Should I Be Cool If He Wants a Side Chick After We’re Married?

Ask Demetria: Before you agree to an open marriage, you need to answer some life-changing questions.

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Say that one of his flings gets pregnant. Will you and your husband pay for an abortion? What if she wants to keep the child? Are you going to help him raise the kid? Are you OK with money from your home going to the new child? Will you raise your children with your husband and any children from his mistresses together as one family?

On his birthday and other special days that you’re “not totally against” him spending with other women, is it OK if he has celebratory sex with you that day and then leaves to be with his mistress? You know it’s his pass day, so you know where he is. What will you do while he’s gone with her? Will you sleep comfortably? Iron his shirts? How long until you have sex with him after he’s back from his “pass”? Immediately? A week? Just curious.

If you’ve got answers to all these questions and you’re fine with these scenarios, I still can’t recommend that you take this offer. Despite what you said about not being “that pressed” to get married, it does sound as if you really want to be married to your boyfriend, and your desire to upgrade to wife is causing you to overlook some very real and messy consequences of the agreement he’s offered.

Oh, and about the celebrities you’ve mentioned: Being famous doesn’t give anyone a special insulation from the situations I described above. Men still get the “other woman” pregnant, as has been in the news lately, and fame doesn’t stop STDs. Because people in the limelight don’t speak publicly about the downsides of what are essentially open relationships, it doesn’t mean they aren’t hurt, affected or infected the same as a woman whose face isn’t on a billboard. 

Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life and the upcoming Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at askdemetria@theroot.com.