Author Archives: Rhea Darens

How revenge can restore balance to your (open) relationship

March 2014 I’m sitting on the couch when I hear the key in the lock. Quickly I grab a magazine and pretend I’m reading in focus when my husband comes in. He’s been to his lover. Some times I can handle it better than others. This is one of those other times. “And,” I’m supposed to be interested, “did you have a nice time?” I can see from his face that it was good, he laughs and walks up to me to give me a kiss which I accept resignedly. “It was fine,” he says, but I’ve already returned to my magazine. Supposedly. This is my subtle revenge. I’m not […]

Making up after a fight: how to do it right

February 2014 “Are you ready, honey?” This text on my whatsapp, usually brings a smile to my face.  There’s just one small detail that needs mentioning: we had an appointment at four o’clock. An appointment yes, because my husband is so busy that quality time will be lost if we don’t put it in the calendar. I’m looking at the clock. It’s 6:30. PM. Quality time is over. Time for a quality-fight! As soon as I put my head around the bedroom door, he says he’s sorry. He pulls in a guilty face. Mmm. The frown on my face has not melted yet. But a few more nice words… “Sorry. […]

Help, my wife wants a lover

February 2014 We sit at the kitchen table together. Newspaper, coffee and good company. What more could I want? I’ve often rewound this moment back in my mind. Why hadn’t I noticed anything about her? “I have to tell you something,” she said, and I could tell right from her face that something was going on. “I love you, but I’m also in love with someone else,” she said without hesitation. I don’t want to lose you. Never. I felt my throat dry and waited for the ‘but’ that would undoubtedly come. “But I want to do something with this. We’ve both never had another one before. “Can’t we open […]

The conflict roller coaster: patterns in conflicts

January 2014 As I put our youngest to bed, I look forward to “our” evening. That one night of the week is important to us. As I walk down the hallway, I hear the text tone from his phone downstairs. Moments later he’s talking. With her. Although we have made clear agreements about this. “She has some problems,” he explains later. And he wants to be there for her. Ouch. A little later, we’re sitting on the couch together. Now we also have a problem. Sulking, I’m sitting next to him on the couch. See, I’m not cute enough, it’s haunting my head. By now, my husband knows my trap. […]

Struggle is strength

December 2013 “Do you remember what our last fight was about?” I ask my husband. He flosses his teeth. A precise job with such a scary elongated brush that he knows how to squeeze between his teeth. “No. Why?” He snuffs and spits a little. Then we both get quiet. We haven’t argued in a long time. How lovely. But we’d never have gotten this far if we hadn’t had those fights. That’s why we’re here to encourage all the couples who are arguing at this stage. Don’t be afraid of the arguments. Arguing is fuss. Fights have a function too. Why arguing in an open relationship is helpfull: You […]

Vulnerability makes an open relationship strong

January 2014 We’re both sitting with a beer in our hand at the regular table of our cafe. My husband looks at me with a crooked face. I know exactly why. “You like it when I can’t do something, don’t you?” he says. I’m thinking about the dance class I just took and I can’t suppress my laughter. A triumphant laugh. Not nice of me. But for the first time this week, I feel relieved and free. I could play a game with him now, start talking about something else or apologize to him. Quickly. So we don’t need to talk about it. But I decide to be honest with […]

We won’t tell anyone

Novembre 2013 “Why don’t you show yourself?” I expected a lot of substantive comments about my blog “cheating or an open relationship”. At the time of writing this was not so bad.  From all readers, both monogamous and polyamorous, I received compliments for the openness with which I had written this. What did emerge was that half of the reactions were about the fact that I wanted to remain anonymous. This surprised me. Is it so weird that we want to remain anonymous? Most lovers and mistresses we know do. Especially if they have a steady relationship and children of their own. I appreciated the understanding, but I was just […]

Cheating or an open relationship

Novembre 2013 I had been in a monogamous relationship with my husband for 23 years when I was seduced by a colleague. I had never had a relationship with anyone other than my husband and now it was thrown in my lap. I fell in love. Butterflies and panic For me there were 3 options back then: Quit the job, break contact and leave everything, the monogamous relationship, as it was. Don’t say anything to my husband and cheat on him. Tell my husband everything and see if there was room for an open relationship. Option 1 would be by far the most sensible. But when I was 80 years […]

Jealousy – Facing the monster with CBT

October 2013 If you suffer from jealous feelings in your open relationship, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be an effective method to control this monster and even turn the red thoughts around into green thoughts. Jealousy in an open relationship (1) – The red thought After 23 years of marriage, I knew what I had when it came to my husband. Jealous? Moi? Never! Until we started an open relationship. Sometimes I didn’t recognize myself and seeing the reflection of this green monster that lived in me. Luckily a part of me still knows that my husband is there so jealousy doesn’t take over. Because jealousy is not a pleasant […]

Stick your head in the sand

Written September 2013 “May I see her picture?” I ask my husband.  We have an open relationship, even though some might call it polyamory and my husband is dating again. Dating causes stress in our relationship. Our coping strategies to deal with stress are different. “I don’t think so.” He grins. He knows I’m curious. He also knows, that seeing a picture can  cause trouble. My husband likes to keep the troubles as little as possible. The nice thing about an open relationship is that you can have a relationship with someone else next to your primary relationship. An exciting, new experience. What’s harder in an open relationship is that […]