Today we dive deep into two questions we got asked by our viewers:
#1 – What’s the biggest challenge of being in an open relationship?
Let’s start by addressing the most substantial challenge, and while it might be a struggle, I believe the most significant challenge was simply comprehending the relationship model I grew up with. From an early age, I was surrounded by strictly monogamous models or instances that people wanted me to believe were absolutely monogamous.
Hence, stepping outside of that narrow zone to indulge in something non-monogamous was thrilling, exotic, and titillating and got all of my juices flowing. Something about it made me feel as though I wasn’t supposed to be doing it. It looked like I was going against the grain or what society expected of me.
This might be coming from a variety of sources; it’s not so much that I don’t trust you as a person as it is because of the trust that I had in what I was taught as a child. Those are powerful bonds; they are how we identify ourselves; they are how we declare who we are, and when they change, it is a significant change.
I used to brush my teeth with my right hand, but now that I’ve switched to brushing them with my left, it feels like I’ve lost control over how I even hold my toothbrush. Even the method of doing it escapes us. I want to do this, but I’m just so unaware of it; it’s that same type of thinking.
I want to do this, but I’m just so unaware of it; it’s that same type of thinking. Due to the length of time I’ve been doing what I was doing, it will now sound somewhat more unconscious than it did before. Now I was questioning everything, and although it was thrilling, I still didn’t have many frames of reference for things.
I didn’t have many instances of what would happen if I attempted this new thing, such as if you were driving home and spotted something out of the corner while it was dark out. Then you roll down your window and glance out the window, only to find it takes your brain a minute to focus on what you’re seeing before you realize it’s a small fox racing down the street.
That’s how I felt when I switched from a monogamous relationship to a more open arrangement. A lot of the time, my brain was saying, wait, what are we doing, what is this, I don’t have anything, I don’t have anything that you recognize; this was due to the brain not having created a repertoire of memories and associations that made me feel comfortable with the decisions I was making. This happens because I frequently make decisions of this nature for the first time.
So, when that happens, you have to find some common ground to get through it because you both have these different sorts of foundations. . When anything happens in the middle of that moment, one of us experiences terror. We don’t perceive or acknowledge the dread because we don’t want to take any steps back, which is understandable given their lack of a solid foundation. It doesn’t always end up being so nice because fear, though comes out extremely emotionally correct.
The difficulty there is to maintain love despite such feelings and cooperate to achieve the shared objective. Those may very well be the hidden aspects of how you go about altering a relationship paradigm. When faced with a challenge, we often assume that what we are doing is bad, yet this is not the case. Our inclination is to say, “Oh well, this is something I should be doing since it’s making me feel this way,” when something is difficult, but you have to reflect on all the times you’ve learned something new and the struggle it required.
#2 – How do you navigate an open relationship?
So, for me, the most difficult aspect of the first difficulty was understanding the connection model and also accepting it – it’s as if once I got through that hurdle, everything else would fall into place. Then things began to flow a little more smoothly, but I’m still wondering if this is something I could do without turning into a pillar of salt or two. People just don’t comprehend how deep those roots go in your life until you start challenging and attempting to uproot the tree until you start challenging and attempting to uproot the tree.
And you’re thinking to yourself, “Holy crap, this is going to take a minute.” Even if it was something you weren’t interested in, comprehending open relationships is not about unlearning something because you’ve already learned it; it’s about replacing what you’ve learned with something more beneficial to you right now.
You probably already know that you should continue down that line of reasoning since it was difficult. For me at the time, and even now, I recommend being supportive of the transition you were going through. People were struggling because of cultural and religious ideas on what it meant to be a woman in terms of sexuality, objectives, and aspirations – these are still being worked out. Since people might have initial trouble believing that I genuinely wanted my relationship to be different, it was periodically challenging for me to encourage my partner despite my sincere efforts.
So it was a bit weird telling someone “I really would like to see you, you know, with uh, you know two men at one time or it’s okay for you in my, you know…” From my perspective, going on a date with someone else truly turns me on and it’s nearly mind-blowing.
By being open and honest with me, you enable me to express my displeasure and, at times, my struggle with you. Then, this may kind of lead into the following phase where we can meet others who are at different places on the same trip as us, but we’re not actually on that road – this is one of the most difficult problems for sure. So currently, it’s about my partner believing and trusting me is the truth.
That’s because you told me you didn’t think what I was saying was true. How can you expect me to work out the relationship if you’re going to do these things and then get up and leave me right away because that’s what’s on your mind? I understand your concerns, but it was my responsibility to reassure you that I was telling the truth. By resolving this, we will be able to determine how it occurred, which has to do with developing a connection of trust .and just taking the leap.
Maybe it began with some new sexual positions. Maybe it started with them being erotic over the phone with each other. Each time we did those things, we were constructing a stairway to a point where I could finally say, “Okay, um, I’m going to take this greater leap one because I want to uh because I’m ready to accept whatever consequence is going to be at the end,” and that it was all about you trusting me.
It was also about me trusting you. Being there afterward and constantly being supportive were ways that we were able to create trust between us, which is quite crucial. If you hadn’t done that, we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation because I wouldn’t have trusted that what you were telling me was going to work out the way you claimed it would. Those first hurdles when there’s so much foundation may be so thrilling to uncover and you want to just plunge head first into it, and in many respects we did, but there needs to be this like patient meticulous bricklaying.
Increasing the strength of the connections and allowing you to observe when they become securely solid. We arrived here today, sitting and conversing with others since we took the time to do so. Regardless, it was the proper choice, and the most difficult issue for me today is to follow what we discussed. Being concerned about something while it happens, desiring to take a step back, and willing to continue the process until there is some relief. I’d be OK if you told me I no longer wanted to do this thing, but you say, “I’m not comfortable yet, but I want to do it, so let’s keep trying.”
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John and Jackie Melfi are in a consensually non monogamous marriage. They have been featured in ABC News Nightline Special Report “Getting Naughty In N’awlins”, Inside a New Orleans Swingers Convention, and CNN “This Is Life” with Lisa Ling. The Melfis are the force behind the industry famous colette swingers clubs in New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, and Austin. With over 20 years of combined experience, this powerhouse couple coaches thousands of singles and couples through their award winning blog Openlove101.com.