Threesomes ruin a monogamous relationship

Open relationships: How love lasts for years, even when you sleep with others

Even the most convinced single knows at least one of those couples that you look at and think, "Okay, maybe that's how I imagine it". I got to know two of this variety. However, one thing distinguishes them from many other couples: They have open relationships in which sexual contact with third parties is expressly permitted.

Kathleen and Alexander have been together for seven years and have been married for four. You only recently fulfilled your dream of owning your own house and now live with your two children in a green suburb of Berlin.

Saskia and Karsten want children too. They are not yet so safe with their own home. But they have already managed one or two moves together - the two met as prospective high school graduates and have been a couple for more than 16 years.

″ Before I kissed and slept with one person, and then there was a second person - at the same time! ″ - Saskia

For Saskia and Karsten it was the first real relationship and at the same time the great love. They both quickly realized that they were a good match and that they could imagine spending the rest of their lives together. On the other hand, they were also aware that they had not yet had any other experience. Together they decided that the only way to stabilize their relationship was if they weren't bored with each other. It all started with a threesome with a mutual friend.

Karsten and Saskia had talked and fantasized about it half jokingly and half seriously for a long time, before Karsten finally got the whole thing rolling - as a special birthday surprise for Saskia. "We had to learn to deal with it first," she recalls. "Before, I had only kissed and slept with one person, and then there was a second person - at the same time!" But the birthday experiment was popular. It was the starting signal for the open relationship.

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Of course, it's not always that simple and direct. For Kathleen, for example, the concept of an open relationship was interesting very early on, long before she met Alexander. However, she was unable to put her ideas into practice in previous relationships. ″ It always takes two people who may have dealt with this possibility independently of each other, ″ thinks Kathleen today. ″ If you completely surprise someone with the topic, you often come across rejection at first. It just worked out with Alex. "

The friendship with Saskia and Karsten that arose during their joint studies in Berlin also contributed to this. Seeing a couple who had been together for so long and where the concept worked was the necessary impetus for Alexander and Kathleen to turn mind games into reality. They decided to open their then fresh relationship.

″ Love does not get any less when you share it ″

But does it really have to be? Are their partners not enough for them? Occasionally, both couples are faced with this question. But she never faced them herself. "You can't be missing anything, and yet you can meet another person and realize: It's fantastic with him too - in a different way," explains Alexander. ″ You don't get anything that you lack in your relationship. You have additional beautiful moments. "

Love does not become less when you share it, that could be the maxim of both couples. Which, in turn, does not mean that they are interested in the most extravagant sexual escapades possible. Even after 16 years of open relationship, Saskia and Karsten can still count their sexual partners on two hands. They never had sex without any feelings. Kathleen and Alexander would not go to bed with anyone who they would not have a cup of coffee with either before or after. It is not uncommon for affairs to become friends, or they have been before.

“The classic model of relationship is of course more convenient because one can orientate oneself on role models.” - Kathleen

Of course, this can also lead to complications. Saskia experienced this when she fell in love with one of their affairs a few years ago. For someone who had only been in love once in their life, it was a strange feeling to suddenly be in love with another person. ″ First I had to muddle through these feelings and find out what that meant, for me and for the relationship, ″ remembers Saskia. It was clear to her from the start that the new infatuation would not change her feelings for Karsten.

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"I then struggled for months with the idea of ​​whether I might have an official three-way relationship." However, both men were not very enthusiastic about this idea, as Saskia adds with a wink. Nevertheless, it was not difficult for the team of three to come to terms with the unexpected situation. Saskia's crush is now a good friend of the couple - and has remained a regular affair at the same time.

"The classic model of relationship - man, woman, monogamous - is of course more convenient because you can orientate yourself on role models and know how it's done," says Kathleen. ″ In the moment when there are more variables, there is an enormous amount of communication that needs to be communicated. There is a much greater risk of getting hurt, but of getting hurt too. "

At the same time, of course, an open relationship also means more opportunities and freedom for those involved. ″ A lot of people feel very guilty for the lusts and thoughts they have, ″ says Alexander. "And if you then have a so-called misstep, it can destroy your life and family directly." He and Kathleen do not have these problems. Where affairs are part of the relationship, they don't become a point of contention.

Living together means more than sleeping together

A progressive idea. At the same time, Alexander and Kathleen also opted for the conservative institution of marriage. They do not see a contradiction in this. For them, the marriage promise means a bit of romance that underlines the specialty of their couple relationship - it is a conscious yes to a partner for whom they want to be there, with whom they want to live and grow old. Both believe that there is much more to this than sex.

But what does it look like when you slowly leave the wild youth behind and start a family? Kathleen and Alexander are sure that their open relationship can also work with children. “Our parents used to have sex too,” says Kathleen, “that wasn't a big issue either”.

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Children are also firmly planned for Saskia and Karsten. They don't worry about not being able to explain their relationship model to their offspring. ″ I can love multiple parents and multiple siblings; I have a lot of friends that I really like, ″ says Saskia. "I can't understand why that shouldn't work on a romantic level."

″ I would like to pass on to our children that we are lucky, ″ says Kathleen. ″ Fortunate to have many great people in our lives who we are familiar with. And I hope that the moment they understand that this can mean more than just cuddling, they also have the spiritual maturity to accept it. We just have to ask ourselves the questions that come up ”.

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The only thing that occasionally makes Alexander worried is the reactions of others. It is the concern that his children might get the impression that their parents are doing something embarrassing or even offensive. Because this is how open relationships are still often classified. More than once, Alexander heard from acquaintances and friends that they could never deal with love and sexuality the way he did. Talking about open relationships with others is far from him - but he finds the bias a shame.

″ What I think is important is that you look first, does that feel good to me? ″ Says Alexander. ″ If not, then I'll leave it. But if you do, then maybe it's really good. To block something like that from the start without simply ticking off the possibility in your head - with that you take a lot of possibilities ”.