Is Open Relationship Cheating? Deborah Anapol on Multiple Partners


Different Types of Open Relationships - What Are They?- Everything You Need  To Know!

By Olivia J Scott Like on Facebook

Few people would deny that there has been a shift in the way marriage and intimate relationships have evolved over the past few decades. Most observers agree that the traditional marriage is floundering. While some couples still manage to thrive, they are in the minority. Rising divorce rates, declining marriage rates, and the skyrocketing incidence of infidelity on the one hand, and sexless marriages on the other have many people concerned about their prospects for marital bliss and newly curious about alternatives.” (Deborah Anapol)

Changes in Traditional and Monogamous Relationships

In recent times, there has been a paradigm shift in the thinking and approach to intimate relationships and love. More and more people are seeking alternatives to monogamy. This paradigm shift is being fuelled by the belief that human beings are not naturally monogamous, which makes it far more easy to cheat than to remain faithful. Others think that humans are capable of monogamy throughout their lifetime.

I wrote an article, Open Relationships How Far Will You Go to Save Your Marriage, where I talked about some couples using open relationships as a way of extending the life of their marriage. I first learned about open/polyamorous relationships after a colleague from university suggested it to me. That was years ago. Ever since then, I researched the topic and made some interesting discoveries.

Of course, open relationships are not confined to marriages or even heterosexual relationships. But when I speak of open relationship in this context, I mean between a man and a woman.

This topic is not only taboo but controversial and boy don’t I love a controversy! In fact, I stepped on some toes after publishing the article.

So, the question is, when someone or a couple wants to get involved in an open relationship, is this really their way of legitimizing the infidelity? Many people try to justify why they may cheat or have extra-marital affairs. Others wish to find a way to legitimize the affair(s). So it is important to get a better understanding of open relationships.

Traditionally, a marriage is to be a monogamous union between man and woman. Polygamy and polyamory is still taboo, except in Islamic and other patriarchal cultures where religion allows the man to have more than one wife. There, polygamy (also known as “cheating” in my day-to-day lexicon) is allowed.

What is Polyamory?

Polyamory, in Greek means “many,” amory, in Latin, means “love.” Simply put, polyamory, an alternative to monogamy, is where the couple allows each other to date or get intimate with a third party. There is generally a mutual agreement, but in some cases, one partner may unwillingly agree to polyamory, hoping to win back the affection of the other partner.

And believe it or not, open relationships have structure. In fact, these relationships are guided by rules or supposed ‘code of ethics.’ For example, the couple needs to be totally honest with each other. Imagine tying infidelity to ethics and honesty.

Polyamory is perhaps best known in relation to the couple Morning Glory and Oberon Zell, a married couple who enjoyed both a “live-in triad” (an ongoing ménage a trios) and a six-person group marriage that lasted for many years.

In its purest form, polyamory means no sexual intercourse or other kind of sexual intimacy is allowed. But in its secondary meaning, it connotes a practice of engaging in multiple sexual relationships, but with the consent of all parties involved.

What Makes People Decide to Have an Open Relationship?

The idea of being able to love someone else is exciting and appealing to those who subscribe to these forms of relationships. Many people, even married couple, argue that there is nothing wrong polyamory, or cheating as we know, it because human beings are infallible, like variety, and are capable of loving multiple partners at the same time. Others are irked by this practice, because personal morals and religious principles and teachings consider such practices as infidelity.

Deborah Anapol on Relationships with Multiple Partners

Deborah Anapol, Author of, Polyamory in the 21st Century: Love and Intimacy with Multiple Partners, wrote: “One of the reasons polyamory is at once appealing and threatening is that it brings to the forefront our cultural confusion about the interface between sex and love. In my first book, Love Without Limits, which was published in 1992, I used the term sexuallove to describe the integration of love and sex. However we all know that sex can take place independently of love (even when we are talking about romantic or erotic love) and vice versa. Furthermore, most people who ponder these things, discover that they’re not entirely sure what the distinguishing features are for either sex or love.”

Anapol sees the idea of polyamory as a state of affairs (no pun intended) which is freely and consciously chosen and is a totally different from cheating as we know it.

Sex is Allowed

Permission to have sex with multiple outside partners in open relationship can confuse those espoused to the principles of the traditional one-man-one-woman relationship. For them, consent to have sexual encounters with others can in no way negate the fact that this practice is really cheating, albeit cheating with permission.

However, “more and more people find themselves facing the discovery that lifelong monogamy is more of a mirage than a reality. At the same time, most experts on marriage, family, and sexuality, continue to write and speak as if all extramarital sex falls into the category of infidelity.” (Anapol)

Love But No Sex

Some couples may not agree to allow each other to have sexual intimacy with third parties but would allow loving friendships to form. Whether this form of open relationship fails to meet the definition for cheating is debatable because, for some, emotional affairs are considered a form of infidelity.

