When you look at statistics on monogamy, marriages end 51% of the time. So is the concept of open marriage perhaps a better solution for lasting relationship happiness – and can it really work?

Open Marriage Statistics

Open marriage statistics have shown the rate of open marriages in the US could be somewhere between 1.9 to 9 percent. More people are being introduced to the idea of open marriage every day, and find living in open relationship communities to be an attractive option.

However – there is not much scientific consensus around whether open marriage actually works.

Multiple studies have shown an increase in marital happiness in open marriages. In one research piece by Bergham and Strand of 1092 people  – who were in swinging open marriages – showed 80 to 90 percent of the people were happier after they started to engage in the swinging lifestyle. Even 50% of those who reported were “very happy” before swinging, felt themselves to be even happier after engaging in the lifestyle. Another study by Timothy Wolf showed 76% of the open marriages as having a better than average or outstanding marriage.

Other studies show neutral results and no difference in marital satisfaction between monogamous and honestly non-monogamous relationships. Some open marriage statistics even show that couples eventually choose monogamy again (like this extensive study on bisexuality). It’s possible they abandoned open marriage after haven gotten what they needed out of the arrangement, or they wanted to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.

Couples in open marriages tend to feel jealousy more often than those who are in committed relationships. On the flip side, monogamous couples experience higher rates of sexual boredom and sexless marriage. Additionally, sometimes couples open up their relationship in order to stay in a loving but sexless marriage – and still be able to fulfill their needs for a sex life. The biggest complaint about open marriage is centered on the fact that negotiating the rules can be quite time-consuming.

Open Marriage Divorce Statistics

There are very few qualified open marriage divorce statistics available. One study showed a very slight increase in divorce risk for couples engaging in extramarital sex (even if the extramarital sex was agreed upon). Another study showed no difference in divorce rates. To accurately assess the data and draw a solid conclusion, these open marriage divorce statistics would need to correct for other reasons that the marriage ended – aside from the open relationship.

How a Sex Coach Can Help with Open Marriages

If you’re considering an open marriage, a sex coach can help you consider all your options and come up with your own open marriage rules (which could be very similar to open relationship rules).

A sex or intimacy coach can also help you address conflicts, jealousy or dissatisfaction in your open marriage, and teach you to become more efficient in your negotiations, particularly if one or both partners broke the agreed-upon open marriage rules.

If you are interested in an open marriage, make sure your sex coach is non-judgmental about this choice. You can always interview your sex coach and ask them about their philosophy or practice so you can see if it feels like a right fit for you. The Somatica Method, for example, teaches acceptance for all relationship choices and lifestyles.

 

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Celeste Hirschman
Celeste Hirschman, MA is the Co-Creator of the Somatica® Method and Co-Founder of Somatica® Institute. She trains coaches in the Somatica® Method of Sex and Relationship Coaching. She has her own private practice in San Francisco, where she works with clients to have profoundly pleasurable and fulfilling lives. She has co-authored multiple academic articles published in peer-reviewed journals and is the co-author of two books, Cockfidence - The Definitive Guide to Being the Man You Want to Be and Driving Women Wild and Making Love Real - The Intelligent Couples Guide to Lasting Intimacy and Passion. Celeste has her MA in Human Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University (SFSU) and her BA in Women’s Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Celeste has taken the Hakomi Pro-Skills Training as well as multiple other trainings on sexuality and relationships. Celeste also has a Certification in Sexological Bodywork from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS).