Not Engaged Yet

Open Relationships

What do you guys think of them? Do you feel that it's still "cheating," even though you're completely aware of what your SO is doing? Are you more liberal about sex, and think that's it's a completely natural thing, or do you think sex should only be with your partner?

BF and I were discussing this (if anyone's curious, we're actually both in favor of them) and I was curious to know your thoughts.
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Re: Open Relationships

  • AudgiePodgeAudgiePodge member
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    edited December 2011
    I've had open relationships in the past. This one isn't. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a PM.
    I'm not good at feelings.

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  • edited December 2011
    I have friends who are in an open marriage (they have 2 kids) they met on a blind date, slept together, got pregnant and they've been together six years at this point. She is bi-sexual and sometimes it weirds me out that she posts all over facebook that she wants a girlfriend to make her feel good. To each their own, though.

    What bothered me the most was my ex- boyfriend is her husbands best friend. When we were still dating she would constantly try to sleep with him or write inappropriate things about him on his Fbook. Then I got a surprise when I found out they had all had a threesome one night. Too much.

    That went way past the question you were asking GPB - I could never have an open marriage but possibly an open relationship. I'm a believer that while monogamy is difficult, it is possible in the long term. At least I hope it is. If I ever felt myself wanting to sleep with someone else, I would talk to Mike about it - I can't imagine that would go well. lol.
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  • Elle1036Elle1036 member
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    edited December 2011
    It's not something I could do.  It takes me a long time to be secure in a relationship.  One of the appeals of marriage to me is that I can stop worrying about any tension with men and just be myself all the time.

    However, I don't have any problems with open relationships.  If it's your thing, then great.  I don't think it's cheating as long as both partners are fully aware.
  • loopy82loopy82 member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I don't think I could ever do it. I think that if you are wanting to sleep around you probably shouldn't be in a comitted relationship. I am also all for to each his own. If both you and your SO want to be together but also want to be able to sleep with multiple others, than so be it.
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  • edited December 2011
    BF and I were in a really complicated situation a while back that isn't exactly what you would consider an open relationship, but it was close. I would never do it again. If you think it would work for your relationship I think that is great for you, but I know that I couldn't do it. I'm old fashioned I guess and don't think its right to sleep with more than one person at a time, but again as pp have said, to each his own. 
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  • leia1979leia1979 member
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    edited December 2011
    I don't think it's cheating if both people have pre-agreed. However, I do think it would be hard for an open relationship to be successful. I think it would be quite likely that one party feels hurt or jealous.

    Then again, that was an episode of "House" last year.
  • edited December 2011
    I don't post on this board but I like to read what you girls have to say. Thought I would jump in with my 2cents

    Back when I was younger, I was involved with a married couple that were in an open relationship. It's a very difficult balance to maintain.This didn't happen with me but with a later girl they brought into the relationship: the girl started having feelings for the husband and started to try to cut the wife out of the picture. Husband also started having too many feelings for the girl. Wife put the boot down on that one and the girl went bu-bye. The couple is divorced now, drinking was the problem not the open marriage part. Although both are now engaged in monogamous relationships.
    Is it cheating? Not to me as long as the partner knows and it is are okay with it.
    Could I do it? When I was younger, yes. But now, I wouldn't want to share BF with anyone. I joked to him after he found out about my past that he had "missed the window." But we do play the would-you-sleep-with-her game when we are out people watching.
  • deburnindeburnin member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I couldn't do it. I'm too possessive. Not to the point that BF isn't allowed to talk to other women or anything like that, I simply dislike the idea of him chasing after other women. If both parties are aware and agree to the open relationship then no, it's not cheating. Cheating is an act of lying or deception.

    While I realize that scientifically humans are not wired to be monogamous that doesn't change the fact that I personally need to be in a monogamous relationship. I think my insecurities would get the best of me if I wasn't. 
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  • edited December 2011
    I am pretty jealous so I couldn't have an open relationship with someone I really cared about. I would probably open a can of whoop asss on their other partner. I would also be freaked out about disease.

