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Closed to open marriages?

One of my favorite recording artists, Jill Scott, caused a little buzz on Twitter yesterday. She happened to ask the question, “What do you think about open relationships?”, which garnered loads of responses.

She went on to pose this scenario “The love of your life cheats and is honest about it. Your life with him/her is everything but monogamous. Do you stay?”

I actually had to think about it for a long time! Do I walk away or do I find a way to handle it? The older I get, the more I realize what is most important.

If I had to make a choice, I would want/prefer my man to tell me before he explores his attraction to other women. Now does this mean I would jump for joy if my husband/partner sought out other people while we are supposed to be exclusive? Absolutely not! I can barely share a remote control!

I just think when two people commit to a life together, I can appreciate the deep honesty it takes to explore an open relationship.

For a long time, I believed that I wasn’t built to commit to one person. Although I have never cheated in a relationship, I simply questioned if I was capable of being with one man for the rest of my life. Could he be enough? Could I be enough? Could we convince each other that “we” were enough?

For the record, I don’t believe that open marriage is just about women kowtowing to male desires. It’s not always about having sanctioned trips to the sexual buffet of women.

To be perfectly honest, I think exploring an open relationship is like this really pragmatic approach to commitment. It’s for those who believe that it is impossible for one person to fulfill all your needs.

If the most painful part of cheating is the deception and lies, will being honest about your attraction to other people make a difference?

Could you be in an open relationship? Could you define an open marriage on your own terms?

Would you tell people that you had that kind of relationship?

What are your apprehensions about the idea?

Do you think more single people would marry if the open marriage option was on the table? Not talking about swinging lifestyle, per se. I am referring to a couple both agreeing to let each other know when they meet someone they feel a strong attraction to.

By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Dating Blog

477 comments Add your comment

Blackfoote: The Real Blackfoote

August 4th, 2011
10:32 am

LOL….@Doggette

Into the Light

August 4th, 2011
10:33 am

Ouch!! Good for him, though, that he found out before it went on any longer. I wonder if Jarvis was listening…and if Jarvis has another girl….

Lovely Brown- Beautiful but selfish as hell!

August 4th, 2011
10:34 am

Simple Man……

August 4th, 2011
10:10 am
Purple, Who did Cain and Able marry????? And please don’t tell me the twins from the movie ATL….

:lol: :lol: :lol:

I love that movie!

SlimNu

August 4th, 2011
10:35 am

Seems like everyday we navigate more and more into the carnal urges without circumstance, caring of the consequence or caring who is hurt in the end. We want what we want, when we want it, however way we can get it…I want that ONE partner that will be my homie, lover, friend, confidant, supporter etc…a person who is willing to put in the work to maintain a strong foundation together so when the weather gets bad, no matter what, we can still be found standing—->Together! Not someone who claims that i’m their plan but actions all point to i’m just an option…I want to be the entre, not just a la carte lol

Celisea

August 4th, 2011
10:36 am

ITL – Good question. Jarvis being playing around for six years and just had a rock to fall on him concerning his offspring? Yeah, he’s not only selfish but I’d venture to say he’s been messing around. Women can be dummies sometimes. You got a potentially good dude and screwed that up over some “baby daddy” crap. Six years?? Please…after all this time he couldn’t lick my boots….lol

Celisea

August 4th, 2011
10:37 am

Slim – I want to be the entre, not just a la carte lol

Here here. No other way to go.

Purple Reign

August 4th, 2011
10:38 am

Whatever happened to morals, standards and respect?

SexyCool

August 4th, 2011
10:38 am

Slim – 1035a – thatisthetruth.com

czBrat

August 4th, 2011
10:38 am

those who practice open marriages will say it required honesty and maturity. those of us who practice monogomous relationships will say that IT requires honesty and maturity. as Leggs said, i’m not judging your choices. if what you do works for all parties involved, so be it. you don’t answer to me.

i have found much more honesty and maturity in this man who clearly communicates his wants, needs, desires and expectations than the man who chose to be unfaithful without giving me the benefit of making an informed decision for MYSELF as to whether or not i was ok with sharing my husband. or whether or not i might have liked to share his wife.

Into the Light

August 4th, 2011
10:40 am

I want that ONE partner that will be my homie, lover, friend, confidant, supporter etc…a person who is willing to put in the work to maintain a strong foundation together so when the weather gets bad, no matter what, we can still be found standing—->Together!

You said that so well, Slim.

I found out the hard way that you really learn a lot about someone in a crisis. When Mr. ITL and I were going through a loss, he couldn’t even talk about it, much less be supportive. He chose to take his comfort with someone else. There are times I think that if he knocked on my door today, I’d slap his face.

