arts

Baby Boomers “Open-Up” Marriage

Open Marriage book coverI had an open marriage once. When I had an affair my wife opened the door and kicked me out of the marriage.

Some celebrities think an open marriage means you let the paparazzi in to shoot the ceremony.

Stand-up comedy lines
from the 1970s

Hang on to your JuJu Bees.

A 1969 baby boomer hit movie told the tale of a sophisticated young married couple who after attending a new age retreat decides to embrace “free love.” America thoroughly related to the tortured counter culture experiments and exasperation of Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice.

Often by the time a book introduces a daring new pop culture idea, it has already happened. Such was the case with a 1972 best seller, Open Marriage. The baby boomer husband-wife authors advocated an evolved, rational relationship where each accommodates the emotional and psychological growth of the mate. One small chapter Bob Carol Ted Alice dvd covertouched briefly on the possibility that a healthy marriage could include sexual relationships with others, given the consent of your partner. Of course, this chapter received all the attention.

Traditional marriage had been “opening” for some time. The sexual revolution was in full swing – literally. One of the latest trends was “swinger clubs” where couples, often married, engaged in sexual activity with other couples. The term “wife-swapping” entered the vocabulary. “Open marriage” appeared to bless this activity.

Monogamy was sinking on a bed of new age quicksand. Feminists promoted freedom and independence in relationships. Hippies scoffed at traditional marriage. Pop culture disco flaunted wild sexuality. Birth control and legal abortion made “affairs” more tempting. Beginning in California, no fault divorce swept east like a tsunami. A Dolly Parton D-I-V-O-R-C-E was almost as easy as asking for it. Baby boomers seemed to ready to entertain new ideas in everything.

The authors of Open Marriage claimed they were trying to save the institution, not bury it.

Terry Hamburg writes the Boomer to You blog about the exciting and revolutionary baby boomer years.

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