Open Marriage.

That’s the issue in a book I read last week, “The Arrangement” by Sarah Dunn.  Couple decides their marriage is getting stale, so they set up a 6 month time frame and a list of rules, and decide to give this alternate arrangement a go.

Hmmmm.  What could ever go wrong?

Ok- this is not a book review- this is a lifestyle review.

I don’t think open marriage can/will work.  I don’t think having sex with other people is the way to solve marital issues.  If you want to solve marital issues, you have to identify the issue- then you can solve the problem.  How is having sex with someone else helping you solve a problem?

Oh- you say that lack of sex is the problem?  OK- I get that.  But again, how is sex with someone else helping your actual relationship?

Marriages can get stale.  I understand that.  Life gets in the way.  There are bills and chores and jobs and families and about a million other things.  When you go to bed, these are the things that flash through your mind….is there milk?  did I pay the insurance?  Am I supposed to bake cookies for the bake sale?  I’m supposed to present at the 9am meeting tomorrow- do I know what to say?  You forget about that person that is actually sharing your bed every night- they’ve become your roommate.  Sex?  What’s that?

So what should you do?

I have no idea.

But I am pretty sure that opening up your marriage to others is probably not a great way to start.

Side note- my husband just wandered by, and when I told him what I have been attempting to write about he said…”Oooh that sounds interesting- Do you know anyone hot?”

FYI- not a great thing for a husband to say….especially when his wife is having tremendous writers block.  Also- whenever my husband hears that I’m having writer’s block, he says, “Maybe it’s not a good topic.”  And then at moment’ s like this I think to myself….hmmm, maybe open marriage would be a great idea, except instead of finding a sex partner, I’ll find someone to be more helpful when I’m writing……

But back to the topic at hand:

If you love your partner, and the issues you are having are because you don’t see them in a romantic way anymore…..try to figure out how to see them in a romantic way!  I know- it’s hard- life, blah, blah, blah……

But isn’t it worth it to try to rekindle the passion you once felt for one another?

So- here’s your homework….

  1. Can open marriage work?
  2. Am I old fashioned in thinking that it is not a good idea, or is this the way of the future?
  3. How do you revive a marriage that has become a bit rote?
  4. Would you ever consider open marriage?  If so, would you have rules?
  5. Do you think that if someone suggests open marriage they have an ulterior motive, ie- they already have a partner in mind?
  6. I’ve seen statistics that suggest that less people are actually getting married.  Do you think they are less likely to get married because they want to have the ability to explore their sexuality with multiple partners?
  7. Can something be “just sex” or are emotions going to become involved no matter what? (I think emotions are going to jump in no matter what- how many people equate sex with love?)
  8. Even if you’ve given the green light, is it possible to truly not be jealous? (Seriously- can you really remain detached if you know your spouse is sleeping with someone younger/hotter?)
  9. Do you want your kids to know what you are doing?  (I mean really- kids are smart- they figure out everything we want to hide…..)

I know- I’m a demanding teacher.   Also- writers block!  I need you guys to write for me!!!

Also- I may be taking applications for a muse.  Start working on those resumes……



84 thoughts on “Open What?

  1. I honestly have no idea how an open marriage could work. Having sex with other people, no way! I would die, for real…

    Have you ever watched Fireproof? Many people think it’s cheesy, but I loved it. The book is great. I can totally see it helping marriages, but I know many non-Christians or those that are completely against it would disagree. It’s worth checking out. ❤ Awesome post.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Nope, it would ruin everything for me. The thought literally makes me want to cry. I think trying to work it out is wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but I have to wonder how bad the problems were before, that now, they can handle cheating on each other?

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I should rephrase that to say “from what I’ve observed.” I’m sure it goes both ways. But most of the couples I’ve met, (and I discovered there’s a lot more of them out there than I would’ve thought back when I would’ve thought this was an insane idea)the wife was the one really pushing for it. And I do think some people convince themselves it’s right for them and everything is perfect when it really isn’t. Especially if they’re doing it as a solution to marital problems…just, no. That’s the worst course of action to take, in my opinion. Do it because you’ve pillow talked about it over time and it starts to sound fun and enticing, not because you hate each other and hope this’ll fix everything(it would make it worse, lol)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My marital issues came directly from lack of communication (he didn’t and I gave up trying) and a literal dump of responsibility for everything onto my shoulders ( he took none and I stupidly never called him out on it) so finally sex didn’t exist for us anymore. Even with that, the idea of open marriage as a savior to our issues would have been ludicrous.
    You bring up really valid, interesting questions. My answers…
    #1 & 2- No
    #3 I divorced, so apparently the answer for me was not able to be revived
    #4 No, and eventually the rules would be broken
    #5 Yes, I am the suspicious type. There would definitely be someone lurking on the side lines already
    #6 I lean to the notion that marriage carries with it outdated and unneeded traditions that many want to avoid, but sex with others isn’t part of that. Besides, marriage itself costs way to much money
    #7 Emotions are always involved
    #8 I can assure you, I would be jealous
    #9 No way my kids are going to be included in this adventure, and yes- they would figure it out

