When we first started talking about the concept of an open marriage, I wanted to create a formal contract. I originally got the idea from a woman I had met at a Jaiya event who had a lover, as did her husband. She told me about their agreement and promised to send me a copy of their contract. She never did, but I liked the idea of codifying everything upfront.
Yet, it was all so hazy and nebulous that I had trouble getting started. Frankly, I wasn’t sure what I wanted it to say. I did eventually do a quick search online and found this humorous version as well as some guidelines here, but aside from this simple search, I never got around to writing one myself.
Then, once things were set in motion, it seemed a bit late to start drafting a document. Instead, we’ve used the lack of a formal arrangement to engage in conversation about what we do and don’t feel comfortable with at the moment as well as setting some hard boundaries that are non-negotiable… ever.
For example, initially, Viktor was uncomfortable with the idea of me engaging in intercourse with anyone except himself yet was on board with the concept of outercourse. But, a few months in, he agreed that I could have intercourse with Jake. Similarly, we both agreed that condoms for intercourse are a hard boundary because it is not worth risking disease or death, no matter how good the sex might be.
We’ve also tried to think through potential scenarios to provide additional guidelines, but know that we haven’t thought of everything. In the obvious category, we’ve ruled out interactions with work colleagues and with our spouse’s friends. However, if we are willing to risk our own friendships (not connected with our spouse), we’ve decided that is fair game.
Over time, I am sure that we will encounter other situations we haven’t yet predicted that require us to talk with one another and feel out the right approach for us. But, as with other aspects of this journey, I am sure that we will find our way together. Beyond the need to figuring out the rules, we are continually checking in with one another to make sure that our partner feels safe and loved and is still comfortable with our choice to practice non-monogamy. Overall, we recognize that it is our vulnerability, honesty and transparency that is increasing our intimacy, bringing us closer together and giving us the ability to pursue this path in a way that enhances our marriage.
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