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Open Marriage: A New Life Style for Couples Paperback – March 1, 1984
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Top Customer Reviews
I thought it was excellent and I feel it's a book that would probably appeal to many more people if the title was different. But then again it was because of the title that I found it. Highly recommended for any relationship whether or not marriage is a part of it.
This book is an excellent guide for people interested in all the aspects of attaining and living in an open marriage, which is an overall way of life, not just sexual freedom. Everything from sex to doing the dishes is covered in this book. Some of the language may sound dated since it's original printing, but then again, so does Shakespeare.
This the best book I have ever found to learn about ALL aspects of your marital relationships (not just the sexual ones) and discover the ways in which people try to control and eventually destroy each other as individuals within a marriage.
If you want a book on "swinging" (a/k/a recreational, non-monogomous sex) then this is NOT the book you are looking for. But then again, Open Marriage is leaps and bounds beyond just swinging. This book guides you through making this a way of life in a wonderful way, changing the traditional marriage views in ALL aspects, including non-monogomous sex, but not JUST sex.
How do I know this? I've been living this way for 15 years and still going happy and strong. My first "traditional" marriage lasted 3 years.
Let's examine the two negative reviews of this book.
One reviewer admits that he had decided the book wasn't worthwhile before reading it, and proceeds with an attitude that dares the authors to change his mind. This is hardly an "open" reading, is it? Further, the message of this book is in no way negated by a supposed divorce between the authors. The authors of Open Marriage specifically instruct readers to examine their expectation that marriage lasts forever.
Another reviewer has a vested interest in dismissing Open Marriage, because its ideas contradict those of a book he wrote. He is careful to advertise his own book in his negative review of Open Marriage.
As for whether Open Marriage is outdated, since when did such things as communication and trust become outdated? With extremes of ideology and dogma on a rapid increase, a book that promotes careful examination of our assumptions and expectations before getting married has never been more relevant. Has Socrates' dictum "An unexamined life is not worth living" ever gone out of date?
Briefly, I'll quote from chapter 4:
"The guidelines [to healthy relationships] are as follows:
1 realistic expectations
3 open and honest communication
4 flexibility in roles
5 open companionship
Where do love, sex, and fidelity fit in? Are these not guidelines too - the basic components of any marriage? Important, yes; guidelines, no.Read more ›
I highly urge anyone in a relationship to read this book together with their partner as a way to stimulate and nurture individual and collective growth.
Please keep in mind the time period this book was written in, as some of the examples used to illustrate points will not speak to the current dynamics between the sexes.
Overall, it's a thoughtful and transforming read.
As many people pointed out, "open marriage" back then didn't mean specifically what it does now. In this book it means communicating openly, treating each other as equals, and allowing each other personal freedom. Most of this book is about how to get along better in a relationship by remembering that you both are individuals. You don't have to do everything together or have everything in common. You don't have to give up separate interests that your partner doesn't share. You don't have to give up friends when you get married. Giving up things like that don't make couples closer; they make couples resent each other and also take away their outside support systems.
They mention non-monogamy as a possibility if both partners agree to it. They mention that depending on the context, sex with another person may not be the most horrible betrayal in a marriage (I said, depending on context. There are plenty of times it is a major betrayal.) Specifically I remember the passage about "the grass is always greener", and how with no fence, there is less of that feeling.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought the first edition of this book from a local book store. Though written in 1974, there is some solid, valid advice anyone can use no matter what their relationship dynamic... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Catherine Camacho
I read the first edition of this book in 1972 at the age of 25. Reading it did wonders for my sex life, but looking back over 40 years later, I can say that it also caused severe... Read morePublished 9 months ago by jfc
Give yourself the opportunity to read the whole book before you decide what "it" is saying about Open Marriage. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Bruce
Dated but interesting, especially as our 25 year marriage has shifted gears significantly from an equal partnership to a 'taken in hand' relationship. Read morePublished on July 5, 2014 by avid rita
This book is very realistic and even compares open and closed marriages. It gives suggestions for things that I never even thought about. It was just what I was looking for. Read morePublished on January 9, 2014 by Josie Harris
Nena & George O'Neill
(New York: M. Evans, 1972) 286 pages
A seminal book for its time, which encouraged many people
to re-examine... Read more
The O'Neills' exciting, original approach to married life shows you and your mate how the stifling, limited arrangement you've always thought marriage had to be can be opened up... Read morePublished on November 6, 2007 by J. C. Severus