We’re Happy…In Love…AND In An Open Marriage
Open Marriage is a hotly debated issue in general and in particular in the Black Community. There are many people that believe it’s a relationship philosophy that is wrong and could never work. But there’s also a growing segment of people who not only live this lifestyle but are very vocal about the benefits of such an arrangement. We came across this interview on AOL BlackVOICES of Carl and Kenya Stevens, a couple in an open marriage and it was very interesting to say the least. As always BLAM FAM keep it real and let us know what yall think.
From: AOL Black Voices
Would you be okay if your husband had a girlfriend? Or what if your wife went on vacation with her male lover – without you — could you handle that?
Most people admittedly could not, with such ideas often igniting feelings of rage, jealousy, a barrage of expletives or even cause windows to be busted. Yeah, it could get ugly.
But BlackVoices found a married couple who is fine with those scenarios and even spent last July apart with their significant others. Meet Carl and Kenya Stevens, parents of three who, after spending 12 years of marriage monogamously, decided three years ago to try open marriage.
What would make them switch up?
Well, in 2006, Carl, 40, came home from work and told Kenya, 36, he’d fallen in love with another woman. No, he didn’t cheat on her, as the relationship was nonsexual. But it didn’t stop him from having feelings for his coworker. His honesty propelled them to explore the deeper meaning of their union and, at Carl’s suggestion, contemplate an open marriage. Kenya admits that she wasn’t down for it at first and it took two years for her to warm up to the idea.
Before you write her off as another woman kowtowing to her man’s lustful appetite, know that she was the first one to have sex outside their marriage once it was open. They say their open marriage has been spiritually and emotionally transformational, and even brought them closer together.
As unconventional as the Stevenses’ marital status appears, they aren’t the first African Americans to engage in this lifestyle. Academy Award-winning actressMo’Nique has spoken publicly on various occasions about the open marriage she shares with her husband, Sidney Hicks. Legendary Hollywood couple Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis admitted in their 1998 joint biography, ‘With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together,’ that they tried an open marriage but later decided it wasn’t for them. Supermodel Naomi Campbell’s Russian billionaire boyfriend Vladimir Doronin has an open marriage with his wife. And let’s not forget the occasional rumblings surrounding whether A-list couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have an open marriage.
Even though there isn’t any statistical data pointing to open relationships as a growing trend among African American couples, you have to wonder with rampant cases of infidelity and marital dishonesty, reports of the single black woman’s plight and nearly half of American marriages – a reported 70% for African Americans – ending in divorce, should African Americans consider this lifestyle?
Black Voices sat down with the Stevenses to discuss how this marital arrangement is working for them and why others may want to consider it.
Black Voices: How do you define open marriage as a couple?
Carl Stevens: For us it’s the ability to relate to other people, meaning we can have friendships, we can have intimate relationships, we can have any kind of relating with someone else that we feel is necessary for us as individuals. We also have to be able to be open and honest with each other, and we have a certain line of communication so that everybody is in the loop with how we’re feeling and what’s going on.
Kenya Stevens: Oftentimes in marriage, parameters are set on even emotional friendships with the opposite sex. If my husband wanted to go and play checkers with the woman who lived across the street, that’s deemed as ‘not right.’ In our marriage, we can have emotional relationships with people of the opposite sex.
BV: Then why continue to stay married?
CS: The fact is that it’s natural and the realness is that you will have and desire to be in relationships with other people. Humans, by nature, are gregarious beings. It’s more natural for us to love others and to be with others on a different level than it is for us not to. We actually have to close ourselves off, so to speak, in a traditional Christian-based marriage and stop ourselves from expressing our natural desires. So we’re kind of going against the natural order of things by trying to control who and how you love. Love doesn’t work that way.
BV: How do you deal with jealousy without finding yourself resenting the other?
CS: The thing is, it starts with understanding people’s perspective on jealousy. It’s valid to feel jealousy, but is it valid that it’s accepted? So if somebody’s jealous, do we accept that jealousy and change our behavior to accommodate it? The answer to that is no, you don’t accept it and change your behavior. Instead we work with each other and support each other to overcome these jealous feelings.
An example would be to say if Kenya goes out with her boyfriend and I have a feeling of jealousy around it, I, being able to be vulnerable and truthful, am able talk with her about how I feel.
