Not uncommon but not an easy situation for either partner in this case, and no easy answers. For the purpose of making this section easier to understand, the I-want-to-keep-swinging partner will known as the “keen” partner, and the I-want-to-stop/had-enough-of-swinging partner will be known as the “not-so-keen” partner, just so we’re clear!
My thoughts here are similar to deciding to call it quits. Time out may be needed and if the keen partner values the relationship, they will agree to some time out. My advice to the not-so-keen partner is to frame it that way; that it’s just a temporary time out, otherwise they may feel very disappointed and may not agree to a time out.
Discussions will need to be had from both sides; the keen partner will need to listen to the concerns of the not-so-keen partner, as there will likely be underlying reasons why they have gone cold on the idea. The not-so-keen partner will need to listen to the reasons why the keen partner wants to keep going.
I could imagine feeling quite disappointed if my husband said he wanted to stop swinging. In some ways I would probably feel like I’d had my wings clipped; I’d lost some freedom and the space to be completely me. I’d probably go through a grieving process for a short time also. That said, I love my husband enough to respect his decision, our relationship is extremely important to me so I would do it. I also know that things can change and while I may be agreeing to stop, it could potentially be a temporary stop.
I’m not alone in feeling this way and some of the keen partners are possibly the same. If you are the one who is no longer keen on the idea, keep in mind that there will likely be some grieving if they agree to stop, even though they desperately want to keep going. If they know that it’s likely a temporary hiatus, it will be easier for them make the change.
I have also talked with couples where this has happened and the keen partner has ended up continuing behind their partners back because they thought that it was never going to be something they both did again together, and they weren’t prepared to stop. Not-so-keen partners, you need to know that this can and does happen which is why you need to find a solution, not just call it quits and insist they do to.
There are a thousand reasons this situation could come up and I think that the best way forward is always communication and to agree on a happy medium. Have the intention of finding a solution that is workable for both partners, there has to be give and take and if your relationship is worth anything to you, then you’ll do what it takes to make sure both your needs are met in either swinging or not swinging.
This complete mismatch in needs and desires could also indicate that you are two very different people going in very different directions. It could be that this has highlighted a need to discuss where you are going as a couple, and where you are going as an individual. While ending a relationship is a last resort decision, sometimes it is what needs to happen.
The only thing I can say on making that decision, having made it once myself, is to go with your intuition; your gut instinct… it knows what you need to do better than the logic in your head. It will be loud and unmistakable if it’s something you really must do for you. Just don’t ever walk away on a whim because you may regret it, always try to work it out together…