Multiple relationships are the latest craze to sweep the dating world and my (now ex-)husband and I went along for the ride a few years ago. Unfortunately for us, our marriage ended up falling apart in the process. I still believe in open relationships, just not the way we did it back then. Here’s why it didn’t work for us.
1. INSECURITIES GOT THE BETTER OF ME.
I’d struggled my whole life with low self-esteem and it was hard enough to know my worth when our relationship was closed. So when my husband started seeing other people, my insecurities just went through the roof. Is she prettier than me? Smarter? Better in bed? My fears ate me alive and ended up having my husband for dessert. I didn’t have enough of a hold on my own inherent value to feel safe from the comparisons I made in my head.
2. WE DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO COMMUNICATE.
As it turns out, healthy communication skills are not something you’re born with and unfortunately, it’s not something most people are taught, either. You put two people together who have a lot of strong emotions but no safe ways of expressing them and you’re going to have a bad time. We constantly blamed each other for how we were feeling rather than taking responsibility for our emotions and working together to find a way to deal with them.
3. SLUT-SHAMING WAS TOTALLY A THING, AND IT HURT.
This was a rough one. We both grew up in very sex-negative environments and there was a fair amount of shame related to sex for both of us, so as you can imagine, opening ourselves up to multiple partners was a potential minefield. For my husband especially, the thought of me sleeping around ended up being too much for him to handle and he really struggled not to see me as ‘dirty’ or ‘devalued’ for having casual sex with a new lover. It actually put the brakes on our own sex life for a long while.