BV: You are love coaches who have a foundation in tantra. How has this influenced your ability to have an open relationship?
KS: Tantra is the idea that sex is a sacred activity. It’s the most grandiose meditation that two people can participate in together. So we don’t think about sex in a pornographic fashion. We think of sex as connecting with another person. And so that separates the idea of just swinging and going out and just looking for sex and so forth.
When we deal with a relationship outside of our marriage, it’s a deep connection. The individuals that we are friends with outside of our marriage are also friends with our partners. So my boyfriend is friends with my husband. My husband’s girlfriend is friends with me. So we have a tantric connection to each individual that we have an intimate partnership with.
BV: That’s a very evolved way of thinking, but it still can’t be easy knowing that your mate now has another lover. How did you adjust?
KS: Yes, there’s a big adjustment period and we’re still in it. We’re very comfortable right now, three years in, but for the first year it was very, very rough because we’re discarding all of these notions and ideas like jealousy. We’re replacing jealously with ideas like compersion – the state of being actually joyous and excited if your partner is receiving pleasure and happiness outside your union.
So replacing jealousy with compersion was a big, big thing for us. We’re at the point now where we’re actually very happy when our partner is satisfied outside our union. And we’re very happy when we receive satisfaction with each other.
BV: You spent the majority of your marriage as a monogamous couple. How do you become joyous and excited that your spouse is with another when your habits have been the complete opposite of that?
CS: You have to be willing to ask, ‘why do I have a problem with the way someone wants to live their life, even if it is somebody that I am married to?’ Or, ‘where is the source of my anger, mistrust and jealousy coming from?’ If you’re willing to do that analysis on yourself and really be introspective, what you’ll find is that it comes from the cultural bias that we’ve been implanted with by society.
It comes from us not being in touch with our own selves. So when you’re willing to do that, that will bring you back around to being more at a place where you can express love for other people, be happy for other people, be OK with their choices and not feel offended or threatened.
BV: You have three children under the age of 12. Do they understand your lifestyle arrangement? What’s their reaction?
CS: We basically talk to them openly about our lifestyle. We include them in it in terms of communication and they may meet our partners. The only negative effect I see is their being judged by other children or adults who want to pass judgment upon Kenya and I. I think overall, it’s a positive thing for our children because they understand they can actually make a choice. They can live the lifestyle they want to live. They don’t have to follow tradition or follow the ‘cultural norm.’
BV: Are you worried about your children thinking open relationships are the norm and then finding themselves perpetually single because the other half of their partnerships aren’t down for sharing?
CS: I don’t have any worries about that. One of the essential things that we teach people is that you create your life. We think that our children will feel empowered to create the relationships that they want in life because everything we do is based on the law of attraction. So if they can’t find a partner who is aligned with their belief system then they probably would have some internal doubts about themselves or internal guilt about something.
BV: What about your other family members, how are they responding to your current marital status?
KS: Our parents didn’t really approve at first. But they see we’re going to live this lifestyle whether they approve or not. And it’s really their choice if they’re going to accept it or not. Fortunately for us, they did accept it.
BV: You discuss your open marriage in radio personality Michael Baisden’s upcoming documentary, “Do Women Know What They Want?” Why did you decide to speak publicly about your open marriage?
CS: We started doing relationship coaching in 2005 so we were already in a mode where we were open about sharing our lives. That was our whole approach when teaching couples about monogamy. Kenya started being open about her relationships on her blog and when the open relationship came along she started writing about it along with her other relationship experiences. Also, Michael Baisden approached us about being a part of his documentary.
BV: What has been some of the feedback you’ve received about open marriage from the African American community?
CS: We get a lot of feedback that’s against open marriages, but at the same time, I think there’s a very large group of people out there who understand that the current institution of marriage does not work. And instead, we need to focus on more of a universal love concept and focus on not being victims in our own lives. I think those people are open to the concept of an open marriage because basically they understand they create their life and have control of it. If a person isn’t used to being open and honest in a monogamous relationship and is used to playing games there’s no way they will be able to conceive of an open relationship that’s built on trust and honesty.
BV: Given the often dire statistics reported about marriage and infidelity relating to African Americans, is this a lifestyle choice that more of them should consider?
KS: I don’t think that this is a lifestyle choice that will benefit African Americans any more than monogamy will. What I do feel is that it will expand our awareness and aid us in really coming out of a system that does not work. But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be any difficulties coming into a new system.
