Tell me what your thoughts are on open marriages?

I'm a psychology grad student, and after taking a human sexuality psychology course I became ever so aware of how messed up we are in the way we handle our sexuality, particularly in the United States. That being said, coming from a pretty strict Catholic upbringing where sex in any form whether through self pleasure or with another was strictly forbidden outside of marriage my beliefs were very conflicting as I saw the "followers" of the faith were in fact, not practicing what they preached. The kids (and even the adults) around me in my Catholic school were doing things that other kids werent doing and having sex was just one of the many vices. It made me question the status quo later in life. So here I am now wondering why we have set up these social constructs on love and how love should be given, on a basis of religious teaching. I remind myself again that Im not a radical religious Bible thumping quack that believes every word in the bible comes directly from God, and that a man's hand wrote down what may have been inspiried by god but was obviously interpreted and transformed into what that person wanted the almighty "God" to say. I mean come on, Jesus's message was love "everyone" and that means everyone, he never set up rules to dictate how that love should be professed, but his disciples sure did. It's not surprising that woman continued to be considered property throughout human history up unitl the very last 100 years (but thats another topic to be discussed later). So here we are today, fast forward to present day, are we any different? Yes we are more sexually expressive in the way we behavior in the United States but still don't talk about it, its a "hush hush" matter. We are still confined and constricted within our religious teachings that tell us what is and what is not right as far as human love is to be expressed. My theory is that during the dark ages when we killed one another for what we wanted, marriage was a way for the religious leaders (lets not mention our corrupt and crazy many of the popes were in history) to keep the sex crazed human from going around and doing every guy or gal on the block whenever and however they wanted. Wrapped up in a the guise of religious teaching, with a stamp of God on it to quell the raving sex crazed they were told that Gods wrath would come to smite them if they did not conform. Marriage became a social construct on the guise of religious propaganda. Now that we are far more advanced and more civil in our behavior, I might add, we have come to a point where we should question religious place in love relationships. Religion, who are you to tell me who I can and cannot love? Sure tell me not to harm others, ask that I lead a good life, but get the heck out of my relationships. As long as Im not hurting anyone then leave me alone. Now, how does this all tie into my question? Well, I am trying to set a precedence for why I'm asking it. I think marriage serves a good purpose, you choose a companion, you raise kids together, and it is a financially sound investment for that purpose. However, to limit marriages to loving only one person, seems to not have much grounds anymore. Haven't we advanced enough as a species to be able to maintain other relationships? Whether we would like to admit it or not, we are not built for monogahmy, and we are still driven by our animal instincts very much so and the more we fight it the more we see people rebel against it. So I think for an open marriage to be successfull, honestly is key and being safe is a must. I see my parents and my friends parents who have been divorced countless times, struggle with this very idea that this controlled strict environment seems to be everything they dont want in the end. I dont think I would be detest to my husband having a girlfriend on the side. If we got sick of each other I'd send him to her and then he might realize how much he missed me in the end. No jealousy as I would have my own recourse as well. So now that I've stated a claim for open marriages, what are everyone else's thoughts on the topic? Are we capable of having them? Is our society due for another sexual revolution, where we no longer deny the innate natural sexual drives that persist through everything we eat, breath, see and touch? Consider some European countries where open marraige is common, and take a look at their statistics as far as STD rates, teen pregnancy rates, and rate of first sexual experience among their young... Like Sweden.

Update:

@ common sense. I dont think I'm confusing sex with love. I think I'm questioning the boundaries that society places upon us, that drills into us the minute we are born. I dont compare the dark ages to the united states I only bring that up as an example of how we "used to be" The United States is very unique in that it comprises cultures from every part of the world, and we are very accepting of everyone. Most other societies are monoethnic, and very predjudice of anything that is different. I applaud and love my country, although I think we still have a ways to go in setting the example of sexual acceptance.

@ the prophet: if you had read my entire description I said that religion can set precedence and example for what is wrong like hurting others aka murdering or stealing. Set rules and boundaries for those things, but stay the heck out of my love relationships as long as I'm not hurting or harming other people let me love whoever and whatever i want as

Update 2:

@the prophet: oh by the way I am a human factors engineer / cognitive psychology grad. My education will have applications that far exceed what I am capable of doing. I just had the pleasure of being able to take an elective, like human sexuality

@everyone: Although some of you disagree with me, thats good! I like that. Its a healthy discussion, exercise your freedom of speech. This is America baby! Cheers!

Update 3:

@the prophet: i meant to say whoever and whatever I want as long as they are consenting (human) adults...

