Open marriages – Myth or a reality
Seeking gratification outside of a marriage has become a new Mantra of the present generation. A lot of couples now willingly want to experiment with finding the right compatibility outside the sacred institution in a mutual way
Seeking gratification outside of a marriage has become a new Mantra of the present generation. A lot of couples now willingly want to experiment with finding the right compatibility outside the sacred institution in a mutual way. Open marriages – the term is quite familiar to the Indian urban society. Call it hypocrisy or double standards, extra marital affairs and open marriages are making their way into the establishment behind closed doors. With more aspirations building over one’s self-centred wellbeing, open marriage is now a convenient phrase used and adapted to overcome the ego tiffs between the spouses.
The concept of an open marriage goes back as early as 60’s and found its way into the Indian civilization only after few decades. India, where entering into wedlock is considered to be the most auspicious and a life changing affair, has seen some paradigm shift in the way couples adapt to each other over years. While the 70’s and 80’s saw some long standing associations in matrimony, the situation in urban India has seen a tremendous changeover in the way people perceive the sacred unification of a man and a woman.
After many trials and tribulations, some couples have opted for this method of life with mutual understanding. The spouses share a great bonding that has less or no sexual proximity, seek companionship outside their marriage, and even share experiences with each other. Interestingly, this is a better strategy chosen than having an extra marital affair, keeping in mind the material aspects that come along with tying the knot.
“Most couples know that their spouses are dating someone outside their marriage, and they are quite okay with that” says a city based psychologist “However, the main purpose of resorting to affairs outside is not helping. Most of these involve rather painful break ups, winding up the spouses in the same state as they were before with each other” she explains.
Needless to say, the pain quotient that is involved in such an arrangement is same as that of having a secretive affair outside the marriage. “There is not much difference between adultery and open marriage. The spouses are kept in dark in the former and are informed in the latter. The outcome, however, is the very same – disappointments” she adds.
The experts claim that increasing emotional turmoil in a relationship is a main contributor to an open marriage than that of thrill seeking. Earlier, spouses would playfully ‘indulge’ in aimless flirtations with people outside the marriage for the sheer thrill of experience. In the recent times, the open marriage is looked at mostly to satiate the physical or emotional emptiness that has been not catered to by the marriage that one is in.
Meanwhile, this idea has not many healthy ramifications. Practically put, the temporary clouds have to go away, and when that happens, a lot of emotions are being attached to the same. Most couple counsellors recommend these couples to work on their primary relationship with each other before going out to seek the unknown.
With fast paced lifestyle, increased stress levels at work and no time to spend with folks at home, people in high profile jobs are often attracted to their pretty colleagues or younger peers. This is very common in the metropolis of the country, largely among the corporate section. Men and women in senior roles flying high in career now choose to ignore their better halves back home and try getting involved with the more conveniently accessible individuals in their networks or offices. This has some serious ramifications too. Most of these affairs leave the people more emotionally rattled than feeling great. The outcome has been not so great in the last five years, leading to increased divorce rates and mutual separation.
While it is one thing to mutually engage in a fun filled exotic ride with other partners, it is quite another to be victimised of mixed emotions after physically getting involved with people outside the matrimony. Things get even worse when the people in question tend to have sadistic and hostile tendencies, say the experts. Such cases often subject the spouse entangled in the affair with harassment or a monetary blackmail.
Spouses involved in an open marriage should be very clear with ground rules. Most of them get swayed emotionally in the process. One has to understand that this concept is only for people looking for adventure and not for unfulfilled promises. The spouses with emotional and physical incompatibilities should first make things work in between them with counselling. Most of the couple counsellors agree that shoving the issue beneath the carpet will not help.
Open marriages may have been regarded as an urban myth in the old times, but now, they have become the real crux of the society laden with social stigma and unacceptance. With increasing number of open marriages in the society, it becomes important to understand the root causes for the couple to have looked at this as an option. Open marriages do not provide solace, they were meant for fun. It remains to be seen as to where this concept is headed in the coming years.