If we are able to make a real transition where we really feel that we don’t have to own our partner, we don’t have to own his penis, we don’t have to own her vagina, if we actually get to that point, and we will find the benefits of that type of thinking. But it’s a journey that I won’t claim to be easy.
BV: What are some of the joys and advantages that you’ve experienced as participants in an open marriage?
CS: It’s brought Kenya and I closer. We’re able to talk about things that we didn’t imagine we would be talking about, like our experiences with our other partners or things that we like or dislike on an intimate level. That’s been a big benefit for us.
KS: I feel very much more connected and more fearless. I feel free in my sensuality and happier on a daily basis. I feel like I have choices, options. I feel like I’m more willing to work things out with my husband because we have a real relationship based on truth and authenticity. Most people who are married do not have a choice or an option –ever – for the next 50 or 80 years to relate with someone of the opposite sex really intimately or emotionally. That’s what we vehemently dispute.
BV: What are some of the challenges that you’ve faced as an open marriage couple?
CS: We’re still trying to get through some earlier feelings we have around jealousy.
BV: Kenya, last July you and Carl spent time with your respective lovers. Please tell me about that experience.
KS: We spent the entire month of July with our significant others. Our kids go away every summer to my parents’ home so we decided to spend last summer with our significant others. It was good. I was in New York and Carl was in Mississippi. Carl and I talked every day. We coordinated with each other every day and communicated with each other.
BV: You obviously are OK with the other staying away overnight. Do you have any guidelines that you follow in your open marriage?
KS: The most important thing is trust, which is really our only rule. I trust my husband to protect our family, to protect my heart, to protect himself and to be the type of person who will be a viable husband for years to come. He expects and trusts the same things in me. We don’t have rules like ‘you can’t stay out late’ or ‘you can only go out on these days.’
BV: Speaking of protection, some may wonder if this lifestyle puts you at risk for contracting diseases?
KS: We don’t have that concern because we protect ourselves. We use many different forms of protection based on what we think is necessary. There is using a condom, which is a very good idea if you want to have that form of physical protection. There’s the idea that you are spiritually protected, meaning that you are not prone to a disease. And there’s also the option not to engage in intercourse. We have used all three of those options.
BV: Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee tried an open marriage but later decided monogamy was a better option for them. Do you think you’ll always have an open marriage?
KS: I hope so. I don’t know what would change or make it different. You never know what life is going to bring.
Carl and Kenya Stevens, who authored ‘Tame Your Woman‘ and ‘Change Your Man,’ respectively, are love coaches who blog about their experiences atwww.JuJuMamaBlog.com, where they also operate JuJuMama’s Love Academy.
This article made me concerned for one reason only — they are practicing counseling. It was not mentioned but I would not be surprised if they are into swinging as well.
People this is just one more reason to 1) thoroughly investigate the backgrounds of the people you receive any type of therapy from and 2) make sure that your stated goal for your therapy is clear and UNWAVERING!!!
It also emphasizes how much background investigation you must do PRIOR to marrying someone. The children of this couple will be willing to engage in and tolerant of a lot of stuff that I do not want my grown and married children exposed to. Teach your children that investigating your future spouse and their family does not kill a marriage but gives it a better chance at survival and happiness WITHIN the marriage.
Marriage is a discipline. Let me say that again, as unloving as it sounds, marriage is a discipline.
It is a discipline that one enters into knowing that one must discipline themselves and their desires. To most that will sound like a drag but to long term married couples they understand. The joy in marriage comes from the mutual growth in marriage through discipline. We don't think that disciplining ourselves from using illegal drugs or alcohol is a bad idea and neither is discipling ones self from abusing our marital relationships.
Spending the summer with your out of marriage boy/girlfriend? What in the hell? The high divorce rates are not cured by this foolishness. High divorce rates occur when people don't know what they are entering into and thus don't fully accept the responsibility. When you don't address the issues you potentially bring to the table — abuse, family drama, lack of education, children from other relationships, different religions, poor money habits, obesity — and work fervently to improve your own issues, THAT is what leads to divorce.
Your hard work, continual work, brutal but respectful honesty, determination to have fun WITHIN your marriage COMBINED with prayer is what will keep your marriage strong over the long haul.
