Before I got married, I thought marriage was all about monogamy—two people committed to one another and, ta-da! That’s marriage. Right? I skipped through the first few years of my own marriage more or less laboring under this belief that everyone did it our way, right up until my partner and I found out that our close friends were in an open marriage.
I mean, it’s not like we cared in any sort of judgmental way. But this wasn’t something we had a lot of familiarity with, and we were curious about it. And frankly, we were surprised that people we knew well were in an open marriage, and that we had no idea. Realizing that people in our own social circle had opened up their marriage spurred us to have our own conversation about open marriages: What do they mean? What would it mean for us, specifically? Is this something we would ever consider doing?
We both arrived at our answer (no, neither of us is interested in an open marriage) pretty quickly, but continued to explore the idea. Why were we not interested in it? Was it a knee-jerk reaction, or did we have deeper reasoning? It turns out we were both concerned about the emotional connections formed in outside relationships and how that would play out in our marriage. Turns out, though, our concerns were based on totally different reasoning. My partner thought the idea of bringing another emotional creature into our life was laughable and terrifying, while I just didn’t think I could expend the energy, patience, and flat-out time that it takes to truly connect with another romantic partner.
But for all the ways that open marriage doesn’t seem right for us—at least right now—I know plenty of APW couples are in open marriages and relationships that are flourishing. Plus, I know others of you are exploring the idea of opening up your marriage. And while I’m into monogamy, I’m also in the “never say never” camp when it comes to, well, everything… so I want the scoop. Life is long, and I don’t know what we’ll be into in two decades.
I’m curious to know: would you be into an open marriage? Why or why not? If you are in an open marriage, how does it impact your relationships? Do you have kids? Tell me everything.