Are Open Marriages Happier Marriages? There’s an article in the New York Times that share the experiences of nonmonogamous couples and what they say about love and trust http://nyti.ms/2q5fqrA I found the article very interesting and appreciated both the author’s perspective and the couples’ story about their marriages. As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I utilize approaches used by author Tammy Nelson and various other Sex Therapists who work with couples who are in nontraditional relationships. The frequency in which I see more nonmonogamous couples whose ideas about fidelity are more open than when I started my practice 25 years ago have substantially increased. Therefore, I have accommodated my work to help those who are in and want to be in consensual nonmonogamous relationships.
As a Marriage/Couples Counselor, I specialize in Infidelity and Affair Recovery. I’m working with a particular couple where the wife is the Affair Partner, she cheated on her husband, and the Hurt Partner (the husband), is the one who got cheated on. Both want to repair and move forward to try and make a better relationship as they have children. For the most part, their family works nicely together in that they have similar parently styles and manage the household diplomatically. Of course, there’s more to a relationship than being able to take care of tasks, intimacy is desired.
The wife, in this case, loves her husband but doesn’t believe she is “in love” with him anymore. Having had the affair she has experienced a “sexual awakening” and her sexual desires have stretched to wanting more than what she was taught growing up. Throughout the recovery process, she has stated she believes she wants to move forward in a nonmonogamous marriage. He is still contemplating whether or not he wants this or can even do this.
They ask me if open marriages are happier marriages. In my personal and professional opinion, I say, “not necessarily happier, as much as they are more functional and durable for the long haul.” As people are living longer these days relationships can tend to experience ebbs and flows. Some couples don’t want the option of divorce as their primary relationship works on a lot of levels. Sometimes the excitement of continued heightened intimacy can wane as being together with the same partner can be familiar and familiarity sometimes brings about a lack of novelty that can diminish sexual excitement. Opening up the marriage to meeting new people, not just for sexual experiences but for emotional and intellectual stimulation can make all the difference in becoming more interested in life again and what life has to offer. With that feeling the primary relationship can benefit and feel brand new again. That’s what I believe makes a marriage happier with opening up the relationship. Why give up on many years of developing a beautiful life together just because the sex component dried up. Revive it by bringing something new into your lives.
For more information on doing just that please contact me at (858) 735-1139.