• Opinions on open relationships part 2

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    Claire1 [sign in to see picture]
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    Hi,

    I don't know if you lot remember but I made a thread about 3 months ago about my best friend who disclosed to me that her and her boyfriend have decided to go down the open relationship route.

    For those that don't remember, they've been together 6 years and her relationship is very much the centre of her world. Neither of them have much of a social network of friends and thus the relationship means everything to them. They spend all of their free time together. Which is why I think she's agreed to being in an open relationship as she doesn't want to lose him.

    She let slip that she doesn't want him to be 'stifled' in terms of sex. I get the impression that their sex life has really dropped off and she has got this idea in her head that cheating is sort of inevitable and thus it's better to be in an open relationship so that she knows what is going on as opposed to him doing it behind her back. That's what she said to me. I personally think that it's so sad that she thinks that being in an open relationship will circumvent the threat of him cheating on her. I know she doesn't want to lose him, but is this really the answer? I mean, she doesn't even want to be with anyone else. She's in an open relationship but she just wants him.

    I've known her for 9 years, I know her very well, and she is a very insecure person. Very low self-confidence, and I just don't know if she's the right person to be doing this. He's been out on dates with girls, and she's told me that she feels 'intimidated' that he has common interests with them that she doesn't have with him. Because she has to know everything about these girls it seems that she's making herself feel insecure when knowing this information.

    I've told her what I think - that being in an open relationship is not the answer when worried that your partner is going to cheat - yet she refuses to listen.

    I just don't know what to do. I care about her very much as she's my best friend yet my other friends have told me to try and take a step back, let it run its course and just be there for her if and when it goes tits up. Of course I'll be there for her, but it is hard not trying to intervene when I fear she's going to get hurt.

    What do you think about my friend's situation and what should I do?

    1409876664
    allin [sign in to see picture]
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    You have to let her make her own destiny and be there for her if it does crash and burn. I wouldn't say anything except I'm here if you ever need me.

    1409877028
    Claire1 [sign in to see picture]
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    Yeah, I know. It's so hard though.

    I fear I know what's going to happen, and I don't want her to get hurt, but what can I do?

    Nothing.

    1409880441
    FrozenAngel [sign in to see picture]
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    Honestly there's nothing you can do, you can tell her your concerns and give advice but at the end of the day it's her life and she will do what she wants to know. You're job is to be there as a friend *if* it does crash and burn. But you never know what is going to people. LOTS of people make open realtionships work. And I doubt it's something she's gone in to lightly. It's her decision and her choice.

    1409880902
    FrozenAngel [sign in to see picture]
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    Omg so many bad errors in that! My bad I'm half asleep!

    1409881044
    FrumCouple [sign in to see picture]
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    FrozenAngel wrote:

    Honestly there's nothing you can do, you can tell her your concerns and give advice but at the end of the day it's her life and she will do what she wants to know. You're job is to be there as a friend *if* it does crash and burn. But you never know what is going to people. LOTS of people make open realtionships work. And I doubt it's something she's gone in to lightly. It's her decision and her choice.

    Agreed. Probably most important thing to do as a friend *if* it does crash is to avoid the temptation to say "told you so" and just be there for her...

    1409881425
    #Dana [sign in to see picture]
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    Well it's a tricky one give you that'
    Making mistakes in like is a life skill. Catching sti's is voidable so a open
    Relationship is not the answer unless they both are dedicated to be safe.
    And it sound like your friends BF is full of BS if he cared then they
    would work
    things out and if was your friend.
    I would get tested just in case but make sure you don't
    interfere to much.
    And there are films such as kid subtitle from Brazil. But it put across the reality of things.

    1409885588
    VirginAngel [sign in to see picture]
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    Do you have contact with her boyfriend? If you do, maybe it is worth approaching him with your concerns? It's possible he isn't aware she only agreed to it in a desperate attempt to keep him, and as an alternative to him cheating, and it could well devastate him to know he's made her feel like that unintentionally. I'm trying to put myself in her position, i am truly a one man woman and have the love of my life, and quite honestly sharing him could be just as painful if not moreso than outright just breaking up. So far it sounds like he's only gone on dates, but what about when it goes further than that, to kissing, sexual contact, and inevitably sex? If she truly wants an exclusive relationship, it will feel exactly the same as if he cheated.

