Message From Mo’Nique: Have an Open Marriage, Don’t Cheat!

There is this unspoken rule that couples have when they marry, it goes a little something like this: “I (insert spouse’s name here), agree to only ever have sex with you (insert other spouse’s name here), because I will only ever want to have sex with you, but, if I ever do  have sex with someone else, I (insert offending spouse’s name here) will be a bad person, because our vows are a magic spell, connecting us only to each other forever.  Moreover, if there should happen to come a time that I break our said vows, my marked depravity  will be the cause, because those words are supernatural and so is our love!

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To some, that might sound ridiculous and maybe it’s so.   For many others, however, this is a coveted fairytale and its compelling indeed! I call bullsh!t though! Magical vows and lifelong fidelity are allusive at best!  Think not? Well, statistics say that marital affairs are not only rampant in the U.S., but are one of the leading causes of divorce[1]; so my assertions on that front aren’t that far off.  The reasons as to why people cheat?  Well, many have their notions, but I posit a rather unpopular theory—that sometimes people are unfaithful because of unrealistic expectations, rather than from the oft held belief that it’s due to a lack of love.

 

pexels-photo-998521         Now, I would estimate that in the eons since humans have been binding themselves in marriage, infidelity has always been a theme.  As such, the status quo is typically to show sympathy and concern primarily for the non-offending spouse.  But, there is a problem I see with that trend: it’s biased!  It shows almost no consideration or compassion to the partner who steps out, which isn’t the least bit fair?

See, as a married woman, I know all too well about the unrealistic space that comes with the promise of saying “I Do”; it’s a hole that is supposed to be filled with loyalty, steadfast devotion, unwavering attraction, patience, a lifetime of tolerance, and give or take a few screaming/ wonderful kids.   That’s not only what’s expected, it’s what’s openly talked about; but there are other spaces too.

pexels-photo-1385752 Hearts, even in marriage, occasionally love other people—some old, others new.  It happens.  There is also the space of trying to reconcile each person’s individuality, while at the same time, attempting to live as a pair.   Additionally, couples struggle with the hard lines, (the “we wills” and “we won’ts”), that although crystal clear and perfectly drawn before marriage, tend to get blurred and shifted over time.   The question then becomes, how do twosomes deal with these issues and why would they cause either spouse to cheat?  To best explain, I think a real life example is paramount.

A few years back, around 2006, the comedian and actress, known to the world as Mo’Nique, (Queens of Comedy, The Mo’Nique Show, Parkers, Almost Christmas), explained in an interview how she felt comfortable enough to talk to her then partner (now husband, Sydney) about her own rather unpopular “space”.  According to her, although she desired to be with Sydney in a committed relationship, she was still sexually drawn to another man, and thus asked Sydney for an open relationship.  Mo’Nique explained her situation in this way:Premiere Of Universal's "Almost Christmas" - Arrivals

Initially, when I asked for it, it was because I wanted to continue to see the gentlemen that I was seeing, and I felt comfortable telling my best friend (Her Husband Sydney)…so when I sat down and said this is what I want initially it was because I wanted to still have sex with who I was seeing and I didn’t want it to be where I was keeping anything from my best friend.” [2

Monique later went on to clarify,

That’s how it initially started, and when I tell you the conversations that we’ve (She and Sydney) had, it has taken me to a different place where I’m not even thinking of another man sexually, but still open to it.[3]

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With that example, I’m sure many minds are reeling at the thought that I might be suggesting open marriage as a solution to infidelity—and to those people, I’d say that they’re right!  I do promote open marriages, but not in the traditional sense where couples have sex with others besides their spouses.  That’s neither my goal, nor my point in sharing Mo’Nique’s story; notwithstanding, however, what I commend about what she did and something I advocate wholeheartedly, is being completely transparent with the person to whom you’re married, to the point that you are able to let them into your most uncomfortable spaces.

Why?  Because even in marriage, we are still uniquely multifaceted people; Because secrets kill us from the inside and cause us to do many regrettable things.  We should be open because we said those super-magical vows, (remember) that for most included the phrases, “to love and to honor” and “till death do us part”.  But mostly, we should be open because it allows us to unseal all those locked spaces that we hide from our spouses– to inevitably set us free, and make us more capable to completely love!

 

Let us know in the comments, what’s your take on a truly “open” marriage?