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Someone in my family tried the open marriage path. Actually they got into a swingers’ group. I don’t know know if they’re still at it, but I do know that at least twice my family member has called me as he was considering taking his own life. I helped talk him down, and asked if perhaps their lifestyle was putting too much pressure on him. He said that wasn’t causing his depression. I urged him to get professional help. He has cut ties with me.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m probably going to be controversial here, so hopefully I don’t offend anyone

    I don’t have a problem with people who have open marriages. I don’t know that monogamy is what we were wired for. I believe that it takes lots of diversity to make the world go round.

    That said…

    Personally, I’ve reached a point in my life where I believe I’ve become one of Pavlov’s dogs. I need consistency, I crave stability, I like my routines. I’m too set in my ways to be interacting with new people all the time on an intimate level of any sort (with the exception of my 12 step meetings, where sharing intimate thoughts is the core of the program). So monogamy is my preference.

    It probably helps a lot that Sunshine and I have such a healthy relationship. It probably helps that the both of us attempting to evolve (a by-product of the 12 steps, we must always grow emotionally & spiritually). It probably helps that both of us find ways to keep ourselves and others guessing what the hell might come next with us.

    So yeah, I don’t think open marriage would work for us. 😍 We’re pretty content with things the way they are.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You know I value every opinion! I totally understand the monogamy thing. I’ve had that conversation with a number of people. Do you think people have the emotional capacity to not be jealous? I always think one person will feel it more than other. I had a friend who was having an affair. Her lover expressed his jealousy over her bring with her husband. She thought the relationship was just about sex


  5. I think one path that leads to people entertaining this idea is the waning of their sex life. Men have Viagra — women, zero. I’ve heard that this is supposed to be the best sex of your life because you’re past menopause and free and blah blah. My libido has just goes the way of the dinosaur sometimes. I’m not in the mood, I’m sore, I’m tired — not a good excuse, I suppose, but it’s real. And I don’t think open marriage is a solution. Great topic.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. No, I wouldn’t consider it and no, I don’t think it works. It’s dating with a marriage license. No thank you. Yes, I think they have someone else in mind if they suggest it. I am both possessive and jealous. I don’t share. If it is mine… IT (He) IS MINE! With that said, I think monogamy is a lofty idea. I don’t like guilt for divorce. Sometimes people should go their separate ways for a multitude of reasons. Take this with a grain of salt because I’m not a romantic, I am a cynic. I had a previous cheating spouse and father. The best way I know to rekindle is a time out from life with plenty of time and genuine attention for your spouse (each other). Intimacy is in the communication, the acceptance of one another with all flaws and faults laid bare, not the sex, although it is a glorious part of the packaged deal! Romance must give a way to commitment. If a spouse can’t hold up their end of the bargain (the commitment) they should divorce and set the other spouse free. Your story made me laugh though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean about monogamy….I think there are issues with it, and I wonder if people are supposed to be monogamous. But, I think if people enter a marriage under the assumption they will be, changing that post marriage can only be a challenge. Great, thought provoking and reasonable comments! Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Not a solution, just putting off the hard work that a good lasting marriage requires. If sex is the problem, looking for it and enjoying it somewhere else means you don’t feel the need to work with your partner. To me an open marriage is just an excuse for laziness, why get married in the first place if you want to sleep with multiple people?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m not a fan of open marriage having never experienced it. But the reality is that I can’t imagine it would help a stale sex life by having sex with other people. I think that’s referred to as cheating no matter what ground rules one agrees upon. Not for me certainly.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t think it can work for any period of time. The local newspaper did a piece on polyamorous people and included someone I know . Which I did not know about. New crap coming down all the time. Anyway she described a conversation with her daughter just before the article came out who I think is about 12ish. So her daughter said…does that mean you are not monogamous I am not she replied. Does that mean you have multiple partners she asked..I do said her mother. I did ask the woman if there were ever issues with jealousy and she replied that was another whole big issue. Crap I say.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. When I feel claustrophobic, instead of opening the main door, I prefer to open the many windows.
    Open mind, open communication and openness to finding solutions is what I would prefer to an open marriage.
    Change of place will not change the inherent issues. Sooner than later the same issues will crop up with any other person.
    But I liked your idea of finding another person who is more helpful when I am writing.. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m too lazy to answer your questions… which is another way of saying I’m too lazy to even attempt anything like an open marriage. Yes, for me it absolutely boils down to being lazy. Well, that and knowing that it’s hard enough looking presentable for one woman; I can’t fathom learning what another one’s preferences might be. So let’s hear it for laziness — the champion of fidelity. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love the way you write. I agree with you, open marriages will never work. In the end all the problems will still remain. Communication is something that will sort out everything, not meaningless sex with others.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Not to call out all the ‘non-traditional sex enthusiasts’ 😞…but I don’t think I’m failing at being progressive when I say, suggesting such things is like saying, “Turn ons, I need elsewhere…but you! You I like…I’ll be home later.” No fuss of separation or divorce of a long time partner. And they all get cake outside the house. (What they do with it is their own business) It’s an easy out. Not a bond builder…as it were. All this magic in one comment, and I don’t even drink anymore! 😝😝😝 #blahx3

