The 30-Year-Old Navigating An Open Marriage

September 23, 2020

An open marriage is a form of non-monogamy where the partners agree that the other partner may engage in extra-marital sexual relations without this being regarded as infidelity. It’s more or less like Jada and Will’s marriage, although the rules often vary.

Needless to say, this isn’t a very popular arrangement with most people, and much less so among Nigerians. Despite this, I had the pleasure of meeting a 30-year-old Nigerian man who has been in an open marriage for two years, and before that, an open relationship for 10 years. We talked about his marriage, what it demands and why more people should consider open marriages.

So, how did it begin?

Honestly? It’s not something we really thought about. At least, we never called it an open relationship, when we were dating. Or even a relationship. It was basically, “Yes, I love you and you love me, but we both still find other people sexually attractive. So what are we going to do?” We had a lot of back-and-forths about what that meant and what we could do about it.

Initially, the relationship wasn’t open at all. We had been dating for a few years when, one day, she suddenly came to me and said: “I found someone I think you’d find sexually interesting.” That’s how it started. We discuss it frequently to touch base and see what the other person is thinking.

What do you think were her motivations for giving you the green light to sleep with someone else?

To be honest, it’s probably a hodgepodge of factors. Firstly, she is bisexual. Secondly, she enjoys watching me having sex and she loves it when I tell her about other women I’m having sex with and how. Also, there were women she found sexually appealing but she wasn’t comfortable about her sexuality with other women at that time. So she’d offer the women to me and live vicariously through me. Eventually, she decided to try women.

Interesting. What are the details of your arrangement?

Basically, both of us can sleep with whomever we want. The only condition is that we obtain consent from each other before sleeping with other people. There have been instances where we both didn’t agree to let the other sleep with someone else but it’s always for a good reason.

What would you say is required to be in this kind of relationship?

Lot’s of work and honesty. From the outside, it looks easy, but in reality, there’s a lot of work required. We have to talk and talk and fine-tune things a lot. 

Our relationship is pretty private, but now and again, we raise some eyebrows. When we are with friends and a lover of either of us or both of us is around, our friends tend to give us weird looks, thinking that we are cheating on the other partner. They think it’s weird that a married person is hanging with someone else, and even more surprised that the other partner doesn’t care about it.

One time, I was with my friends and I had one of my girlfriends with me. My girlfriend kept talking about my wife; not in the I-shouldn’t-be-with-you type of way and more in a playful “I will tell your wife you’re not treating me nicely” type of way. My guys were looking at me funny. They don’t know about the arrangement and I’d like to keep it that way

Wow. Do you worry that either you or your wife might catch feelings for someone else? What’s the contingency plan?

The thought that either of us might have feelings for other people crosses our minds, honestly. It’s only logical that if you keep fucking the same person, feelings will inevitably come into play. That’s why we emphasise on honesty. Also, we already know we’ll spend the rest of our lives together. We know that even if you catch feelings for someone else, it’s only half the truth. My wife and I know our full truths with each other and it makes us both happy. 

If it happens, we’ll deal with it the same way we deal with other matters; discussing honestly and finding solutions together. It’s us against any issues bothering one person.

Have you had any disagreements over this arrangement?

Ah yes. And it was absolutely my fault too. I’m an emotional guy, really, and I can only have sex with people I like and have a real connection with. At some point, it got a bit too emotional with one of my women, and when my wife pointed it out to me, I got defensive, and even worse, started to feel like I needed to hide parts of that relationship from her. I refused to do any introspection for a while. But at some stage, you gotta listen when your own woman insists on something like that. I regret it very much; hurting her was never part of the arrangement.

Do you plan on having children?

We do plan on having children, a little down the road. Of course, we think about how having children will have an impact on the nature of our relationship. It’ll definitely means having less random partners. We’ll settle for regular partners so that we aren’t introducing the kids to strangers every two weeks. It also means meeting out of town more often and having fewer partners.

Sounds like it’s all planned out.

Again, we talk and talk and talk. It’s hard, but it’s the only way it works.

Between the two of you, how many partners would you say there are?

Lmao. This is hard. There are some regular ones, there are seasonal ones and there are part-time ones. But currently, I’d say three. Of course, we have partners outside of each other. Some of our partners are in relationships of their own. However, we do have a favourite girlfriend. She’s in a relationship with both of us together and individually.

The next thing on our agenda is dating a couple similar to us. It sounds really interesting. We aren’t rushing it because sometimes, you just have to let things happen. So far, it hasn’t happened yet. Although it’d be nice if such a couple reaches out.

That’s interesting. Do you think more people should consider open marriages and relationships or do you think it’s only suited to a select few?

It’s definitely not for everybody. It’s also not a response to infidelity or an inability to be loyal. It demands even more accountability that normal relationships don’t ask of you.

