By Andrea Syrtash for KnowMore.tv's GalTime
The answer to the question, "Can open relationships really work?" is... perhaps.
Here are three perspectives to consider if you're thinking about opening up your relationship.
Talk. A lot!
When you're considering opening up your relationship, communication is key so both of you feel heard and understood. Figure out together what your motivation is for opening up your marriage. Is it because you want sexual or emotional variety, or because you're not getting your needs met at home? It's important to articulate your needs, so you can make sure the issue isn't something you should first be tackling within your relationship.
Ground rules are an important part of an open relationship. Figure out a list of rules like: Will you tell each other details? Is kissing allowed? Can you see the person you've had sex with more than once? You may find that you'd prefer a 'don't ask don't tell' policy, while your partner needs to know every detail of your other rendezvous. It's essential to determine the style of an open relationship before you enter into it.
Do a Cost-Benefit Analysis
What's it costing you to open up your relationship and what's it costing you not to? It's a risk to invite other people into your intimate connection and it may be costing you and your partner a sense of security or comfort. On the other hand, you may realize that the benefits outweigh the costs. If you feel you want another lover because you may otherwise cheat or resent each other and you're both on the same page about trying an open relationship, it may be worth pursuing.
I'm a firm believer that what's normal in a relationship is what's normal to the couple. If both people's needs are being expressed and met, it's tough for anyone to judge what's happening behind closed doors.
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