Open Marriage Story: Eight Years Of Open Relationship
This article tells a story of an open marriage. Leslie and Richard have been together for eight years, and throughout this period they have remained open to new people. They share their experience with our sex-positive Fantasy blog and tell about the issues they come across and the ins and outs they cope with.
Can you describe the process of openness formation in your couple?
Richard: From our earliest datings we were rather naughty about new contacts. But the rules of our open relationship – well, we’ve been cultivating them all these years as if caring about a capricious flower. Last year I was inviting a friend to spend time with Lesly while I was away on a business trip. Although some five years ago we used to act by the principle: you are free to do whatever you want unless I know it. Things evolve gradually.
Did you have any troubles with jealousy?
Leslie: Richard used to be jealous at the beginning. Then one day he said: “Ok, you enjoy it, so why should I be mad? But please, let them be normal guys that you choose”. I guess the idea of me having somebody else turns Richie on.
As for me, I was continuously jealous. But recently there’s been just a few girls who make me feel like this, and in general this has become a down trendline. Richard insists I live out my sexual fantasies that involve other people. And I’ve noticed that with actual fantasies fulfilled, the adventures of your partner cease looking so dramatic. It was probably not jealousy but envy that I felt.
Another thing I’ve learnt is that satisfaction and satiation beget connoisseurship. But a true connoisseur cannot envy another one. This is how I’ve taken to joy and pleasure from my partner’s delight. I think this is what they call compersion.
What do you think is the most important pleasure ingredient in open marriage?
Richard: Surprising as it may seem, but they are the rules. When talking to each other, we fantasize about how to make things even better and more pleasurable. In case of discomfort we discuss the things and find solutions. Turn them into rules and test them in real practice:
- When together, no sending messages to other people.
- The opinion of the second partner does count when it comes to a date or a trip.
- No lies.
- No impeding partner’s pleasure (no bothering them if they are dating someone else at the moment).
- No hiding from new lovers the fact of our being a couple.
- No criticizing each other’s choice.
Every couple has their own rules. We know some guys who are aroused by writing messages together. But developing these laws is a specific enjoyment of ours.
What do you do when feel uncomfortable from partner’s spending time with the third party?
Leslie: I was once watching Richard seducing a girl. Though wanted to fly the coop, I somehow tried to empathize what he was feeling at the moment. And they were emotions of a male tempting a juicy bitch, those of lush and excitement… I felt butterflies starting from down of my belly. The appeal between them ignited my fire.
This happened once again when my honey told about his experience of having sex with two women.
Richard: We’ve determined a formula that sounds like “feeling uncomfortable means you focus on your own ego instead of your partner’s feelings, and thus separate yourself from the pleasant excitement”. And it helps understand what to do: concentrate on the one enjoying, not the one who suffers.
You suggest personal feelings should be simply ignored?
Leslie: If the feeling is the pridefulness begot by the stereotype that I am the only woman in the world who’s worth Richie’s love, do I need to cherish it? What I was thinking about was: it is me who wants to be with him; it is me who wants to learn him better; these are my feelings about him that I hold dear.
And this makes vanity step away, because they are my experience, by liability and my business. So that there’s nothing to blame Richard for. This kind of speculation results in putting our intimacy high above my personal pridefulness in my scale of values.
Richard: another important thing is letting the partner know what you feel. When I used to hear Leslie saying “see, you no longer like me” after another crush of mine, I thought this was her way of manipulation and asking for fair words. But in the course of my experiments I understood that she had no idea of what she meant to me. I thought it was obvious: I live with her, so of course I adore her. But it turned out that it wasn’t.
How can a couple retain intimacy when letting somebody else into their world? How can they stay open-minded?
Richard: We consider the freedom of liaisons to be the pinnacle of partner relationships development. This is not a mere union; it implies confidence in the partner, new level of interaction, genuine interest in each other. It’s like an adventure that helps me learn more about myself and her. I do care much about Leslie. Thus it means that her choice and her emotions are significant for me as well.
A third person comes like an experiment that gives a better picture of ourselves. Treating every new step as an experiment helps us stay open-minded and remain open to partner’s feelings and desires.
Would you give an advice for those interested in having an open marriage?
Richard: Have no dread of changing yourself. We’ve changed much in order to start enjoying the freedom of our relationships, and we have learnt to:
- never delay fulfilment of sexual desires,
- establish our own rules,
- empathize the partner,
- be aware of what we feel about the significant other,
- tell the partner about the feelings we have,
- be curious about new things in each other.
Leslie: An open marriage is a tough compound dish with many ingredients, and it is never easy on the very first try. You need practice and continuous self-improvement, you need to keep your dialogue going. But when you succeed, the taste is so amazingly delicious! Every success is unforgettable, unique and inspiring.
We get so much excited by the idea of what happens next. Since we guess this is just the beginning of out open marriage story.
Read more about open marriage in our article Effy Blue’s Open Relationship Test