    I don't judge those who do, and I get it, but it isn't for me.

    I don't think if the people agree it is cheating.

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  • tafft1tafft1 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In a real open relationship - meaning both parties and anyone else they are involved with in any way know EXACTLY what is going on - then no it is not cheating and I am fully supportive of it. Actually I have been in them before and it was great - for us. It is not something that is socially accepted by the masses nor understood by many. Some consider it an excuse to sleep with whoever they want - this is not what it should be by any means.

    In my relationship circles that me and my husband frequent an open relationship is more common than a monogamous one. There are varying types of course - no two are the same - and my husband and I while not in a true open relationship..have the doors open so to speak. It isn't just about sex for us though - nor is it merely for others in smiliar relationships - it's about experiencing different things that we may not always be able to provide each other , but sex may or may not be a part of such.

    Nothing is off limits in our relationship aside from a few things my husband is totaly against , but we share the same outlook on relationships , heirachy and sexual relations so it works for us. It isn't better or worse - it is completely individualized to the people involved. As long as there is 100% trust , communication and informed consent , there is no harm. People have emotions and those involved should tread carefully and understand that these emotions will not always be the most positive but overall the relationship can be very fulfilling for all involved when done with complete honesty and disclosure.

    For me sex isn't nor should be limited to just enjoyment with my husband or vice versa - it is fun and so many different things to try and explore that we feel we only live once so why not make the most of our life we have together. We realize our views are very alternative and we lead a life majority of society looks down upon but hey whatever makes you happy and to each their own.
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  • loopy82loopy82 member
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    edited December 2011
    In my experience the less emotionally involved I am in a person the less I care what is happening with the other person in their relationships.

    Before I met DH, I ... dated {(?) - I don't know if that is even the right word} a person who is in the porn industry. That was intersting to say the least. I don't care so much and am more open to things, say such as open relationships, if I am not greatly emotionally invested in the relationship. I am glad I had different types of relationships. I think its what I needed at the time. - Oh and for reference - when DH found out about this guy, he was not happy to say the least.
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  • edited December 2011
    As long as everyone involved knows what's going on and agrees to it... well... it's none of my business.
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  • coastiegrl25coastiegrl25 member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I have seen way too many open relationships go south because of feelings developing for the other person.  I myself could never do it. I toy with the idea in my head but know that I couldn't actually bring myself to it.  I don't think it's cheating if both are aware so that isn't the issue for me.  Just imagining him with another woman I can't handle.
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  • MLekathLEENMLekathLEEN member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I don't think that I could do it but as long as both parties are ok with it then it's their choice to make. Does that mean it'll turn out well? No, but who knows if anything will go the way we wanted it to.

    I wouldn't say it's cheating if the other person knows about it.
  • Hazel_BHazel_B member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    If everyone knows and agrees I don't have a problem with it for other people.

    I don't think I could do it personally. Also, I seriously doubt that BF would be open to it.

    I have been asked by a friend who is in an open relationship to be part of it. I couldn't do it. I know the opening of their relationship was because there was unhappiness in their marriage. I don't think these are the right circumstances for an open relationship.
  • heyimbrenheyimbren member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I don't think it's cheating if everyone's aware of the situation.

    Personally, I couldn't do it myself. It's a lifestyle choice that people personally get to make, but in my honest opinion, I think sex should only be between partners. I think monogamy is good for a relationship. I wouldn't go around preaching this to random people, but that's my personal opinion.
  • edited December 2011
    To each their own...

    I couldn't do it because I'm way too selfish... Mama never taught me how to share my man!! LOL
  • edited December 2011
    GPB, we've talked about this.  But I will say that while I'm not opposed to the idea, it just wouldn't fly in my relationship. 

