Open Marriage

Contemporary times boast of an increasing need for the other in marital relationships. Though experts argue relentlessly over the norms of society and the legality of relationships, couples continue to indulge in relationships outside marriage which is defined by a sense of personal growth and satisfaction and where one is given the opportunity to enlarge his or her friendship circles.

The term ‘open marriage’ has an obscure origin dating back to researchers who in the 1960’s talk about it with respect to owning the rights to freedom in having to choose marriage partners. But Nena and George O’Neill changed the concept of open marriage in a way so as to explain it as a medium to revitalize marriage on the grounds of trust, role flexibility, communication, equality and identity issues.

Experts define open marriages as one where the couples agree upon maintaining extra marital affairs and relationships outside their marriage. Open marriages are also further categorized into a tacit form of adultery where the couples do not discuss anything on the one hand whereas in the other case, they tend to be explicit about committing adultery and have reached a consensus about doing so.

The snares or dangers of an open marriage:

Though many couples perceive it as a way to sustain their already tattered marriage, experts associate open marriages with a number of drawbacks as the following:

  • Jealousy brews up at both ends as couples are sharing the same level of intimacy otherwise shared with each other with someone else now. Surprising though but some couples are confident about setting off the smokes of jealousy as they feel they have come much closer after indulging in extra marital affairs.
  • Legal issues can be a problem as different states have stringent laws for couples committing adultery whether with consent or not. So couples engaged in such a process can land up in court if they are unable to justify their actions of maintaining such relationships which in the eyes of law is unjust and wrong.
  • Open marriages haven’t yet gained acceptance in society. So friends, family and colleagues of the concerned couple often disapprove of such relationships.
  • Open marriages can have devastating effects on the children who will be traumatized by the unhealthy course of events maintained by their parents.
  • Violence could be the ultimate result when couples are resorting to meeting strangers for intimacy. This will make the other spouse feel hopeless, angry or even guilty for what could have happened with his or her wife.

Solutions for dealing with the need for the other:

Researchers highlight a few ways where one could realize that open marriages can ruin or wreck the lives of all. The much offered solutions include the following:

  • Experts assert the need to repress one’s desire to indulge in extra marital affairs.
  • They also the assert the importance of drifting away from the marriage completely if the relationship has reached the heights of discord, violence and intolerance.
  • To realize the importance and needs of the children.

Open marriages are not so common though they seem to affect some parts of the society where couples feel the need to experiment further with life. Experts claim that people who pursue open marriages feel the need to break the norms and traditions which they think is holding back their limits of experience, joy and bliss.