Two months in and going quite well, if I don't say so myself. It hasn't been without it's little bumps or bruises. That goes without saying in a relationship that is a bit more complex.
I'm not saying that people in complicated relationships are entitled to some sort of medal or are somehow more evolved. Alternative arrangements are really are no more or less of an effort than relationships that follow a straighter path. So, open relationships involve more people--and of course that must be taken into account. Additionally, unsavory feelings must be met dealt with head on-directly-immediately-OPENly. They are,in fact, created and encountered with much more frequency in an open dynamic. But I believe that is part of an Open definition--not just open sexually (or emotionally for some), but Open communicutively.
The emotions that must be dealt with in an open relationship are no more or less dissonant than the feelings swirling around in a more traditional dynamic. Jealousy is a component of both, and as such, so negative in nature that everyone aims to avoid it. Traditional relationships in some respects can be much more difficult as there is a general denial and repression of perfectly natural feelings and expressions. No matter how 'trivial' or 'immature' or 'fleeting' a crush or 'selfish' an ego stroke.
Trust is one area that is of humongo importance, no matter how traditional or unconventional the relationship is. Once an agreement is made, whether it is the implied agreement made entering a euro-christian conventional relationship, or the expressed agreement which deviates...a mere suspicion of a breach can be detrimental.
This leads me to my point--geared more towards open relationships; however, I think applicable to conventional relationships as well. Is there bliss in ignorance?
My personal experience has changed my attitude somewhat. Even entering into this new world of a committed, yet sexually (not emotionally) open arrangement- I began with: "Do what you want on your own time-I don't want to know about it." I don't believe I am alone. My man, however, based on his experience, has always felt most comfortable knowing everything.
Fit Gap. He feels (or believes he feels) more comfortable knowing what is going on with me when I'm not with him. For him, it is reassuring to know the generalities, it ensures his imagination does not take over and make a plaything of any insecurities. Me, I prefer to imagine the worst possible scenario. In that way, if I am wrong, I'm pleasantly surprised. If I am right, I haven't been run over by a semi I never saw coming. It's like convincing yourself you did poorly on a test, but to find you ace it. Which was *really* not much of a surprise at all.
[Com'on I know some of you have done that!]
The benefit in knowing however far exceeds the benefit in setting yourself up to be ready for failure. Failure is ALWAYS a possibility. Knowing prevents actually creating the failure we fear. I saw that in the first few weeks of our reconciliation. I would wonder if lags in communication were due to a table-ing of me as primary concern. I had and still do, at times, practically accuse him of becoming "distracted" by people who are supposed to be superfluous (in our arrangement).
The merit in knowing comes down to trust. The most important thing in all relationships of any structure. The one thing that once broken, even if broken out of a mere suspicion is the most difficult thing to rebuild. It certainly takes time to build but can be leveled in a nano-second of suspicion. As difficult as it is to swallow most times, in Knowing--at least that suspicion isn't imagined.
And so we move along, still navigating the choppy emotional waters involved in every relationship, and some rapids a product of the path we've chosen. Till next time....confident of a very positive report.