    I think in your case it has a lot more to do with both of your relative youth and inexperience with others than it does with a genuine dissatisfaction with your relationship.
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks everyone for your insightful and honest opinions. :)
  • HeartOverMindHeartOverMind member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I don't think open relationships could last. Eventually jealousy creeps in and it would shatter the whole "relationship".

    I would NEVER be in an open relationship. I don't like the idea of sharing BF with anyone else.

    Edit: I don't consider it cheating if you are in an open relationship and both parties are aware of the situation. You should know what you "signed up" for and deal with it.
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  • edited December 2011
    There's a really good line from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil which pretty accurately sums up how I would feel about bringing a 3rd or 4th party into our marriage:

    "If I catch any of you bitches near him, honey, I want you to know, you're gonna have to deal with the Lady Chablis, the Doll, the Grand Empress, and my mother f*cking ice pick."

    Thankfully, I don't own any ice picks, but I'm creative.

    No, seriously...if that works for you, then more power to you. I could never have a relationship like that. For me, marriage means you + me. You step outside of that you + me, you don't have a marriage anymore.

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  • becunning2becunning2 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Open relationships are definitely not for me.  I value commitment and fidelity.  Of course, what I want for myself is not what other people want for their own lives.  If you can make it work, and it's your cup of tea, drink it.  But I haven't heard much positive things about how these kinds of relationships end.  But then again, even monogamous relationships end for all sorts of reasons.

    Summary:  Not for me.  If it's for you, that's your perogative. 
  • calindicalindi member
    5000 Comments Second Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I think it comes down to the understanding of what sex means to each of you.  For some people (most women), sex is intricately tied with emotions, and in a serious relationship, sex is tied to love.  There are some people (more men than women, typically) who can honestly separate the emotions from the sex.  They can have sex with someone other than their spouse, and have it not affect their feelings towards their spouse at all.

    Honestly, I can have sex without emotions.  I could have sex with someone outside my relationship on a purely physical basis.  I believe my BF could do the same.  The problem lies not in how the person engaging in the extramarital sex feels about it, but how the partner feels about their loved one having sex outside of the relationship.  I couldn't handle BF being with another woman, and there's no way he'd be okay with another man touching me.  Thus an open relationship would not work for us at all.  We've talked about voyeurism, which is why we enjoy watching porn together, but as far as ever touching another person sexually, it won't work in our relationship.

    We've also both had extensive sexual histories before we met each other.  There's not really a need to "experiment" or "sow our wild oats", but I can understand a younger couple who haven't had much experience outside of each other wanting to enjoy those carnal pleasures.  If you can do it with the other's honest heartfelt blessing (or experiment together), then go for it.

    If both people are truly open to it (not because one partner wants it and the other acquiesces) then I don't see it as cheating, and I'm sure it works for some people. 

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  • Beads921Beads921 member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I do not think open relationships constitute cheating, because, at least in theory, both partners know what's going on and are OK with it.

    Personally though, I know I could never ever in a million years be in one. I guess I don't see the point of being in a relationship with someone while continuing to see other people (I know it works for some people, though). And I think it would probably get messy (emotionally) really fast if you weren't careful. To me, the stablity and commitment that help to make up a relationship would not be there in an open relationship.
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  • tafft1tafft1 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_open-relationships?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:259a2565-6298-4194-b530-c2d50a953740Post:ce4f2700-70f6-4a96-87b5-462d140d88b3">Re: Open Relationships</a>:
    [QUOTE]I do not think open relationships constitute cheating, because, at least in theory, both partners know what's going on and are OK with it. Personally though, I know I could never ever in a million years be in one. I guess I don't see the point of being in a relationship with someone while continuing to see other people (I know it works for some people, though). And I think it would probably get messy (emotionally) really fast if you weren't careful. <strong>To me, the stablity and commitment that help to make up a relationship would not be there in an open relationship.</strong>
    Posted by Beads921[/QUOTE]

    ** The following is only spoken from personal experience/opinion - no offense is intended nor am I trying to single anyone out**

    This is a common misconception - I definitely understand you were stating for you this is your opinion so I am not judging you for it just stating my views on it as well :)

    It seems to me that often unless a relationship is strictly between two people it can be viewed as less commited. I for one have never understood this argument. It is similar to those who believe that if you arent married or engaged your relationship isnt as important or commited - which most people agree is simply ridiculous. I think the truth is the only ones who can make that call are those involved in the relationship itself - whether it be just two people or however many there are.