[1]https://institutedfa.com/Leading-Causes-Divorce/

[2]https://web.archive.org/web/20080131132627/http://www2.oprah.com/tows/slide/200801/20080128/slide_20080128_350_206.jhtml

[3]https://www.essence.com/news/monique-sets-record-straight-her-open-marriage-new-podcast-it-was-my-idea/

 

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38 thoughts on “Message From Mo’Nique: Have an Open Marriage, Don’t Cheat!

  1. whenever people think open marriage, or open relationship, they instantly think it means it’s like having a hall pass but I wouldn’t be able to cope with it. honesty is the key in every relationship

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  2. I feel that one of the most important things for a successful marriage is for the husband & wife to be friends first and then life partners for each other. It allows for space for each to be who they are & not try to change the other. This comfort, care & camaraderie makes the other think twice before going in for an affair and maybe ruin it all. If they still do, then I feel the couple would be better suited for a live-in relationship rather than a marriage…same everything without the expectations of a vowed-in traditional arrangement.
    – Nandita

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  3. very awesome article.i agree with this totally.
    I really like and appreciate your work. please keep up the effective work.i want to see you again,
    Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work

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  4. I completely agree with this. So much can be solved by an open chat and I definitely think that is the most important aspect of a relationship.

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  5. I agree that both partners should be very open with each other and communicate their wishes, but I don’t agree with an open marriage. Seeing other people while you are in a relationship simply destroys the trust that you’ve built over the years with your partner.

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  6. That is an interesting take on marriages. While I am not wholly comfortable with the idea of open marriages I do support 100% transparency

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  7. This is such an interesting topic to read especially to couples. I’ve totally agreed that everything you’ve said. To make marriage happy and smooth, couples shouldn’t hide something to each other, as you said it must be open to both.

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  8. As someone who got divorced because of infidelities (among other reasons of course), I may not be comfortable with open marriage but I do support being open in our relationships. Being open means risking being vulnerable and being able to discuss the hard stuff and that to me is far more important.

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  9. I’m not sure how I would feel about an open marriage or relationship for that matter. I guess it would have to be the right situation

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  10. I agree with you. My own marriage is open. It doesn’t mean I have lots of other partner, in fact I never wanted to have anyone other than my husband. It is just so liberating never having a borderline which pushes you,

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  11. Really interesting post and one that’s definitely got me thinking. Especially having just gotten out of a long-term relationship

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  12. This post reminding us the we need a fully understand about a MARRIAGE ., Its about how you deal together in everything and always remember the reason why you get there and promising a vow together.you and your partner to the Our LORD GOD .

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  13. This is somewhat strange, because marriage has a religious origin, before countries, before civil states. Marriage was a religious institution and the monogamy in it was religiously imposed, but mainly as a prophylactic measure (avoiding contagious diseases, sexually transmissible illness, etc). Of course, after penicillin, modern lifestyle, birth control methods and civil and human rights institution, those religious beliefs about monogamy make really no (or very little) sense.
    I personally don’t think I would need multiple sexual partners, but I consider myself a very lucky person! Of course, if both partners agree on having an open marriage, I that’s not actually a problem.

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  14. This is such an interesting post on what is quite a hot controversial topic at the moment. I think it makes sense in a lot of ways although not sure it will be for me!

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  15. My husband and I are been together for 16 years but being married for 5 years and I am glad that I am not having any problem with him since the first day of our relationship. I agree that honesty is a stronger key in having a good relationship with your partner.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Honesty is extremely important in a marriage! I am content to be married and faithful to one partner, but know others are not. I often wonder how people have the time and energy to nurture more than one relationship, haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. While I am not comfortable to this idea in my own marriage, I do agree that being open in communication is key. It is important to talk about everything, including the uncomfortable places. Thanks for giving us all something to think over!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Well, I am 25 and not yet married, but I’m sure when you are with someone for over 10 years you might crave a sexual experience with someone else. Not sure how I’d feel about it though, I guess we’ll wait and see lol

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Personally I am not sure if I would feel comfortable being in an open marriage, but I’d much rather live an honest marriage rather than an unfaithful one if I had to pick.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. It’s like the television show says, “It takes different strokes to move the world”. I think people need to do what’s right for them. It’s all different for every couple. In my opinion, all marriage does is say “Both of us are committed to each other”. How that looks to every couple is different.

    Liked by 1 person

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