Post # 1
I was hoping to get some advice on how to help a friend who is in an open relationship.
This is a new concept to me, and one that I’m struggling understanding. I could never imagine this being something I could emotionally handle myself… my relationship with my Fiance is so sacred to me… and involves a high level of closeness and a deep connection that it feels like couldn’t exist with a different sort of relationship…
My friend has only recently revealed this to me, triggered by my wedding festivities I see it beginning to truly bother her and I’m hurting for her. I knew they were long distance (different countries) and knew it must be hard, but I can only imagine the toll an open relationship might take in this situation.
Anyone who can help explain it better to me, and how it could possible work, and how I can advise her… I will be so grateful. I’m struggling knowing what to say at all to help her coming from where I do. She even mentioned feeling strange telling me based on how close Fiance and I are and it broke my heart…
Post # 3
No matter what kind of relationship she is in, if she is feeling uncomfortable then she should probably take a break from it. She and her boyfriend need to talk about where they stand and if she is okay with it.
Post # 4
Hi there! I am in an open (polyamorous) relationship and I will first and foremost say that it ONLY works if both parties are enthusiastic about the dynamic and very open and honest with one another. There’s a LOT of communication involved, a lot of checking in and discussing unpleasant feelings and emotions (jealousy, insecurity, etc.) It’s very difficult to have an open relationship period, but even more difficult long distance.
Sounds to me like your friend may have agreed to nonmonogamy to try and appease her SO. This is never a good idea, because eventually resentment and/or insecurities WILL crop up and destroy the person. A monogamous person trying to be okay with a nonmanogamous partner just… no. It’s just going to hurt her more and more. I’ve seen it firsthand with a few people I’ve met recently in the poly community who have monogamous partners. I don’t think open relationships can work unless both parties are on board 100%.
Your friend needs to evaluate what she’s getting out of this. What benefit does being open have to her? What are the detriments – what’s hurting her? Why does she feel she’s not as close with her SO as you and your Fiance are? I will tell you, I’ve never been MORE close with anyone before my SO, especially after opening our relationship. If she feels this is less the case with them being open, then it’s not working and she really needs to evaluate whether staying with a partner who can’t be monogamous like she needs is worth all of this hurt.
Post # 5
personally, i would stay out of it. i would be all ” i dont know how to help you because i dont really understand what is happening, I’m here if you need to talk, but i cnat give any advice”
Post # 6
@preppysouthernbride: I don’t have any history with open relationships and can’t imagine myself ever agreeing to be in one so I can’t be much help there.
I think a lot of people, and especially women, can feel pressured into accepting an open relationship when they don’t really want one. Is that what happened to your friend?
Or, did she think she could handle it but now realizes she can’t?
In My Humble Opinion, you’re either the kind of person who wants and can handle an open relationship or you’re not. Sounds like your friend is in the “not” category. It also sounds like this relationship is making her far more unhappy than happy and therefore, time to move on.
Post # 7
@preppysouthernbride: Nobody, regardless of their situation, REALLY wants “advice” in their relationship. They want to hear what they already know/think. My recommendation would be to act like a therapist. Ask her questions if you don’t understand, ask her what she’s feeling about those things, ask her what SHE thinks she should do…. then be supportive. That’s all your friend really needs. SHE knows if she can handle an open relationship or not.
Post # 8
What, exactly, about the open relationship is she complaining about?
Post # 9
I’ve known several friends that were in open relationships. I know it’s possible for them to succeed, I’ve never personally seen one that made it past 3 years. In theory, both parties want the poly relationship, and it’s like that from the beginning. In actuality, what usually happens is that one party is comfortable with the other person, but not really that happy with them. And as another poster phrased it, ‘old pussy is easier to get than new pussy’. So they request the open relationship so that they can go out and try to get some elsewhere, and have the option at home if/when they fail. The other party is so desperate to keep their partner that they agree to it, even if they’re miserable. And that’s why it tends to fail – eventually the monogamous one decides to walk, or the other decides to break up and start dating the new one he/she is sleeping with. With the VERY RARE exception of two genuinely poly people coming together, it’s a disaster.
Post # 10
@MariContrary: I agree to a point. A lot of poly relationships fail due to lack of communication of wants and ALSO lack of proper care and attention for the primary relationship. It has to be a combination of a desire for both parties for that kind of relationship and ALSO continued effort to work on the primary relationship and put it first. I think a lot of people are attracted to it because they think it’s a way to “cheat without cheating”.
Post # 11
@MissCalifornia: Yup. The friends I knew that were legit poly relationships ended up just not able to handle the work that it took to sustain multiple healthy, happy relationships. The rest were all in the ‘cheating without the guilt’ type of relationship. And that’s the type that’s automatically going to fail. It’s why I quietly roll my eyes and sigh when someone that I know beyond a doubt WANTS monogamy agrees to an open relationship.
Post # 12
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
Has she asked for your help with something? Or did she just tell you that her relationship is open ?
Post # 13
Maybe she was okay with the relationship before but since you’re getting married, it’s bringing up emotions and making her rethink things? I personally am not a fan of an open relationship and when I was in one, I wasn’t seriously considering marrying that person.
I agree with others, just be a sounding board and let her talk through it with you but I wouldn’t give her advice either way since it’s something you don’t really understand. Hopefully she figures it out!
Post # 14
I wouldn’t do it with my Fiance, but I’ve had threesomes in the past and done a lot of crazy things. The key is for both people to be onboard. It is very possible to separate sex and emotional connection. Sometimes sex is just sex. When it works, it works great. But without both people feeling comfortable, it will be a disaster.
Post # 15
@MissCalifornia: Not trying to threadjack, but how did opening the relationship bring you and your SO closer?
Post # 16
If she asked for my advice, I would give her my honest advice. I would tell her that she deserves much better.
However, unsolicited advice is rarely welcomed. So I would listen, but not comment too much.