Having your partner ask for an open marriage can definitely knock the wind out of you. For some people, it can feel like they’ve never really known who their partner was, all along—like his asking for an open relationship is his way of revealing some secret identity. It can also, for some people, feel like admitting failure. You may think, “Hold on so—remember when we first got together? When we had that I want to be exclusive talk…You want to undo that?” It can feel like breaking a contract or taking back an agreement. For some couples, unfortunately, if one person so much as hints at the idea of having an open relationship, the relationship falls apart entirely. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Didn’t you agree, when you got together, to hear each other out, and do the best you can to meet each other’s needs? Dismissing the open relationship talk entirely doesn’t respect that agreement, either. So here it is: when your partner asks for an open marriage.
It’s not about his level of attraction to you
First, understand that your partner’s desire for an open marriage is not indicative of some declining attraction to you. He can find other people attractive, and still find you very attractive. In fact, that has always been true and has probably always been going on.