Social Question

chell's avatar

Swinging, open relationships?

Asked by chell (128points) August 6th, 2009

I am engaged to a wonderful man, but there is a BUT lol. He was in an open relationship as he calls it with his ex wife and also with his first wife. He considers an open relationship to be with couples an also with other single people alone. I have never been into anything like this. I am very scared and tend to be a jealous person i could use some help here how do you or “I” begin to handle this? Also what tends to be the reasons for some one to want other sexual partners. I really have no desire for that but he does. Even though he says i fulfill him which i feel isn’t true if he wants others..Some input would be very nice

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

29 Answers

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

If you are not comfortable with his open lifestyle, marrying him won’t make it better. Unless you are willing to swing with him, you are going to be miserable. Couples are supposed to do the important things together, and if you don’t think sexual relations are important, then you should really seriously reconsider marrying this man.

Don’t the vows say something about forsaking all others? Does he agree to that, but has added the addendum except for when I want to boink my two ex-wives?

Zendo's avatar

“Also what tends to be the reasons for some one to want other sexual partners?”

Fear of commitment, gender issues, mental deficiencies, fear of growing up, and also just a party animal kind of thing.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Engaged? And had you discussed your concerns with him about this prior to this engagement or has this been, er, sprung on you recently? Because either way, there’s a communication problem that needs to be addressed that goes somewhat deeper than the sexual proclivities issue. With regard to that, I agree with @evelyns_pet_zebra, in that if you know that you’re not going to be into an open relationship, then you probably shouldn’t marry him.

chell's avatar

evelyns pet zebra: he doesn’t do anything with his ex wives. he wants other women and for me to want other men he tells me i am a freak at heart and if i just open up i will love it…but yes sexual relationships are very important to me. that is why i guess i am having such a hard time with all of this. i feel that sexual relaitons between two people if they are in love is not just for gradification but a show of love for each other..he says that with others it is just playing for fun. i just can’t seem to seperate the two i guess..there is no turn on with others…it is a chore.

chell's avatar

aprilsimnel: well it was sprung on me as u put seeing him for a while and finally professing my love for him. aftere him telling me that he would do anything to show me he loved me and that it was ok for me to love again..after a divorce..i was cheated on and left for the other woman…so that is part of the issue too i guess.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@chell, do you think you are a freak at heart, or do you think he is wrong in that definition? If he wants to be friends with his ex wives, great, but that isn’t an open relationship, nor is it swinging. Swinging is having sex with other people beyond your mate. He seems to have some mental issues that need to be fixed before the wedding. If my wife came to me and said those things, I’d have her temporarily institutionalized until they figured out what the hell was wrong with her.

He sounds untrustworthy to me. Personally, I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him. Marrying him sounds like a real bad experience in my opinion, given your past history with unfaithful men. Follow your gut instinct.

Darwin's avatar

Whether you can trust him or not, unless you are comfortable with the swinging lifestyle marrying this man will only lead to divorce. Especially in the light of your former husband’s cheating on you but also because of your feelings that sex is for expressing love, I would rethink this whole engagement.

He wants you to be a freak at heart, but it sounds as if you don’t think you are. If you can’t enjoy his lifestyle, then you shouldn’t be planning on making a life together.

chell's avatar

evelyns pet zebra: as i said he isn’t friends with his ex’s ..he wants others outside of our relationship. as u said. me a freak..maybe in some ways i like alot of different things but i am very skiddish of the open / swinging thing. outside naked, being watched. that kinda thing yes

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Don’t be afraid to discuss this topic – it is an interesting one…as someone in an open marriage, I can tell you if it’s not for you and you’re a jealous person, it will become a problem – both people involved in an open relationship must be on the same wavelength…if he’s been in open arrangements previously and he enjoyed it, he won’t want to stop for you, necessarily…the ‘issues’ @Zendo mentioned are thinly veiled insults directed at me because he’s known me from another website where my ex-partners and I had a very open polyamorous relationship and since he’s got a bug up his you know what, please don’t take what he says to heart…it is brave of you to venture into this topic and relationship…I tend to say that there is a lot of fear surrounding these issues but there shouldn’t be…you have to have trust in your partner and you have to communicate what ‘open’ means to you…is it just sex with others or is it relationships with others…is it swinging with other couples only or with single people…will it include women only for him – are you into women or not will become an issue because if you’re not into women, then he’s just having sex with the both of you and you may feel left out at some point…have a good open conversation with yourself as to WHY it makes you skiddish and discuss those fears with him…as the more experienced in these matters one, he should take it slowly with you if he wants you on board…good luck…it can work out, but in my experience it’s not the primary partners that are the problem…it is those other people you sleep with that can never really get on board with being secondary…turns out everyone does want to break people up but secretly, in an alleyway, to make themselves feel so attractive..

aprilsimnel's avatar

@chell – All I can tell you, then, is go with your gut. You’re questioning this, so that alone should give you pause. If his and your values on this matter are so different, I’m not inclined to believe a marriage would work, but that is your choice to make. You can indeed love again; just know that he’s not the only guy out there who would love you if it comes down to it.

PerryDolia's avatar

Some people see sex as something that is done for the enjoyment and means nothing more significant to them than going skiing or roller skating together. This is how your boyfriend looks at sex with his previous two wives. It is not cheating because he is just doing it for fun and pleasure.

In his mind he can be true and loving to you, and play with others, too.

It does not sound like you are wired that way. You might change, but it is not likely.

I suggest you two discuss your values and beliefs about this. You may find dealing with this on an ongoing basis after your marriage is going to be agony.

