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Open Marriage Isn't So Bad

Newt Gingrich’s ex-wife is making headlines today saying he asked her for an open marriage before their divorce.

While that seems like a slimy request from a cheater trying to wiggle out of having betrayed his wife, Newt’s not alone in wanting non-monogamy. Anywhere from 1 % to 10% of couples are living intentionally non-monogamous lives.

My husband and I are among them, and we’re pretty happy with our arrangement.

Tonight after we tuck the kids in, my husband will kiss me goodnight and head over to his girlfriend’s house. It’s not a secret or a problem; that’s just how our marriage works. We both have other partners.

I don’t know what we’d do without them. Our friends and family are wonderful, but it’s my girlfriend I call when I need a ride to the hospital with a sick kid. There’s something about the intimacy of a romantic relationship that makes me feel better about asking her if I can bring my vomiting child in her car.

I don’t know how monogamous couples do it.

Of course everyone has their own unique support systems, and you don’t have to sleep with someone to build strong bonds of love and trust. I know most people prefer monogamy as the best way to get that bond of trust with their partner.

Some people do prefer non-monogamy, though, and for them it’s a perfectly fine option. Going out on a date with my girlfriend doesn’t cause any more drama around here than going out to my book club. Being honest and relaxed about desires outside my marriage makes my partnership with my husband closer and more authentic.

My marriage started out open, and has always been honest. I can’t imagine being in Newt’s lying cheating shoes, trying to piece together an open marriage in the wreckage of an affair. I know about half of married people cheat at some point in their lives, so plenty of people must go through that scenario.

What do you think? Are you shocked that Newt might have asked his ex-wife for an open marriage? Would you consider it yourself?

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