Is it Wrong to Fantasize About an Open Marriage like Gingrich?


Is it Wrong to Fantasize About an Open Marriage like Gingrich?
(Not WITH Newt Gingrich!) Fantasizing about an Open Marriage? Or is it just an excuse to cheat?

Do you ever close your eyes when you are in bed with your husband or boyfriend and think about another guy?    Do you wonder if you could get away with it, could you have an open marriage or an open relationship and hook up with other people, with your partners permission?  Can that ever really work?

Recently, Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the house, denied that he had asked his second wife for an open marriage.  Reportedly he had called his wife while he was with his girlfriend, now his current wife (come on, keep up!)  She claims that he told her (his wife) that he wanted to continue to see the girlfriend and yet he wanted to stay married.  His wife said she was not interested in having what she said sounded suspiciously like an open marriage. 


(Remember that during this time Gingrich was heading up the committee to investigate President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky in the white house at the time.   Newt Gingrich was a busy guy back then!)

When Gingrich left wife number two for his girlfriend, who is now wife number three, one has to wonder if he continued that request with her.  And one wonders, would it work?

Does an open marriage really work or is it an excuse to fool around with someone on the side with your partners permission?  Is negotiated non-monogamy the same as open marriage?  What if your wife or partner doesnt want to divorce but doesnt approve of an open marriage where their partner gets to have a girlfriend on the side?

And lets go back to your fantasy of another man.  Could you balance a sexual or emotional relationship with more than one person? 

The couples that make open marriages work seem to have a solid foundation, talk openly about their feelings and concerns, create rules they can both live with and have a balanced and full life as primary partners.

If you feel like you could handle this type of marriage or partnership, sit down and have a serious talk with your partner.

And do it BEFORE you have someone on the side already.

Dr. Tammy Nelson is a sex and relationship expert and the author of Getting the Sex You Want.  She can be found at

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Tammy Nelson


Tammy Nelson, PhD, LPC email me at

Location: Ridgefield, CT
Credentials: LPC, PhD
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Sex Therapy
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