Why, Then Marriage? – When You’re In An Open Relationship, Why Get Married


Why Get Married?While researching a previous post, I came across a lot of questions about why people in open relationships get married.

“To me, If someone doesn't think they can or want to be monogamous, DON'T freaking GET MARRIED! I think it's ridiculous that married people have open relationships. What's the point of getting married then?” (From a message board)

“The purpose of marriage is to devote yourself fully to another person–mentally, physically, emotionally and sexually. If you want to have sex with multiple people, don't get married.” (Comment on a post about open relationships.)

There are plenty of reasons why people who are in open relationships are also in marriages (their own marriages, not someone else’s). People may choose to explore open relationships after they have already gotten married. I know plenty of people who were married long before they got into the life style. Couples who were already open may choose to get married for health insurance, immigration, tax or a whole host of other, pragmatic reasons. While they may have been together and loved each other for a long time, what ultimately sends them down the aisle is the desire for one of them to finally have dental coverage.

Most importantly, however, people in open relationships don’t base that relationship on sexual exclusivity. For some reason, people seem to be under the impression that ALL people who get married promise to “forsake all others”, or pledge sexual monogamy to one another in some other way. I didn’t. (Of course, I was nearly asked to leave the courthouse because I wasn’t “taking it seriously” but that’s a story for another day.) I didn’t pledge monogamy anymore than I pledged to “obey” my husband.

For some, marriage may be about just keeping your pants on. For others, it’s about so much more than that.


Neamhspleachas is a thirty-something American, currently living in the Netherlands. She works as a journalist and writer. If she’s not working, you can probably find her drinking a craft beer somewhere. Possibly somewhere far away from home. You can find her putting her multiple degrees to good use by blogging about relationships, economics, politics, and boobs that are and are not hers at neamhspleachas.com.

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