Are Open Marriages a Solution or Contradiction?

Darryl A. Cobbin asks a question that many want answered.

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Can open marriages work?

Darryl A. Cobbin of the Huffington Post has written an article entitled, "Open Marriage: A Celebrity Solution or a Contradiction in Terms," in which he explores the pros and cons of open marriages.

In examining the controversy surrounding the high-profile marriages of Jada and Will Smith and Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, both of which are rumored to have been open marriages, Cobbin wonders aloud if it is even possible for an open marriage to work. He uses his marriage of 17 years as an example of what it takes to make a traditional marriage work, while expanding the definition of "open marriage" beyond bringing in additional sexual partners. He writes:

During my nearly 20 years of marriage I've almost been divorced on more than one occasion. I can say with absolute certainty that when I was on the brink of divorce I was distracted big time. I was more interested in being a successful executive than being an involved and present husband and father. In other words I was "open" to nearly every major job assignment that came my way. Instead of focusing on being the best husband and father that I could be, I allowed, and dare I say invited, distractions in the form of career to take my mind away from proactively dealing with the problems in myself and the challenges in my marriage. As a result, I was merely delaying the inevitable. And while I was temporarily enjoying my career distractions, my personal life was becoming more miserable, as I was putting a good but false public face on it. I wasn't open to another sexual partner, but my openness to other outside influences was almost as damaging to the foundation of trust and love that my wife and I had built together as an infidelity might have been.

Open marriages are just an invitation for sexy, exciting, thrilling and potentially lethal distractions. It's inviting disaster, just like working crazy hours at the expense of yourself or your loved ones; playing golf more than you know you should to get away from your family; hanging out with friends more than hanging in, or out, with your spouse; and the list goes on.

Cobbin raises an interesting point: Perhaps we need to focus less on this idea of additional partners and more on distractions that take people away from their marriages, leaving them "open" to disaster. What do you think? Are external interests comparable to external sexual partners? Is an "open marriage" even possible?

Read more at the Huffington Post.

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