After more than a month of being in the US for work I knew I had to go home. Even if just for a weekend, I needed to sit down with Dan and sort this out. So, I took Friday off, booked a ticket and went straight from the airport to our old apartment where I planned to meet Dan for our big talk.

I had so many feelings – fear, anxiety, regret, anticipation – but the one I was most surprised about was a feeling of longing. Although I hadn’t given myself much time to think about it, I had really missed Dan. We had been so close for so long. Little things would come up that made me laugh and my instinct was to reach out to him. I would hear a song and it would remind me of a fond memory. I would think about something in the future and Dan would be there. It was strange. 
Unlike other break-ups I knew about, Dan and I didn’t have a huge falling out and we didn’t hate each other. Things just changed…or didn’t, I guess was the problem. I wasn’t sure how to feel I just knew I couldn’t be with him anymore the way things were. 
As I walked up the familiar steps to our apartment I was overcome with emotion. The last month had been so busy and so far away that I had been able to avoid thinking about the truly sad side of our break-up. I opened the door and stepped inside to see Dan waiting for me just a few steps away. He had lost weight. He looked good. We looked at each other. He whispered, “hi” and the tears began to flow. I stood in the middle of our apartment, alone, holding my luggage crying like a baby.
Poor Dan. He didn’t know what to do. He walked over and stiffly put his arm around me and led me to the couch. A few minutes later he brought me a glass of water and we began to talk. That conversation turned into a marathon weekend. We barely left the apartment, we took no calls. We ordered take out and only stopped to sleep and use the washroom.
I told him how lonely I had felt for quite some time. And this time he actually listened. He told me how afraid he had been of change that he lost sight of what it means to be in a relationship. I told him I didn’t think I could be married to him anymore. He told me he was determined to prove me wrong. I told him about my fling with Grant. He listened.
And really that was it, for the first time in so long I felt that we were actually listening to each other. That we weren’t defending or getting frustrated or standing our ground but that we were open with the intention of hearing what the other person was saying beyond just their words.
By the Saturday night we were exhausted. I took a long bath to try and decompress and process some of what we had been talking about. When I came out I settled into bed and Dan joined me. We just lay there beside each other and slept. But the whole time I couldn’t help thinking, “We want such different things. How could this ever work?”
The next morning when Dan woke up I told him what I had been thinking. He asked, “Do you love me?” and I told him I did but I was sure of that before and I had been miserable. It was at this moment that I look back and see that everything changed. Our relationship shifted right then and there.
What Dan said next became the foundation for our relationship going forward. I am sure without realizing it he laid the groundwork for years of a successful but non-traditional marriage when he said, “But that is because you loved me so you gave everything up. That wouldn’t make anyone happy. So, from now on we will work on being together and loving each other but also being who we want to be and supporting each other’s choices.”
I am sure he had no idea when he said it that it would mean a more open marriage but that is what happened. And that is what has made us happy and kept us together for many years since.
Do you know anyone with an open marriage? Would you ever consider one?
wedding ring
  • duane

    A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out

  • Lily

    I hope this blog isn’t turning into the other one. Its been over a month since the last post.

  • Kim

    Woman of Integrity,
    I can appreciate your beliefs and your point of view is actually eloquently put BUT ;)… The problem I have with this argument is I don’t believe in your Lord, nor do lots of other people around the world or there are several different “Lords” others do believe in.
    You may think you are right and that is what you believe is correct. You can not sway me or challenge my beliefs in any way. Nothing you say about your Lord holds true for me…so then where I come from, of course there is something called an open marriage. Whether they are successful or not, like all relationships is more to the point. We are an evolving society. What was the “rule” or the “law” can change and does over time. Science has changed the ability of how children are created for some families. And yes I believe families can be two moms or two dads.
    Just because you do not believe in it doesn’t make it so. I assume you will use the same argument on me to describe your Lord. Again just because I don’t believe in your Lord doesn’t make him any less real to you.
    Just a difference of opinion. I do not understand yours but respect your right to have it. Just as I’m sure you do not understand mine but that’s okay ’cause I know I’m right! 😉 (tongue planted firmly in cheek)
    As for my actual opinion on open marriage….it likely works, until it doesn’t. Again like any relationship it takes communication, commitment and effort by all parties.

  • Woman of Integrity

    Like anything, one or two can attempt to disguise or restructure the formula for a solid foundation. Unequivocally, in the eyes of the Lord every human being counts. However, the one formula that will always, always stand: one man, one woman, committed in a marriage to love, accept, forgive and grow together. Now, that’s not to say others will not try all types of combination, but at the end of the day, let’s first talk about the physicality, and natural intimacy as purposed by design. One man, and one woman, ‘fitting together’ like a hand and glove, for now and to reproduce a future generation on a solid foundation from the ‘seeds’ of their own bodies. A man to love his wife and a woman to respect and honour her husband. What can beat that? Simply put, purposed by the Lord’s amazing design. Whoa! Now and forever.