    As an example I have a close friend who is in an open relationship with a total of 4 people aside from her boyfriend. Her boyfriend is involved with 3 or so other people as well. There is no doubt however who comes first - they are insanely in love with one another and work together to make their lives better for one another - not unlike many of us here - just from time to time there are other people they enjoy their time with. It dosent affect their stability because there is the same level of trust , honesty and security that can be seen on typical relationships ( if there is such a thing).
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_open-relationships?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:259a2565-6298-4194-b530-c2d50a953740Post:4e38ecfe-7a83-434d-98a6-f1014ac9a236">Re: Open Relationships</a>:
    [QUOTE] While I realize that scientifically humans are not wired to be monogamous that doesn't change the fact that I personally need to be in a monogamous relationship. I think my insecurities would get the best of me if I wasn't. 
    Posted by deburnin[/QUOTE]


    This is how I feel also!  Call it hypocritical perhaps, but that's how it is for me. *shrug*
  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    BF and I are traditional when it comes to relationships - no sex until marriage and no other sexual partners. An open relationship may work for some people but its not for me.


  • edited December 2011
    For me personally it is not something I could ever do. I don't share well and I would be devastated if DH brought up trying this. It'd make me insecure and exacerbate my own body image issues.

    As far as cheating I would say that if both people in the relationship are fully aware of what is going on and have come to an agreement with what they are comfortable with then that is not cheating. However if one party wants an open relationship and the other doesn't and then that one person goes and does it anyway then I would consider that cheating because there is no agreement there.

    I can't separate sex and emotion like some people can - it's a very intimate thing for me so when I have entered into a sexual relationship there is some underlying emotion connected with the sexual act.

    So in short I have no problem with people that have them since it works for them but it's not something I can or would do.
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  • ravenrayravenray member
    5000 Comments 25 Love Its Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited December 2011

    I don't see it as cheating if the other person knows and is okay with it.
    Personally, an open relationship would never work for me.  Not only an I super traditional (no sex before marriage... ect) but I am also insecure about my body.  I was sexual abused as a child and have major trust issues.  To me a good relationship is one where the other person is totally committed to you and you are totally committed to them.  I am way to jealous to share my man with any other women.  I would most likely end up in jail for murder. 
    If it works for you, great!  If you're happy with that, even better.  You should do what is best for you and makes you the most satisfied.  Just because most of the people on here would never do it personally doesn’t mean it's not right for you.  It might be exactly what you want.  If it is, do it!  As long as you know and understand what you are getting into there should be no problem.  I wish you happiness in your relationship. :)

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  • edited December 2011
    I think open relationships are wonderful for the people who want them, and fully support anyone who is in one. I actually have several friends who are in open and polyamorous relationships (and have been for a long time), and they're beautiful, strong, and very healthy relationships. It's a tricky thing to be in, as all people involved have to know themselves VERY well, be very secure emotionally, and very, very open and communicative or it won't work. But for the ones it does work for, it's pretty amazing to see.

    As long as both partners are aware and in total agreement then I don't see it as cheating. Not that it's impossible to cheat in those relationships, it definitely is. But as long as everyone's playing by the rules set down then all is good.

    All that said, it's not for me. I'm not a jealous person or anything, but after what my dad put my mom through I'm...sensitive, I guess you could say, so BF and I are to remain exclusive lest I have some sort of breakdown.

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