise your preference to avoid conflict. Tell your husband to go do swinging and enjoy it, while you go ahead and do open. Or, since you said that swinging is something you would like to do, do both. Swing with your husband, and do open on your own (or maybe your husband would like to do it with you).

Take little steps, whatever you do.
Kevin T.