Leggs

August 4th, 2011
10:41 am

@PR ~ sorry Coach. I don’t rightly remember to be honest. I was so focused on the clock and calories, I don’t remember what the distance was! Don’t crack my knuckles, don’t crack my knuckles…I’ll pay attention next time on the distance!

Into the Light

August 4th, 2011
10:43 am

Sorry, Coach, I missed my workout yesterday. It was after 8 when I left the office, and I just wanted to go home. I’ll do better today. :)

Exiled!

August 4th, 2011
10:46 am

Good morning!

I am not doing Open stuff. I wld Loathe it cox I cannot stomach somebody getting into my cookie jar!

But I wll do polygamy if the stars and money is str8!

Open marriages and swinging is new to me. Seems like a purely Western(america,holland,UK etc)
creation.

If it calms and makes u happy u to watch ur wife being rocked by another man while u there,
fiddling ur balls,more power to u!

Leggs

August 4th, 2011
10:46 am

@Celisea ~ what I don’t get is how people don’t know these radio calls are usually set up. Even I, who likes to win, would still be apprehensive on a free trip like that and require to give them the name of the person I wanted to take. Like Fred Sanford so eloquently states, You Big Dummy!!

And, how do you throw your present relationship away because “baby daddy” is finally stepping up to the plate. How crass and disrespectful can one be? Before “baby daddy” stepped back to the plate, bet new dude was helping out! She’s a scammer and now has been scammed. She got her just desserts! Plain and simple! Hope he kicks her to the curb with a steel toe army boot!!

Purple Reign

August 4th, 2011
10:46 am

Excuses are just like azzholes, everyone has one and I don’t care to hear or see them. Get in gear and make sure your end the week distance totals are spot on.

i'm swiss™

August 4th, 2011
10:50 am

On topic: Eh, I couldn’t do it, but if it works for you, then more power to you. My best friend and his (now ex) wife had an open marriage for years & the seemed happy, but obviously all was not as it appeared. I don’t know if the “open” arrangement was the root of the problem or not, though.

On a related note… d@ng, it’s getting a little judgmental in here this morning… :lol:

kimmie

August 4th, 2011
10:50 am

Hey Gang!

It would definitely not work for me. Like SCool, I like such things regular. But do you. And don’t knock me or call me unenlighted or not hip for not wanting to go the “open” route.

Plus, a few things inevitably seem to happen with such arrangements. Somebody gets tired of it and gets jealous. One was never comfortable with it to begin with but did it to hold on to the other. Yall get old & wore-out. Somebody wants to get with one of the outsiders full-time.

And no, some dude being “honest” with me before going to do the do with someone else is not going to soften the blow by any means. Ignorance will be bliss for me until I find out the old fashioned way – he gets sloppy!

Don’t judge me.

Simple Man......

August 4th, 2011
10:51 am

Hey Bad Nuzz….You wife told me to tell you teh lighten up….She said she will be home as soon as her eyes roll back into place…..

Purple Reign

August 4th, 2011
10:52 am

So does open marriage mean just sex or does it include dates, vacations, going to church rasing kids..where is the line drawn? What if you enjoy the other person more than your spouse, is that grounds for a divorce?

Celisea

August 4th, 2011
10:53 am

Igg zackly Leggs Igg zackly

Purple Reign

August 4th, 2011
10:53 am

Or he brings a kid or disease home kimmie.

Leggs

August 4th, 2011
10:54 am

DAMN! I think I’m going to be a free agent….

Sassy Black..Make it rain down on Meee ;-)

August 4th, 2011
10:56 am

everyday we navigate more and more into the carnal urges without circumstance, caring of the consequence or caring who is hurt in the end.

That’s real talk Slim Nu and I agree with your 10:35. It’s like more and more often people are finding all sorts of justifications that will allow them to give in and indulge those urges..regardless of the consequence. What I don’t understand is when things get jacked up and the wheels fall off errbody’s walking around looking like :shock: ….wha had happened?

SlimNu

August 4th, 2011
10:57 am

She said she will be home as soon as her eyes roll back into place…..

My first :lol: of the day….daaaaaang!

I know that an open situation won’t work for me at this point in time…tried something minutely similar to that once with the ex of 8+years and the glove just didn’t fit so I had to quit lol…

Purple Reign

August 4th, 2011
10:57 am

A restricted free agent!

kimmie

August 4th, 2011
10:57 am

Slim – You said it lady on that 10:35!