Others may argue that since in almost every relationship, one or both parties is likely to cheat at some point, then it may be better to simply permit each other to be involved with and love others, but to do so in an honest and open manner. Honesty and open communication are key factors that sustain multiple partner relationships.

Those who subscribe to an open relationship see honesty and openness as creating and adding integrity to the process. They believe it engenders trust and confidence, which are compromised when someone cheats in a traditional relationship. They won’t have to carry the burden of the betrayal and loss of trust linked to cheating.

Are Open Relationships Immoral?

As society changes, values and value systems change or at least are expected to.

Any valid discussion of morality in the realm of intimacy must address differing values over the centuries and also in different religious or spiritual groups.

In the Western world, many people believe that the Old Testament injunction against adultery automatically makes polyamory morally unacceptable because this assumption went unchallenged for centuries in the wake of the Inquisition and subsequent wave of witch burnings. Yet everyone knows that many of the Biblical patriarchs has multiple wives and/or concubines.”

For example, Father Abraham, and King Solomon, were they committing adultery? It has been argued, right or wrong, that “the original intention of the commandment was to protect the property rights of men to their women, not to prohibit men or even unmarried women from having multiple partners.” (Anapol)

The bottom line

Right or wrong, moral or immoral, what is cheating is determined by the couple involved in the open or polyamorous relationship. Nevertheless, based on the way things are going, in another couple of decades a large percentage of relationships are likely to evolve into open relationships and open marriages. In the meantime, open relationships equal infidelity for monogamists and conventional relationship absolutists.

What do you think?

  • Is having an open relationship an immoral practice?
  • Is having an open relationship another way of justifying cheating?
  • Does the honesty and openness of polyamorous relationships operate to legitimize cheating?

Edited, updated, and republished November 21, 2020

Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.

After a While by Veronica A. Shoffstall


inner freedom self love mental freedomWritten by Veronica A. Shoffstall

After a while, 
you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn love doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t always promises 
and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and and your eyes ahead with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers
And you learn that you really can endure, that you really are strong and you really do have worth and you learn and you learn 
with every good-bye you learn.

How to Date a Younger Man Without Messing Up


dating younger man

By Olivia J. Scott

For some older women in their late thirties to mid-forties, being able to date younger men is quite a compliment let alone an accomplishment. If you are a “Cougar,” there are a few things to bear in mind when dating a younger man to avoid blowing it.

Be Open-Minded

Approach dating a younger man knowing that you likely have accomplished and experienced more than he did. This is because you have a longer history. With this in mind, avoid making him feel less than you by repeatedly telling him you know “everything.” This doesn’t mean that you should downplay your accomplishment. However, make him feel like you are interested in his experiences and that they are important to you. Speaking of experience, he is likely to have more energy and a higher sex drive. This should not cause you to worry that he will leave you for a younger woman at some point. Many young men enjoy the maturity of a woman and her knowledge of love and intimacy

See Your Age as An Advantage

Keep in the back of your head that this young stud is with you because you are older. He sees you as attractive and values what you bring into his life in terms of experience and stability. Catching a fit when you and your man in the presence of younger women shows signs of insecurity. Similarly, trying to keep up with fashion trends of the younger girls, drinking and partying hard and trying to maintain a skinny figure by becoming a gym rat can be a turn off. Maintain your cool and confidence, wear age-appropriate clothes and enjoy going to age-appropriate places and events. This will make your cub glad he chose you. This way he gets to enjoy a richer more mature experience than if he was dating a teen or young adult gal.

Make Him Feel Like the Boss

Whether or not you’ve accomplished more than him, have a better job, own a house, or drive a better car, your rule of thumb is to always make him feel like he’s the boss. A man’s confidence is built on his ego. He wants to know he has worth to you. You can express his value in your life by allowing him to do things that men generally want to do for their woman. If he chooses to, allow him to pick up the tab at dinner. Let him drive you to your destination. Allow him to make important decisions. Let him initiate intimacy sometimes. Your submission will blow his mind and make him feel wanted, every time!

Don’t Try to Be His Mother

Even though he appears to be just a boy, resist the temptation to speak to or treat your young man as if he is your son. Avoid talking down to him or correcting his knowledge or grammar. Things like always telling him what to do, cleaning up after him, checking in on him often to see if he is “okay,” and always paying his bills can make him feel like a child. Even though he may be less financially stable than you, you don’t necessarily need to be his “sugar mama.” This can be an insult to him and make him feel less of a man. It can also push him away, since men generally prefer women who are less bossy and more submissive.

Avoid these pitfalls and you should be on your way to a long-lasting relationship with your young cub!

Copyright 2020

Shibari Premium Personal Lubricant, Water Based Lube, 8 Ounce Bottle

The Importance of Trust in Close Relationships


Trust builds emotional security.
Trust builds emotional security.

