All Articles Tagged "open relationship"
Jada Pinkett Smith is taking another shot at addressing the persistent rumors that she and hubby Will Smith have an open marriage. The actress took to her Facebook page this past weekend to comment on the public’s preoccupation with the goings-on in her bedroom because, you know, we have to know. First and foremost, wrote Jada, is “trust and love.” That would include agreeing that one doesn’t “own” the other.
“Do we believe that ownership is the reason someone should ‘behave?’” she asked “Do we believe that all the expectations, conditions, and underlying threats of “you better act right or else” keep one honest and true?”
Jada added that she trusts Will, and he the same. “Will and I BOTH can do WHATEVER we want, because we TRUST each other to do so,” she wrote. “This does NOT mean we have an open relationship…this means we have a GROWN one.”
So we get the whole bit about Will and Jada’s marriage being none of our business, (because, really, it isn’t) but her open letter has us thinking about the expectations we so often bring into relationships. How many of us can really say that we allow our significant other to be who they really want to be?
Read more at Essence.com
‘You Can Do Whatever You Want As Long As You Can Look In The Mirror And Be Okay:’ Jada Pinkett-Smith On Open Marriage
For years, rumors of Hollywood power couple, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith maintaining an open marriage have been circulating. Whispers have implied that Jada has a thing for the ladies and Will has his eye on the fellas, and that the pair really just have a mutual understanding, which is why they’ve been able to stay together for so long. Public figures are subject to have all kinds of wild and outlandish things being said about them, so it’s sometimes difficult for the public to decipher what’s real from what’s not. Either way, Jada doesn’t seem to be allowing anything to slow her stride. In a recent, rather interesting interview with Huff Post Live’s Marc Lamont Hill, the 41-year-old beauty somewhat addressed the rumor that she and Will are in an open relationship.
When asked by Hill whether or not the rumors were true, Jada responded:
“That’s the most persistent one [rumor]. I think people get that idea because Will and I are very relaxed with one another. And I think how I answered questions in the past like, ‘Girl, you know, what would you do if he came home and this and that and that?’ or ‘Being married to a big superstar like Will, how do you deal with all the women?’ I’ve always told Will, ‘You can do whatever you want, as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror and be okay.”
“At the end of day, Will is his own man. I’m here as his partner, but he is his own man. He has to decide who he wants to be and that’s not for me to do for him or vice versa.”
It really seems that Jada’s well-crafted answer was given with intent of allowing people to assume what they want. While one person could perceive her answer as an admission of carrying on an open relationship, someone else may take it as Jada simply expressing that she refuses to drive herself crazy over the actions of another person. Things did, however, get a bit interesting when Hill noted that the couple’s “understanding” sounds very similar to the one shared between Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.
“I think that just comes from respect. You’re in a partnership, but that you also are an individual as well,” Jada responds.
And there you have it… sort of.
Skip to the next page to watch Jada’s interview. What are your thoughts on her response to the rumors?
Before you find “the one,” you’ll date a bunch of other ones. Only the truly lucky find a great relationship—built on compatibility, mutual respect, and sexual attraction—early on. Most of us have to have all the other types of relationships, to understand what a functional relationship should look like. Here are 14 types of relationships you will almost certainly have before you find long-term happiness.
Open marriage is a topic that comes up from time to time and over the last few years the pendulum of acceptance has swung greatly from “no, that’s completely wrong;” to “I could never do that, but whatever works for you;” to “I’m five years into my marriage and considering it.”
Divorce rates being what they are, many are looking for any alternative to the current marriage structure that could possibly save relationships because “obviously we’re not doing something right,” and open relationships/marriages are being touted as the saving grace because humans will get back to their animalistic nature of fulfilling their innate sexual lusts. I remember going to a panel on open relationships once and the host said something to the effect of when she sees an elephant use an iPod, she’ll take that argument more seriously. I’m with her on that one. We may be mammals but our brains allow us to operate with logic and free will rather than rely strictly on animal instincts so that whole rationale is null and void in my book.