I will also add for correctness that the proper verse is in Hebrews 13:4 is- LET the marriage be undefiled. It is clear from this verse that not every sex act is permissible just because two married parties agree.
Black people we want to claim the spirit of discernment about what used car to buy please pray for that same spirit when you are doing THOROUGH background checks on the people you let counsel you. When receiving counseling you are at your most vulnerable and you are very much able to be influenced.
Also be aware that for some counselors, objectivity is NOT the goal, but pushing their agenda is. Don't be led down the wrong path by your counselor / therapist!!!
Be VERY careful with your marriage.
Pure foolishness what a disrespect for the sanctity of marriage.
There is hope…!
Live a little longer, see what you believe about things when you are a bit closer to the end.
What makes me laugh about all the comments against this couple's choice is what narrow visions are running rampant in communities at large. It just seems that many of the comments, like yours, are so ready to pronounce their ideas of their relationship as WRONG (PERIOD!). What they are doing may not be right–for you. Not everything is for everybody. Open your mind more than, or at least as much as, you open your mouth…(~_^)
I GUESS THEY DONT LOVE EACH OTHER CUZ IF THEY DO..ITS IMPOSSIBLE TO FEEL GOOD KNOWING THE ONE YOU LOVE IS IN THE ARMS OF ANOTHER MAN OR WOMAN…SOONER OR LATER HES GONNA GET ATTRACTED TO ONE OF THEM OUTSIDE THE RELATIONSHIP..THEY GONNA END UP BITTER..SAY I SAY SO..
There is a reason why God made Adan then he made Eve… he did not made eve and evelyn and eva for him he said one man to one woman..he said be truthful to your wife..he also said to close the family cirlcle tightly, he also said…lust is one of the devils major strategies to trap people in todays world..husband and wife and the way not husband and wife slash mistress and misters…plz…they both need help from GOD HIMSELF.
Yes, Carl cheated. There must've been an intimacy that he shared with his coworker for him to fall in love with her. I'm not talking about sex. I'm talking about true intimacy. And if he reached out to her for it then he obviously felt like he wasn't getting that at home. He felt comfortable enough to confide in his wife his love for another woman, but not whatever he was confiding in this other woman (apparently). This is ridiculous & is just another example of people making excuses to do what they want to do when they want to do it. Black, white, red, yellow or blue….it makes no sense!
Two things stand out to me while reading this:
1. Jealousy is a natural emotion meant to protect that which is personal & private. The fact that this couple (in particular) is still dealing with jealousy tells me that deep down they know that open marriage is not the right way to go.
2. "There’s the idea that you are spiritually protected, meaning that you are not prone to a disease." Not going to happen. How can one be protected when you are going against the Divine Will?
This is crazy!! I agree with most of the comments here, and God did not intend for marriage to be shared in that way. I can not see me being acceptive to my husband going out being with other women, Heck No! What about diseases, what about family, what about honoring the covenant of marriage and the vows you took before God. Well from my perspective, it seems like people are making things convenient for themselves, and they are just making the rules up as they go. But the bible is the greatest book of instruction for marriage, so I think some people need to get it together. To each its own, but one day you will have to face the man above on your actions. And as far as Monique goes, she made it clear on her show that people have taken what she said out of context. She said that when she said that her and Sidney had an open marriage, it meant that they didn't have any secrets, that they agreed to share any and everything with each other, not that she allows him to go sleep with other women all wily nilly. She corrected Tyrese on that because he put it in his book. But like I said, it doesn't make any sense to me at all.
Shouts out to any couple or individual who lives their life by their own compass and not what they've read or heard or been brainwashed to believe.
I love all of the various comments on this. I hadn't seen this article about my marriage until today! Imagine that! I'd love to answer any of your questions… I hope you'll stop in at our website. http://jujumamablog.com or http://jujumama.com
In terms of our relationship, I love it! I have never felt inclined to follow a system that I, nor any of my distant relatives, created. I create my life! I can create any rules I want to. It is my world, I am not subject to anyone else's ideas of what should happen in life, I was born alone and I will die alone… this life will be a kaleidoscope of my desires, dreams, passions and blessings! I believe in myself enough to know that I create my life!
I have embedded a video so that you can see my husband and I. NO, we don't believe in divorce, we've been in love for 17 years, married that long, with kids, we will always be together. How many modern couples can say that? giggle… xo
Thanks to the Ma'ats for posting this!
