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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Open Marriage/relationship?

According to Wikipedia , "researchers have estimated that between 1.7 percent and 6 percent of married people are involved in open marriages." Wikipedia claims that definitional issues among participants vary greatly in order to have a clear definition.

For the sake of this article, I'll define open marriage as: "The incidence of having affairs outside the marriage with the partners knowledge." This way we have a working knowledge of what we are discussing in this topic.

It seems to me that there are times where a marriage/relationship may become stale and the couple may want to bring in a little excitement and variety. If both partners agree and can handle an open relationship, then all is well. I think the problem with definition lies in that one partner may not be clear as to any guidelines in the relationship; what is allowed or accepted and what is not. Also, one partner may go along with this type relationship to appease the other partner or maybe one partner has a much higher sex drive than the other. There seem to be many possible reasons.

I would tend to think that the percentage of open relationships is a little higher. I believe this because in our, and many other societies, experimentation is still a kind of taboo, especially when it comes to sex. Health and sex has the figure around 4% to 9% in the U.S.

If a couple has the ability to experiment with an open relationship and finds their marriage is a more rewarding one void of some of the roadblocks that can hinder this type of relationship, like jealousy, then in my opinion it's a winner.

Open marriage/relationships may not be for everyone, but they are for some. I believe that if our society maintained an open mind about these and other types of relationships, there would be more healthy and happy relationships and therefore a better society.


  1. I think open marriage/relationships is good for people who cannot sustain from cheating their partners. Everybody would win in this situation. No more lying and hurt feelings.

  2. Hi Jessica,

    I have read some reasons for open relationships from a variety of people/couples, but I never quite came across your perspective before. Thank you for that!

  3. Hey, I just wanted to thank you for your comment to me on Singletude. Its just really difficult, as I'm sure you understand. All my friends go out to have fun and to have a party every once in a while and I always have to hear about it second hand because I'm stuck at home 'studying.' (He wants me to study all the time, so I 'study' but no one can study all the time like he wants me to). I mean, I have straight A's! 3.8 GPA; I made a 1900 on my first try with the SAT, and if I take it again I could break 2000! But he still insists I'm not doing well enough.

    So here is my question; should I bring it to his direct attention that his mandates are ruining even casual dialouge between us? I'm afraid he wouldn't listen to this because he would just hear me complaining that "when I'm 18 I'll just leave and never talk to him again." If this is what he interprets, he'll become even more dictator like. I'm just not sure if I should try to fix things or if I should just be passive and leave when I'm 18 and not look back.

    And if there is some way to fix this issue that you can think of, I'm open to any ideas- I'm just really sick of it; any change would be a good one.

    Thanks again for your help.
    [You can reply to this here or on my blog. I'll see it sooner if you reply at my blog though.]


  4. All I'm going to say is that, for the couples I know of who've tried it, it's never had a positive outcome.

  5. Elsie, I saw stats one time on the success rate of these relationships; they weren't very good.

    I did however read some blogs from couples who live this lifestyle and seem to enjoy it.

    Thanks for your input!


Thanks so much for your comment and input! :)

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