Open relationships - myth or reality? Dealing with a psychologistBy Vika https://pictolic.com/en/article/open-relationships-myth-or-reality-dealing-with-a-psychologist
Open relationships - myth or reality? Dealing with a psychologist
What is an open relationship?
A free relationship between a man and a woman is a relationship that, in addition to communicating with a permanent partner, involves freedom in contact with other members of the opposite sex, when there is no need to coordinate something with a partner, report, or justify.
Does each couple set the boundaries of the permissible itself? Are there any variations of open relationships?
An open relationship can be partial: when partners agree that it is possible to go to the cinema, cafe, bar, or restaurant with someone else. Plus call up, correspond, receive and give gifts. But intimate relationships can only be in a pair and no one else!
1. Shot from the film "Friendship"
Also, an open relationship can be complete. When partners agree that for all the depth of their relationship (sometimes even living together and having a common budget), they have every right not only to communicate with people of the opposite sex but also to have sex with them.
Is it normal to be in an open relationship but jealous of your partner?
Being in an officially recognized free relationship and being jealous is nonsense! This means that someone misunderstands the meaning of the words or people have not clearly defined the format of the relationship. Just the main difference between free relationships and classic love relationships is that partners are forbidden to be jealous; plus, formally being in a couple, they can legally and without hiding consider some other options for a life partner or partner for sex. In ordinary relationships, people proceed from the fact that their partner is not a temporary transit companion, but a life partner, a “second half” forever; hence they are jealous, and demand their partner to refrain from personal contact with persons of the opposite sex, strive to exercise complete control.
2. Shot from the film "More than sex"
Why then need an open relationship?
The very essence of free relationships in any form is simple: people want to satisfy their needs (in whole or in part) in sex, communication, everyday life, and material and financial part, but do not take on full reciprocal obligations. Or there is a desire to take on obligations, but there is no time or money yet: you need to study and work, and there is no housing. And since the unconscious biological needs for communication and sex do not care about these reasonable social deficits, the format of an open relationship helps to hold out for at least some time with sex and communication, but at the same time not spend all the money and time on relationships.
In which case can an open relationship work, and in which not?
If this suits both partners at once, it can last a long time and usually ends in a calm parting. If this suits only one of the partners, it does not last long and usually ends in a scandal. After that, people either change the format of the relationship to a more serious one or break up. If this does not suit either of the partners, they talk seriously and increase the degree of seriousness of the relationship.
3. Frame from the series "Sex and the City"
Can an open relationship save a marriage or just a long-term union of people?
Falling back into a partially open relationship simply makes it technically more legal and morally comfortable to try and develop another relationship. Up to leaving in a completely free relationship with sex with another partner.
More often than not, falling back into an open relationship kills the relationship altogether. If in other respects everything turned out to be worse than in the previous ones, partners can reset them, shake them up, talk, and raise their status up to completely serious ones. But there is a problem: jealousy due to personal or sexual contacts that have occurred, usually like sulfuric acid, begins to corrode even formally strengthened relationships and necessarily worsens everything in the present or future. In general, if a reverse rollback into an open relationship still helps to save a couple from parting right away, unfortunately, a man and a woman can part already in marriage. Then, because of their jealousy and resentment, the born children may already suffer ... So, to be honest, a rollback to freedom usually either does not work at all or only prolongs the relationship for a while.
4. Shot from the film "Mr. and Mrs. Smith"
Should I try to make this transition myself or turn to a psychologist?
If transitions in free relationships up in the degree of seriousness are quite easy for any couple in love, then the transitions down “from serious to frivolous” should be done correctly either with the help of a psychologist or honestly realizing and voicing to the partner those claims due to which there is a rollback. Because if this is not done in time, the relationship will die.
For me, as a psychologist, open relationships are most often psychologically painful relationships. As a rule, for one of the partners, but sometimes for both at once, if they are too shy to say the cherished words: “I love you!” or “Sorry, we better break up!”
In general, in the beginning, let the open relationship last as little as possible, and at the end, let it not exist at all.