Is An Open Marriage Ever A Good Idea? Because I Sort Of Want One

Canadian singer Chantal Kreviazuk dishes out some tough love and answers your most important life questions in her advice column for Chatelaine.

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A woman looks upset with her husband, who is in the background, for a piece on whether an open marriage is ever a good idea

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Q: I’ve been married for 5 years and we don’t have kids. I’m into the idea of each of us having a “fling” or two, to stave off boredom in the bedroom, but I’m nervous about raising it with my partner. Is an open marriage ever a good idea?

First off, I find it very interesting that you raise the fact that you don’t have kids right away. I immediately want to ask you what difference it makes in this situation. I get the sense you feel that not having kids gives you a sense of entitlement to bend the ol’ vows . . . that the sanctity of marriage is in “lite” mode.

Whenever there is a temptation, the flag goes up for me that maybe you both aren’t bringing as much to your relationship as you could. I can now understand, after many years of partnership with one man, my husband, Raine, that any needs he isn’t meeting for me can feel like a lack of contentment, and maybe even go back to wounds from childhood.  But Raine is the only person that I give the responsibility of happiness and healing to. When he married me, I had to take on all his baggage, and he inherited all mine too — the good, the bad and yeah, the UGLY!
After Years Of Doomed Relationships, I Realized Monogamy Isn’t For MeAfter Years Of Doomed Relationships, I Realized Monogamy Isn’t For Me
For example, my husband is a strong type. He says what he means. And there are times when I want and need some SUGAR! I may, due to insecurities from my childhood, need some healing in a certain area. For instance, maybe I feel dismissed sometimes (I am the youngest child, and have two older brothers) and I need to feel heard and to feel like my work matters. My husband may be strong and reliable — but he’s not a mind-reader. He may not be able to see when salt is being poured on very old wounds.

So yeah, it might feel like sometimes, seeking that attention and validation from someone else would be a whole ton of fun. But without communicating my needs, my history, my pain, I am missing out on the opportunity to be given what I want most from the person I love most, and by the person most equipped to heal me — my partner.

The point is, the ultimate dose of sugar really does come from our partner. So before bringing up a third wheel, get vulnerable and honest. Go “deeper” than ever before and watch how the love between you expands exponentially!  Intimacy skyrockets when we can meet each other’s emotional needs.

Chantal Kreviazuk is an award-winning singer songwriter. She is married to Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida. They have three kids. 

Got a question for Chantal? E-mail us at letters@chatelaine.rogers.com