BTW – my kemetic name is Hakashamut xoxo
[youtube _5t6FlBIRpU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5t6FlBIRpU youtube]
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What's up Kenya,
Thanks for stopping by and making a comment on our site. Yall have definitely generated a lot of buzz. We'll be in touch. Peace
Kenya said "There’s the idea that you are spiritually protected, meaning that you are not prone to a disease" what exactly done that mean and how do they deal with soul ties and emotional ties, inventing new ways to make ourselves happy is one thing but wanting others to endorse our lifestyle is another thing all together. Marriage as God ordained it is beautiful, if there is a problem in the marriage that should be dealt with.
Lastly, wrong is wrong regardless of who is doing it, let's stop selling ourselves short and work on our marriages instead of settling for cheaper alternatives.
Open marriage would not be for me, and I don't understand it. I believe people will justify just about anything in order for it to make sense…Is it right or wrong? It would be wrong for me. My question is this, what if your wife or husband fall madly in love with another person while engaging in this open marriage? How would you handle that? Control is an illusion, things can change in an instant.
Happy ~ In Love ~ Open Marriage~ That doesn't evn match. More like Delusional ~ Indecisive ~ Closed Minded.
It's not the ANSWER for you maybe, and the GOD/CREATOR they serve seems to be okay with what they are doing. If it works for them, all power to the couple. Marriage means different things to different people. Even within so called traditional marriages we see varying interpretations of what it means to be married. Congrats to these two for having the courage to create the relationships they want.
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I completely agree with your comment. People seem to like pushing their ideas onto other people's lives.
If there are as many ways to parent as there are parents, can't there be as many ways to have a happy, successful relationship as there are people in them?
Not everything is for everybody. In your own life you must find your own way to make yourself happy.
Ok i thought God insituted the union of marriage which makes him able to set the rules anyways i cant see how this can be healthy emotionally or in any other way God is not the author of confusion and a sitution like this will defintely cause confusion just my thoughts theres a way that seem right unto man but the end results is death dont wanna live my life on It Seems #justsayin#
Peace Family, Why doesnt she and he raise the status of these relationship to marriage sharing, becuz If a boyfriend/girlfriend is not marriage then it is a low level standard relationship and the side folks will never be considered the equal! What if one the mates partners wanted to bare children(or child) from them? What about bare back or going raw with your mate? Condoms does not stop herpes! Sex has bonding chemical actions and reactions! Peace
& I'm sure they can & do/will deal with these issues…That's called "their business"—not yours.
What about having blood tests for whatever may ail you before starting sexual relationships, anyway?
'Glad you know about these things. Let's hope you practice safe sex yourself and not only just preach it to others! Not everything is for everybody…'jus' sayin'.
Ok – I am confused… what is marriage again? Is commitment somewhere in the VOWS and is it the version where GOD is included? OR IS THIS MODERN DAY comfort and convenience rituals?
I think that people should stop pushing their morals on other people. Some married people are in open marriages and have no idea that they are in one. Some people front like they have this strong union but they KNOW they are in an open marriage because they know their spouse has lovers outside the union. People should be able to do what works for them without facing persecution. It is one thing to disagree and not participate in that type of lifestyle for yourself, but it is another to imply that they should live their life how you live your life. Happiness is what people strive for and if they are genuinely happy, more power to them!
This forum is for us to chime in I thought to give our points of view. That's really all it is our points of view and it helps to hear that others out there still have some sense of pride and morals on subjects like this. it proves that we are not all lost in this world of lust and just being fake with one another.
I would believe that the union of marriage and it;s rules are there to keep us from something very bad if we did not apply our lives to it. There is more to life then just sleeping with this women that women and 18 others to feed our sickness and the same for the women who has to have 20 other men in her bed and be married.
You me or anyone of us can call it what we want to the bottom line is there are rules in the union of marriage and when we break the rules in the union there's something ahead for us.
A lesson sometimes DEATH due to STD's let keep this real here, I nor anyone can't instruct on how to conduct their behavior, you are so very right here. But it helps to see others out there have this same idea about the meaning of marriage, It's proven to us whom are reading this threads, there is still hope out there among us so no one is persecuting anyone these are only our views and what we feel so deeply.
However situations like this always fall apart because one can get sick of the other and trust me people like this get board very quick, look at how often the seek out others to swing.
