Be it any country or region, traditions matter a lot and when we talk about tradition and culture, we could not exclude marriages. In earlier times, marriages were a matter of cultural and traditional implications. With the changing times, it has become more about an individual’s will and consent. It is more about how two people in marriage see that relationship. Probably, this is the reason that concepts like open marriages have been discovered. This has made a place in our society, but do we know about it the way we should? Well, all your questions will be answered after reading the facts in the section below.
What is an open marriage?
Before we go and discuss what open marriage is, it is important to understand the concept of the traditional or conventional form of marriage. In conventional marriages, couples tie the knot and they do a promise to their respective partners that they will be loyal and respectful to each other in the relationship. It is often said that these things, including trust, are some of the major factors of a healthy relationship and marriage.
Now, this was the concept of traditional marriages, where if you are not able to maintain it, you can get separated. Laws have been made and one can ask for a divorce to his or her partner. Everything that will create an opposite scene is what we call as an open marriage. The answer to the question that is there in the title is actually yes. Yes, a thing called open marriages do exist. Whatever you need to do in the conventional form of marriage, all opposite of it is required in the open marriage. There is no pressure on you and your partner to follow the ethics of a healthy relationship. One is allowed to have an extra-marital affair and an obvious sexual relationship with someone else other than their spouse.
From where the idea originated
The definition of an open marriage would be quite clear to the readers by now, as we have already discussed it in the previous point. Now, this might sound surprising and different to you, but the idea of open marriages was not the same as it is now. We all know that in normal conventional marriage setup, people are not allowed to choose their parents. Today, the percentage of such marriages have reduced, but, we still see that a lot. Generally, our parents choose our partners for us. With time, this concept changed and people were allowed to choose their respective partners. So, the conventional setup of the marriage was called “closed marriage” while the marriage that allowed you to choose your partner was called “open marriage”.
Nena O’Neill and George O’Neill are the writers of the book named as “Open Marriage”. It was from this book that the concept of open marriages changed and was defined in the way we know about it today. The book describes that in an open marriage a partner has a room for their personal space and even can have a relationship outside the relationship. Now, we cannot consider this as a legally clarified topic. If one has to talk about the data, then 4% of youth in the US are into such marriages.
Characteristics of an open marriage:
- The first characteristic that we are going to mention here is a downfall of the marriage. When two people are in a relationship, there is love and trust between them. This is called as the building block of a relationship, but an open marriage lacks that. Couples make a lot of sacrifices and compromises for each other, but when someone is in an open marriage, he or she is not bound to do so. Since this topic lack clarity, it is even difficult to tell whether the people in such a relationship even remain friends or not.
- This could be considered as one of the good points related to an open marriage. Now, when you are in an open marriage, you don’t need to show any commitment towards your spouse. This simply means that the hours that the couples use to dedicate to each other normally in a conventional marriage or relationship, you just don’t need to do that. This means that all your time is yours and you could spend it wherever you want. You are in this kind of a relationship, therefore your partner is going to understand it clearly and will respect it.
- Sometimes, in conventional marriages, people become so dependent on each other that they lose their identity. This is something that you won’t face in the system of open marriages. Here, there is no sort of commitment and nothing serious about the relationship. This simply means that the two partners don’t really need to rely upon each other and thus can make their recognition in the society and the world.
- In the previous point, we discussed that in an open relationship, the two people involved live like two individuals and enjoy their identity. Having said that, the next important word that needs to be there in any marriage or relationship is equality. Now, in conventional marriage systems, this too is rare, we don’t see couples sharing the same role. One out of the two of them is dominating over the other. In an open marriage, you won’t face this problem. Since you are not dependent on your spouse, you are free to take your decisions and to do what you want to do.
We are sure that after reading, all the facts that we have mentioned in the section above, our readers must have got a clear idea about open marriages. They can also decide whether this is good for them or not, as the good or bad for these things depend on the kind of person you are. If you are a person with a broader thinking, you may like the idea, but make sure, you are choosing the partner with the same thought process.