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My husband and I were married in May. We’ve been together for eight years. He’s leaving in April for a year-long residence out of state. I’d like to be able to have a “monogamous-ish” (thanks Dan Savage) type thing while he’s gone. How do I bring that up to him? I’ve tried in the past in a casual way, and I don’t think he’s okay with it. How do you start a real conversation about that? I’m totally okay with him doing the same while he’s away and I’d want a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Any tips?

I applaud you for considering alternative relationship arrangements, for supporting your husband in making choices for himself even when they require him being away, and for writing in. You’ve shown a lot of bravery and openness to change in these actions, yet your question drips of very valid fear.

Opening your relationship whether it’s through a “monogamish” relationship, or “clopen” relationships, as I like to call them, polyamory or something else can be scary. But if you can’t be brave and honest with yourself and your husband, an open relationship will never work. Continued…