Open relationships: Are they viable?

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More and more couples are choosing to explore different ways to see other people on the side but still stay together. Why is this?

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We’ve all heard the depressing statistics about marriage, with divorces in 2014 at standing at 21 998 according to Stats SA. There are sites were people logon to seek extra-marital affairs, so could that be the reason some take options to have open relationships? Monogamy can be difficult and not for everyone. Instead of cheating on your partner, you have the conversation of letting others in on your relationship. So if you want an open relationship, look at things to consider and how to go into such a set-up: Evaluate why? Why do you want to have another partner? Are you bored? If you and your partner have committed emotionally to each other while coming to an arrangement that meets both your needs and keeps you happier, then it’s fine. Talk about it Bring up the conversation with your partner. Whether it’s your husband or long-term boyfriend, if you’ve thought it through and are interested in exploring the options, speak about it. It requires brutal honesty, even though it might bring about hurt and insecurity. Set ground rules The rules couples put in place for their open relationships vary greatly, but are all of equal importance. Once you’re sure that you both want to go forward, make a list of boundaries that both of you are comfortable with. Write them down and talk out all of the details before going forward. While it’s important to be compromising in a relationship, this isn’t the place to hold back. These are some of the things you need to consider: - Will the arrangement be forever? - After trying it, will you both speak about your experiences? - If anyone one of you feels trapped, how will this be communicated? Discuss boundaries Decide what you’re comfortable discussing. If you feel the need to spill every detail of your escapades but your partner would rather you keep that to yourself or vice-versa, you need to discuss those boundaries. Ask for the details you want but before make sure you really want to know. Is it really necessary to know every detail? If you can handle it and it feels important to you then by all means, ask. Don’t cheat Now this may seem weird as it is an open relationship. But anything done that’s against your ground rules is cheating. Unless your rules explicitly state that your partner wants to know nothing about who you sleep with, remember that cheating is still cheating, even in an open relationship. Holding back the details, even if it’s because you broke a rule and are worried you will hurt your partner, could cause greater problems going forward. Open relationships are about working together to make your partnership exactly what you want it to be. If you're honest, communicate frequently and openly and use the tips above you'll go far. Celebs with open relationships:  Mo'Nique and Sidney Hicks Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 1.14.58 PM Brian Austin Green and Megan Fox Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 1.16.12 PM Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith

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