Light – You really do find out what folks are about thru a crisis. That’s something I observed about my parents marriage that they did very well – they could argue till the cows came home, but they were totally down for each other when times were rough!

People run around doing everything they are big enough to do all willy-nilly with everybody. They don’t see how important it is to have someone truly have your back when a crisis or illness strikes. Those cuties you are running around with on the side are not going to be there to even bring you a glass of water. Think about it!

Leggs

August 4th, 2011
10:58 am

kimmie

August 4th, 2011
10:59 am

Purple – Yep!

Oh by the way, doing great on the workout plan! I am beginning to feel so much better about myself. I was starting to feel miserable. Glad yesterday was my rest day because it was a rotten day at work.

Exiled!

August 4th, 2011
10:59 am

Yes Swiss!

Very judgementally wrong people on the blog.

And some of the arguments are using God! Laughable!

God was used to justify colonialism,slavery etc.

Be wary when folks wanna bolster their argument by invoking God.

And how can u criticize Open marriages when u have never been open to it.

I wld guess people who do it(men and women) are clearly mentally prepared to do it.

Just saying…

Now if u wanna know bout Polygamy,ask me!

kimmie

August 4th, 2011
11:00 am

Purple – A kid, disease – that falls under sloppy as well!

SportyNCutieATL

August 4th, 2011
11:02 am

I think open relationships and marriages are only a few decades away. More people are getting married and/or into long term relationships later in life. 75-100 years ago, most women married out of need or a sense of obligation which gave men the opportunity to pick from a waiting pool of available ladies.

Women today are more independent, educated, self-sufficient, and are choosing to way out all their options before they settle down. We are taking our time in picking a mate that fits into our lifestyles and ultimatley into our futures. I think alot of modern guys appreciate this, because they dont have to feel pressured to “stick around” if there is no true connection. They can take their time and it gives them the freedom to, for a lack of a better phrase, walk around the lot and test drive a few cars before buying one.

I feel it is this element that leds to more open relationships. Attractions to other people are going to happen – being married or having a bf/gf doesn’t change that – the dating scene today is more willing to embrace the idea.

I am not a big believer in monogyay – I think its very rare and that it only works in about 25% of relationships (world wide divorce stats can back this up). However, I am not a cheater and have been in a long term relationship with my partner for almost 12 years. We are not swingers, dont have random bf or gfs on the side but we respect each other and have open dialog on this topic for years. We are free to speak up and say wow she’s hot or check out that guy. I think it keeps the relationship honest. Its worked for us for 12 years and I think as long as we are open and truthful, it will continue to work.

Into the Light

August 4th, 2011
11:03 am

Sloppy, messy, and too much for me. I’m sliding across the hood Daisy Duke-style and burning rubber out of there.

Robert

August 4th, 2011
11:03 am

@Badd Nuzz – I hope my comments helped someone. No matter how you judge my opinions they are relavent regarding this topic. The key to any successful relationship (marriage) is adapting to change.

czBrat

August 4th, 2011
11:05 am

norms are changing. lines are blurred. visible tatts & piercings are becoming openly acceptable. same sex relationships are becoming openly acceptable. we are becoming desensitized to crime. we are lowering our “expectations” on so many fronts. before we know it, we will look around and find that good old fashioned, traditional family values are, indeed, not widely practiced.

as long as the man i share a life and home with and i are on the same page, we’ll continue to be each other’s comfort from these raging changes. and if someday he chooses to explore a different lifestyle without discussing it with me, i will ALWAYS trust that my close relationship with God will reveal to me the things i need to know and direct the path that i should take to stay in His grace.

Purple Reign

August 4th, 2011
11:06 am

You should be wary of people in general no matter what the topic issue,

Simple Man......

August 4th, 2011
11:06 am

So let me get this straight….Is there noone here that belives its possible for normal, well adjusted rational people to be involved in a loving realtionship that does not fall within the boundries of traditional western christian ideas and have that realtionship be successful????

SlimNu

August 4th, 2011
11:07 am

Have any of you had the chance to check out that show on Oprah’s new network called ‘Unfaithful: Stories of Betrayal’? It’s basically a recap of married couples, what led up to the infidelity by the person who committed it, how they viewed the other person, what the other spouse noticed in their changes during this time, and if or how they overcame it. It’s such a crazy show and I watched a few the other day. The folks listed various reasons for them stepping out but they all seemed to want to ‘fix or remedy’ the issues in their marriages with folks on the outside. They talked about how exciting it was to be the with the new person and how it made them become more annoyed with their current partner or what have you…basically all recipes for hurt, betrayal and disaster. One of the stories the other women showed up to his house and showed out in front of his daughter…thats just bringing your trash to your front yard…

SexyCool

August 4th, 2011
11:09 am

“We are free to speak up and say wow she’s hot or check out that guy.”

