Dear Tell All: I was amused by the brouhaha Newt Gingrich's ex-wife caused when she went on TV to announce that he'd requested an "open marriage" before dumping her for his mistress. Gingrich's presidential campaign was forced to deny the charge so he could maintain his status as a family-values Republican.
Still, I'm guessing most people believed Gingrich's ex-wife, given his history of abandoning the conservative approach to marriage when it suited him.
In my view, he did the right thing by abandoning it. I've never understood why people feel the need to respect the "rule" regarding monogamy. Who made up that rule, anyway? And why are people considered immoral when they live by a different system?
I'm in an open marriage myself, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Neither would my wife. In fact, she was interested in both women and men when I met her, and she still seeks both types of partners. I stick only to females, and I always tell them I'm married before we go too far. If they're not cool with that, nothing happens, and no hard feelings.
It's not that my wife and I were born without normal human emotions. Both of us admit to occasional pangs of jealousy, but we talk about them. On balance, we believe an open marriage is ultimately good for our relationship. Feeling free to be with other people has allowed us to stay together for almost 10 years. It's not that we aren't committed to each other; it's that we both like sexual variety.
I know a lot of people would judge us harshly. But don't you agree that, as long as no one gets hurt, I should be able to have as many sexual partners as I want?
Dear Don: I'm a big believer in different strokes for different folks. Your approach wouldn't work for everyone, but if it works for you and your wife, I agree that there's no reason not to do it.
Ironically, I can think of at least one person who wouldn't agree, at least publicly: Newt Gingrich.