How One Mom Makes Her Open Relationship Work

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When a person gets divorced, there is often a time of rediscovery. And in Cora's case, the rediscovery expanded to her sex life. Cora had a monogamous relationship with her ex-husband. They have two school-aged children together, and Cora has primary custody. It's been a few years since her divorce, and she's in a healthy relationship now ... though it may be unusual to some. Cora and her boyfriend Noah are in an open relationship, and she says it has made their bond stronger than ever. I spoke with Cora, 30, about exactly how this works.


Who came up with the idea to try an open relationship?

We did, together. We discussed what we'd want out of it and why we want it. We talked about everything.

Are there rules?

Yes. We both have things we're not comfortable with the other person doing with someone else. Romantic stuff is a no-go for both of us. I'm also uncomfortable with him giving oral to another girl.

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Is there jealousy?

After some issues, we decided that we could only each sleep with people of the same sex to quell jealousy. He doesn't have issues with me sleeping with men, but I couldn't handle him being with a woman, so we made it a "same-sex only" rule. Then the only thing I could get sad about is the time he's gone that he could spend with me, but that's not a huge deal.

How do you separate love and sex?

Love and sex are very different to me. Love is about an emotional connecting, cuddling, kissing, and romance. Sex is about getting off and enjoying physical pleasure. Two totally different things.

What would you warn other couples interested in an open relationship? 

I'd warn people to not say 'yes' to ANYTHING you're not sure if you're okay with. Even if his rules and your rules vary and you worry about being a hypocrite, do NOT say 'yes' unless you can picture it happening and be okay with it, totally.

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Do you think you need another level of trust in order for this to work?

You need immense trust. You need to know that it is only about sex and that romance is out of the picture. You also need to have your own healthy sex life FIRST, or an understanding about why a void is being filled, if it is. It needs to be a 100 percent honest thing even before anything ever happens, with loads of trust.

How has your open relationship changed your relationship? 

It's changed, but for the better. We're more open with talking about our sexual preferences, experiences, and asking each other for things we want in bed, and [sharing] what turns us on or off. It also helps with feeling connected, as you know, that your partner understands and can appreciate and accept that there may be needs they can't fill (such as for me, as much as he could try, he'd never be a woman). We also tested some boundaries and found we needed to reign them in a little tighter, which took conversation and some emotion to figure out, which was even more bonding.

Do your kids know you see other people besides Noah?

Noooooo. Absolutely not. Never ever ever.

Would you ever consider being in an open relationship? Why or why not?


*Names have been changed.


Image © Vitaliy Krasovskiy/Shutterstock

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