An open relationship has been debated in many meeting place whether it would benefit a committed relationship or not. Shirley MacLaine talked openly about having open relationships during her 30-year marriage when she was a guest on Oprah. She claimed that because they both agreed on an open relationship, they remained married and friends. Many psychologists disagree with that contention. They believe that open relationships would hurt the couple more in the long run. In fact, many experts claim that most couples end up breaking apart after getting into open relationships. If you are considering getting into an open relationship, let’s look into the pros and cons before you do.

Having your cake and eating it too

But first things first. What is an open relationship? Simply said, it is having your cake and eating it too. It is sometimes called polyamory wherein couples agree to have extramarital sexual relationships simultaneous without being accused of infidelity.

Starts sleeping with others

Marriage is revered in our society as the pinnacle of commitment for two individuals who love each other and decide to spend the rest of their lives together. Monogamy is often times expected to be part of this committed relationship. If one goes astray and starts sleeping with others, the primary partner would be hurt, even devastated. This is what happened in the case of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Maria Shriver’s expectation of a monogamous relationship was shattered. This would have been avoided if Arnold was honest and openly told Maria about the relationship. If both decided to get into an open relationship, Arnold didn’t have to hide and lie all these years. Maria could have gotten involved with other men and both were even. There wouldn’t have been painful surprises to Maria and the children.

Pains and hurt

This is the first benefit of getting into an open relationship. Pains and hurt from missed expectations could have been avoided. Honesty and trust can be maintained between the couple. There is no need to hide the other relationships from the partner.

Set mutually acceptable boundaries

Open relationships work not only for married couples but also for dating couples. They can discuss their preferences and set mutually acceptable boundaries in order to make the open relationship arrangement work.

Complement what the primary partner

The most common type of open relationships is primary/secondary open relationship. Here, the couple agrees that they are committed to each other and to see another person to complement what the primary partner cannot provide. They understand that no one is perfect and that someone out there certainly can fill up the vacuum that the primary partner cannot give. Examples would be time, sense of humor, sexual fulfillment or just being there whenever the primary partner isn’t available. This arrangement is oftentimes beneficial for committed couples engaged in long distance relationship.

Men are polygamous by nature

Since it has been said that men are polygamous by nature, an open relationship is viewed as being able to level the playing field for both parties. It is perceived as being fair for both the man and woman.
Many couples who engage in open relationships also claim to have impassioned their boring sex life by being able to bring new tricks from their outside adventures.


The big disadvantage to this arrangement though is the jealousy that can destroy the relationship if not handled well. Many couples claim that while both have logically agreed upon the rules of engagement, jealousy continues to creep in. The arrangement was discussed by reason. But emotions can sometimes run wild and go out of control. While open relationship seemed exciting at first and brought in some sparks and youthful energy into the bedroom, it became the sword of Damocles that imperils the initially strong bond. Once started, there is no way of getting rid of the haunting visions of the other partner’s escapades.

Be very sure of your motive

So before even starting to get into an open relationship, be very sure of your motive. Why do you want to get into it? Wouldn’t you be jealous to see your partner having sparkles in her eyes after a night out with the secondary relationship? Wouldn’t she get mad if you came in late after a date with the other girl? Are you both committed to protecting what you have right now? How would you feel if your partner eventually decides to leave you for the other guy? Would you be hurt or be happy for her?

Open communication is the key

Just like in any relationship, an open communication is the key to keeping the relationship intact. If there is any brewing issue, discuss them right away before emotions take control of the conversation.

Conclusion: Now you know the pros and cons of open relationships, would you consider jumping into it?

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