I still stand in the second pool of people who don’t want an open relationship for themselves but figure to each his own when it comes to other couples. But what does make me pause a bit about the seeming prevalence of these arrangements is that acceptance tends to be reactionary to the threat of infidelity and in some ways a form of settling. Naomi Piercey recently wrote an article for Men’s Health asking “Is Monogamy Outdated?” and she quoted Eric Anderson, an American sociologist at England’s University of Winchester who wrote the book, The Monogamy Gap: Men, Love, and the Reality of Cheating. Anderson said:
“Infidelity does not break marriages up; it is the unreasonable expectation that a marriage must restrict sex that breaks a marriage up. One of the reasons I wrote the book is that I’ve seen so many long-term relationships broken up simply because one had sex outside the relationship. But feeling victimized isn’t a natural outcome of casual sex outside a relationship; it is a socialized victimhood. I’m not advocating cheating; I’m advocating open and equitable sexual relationships.”
So basically if you don’t want to get your feelings hurt change your expectations about fidelity in your relationship and all will be OK? I understand his point about being socialized to believe monogamy is the norm but everyone makes up the rules in their own relationship and if the idea of your partner sleeping with someone else makes your stomach turn or you have no desire to sleep with anyone else, then you have a right to set that expectation for your mate and be upset when that promise is violated.
I almost see this logic as the same mindset some women have when they’re involved with a guy and find out he’s seeing someone else too. Because they’re not in a relationship she’ll say she technically doesn’t have the right to be upset but that doesn’t mean it hurts any less. In a few recent discussions I’ve seen on open relationships, the idea for some women is they’re afraid their partner is going to cheat on them at some point so to avoid that disappointment they’re just going to make their relationship open that way their boyfriend/husband really isn’t doing them wrong. If that’s not the relationship you really want who’s benefiting here?
A couple of my friends have recently been tossing the idea of open relationships around and for different reasons. My girl friend said she almost felt like in this day and age it’s the easiest way to avoid disappointment and fulfill all of your needs when your main partner falls short. My guy friend said he wasn’t sure about his ability to remain faithful in a marriage, which I can respect, or his inability to resent his partner for having to forego sexual urges all for the sake of “being faithful.” He told me he was frustrated by the fact that no matter how much he loved a girl he was with, the temptation to sleep with other women never went away and I told him it probably never would. We don’t stop being attracted to other people just because we’re in a relationship but our commitment to the other person is hopefully just as strong as that urge. I also told him we resist plenty of impulses all throughout the day and I don’t understand why people act like sexual ones are impossible to ignore. When someone cuts me off in traffic I want to run them off the side of the road but do I? No.
When he asked me would I ever be OK with an open relationship I told him no. I hate the idea of sharing a cab, let alone my man, and in general I keep a close circle of people around me because I like intimacy in small numbers. What’s appealing about monogamy to me is the idea that my partner and I will have a connection and share things with each other that we won’t with anyone else and I think I have a right to want and expect that in my relationships regardless of what the latest stats on cheating show. Maybe if we stopped buying into the whole “we’re animals with uncontrollable sexual urges” talk less people would see monogamy as restrictive and more would find it rewarding. There are plenty of things we give up (and gain) to make relationships work, is sex with other people really that different?
Monogamy may not be for everyone, and I have no issue with that But I don’t think women should talk themselves into wanting open relationships just for the sake of not being cheated on. There are men out there who haven’t cheated on their partners (I think) and in the end if you settle for a relationship structure that you don’t truly want, you end up cheating yourself in the end.
Would you have an open relationship/marriage to avoid being cheated on? Do you think it’s unreasonable to expect your partner not to stray in a relationship?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
More on Madame Noire!
- Is It Okay to NOT Shampoo Your Hair? And 6 Foods That Make Great Conditioners
- Run That Back!:10 Albums That Shaped Me
- Let it Go, Let it Flow: 7 People You Should Pick Your Battles With
- Love & Life Lessons I Learned From “Love & Basketball”
- 6 Ratchet Behaviors Ig’nant People Should Give Up for Lent
- Sweet or Needy: Which Are You?
- Missing Teen Featured on ‘The View’ Found Hours After Broadcast
- Show Off Your Shape! Style Tips To Flatter Your Body