Opening up my marriage, trying to avoid pitfalls


New member
Hello all!

I just joined this group today after seeing lots of incredible advice and support for the various places folks may be in their journeys into open relationships.

I am at the beginning stages of this. By beginning, I mean my husband and I have had a few fruitful conversations. But I am getting ahead of myself. Time to give some context.

My lovely husband and I have been together for four years, 12 years altogether in a relationship. We have a two year old, as well. Since our child was born, we have been in a deeply depressing dead bedroom. The reasons for that I will expand upon later. In April of this year I had a mental breakdown because of our sex life. I decided to take to therapy to work on myself and evaluate my position, to see how we got into a DB. After three months of deep therapy, I gained the courage to have the talk.

It was scary to do, but necessary. It was full of vulnerability on both sides. We both weren’t happy and both wanted to fix it, but we were so scared of hurting each other with the truth that we were silent. That silence totally broke down our communication skills.

I told him that it was so hard to say that I hadn’t been satisfied before, and didn’t know what to ask for in our sex life. I wanted to see a therapist to help us work on these things. He said he had a feeling that this was why weren’t having sex, and was very ready to try and make things better.

What also came from this conversation was the thought of opening up our marriage. I really regret bringing that up during this initial conversation, as I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about what I was really looking for. But we both were being as honest as we could about our feelings. This part was a bit of a shock to him, and after a few days of grieving our previous relationship he and I started talking a little bit more about non-monogamy and strengthening our relationship.

We both said we want to focus on the two of us first, which is exactly what we are doing. I am doing the work in therapy, and reading books like Girl Sex 101 and the Ethical Slut. We are going on dates (this part has been HUGE for us!), and having more honest conversations about sex and masturbation. And while there hasn’t been any penetrative sex, we’ve been having lots of fun discovering ways to get each other off.

The idea of opening up is still in our conversations, and the more we’ve researched and talked, the more he has gotten into it. This is very exciting to me! I am trying not to rush any part of this process. I have expressed my desire to move slowly on the path we’re on.

Two weeks ago, an old friend, who I had slept with a few times, got in touch with me to say hey. Our conversations have mainly been catching up, nothing flirtatious. But his reappearance in my life has made me think about exploring turning that flame back on. I haven’t told my husband that I’ve been thinking of him in that way yet.

So here are my questions:
Are we moving in a good direction if we want to open our marriage? We haven’t set up anything for this kind of relationship yet, like laying out boundaries, or coming up with starting agreements. But we have both discussed that this is what we need to do before we get there.

How should I address this old flame situation? I have no desire to start up anything with him right now, but I don’t want to ignore my interest.

When the time is right and I feel like I am ready, how do I talk to that person about my open relationship and wanting to exploring something with them?

Thank you for reading!
Greetings Bunbun11,
Welcome to our forum. Please feel free to lurk, browse, etc.

It is really good to hear that you and your husband have been having talks, improving your sexual relationship, and exploring the concept of open/poly. Opening your marriage is a good direction, just take it slow. Do tell your husband about your old flame, don't let yourself get caught up in the habit of keeping secrets. In open/poly, honesty, transparency, and communication are vital. If you are having feelings for your old flame, confess that fact to your husband. Even if the feelings never lead to anything, your husband needs to know that he can depend on you to be 100% honest with him. As for the old flame himself, you might eventually want to tell him that you are exploring open/poly, and then depending on his response to that, you might want to add that you are having feelings for him, and would be interested in trying something with him.

Anyway, such are my thoughts.
Kevin T., "official greeter" :)


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Welcome aboard!

It sounds like you started therapy in April. Then, in July, you told your husband about your work in therapy, and started to have conversations with him about improving your sex life, going on more dates, trying non-penetrative sex. You also broached the idea of opening your relationship, but maybe too soon. However, your husband has been willing to have talks and do the things needed to repair your emotional and physical connections.

That's all good.

Since it's only been since July since you and husband started actively working on repairing things, I'd recommend cooling it with ideas about your old flame. I'd recommend talking to him less. I agree with Kevin that you should tell your husband that you've been talking to this person and have been fantasizing about him.

But again, focus on working on the transparency with husband. Let him know you have an attraction to someone else.

We all get attractions! Our culture makes it out to be a horrible thing to admit to having feelings for someone other than your actual spouse. This is so silly though. It's just not true that just because you love someone deeply, you will never be attracted to, or even fall in love with, another person.

But just because we have feelings for another does not mean we need to act on it, immediately, or in a month, or ever! You are still getting used to having a kid. She's only two. Being a mother/father AND a lover is tricky. Babies and toddlers are so demanding of our time and energies. Focus on her and on repairing your sex life, dating life, emotional connection with husband for a while longer. Most successful couples who open to poly after being mono take a year or two to research and build trust, detangle, refine their communication skills, etc. There's no rush. (Especially if you're planning on more kids. Are you?)
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