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Major reasons some couples opt for open marriages: Would you take the leap?

Open marriages are relationships where both partners agree to engage in romantic or sexual relationships with other people while they're still in their union.

An AI-generated mage of happy African couple at home

Marriage, a cornerstone of society, has undergone significant transformations over the centuries. What was once a rigid institution bound by traditional and religious norms is now evolving to accommodate diverse forms of relationships, including open marriages.

Open marriages are relationships where both partners agree to engage in romantic or sexual relationships with other people.

This shift reflects broader changes in societal values, individual desires, and cultural practices.

While the concept of open marriages remains controversial, it offers an alternative to the traditional marital framework, challenging the long-held beliefs about love, fidelity, and commitment.

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Globally, the idea of open marriages is gaining traction, particularly in Western societies.

This arrangement requires mutual consent and clear communication, differentiating it from infidelity, which involves deceit.

In Africa, the concept of open marriages is not as widely accepted as in Western societies due to strong cultural and religious influences that emphasize monogamy and traditional family structures.

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However, there are instances where modern African couples are adopting open marriages, often quietly, to fit their personal needs and lifestyles.

In Kenya, open marriages are even less common and remain largely taboo. The society is predominantly conservative, with strong cultural and religious values that favor traditional monogamous unions.

However, there are indications that this might be changing, particularly among the urban elite and younger generations who are more exposed to global ideas and practices.

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Kenyan celebrities have also started to hint at or openly discuss their unconventional relationships. For instance, popular actor...

Several reasons drive individuals and couples to prefer open marriages over traditional ones.

For some, it offers a solution to the natural ebb and flow of sexual desire within long-term relationships.

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Open marriages can provide the variety and excitement that might be missing in a monogamous relationship. For others, it’s about fulfilling emotional or intellectual needs that one partner alone cannot meet.

Open marriages can also alleviate the pressure of being everything to one person. By allowing partners to seek different forms of companionship elsewhere, open marriages can reduce the strain on the primary relationship and enhance personal growth.

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  1. Communication: Clear, honest, and ongoing communication is crucial. Both partners must discuss their boundaries, expectations, and feelings regularly.
  2. Consent: Mutual consent is fundamental. Both partners should willingly agree to the terms of the open marriage without coercion.
  3. Rules: Establish clear rules that both partners adhere to. This might include guidelines about who they can see, how often, and what activities are permissible.
  4. Trust: Trust is essential. Partners must trust each other to respect the agreed-upon boundaries and to communicate any changes in feelings or circumstances.
  5. Emotional Check-ins: Regularly check in with each other to ensure that the arrangement is still working and to address any arising issues.
  1. Jealousy: Avoid situations that can breed jealousy. Open marriages require a high level of emotional maturity and security.
  2. Secrecy: Do not keep secrets. Transparency is key to maintaining trust.
  3. Neglect: Don’t neglect the primary relationship. Prioritize the emotional and physical needs of your partner.
  4. Assumptions: Do not assume your partner’s feelings or boundaries. Always communicate and seek clarity.
  5. Comparisons: Avoid comparing your primary relationship to others. Each relationship is unique and should be valued for its own merits.
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This content was generated by an AI model and verified by the author.

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