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  1. #1

    Default Open relationships: The New York Times

    An extraordinary article: Is an Open Marriage a Happier Marriage?


  2. #2

    Default re: Open relationships: The New York Times

    The unfortunate part of this article is that while he originally up the idea of having an open marriage (but she 'rejected the idea'), and before they actually talked again about her now wanting to try an open marriage, she ended up cheating on him with another guy and said 'This is what Iím doing ó deal with it'.

    This was not at all what Daniel had in mind when he proposed opening the marriage. They had not agreed on anything ahead of time; they had not, as a couple, talked about their commitment to each other, about how they would manage and tend to each otherís feelings.
    I don't know why they can't find a couple of 'regular' people who both love and trust each other and decide to swing or open their marriage. It seems like there are new couples coming here almost on a daily basis that say just that. They've been married for years and have decided to spice things up by swinging. They talked about it, together decided to give it a try, and went out TOGETHER to see if they would be okay doing this.

    I'm glad that things worked out for the couple in the article, and any publicity is good publicity, but it would be nice to have an article about open marriage and/or swinging that didn't involve deception and lies as part of the trail to get there.
    If you donít have to lie about sex, you donít have to lie about anything. - John Williamson

  3. #3

    Default re: Open relationships: The New York Times

    It was a nice article relating one couple's experience.

    I think some of us (count the husband and myself amongst those that came to consider open marriage late)get so ingrained in the singular highway of defining a "successful" marriage that you go through a lot of life never asking if there might be other roads leading to the same destination.

    "Oh no we can't go THERE!"

    On the one hand we are taught that a marriage is not all about the sex, there is so much more to it than that and yet, at the same time, it is also ingrained that having a sexual relationship with someone outside is an automatic deal breaker for a marriage even when there is so much else that is good about the relationship. Which is it? Is sex the foundation of marriage or is it only an ancillary part? Pardon my musings.

    I do agree that with the couple only having it come about after she had already found herself straying points to other issues, though maybe not a death knell variety.

    Perhaps, it was more of an extreme catalyst that was needed to make her realize that with her strong religious up brining, she had accepted what marriage should be without question. Only when she realized that it was indeed possible to have feelings for another man and still be very much in love with her husband did she really think to herself it was time to start asking questions.

  4. #4

    Default re: Open relationships: The New York Times

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldCoCouple View Post
    it would be nice to have an article about open marriage and/or swinging that didn't involve deception and lies as part of the trail to get there.
    You raise an important point. Bear in mind that the article sort of follows a classic story line: situation, risk/threat, resolution.

  5. #5

    Default re: Open relationships: The New York Times

    Quote Originally Posted by TexasTwosome View Post
    On the one hand we are taught that a marriage is not all about the sex, there is so much more to it than that and yet, at the same time, it is also ingrained that having a sexual relationship with someone outside is an automatic deal breaker for a marriage even when there is so much else that is good about the relationship. Which is it? Is sex the foundation of marriage or is it only an ancillary part? Pardon my musings.
    On the contrary, such musings are pivotal to this board.

    We would argue that sex and sexuality are central to adult life. Sexual exclusivity is conventionally used to define and circumscribe marriage ("Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?"), The problem, of course, is that biology runs headlong into culture. How often do we see novices looking to "spice up their marriage"? That phrase acknowledges the tension. While there are surely sexless marriages, and while are surely there are asexual humans, sex is foundation to (most) adult lives and to (most) marriages. At its best, marital sex is joyous. Some marital sex is less joyous--makeup sex, pity sex, going-through-the-motions-sex. But it's still pretty good. Sex is generally pretty good. Whoever doesn't like physical pleasure and orgasms, you're free to leave the conversation.

    The angst arises with the possibility that someone else might be able not only to make your spouse feel good--but maybe do it better than you. The perceived vulnerability--the threat--is of marital dissolution and consequent abandonment.

    What makes a marriage "successful"? We would suggest that it is one that not only survives but actually thrives on events that occur both inside (e.g. raising kids) and outside (e.g. choosing how to interact with the complex pressures of work, money,time) the marriage. At the root of such success is the notion of partnership--"we are in this together, come what may, with and for each other, til death do us part".

  6. #6

    Default re: Open relationships: The New York Times

    I think this is the best story I've ever seen in the popular press on the subject of consensual non-monogamy, mostly from a poly perspective.(I could have some institutional bias given that half a lifetime e ago I wrote for The Times for a decade.) Based on some of the comments here, I'm wondering if all the commenters have read the entire 12,000 word story. (This is, by the way, an unheard of length for even a feature story in a newspaper today!)

    This is not about a single couple, and it's the exact opposite of the typical popular-press titilating but cautionary tale (the kind that just annoys me.) It is about the experiences of a half dozen couples of various backgrounds and approaches to non-monogamy and the writer interviewed extensively - following up over the course of more than a year - 25 couples. She spoke with and quotes at length several sex-positive therapists and there is scarcely a cautionary note.

    What I found most positive was her suggestion that in the 21st century a fundamental change is emerging that represents a wider approach to how committed relationships can be defined. Was the primary focus of the story about what most of us here think of as Swinging? No. But any story that is aimed at a vanilla audience, albeit an informed and open-minded one, and validates non-traditional sexual lifestyles is, in my opinion, a good one for those of us in the lifestyle. Who among us wouldn't wish we could be more open with our vanilla family and friends about our sexual lifestyle choices? Not have to worry about losing jobs, family or friends?

    And of course in the long term (perhaps the quite long term) there is a greater potential benefit, more than just being freed from possible negative repercussions of being outed as a member of a disrespected sexual minority. As poly and other varieties of sexuality eventually become more fully accepted, our choices of partners will become wider.

  7. #7

    Default re: Open relationships: The New York Times

    Quote Originally Posted by Fundamental Law View Post
    An extraordinary article: Is an Open Marriage a Happier Marriage?
    What else are you reading? Great article!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Open relationships: The New York Times

    Well, this kept me entertained for days! Very well researched and well written article. Prior to reading this article, I was convinced that I read pretty much everything that there is to read about open relationships, but this article references many interesting sources that I've never heard of! Thorough work.

    That said, even I couldn't read it in one sitting - and I'm decidedly interested in the subject! It's a bit tedious to read, and the overall feeling I was left with when I read it all, was that, well,.. open relationships happen. I couldn't get excited about open relationships as a result of reading this article, the stories seemed cold and detached, describing the practicalities of these arrangements, but largely omitting emotional aspects and benefits.

    Comments from the readers were chilling - predominantly negative and some rather aggressive. Sometimes we need to be reminded what the rest of the world thinks about unconventional relationships.

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