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The only thing an open marriage does is open the door to divorce, in my opinion. It’s hard enough to make a marriage work with just two people, never mind inviting anyone else in. But seriously, having sex with someone other than your spouse isn’t going to solve whatever marital issue a couple happens to have, it will just make things even more complicated.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. So this is scary to admit, but the thought of my wife with another man is a turn on for me. I have zero interest in men, that is the first thing I want to get straight. But I have a lot of interest in seeing her turned on. If it was a stranger that turned her on and that pleasured her, that would turn me on (or at least the thought of it turns me on). It’s a fantasy we’ve talked about for a long time but never come close to acting upon. Of course, this is a little off-topic as I don’t necessarily think this fits into the definition of an open relationship. But in terms of livening up the sex life, I think this applies and think it might work. I also think we will never go that route. Too much risk. But I thought I’d share the perspective anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I like this topic and the comments are great. I have to add mine. I had an open marriage and it worked, until it didn’t. It took 15 year to crumble. I’m not saying that the openness was the main reason because there is never just one reason why you end/change a relationship. I don’t know that it helped either. The only thing that really changed the dynamic was WE changed and we weren’t who we were when we walked down the isle. I can’t say were we would be if we had never went there because we can’t go back and do it over. And yes there was much jealousy near the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’ll bite. Here’s my perspective, as a person who’s been in an open marriage for four years.

    1. It can. There’s also a huge potential for disaster.
    2. Not at all. It’s simply not something that appeals to you.
    3. Identify and attempt to rectify your issues.
    4. I’m in one, and it isn’t a free-for-all. And while there aren’t concrete “rules,” I avoid situations I feel would make my wife feel threatened or jealous.
    5. Not necessarily, but I’ve known people for whom this is likely the case.
    6. not sure. I will say that it isn’t advisable to open a marriage as a solution to a preexisting serious relationship issue.
    7. it can be. And I’ve fallen for a couple women. But my ideal
    “Sweet spot” is someone who becomes a good friend with sex as an added bonus. If the sex ends, I can retain the friendship without the sex and it isn’t a big deal, doesn’t matter.
    8. If people deny that they get jealous they’re lying. I’m wary of some of the people I’ve talked to who present this perfect public image of what their open marriage is like. It’s trial and error. And there’s plenty of error to be sorted through, especially in the beginning, until you find what works for you as a couple.
    9. We don’t have kids, but most people I know who are in open marriages don’t discuss it around their kids. The kids generally have no idea and most people don’t want anyone they’re involved with anywhere near their kids. I’m sure there’s exceptions, particularly for people who consider themselves full-blown polyamorous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s something I can’t fathom, because I don’t think I’m mature enough to handle it. But if it works, it works! The only thing is, having a kid….well… they know everything. People think they don’t, but they’re wrong. Kids are smart and intuitive. I can’t imagine a kid not having an inkling something is different about their family. Thanks for great comments!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s tiers to all of this; swingers look down on polyamorous people because of their emotional entanglements, and the polys look at swingers like trash, basically. And then you’ve got the open marriage people, which is probably the part of the spectrum my wife and I fall under, where we just kind of make friends with benefits and it doesn’t consume our lives, it’s just a thing we do sometimes. And there’s all kinds of shades of grey in between. I prefer not to overthink it too much and just enjoy it. I like to have a mental connection, that’s essential for me. Completely detached sex isn’t interesting to me. So I’ve made a lot of good friends that I’ve retained even after the sex ended. It’s been an interesting journey. But I’d never advise someone to do it. That’s something they have to arrive at themselves, and decide whether or not it’s right for them. Because I’ve seen it both strengthen and destroy couples.

        Liked by 1 person

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