Are open marriages the future?

Thursday September 02 2021

Actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith are said to be in an Open relationship. PHOTO/INTERNET

By Bradford Kamuntu

Some people in open relationships prefer one-time sexual experiences or several dates, but ensure they do not become romantically involved with these additional sexual partners. A couple in an open relationship always prioritises their primary relationship according to researcher Susan Wenzel.

This column is now a year and some months old, so I would assume we are somewhat friends and can now speak freely and openly.

In the recent years, we have seen a steep rise in how candid people are about their infidelity.

Not only do they talk about it now, but openly parade their lovers in public spaces, engage with them inappropriately on social media, brag about their weekend pursuits and let’s not forget the ones having children with their side pieces.

While infidelity and all it encapsulates come as no surprise to us nor is anything happening, the shock factor comes in how overtly people are carrying out extra marital affairs.  I am unreservedly ‘a do what makes you happy person’, a ‘your business is your business champion’.

But in light of how most married people around the world (especially in the millennial generation) are carrying themselves today are open marriages the way forward?


Should we throw all sense of discretion out of the window and just collect lovers so publicly and unashamedly?

This also begs the question, how far away from the definition of marriage we are straying (pun intended), and whether marriage was created as a religious form of restraint.

The arguments are several and vast and I myself (an unmarried young person) do not know exactly where truth lies with this subject and I know for certain that each marriage takes a shape and a life of its own subject to the parties in it.

Different needs

I would however, like to know if ever in our lifetime we will get to a place where society is accepting of extramarital affairs. Objectively speaking, not everyone can fit the mould of monogamy, several people in society have different needs and wants and if we are to be honest, I have always found the prospect of finding your everything in one person a little less than smart.

In every marriage, you are going to experience jealousy, desire for others and trust issues.

If two people are mature enough to come to a conclusion that they simply are not enough for each other and require multiple relationships who are we as a society to judge and condemn them based off an ideal and sentiment they may not share?

For those of you that are religious does it not go against the very views you hold and cherish so dearly not to judge and cast aside other human beings for the choices that they make for their lives?

As I formulated and thought extensively about the direction this week’s column would take, I came to several conclusions but the one that remained constant was that we need to move in the direction which the world is taking, we need to be more accepting of people and not be too quick to judge them so they can live life freely and on their terms.

Seeing a married person out with someone else (after the consent and understanding of their spouse) will eventually become a thing of the past in most spaces.

The questions remain, are we prepared for it? Are open marriages going to be partly what marriage looks like in the future?


What is an open relationship?

In her book A Happy Life in an Open Relationship, Canada-based therapist Susan Wenzel, defines it as such: ‘An open relationship is an arrangement wherein a couple decides to include experiences with other people often for sexual pleasure. Open relationships do not encourage emotional attachment with external partners.