Update 4:

@ commons sense: correction to my original statement to you, you were right, I did compare sex with love, but I think anything is possible. So loving another, having sex with another, as long as its controlled and within the boundaries of what is acceptable between two people who love each other and have decided that an open marriages is what they want. How about this theory, say that I am okay with my husband having a gf on the side or if he messes up and has a one night stand its okay as long as he is honest and up front about it? Is the temptation no longer there to rebel and press the envelope? In theory a middle ground would need to be achieved. Our policitcians struggle themselves with finding a middle political ground, and that seems to be how society works, we're either black or white (metaphorically speaking duh! this isnt a race issue! lol), all or nothing, and yet I think many of us are in the middle but feel like we cant be accepted that way. How sad.

9 Answers

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  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Common Sense has a good point. Most open marriages are about the sex, not the love. Polyamory (I hope that's spelled correctly) is more about being in love with more than one person. There are all different types of open marriages. My husband and I are in one of those types of marriage. For us (me) it's more about the lust and power. For my husband, it's about the wait, and the knowledge that his wife is being naughty. It didn't come easy for us (me). It took over two years of indulging my husbands fantasy, and some role playing, then the perfect circumstances to try the real thing. Jealousy and possessiveness has no role in an open marriage. If the couple truly loves each other, there has to be ground rules and boundaries. You must respect each other enough that if one person wants out, the other has to oblige that desire. It's complicated, yet very fulfilling at the same time.

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  • 8 years ago

    You are thoroughly confusing sex with love.

    Open marriages are just to have permission and understanding that the couple is free to roam and explore their sexual desires outside of the marriage.

    Not everyone is going to want to share their wife/husband.

    If a couple has an understanding to allow bed hopping, then, that is their business. However, there are many unpleasant side effects to the sexual freedom you speak of.

    Singling out the United States is silly. The history of the United States does not date back to the dark ages or have anything to do with your history lesson here.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    I would be able to be in an Open Marriage as long as I don't have to hear, see or know about the other woman (women) and I am not obligated to disclose any information about whether or not I have or will act upon the open part of our marriage. In other words, don't ask, don't tell. Closed marriage is fine too but it better be closed on both ends, not just mine.

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  • God
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Truly open marriages work only for some. For many others swinging works better, as both partners are involved and it becomes a "couple experience".

    My wife and I are swingers - we've been doing it for years with no jealousy or regrets. We treat it as a simple sexual adventure with no other strings attached. We also have very good communication... Neither of us is interested in an "open marriage" per se, where each partner has their own dates with others.

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  • Anne
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    Personally, I couldn't stomach it. I love my husband. He loves me. We might go through times when we are closer in our relationship and times when we are further apart, but the end game is that we are always there for each other in the bad times. We take our vows seriously because we understand that they aren't going to be easy to keep. I expect him to be attracted to other women and I expect me to be attracted to other men, but there is no need to act on those attractions.

    However, if others want an open marriage, I don't have an issue with that. It's just not my cup of tea.

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  • Stacy
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Fine for other people, I however would never be okay with. With all the diseases in this world, why would I risk my health? I've made it almost 30 years without one STD, and I don't want to break that record ever. If I didn't want a monogamous relationship, I wouldn't get married or be in a relationship. I would stay single and sleep with who I wanted- that makes more sense to me.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    If both people understand the dangers of an open marriage and the rules are spelled out...Go for it. Just understand that the green eye monster is looking over your shoulder and once the monster is out of the bottle you are on a slippery slope.

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  • 8 years ago

    Fornication, adultery and homosexuality are ALL still sin. Do not confuse things being "socially acceptable" or not against the law as acceptable to a HOLY GOD. We are fleshly creatures prone to sin but for any religious leader to promote sin as righteous, just or Holy is the mark of a FALSE prophet. You may get by with grace and mercy but you miss out of the blessing that only can come with obedience. You educated elitists are foolish to think you can sit on the seat of judging sin. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. And for your information Jesus told the prostitute he rescued from being stoned to go forth and sin no more. He did not tell her go ahead and keep sinning. Liberal colleges are the most over-rated of all institutes of learning. Psychology is one of the most worthless degrees. What can you do with it? As far as human behavior people do what THEY want. So you think because people can't stop stealing or murdering we ought to change the law? Just let them do it.

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  • Kayla
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    I personally can't have a open marriage. I can't share my husband with someone else, I just can't. And it sort of breaks the vows doesn't it? about the being faithful part.

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