What it ’ s real ly l ike to have an open marriage
Cathy Keen and her husband Tom have been in an open relationship for six of their eight years together
Early on in our relationship, my husband and I both agreed that even though we really loved each other, we were still attracted to other people. But it was after having a baby within a year that we talked about it properly and decided to open the relationship.
The first time we had a sexual experience outside of our marriage, it was together at a party. The shared experience was so intimate and, unexpectedly, it deepened our connection. We have since had solo experiences, but with each other’s consent.
If we start to get close to a new person and want a more meaningful or long-term relationship, it requires some reassessment; no two relationships are ever the same.
What they’ve got right in Wanderlust is how important it is to have honest conversations with your partner. We took the decision to start those conversations early as we didn’t want to have them forced on us by an affair further down the line.
At the moment, Tom has a girlfriend, Nicole – someone I introduced him to. People always ask how I am not threatened by this, but it’s because I feel that Tom will never leave me – he’s so devoted to our family. Besides, watching the frisson he feels makes me more turned on in our sex life.
I’m not seeing anyone else at the moment; largely because one of my big needs is to have space to regroup. As a mum, it never feels like there’s any time for me. Tom used to go and stay with Nicole and I loved it. Nicole is such a positive person and complements me. If Tom’s had a bad day at work, sometimes I haven’t got the capacity to comfort him, but she will.
Tom is my best friend, and he represents all the stability and security I want. When we’re alone, our focus is on the family. But children, with all the conversations about bills and school runs, aren’t conducive to adventure. So, when adventure presents itself, we’re both attracted because we can explore that without destroying anything we’ve got at home.