So yeah let live to his or her own beat, just long as there;s still some sense of union out there as well, we are all not lost because some of us do care and cherish the union of being committed to just one person that we love and respect.
Look at it this way, "if we did not have rules to follow in marriage most of us would self destruct" like these open marriages always end up. Leaving one of the people involve broken and completely lost. I personally know 3 couples that started out like this and now divorced because of the lies about it all. Not me I was just a friend that listen to these stories once they all ended very badly, no lie.
However in the mist of these flings I had no idea this stuff was going on until the curtains came falling down. One of the women from one of the situations wanted to end her life ok so you see there is something out there that;s driving these people.
So to say look the other way is like saying you know that the neighbors kids are playing in the road and the cars are flying buy but ignore it and keep your moth shut, or You see this women on the edge of this sky scrapper but do not try and call her down from the fall, wow!
However, again I respect your views on this as well,
Lync: I agree with you that this is a forum for opinion expression. I live by the mantra stand for something or fall for anything. However, when I read certain comments, it reads beyond stating an opinion to implying that this couple is wrong. Yes, there are rules to a marriage, but the couple sets the rules. They set the rules by incorporating their spirituality/religion, or what they can or cannot handle. They may decide later that they cannot handle this type of lifestyle and revert back to a traditional marriage. All in all, it is up to them and not society.
Wow! the back and forth on this topic is amazing. Two people wanting one another but can not break away from lust, screwing others, wow. I bet in the end someone will get hurt or die from this due to STD'S someone will sip it always happen when we think we have one up on the laws of life.
Hey I can not speak for any of you so these are my own thoughts. However when you really look at people like this they may not be you nor me ok. There is something missing within both of them.
No they can't just come out and confront this it's hidden deep within and Ego takes over to hide the truth about why so many lovers in and out, you feel me. Some of us say that loves like this make them feel happy or they both agree to do so so who's business is it really.
I say go ahead and have your cake and eat it to but there will come a time when you get older and what your private parts can do now may not work. Ok reality check, who will really love you then cause if you never had self love and found this in someone years back. It's your dam fault.
Well by then it's too late because everyone that you placed blame on might be dead or gone, then what? All you have is self to deal with. Oh yeah some may not be able to think way ahead of this thought but I tell you. there are a lot of people out there going along with this idea because of the person that they think their making happy by going along with this idea to have an open marriage, YEAH WE CAN SEE WHAT'S WHAT, LOL someone , one of you never wanted this but this women or man talked you into it and now you're in the game of scrap shoot with you private parts.
But! and I say this loudly, one of you will want out of this game someday when you find out life is more meaningful with just one person that understands and love and respect you.
One more thing before I go. I we don't love ourselves from inside out lust, Fake People, Users without a soul, will always come knockin at your door, believe that. Great people go down by the numbers with a good idea about relationships until they run into Mr or Miss selfish and they some how get so attached too these kinds of people, why, Because self respect has no home nowhere inside of you.
Yes a man will talk his women into this all the time, but will she fall for it? Ok lets turn this around, what if it's the female wanting this, ok well she not happy with her man in that way so she talk him into it for what ever reason and so he buy into it just as long as he still have her. WOW what a life right.
Bottom line, empty lost people one by one will get old and no one will love them the right way when they really need someone by their side. YEAH for those of you who agree with this kind of life. Hey that's you and I respect that, However are you really facing what's eating at you deep down inside, I mean really. Maybe you can not answer this right now due to you getting upset, ok.
But now hear me ok. When you get older and no one want you in that way anymore, then what?where will you get comfort from then if you make it that far. Because if an STD do not take you out. Your self image will come forth one day unloading all the baggage of the life you've lead.
Look at it this way. What ever we do right now creates the life that's coming ahead. For those of us whom lie to the temple and pretend we're ok, the temple will someday speak back and if the foundations of self worth is not there to catch all the parts that you've destroyed.
You answer that part!
Wow. 'Tried reading you. A lot of judgement coming from what I could actually understand.
Do you really believe a person could be "talked into" doing something they didn't want to do?
Suppose this scenario were true: Husband asks wife to fufill his fantasy of seeing her make love to another man. Does she or doesn't she is her choice, and they just may have a whole lot of fun exploring that topic (either in fantasy or reality) once it's been able to be brought up in the first place.
