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Old 02-01-2012, 09:42 AM
 
2,112 posts, read 2,687,810 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
If you think about it, does exclusivity really make a relationship that much more meaningful?

Most young people these days have at least a few relationships before they marry, if they do, and most expect that their partner is not a virgin and will have partners in the future. To me it isn't much different to sleeping around with many people at the same time. With divorce rates so high, has being so strictly monogamous made people closer to each other? Would be interesting to see the divorce stats on 'open marriages'. I would think a fair segment of divorces are occasioned by infidelity (of course there are many other big reasons) so if that's not a 'breaker' then maybe a couple will not rush to divorce over it.
There's a big difference (at least to me) between entering a relationship with past relationship experience and sleeping around with multiple people while in a relationship. How is that the same to you? If people do not want to be exclusive, then why not just continue dating instead?

As for open marriage statistics, I couldn't find any good information. This writer says some research shows the failure rate is 92% but doesn't mention any specific sources: Do open marriages work? - CNN.com
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:47 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,606 posts, read 55,788,565 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cindy_Jole View Post
There's a big difference (at least to me) between entering a relationship with past relationship experience and sleeping around with multiple people while in a relationship. How is that the same to you? If people do not want to be exclusive, then why not just continue dating instead?

As for open marriage statistics, I couldn't find any good information. This writer says some research shows the failure rate is 92% but doesn't mention any specific sources: Do open marriages work? - CNN.com
Maybe monogamy really does have a place in strengthening relationships then!
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 10,903,429 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
If you think about it, does exclusivity really make a relationship that much more meaningful?
It does to me. Maybe it's not so important to other people, but a huge part of being married to me is the "forsaking all others" piece.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Reno, NV
5,987 posts, read 10,431,257 times
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Statistics aren't easily found - who is going to ask, and who is going to answer honestly? But even with that limitation, some experts have recently estimated that about 6% of relationships are consensually open.

As for the OP's question, the premise you stated makes sense theoretically because better communication is usually needed to make an open relationship work, but in practice the results are very mixed. We're talking human nature here, so what else would you expect? Anyway, I don't think you can make any sweeping generalizations one way or the other. All anyone can say is that most people can barely even imagine the idea much less implement it, and far fewer will do so successfully.

All I can say is that having once been in a successful open relationship, the OP's premise was true for us. I should also mention that an open relationship is not the same as a polyamorous relationship. Open is about having sexual variety - usually with well-established rules and boundaries set by the couple. Open relationships are mainly about sex (and understanding that many people want the variety but few actually obtain it ethically with their partner's knowledge and consent). It isn't about love (though you may have affection for the the outside partner) - love is for the core relationship. Polyamory IS about having loving/romantic feelings for other partners. I've had the pleasure of experiencing a successful poly relationship as well.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:59 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,606 posts, read 55,788,565 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaoistDude View Post
Statistics aren't easily found - who is going to ask, and who is going to answer honestly? But even with that limitation, some experts have recently estimated that about 6% of relationships are consensually open.

As for the OP's question, the premise you stated makes sense theoretically because better communication is usually needed to make an open relationship work, but in practice the results are very mixed. We're talking human nature here, so what else would you expect? Anyway, I don't think you can make any sweeping generalizations one way or the other. All anyone can say is that most people can barely even imagine the idea much less implement it, and far fewer will do so successfully.

All I can say is that having once been in a successful open relationship, the OP's premise was true for us. I should also mention that an open relationship is not the same as a polyamorous relationship. Open is about having sexual variety - usually with well-established rules and boundaries set by the couple. Open relationships are mainly about sex (and understanding that many people want the variety but few actually obtain it ethically with their partner's knowledge and consent). It isn't about love (though you may have affection for the the outside partner) - love is for the core relationship. Polyamory IS about having loving/romantic feelings for other partners. I've had the pleasure of experiencing a successful poly relationship as well.
Interesting. While like most men I can lust for multiple women at the same time, if I'm emotionally interested in one usually I get tunnel vision. Even if just for a day, lol.
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:03 AM
 
9,408 posts, read 13,695,991 times
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Humans are not monogamous by nature. There is so much societal pressure to be with your 'one and only' for the rest of your lives but in many cases this is simply not workable. We're expected to believe that thrill of the first kiss lasts forever, that somehow our libidos will also be in sync, that we shouldn't desire other people...and the biggest lie of all, is that an affair crushes and destroys a relationship. Americans in particular have very unrealistic expectations of long term relationships. In many other countries an affair or an open relationship don't ruin the bond people have and does not destroy families.

If an open relationship doesn't work for you, an alternative is "don't ask, don't tell'.

I don't know if these relationships are stronger, all I know is not everyone fits into the cookie cutter square.
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Center of the universe
24,645 posts, read 38,527,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Never had an experience in open relationships (or any type of romantic relationship for that matter) but I'm just wondering if, from experience/your own reckoning, you think they might actually be more durable, resilient and strong than strictly exclusive or monogamous relationships? I mean there might be less tension, less suspicion, and if sex is treated as sex, it won't damage the bond they have? Does having sex with another always damage that bond they have with each other? Varies with people, I know...it's probably better on one hand, but worse on the other because there's the potential that an emotional connection could be formed through sex.

Basically, though, do you think it's a more 'enlightened' form of relationship, or basically an excuse to be promiscuous?
The latter. If you want to mess around/be a ho/whatever, why be married or allegedly monogamous? "Open marriage" is an oxymoron.
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Center of the universe
24,645 posts, read 38,527,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whyte Byrd View Post
Interesting. I guess sometimes you just can't imagine what you can't understand.
True.......this is beyond my comprehension.
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Center of the universe
24,645 posts, read 38,527,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Djuna View Post
Humans are not monogamous by nature. There is so much societal pressure to be with your 'one and only' for the rest of your lives but in many cases this is simply not workable. We're expected to believe that thrill of the first kiss lasts forever, that somehow our libidos will also be in sync, that we shouldn't desire other people...and the biggest lie of all, is that an affair crushes and destroys a relationship. Americans in particular have very unrealistic expectations of long term relationships. In many other countries an affair or an open relationship don't ruin the bond people have and does not destroy families.
That is not a lie. I would not tolerate my wife having an affair.

Quote:

If an open relationship doesn't work for you, an alternative is "don't ask, don't tell'.

I don't know if these relationships are stronger, all I know is not everyone fits into the cookie cutter square.
That wouldn't work either. Too much suspicion.
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:12 AM
 
9,408 posts, read 13,695,991 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucario View Post
That is not a lie. I would not tolerate my wife having an affair.

That wouldn't work either. Too much suspicion.
I understand it isn't for everybody. We all have different expectations, different needs, different ideas on what defines a relationship and the boundaries we can or can't accept.
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