Open Relationships: Is This the Key to a Long Lasting Partnership?
I’ve never been in an open relationship or marriage. However, I’m starting to think that there are more couples who are. Many couples are challenging the perception of a traditional relationship in order to keep that spark. Last week, news circulated that actress Jada Pinkett-Smith confirmed that she and actor Will Smith were in an open marriage. At least that’s what the articles headlines were. When I read the article, I wasn’t surprised that the actress didn’t give a direct answer. She didn’t state” Will and I are in an open marriage”. According to The Huffington Post the actress stated:
‘You can do whatever you want as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror and be OK,'” “Because at the end of the day, Will is his own man. I’m here as his partner, but he is his own man. He has to decide who he wants to be and that’s not for me to do for him. Or vice versa.”
There was no direct answer, but in 2008, Will Smith apparently admitted they were.
Has cheating become so prevalent in relationships and marriages that people are now agreeing that it’s ok to have sex with others as long as specific boundaries are set? I would imagine that the he/she is going to cheat anyway mentality plays a role in this. Or maybe we feel that by exploring our options and sleeping with other people; it takes the guess work out of wondering whether or not someone is cheating. We don’t have the worries of trying to figure out if someone is being faithful. We both have the option to see others as long as we know where home is. It alleviates the boring routine and allows each person to get a new “perspective” by sleeping with someone new. In reality, if we allow our mate to have sex with others, I can really see how the relationship/marriage works out.
Even though boundaries are set, there is always the potential for things to go horribly wrong. I can’t help but to ask myself the following questions.
What happens if one person decides they don’t want to be in an open relationship/marriage anymore? Do you just abruptly tell your partner to stop screwing other people?
What happens if your partner falls for the side piece? Or better yet, what happens when the side piece no longer wants to be the side piece? Jealously is something that could interfere with any relationship.
If you’re in an open relationship, doesn’t that somewhat put you in a friends with benefits zone? Fidelity plays a huge part in commitment.
Can we count on our partner to practice safe sex every time?
I have mixed feelings about open relationships and marriages. I think that each one is different and has its own dynamics, but I also think this opens the door to many problems. People have to do what’s best for their partnership. I don’t personally feel like it’s for me; especially in a marriage. It sounds like agreed adultery to me. With the divorce rate being at 50%, it definately makes me wonder if these types of arrangements make for a better partnership; especially when cheating and finances are the top causes of divorce and break-ups.
What are your thoughts on open relationships and marriages?