Whatever consenting adults agree to do in the bedroom is none of your judgementally-clouded, narrow-minded business. Communication in whatever you do is key to understanding. Not everything is for everybody…
Why is this man 40 years old with braids?
Also, if they feel "happier", "more free", in this open marriage…then they were not being fulfilled with one another to begin with. That leads me to believe they either did not work on communication or simply married each other for the wrong reasons. I believe that there is one man out there for this one woman. I know it will take hard work, but it is possible.
Traditional marriage is still relevant today. People just want the easy way out.
Patricia! Yes!!!!!!!!!! Your first line sums it all up.
I sent this article to my boyfriend. I included in the note that I couldn't even read the entire article. "Open" marriage…then what was the point of taking those vows, in the name of the Lord. I cannot imagine committing myself to a man and suddenly opening what is supposed to be between me, him, and God to the rest of the world.
This couple stated that sex is an act that is special between a husband and wife. Then why include other people? I don't understand. Another man is NOT going to force me closer to MY husband. Honestly, it would draw me away. That completely dissolves the sanction of marriage.
It's interesting the way people interpret the Bible and God's word to fit what they want.
I read the article and the comments here. Society is so closed minded and judgemental. If it doesn't work for your relationship/lifestyle than it doesn't. It is fine to have and share an opinion, but presentation is everything. When you share your opinion and it is "harsh" like the ones stated here of complete opposition, then we have people living their lives in the closet…be careful, it may be your own spouse hiding.
There are many different ways a couple could have an open relationship, not just the way this couple has it arranged. A couple could agree to have a girlfriend they both see for example. There could also be some boundaries set, much more than this couple in the article has, such as if the couple has a girlfriend, they cannot go out on individual dates with her alone, etc.
But the bottom line is that both people have to understand and agree with the lifestyle as they state. So I want to add, yes, have common values, but free your mind…you will find that you will have a healthier and happier relationship!!!!
Yes you are so right about some of the things you are saying But you know what this all boils down to. It boils down to where we started ok.
Lets go there, 3 words, Foundation, Friendship, Respect. Ok before we dance in an argument lets have dialog ok. If I am your friend first I will never present something like this to you because I respect out togetherness that much. Ok now you may feel different and that's ok, you will find that someone.
However before you do that, if I were you I might want to look far into the future and ask myself if this will keep me until I am old and gray. or could it be just a phase that we sometimes go through. Maybe or maybe not, just a thought.
However at some point you say to me you're into this kind of thought early on, I have a choice I have to make.
And being me I would keep you and my relationship only to that level of just remaining just conversation buddies. See my point here is to go back to the start. like what got us together. Did I as a man go into this without morals about life or if i saw a weakness in you as a women at some early stage and decided to take advantage of that but do it in a way so you would never figure it out.
See these are the games some of us play early on. So when you have people into this kind of life style , yes it's their business but when you take a look at how we are all connected in some way like through this forum our voice is heard so are our thoughts. Maybe! just maybe someone is reading this and is lost themselves and need confirmation on a different perspective.
I may not know you personally but when we talk among one another here and now we are connecting thoughts and ideas. so mentally we are linked. We may not agree and that's cool but we are all connected in some small or big way trust me.
Answer this one. Do you feel that most people walking around are ready to be committed? Or if they even respect the idea of a man or a women and know how to deal with one another let alone deal with their own issues because we all have them big or small. We all have these hang ups about who should be what and if they are not we can not date them just because.
I say the "just Because" is all based on how we view one another, is it lust or general attraction or ego driven, take your pick. S o when we say let these people do what ever, you know what you are right but do you ever question if they in the courting stage talked about things like this.
Lol, I don't see anything wrong with this set up if both parties are in agreement. There are parts of marriage I don't agree with but seem to be the mainstream way of doing it. Who am I to judge?
I know the concept of open marriage isn't for everyone and it's cetainly not for me but Kenya Stevens said something interesting – "Oftentimes in marriage, parameters are set on even emotional friendships with the opposite sex" – this is true even in dating relationships but shouldn't the parameters of any relationship be discussed/ agreed to by both and not just assumed? The Stevens said they are now free to discuss their deepest feelings with trust and authenticity – didn't they feel that way before? why? Why did they marry? also said "Most people who are married do not have a choice or an option –ever – for the next 50 or 80 years to relate with someone of the opposite sex really intimately or emotionally. That’s what we vehemently dispute." Ok by why does being emotionally connected with someone mean they must be your sex partner? Do they sleep with all of their friends? Sooo many questions!! If it's working for them ok for them but I couldn't do it.
