In polyamorous couples or open marriages, there needs to be understanding and transparency in order for the relationship to work. And that means both couples need to be open about how they intend to date or introduce another party into the relationship.
On Reddit, one woman has a friend in a newly open marriage who seems to think that dating only applies to her—and the moment her husband went on a date, she lost it.
“At the beginning of quarantine my friend Bella (f/30) proposed open marriage to her husband Mike (m/28). The timing was off, obviously, but she had thought about it a lot and she said it was the only way for her relationship with Mike to survive because she loved him dearly but felt unfulfilled. Mike hesitantly agreed because he didn’t want to lose her. When I asked him about it, he seemed very much not thrilled about the whole thing,” the OP writes.
The OP says there is a backstory to Bella and Mike’s relationship.
The two have known each other since middle school but only started dating in college. Bella had more experience with relationships at that point, and Mike did not. However, he’s always said he’s very happy with their marriage and Bella.
“Well during quarantine, the two of them became even closer than they had ever been before and I think Mike didn’t expect Bella to actually go through with the open relationship idea she had proposed. But around three months ago, she brought it back up and then settled on some rules together.”
The OP says that Bella called her recently and started crying that Mike cheated on her.
Bella said that she had been calling Mike all day, but he was on a date. The OP asked, “wasn’t that sort of okay between you two?” Bella responded yes, but “she hadn’t been able to go on a single date with a guy yet because she was so busy with work being back on now and that Mike just went ahead with his date as if she meant nothing, that he hadn’t disclosed any details to her (which as far as I know was part of their deal, that they didn’t want to know any details) and that she felt like he was ridiculing her.”
“I didn’t really know what to say and just told her, ‘well, honey, I think you just reaped what you sowed, honestly.’
The OP’s comment upset Bella, and she called her an awful friend. Should the OP have been more supportive?
“Soooo NTA my partner and I are open and it only works because we are so satisfied with each other that the open part is an option. An open relationship rarely ‘saves’ a relationship it adds waaaaaay more complexities and going into it as a last resort usually means someone gets hurt. This girl asked for trouble and it came knocking and she has the audacity to be surprised. OP you’re totally fine here. Being a good friend means calling out people on their bullsh*t,” said FightMeCthullu.
“She didn’t expect him to actually sleep with other people. She just wanted to sleep with others without it being considered cheating. She’s really ridiculous and I’m on Mike’s side for this one. She wanted an open relationship, so that’s what she got lol,” said nathashanails.
“Be careful what you ask for. You might well get it. Your friend felt unfulfilled and wanted someone to meet her needs. She never considered that in an open marriage, both spouses are free to go elsewhere. She said ‘he cheated’ but he did no such thing. It isn’t cheating in an open marriage. Your friend’s reality check just bounced,” explained Infamous-Wasabi-9007.
“To be accurate, people can cheat in open relationships too, by violating agreements. This ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ open relationship business won’t work unless everyone’s secure and trusting before opening up,” noted Nimzomitch.
“I tried, I REALLY tried to find a way to say you were an AH for being insensitive in her time of need, but I cant. NTA because jeez, shes not just reaping what she sowed, she wants to have her cake, eat it, and then get another cake. I hear way to many stories about men who agreed to an open marriage for the sake of their partner, then got yelled at for…being in an open relationship. Wild stuff,” said Responsible_Parking1.
Featured Image: Pexels