Olivia J. Scott

Trust in romantic and intimate relationship gives a couple a sense of security, allowing them to rely on and be vulnerable to each other. It engenders acceptance, love, honesty, happiness, and commitment. These values are wrapped in the three dimensions of trust which allow couples to predict each other’s behavior, depend on, and have faith in each other, as found by, professors of psychology, John K. Rempel and others, in their study, Trust in Close Relationships.

It Helps You Predict Your Partner’s Behavior

When couples can predict each other’s behavior, they are better able to satisfy their curiosity about questions, such as, “Can I trust my partner to listen to me without judging; to love and respect me; and to be loyal and faithful?” “Will my partner be there for me if I’m in trouble or the future becomes uncertain?” It may take months or years to answer these questions with a confident, “yes,” but, surely, happy and successful marriages and relationships survive and thrive on trust and knowing what to expect, says, love and marriage experts, Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz, in their post, The Foundation of Love and Trust.

You’re Okay Depending on Each Other

Reliance comes when the couple sees that statements and promises are carried out. Couples who are confident that the relationship is, by itself, treated as valuable by a partner who honors his or her words and promises are not afraid to (trust) depend on each other, writes, Rempel and his colleagues. By then, the relationship might have been tried and tested. Knowing what behaviors to expect and the fearlessness to depend promotes emotional security and a desire for deeper commitment. Inconsistent behaviors only destroy faith, which is a cornerstone of trust, and weakens emotional security says, psychologist, Richard Nicastro, in his publication, Secure Relationships: The Role of Emotional Safety.

It Gives Reassurance in Crises

Faith is believed to be the most important aspect of trust. When partners can predict each other’s behavior and depend on each other without doubt, their belief and confidence in each other and the relationship are strengthened. They feel confident to share their innermost feelings, knowing what is shared will be valued and treasured, writes, marriage and family therapist, Ashley McIlwain, in her article, Trust is a Must: Why Trust is Important in Relationships. The couple also feels emotionally secure and can easily put their doubts aside, in spite of conflicts and crises, with the reassurance that their partner will continue to be caring and supportive, whatever the future holds.

Motives and the Level of Trust

Using a Trust Scale in their study, Rempel and his colleagues found that the level of trust depends on how much a couple can predict, rely on, and have faith in each other. When a relationship is driven by external, self-serving motives, such as gaining social status or business connections, the level of love and trust is low, compared to when the relationship is valued and cherished, with or without the perks. If a partner realizes that the relationship is based on selfish gains, it lowers the level of trust, causing him or her to question whether the relationship will survive if the rewards are no longer there.

Copyright 2020

Is Being In an Open Relationship Really Cheating?


 an Exclusive by Olivia J. Scott for Woman to Woman

CLICK HERE to  LISTEN TO RADIO BROADCAST of this TOPIC

Few people would deny that there has been a shift in the way marriage and intimate relationships have evolved over the past few decades. Most observers agree that the traditional marriage is floundering. While some couples still manage to thrive, they are in the minority. Rising divorce rates, declining marriage rates, and the skyrocketing incidence of infidelity on the one hand, and sexless marriages on the other have many people concerned about their prospects for marital bliss and newly curious about alternatives.” (Deborah Anapol)

open relationshipIn recent times, there has been a paradigm shift in the thinking and approach to intimate relationships and love and more and more people are seeking out alternatives to monogamy. This paradigm shift is being fuelled by the belief amongst some that human beings are not naturally monogamous and are being given a burdensome task, especially in the case of marriage, to play the one man, one woman, ‘til death do us part, role. The strictures with which marriage is viewed in certain societies make it even more appalling to conceptualize extra-marital ‘connections.’ Some prefer to remain immersed in an illusion that people are capable of being monogamous throughout their lifetime.

I recently wrote an article Open Relationships How Far Will You Go to Save Your Marriage/in which I wrote about some couples using open relationships as a way of extending the life of their marriage. I first learned about open/polyamorous relationships after a colleague from university suggested it to me. That was eons ago. Ever since then, I researched the topic and have made some interesting findings.

Of course, open relationships are not confined to marriages or even heterosexual relationships. But when I speak of open relationship in this context, I mean between and amongst men and women.

This topic is not only taboo but controversial as well, and boy don’t I love a controversy! In fact, I stepped on some toes after publishing the article Open Relationships How Far Will You Go to Save Your Marriage/ and also with the airing of the audio version hosted by Woman to Woman Blog Talk capable host. Click HERE to listen.

So, the question is, when someone, or a couple wants to get involved in an open relationship, is this really their way of legitimizing the infidelity? Many people try to justify why they may cheat or have extra-marital affairs. Others wish to find a way to legitimize the affair(s).

