Open relationships might help solve the divorce problem in Nigeria – Nkem Ndem
If you asked me two years ago; I would tell you the people who are quick to suggest “open relationships” are the lowest of us all. The vilest. And it is understandable that I had that opinion at the time: as I am one to take exclusivity to a sublime level.
In fact, despite recently learning more about open relationships and how they are actually legitimately working for some people; polyamory remains unforeseen in my future.
Sure, my judgment on the idea are now melting away and my curiosity sparking…
But how do you even handle a relationship where there is a primary emotional and intimate relationship between you and your partners; yet you both agree to at least the possibility of intimacy with other people.
How do you have multiple romantic partners at the same time, with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved? How do you handle the feelings of apprehension, jealousy, and even sometimes anger; emotions that are bound to come with open relationships?
You probably already know the source of my musings on the topic at this time: Jada Pinkett. Drama was ignited recently, when August Alsina, an American artist claimed he had been in a relationship with Jada; wife to world-renowned star, Will Smith with her husband’s blessings. According to the 27-year old, he actually sat down with Will Smith. They had a conversation that earned him (August) Will Smith’s blessing to have a sexual relationship with Jada.
As you would imagine, there have been denials from Jada; even though she has also now hinted that she will be giving more details on a promised Red Table talk in future. The thing is this, there have since been also been lots of speculation that Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith; are in an open relationship.
However, what I found daunting was Will Smith actually giving another man his blessings to sleep with his wife. It’s insane!
The truth is, many people in these modern times; feel that having a relationship or sex with only one person for an indefinite amount of time; is too difficult and unnatural. And on a level, looking at it from a biological point of view; humans are kind of not designed to be with one person forever.
We are curious creatures. We have fantasies and imaginations, so our bodies crave diversity. No matter how disciplined we are, there is no denying that our bodies are hardwired this way.
What I find the most interesting and exciting about all of this is the fact that Nigerians too; are starting to have conversations in this line too. Our world too is changing and we are not only accepting what we claim to be western values; but are also starting to normalize them.
Indeed, we are questioning and re-evaluating old models, especially with regards to love and relationships. Unfortunately, marriage and monogamy have been tightly tied to religion and the foundation of who we are. If we keep questioning this or worse adopting it, there is this chance that our floor is pulled out from under us and everything goes to shit.
I mean, look at the current divorce rate. It is insane! Perhaps, open relationships are one way to quell the rising trend that is divorce in Lagos; or even Nigeria as a whole. Perhaps, it is the secret that has kept Jada Pinkett and Will Smith together this whole time!
You are probably now wondering: Do open relationships really work? I don’t know. I have never been in one.
However, you may want to consider that at the end of the day; you have to decide what kind of relationship you want; as well as what works for you and go with it in spite of judgement from any angle. It’s your life. It’s your heart. And it’s your body.
If you can honestly look yourself in the mirror and be proud of what you see; please carry on without ado. The most important thing is that you are true to yourself.
Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer.
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