Response moderated
sakura's avatar

@chell the fact that you are questioning the open relationship scenario, says to me that you are not truly happy with what has been suggested, I would be asking myself why he has got 2 ex wives, is it because his obbsession with an open relationship?
I personally wouldn’t have an open relationship, I can’t imagine sharing my husband with anyone, and he feels the same, I am NOT against open relationships if BOTH people are consenting, however it sounds like you are having doubts and this can’t be good.
For a relationship to work effectivly you both have to want the same thing out of it otherwise you are going to find the smallest things begin to have a big effect.

Please think carefully about what you want from this partnership, explain to you partner what your fears are, if he is very persistant and can’t see where you are coming from then I would consider ending the relationship…

You both need to be happy for the relationship to work, if you don’t like the idea of swinging now I’m not sure you ever will and if he can’t give it up then I can imagine this causing problems in the future.

Good Luck with your decision think carefully about what you want from life and how you want to live your life with this man.

Resonantscythe's avatar

I have nowhere near as much relationship experience as the other, more experienced people here, so all I can offer is this: are you a freak, or is he just trying to convince you of that so he can have that type of activity/relationship/ whatever you want to call it? What I mean to say is, one thing I’ve learned is sacrificing any part of yourself for others only hurts you. Be true to yourself and if YOU don’t want that type of relationship, don’t have it. If he can’t handle being in the type of relationship YOU want(with fair compromises) you should move on.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Zendo hall monitors are well aware of your accomplishments without my intervention

chyna's avatar

Do you know why he has been divorced twice already? Was it in part due to his open relationships? Never do something you are not comfortable with and don’t let someone talk you into this “if you love me you would”. What would be his reaction or response if you told him no, you don’t want to lead this kind of life? Will he change his way of life for you?

mammal's avatar

think the jealousy issue has answered your question
however i suspect you can’t let him go easily
which is kinda wrapped up with the jealousy thing
mmmmmmm…...catch 22

softtop67's avatar

While open relationships can work for some it is not for everyone. My feeling is that the two of you are not sharing the same ideals, expecially on this topic and it will at some time become a huge issue. You will have to look inside yourself and ask whether this is a lifestyle you are willing to participate in and if not you should really reconsider the marriage

cwilbur's avatar

So as things stand now, you want a closed relationship, and he wants an open relationship. Obviously there is no way for both of you to get your way.

Will you be happy in an open relationship? Will you be able to handle it? There is no shame in saying “no,” because they’re not for everyone.

Do you think he will be happy in a closed relationship? If he says he’ll stay in a closed relationship, do you think that is true, or do you think that he’ll eventually feel so pent up that he’ll seek a bit on the side by cheating?

There is no right or wrong answer here. There are only solutions that you can live with, and solutions that you can’t live with. If there is no solution that you can both live with, then you’re better off breaking the engagement.

gailcalled's avatar

Do not marry anyone who labels you “a freak at heart.” That is one of the largest emotional red flags I have heard. Contracting for having sex with multiple partners is a VERY BAD IDEA under any circumstances. And in a marriage, it is the kiss of death to kiss more than your spouse.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m with the “if you’re not comfortable with it, don’t do it” camp. You’ll have to negotiate this with him, but I would not marry him if he insists on having an open marriage and you don’t want one. This is a very important issue that you must both agree on, or it will kill the relationship. If you enter into such a relationship allowing him to sleep around while you don’t, it is a sign of possible low self-esteem. You may want to consider counseling if that’s the case.

I, too, believe what you said:
i feel that sexual relaitons between two people if they are in love is not just for gratification but a show of love for each other..he says that with others it is just playing for fun. i just can’t seem to seperate the two i guess

In my heart, I don’t believe they are separatable. Other people seem to believe they can separate a desire for physical intimacy from the need for emotional intimacy. I happen to believe that you can be emotionally intimate (and physically intimate) with more than one person, but I choose not to be as long as I am emotionally intimate with my wife.

Jealousy is impossible to live with if you want to keep a stable, comfortable relationship. Multiple lovers often lead to a lot of drama, so he might be addicted to emotional drama in a way. If you don’t want that, then don’t get involved in it. Also, I doubt if you could learn to be comfortable with it. It’s something you can deal with naturally or you can’t deal with it at all. It goes to deep psychological needs—things that are extremely difficult to root out and come to a different accommodation with.

I think men are programmed to want more than one sexual partner, more so than women are. He gets points for being honest about this, instead of sneaking around behind your back. That is an uncommon characteristic in a person. Most people cheat if they want more than one partner. They don’t do it openly and honestly. Be grateful for that.

I think he’s fooling himself if he thinks he can have emotionally significant sex with you, and purely fun sex with others. I think that means he has trouble connecting emotionally and he needs reassurance from other women that he is desirable. I think that means he has low self-esteem. I think it means he is not into investigating or understanding his own psyche. Does he drink a lot, or do any drugs a lot? Or even regularly, if you don’t think it is a lot? If so, that’s another warning sign that you will not be happy in a marriage with him.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@gailcalled that kiss of death is not an inevitability – you can’t say my open marriage will fail any more than I can tell that yours will

1taster's avatar

Unless you have a very clear idea of why YOU would want to be in an open relationship, don’t do it. This is one aspect of a relationship where compromise won’t work—you need a partner that’s on the same page as you.

Open relationships are hard as hell even for couples that both want it!!

gailcalled's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir : I congratulate you and your partner. I should have added that I was talking about main-stream relationships. And I would bet that your partner never coerced you into doing something by labeling you “a freak at heart.”

filmfann's avatar

@chell Welcome to fluther. Lurve.
I know several people who are like this, and they all cannot maintain their marriages.
This is important. Don’t enter into the marriage under these conditions.

phil196662's avatar

Sure! Safely…

sparrowfeed's avatar

I’m confused.

He did it in the past but does he want to do it with you?

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther