Open marriages are more common today than they have been in the last hundred years or so, but very few couples want to admit that they are in an open marriage. There is still a stigma attached to the idea of an open marriage. And it’s easy to see why. For most people, the idea of being married to someone and yet being ok with that person having other sexual partners seems very strange. But in today’s world that is so focused on individualism, an ethical open marriage can be the perfect fit for some couples.
Many couples that end up in couples’ therapy or relationship therapy admit that they have thought about opening up the marriage. Couples that have been together for decades naturally want to experience the rush. The giddiness of a new relationship again. If their sexual drive doesn’t match their spouse’s sexual drive they may need something that their partner just can’t give them. If the marriage is mostly good and the couple gets along well and is committed to having a family and living their lives together it doesn’t seem like such a big deal to open up the sexual part of the marriage so that each partner can get what they need.
And these days with so many couples financially tied together with car loans, mortgages, school loans. Other financial responsibilities in many cases the effects of divorce could be financially devastating. Couples that still like each other and don’t want the financial burden of having to pay alimony. Child support and don’t want to have to start over in their late 30s, 40s or 50s can find that an open marriage. Gives each person what they need to be happy without breaking up the couple or the family.
There are many people who say that emotionally they couldn’t handle an open marriage and that’s a valid concern. The key to a successful open marriage is communication. Couples where one person isn’t really on board with the idea of an open marriage. Where one partner isn’t a great communicator could have trouble adjusting to an open marriage. But for couples that do have strong communication and want to keep their marriage intact. Opening up the marriage can be a perfect way to achieve those goals. Also, give each person the freedom they need to be happy.
My wife and I opened up our marriage a few years. She was the one who brought it up initially. We spent about four months talking about it and we crafted a plan with a relationship counselor. To decide on some ground rules and work on our communication. At first, it was very strange to be out on a date and not feel like was cheating on my wife. And it was strange to see her go out on a date. But after a few months, it became normal and we got used to it. It’s worked out well for us and for thousands of couples who are open. To expand what the definition of marriage is.
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