“My wife wants a half-open marriage”… I think this is the hardest sentence a man can say out loud. I have nothing against polyamorous relationships when both partners agree to it, but in my opinion, it’s a little difficult when one partner wants to make it one-sided.
However, I also know that IF you love your wife, you’ll choose to stay with her, no matter what. You’ll stay married to her even if she suggests a half-open relationship.
On the other hand, I also understand you and all of your mixed emotions. It’s definitely not easy to go through something like this, and I want to be here for you and make your journey through this new life path at least a little bit easier. So, let’s do this.
14 Things To Keep In Mind When Your Wife Wants A Half-Open Marriage
So, if your wife wants this type of relationship all of a sudden and you don’t know what to do, I hope these tips will bring you peace and brighten your path so you can make the right decision.
1. Think about the potential reasons that made her think about a half-open marriage
I know you couldn’t even imagine this when you were saying “I do” to your wife, but it’s happening, and now you need to think about how you’re going to deal with it.
If you think you still can make your wife change her mind, then you need to think about all the potential reasons that made her make this kind of decision.
Was your sexual relationship good? Is the spark between you still alive? Did she show any desire for polyamory when you were dating?
These are all the questions you need to ask yourself to understand your wife’s sudden need for a half-open marriage. And once you come to a conclusion, you should try to fix that part of your marriage or talk to her about it because that might make her give up on the whole half-open marriage thing.
2. Confide in your best friend
I know it’s not easy to go through this all alone, so my advice is to share what’s going on with the person you trust the most. Naturally, it’s not easy to go to your friend and tell them, “my wife wants an open marriage,” but in the end, if they don’t understand you, who will then?
I’m sure your best friend will be there to support you, no matter what you decide. Most importantly, they may even give you some good advice about what you should do that could help you make the right decision.
After all, your best friend is the person who knows you best, maybe even better than you know yourself. Is there anyone better to consult with regarding something like this than your bf? You can bet there isn’t!
3. Are you sure you can handle your wife having sex with other people?
You won’t just need to see your wife with a new partner, but you’ll need to accept the fact that she’s having sexual relations with another man. Are you sure you can handle this?
Most men are very protective over the woman they love, and they don’t like to share with anyone else. If you’re one of these men, then don’t even try with the whole half-open marriage thing because you’ll freak out the first time your wife tells you she has another sexual partner.
4. Open up to her
Direct and open communication is the key to making this type of relationship work. If you don’t communicate all your needs in the beginning, your marriage will already be doomed to fail.
Whatever it is that you’re feeling right now, you need to share it with your wife. If at any moment you start feeling that you can’t handle it anymore, you should approach her immediately and admit that you’re having second thoughts about it all.
5. Would it affect the trust between you?
If you think that this whole new concept in your marriage would lead to a breach of trust, you need to communicate this to your wife because that would be a huge dealbreaker.
If you want to make this work, you’ll need to trust each other above anything else. If it affects the trust between you, you’ll slowly start growing apart and decide to split up sooner or later.
6. You’ll need to set some ground rules
Setting ground rules and clear boundaries are necessary. You need to be loud and clear about these things as soon as you decide to start this new journey.
If you aren’t okay with your wife doing something with new partners, you need to tell her right away. On the other hand, if she doesn’t want you to be involved in her other relationships, she also needs to say that and include it in her boundaries.
7. And have regular check-ins
As much as it’s important to have open communication, it’s also important to have regular communication. You need to share how you feel often because there will be a lot of mixed feelings along the way, especially when your wife meets her first new partner.
Regular check-ins will prevent any miscommunication between you and make this whole thing a lot easier. That way, your partner will know how you feel in every moment, and they will be able to sense when something is wrong with you or when you aren’t okay with certain things.
8. Keep your expectations realistic
Right from the beginning, you’ll need to set and maintain realistic expectations. Don’t expect your wife to change her mind one day and go back to having an exclusive relationship with you again.
The truth is, it may never happen, and you need to be aware of this. If you can’t handle sharing your wife with other men, just say so right away – don’t keep those false hopes in because they may break your heart.
9. Solve all your underlying issues the right way and in time
After setting the ground rules, you should also get rid of any doubts you might have about your wife. I know you have so many questions running through your head, so don’t be afraid to ask her each and every single one of them.
You’ll encounter many ups and downs if you decide to have a half-open marriage. And you’ll need to take care of them in time if you want to maintain your marriage.
10. Hidden resentments will lead to divorce sooner or later
You might immediately accept your wife’s suggestion just to make her happy or to keep her by your side, but this would definitely be the wrong decision. You need to think it through and be ready for everything that comes with it before accepting your wife’s suggestion.