Come on people like this will sing a song and dance every time you give them a spot light ok. In our culture ok lets go there.
We have so many things that we have to clean up emotionally and spiritually due to history. do most even care, well maybe no ok. However our "Roots" that are so fragmented it almost feels as though we walk in complete darkness. about most things.
I do not mean to get deep into this but it all boils down to where we are inside and our morals.
Some of us could care less about morals ok , lets be real here, because of this fix about sex.
And be it a man or a women who is talking their partner into this is the one that is the selfish one and he or she will sign a tune to make it happen.
In most relationships , one is in more then the other due to how they met. Yes there are some cases where two are really in ok but this take for the two to have a great understanding about longevity, respect and just being loyal to one another.
However for the two that are in a situation and one of them happens to be in all the way and the other in half way. This is the kind of relationship that going through this. someone is not happy but do not have the smarts to say "we have to break this off". Greed and just being Selfish. And when our inner self is at it's weakest, like when you do not have a clue about a love for self and respect for self. the host becomes your everything due to the lack of self worth.
So let these people do what they feel will make them whole for now. But when they get older and have lived and gone through these cycle of life. then lets see who's there for them that find them as attractive as they were in their prime.
I would say these kinds of people were lonely when they were younger and they are still alone inside when they get very old because somewhere in the life cycle they did not learn how to love self first.
Let everybody else do it, but them! As a man, My life is not about how many women I can get to open their legs to me ok. Life to me is about a collection of moments that make us who we are right now today until it's all over. We are given the gift of choice, it's our call. So with this gift, How will we end up in the end, our choice.
So if the life we've lead blossoms out to a beautiful ending so be it. However if our life end up to where we are lonely at the same time SO BE IT! because back then we place way to much attention on feeding that lustful self regarding sex and we pulled down a few along the way with us. And when we are faced with this with no one around to hold us really and care. it's no body fault but our own due to the gift of "Choice".
Oh, my, this is YOU, again. Time to school you—again!
Love and belonging and yes, sex, are part of the basic human needs in Maslow's Hiearchy of needs (look it up), like food, shelter, and sleep.
However we might obtain getting what we need to thrive is up to us when we reach adulthood. The only thing I think we agree on is CHOICE. Thank goodness/God/nature that you are not a part of my cypher. I would choose to cut you loose the moment you opened your mouth and began your psychobabble. If only your mind was as wide open as your judgement…ah, but I digress.
This boils down to a case of people wanting their cake and eating it too. Just an excuse because of their inability to control their sexual appetites. The most honorable thing about marriage is that you sacrifice your base nature and commit to ONE person sexually/emotionally for life. This is the last thing we need in the black community is to adopt this ideology that infidelity is ok.
Logically it makes no sense. If you're still going to sleep with different folks why not just stay single? Why go through the process of getting a marriage liscense, going infront of a judge/pastor and exchange vows. Honestly I think this is just a case of people wanting their cake and eating it too, afraid or just unable to commit to one oerson sexually. But of course the rational would be that they're "husband" or "wife" is their "main" man/woman.
If I wanted to whore around, I wouldnt have gotten married…and if my husband didnt get upset at the prospect and/or fact that I was sleeping with someone other than him, our bond is not connected deep enough to sustain the kind of marriage I want/need
open marriage is very detrimental because of disease and people that aren't honest about their health status if they know their status at all. people are distorting the ideology behind marriage. I feel if an open marriage is necessary then you shouldn't get or be married.
I respectfully disagree with the idea of an open marriage. If you are able to emotionally and intimately connect with other people, than what exactly is sacred about your marriage? The question of "why get married" was never really answered. I think it is a fallacy that you are closer to your spouse because you know you have options. That is one of the reasons you get married in the first place – you exercised your options and CHOSE the one you married. I also resent the insinuation that this is an "evolved" relationship. If this is how they want to live, I have no problem with it, but don't try to frame it as a more intellectual, sound choice than monogamy.
Couldn't agree more. Honestly,. this is a case of people wanting to have their cake and eating it too. The contradiction in this is that they say that infidelity is a problem in the black community, but what exactly is an open ''marriage''?