Open marriage refers to a marriage where both the partners enter into an arrangement according to which both are free to engage in extramarital affairs. The difference between a typical extramarital affair and the ones that are involved in an open marriage is that in open marriages both the partners are aware of their spouse’s affairs and have also given their consent for the affairs.
Therefore, the affairs in an open marriage are not considered as infidelity by the partners. Mostly, the affairs that are involved in open marriages are sexual relationships with or without emotional dependency. But a good number of affairs in open marriages consist of only emotional support and satisfaction without any sexual angle to them.
Open marriages have certain risk factors and drawbacks. But many couples will swear by the benefits or advantages that they have derived from this arrangement in their marriage. The dangers and disadvantages along with the possible benefits of open marriage are mentioned here for your information.
The greatest risk that open marriage threatens of is causing permanent damage to the relationship and ruining the marriage. It can even lead to divorce. Apart from that, there may be various negative emotions involved in the marriage like jealousy and anger.
The chances of hurt or painful feelings also lurk in an open marriage. Sometimes, the arrangement is discontinued by the couples considering the negative emotions running in them or looking at the damage that the arrangement is causing to their marriage. But the risks still persist since the couples mostly are unable to undo the damage already caused or fully accept the past.
The couple or one of the partners in the open marriage may also lament the decision of the arrangement and feel guilty at some point of time. Though, the decision of an open marriage is always mutual but the conscience of the couple or a partner may hit back at some point of time, especially if the person is religious.
Among the benefits, that the couples of open marriages claim of, a renewed sense of adventure and thrill in the marriage holds an important place. After a good number of years of marriage, the charm or thrill may seem lacking in the relationship. Open marriages reignite that lost charm. It renews a couple’s attraction towards each other to a great extent.
Couples enter into open marriages to fulfill the sexual or emotional needs that are not fully satisfied by their partners. In normal circumstances, a person either resorts to cheating to meet the needs or suppresses them. While cheating makes a person feel guilty along with setting in the fear of discovery of the infidelity by the partner, repression of needs makes a person bitter, angry and miserable.
Thus, both affect the marriage tremendously. Open marriages are free from these flaws. Since, both the partners are aware of each other’s affairs, so there’s no cheating in the relationship. No cheating also means no guilt or fear of discovery of the infidelity. There is also no suppression of the needs and as a result a person is more happy and content.
Open marriages promise of better understanding, honesty and trust among the partners. They create a deeper bond and greater intimacy. It is also found that open marriages improve the sex life of the couples to a great extent.