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If You Have An Open Marriage Like Will Smith & Jada Pinkett Smith, Is That Weird Or Highly Evolved?

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Is sleeping with other people while you’re married strange or a weird way of assuring your love will last?

It isn’t possible to cheat when you’re in an “open” marriage. But is this kind of relationship weird or just really evolved? “Our perspective is, you don’t avoid what’s natural,” Will said in an interview. “You’re going to be attracted to people. In our marriage vows, we didn’t say ‘forsaking all others.’ The vow that we made was that you will never hear that I did something after the fact.” He added, “If it came down to it, then one can say to the other, ‘Look, I need to have sex with somebody. I’m not going to if you don’t approve of it — but please approve of it.’” Jada has also expressed her thoughts on the subject. “We always have people that we’re attracted to that we talk about. That don’t stop just because your married.

Somebody’s always gonna catch your eye. That’s real. Somebody’s gonna always be prettier than me, somebody’s always gonna be more in awe of him than me.” So OK, having an open relationship is a little weird. We, for the most part, have been raised to believe in monogamy. But is it worse to feel so confined in your relationship that your eyes wander elsewhere, you cheat and thus, screw up your marriage?

Or is it better to be in love and sometimes seek sexual satisfaction elsewhere? An open marriage is only for the highly evolved. It’s such a wonderful concept in theory — take the potential for straying out of the equation — but I don’t believe most women are wired that way. Jealousy and displaced anger could threaten this kind of relationship in the long run if the couple isn’t on the same page, or their feelings on the matter change. Obviously an open marriage isn’t the norm, but you have to give credence to the fact that it might actually work. In 13 years, no report of infidelity or a troubled marriage has even scratched the surface of Will and Jada’s idyllic relationship — until now. Those are some good odds in Hollywood, where the average relationship is over in the blink of an eye. Should you try it? Well, that’s up to you — and your partner. Life is all about different strokes for different folks, right? [youtube id="Enter video ID (0nEsDWQ1wQ4)" width="600" height="350"]

The Good When open marriages work, it is most likely because the unconventional unions are focused on good old-fashioned open communication. Telling the truth shows your partner respect, as does following agreed upon rules — for example, keeping your partner in the loop as to where you have been and who you have been with.

The goal of an open marriage is to never have to lie — to create an environment where you can be open about anything that makes you uncomfortable or afraid. Proponents say that this atmosphere supposedly then creates an opportunity for incredible communication, deeper intimacy and the opportunity to thrive as your fullest self. Basically, the thought is that if you truly love your partner, you want them to live their fullest life — flings and all. Flings are simply superficial sensory delights. There's no difference between your partner enjoying a pizza with anchovies without you and your partner enjoying a blonde with blue eyes without you.

In a good open marriage, you are simply creating a buffet of sexual experiences, so nobody feels like they are starving for new sensations. This honesty enables couples to avoid the emotional downward spiral of hidden affairs because the need for secrecy is removed. Oprah.com: Are men only as faithful as their options? And what about that green-eyed monster jealousy? Most open marriages make strong distinctions between sex with others and romance with others. Couples who subscribe to open-marriage philosophies typically agree to keep their spouses first at heart — no matter who else they mingle with.

The Bad I must confess, every time I type the words "good open marriage," my fingers twitch. These words feel oxymoronic. Personally, I view more cons than pros to an open marriage. For me, the whole point of marriage is to show your love and commitment by protecting your union with fidelity. There's a great deal of calm and security that comes from knowing your partner is directing his love and attention to you and you alone. For me, rather than viewing open marriage as offering a yummy buffet of taste sensations, I view it as one big recipe for disaster. The main ingredients — resentment, competitiveness, jealousy, insecurity, curtailed time, scattered affections, feelings of betrayal, lack of security — all inevitably blur the lines of a healthy marriage.

For me, a healthy marriage asks you both to bring out your highest selves. Sure, it might take a little higher willpower to resist the lure of extracurricular sex, but this discipline is for the higher good, allowing for a calm, secure refuge to emerge.

Calm and security may not sound as hotsy totsy as sex and more sex, but many of us believe it brings far more happiness in the long run.

This security brings with it the confidence of knowing your partner is committed to you "till death do you part" rather than until their next Wednesday evening date. In my opinion, open marriage is pretty much the opposite of marriage. It seems to be about avoiding commitment — one of the cornerstones of a happy marriage. You may be able to agree on the "rules for cheating" in an intellectual way, but doesn't the emotional nature of love always get in the way?

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