  • MD

    These are your terms and opinions. You have never experienced this so you couldn’t possibly know. Love exists in many forms. It’s not just a man and woman that can experience love together.

  • MD

    An open marriage is the term used for a couple that is open with the idea of 1 or both of them being involved with other people in some way. Sometimes it’s strictly sexual, sometimes not. It varies per couple but it basically means that at least 1 of these people is venturing outside of their relationship and it is known to the other partner.

  • Two Women

    “Woman of Integrity” So, two men or two women together don’t count? Pshaw. I’m pretty sure that love, acceptance, trust, flourishing, growing and committed to each other works when ANY 2 people commit to it. And based on what I am reading from Amy, her marriage seems to have all of those things – even though it is open.
    To each their own. I’m not convinced monogamy is the only way to live, though I can’t imagine having an open marriage – who knows what life has in store for me and my family? Who knows what it has in store for yours?

  • Rebecca

    I’m not sure if I could have an open marriage. I just don’t know where I’d find the time (with having 2 young children). I can barely go pee without having “company” in the bathroom, lol. That being said, I do strongly believe that what works for one couple, won’t always work for another. “To each their own.” We are all free to make our own choices and if that’s the choice you make, then good for you. Stand by it and own it, as you should do with every decision you make!

  • Woman of Integrity

    There is no such thing as an ‘open marriage’. It’s simply a way to disguise the devastation and brokenness of adultery. One man, one woman always. Period. That’s the way that God intended, and that’s the only way it would ever work in this healthy environment: love, acceptance, trust, flourishing, growing and committed to each other.

  • Kate

    I don’t think I could do it, but I may be misreading the meaning of an open marriage. Amy seems to be talking about communication. That I understand. But I thought the term open marriage meant you were still open to have sex with other partners. The lady who is bisexual above, is it okay for your husband to be with another woman if he wanted to be, or are you the only one allowed to have extramarital affairs? I think it should be open to both. That being said, marriage is a commitment, and you work at it, good or bad. If you weren’t ready to settle and still want multiple partners, why get married? And to bring children into it? What does that teach them? I know a couple who have an open marrieage and she makes comments about how she can attract men so easily….in front of her 12 and 8 year old daughters, and their friends. I had to talk to my daughter about it afterward because she asked. It is not something I would teach my son or daughter. I wish you good luck Amy.

  • Rubina

    It is inspiring to see that you were able to come back from a bad place in your relationship and really listen to each other and make things change.
    I’m a little confused about the “open marriage” as referred to in this article…it seems to me that Amy is not referring to being open to other sexual partners, but rather that communication is more open. Am I misreading it?

  • SM

    I have an open marriage. Not many people know about it. However, my marriage has many rules. First, I’m bisexual, and I’m never with other men. Two, everything is controlled by me. I meet women on my own terms. The only way my husband is allowed to be involved is if I set things up. He does not have contact with other women. For us, that’s what works. More many people in poly relationships both couples date outside the marriage. The key to it is honesty. And, if bonding is the fear then you need to set ground rules and stick to those rules. If bonding is the fear make sure you know that the openness is just about sex. If feelings come up, they must be addressed. I also suggest finding a couples therapist (preferably a sex therapist) that is supportive of open marriage. They’ve done a lot of research on open marriage, and they are found to be very strong marriages.

  • Kim

    I knew four couples that had open relationships. They were all friends with each other. Over the years, one by one, these couples divorced. The one couple that maintained this status the longest had been at it for about ten years. I actually found myself believing that some people could pull this off. Their marriage came to an end last year. Despite openness, honesty and affection for each other, the inevitable happened. An unexpected emotional bond with an outside party blossomed. The rest is history. Even if you both can handle jealousy issues successfully, introducing new people into your lives in such an intimate way leaves a lot of vulnerability. Some one is eventually going to bond with someone other than their spouse. I wish you luck Amy. I only hope your Hubby isn’t just going along with this in a desperate attempt to keep you in his life.

  • MD

    I “know” a few people with open relationships.
    Personally it could never work for me. To me it’s not about being everything for 1 person, it’s about being enough. It would break my heart to imagine my husband with someone else and I can’t even begin to think about myself with someone else.
    I’m very curious to see how this plays out. I’ve never seen an open relationship that stays functioning, there seems to be some form of decay with at least 1 person. I’m not saying it can’t be done but I’m curious to see how this goes and how you have maintained for so long and with children.

  • Chantel

    I couldn’t do it but admire those that can. I think I would be way to jealous.

  • Cinamongirl17

    I don’t know anyone in an open marriage. I don’t know if I could do it. Only because when I’m with someone that I enjoy I give 100% to that person and I couldn’t see myself being with anyone else at that time. For me to find another to be with means that I no longer would have feelings for the original person. I think it’d be too complicated to deal with…and not sure if I’d have jealous feelings or not about my husband beiing with someone else also even though I’m with other people as well…

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