Encountering That

Unexpected Fork in the Road 

By Dr. David Weston

" The vast majority of couples can't handle the open marriage or hotwife lifestyles."


Yes, I know that there are open marriages that go on for decades.

I know that some research shows that those who successfully maintain an open marriage tend to be better adjusted, more secure with themselves, and happier than those in "traditional marriages."

And, finally, I've heard from those who say that "opening" their marriage saved it.

While these things may be true in some cases, I also know that the vast majority of couples can't handle the open marriage or hotwife lifestyles.

 A great many who start down the open relationship road encounter "an unexpected fork in the road" that leads to someone other than their spouse or partner.

There's no mystery in this.

No matter how much the original couple vows to stay together, at some point one partner will meet someone that has attributes that they don't feel r original partner has.

" No matter how great you think your partner is, there is always someone out there that is smarter, more exciting, more understanding, better educated, wealthier, better connected, younger, more handsome or beautiful, has a better sense of humor, or in some way seem better than the existing partner."

First, there can be a kind of infatuation over someone new and different -- and exciting.

As we explain on this site, for evolutionary reasons both males and females are attracted to "a different set of genes."

Feelings can then soon shift away from the original partner -- and that partner will undoubtedly notice.

This generally leads to problems in the primary relationship.

If this happens, a sympathetic and understanding "other person" may start to look like a better option.

And then infatuation or maybe even the lure of a new love sets in -- both of which can be pretty blind.

Earlier promises in the open relationship to "talk through" these issues may cease, causing a greater rift.

" Partners in open relationships often say that love and commitment will keep their relationship together.

It often does.  But the power of infatuation can also, if only temporarily, supersede the power of that love."

Because of this (temporary but powerful) infatuation, thoughts of an open relationship can shift to thoughts of an exclusive relationship with the new person.

But the operative word is generally "temporary."

The infatuation passes, the person's less desirable traits become visible; in short, reality sets in.

But once the fork in the road has been taken, bridges are normally burned, feelings are hurt, and trust is lost -- and that road can quickly become a one-way street with no options to turn around and go back.

         Watch out for that "fork in the road." 

  • In grappling with this possibility one couple tried this approach.