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Open MY Marriage! [Ask Dr. Miro: What You Didn’t Learn in Health Class]

Dear Dr. Miro,

I have been faithful to my husband for the entire 19 years we have known each other. With all the news focused on Newt Gingrich and his open marriage attempts, I’m beginning to think it’s a good idea. I don’t want to cheat but I’d really like to have some new adventures that don’t involve him. Am I terrible for wanting this? I don’t think it will make everything in my life better but it certainly will make me feel better about some things.

Wanting More

Dear WM,

Are you asking me for permission to redefine your present marriage confines? You may simply be bored and need to liven things up in the bedroom so try to figure that part out, first. Are you ready to open this Pandora’s Box in your marriage? Start simply by watching some adult movies together and see where that leads you.

Wanting to open your marriage is nothing to feel badly about. In fact, why should one mode of sexual intimacy be applied to all people? It is rather unrealistic to believe that everyone will be completely satisfied by one person for the remainder of his or her years together. You say you want some adventures that do not include him. Consider traveling alone or with a girlfriend. How about skydiving, horseback riding through Arabian deserts or white water rafting? Is it possible your desire for more may not even be tethered to the sexual realm?

If you truly want to explore alternative dynamics to “traditional” marriage, there are many options available to you. However, the MOST important part of all this is to keep in mind that what separates cheating from an open relationship is COMMUNICATION. Everyone involved in your relationship(s) must understand AND agree to the terms and conditions applicable to your specific situation. With this, we are entering Polyamorous territory, generally understood as “consensual, ethical, or responsible non-monogamy.”

I would recommend reading books like The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures by Easton and Hardy, which is the virtual bible of the Poly lifestyle and, Opening Up, by sex guru Tristan Taormino. Polyamorous literally means more than one love, or, multiple lovers. Those who subscribe to a Polyamorous lifestyle know it is a lot of work. Jealousy is something many of us believe is a part of life but it does not have to be if you are able to practice something known as compersion. Compersion is when you are able to have empathic pleasure through knowing or witnessing your romantic partner experience pleasure.

When all is said and done, this potentially new paradigm is really between you and your husband. Some serious appraisals of your wants and needs are in order as well as you learning to hear Hubbie’s, too. The Poly-Life can be incredibly rewarding IF, and only if, it is suited to you and your sexual partner(s). Understanding your authentic, honest self will be your first major step.

Lust & Happiness,
Dr. Miro

P.S. Asking one’s spouse permission to have an “open marriage” after cheating on them for six years is not an open marriage or polyamory. Rather, it is an attempt at coercion and desire for forgiveness as a result of lying and cheating. Gingrich did not “attempt” to have an open marriage. He attempted absolution from his hurtful indiscretions.

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featured image credit: xmasons