What it ’ s real ly l ike to have an open mar­riage

Grazia (UK) - - 10 Hot_ Stories -

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.

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