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First, you need to make sure you know why you want an open relationship.
Is it because you want sexual variety? You have a fetish or kink your partner isn’t interested in pursuing with you? You would rather not choose between people you love?
Do you want partnered nonmonogamy, swinging, polyamory?
This will help you describe to your partner how you envision your open relationship and what behaviors you want to be part of your relationship structure (sexual/erotic intimacy, emotional intimacy, etc.).
Take some time to articulate for yourself why this relationship style is important to you so you are prepared to discuss your reasons with your partner.
Know you deserve to be happy and you also have a responsibility to act with integrity and be honest with your partner.
When talking with your partner, make sure to communicate calmly and with patience and compassion. Provide your partner with reassurance that you care for them.
Take things slow and allow your partner to absorb the new ideas before expecting or trying to drastically change your relationship. Be willing to negotiate.
There are definitely individuals who advocate for an open relationship as a way to move forward once their cheating behavior is revealed.
This can be extremely difficult to do. Bridging from a dishonest “monogamous” relationship to an honest open relationship is tricky and requires rebuilding trust, honesty and healing.
“If you are interested in an open relationship,
begin to articulate your desires.”
Do your best to listen with compassion, even if it feels like a shock.
Remember, your partner has good intentions and they took the difficult path to be honest with you about their desires and needs instead of going down a path of dishonesty.
That alone is an indication your relationship has some trust and stability.
Ask your partner questions, ask for reassurance if you need it, and give yourself the time and space to process their desires.
Engage in some self-awareness work.
Ask yourself: Is this something that sounds good to me? How can I feel safe, secure and happy in an open relationship? What might I get out of an open relationship?
If you decide you are interested in pursuing an open relationship, begin to articulate what your desires are.
Do they line up with your partner’s? Can you negotiate to continue having a relationship together?
If you find after reflection you do not want to engage in an open relationship, be honest with yourself and your partner. You both deserve to be happy, whether you decide to be in a monogamous or open relationship.