I'm a normal, middle-class, married to my high school sweetheart Canadian mom of two. My husband and I couldn't look more like the "Joneses" if we tried. We're average in pretty much every way - except we have an open marriage, and have sex with other people. To look at us, we certainly don't look like "deviants", as I've heard couples like us called. We're only "out" to a select few individuals, so 99% of the people who know me have no idea that my husband and I have casual sex with other people occasionally. However, I don't know the specifics of most of my friends' sex lives, so I don't expect them to need the details of mine.
In fact, I guarantee a few of you reading this blog know me personally in real life, as some of my friends are UrbanMoms readers. I have chosen to stay anonymous, as the ramifications of going public on my work and family are unknown, and my income and support network is valuable to our family. And frankly, now that my kids are old enough to stumble around the web, I'm sure they don't want to stumble across their mom talking about her sex life.
Why Am I Sharing This?
The main reason I'm sharing this is because I think some people will find it interesting. When I was first looking for advice and help to understand the ramifications this could have on my marriage, I spent a lot of time scouring message boards and websites, looking for people in similar situations to hear what they had to say. I found it extremely helpful to discover that other people had asked the same questions of their marriage, examined their emotions and feelings and perceptions of what a marriage is supposed to be, and decided for themselves to "break the rules" and find their own path.
I found their stories fascinating - the ones who said it has been the best thing they've ever done, and the ones who regretted it deeply. A common theme was that usually the people who regretted opening up their marriage say they felt pressured or forced into the decision. Often they made their agreement because their partner had cheated on them - their relationship was founded on betrayal and deceit. In fact, in the last Dirty Little Secrets blog that's exactly how it happened. While it's not impossible to have a successful open marriage that began with cheating, I think it would offer a unique set of challenges. I was most curious about open marriages that had not dealt with betrayal and dishonesty.
You might be reading this blog for the same reason I scoured the web - because you're curious about possibly opening up your marriage. Or you might simply be reading this because you've finished all three Fifty Shades of Grey books and don't have anything else on hand. With Fifty Shades of Grey selling 1 million paperbacks in just 11 weeks, and sales surpassing blockbuster bestsellers like the Da Vinci Code, it's clear that women are very interested in peeking behind the velvet curtain of eroticism and sex.
One thing I am definitely not doing is writing this blog to try and convert you. There's no Eyes Wide Open type cult I plan on sending you all membership cards for. Water for Elephants wasn't written to convince us all to run away to the circus, and my blog isn't here to try and convince you that your marriage should be an open one. I'm merely here to share my perspective on an issue an estimated 4 - 9% of married couples are dealing with. If what I'm talking about offends you, there are plenty of other fantastic blogs here on UrbanMoms that might be more suitable for you. You're welcome to espouse your views as much as I am mine.
I do intend to participate in the comments on Dirty Little Secrets, but because I do work a more than full time career and have two small children, I might be a little slow to reply. If some questions require an in-depth answer, I might save my thoughts for a future blog post instead, and will let you know that's why I'm not replying to a specific question.