Carrie and I hadn't even been on the highway for an hour when the fighting started. We were in my little Honda Civic hatchback, puttering along I-76 East, en route to Baltimore. She'd been giving me a stone-faced version of the silent treatment, and even though I'd tried everything to get her to open up – begging, pleading, cajoling – I wasn't having any luck whatsoever. Occasionally I would get a sarcastic comment in response, or a mean-spirited laugh. I almost blame myself for what happened at the rest stop. I was opening the Honda's hatch to look for a sweater, and as I leaned deep inside the car, Carrie caught a quick glimpse of my boxers – specifically the elastic waistband that was peeking out from underneath my jeans.
Jenny Block answers your questions about open marriage. I'm in an open marriage and my new book, Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage is hitting the shelves as we "speak." That's the short of it. You can read the full story right here on the Tango website. First, there's the piece called "Portrait of an Open Marriage" that was actually the inspiration for the book. And then there's the follow-up piece that I wrote two years later called "Portrait of an Open Marriage.
Is traditional marriage really on its last legs these days? Hell, I don't know. But I do know this: Ideas and suggestions for couples interested in an alternative to life-long monogamy seem to be all around us in the 21st century. I think that's a good thing, and I think it's an honest way to begin a life-long partnership.
A husband and a girlfriend? An unconventional arrangement that works. "I want you to kiss me," she said. Funny she should use those words when they so closely echoed mine more than ten years ago. "I want to kiss you," I had said to my then best friend Sophie Anne. "Me too," Sophie Anne had said to me then. "Are you sure?" was what I said to Jemma, the girl who was now requesting that I do something that I imagined could change a lot of things for a lot of people. Of course, I never could have known then just how much change it would mean.
If it weren't for the rules, and the willingness of two people to respect each other by following those rules, alternative relationships would simply self-destruct. It would be relationship anarchy. Occasionally, the rules are even broken. And sometimes that's ok, too. After all, every hook-up is different than the one that came before, and so with that in mind, all romantic and sexual encounters should probably be judged independently of one another.
In the vast majority of instances, those of us involved in open relationships are by no means swinging naked from the chandeliers at all hours of the day and night. We are not diving headfirst into a writhing group orgy every Friday and Saturday after work. We are not necessarily in the practice of shagging perfect strangers in the men's room of a dark-lit club. In fact, being in an open partnership hasn't been about random sex so much as it's been an incredibly intense emotional education.
You may recognize the actor Michael Gambon from a good many places, but his most commercially successful role is Dumbledore. Dumbledore is Harry Potter's headmaster and is alleged to be gay. Sir Michael Gambon, on the other hand, is not. He actually juggles a wife and a baby's mama pretty successfully.
One of YourTango's most popular articles is on Open Marriages. Jenny Block wrote a frank and 'open' essay about her experience. Reader comments have been all over the spectrum. We recently got an eloquent comment in favor of open relationships. Enjoy.
Rumor has it that musician Pink and her motocross star husband, Casey Hart, appear to be in rough shape. Gossip says that an open relationship is working for one and not the other. Also, Marc Anthony dedicated a song to Jennifer Lopez that may tip his hat about the pregnancy rumor.