My friend Kira Davis over at Redstate wrote a piece called, “Unsolicited Advice: Your Open Marriage Is Just A Pre-Divorce Partnership.” Her piece is centered on the open marriage of actor Thomas Middleditch,
Silicon Valley actor Thomas Middleditch admitted in a Playboy magazine interview that he and his wife of four years are in an “open marriage”.
…He goes on to say that it hasn’t necessarily been a smooth ride. In fact, it sounds downright stressful especially considering Middleditch’s fame and how that effects his prospects as compared to his costume designer wife. He admits she isn’t as excited about the arrangement as he is, and there is a constant negotiation for her comfort level when he explores “opportunities”.
…Your narcissism makes it so you think your request for an open marriage was the loving thing to do, when in fact it was tragically selfish. “We have to be nontraditional about this” is a hell of a bomb to drop on a spouse after the marriage.
Variety is the spice of life and the idea of sleeping with the same person for the rest of your life and trying to keep it fresh is intimidating. So, it’s easy to understand why someone would want an open marriage. Then, you theoretically get the best of both worlds — that person you love at home and that spicy sex life as you get laid.
…Except human beings are not automatons. They get jealous. They worry. They get territorial or feel emasculated. Hormones can release during sex and give you a case of the feels that you didn’t expect.
I’ve had several friends and acquaintances that tried some kind of open marriage and every single time, it blew the Hell up. You might be able to get by with it for a while, but unless your partner is a doormat, you aren’t going to get by with it long term.
Let me also add that American culture is particularly non-conducive to open relationships because everyone wants to marry for love. Well, it’s hard to convince yourself that your partner is truly, deeply in love with you when she’s getting railed by a different guy every week-end. Then there’s the fact that your partner can always say, “It’s just sex,” but both of you know there’s always a possibility that she may fall for any lay. That’s a real possibility, especially if someone gets a regular partner. Are you going to be the boring guy at home that she discusses bills, childcare and laundry with while she saves the sex, fun and excitement for another guy on the week-ends?
Long story short, a “pre-divorce partnership” is probably a pretty good description of it. If that’s what you need, you’re probably better off never getting married in the first place. Just spin plates and enjoy your non-exclusive relationships while they last.