Monagamish, Non-Monagomy, Open Relationship; whatever one chooses to call their foray into inviting outsiders into their relationship, it can be a very exciting and terrifying endeavour. However, many are reporting success with this new trend, and sharing stories of their lives online for the world to see. Maybe for you, it's cheating, plain and simple, but for some, it is allowing their partner to find love and acceptance outside of the home as well as within it. Still not convinced? Check out these stories of non-monagomy and decide for yourself if these women are really hurting anyone.
14 Maya M.
A writer who identifies as queer and chooses to remain anonymous writes about her decision to reject monogamy stating: "I'm comfortable having a primary partner, someone I can come home to every now and then, someone I can call my girlfriend, and someone I can introduce to my friends and family as such. I'm also comfortable having and comfortable with my partner having other partners, whether they are purely sexual, purely romantic, a combination of both, or something else entirely."
13 Robin Rinaldi
The author of "The Wild Oats Project" isn't exactly touting the virtues of non-monagomy but she doesn't condemn it either. Robin Rinaldi writes in her book about her the steamy details of her affairs. She indicated that after eighteen years of marriage when she told her husband she was ready to have kids, that when he said no, it changed her. She decided to explore the insatiable sex drive she was feeling and it ultimately destroyed her marriage. Does she regret it? Well, you'll just have to read the book to find out.
Alex Morris, author for Rolling Stone writes of Leah, a young women who enjoys a primary boyfriend called Ryan and a secondary boyfriend called Jim:
'...soon Leah will head to Jim’s penthouse apartment, where the rest of the evening, she says, will probably entail “hanging out, watching something, having sex.” “She’ll usually spend the night,” Ryan adds nonchalantly, which gives him a chance to enjoy some time alone or even invite another woman over. He doesn’t have a long-standing secondary relationship like Leah (“I’ve actually veered away from doing that”), but he certainly enjoys the company of other women, even sometimes when Leah is home.'
This is a modern and not altogether rare example of the new non-monagomy.
11 ( #12 and #11) Women A and B
Cosmopoliton magazine interviews two women about their experiences with open relationships:
Did you always know you would want to be in an open relationship?Woman A: No. I was in a monogamous marriage for 12 years. I'd never considered an open relationship until I met my current partner.Woman B: I wasn't always sure. I was always curious about it.
What are some common misconceptions about open relationships?Woman A: That the people in them are sluts and just sleep around. Polyamory is not like that. Also, that if you share someone, you only get half of them. But there's no limit to how much love we have or how much love we can give. Most of us have more than one friend. It's very much like that to me. People also think that the people in them can't be committed and just do whatever they want. I always try to respect my boyfriend and his wife and daughter. We are very committed to each other and are both in love, and would never do anything to hurt the other. Same as in a monogamous relationship.Woman B: That we're all about to break up.
10 Gabrielle Robin
Writer Gabrielle Robin of Alternet, posits: "Although open relationships are not as shocking a concept today as they were 50 years ago, they’re still regarded with overwhelming skepticism and even disdain. The usual assumption is that polyamorous people are selfish, immature, incapable of commitment, and their primary relationship is therefore doomed to failure." Robin admits to be devastated after her first experience with a polyamorous relationship, as open relationships are now know, but has since settled in and enjoys her new found freedom.
Elizabeth's husband shocked her with his request to consider an open marriage but soon she found herself intrigued by the idea of sleeping with other people.
"Underneath my disgust, I was actually intrigued by the possibility," she admits. Over the next few months, she started to become more aware of other men. "I had been with Chris for so long that I didn't really notice when guys would flirt with me," she says. "Once I started flirting back, it gave me the confidence to consider the what-ifs." She slowly came to terms with the fact that, yes, like Chris, she also wanted to twist the sheets with other people.
8 Jenny Block
Author of 'Open: Love, Sex and Life in an Open Marriage' states: "Unfortunately, I don't live in a particularly forward-thinking part of the country, which means I have to live less openly than I'd like to. That is, although I don't hide the way I live, I don't announce it, either. I introduce my husband as my husband, and my girlfriend as my girlfriend, and answer any questions that might arise. But unless friends and neighbors and colleagues read my work, they might not have any idea about the way I live. We are neither out nor closeted. In a way, it's terrific that it then is no big deal, because why should it be? By the same token, it would be nice to be surrounded constantly by like-minded people with whom I could discuss freely the ins and outs of living openly."
It would seem that Block has a strong hold on her open marriage identity and non-monogamy is well defined by she and her partners.
7 Adrienne Cohen
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Adrienne Cohen details her love affairs to Marie Claire magazine.
"I'M UNDER THE COVERS WITH TIM, a burly video artist, ostensibly watching Mad Men on Netflix but actually making out. This happens most Tuesdays. My phone buzzes with a text from my husband, Thomas: "Have a good night, babe. Say hi to Tim."
Cohen has chosen not to be monogamous with her husband's clear blessing. While it may not be your cup of tea, it clearly works for them.
6 Laura Parker
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Laura Parker writes for The Cut that she struggled with her first foray into ditching monogamy: "even though I knew I wasn’t cheating, a small part of me couldn’t let go of the idea that what I was still doing was wrong." She and her husband talked endlessly about it before they dove in, so to speak. The couple even hired a pricey escort to practice their new relationship ideals. Soon, she would relax and enjoy her new found freedom and writes freely about how much she loves her open relationship with her husband. We'er guessing he's pretty happy, too.
5 Pamela Madsen
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It seems some women who enjoy 'Monagmish' relationships, (a term coined by Dan Savage), also love to write about their experiences. Madsen discusses her experience in: "Shameless: How I Ditched the Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure...and Somehow Got Home in Time To Cook Dinner" In it she states:
"I didn't leave my home or my husband and I still cook dinner. But I am sexually free in a way that I could never have imagined 10 years ago. And I can't help but want others to have this level of happiness in their own lives."
4 CeCe Lederer
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Lederer feels that her open relationship happened naturally and she coundn't see herself living any other way. Many women who practice non-monagomy feel as committed to their partners as those that practice traditional monogamy. It is not so uncommon to find people who live in non-monagmous relationships for many, many years.
"It’s not an 'arrangement.' It’s our relationship. We didn’t decide on this any more than we decided he would usually do the dishes and I would usually clean the tub. It just happened this way."
3 Sierra Black
Sierra Black opens up to ABC news about her open marriage and her family. Black even openly discusses her relationship choices (within reason, of course) with her children. Her seven year old daughter understands that her parents have relationships outside of the family and stated to ABC news that this did not make her feel different from her friends.. While it's certainly not for everyone, it seems to be working for Black and she has no regrets about her decision to live in an open marriage and be honest about it.
“It's imperative that any couple considering making the move to a non-monogamous relationship keep honesty as one of your top priorities,” Jessica tells SheKnows. Using a pseudonym shows that not all those that practice non-monagomy are ready to share their faces with the world. There are still far fewer couples that condone relationships outside of a marriage and living openly could bring on some seriously unwanted attention. Regardless of her ability to share her name or face, Jessica* was brave enough to share her story.
1 Rachel White
A lifestyle that allows others into a marriage clearly comes with some potential problems; jealousy and rivalry, to name a few. It is important to set ground rules and re-visit them often to keep all parties happy. White feels her marriage needs to be reassessed regularly in order to work: "The thing we agreed on about monogamy and marriage is that it should be open to change, fluidity. How can you make such a serious a decision once in your life, and never go back and evaluate it? Monogamy or divorce was just so black and white."