I think more people should be honest about the fact that loving someone doesn’t mean you never want to fuck someone else. Once we all come to that place, the rest is just housekeeping and figuring out what works.

Man Like – A series about men, for men, by men. Every Sunday by 12PM.

Olufemi Fadahunsi

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

August 27, 2020

At some point, every Nigerian man has toyed with the idea of having a sugar mummy. Don’t deny it. Even you. The appeal of finding sex and financial aid in the same place is the Nigerian man’s dream. With the Nigerian economy being what it is, the demand for sugar mummies has skyrocketed. As usual, […]


Now on Zikoko

December 1, 2020

President Muhammadu Buhari rode to office on the major campaign promise that his administration will put a final end to the Boko Haram insurgency. However, on Sunday, November 9th 2020, many Nigerians woke up to the news that suspected Boko Haram insurgents had killed more than 43 rice farmers in Garin Kwashebe, a rice farming […]

December 1, 2020

4:38 a.m.  I’m fully awake, I’ve taken a bath and I’m dressed in my all white. My roommates are beginning to let their guards down because it’s the last day. Why are they not awake by this time. They will blow the bugle now and they will start rushing. Anyways, let me go back to […]

December 1, 2020

Despite the scrapping of testing fees in government health facilities and the large donor funds Nigeria receives annually, one in five young persons have never tested for HIV. This statistics looks insignificant until you do the maths and realise at least 18 million people have no idea of their status. We must recognise that these […]

December 1, 2020

December 1st is World AIDS Day. It is a day to raise awareness about AIDS. We spoke to Doctor Opeyemi, to tell us some facts about the disease, common misconceptions and how to care for people living with AIDS. 1) AIDS AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) is the late stage manifestation of the viral infection […]

Recommended Quizzes

December 5, 2019

We already tried to guess how much you have in your account and your current net worth, and we think we did a pretty great job (keep any complaints to yourself). Now, we’re going to try and guess your monthly salary based on your relationship with money. Oya, take the quiz: 11 Timed Quizzes For […]

how tall are you
March 11, 2020

Did your parents give you enough beans when you were growing up? If they did, then you’re probably around 6’0″ and above. Either way, we created a quiz that can guess your current height (pretty accurately, if we do say so ourselves). Take to see if we nailed it:

November 22, 2019

It can be very stressful when you’re trying to find the love of your life, but you only keep meeting people that are exactly like your yeye ex. To help you be more aware of that problem, we’ve created a quiz that lets you know the kind of people you are attracting. Take it to […]

November 28, 2019

There are so many talented and stunning Nollywood actors that make it hard not to fall in love with them. So, while we all know the likelihood of us ending up with any of them is super low, it’s still fun to imagine a world where we actually stood a chance, and that’s why this […]

November 11, 2019

Today, we are going to be using your taste in music to determine how good you actually are in bed. All you need to do is create the ultimate Nigerian hit — from the lead artist to the producer — and we’ll tell you if all your partners leave satisfied, or if you are just […]

More from Man Dem

November 25, 2020

If you’re a Nigerian woman living abroad, chances are that you’ve run into one or more of these types of Nigerian men. 1) Mr. qualifications Before you say anything, they’ll remind you about all their degrees – MBA, PHD, WAP, MD. 2) Green card gang In your first conversation, they want to know your status […]

November 25, 2020

Traditionally, marriage is designed to be a life-long commitment between two people. Sometimes, people go against the norm and seek emotional and sexual solace with people other than their spouses. I spoke to seven married men about cheating on their wives, why they do it and what the future of their marriages look like. Ben […]

November 18, 2020

If you’re here wondering the secret to the appeal of Nigerian men, welcome: 1) Sweet mouth Nigerian men open a conversation with “you look familiar” and end with “I can’t live without you.” When Nigerian men give their sweetness attack, you defend. Or reset your defense. 2) Dress sense Ice on their neck. Ice on […]

November 13, 2020

Nigerian women aren’t the most communicative people, some times. When they catch feelings for Nigerian men, they won’t exactly in straightforward terms. They prefer playing a complex game of “Read My Mind” to tell you that they’ve caught feelings for you. Here a couple of signs that show you a woman is in love with […]

November 11, 2020

What does IJGB mean? – “I Just Got Back.” This means someone who’s living abroad and is back in Nigeria for December rocks. Now that you know the definition of IJGB, let’s begin. December is upon us and God willing, the innits will soon be upon us. We’ve prepared this guide as a safety measure […]

November 9, 2020

It’s never too early to start thinking of Christmas gifts for your man. This year, make efforts to get, you know, actual gifts for your man (not boxers and singlets). Nigerian men deserve better, therefore, we’ve made a list of all the things you can get your man for Christmas this year. 1. A PS5 […]


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.
February 6, 2020
Who doesn't want to find love? In our bid to help, we paired up a bunch of single Nigerians, sending them on an all-expense paid date, and interviewing them before and after they met.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.