    Do they have ground rules, such as they each have to know about any dates before they happen, that they discuss how far things are allowed to go, if there are any things that are just not ok? A former friend of mine who married young (15) had her relationship develop into an open one after her husband discovered he was bisexual after they married. (she was pansexual and knew long beforethey met) He was allowed to see other men and her other women extra maritally, be it casually or long term relationships as long as it was same sex. Their golden rule was if you start to develop feelings that could compromise their marriage, they terminate all contact immediately with the extra marital partner. It worked for them, until she broke one of their rules and started seeing someone of the opposite sex, which destroyed their marriage.

    While you would do anything at all to protect her from the hurt you feel is inevitable, like everyone else she needs to make her own mistakes. All you can do is reassure her you don't judge her, whatever her decisions, and offer her your unconditional support, whether that is supporting her in an open relationship (you may have to bite your tongue a lot when she comes to you upset, but giving negative opinions may push her away and make her feel more isolated and aprehensive to approach you for support) or helping to pick up the pieces if it all goes wrong.

    1409903946
    Young and fun95 [sign in to see picture]
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    I was in the same situation with an ex. Long story short, he'd already been cheating on me, he decided to have an open relationship to ease me into a breakup,fwb came next, then the inevitable end. A very frustrating and confusing time for me but no one could have told me to do any different. Just be there for her

    1409906658
    MrsMcX [sign in to see picture]
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    Sorry, but to me it sounds like she doesn't want to listen to you, and the more you pester her about it the more she'll push you away.

    She's a grown woman, she can fight her own battles. If she gets hurt then she'll learn from her mistake. Me, and a lot of other women on here have been hurt in the past, and it makes it future better. It doesn't seem like it at the time, but it helps with future relationships.

    Just stay out of it and let her get on with it.

    1409910275
    blonde vixen13 [sign in to see picture]
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    Be there to listen and give advise but ultimately it's up to her.
    A good friend will be there to put her back together if it All goes wrong every though you will be wanting to say " I told you so!"

    It works for some people but certicate let wouldn't for me !

    1409915928
    wildflower [sign in to see picture]
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    There's absolutely nothing you can do about this but just be there as a shoulder to cry on if needed. Sounds like the boyfriend wants to have his cake and eat it and she's just scared of losing him if she doesn't go along with it. I think she will get hurt , she's probably hurting already but putting on a front by saying she's ok with it all.

    The fact that she only wants him but he wants other women seems pretty one sided but if she insists that she's ok with this then you just have to let her get on with. You've already given her your advice on this but if you keep doing it then she might dig her heels in even more because she won't want to lose face and admit that she's not happy about it. She's very lucky to have such a caring friend as you and she'll really need you when it all goes pear shaped .

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    KinkyFuckery [sign in to see picture]
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    Step back be a friend its her life I have a friend who has made mistakes that I dont agree with so as a friiend i keep my mouth shut its her life her choice just be there if it doesnt go the way she wants it too

    1410031664
    Claire1 [sign in to see picture]
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    Young and fun95 wrote:

    I was in the same situation with an ex. Long story short, he'd already been cheating on me, he decided to have an open relationship to ease me into a breakup,fwb came next, then the inevitable end. A very frustrating and confusing time for me but no one could have told me to do any different. Just be there for her

    If it's ok to ask, why did you agree to be in an open relationship?

    I only ask because it got me thinking about how I would react if a b/f told me that he wanted an open relationship. I wouldn't want it, but would I be scared to lose him if I refused?

    To me that's why my friend is doing it. I can understand her position. She's pretty much told me that she doesn't satisfy him sexually and she's worried that he'll cheat upon her, thus the best way to avoid being cheated upon is to open up the relationship so that she knows what is going on.

