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Open Marriage: A New Life Style for Couples Paperback – March 1, 1984

3.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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  • Open Marriage: A New Life Style for Couples
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 291 pages
  • Publisher: M. Evans & Company (March 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087131438X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871314383
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,182,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This not a "how to" guide to "swinging" (or whatever people call it) but in fact much more a book that addresses the question of being together and growing with a partner while retaining individuality and seperatedness within a relationship of honesty, trust and openess. I felt a lot less cynical and much more positive about the institution of marriage as a result of reading this book.
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.
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Format: Paperback
I feel that this book can apply to every romantic pairing. This is not just a book for those contemplating an open marriage. This is a book that can give you great ideas regarding space in a relationship. It expands on the idea that just because you are part of a couple does not mean you have to give up yourself. It promotes the idea of still mainting and developing new ideas and hobbies about yourself. It really has so very little to do with sex and more to do with keeping your own life exciting and not expecting the marriage to solve all your fulfilment needs.
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Format: Paperback
The title of this book has become misleading only because the meaning of the words "Open Marriage" has changed over the decades.
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.
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Format: Paperback
Please don't be confused by the unfortunate choice of title, nor by the ridiculous books promoting promiscuity that are associated with it by Amazon databases.

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

2 privacy

3 open and honest communication

4 flexibility in roles

5 open companionship

6 equality

7 identity

8 trust

Where do love, sex, and fidelity fit in? Are these not guidelines too - the basic components of any marriage? Important, yes; guidelines, no.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a classic when it pertains to building and establishing a relationship that works for you and your partner. It is written with a much different perspective and definition of an open marriage than today's view of Open Marriage.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
The criticisms of this book are mostly about its non-monogamous aspect: the O'Neills (allegedly) broke up, therefore their relationship style is null and void. By this logic, is monogamy null and void, because monogamous people divorce? No type of relationship--straight, gay, monogamous, polyamorous, etc--is guaranteed against breakup. There are also horrendous relationships that are together forever because of desperation or beliefs. Even if there is a higher percentage of breakup in a certain relationship style, is "together until death" the only measure of a valid relationship?

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.
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