Monday, August 15, 2011

Open Marriage

I like this post only due to the reason that both are honest with each other. In this world where everythinig has been made to feel you guilty. This one is where both share a deep and honest relationship.

SCHOOLTEACHER Anisha Mathur (32) and scribe Kapil Kumar (34) have been married for nine years and have a six-year-old son.
They speak to MAIL TODAY about their open marriage, their other extramarital relationships, how they took the first step and coped with the challenges that followed. Their identities have been changed.

IT ALL started with a trip to Bhutan to meet our friends in 2007. It was a visit that we had been planning ever since we got married. Our hosts were Kapil's friends from his college days — they had even attended our wedding. Thimphu was a feast for the eyes, and the sight of the Himalayas overwhelmed us. Our hosts treated us so warmly that it didn't take much time for us to feel completely at home with them. The itinerary of our three-day trip was planned with much care by them.

On the first day, after soaking up the sights, we huddled together in front of a camp fire. After a few drinks, we began talking about sex, starting off with a few jokes of course, till the discussion got a little more serious. What followed was a life-changing discussion — yes, it completely altered my perception about love and sex. After our hosts' account of their lovelife, my idea of marriage turned head. Our hosts revealed they had an open marriage and both looked for sex outside marriage. The discussion, admittedly, got steamier when they offered us an invitation to swap partners. Kapil and I had a long chat about it that night. There was no doubt that I loved my husband, but we agreed it was getting monotonous and that was taking the zing out of our relationship. KAPIL'S argument in favour of the swap was that we were in a foreign land with no relatives or colleagues who would find out — it seemed safe to experiment since there were only these friends around. I was uncomfortable with the suggestion at first, but he never forced me.

Kapil is one of those rare nonintrusive men, so unlike the husbands of my friends. He has never probed too much about my friends or insisted that I do things the way he wants me to. He also knows about my relationships before marriage. After a sleepless night with a million thoughts running through my head, I told Kapil I was game. Rather than being gung ho, he said there was no hurry and advised me to give it a rethink. On the second day there, I was sure and that night I slept with my husband's best friend and his wife with my husband. My conscience was clear and I was fully aware of my actions — and with Kapil's backing there was no sense of guilt. Next morning, we greeted each other the same way we had for the past nine years. Over our cuppa, we even told each other how we loved the experience. No, that didn't leave either of us with a bruised ego — we had more respect and love for each other because we had acted like mature individuals. The next night too we swapped.

ANISHA and I are just like any average couple coping with life and still very much in love with each other. We have always been true to each other and share immense trust.
After our first extra-marital experience in Bhutan, my next fling was with an online friend from Oman. We had always been good friends and so we decided to take it to the next level. My friend is married and has a 16-year-old daughter. She flew down to India last month to meet me and we spent two days in a holiday resort in Jaipur. Yes, of course, Anisha knew about it. But then, she also knows that this lady from Oman isn't the only one, even if it's the steadiest extra-marital relationship that I've had.

In all I have had eight relationships outside marriage — yes, that's many more than what Anisha has had — but she has never objected to any of them. We don't discuss details about our relationships and prefer not to intrude into each other's lives.

The women I've hooked up with are all married and they too say there's no sense of guilt about what they are doing. It seems quite normal now — that is, after having so many of them. In fact, a couple of my friends too have open marriages to spice up their sex lives. I don't believe in constricting the marriage to a point that it gets difficult to breath in it. At the same time, I am fully aware I am not powerful enough to change the institution of marriage.

BUT for me, the sanctity of a marriage is in being open to each other's viewpoints and being honest. I know Anisha has affairs and I have no problems with it. She too knows I am seeing someone — we believe that if we are frank with each other and communicate, there will be no misunderstanding.

Anisha and I aren't forcing each other to look for extramarital affairs — it's consensual and we have no qualms about it. Our relationship still has the same warmth it did in the beginning and I am emotionally dependent on Anisha like in our early days. But the Bhutan trip was a turning point for me too.

Guilty feelings creep in when couples hide things from each other. I guess honesty is what keeps us together.

Source: Doubles Mixed