If you are going to have any openness in your marriage or relationship, one of the most important things is to make sure you and your partner are solidly connected. Being deeply bonded can allow for more freedom and possibility in your relationship. If you are going to have ongoing relationships with other people, or have episodes in which you are sexual with other people, a secure bond can make it possible to create a state of emotional fidelity while also having sexual freedom.
I have coined the term “relationship artistry” to describe what I want this state to look like for me. The concept of artistry, ongoing creativity applied to relationship appeals to me. As an artist I have great rehearsals, then lousy rehearsals. I sometimes have brilliant first drafts and also embarrassing first drafts. But there is an ongoing love of the craft and fascination with the work.
Artists practice every day. What if we applied this devotion, creativity and continuity to our relationships? I sometimes hear a phrase that marriage is hard, and you have to work hard at your relationship. This sounds like a puritanical drag to me. I prefer the notion of showing up, with presence and ‘loving up’ your relationship as you would composing music, or making a painting. An ongoing practice or habit you create with your beloved, designing your relationship, creating it together.