A couple of weeks ago I was driving to the dentist’s and heard about Mo’nique’s open marriage. The kind where the husband and wife amicably agree to having sex with other people — no need to cheat or lie. No secrets. No regrets. No complications.
Or so they say.
The rationale for open marriage being that it allows two people who love each other to be together for a lifetime while still allowing them to explore their sexuality with multiple other people.
It’s like combining the best of both worlds — you have someone to share your daily routine with and someone else to spice up your sex life.
To me there’s a distinct disconnect…the assumption in an open marriage is that sex is devoid of an emotional connection. That you can be physically intimate with someone without any emotional attachment. That you can be uninhibited, unrestrained. And yet be loyal to the one you’ve pledged your life to. And also have sex with your spouse — that act having an emotional component, not just being an animal instinct.
How do two people who supposedly love each other make it work?
How does jealousy or possessiveness not come into play?
How do you let someone go and then accept them with open arms over and over again?
How do you dissociate emotion from sex?
How do you love one person but share yourself with many others?
Is it because their love for each other is greater? Or is it just a selfish arrangement, where if you agree to let your partner fornicate, you get the same perk in return?
But then why marry in the first place? Isn’t marriage by definition monogamous? Then how does adding an adjective — open — change the basic meaning of the word? Or the relationship?
Why make a mockery of a union, whether it is between members of the opposite sex or the same, wherein you take vows to be true to each other. Mind, body and soul.
But they are being true to each other, some would say!
The couple in an open marriage is perhaps more honest than your average married couple … They don’t have any false pretenses, any monogamous expectations, or any lies between them. They’re probably happier.
But are they?
I think open marriage adds another layer of complication to an already cobwebbed life. It’s like saying I’m half into you…the other half belongs to whoever appeals to my carnal desires.
I keep going back to the question…why marry? Why commit to someone when you know that you’re not sharing your all with them?
Isn’t that the biggest lie — to yourself? Isn’t open marriage really just cheating yourself? Wanting to be conventional, yet not. Signing up for the security of something “regular” and the excitement of that which is unacceptable. Trying to mix water and oil.
From my vantage point, it seems like throwing oneself into unnecessary torment. The temptation defeated by the knowledge of permanent emotional scarring. The adventure too risqué. The payoff not worth the investment.
What do you think?