I must admit, I felt quite nervous when I began watching Will Smith and his wife’s (Jada) sit-down interview, on her hit show—Red Table Talk, addressing her relationship (or should I say entanglement) with the singer August Alsina.
Image courtesy of Pexels
Nervous because, I have taken a liking to the couple over the years, and chose not to believe the rumors that they were either swingers or in an open marriage, which they had subtly denied in times past. Also, I did not know what direction the interview was going to take; was she going to deny the claims her former lover made, or spill the entire tea?
Regardless I was going to watch with popcorn in hand, only because, I waited for almost two weeks for her to break her silence on the matter, and I am sad to admit that I zoomed out of a Zoom party, to watch this 12-minute long piece, which was in my opinion, a whole bunch of nothing.
Although, one thing I appreciated was that, she gifted us with a new buzzword for complicated relationships, which I am definitely keeping, entanglement! Goodbye to situationships. But before we delve into today’s topic, I would like to set up a disclaimer—this article is not to decode what they shared or pry into the couple’s relationship behind closed doors, but rather to address the concept of open marriages.
The concept of an open relationship or marriage is something that I have always grappled with because marriage is sacred and was created by God. I believe the union to be between one man and one woman, coming together, committing to a lifetime together, no matter what. Within the boundaries of such a union, both parties need to be open and honest with each other. Open in the sense that, there are no secrets, and skeletons in one’s wardrobe that the other person doesn’t know about.
Some might then argue, isn’t this an ‘open marriage?’ after all the people involved know what each party is up to. Well, not necessarily because in marriage, you are not supposed to have romantic or sexual relationships, with anyone who isn’t your spouse. So whether you are ‘okay’ with it or not, God’s law is broken in the process.
What is an open marriage?
According to Wikipedia.com, “Open marriage is a form of non-monogamy in which the partners of a dyadic marriage agree that each may engage in extramarital sexual relationships, without this being regarded by them as infidelity, and consider or establish an open relationship despite the implied monogamy of marriage. There are variant forms of open marriage such as swinging and polyamory, each with the partners having varying levels of input on their spouse's activities.”
The world we live in is a messed up place, because people want to live according to what they feel like, hence, they begin to create concepts for themselves, to suit whatever they enjoy doing.
“You say, “I am allowed to do anything” —but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.”
—1 Corinthians 6:12 (NLT)
There a plethora of things which come to mind, when I think about this flawed concept, such as— if a child is brought into the picture, how then do you explain the dynamic of your relationship(s) to them? Where do couples involved in an open marriage draw the line? What is acceptable and what are the grounds for separation?
How long are you allowed to step out on each other and get entangled with others, in the duration of the ‘marriage?’ What are the guidelines for such a union? Are you allowed to have one partner at a time or entertain multiple people all at once? Do you have sex with or without protection with external parties? Do you guys get tested for STDs periodically? Does the external partner (s) have a say in the ‘marriage?’ How far is too far? Is anyone allowed to get jealous or hurt? Do they all live under one roof?
The questions are endless, in my opinion, there is no way people can successfully navigate this concept without dire consequences and such unions are absent of peace. When do these people have the time to give to other people, while successfully making sure they don’t lose the ‘main’ relationship in the process? So much dysfunction if you ask me. You cannot successfully serve two masters. This saying is true, according to Jesus; you will love one and despise the other.
I have a 9-5 job, and I manage this platform, myself. Lord knows how I have struggled over the past months, dancing between despising one and loving the other.
If I am consistent with uploading content every day on the blog, then it must be that my workload has reduced. If I barely post on my blog, it is because my paid job is taking up most of my time, and when I am free on the weekends, I just want to rest. If I want to be Wonder Woman and handle both careers, side by side, I will breakdown, which was what happened to me about three weeks ago, and I know that with time, something has to give.
Now, imagine managing multiple relationships at the same time, you will be burnt out in no time. You have to concern yourself with everyone’s emotions, If they enjoyed the sex the last time, their well-being, and maybe finances, amid many other things.
Any concept as it pertains to relationships, which deviates from what God intended relationships to be, between men and women, is dysfunctional, and as such, open marriages are dysfunctional relationships.
People come up with new concepts daily to justify what their flesh craves—‘today my boyfriend is pissing me off, so maybe a girl would be a preferable partner because women understand each other better.’ Or my spouse doesn’t understand me, maybe my secretary who asks me how my day is going all the time will make for a better partner.’
If we go by what seems desirable to us in every moment, then we would self-destruct, eventually. That is why it is safer for us, to keep things as they were intended to be. Marriage is meant for two people (man and woman), who have made a commitment to God and each other, to spend the rest of their lives together. Does this mean that they wouldn’t have issues? Absolutely not! But when you begin opening up your union, to external bodies, chaos is bound to ensue.
Doing what works for you
This was a phrase that was synonymous with analyzing the Will and Jada issue, just because people do ‘what works for them,’ doesn’t mean is the right thing to do. People often tend to sugar coat dysfunction, so you don’t have any reason to question it. But once you dig in, and expose that Pandora’s Box, you will be taken aback by the things you will discover.
Over to you guys? What do you think about open marriages? Leave your comments below, and also remember to like, share and subscribe, never to miss an update on Let’s Talk Nation.
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About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian, writer, and content creator on Letstalknationblog.com. She is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Consumed by her love for writing and desire to effect change, she launched her online platform––Let’s Talk Nation––to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations that would make a difference around the world.
Most of her writing has been influenced by her time spent in America, where she lived for about 11 years. Also, she lived in Nigeria and South Korea and currently loves traveling the world while learning about other fascinating cultures. You can find her on all social media platforms with @eviidoghor