Is an open marriage a good idea?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2013
Is an open marriage a good idea?
Mon, 04-08-2013 - 9:43am

This just seems so odd to me, but maybe it works for some couples.  This article popped up over the weekend about how Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith say that the key to their marriage is having an open marriage.

I just don't understand why anyone who wants an open marriage would bother getting married in the first place.  Doesn't that defeat the whole purpose of being married?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Sun, 06-09-2013 - 3:30am

Most people probably don't intend to have an open marriage when they first get married, but later they may decide to do it. However not everybody gets married or stays married for the usual romantic reasons. It obviously takes very secure and/or discreet people to maintain an open marriage.

In the case of Will and Jada Smith, she clarified that they do not have an open marriage.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-11-2011
Wed, 06-05-2013 - 1:52pm

youre very bright.......

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2010
Sat, 05-11-2013 - 9:33pm

IMO, an open marriage is generally not a good idea. It opens the door to jealousy and related complications. The only time I would seek an open marriage for myself is if I had a good mariage except our sex life was terrible and beyond repair for whatever reason.

 As to Will and Jada Smith's arrangement, I don't think it's outrageous considering the millieu they live in. Movie stars' relationships rarely last, primarily because unlike ordinary people, they can snap their fingers and immediately be in bed with someone new and sexy. As a movie star, Will Smith is surrounded by numerous hot, slutty women ready to throw themselves at him. It's very hard to resist temptation in that situation, so to acknowledge reality here with an open relationship isn't stupid.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-17-2007
Tue, 04-09-2013 - 5:08pm

For some companionship/security is very important.  I could see it more often in a 20+ relationship.  Two people have built a happy life together and see no reason to change it just because one person has a discreet sexual relationship with someone else.  Acknowledging that you can't fulfill your partners sexual needs (wants?) could be difficult, though.  And then taking the next step to allow him/her to get them fulfilled elsewhere could be even harder.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2013
Tue, 04-09-2013 - 11:02am

Kendahke1 wrote:
It may defeat your definiton of marriage, but then again, this is their marriage--no one else's.  It has no bearing on the validity of anyone else's marriage or definition of marriage.

I never said what my definition of marriage was.  My question was if an open marriage defeats the purpose of getting married in the first place.  I don't understand why a couple would choose to get married knowing that the marriage would be open.  No judgment here, I was just hoping someone else could shed some light. *shrug*

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Mon, 04-08-2013 - 1:53pm

I think it depends enitrely on the couple and the parameters they agree to within their marriage. They may have the personalities and confidence in themselves where this isn't a problem--perhaps they understand that no matter what, they will not divorce.  Not everyone has that kind of constitution and they should not enter into an open marriage. 

As long as they are up front with whomever they get involved with about there being no chance of a divorce going down and they proceed in that fashion and everyone is an adult about it, it may work for them.

It may defeat your definiton of marriage, but then again, this is their marriage--no one else's.  It has no bearing on the validity of anyone else's marriage or definition of marriage.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Mon, 04-08-2013 - 11:45am

I'm not so sure that's what she was actually saying:   "I've always told Will, 'You can do whatever you want as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror and be okay," said Pinkett Smith. "Because at the end of the day, Will is his own man. I'm here as his partner, but he is his own man. He has to decide who he wants to be and that's not for me to do for him. Or vice versa."

That's really the way it is for everyone, isn't it?  We all have the God-given freedom to "decide who we want to be."  I didn't see that as an admission of open marriage.

I don't suppose most couples decide going into marriage that theirs will be open - I imagine it's probably something that arises over time - but in any case, it's *their* marriage, not mine, so why should I care?

We all have aspects of our lives that other people find hard to imagine, whether that's living with cancer or a transgender child or crazy relationships or whatever.  It's part of the human condition.  Other people don't have to understand it or approve of it.