Open Relationships: Partners, Threesome, Swinging, Polyamory and/or Including Any Additional Partner In Your Sexual Marital Relationship
No, the answer is NO – DO NOT, I repeat in capital letters: DO NOT have any additional partner/person in your marriage.
Threesomes, swinging, polyamory, any inclusion of any one in addition to your spouse as a sexual partner in your marriage–the answer is no, do not do it! Through my 18 years of providing couples counseling, with consistency couples who report they decided to have some form of open relationship rather than a monogamous relationship have ended up in an awful mental place and have destroyed their marriage.
The most common reasons couples report for having an open relationship include: a) to spice up the sexual relationship in their marriage, b) to improve or enhance the marriage, c) to save the marriage.
The choice of having an open relationship never saves the marriage. Rather, it makes a joke of the marriage and is destructive to the marriage. It is relationship suicide to include another intimate partner or partners into your world, in addition to your spouse.
Ask me how many times a couple has come to counseling reporting that their marriage was pretty okay or even that it was good, and then either one or both thought that having a threesome, swinging, etc., would give their marriage just what it needed to get even better? Ask me how many times couples have reported they had a good marriage overall and just wanted to spice up their sex life? Ask me how many times one person in the marriage had an affair or fell in love with another person and suggested that they remain married and keep other lovers in the picture?
I have seen these scenarios and more too many times to deny the pattern. The pattern is that, time and time again, having a threesome, swinging, polyamory, or any kind of sexual interaction with someone in addition to your spouse eventually always negatively impacts the marital relationship in a horribly ugly traumatic way.
For some couples, it is from that moment during the sexual three-way, swing interaction, or polyamorous experience that the couple is never the same, nor are the individuals within the couple unit. For other couples, it is that same day or a day later they are impacted and are never the same again, in a negative way. For other couples, it is days later, and for some it is weeks later. Then there are other couples who don’t fully recognize the damage this choice caused the relationship until a few months later as the negative effect builds over the days and weeks to come. For others, the inclusion of additional people in their marital sexual relationship becomes a lifestyle choice. Perhaps it takes several different experiences with partners outside of their marriage to lead to the painful and permanent injury to the marriage, but it does occur eventually. Of this I am certain.
There are couples who so desperately want to succeed in their new venture of having an open relationship that they try to sell their choice like a product and offer to others that this lifestyle is a healthy way to remain married. It is obvious to a relationship expert such as myself that they are trying to force themselves to believe the choice they made is healthy by advertising it to others in a desperate attempt to be validated. In the underbelly of their souls, these couples know what they are doing is wrong. When you speak with these couples you typically learn that one of them was no longer fulfilled in the marriage and the marriage was headed for divorce if an agreement of extra- marital inclusion was not made. I view this as selling one’s soul to save your family and really what you are doing is destroying the family, your children, the beauty and gift of what marriage is, and your own mental health.
Couples that choose to have an open marriage simply do not know how to have a successful monogamous relationship. Rather than improving and growing within the marriage, they utilize the external to focus their energy on. Some of these types of couples become argumentative about the theory that monogamy is a phenomenal journey of beauty, passion, and growth. The reason they become argumentative and defend their decision is that they could not succeed and do not want to even consider that monogamy can be successful as that would infer they have failed themselves, and if they have children, their children. For these couples, the marriage becomes secondary and the external relationships are their relationships. Is that really a marriage? No.
Often, couples that consider opening up their marriage to include another person or persons create “rules” that they both agree upon to try to ensure that neither spouse gets emotionally hurt and that they are both on the same page. No matter what rules you and your spouse create to ensure a successful and agreed-upon additional partner experience, know this: these rules will never work. Don’t make rules. I urge you to take my advice: don’t include any other person into your sexual relationship. The fantasy is always better than the reality.
Dr. Karen’s Advice
Find the joy and passion within your couple relationship and build on that. Make the time and take the time to pay attention to the couple relationship. Choose not to be with anyone other than your spouse. Make this commitment to yourself and your spouse. Urges you may feel, fantasies you may have, love you may want to spread, love you may want to receive. Work on having all of these things within the unit between husband and wife. Explore, experiment, expand, enhance all with only your spouse and no additional people.
In conclusion, it is my opinion that having an open relationship is a detrimental non-solution for marriages. It is relationship suicide and a problem just waiting to negatively impact the emotional welfare of self, other, the couple, and if you have children, your children as well.
If you enjoyed reading this blog, it was taken directly from my newest release: Dr. Karen’s Marriage Manual, Section 2 entitled: 29 Great Ways To Destroy Your Marriage. You can read more about this topic and read about real case examples of open relationships and its destruction in my cutting edge book. Learn more about my marital philosophy that has helped, saved, and enhanced couples since 1993 when I first started counseling couples, and receive concrete techniques and strategies that can be implemented immediately. A signed copy of Dr. Karen’s Marriage Manual is now available by purchasing directly through this website.