    Would I do the same thing? I would hope not but if I was in a 6 year relationship and I loved the guy....I dunno. I empathise with her. I understand her feelings, but is this the best thing to do? I don't know.

    Thanks for the replies everyone. I realise there is nothing I can do other than hold my tongue and just be there for her if she needs me.

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    VirginAngel [sign in to see picture]
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    I'm completely in love, and if my bf told me he wanted an open relationship the damage would be done. I will never share a partner, as much as not having him would hurt, i'd pick that over being disrespected, de valued and mistreated. I personally don't believe in open/polyamorous relationships, to me a relationship is only a relationship when it only involves 2 people.

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    Miss Stripes [sign in to see picture]
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    I don't think you will be able to tell her what to do, she has clearly already made this decision. All you can do is be there give her advice and when it goes wrong which it probably will.....be there for her and do not tell her you told her so.

    The guy probably has already been cheating or would have cheated.

    If she is insecure every 'date' he goes on with another girl will make things worse. Also how does she know that he shared things in common with these other girls. Please tell me he isn't telling her all about them?!?!

    I really feel for your friend but unfortunately we have to make our own mistakes to learn from them. You're a very good friend to be so worried about her though.

    1410052795
    Claire1 [sign in to see picture]
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    Miss Stripes wrote:

    If she is insecure every 'date' he goes on with another girl will make things worse. Also how does she know that he shared things in common with these other girls. Please tell me he isn't telling her all about them?!?!

    He's going down the online dating route and my friend is someone who has to know everything, and this is no exception. She's reading these girls' online dating profiles. I said to her that maybe it's best not knowing about these girls, but she's someone that has to know everything.

    She's making herself feel insecure through wanting to know everything about these girls.

    1410066395
    VirginAngel [sign in to see picture]
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    Your friend is playing a dangerous game checking up on these women though. In a previous relationship (my first) i was obsessed with the idea we had to have everything in common, to the point i'd make myself listen to bands he liked to try to make myself like them, it was silly. He came home one day from a college course he was made to do as part of his entitlement to claim job seekers, and told me het met this girl there, and that he had added her on his facebook and instant messaging account because they "just clicked" and had all the same views and outlook on life. It devastated me, it completely destroyed the belief i had that we had this special connection only we could have,and it was gone for good after that.

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    Young and fun95 [sign in to see picture]
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    Claire1 wrote:

    Young and fun95 wrote:

    I was in the same situation with an ex. Long story short, he'd already been cheating on me, he decided to have an open relationship to ease me into a breakup,fwb came next, then the inevitable end. A very frustrating and confusing time for me but no one could have told me to do any different. Just be there for her

    If it's ok to ask, why did you agree to be in an open relationship?

    I only ask because it got me thinking about how I would react if a b/f told me that he wanted an open relationship. I wouldn't want it, but would I be scared to lose him if I refused?

    To me that's why my friend is doing it. I can understand her position. She's pretty much told me that she doesn't satisfy him sexually and she's worried that he'll cheat upon her, thus the best way to avoid being cheated upon is to open up the relationship so that she knows what is going on.

    Would I do the same thing? I would hope not but if I was in a 6 year relationship and I loved the guy....I dunno. I empathise with her. I understand her feelings, but is this the best thing to do? I don't know.

    Thanks for the replies everyone. I realise there is nothing I can do other than hold my tongue and just be there for her if she needs me.

    I was in a very vulnerable place personally when I met him and just attached, I didn't want him to leave me, he made the threat a lot, even if I was at a girl friends house and her guy mate turned up, I was suddenly cheating. He could have suggested anything and I'd go for it, and I did. Then he decided we should just be fwbs, then he met someone else and said he still wanted to sleep with me, I was available at a click of a finger to do anything he asked. Then I met the OH realised what love is and how a relationship should work and the next time I got a call I laughed in his face...but I still wanted to keep his as a friend which was a disaster and I eventually realised he only ever wanted me for on demand sex.

    You just have to be there for a shoulder to cry on, listen to any problems she has, you can't convince her to leave him, I know I never would,

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