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Opening Up the Relationship

Unread postPosted: 15 September 2021, 17:42
by sheffieldm2
Hi All,

Some context: I am 25yo, this is my first LTR - he is 20 yrs older than me. I love him and want to spend my life with him (we are engaged), and we just bought a house together after a year of being together.

Prior to being with him, I slept around looking for Mr. Right. I had always suspected that love and sex were two diff areas in my life, but that wasn't solidified until I was with my partner. In the beginning, I was very much focused on us, so the sex wasn't much of an issue, but after a year, I am now realizing that I have sexual needs that I just don't see him fulfilling. He expressed to me early on that he isn't much of a sexual guy, and I thought I could live with that, but I'm seriously starting to question that. This is a sensitive subject for him since not being very sexual was one of the reasons his long-term partner and him split up. For me, having sex with other people is not that big of a deal bc, as I've mentioned, I view love and sex as two separate things. It's not so much about opening up the relationship overall as it is the sexual component of it - I don't want to love anyone else but him. It may seem soon to be bringing this up now after only a year, but thinking about it in the long run: he is older than me, so eventually, I feel that this is something that would inevitably have to happen. Not to be TMI, but I have a kinkier side when it comes to sex, and I never saw that happening with the person I love - I wouldn't be open to having a threesome for that reason as I can't see him being involved with that side of myself. Part of me feels guilty for feeling this way, but at the same time, it feels like a natural need. I have been having anxiety over keeping this to myself and not being able to do anything about it - our sex life is sparce and masturbation isn't cutting it. I would NEVER do anything like this behind his back, so that conversation will have to take place eventually. My biggest fear with bringing it up is ruining everything we have up to this point, but will keeping it buried just lead to things eventually falling apart? My hope is that he understands that me wanting to sleep with other people does not take away from my love for him in the least - I am happy with where we're at in our lives in all other aspects.

Has anyone had this experience? If in a similar position, was there a certain way you went about it? Any advise would be much appreciated.

~ Max

Re: Opening Up the Relationship

Unread postPosted: 15 September 2021, 19:52
by pozzie
Max, my situation was quite different so I have little advice to offer. However, my experience is it's generally better sooner than later: few things get easier (well, other than, maybe, breaking up) by letting issues fester over the years. But you're right, there's no easy way to bring it up especially given the context you shared. Have to wonder if your guy'll feel like he told you his situation and you accepted the 'terms.' Hard to know without asking him. On the flipside, it's also fair to say, "I didn't think this would be an issue X months ago, but ... "

No easy answers, let's hope someone else has so good thoughts to share.

Re: Opening Up the Relationship

Unread postPosted: 15 September 2021, 20:06
by sheffieldm2
Appreciate the response. Like you said, I went in with one mindset, but things change - I hope that he understands that my love for him isn't what has changed makes the difference. It's already showing cuz I get into "moods" that I can't explain to him for that reason. The age gap def makes him paranoid about me leaving him for someone else, but he needs to stop thinking that I'm "settling for less" cuz that's def not how I see it - if anything, I feel like he can do better lol

Re: Opening Up the Relationship

Unread postPosted: 15 September 2021, 20:44
by pozzie
Well my experience did have an age gap as a component and that clearly contributed to the insecurity and jealousy. The "he's giving you something I can't" can also be hard to work with.

While it's going to be very easy for me to say this, I realize that it's just that. I think if I were in a similar situation again I'd start by admitting where I misjudged my ability to cope with the situation as originally spelled out - I thought not being sexual was something I could better handle ...

I also wouldn't start with the all the good things about your relationship together because that just sets up the "but" and we know everything that comes before ends up being ignored. So maybe following up with all the things you really like about the relationship and what you are afraid of losing or messing with.

The other problem is approaching this with an established end-point in mind. Since you're talking about a relationship, you really need to find a solution together. You can't just go to him and say - this is my problem and I want you to rubber stamp my solution. I trust you can see why that's only going to cause trouble in the future.

Most if not all quality relationships are built on honesty, trust, and respect. Keep that in mind and how you can apply all three principles going forward as you think about how you'd like to proceed. Sure hope things work out!

Re: Opening Up the Relationship

Unread postPosted: 15 September 2021, 20:53
by sheffieldm2
Helpful points to think abou- glad I was able to get a quality response. Thanks a lot!

Re: Opening Up the Relationship

Unread postPosted: 16 September 2021, 12:44
by Eryx
The same thing is happening to me, except that I'm the person who isn't that sexual and my boyfriend is the younger guy who wants to have sex with other people (though he's 23 and I'm 29).

My advice is to just be upfront about it if you feel it's something you need in your life. Not telling me that this was something that he wanted was really hurting my boyfriend, making him cranky and prone to lash out. After he told me, I was shocked because it was something that I never imagined would become a part of our relationship, but I learned to deal with it and understand how he sees things, what he needs to feel happy.

I'm not extremely excited about it and I'm still learning the ropes, getting in touch with my feelings to understand what might hurt me and what might not -- for instance, we decided on a rule to only see other guys together and always for a one-off, which seems to be working -- but I was able to get around the idea and communication was key.

Even if I were to ask him to try to forget that side of him for the sake of our relationship, I know he'd do it for a while because he loves me and our dog, but it's something that is always bound to build up and cause issues. So I see no other choice but to talk to your guy about your feelings. Maybe he might feel inclined to even participate sometimes.

I was surprised with myself after my boyfriend told me what he wanted. I got horny all the time thinking of the idea and we've had great encounters so far. It's definitely amped up our sex life ten-fold. I haven't been fucking this much since, like... ever.

Re: Opening Up the Relationship

Unread postPosted: 16 September 2021, 16:54
by sheffieldm2
Thanks for the response! Yeah - I'm def stressed out and "in a mood" a lot which isn't enjoyable for both of us. Def coming to a realization that relationships don't have to be black and white - there's the emotional and the sexual aspect, but both don't necessarily have to come from the same person

Re: Opening Up the Relationship

Unread postPosted: 22 September 2021, 05:18
by ethanroy011
I dont have the same exp but quite similar and I must say a happy and healthy relationship form only on trust, belive, honesty and respect. So be happy and go with the flow

Re: Opening Up the Relationship

Unread postPosted: 27 September 2021, 00:24
by o.o.pickme
This is like deja vu. Seriously, 27 years ago I was in the same space as you. The age difference is different but pretty much everything else is the same. The age difference (15 years) wasn't a problem, you love who you love. When, in like most relationships, the sex was great. But, due our totally different work schedule, I was a bartender in a leather bar working nights, he was a biologist working days. Sex only happened when we had time together, duh! JK When we both realized where the relationship was going, we had the "talk" and put everything out there. It was like a merger, a little give and take. What came out of the talk was, as in your situation, he wasn't a very sexual person. He also realized with that and with our age difference I was going to be a lot hornier than he would be, so if my hooking up with someone else happened it was no biggy. Having his understanding meant the world. Sure, there were some ground rules, but nothing we couldn't deal with. We trusted each other. If it happened I didn't throw it in his face. To be honest in the 26 years of marriage, I can truthfully say it hasn't happened as much as you think, but knowing I had his understanding was all that I needed and we love each other. I know this was TMI, all I can say is be honest with each other and talk, talk, talk!