"Seven Reasons Non-Monogamy May Be The Best Thing For You," and Ask Amy says never never.
Two hot-button open-relationship items are out and abroad in the media this morning, promoting opposite views. The mass-market women's site Bustle offers "7 Reasons Non-Monogamy May Be The Best Thing For You", and newspaper advice columnist Amy Dickinson is all over the place saying these things never work.
● From the Bustle article:
How Does An Open Relationship Work? 7 Reasons Non-Monogamy May Be The Best Thing For You
By Olivia Gatwood
When I tell people I’m in an open relationship, the most common response I get is, “But don’t you get jealous?” Well, if you must know, the answer is yes. Of course I do. Everyone does. My partner once said to me, “The problem isn’t the fact that we feel jealous, the problem is how we react to it.” The thing is, you create your open relationship rules. You have to mold your relationship so that it fits you best....
But the open relationship is made up of a lot more than just the question of jealousy. There are many reasons you might want to consider being in one, or maybe just reconfiguring the boundaries of the relationship you’re currently in.... The reality is, it’s a huge task to unlearn all of the things we are taught about love, but a vital one nonetheless....
1. It’s not just about sex.
...Sometimes having an “open” relationship just means a relationship free of the pressure that often arises when a person feels bound by monogamy. Sometimes, simply feeling like you can do whatever you want is enough.
2. But at the same time, you can discover other sides of yourself....
3. It can bring more honesty into the relationship.
Once the feeling that you need to hide something is lifted, you might feel more comfortable communicating with your partner about the way you feel in general. Maybe you can finally tell them that their eggplant parmesan isn’t even that good and they’ll just laugh and be like, “Yeah, well you fart in your sleep.”
4. Believe it or not, it can soothe your jealousy....
5. It will help you maintain your own identity.
Sometimes, when you fall in love, it’s easy to lose yourself to another person.... When I say “lose yourself” I mean it in the “hermit-in-love” kind of way versus the controlling, suffocating relationship kind of way. If you identify with the former, consider the fact that an open relationship might help you maintain a sense of autonomy, whether that’s going out and flirting at the club, or simply feeling like you don’t owe someone every part of yourself.
6. It can bring you and your partner closer together.
Once you’ve created an open-relationship that both you and your partner are comfortable with, the two of you might actually become more intimate than before. If honesty, autonomy, and support are all large components of your relationship, you are most likely going to feel happy, healthy and in love more often than not.
7. You can make your own rules.
Every open relationship is different.... Think about your own boundaries before setting rules. Challenge yourself, but also keep in mind what will be healthiest for you and your partner as emotional individuals. Listen to your partner, ask questions, try things out and if they’re not working, speak up! This is a choose-your-own-adventure kind of story.
Read the whole piece, with bouncy graphics (April 16, 2015).
What are the odds that both partners will find other fulfilling sexual partners at the same time, have relationships of the same duration and intensity, and not damage their marriage? The prospects are not good. Open marriages don’t work because the “openness” more or less negates the “marriage.”
Maybe that's true if you're unwilling to examine and remake some of your cultural assumptions. Or to even see them.
Amy and her readers need education — starting with advice to google up your local polyamory support group and meet some of the people making it work well.
So, find a bunch of newspapers running this week's column and post to the comments. Email a copy of your post to letters@[newspaper's domain name].com, and copy Amy directly (once) at email@example.com.