Otherwise, the hidden resentment will eventually destroy your marriage completely. If you aren’t honest from day one, you can be sure that you won’t be able to maintain your marriage.
11. Your sex life will definitely be affected
I’m not sure how, but the fact is that your sex life will be affected by the new concept in your marriage. It may be beneficial, but it will also bring many new issues into the bedroom.
That’s why you need to set clear boundaries regarding a sexual relationship too. Your wife will need to be careful with her new partners and use protection every time to keep you both safe. It’s really the ground rule for all open relationships.
On the other hand, your wife may learn some new things, and you may start experimenting with different sexual positions and toys in bed. That’s the good side of having a half-open marriage, reigniting the spark between a married couple.
12. Keep your connection strong
You’ll need to work on your connection constantly. If, at any moment, your connection starts weakening, you can see it as the end of your marriage.
You won’t be able to handle the half-open marriage thing if you don’t keep your connection rock solid. Open relationships are never easy to maintain, but when the couple has a strong connection, they’ll always know clearly what their priorities are.
13. Don’t let other people’s opinions affect you
You need to be aware of the fact that a lot of people are against polygamy and won’t approve of your decision – even some of your loved ones may be against it. However, the decision is up to you, and you shouldn’t bother about others and their opinions.
They have their own lives, and they should focus on them. Don’t let their judgy looks interfere with your decision because you and your own happiness are all that matters in this story.
14. What your wife wants is important, but what you want is way more important!
Your wife’s wishes are important, but yours are equally or even more important. While you’re making a decision, try to keep that in mind.
I know that you want to make your wife happy and that you would make all of her wishes come true if it were up to you. However, do you really want to be stuck in a marriage where you don’t feel happy for the rest of your life?
This may be a lightbulb moment for you because you might now understand that your wife doesn’t love you the same way you love her. She is more than enough for you, while on the other hand, she’s the one who wants to try new relationships and have a half-open marriage.
Can A Half-Open Marriage Work?
It can, but even if it doesn’t seem like it, a lot of work and effort is needed to maintain this type of marriage. The truth is, every type of relationship can work when the couple is committed to fighting to make it work.
The most important thing to maintain a half-open marriage is honesty. Both partners need to be honest with each other all the time and have regular check-ins where they’ll be able to share their feelings.
Another thing a couple must do in a half-open marriage is set some ground rules. Without it, things won’t be completely clear to both sides, and sooner or later, those discrepancies will raise far greater issues and problems.
Also, open communication is a must in these types of marriages (it’s actually a must in every type of marriage). All underlying issues need to be solved on time; otherwise, they’ll provoke bigger issues and lead to a potential divorce.
Do Open Marriages Have Higher Divorce Rates?
It’s a fact that non-monogamous marriages have a low success rate. It’s probably due to the fact that most couples run into it too soon or without thinking it through properly.
Some studies have even shown that 92% of open marriages fail and end in divorce. It’s really not that hard to believe this data because it’s very hard to maintain this kind of marriage.
Both partners need to be in it 100%, and if one of them isn’t honest about their feelings, their open marriage is in danger. And once a couple decides to try a non-monogamous relationship, it’s hard for them to get back on track and continue having a monogamous marriage. It’s actually close to impossible.
Can An Open Marriage Be One-Sided?
It can, but it’s very difficult to maintain that kind of marriage. Sooner or later, the partner who wants to have a monogamous marriage starts feeling uncomfortable and changes their mind about the half-open marriage thing.
Actually, it’s hard to maintain an open marriage, and it’s so much harder and way too complicated when it’s half-open.
The partners either need to be very liberal, or they need to be head over heels in love with one another. Again, as I said, there will be some reconsidering and reevaluating things eventually that may lead to the end of their marriage.
Coping with the difficult situation that follows when a wife wants a half-open marriage is never easy, especially when the husband is still crazy in love with his woman. It’s easy for those who’ve stopped loving their wives because they can simply reject their suggestion or respond to it with divorce.
Most men want a traditional marriage, and that’s what they hope they’ll get when they commit to one woman. Of course, a traditional marriage will always be a monogamous marriage – non-monogamy is definitely not a part of the tradition.
That’s one reason most men will struggle to accept this idea, and the wife’s wish for a half-open relationship will, in most cases, lead to divorce.
The thing is, you need to keep in mind that you need to make a decision, and no matter what kind of decision it is, no one has the right to judge you. If you love your wife and feel that it’s the right thing to give her what she wants, go for it.On the flip side, if you can’t accept it or think that a non-monogamous relationship would make you miserable, you have every right not to agree to it. Even if it costs you your marriage, after all, your own happiness and peace of mind should be your priority.