Yeah…that’s normal in a relationship between secure parties. But saying that does not equal “He’s hot and I plan on having him bend me over on our kitchen counter next week.”

Leggs

August 4th, 2011
11:11 am

“Attractions to other people are going to happen – being married or having a bf/gf doesn’t change that” – you’re absolutely right, it doesn’t change that. What changes that is “respect, consideration, appreciation, morals, character and again RESPECT for your partner not to act upon those attractions. So what you’re attracted to another. I don’t expect you to become blind once we are married. I do expect you to not act upon them since you married me! Marriage is one way of telling me you want our lives to experience all we can together, not a shield for you to continue playing the field. If that’s the case, let’s get a divorce! I didn’t sign up for any of that crap.

SlimNu

August 4th, 2011
11:12 am

Purp – speaking of bringing home a disease or another kid…one episode was of this Asian couple…the wife stepped out on her hubby with a black co-worker. She previously had a history of miscarriages or what have you but ended up preggo again and carried full term…and she said the whole time she was stressed out about who was the father of her child. As soon as the baby was born, it was Obvious her hubby, also Asian, was not the father. He immediately left out of the hospital at the sight of the child. The chick goes to the misters crib who actually foather the child later on to let him know about his son. To her surprise his wife answered the door..(she never knew he was married). She talked to his wife but the guy was not home at the time but he showed up while she was there. He acted like he didn’t know her and closed the door in her face lol…Anyway, fast forward to her and her hubby working things out, he made her put the kid up for adoption because it was a constant reminder of her infidelity..clearly a mixed (black and Asian) kid….I was like dayuuum. However, her and the hubby did end up having a kid together and gave the son up to a bi-racial couple

Sassy Black..Make it rain down on Meee ;-)

August 4th, 2011
11:13 am

Really Simple?…that’s all you’ve surmised thus far based on the comments?

kimmie

August 4th, 2011
11:14 am

I think its very rare and that it only works in about 25% of relationships (world wide divorce stats can back this up).

Sporty – Do those world wide stats give the REASON for divorces? Because here in the USA, most marriages are said to break up for money reasons, not because of infidelity.

Brown Eyed Girl!

August 4th, 2011
11:14 am

@ Simple Man, relationship yes, marriage no! A marriage is more than a relationship, it is a covenant! By definition, a covenant is a solemn agreement to engage in or refrain from a specified action.

kimmie

August 4th, 2011
11:16 am

Slim – I’ve seen that show. It is crazy, but interesting.

Purple Reign

August 4th, 2011
11:17 am

Slim and some people will say what happened with that Asian couple in your story is okay and just a sign of the times. If people set their standards low they will hit them every time

BlackMagicWoman...in NYC

August 4th, 2011
11:18 am

I honestly believe I can put my foot in his @$$ for cheating on me. Telling before will only get him punched in the throat and left!
So to answer the question would I be okay with an open marriage…HELL NO! What is the point of getting married in the first place. Granted, you are still human. And you will be attracted to others for various reasons. But marriage is a commitment to one another. If going outside of it is total disrepect to the vows of keeping only to each other. So again I ask….what is the point of getting married?
Granted there are marriages of convenience, such as; Financial, to serve as a cover of the now defunct “don’t ask, don’t tell” bigot homophobic law against gays in the military, and a host of others.

Celisea

August 4th, 2011
11:19 am

Simple Man – To your 11:06, once you grasp and wrap your mind around the fact that a relationship has and consist of boundaries and confines, the easier it will be for you to accept that’s how you define a relationship. A relationship is not a relationship if there are no parameters. It’s human nature to love and want to be love but also love is binding. What NORMAL person is okay loving you while you change partners on a whim and on a regular? NOT NORMAL and it crosses the grain of basically how we a humans function. Yes, there are some that are cool have several partners, no commitment enjoying many wo/men, again do you but their norm but not classified as a relationship.

kimmie

August 4th, 2011
11:19 am

And how can u criticize Open marriages when u have never been open to it.

Exiled – Did you ask yourself that same question? You said you weren’t down with it.

Plus, you don’t have to be open to something or have experienced it to know it’s not right for you.

UGA 1999

August 4th, 2011
11:20 am

Kimmie….agreed, I wonder why everyone on this blog feels compelled to force their way of thinking on us. Dont knock it until you try it.

Into the Light

August 4th, 2011
11:21 am

Wait, what? I’m confused by 1999’s last post. Don’t knock what until you try it???