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Ask John & Jackie: Open Relationships and Dealing with Uncertainty

By August 23, 2019 September 21st, 2019 Swing Lifestyle Articles
Visiting a Swingers’ Club

My husband wants to be in the lifestyle. He wants to swing with other couples together. We have done some soft swap with another couple out of the blue. Things just kind of happened.

I on the other hand am not sure about this adventure. I don’t feel our marriage is in a stable place right now and honestly, I feel like our communication is lacking. I have mentioned to my husband that I would like us to work on our communication skills and he didn’t seem very receptive to this. Another reason I am hesitant about this path is because I don’t get the intimacy/romance from him that I need so I don’t want to share what little bit I do get. I feel like this is his way to keep a marriage/family together but fulfill his want to sleep with other women instead of getting a divorce. Please help! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Mrs. Uncertain


Dear Mrs. Uncertain,

Deciding as a couple to embark on a swinging or open relationship is much different then trying these relationship structures in an attempt to salvage a marriage. It has been our experience that opening up a relationship under the stress of marriage discord will only inflate existing issues. For instance, in your case, the lack of communication and connection could very well multiply if you bring others into the mix.

Everyday we are faced with a multitude of decisions. Some are relatively simple, i.e., do I want toast or cereal for breakfast? Others though can be pivotal to the direction of our lives. These thought provoking choices require our utmost attention and our ability to own those choices. For instance, John and I aren’t in an open relationship because something is missing from our union, we are in an open relationship because 1) we feel non monogamy is natural, and 2) what we bring to the relationship is so strong, we can’t imagine confining all our positive attributes to just the two of us. I absolutely adore John and all his fantastic qualities, the thought of others not being able to benefit from the empathy, compassion, knowledge, honesty, trust, and love he offers would be a shame. I believe I feel this way because of the abundance of these qualities I receive from him daily. My relationship cup is overflowing…what spills over is an asset for others.

If our relationship was one in which we weren’t appreciative of the union, then our ability to have an open relationship could very well suffer if not fracture the partnership. This is one reason why John and I are conscious and purposeful in our relationship intent. We work very hard everyday to make sure the relationship is honored in a way that brings peace to us both.

I don’t know if the topic of counseling has come up, but it might be a way to bring some communication and listening skills, while in the company of an objective third person. My number is listed below if you need an ear or you can always schedule a session with John and I either by yourself or possibly with you and your partner through;



  • Tim says:

    Jackie speaks wisely. The lifestyle tends to illuminate weaknesses in a relationship at the same time it burnishes and strengthens all of the positives. The underlying reason for both of those effects is that participating in the lifestyle challenges both partners to articulate—and live—their values. To the extent those values are shared, the lifestyle tends to support and even grow the partnership. To the extent those values diverge, fractures can and do occur.

    Monogamy is often used not simply as an emblem of but rather to enforce fidelity. The problem is predictable: the important conversations get postponed, the partners stop attending to their internal needs and concerns. Eventually there is a split and blame.

    Counseling can help by introducing a neutral third party. But the real work often begins at the kitchen table, in a period of quiet, asking why and how you fell in love, rediscovering the foundations of your relationship.

    For what it’s worth, John and Jackie posted a segment here involving the HATCH—five shared values that they thought were important enough to discuss. (Jackie—can you find that URL?) Funny thing, we read that post and asked how they were listening in on our private conversations and transcribing them: they echoed precisely our perspective. When we get to know other lifestyle couples well enough to share our perspective on life and love, they often break into broad smiles and say Yes! That’s Us!

    The first step to deep intimacy is recognizing that your shared world doesn’t feel quite right. The second step is being able to talk about it.

  • Tammra Cunningham says:

    This was so elegantly spoken !
    Marriage in the life style most defiantly requires communication, but it has also opened us up individually to share what’s needed or what was not given to each of us prior to swinging. Who knew something was missing unless you address the issues & speak openly without hesitation!

    Love you guys & the knowledge you share!


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