Thursday, December 1, 2011

Will Being Open Save Your Marriage?

One of my favourite things to do when standing in line at the supermarket is to catch up on my celebrity gossip. I have a bit of an interest in the trials and tribulations of Brangelina and more recently the demise of Ashton and Demi.

In the case of Brangelina I am constantly amazed at the headlines about their sexcapades. From my ringside seat their antics seem to resemble a lot of the ones I see at swinger's houses and clubs as I go about my swinging business. In short to me they seem like any other couple with a functioning open marriage. Who really cares that they like to party and fuck hard. If I had that many kids so would I. Oh wait.... I don't have that many kids and I still do. Does that make me a freak too?

Now the case of Ashton and Demi is a bit different. In my internet travels I have come across a couple of articles and blog posts that made the observation that perhaps if Ashton and Demi had opened their marriage so that he didn't have to sneak around things might have worked better.

This is an interesting idea. One that has a bit of merit somewhere, somehow. But to think this would be the solution is being a little simplistic. I have an open marriage. But that doesn't mean my husband is free to poke his dick into whatever hole he feels appropriate, to put it crudely. Conversely I am free to express my sexuality and desires but that doesn't mean I am able to partake of every piece of man candy that comes my way.

Open marriage does not mean open slather. Having an agreement that permits extra marital sex still requires both parties to be committed to the success of the marriage and for each partner to be committed to ensuring the needs of their partner are met. Marriage is not easy, nor is it a place where one partner can selfishly indulge his or her desires at the expense of the other. Who is to say that Ashton hadn't expressed his desire to Demi to have another lover and she hadn't told him that she wasn't comfortable with that? Who is to say that instead of working with Demi to come to a solution that worked for both of them Ashton didn't then take the easy road and go behind her back? 

I have seen many examples of people who AREN'T celebrities who want to swing but whose partners either don't think it is morally right or have an objection. These people then come up with some complex justification for doing it behind their partner's back. Then there are people who have open marriages who still aren't getting enough cake and push the limits by doing things behind their partner's backs.

I was chatting with Mrs Fix It the other day about the case of an open marriage that failed about a week after the wedding because one of the partners wasn't happy with the extra marital activities of the other. She heard about this through a very vanilla work colleague. Sadly her colleague is now of the opinion that the open marriage was the problem. Just as open marriage isn't a solution if both parties aren't committed to a long term happy relationship then putting the extra pressure on an already unhealthy relationship is not the root cause of the failure.

Getting back to the original question. Will being open save your marriage? I am not a counsellor. Everyone's situation is different. I can only speak from my experience and what I have observed. I believe very firmly that monogamy is not THE only way to exist. I believe that for some people it works but for many it doesn't. Having more than one sexual partner is a great way to enrich your life and of course to have a good time. At the end of the day the key to a good relationship is not how much or what type of sex there is. The key is both parties committing to meeting the needs of the other and having some fun along the way.

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