The woman and I broke up after six months, and I told my husband about the affair. Instead of saying, "I can't believe you slept with someone else," he said, "I can't believe you lied to me." That, for me, is the crux of it all. Marriage is about honesty. Not about sex.
I started doing all kinds of research about marriage, including its historical implications and cultural differentiations. It made me wonder what might happen if we made honesty, rather than monogamy, the cornerstone of our relationship.
After many late-night discussions, my husband and I embarked on an open marriage. For six months or so, we had the same girlfriend. For a year or two we "dated" other people. And then, four-and-a-half years ago, everything changed when I met Jemma. Now I am involved only with her and my husband. She and my husband are not sexually involved—just very good friends. None of us have any other partners, although that is always open to discussion. And all of us are very happy.
It would be great if one day open marriage were not considered so strange or even untoward.
Our open marriage works because it's, well, open. No sneaking around. No secret text messages. No longing for other partners. Sure, there's no monogamy. But there's also no monogamy in a large percentage of marriages that supposedly aren't open. Instead, they are full of cheating and lies, or resentment and sadness. And that's no way to live.
Marriage is about two people deciding to spend the rest of their lives together, to care for one another, to love one another. Nothing more. Nothing less. I think the rest is up for discussion, including whether or not monogamy is part of your agreement to one another. Honesty and communication should be the only true marital must-haves.
Believe it or not, my life probably looks a lot like yours. Work to do. Food to cook. Kids to raise. Most Saturday nights are spent at home playing Scrabble and eating take-out. The only difference is that I'm in love with two people instead of one. No swinging. No sex parties. Just real life in a way that really works for us. MyDaily: 'Forty Beads': Revitalize Your Marriage (And Sex Life) With Beads And A Bowl
All I know is this: Time is limited. Love is not. And life is about choice. Open marriage is ours.
Written by Jenny Block for MyDaily
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