When we break up with someone it’s often for several reasons. We like to think we can work on just one problem and resolve it. Our relationship can survive it. We sometimes bury our head in the sand and continue on blinkered.
When your partners tells you that they want an open relationship for some of us we see that as just another potential problem. There are those who would judge us and suggest that we are fooling ourselves, that once we cross that line there is return.
I would say now with the benefit of hindsight that they are correct. When one partner does decide that they went to look outside of the relationship for sex, no matter how detached, it is the death knell of the whole thing.
Therapy has taught me that they just wanted their cake and to eat it before having another cake somewhere else. Self respect has taught me that they are selfish and destructive. I lacked the later which is probably why I let the former happen.
I do see it now as something that “happened “ to me. I did of course agree to this situation but I was more than 10 years into a relationship with someone I very much-loved and cared for. We lived together and we had built a life together. I was vulnerable in the face of the request. I went along with it because I was afraid of what life looked like without them.
We all do things out of fear it is a powerful motivator. Our lives are ruled by the horror stories the media creates and the lies politicians tell about other political parties. Crime is a powerful motivator in the elderly because it relies on fear. I made a huge mistake out of sheer fear.
When I was young I could spend so much time alone in my own company and it didn’t bother me. I spent 10 years in a relationship and suddenly being alone was the biggest fear there is. The routine of the past 10 years was like a comfort blanket (admittedly perhaps not to them it seems).
During the death throes of our relationship something very hurtful was done with regards to a final act of having an open relationship. No matter how I examine it I keep coming back to the same conclusion. It could only have been done to taunt me and to humiliate me. I would hear from my partner that some people actually want to meet people who were in an open relationship and that they saw it as an other notch on their bedpost and having something of someone else’s.
Let there be no mistake having an open relationship is doing something you know you shouldn’t. Either because you are weak or because you simply don’t care anymore. Frankly if either of those apply to you and your relationship then perhaps it is best that you both seek other, more permanent, solutions.