Q: My husband and I have been in an open marriage for two years. I really want my husband to meet my partners and do stuff together but he is not very keen. He prefers meeting partners without me and I often get jealous. I feel he is keeping things secret. What should I do?
Ans: You want to practice ‘Kitchen Table’ polyamory, while your husband prefers ‘Parallel’ polyamory. Both are ethical non-monogamy preferences based on your personality traits, attachment styles and the current relationship you have with each other.
Sometimes couples open up their relationships because they have a strong need for independence. When partners feel that they need space and time for themselves, it is usually a sign that they have merged too much with each other. For any relationship to last you need to maintain a delicate balance of connection and autonomy.
Currently your husband enjoys his relationships running in parallel, no interactions between metamours. It is great he is expressing his need for autonomy and his boundaries. What are yours? Hanging out all together means something to you, what is the emotional need behind it? Often, but not always, jealousy stems from earlier unresolved conflicts and personal insecurities. Are you afraid he will abandon you for someone else?
He will anyway leave if the connection between the two of you lacks authenticity and if you hold him hostage to your poly preferences. Speak about a middle ground with him, where you tell each other small details of your metamours, maybe profession, some characteristics and preferences. It would be interesting to see what exactly you want to know about his lovers. This will be a great opportunity for you to understand where your insecurities lie. You can then start working on addressing them with a professional.
The writer is an Intimacy and Relationship Coach, Founder of The Intimacy Curator, an organisation promoting self-discovery through emotional and sexual well-being (www.theintimacycurator.com)