I'm Open: Why Jenny Wants To Talk


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. Take Two." I wrote that for the same reason that I will be blogging here:  the topic of open relationships leads to lots of questions for lots of people.

I'll be here every week to answer your questions, respond to your comments, and address things in my relationships as well as issues in the world at large when it comes to all things related to love, sex, marriage, and relationships related, especially open relationships. I plan to start with a few questions that I've been storing up. They're questions that a number of people have asked and so I figured they'd be great for a forum like this.

One of the most common questions I get is, Why talk publicly about this? The answer is two-fold. First is because I'm a writer and it's what I do. There is nothing better than honest writing. So if I'm going to write memoir, my marriage and relationships are going to naturally be a part of that. The second reason is more complex. I reveal myself because I believe people need that from one another.

We all live such isolated lives in some ways. We go from our house to our car to our cubicle, stopping only to tell the kids to have a good day at school, the barista whether it's a grande or a venti kind of day, and our co-workers when we need that Power Point presentation finished. But the truth is that we're dying for human connection. And one of the reasons that we want that connection is so that we can feel "normal."

I think there are a lot of people out there in unhappy marriages, trapped by the social construct and all that it demands. But monogamous marriage is the one and only thing that we're told is possible. That or, ultimately, being alone. And so we sign up and we hang in despite biological desire for more sexual partners and/or more loving relationships.

And it's terrifying to think that we are the only ones having these thoughts. So we keep them to ourselves. We order our Subway foot-long and ask about the parking attendant's family and suppress all the important conversations we are desperate to have.

So, despite the fact that I have and know I will continue to take slack for both my lifestyle and sharing it, I didn't want to be alone anymore. And the result has been amazing. People from all over are writing to tell me how relieved they were that someone else is having the same feelings that they are. Relieved that they are not alone. Relieved that there is at least a starting point for this conversation. Relieved to discover that they are "normal" and perhaps that Cinderella isn't.

There's not only one way to live and to love.

I won't lie. It's not always easy being in a non-traditional relationship. Nor is it always easy baring my soul to the universe. But I believe both means are well worth their ends. That's why I wrote the articles and the book and that is why I happily accepted the invitation from Tango to host this forum. I welcome your questions and comments. The only thing I ask is that you be respectful of me and one another. There is nothing like a good discussion. But flame wars are not my thing. Looking forward to "seeing you" next week.

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