"We might order Chinese and then play Scrabble after dinner," Block says. She simply couldn't get everything she needed -- sexually, physically, or emotionally -- from just her husband.
It all sounds very Middle America, until you know the rest of the story. So Block, who says she is bisexual, broached the topic of open marriage with her husband. He isn't pursuing another relationship himself at this time, although he knows he is free to.
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Although Block and her husband, Christopher (not his real name), have been married for nearly 11 years, Jemma (not her real name) is Block's other love. "All that's going on here is feeling open to loving other people," says Block, 37, whose book, Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage, is due out in June 2008.
They regularly go out on "dates," although Block's daughter knows only that Jemma is a family friend. Limiting love, she says, doesn't seem normal to her.
The term "open marriage," coined by the late George and Nena O'Neill in their 1972 book of the same name, has been expanded as more couples choose to follow the concept without getting married.
Another term to describe one type of open relationship is polyamory -- literally, "multiple loves." Those who practice open relationships or polyamory often say they are "hardwired" this way and that laying the ground rules for multiple relationships spares everyone hurt and disappointment.
Not everyone agrees, with some therapists calling the polyamorous model a recipe for hurt, disappointment, jealousy, and breakups.