Can an Open Marriage Really Work?

Can an Open Marriage Really WorkThe open marriage concept has begun to enjoy a bit of publicity once again. Every so often news stories will surface on a celebrity, politician or influential businessperson who has some involvement in an open marriage situation. Sometimes it’s working, sometimes it isn’t but the news is out there once again and people are discussing it. How do they work and more importantly, DO they work? Open relationships are based on the premise that the real crime in cheating is the lie and not the sex act. If this sounds right to you, you might be a good candidate for a successful open relationship.

Some people are so jaded by bad relationships they think everyone will and does cheat. They fully expect it to happen. From their perspective, it is better to be in an open relationship than to be cheated on. The give their spouse permission to have sex with other people because they know it will happen anyway and they feel it will be less painful if they give consent. In these types of situations, even though there is consent and transparency, jealousy will form. The underlying reason for the open relationship is low self-esteem, which will eventually manifest into jealousy. On the flip side, chronic cheaters do very well in open relationships. People who know they have trouble with monogamy may try their hand at an open relationship in an attempt to avoid the drama and pain of a cheating relationship.

There is a small percentage of the population, which do not feel jealousy as other people do. They feel confident that they deserve the love they receive and no one can take that from them. These types of folks usually have great self-esteem and are perfectly suited to engage in an open relationship. They are more mentally capable of handling the thought of the person they love engaging in sex acts with someone else. They can differentiate between sex and love. There are also people who may not feel jealous of others but hold sex to a higher moral value than others. To them, sex goes hand in hand with love and an open relationship would never work.

Open marriages work best for people who value trust and honesty above all else. Setting ground rules for outside relationships is imperative for success. It is in the keeping of those rules and the transparency of the events that people in open relationships find respect and comfort. Sex is looked at as nothing more than another one of life’s events, nothing to be cherished or held sacred. In fact, many believe that withholding sex with other people is unnatural and humans were not genetically intended to be monogamous. These folks feel the sooner people realize and accept that, the faster this divorce rates will begin to rapidly decline.

Opponents of the concept want to know, why get married? If sex with multiple people is an objective, marriage isn’t conducive. Participants say there is commitment, but it is a commitment to romance and emotional intimacy. Those two things are reserved for the spouse alone in an open marriage. Sexual partners can come and go as long as they are transparent and communicated honestly, but emotional intimacy, romance and love are the aspects of the marriage the spouses are loyal too.

One danger to keep in mind is those who can only handle an open relationship on their behalf and not the other partner. Many people do not even realize they are doing this. It is an easy pitfall to step into. Once you enter into an open relationship, you have to remember to allow your partner the same liberties as you expect. Jealousy may become a bigger issue than you expected or feelings of competition set in. If this is the case, an open marriage may not be for you.

There are very few couples who are just perfectly set up for an open relationship to work completely successfully. When one partner cannot or chooses not to engage in sex, is one example. If one-half of the marriage is unable or doesn’t want to have sex, an open marriage can be just the key. Couples who must spend extended periods away from each other can also make an open marriage work successfully.

The bottom line is open marriages can and do work but it all depends on the couple involved. An open marriage must fit perfectly into the lives and environment of the couple to work. It must also be emotionally OK with both people. They have to have the countenance and personality to be part of something that is potentially damaging to their self-confidence. Open marriages have kept many couples together much longer than a traditional marriage could have. If it fits your lifestyle, it could definitely save your marriage.

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