“One can be in a happy marriage, and still have relationships outside it,” Rishi said emphatically. He was visiting, and as we snacked and chatted in my living room, he told me the first open marriage stories I had ever heard in my life.
“But isn’t a marriage supposed to be sacrosanct?” I stared at him as I spoke.
“Of course it is. However, my interpretation of ‘sacrosanct’ is that one where someone in the relationship does not hide any fact about their extramarital relationship from their spouse. It’s all about openness and honesty,” he replied with a smile.
Rishi cut me short. “You see, both Seema (his wife) and I always knew that we would continue to be in an open relationship even after we got married. We discussed it, so we don’t have any problems at all,” he said. He paused while I digested this piece of information, and added, “We are a happy couple. Consider us one of the tried and tested open marriage success stories. ”
The Depth Behind Open Marriage Stories
Growing up is accompanied by a variety of experiences. I have had my share of them; yet, I had never spoken to anybody about polyamory before Rishi and I got to talking about it that day.
Bit by bit, Rishi started sharing stories from his life and his experiences. I had known the happy couple for close to five years, but this was the first time he got talking about this aspect of their life.
“Seema and I are very candid about our relationships. I think that is what is most important. For instance, she has been seeing a married colleague from her workplace since the last few months. The two of them went to Mauritius on a short vacation recently. She informed me before she made the plan and was very open about it. That is how it works for us and makes our open marriage experiences healthy,” he shared.
Related Reading: Conversations With a Polyamorist
Unusual open marriage experiences
“Don’t such relationships make you uneasy and jealous? I mean, the two of you are married…”
Rishi intervened. “Uneasy and jealous? No, they do not. I am used to them, and frankly, so is she. I have dated colleagues who aren’t really keen on having long-term relationships. My present girlfriend is a lovely girl who Seema knows quite well, and she is fine with my relationship just like I am fine with hers. We share all our open relationship stories with each other. I tell her all about my encounters and she shares hers too.”
I Did Not Understand Open Marriage Stories
A bachelor, and well and truly single when I first met Rishi and then subsequently his girlfriend at the time, Seema, I failed to understand how the couple could be so open about their extramarital flings – and continue to remain married. I marveled at the way the two of them looked after their only child, went out for family dinners, and then moved away from each other’s lives so easily to spend time with their lovers.
Then, I met his girlfriend
As time went by, I met their companions, who turned up at their place freely. Once, I spent an uncomfortable evening at their place when Rishi’s girlfriend and I were invited for dinner. Anita (that was her name) kept on sharing anecdotes from her love story with Rishi. Thank god I didn’t hear any of their open marriage sex stories though…that would have been a bit much for me.
“He is so schweet,” she murmured theatrically, “He even assists me with my incomplete work so that the two of us can rush to my place and enjoy some privacy.”
“Oh, he used to do the same for me when we were not married. Now, I guess his priorities have changed,” Seema chirped in while winking at her smiling husband. Even if she was envious and on the verge of acting like a crazy wife, she certainly didn’t show it.
My problem was, I liked Rishi and Seema. Easy-going and well-spoken, they enjoyed the same kind of films, books and music as me. They could participate in meaningful conversations, and both of them had a great sense of humor to boot. I was seldom at ease while meeting their partners, which both of them understood. But they introduced me to whoever I came across, preferring frankness over evasion.
I met her boyfriend too
To delve deeper into the secret behind open marriage success stories, I was curious and wanted to explore this couple a little more. I still remember the last day I went to their place. Rishi was out of town. Seema offered to make a cup of coffee for me, which I accepted as I sat down in their living room.
Sometime later, a young man walked out from inside the house and joined us. He was wearing a tracksuit and even looked much younger than her.
“Ravi is not only my brightest colleague, he is also the most special man in my life these days,” Seema introduced him endearingly.
That was the first time I had met Seema with a boyfriend while Rishi wasn’t around. I fidgeted with this and that, gulped down the coffee, and left the house after exchanging hasty goodbyes, still not fully understanding the dynamics of this seemingly ‘successful open relationship‘.
Mumbai was where I had met the couple. And, Mumbai is a city I left more than a decade ago. For a long time, I continued to wonder how Seema and Rishi changed partners, but lived in harmony. They never left my mind.
Ten years later, I hope that the two are doing fine.
It has been suggested by a study that 92% of open marriages end in divorce.
Open marriages do not come under the bracket of adultery or infidelity. So if you are in a successful open relationship, it does not mean that you are indulging in extramarital affairs.
It certainly can be. There are many open marriage success stories out there that will show you how. As long as one is honest, clear and happy – there is nothing wrong with designing a marriage in the way that you want it to. All that matters is that both partners should want the same thing equally.