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Discussion » Questions » Relationships » How would you feel if your spouse asked you to make your marriage an "Open Marriage.?"

How would you feel if your spouse asked you to make your marriage an "Open Marriage.?"

I hear it's not really about sex, right?  It's Just having opposite sex friends, right?

Posted - June 26


  • 32950


      It’s a bit confusing what you’re asking here when you added on the part about it’s not a sex thing. I think the term “open marriage” is 100% about sex, so a non-sexual context seems to be something entirely different. Friendships with people of different genders can take place without sex being a part of it, but is the question about secretive friendships, friendships that intentionally exclude one’s spouse, something along those lines?

      If my wife were to suggest or request or propose some kind of open marriage, my “feeling” would be an eerie one, as if I had woken up in some parallel universe or bizarro world where everything I knew and understood was now all topsy-turvy. She just doesn’t roll like that. I can’t even imagine it as abstract possibility, let alone remote possibility. 


      June 26, 2020 2:03 AM MDT

  • 4451
    :  )
      June 26, 2020 7:11 AM MDT

  • 3515
    It's true.   After looking into it, it seems Nena and George O,neal, who wrote the book, Open Marriage, were promoting a liberal, communal lifestyle wherein families could share accommodation, responsibilities, recreation, sex, etc.  -- each area optional.  Sex may have been thrown in to bring in the wife swappers and swingers, who were gaining membership at the time, 1973 or 4.  But if you read the reviews, sex was only a small part, maybe even an after thought.  The swingers and swappers took over the movement and changed its character. 
      June 29, 2020 5:20 PM MDT

  • 32950


      When you write “It’s true”, and then give anecdotal evidence of a single instance, it ignores the fact that an opposing perspective also exists wherein an open marriage absolutely signifies a sexual connotation as its primary purpose or function. I don’t dispute that it may be true in certain instances, but those are clearly not the majority.

      Even with the lone example you cite, it remains true that one of the very first things that come to mind when mentioning an open marriage is the principle model of one or both spouses giving or being given permission to seek sexual release from another person or other people outside of the bounds of the marriage. 


      June 30, 2020 4:21 AM MDT

  • 3515
    Quit right. Here's the perspective of the NY Times, March 26, 2006:

    When "Open Marriage" appeared, some readers interpreted its choicest lines ("Sexual fidelity is the false god of closed marriage") as a license to cheat.

    But on the very next page, the O'Neills seemed to back away from that provocative stance: "We are not recommending outside sex, but we are not saying that it should be avoided, either. The choice is entirely up to you."

    She brought this up in 1975.  Just after we were married and was trying not to loose her identity, being Mrs. Me.  I have no doubt she's been a faithful wife for almost 50 years.  That was the dumbest thing she has ever suggested.

      July 3, 2020 2:13 AM MDT

  • 32950


      “Quit” right or “Quite” right? There is a difference. 

      (loose lose)

      As far as your last paragraph is concerned, I don’t know if it refers to these mysterious O’Neill people or to your personal experience. Overall, your entire comment is a bit disjointed and indecipherable. I don’t know what its point is, but please don’t misinterpret that to mean I am requesting any clarification or deeper explanation. I’m good with it just the way it is, really I am. 

      July 3, 2020 6:25 AM MDT

  • 3515
    Thanks, Randy.  I loved hearing how you feel about your wife.  You are a lucky man.  So am I.   See you around.
      July 3, 2020 9:37 PM MDT

  • 21275
    "Open marriage" is about having permission to have sex with someone else.  And that it is 'only sex' with no emotional connection as that is for the married spouse. 

    If my husband suggested that seriously....he would be free to do what he wanted. Because I would be filing for divorce.  That said it is not something he or I would ever suggest. 
      June 26, 2020 7:31 AM MDT

  • 4399
    First, I would question anybody who seriously believed that marriage means you can't have friends of the opposite gender.

    Second, "Open Marriage" only means that the couple is able to have sexual relations outside the marriage.  In the 1960s and 1970s, such couples were called "Swingers".

    Third, if someone doesn't want to "be true" to a single person - they shouldn't get married.
      June 26, 2020 7:52 AM MDT

  • 13119
    Divorced.  At that moment.
      June 26, 2020 6:51 PM MDT

  • 422
    "Oh, really? You'd do that for me?" 

    "Well, then, what had we been having so far?"

    "Honey, if you want to bang Bob, just say it."

    ... I don't know, it's hard to imagine for several reasons.
      July 3, 2020 4:07 AM MDT

  • 7791
    The only person I've ever personally known who read the book you're referencing with genuine interest and enthusiasm literally belonged to a cult. I can't say whether the people involved bastardized the teachings of the book or followed it (I haven't read it) but it was incredibly effed up. And, there were children in that cult who were physically abused and sexually abused. I know one of them- an adult survivor now (her mom was the book owner). Her "cousins" who also grew up in the cult are dead. Killed by their own mother who apparently lost her sh*t when her husband filed for divorce. I *think* there was another woman involved... that was the family's speculation, anyway, but I really don't know. 

    So... I would take a pass if someone pitched that to me. I mean, I tend to be pretty open-minded, but I kind of draw the line on cults, abuse, and murder. 
      July 3, 2020 11:11 PM MDT

  • 32950



    (Just in case anyone doesn’t know, I’m merely being sarcastic.)


      July 3, 2020 11:26 PM MDT

  • 9819
    Not happening. She's just barely short of turning into a nun.
      July 4, 2020 12:04 AM MDT