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Open Marriage… is it for Me?

By on January 5, 2010

What is an Open Marriage?
A couple is considered to have an open marriage when extramarital sexual liaisons are practiced and accepted by both people in the marriage. Basically, each person in the primary relationship can have secondary relationships without the participation of each other, as would be the case in swinging. This can be a very erotic lifestyle and I for one am a supporter of open marriage, but it is not for everyone.

Why do people have Open Marriages?
Some may do it because they honestly believe that sexual relations with another person outside their marriage are totally separate from the marriage and love they have for each other. It’s like going to the movies with friends, pure entertainment and fun. Other couples may do it trying to save their marriage when they are happy in many areas, but can’t fulfill each other sexually. Between those two reasons are thousands of variations that differ from one couple to the next.

Do Open Marriages affect the relationship?
Statistics show a high divorce rate among couples that practice Open Marriages, yet I’m sure you could find supporting statistics that would show the opposite affects. Regardless, anytime you bring an outside person into an intimate relationship, problems and jealousy are sure to be present. The threat of an emotional relationship developing is very real and no one can guarantee that it wouldn’t happen.

On the other side, for some it brings a level of trust and openness that could not be reached without sharing a lifestyle such as this.

What kind of people live the Open Marriage Lifestyle?
Like polygamy, polymory and many other alternative lifestyles, people practicing these relationships normally keep it very private. There really is no standard “type” of person or relationship that practices Open Marriages, so it could be almost anyone around you, including family, friends and casual acquaintances.

If you are thinking of having an open relationship whether you are married, engaged or dating, you really need to research and soul search to find out if this is a lifestyle that you want to pursue and handle.

Here are some good books to help you with your decision:

Open: Love, Sex and Life in an Open Marriage

Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships

Survivors of an Open Marriage

One Comment

  1. ComplexSimplicity

    February 5, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    “Open marriage”-some individuals cant even stand to speak the term, lost in a..sort of cognitive dissonance. I, myself would just suggest that anyone that feels as if an “open marriage” is a must BEFORE they even get married- simply not get married at that time. I do however, realize that being in a marriage or sometime may bring about the need of a open marriage. To each it’s own. Yet, I certainly agree with the reply from “editor”–We all need to be free erotically, it keeps us sane for God’sake! :)

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