Traditionally, a marriage is to be a monogamous union between man and woman. Polygamy and polyamory were, and still are, frowned upon, except in societies, like in Islamic cultures, where religion allows a man to have many wives. There, Polygamy, simply known as “cheating” in my day-to-day lexicon, is allowed.

Polyamory, in Greek means “many”, amory, in Latin, means “love.” Simply put, polyamory, an alternative to monogamy, is where the couple allows each other to establish love and or emotional bonds with other people. There is generally dual permission, but in some cases, one partner may unwillingly agree to polyamory, hoping to win back the affection of the other party. And believe it or not, open relationships of this nature are not done on a willy nilly basis. In fact,  these relationships are to be guided by a ‘code of ethics.’

Polyamory is perhaps best known in relation to the couple Morning Glory and Oberon Zell, a married couple who enjoyed both a “live-in triad” (an ongoing ménage a trios) and a six-person group marriage that lasted for many years.

In its purest form, this means no sexual intercourse or other kind of sexual intimacy is allowed. But in its secondary meaning, it connotes a practice of engaging in multiple sexual relationships BUT with the consent of all parties concerned.

The idea of being able to love someone else is exciting and appealing to those who subscribe to these forms of relationships. Some may even argue that there is nothing wrong with this, even amongst married couples, because human beings are infallible, like variety and are capable of loving more than one person at the same time. Others are irked by this practice, many times because of morals and religious principles and teachings which forbid such interactions.

Deborah Anapol, Author, Polyamory in the 21st Century: Love and Intimacy with Multiple Partners, wrote: “One of the reasons polyamory is at once appealing and threatening is that it brings to the forefront our cultural confusion about the interface between sex and love. In my first book Love Without Limits, which was published in 1992, I used the term sexuallove to describe the integration of love and sex. However we all know that sex can take place independently of love (even when we are talking about romantic or erotic love) and vice versa. Furthermore, most people who ponder these things, discover that they’re not entirely sure what the distinguishing features are for either sex or love.” “

Anapol sees the idea of polyamory as a state of affairs (no pun intended) which is freely and consciously chosen and is a totally different affair from monogamy, which is demanded as a condition for love or enforced by legal codes, religious stricture, financial considerations or social pressure, has been put forth by a number of thoughtful individuals.

Sex is allowed

Permission to have sex in open relationship can further complicate a conventional persons’ view and belief system regarding the nature typical of relationships. For such persons, the fact of consent to have sexual rendezvous with others can in no way negate the fact that this practice is really cheating, permitted cheating. But “more and more people find themselves facing the discovery that lifelong monogamy is more of a mirage than a reality. At the same time, most experts on marriage, family, and sexuality, continue to write and speak as if all extramarital sex falls into the category of infidelity.” (Anapol)

Love but no Sex

Some couples may not agree to allowing each other to have sexual intimacy with third parties but would allow loving friendships to form. Whether this form of open relationship fails to meet the definition for cheating is debatable, because for some, emotional affairs are categorized as a form of infidelity.

Others may argue that since in almost every relationship, one or both parties is likely to cheat at some point, then it may be better to simply permit each other to be involved with and love others, but to do so in an honest and open manner. Honesty and open communication are key factors that sustain multiple partner relationships. Those who subscribe to these relationships see honesty and openness as creating and adding integrity to the process, as well as engender trust and confidence, which are compromised in cases of blatant infidelity.

Are Open Relationships Immoral?

As society changes, values and value systems change or at least are expected to.

Any valid discussion of morality in the realm of intimacy must address differing values over the centuries and also in different religious or spiritual groups.

In the Western world, many people believe that the Old Testament injunction against adultery automatically makes polyamory morally unacceptable because this assumption went unchallenged for centuries in the wake of the Inquisition and subsequent wave of witch burnings. Yet everyone knows that many of the Biblical patriarchs has multiple wives and/or concubines.” For example, Father Abraham, and King Solomon, were they committing adultery? It has been argued, rightly or wrongly so, that “the original intention of the commandment was to protect the property rights of men to their women, not to prohibit men or even unmarried women from having multiple partners.”(Anapol) Of course, this latter statement provokes another controversial issue, whether women are truly the “property” of men.

Right or wrong, moral or immoral, the classification perhaps lies squarely on the subjects involved in the open or polyamorus relationships. For many of us, the concepts of morality or immorality are determined based on our own conviction, positive or negative, about the particular act or conduct.

Nevertheless, based on the way things are going, in another couple of decades a large percentage of relationships are likely to evolve into open relationships. In the meantime, for monogamists and conventional relationship absolutists, open relationships equal infidelity.

Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

 Please LEAVE COMMENTS below

  • Is having an open relationship an immoral practice?
  • Is having an open relationships another way of justifying cheating?
  • Does the honesty and openness of polyamorous relationships operate to legitimize the relationship?