Is Open Marriage Still Marriage? Newt Gingrich Thinks So!

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Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich speaks loudly about preserving family values. Quietly, though, he thinks his second wife should’ve “tolerated his affair” and agreed to an open marriage–or whatever one calls a marriage where the husband can have a mistress or two, according to This brings up the question: Is an open marriage a marriage at all?

My feeling is this: Anything that consenting adults do is just fine by me. It’s why I support gay marriage (and you should, too). In Newt’s situation, though, his wife (you know, the one he married six months after he and bride number one divorced) didn’t consent to being cheated on. Newt only brought up the idea of an open marriage after he already broke that vow about being faithful. In fact, he allegedly threatened his wife with divorce if she didn’t agree to his open-marriage proposal (what kind of ring does one buy when one proposes open-marriage, anyway?). Class act, that one.

If you don’t want to be a one-woman man (or, for that matter, a one-man woman), don’t get married. Marriage is about committing yourself to one person you love so deeply that you’d never do anything you know would hurt them. If imagining your partner in pain can’t stop you from cheating, then you definitely don’t love that person enough to be married to them.

What bugs me most of all about this is that Newt thinks marriage should be between one man and one woman, yet his ideal arrangement allows multiple women into his marital bed. How could someone so vehemently oppose gay marriage when his own lifestyle doesn’t fit the definition of marriage he supports? Newt, you might be the biggest hypocrite in this race, and that’s saying a lot because you have plenty of competition.

And now, just for fun, captions to the above photo of Newt:
Raise your hand if you enjoy cheating on your wife.
High five for infidelity.
Hey, you there, in the back–ever wanted to be part of a political sex scandal?

More About Celebrity Marriage
Mindy Kaling Isn’t Afraid to Admit She Wants to Get Married, and I Love Her for It
Why Katy Perry and Russell Brand’s Brand of Marriage Should Be Banned

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Photo by Gage Skidmore

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  • John Harlow

    A lot of the controversial issues surrounding marriage (gay, open, etc) could be easily resolved if we just did away with the concept that marriage is between 2 people. Once we get away from that, most of these other issues fall away.

  • Holly Hale

    Instead of making your comments about open marriages and infidelity, you made it a slam against Newt. Why not write about the real issue and it’s psychological ramifications?
    While I don’t condone infidelity, I marvel at the lack of comments regarding the affairs countless presidents, including Clinton and his famous cigar.

    • Meredith Bodgas

      The issue at hand here (which was in the news and why I covered this at the time) was that Newt Gingrich is staunchly opposed to gay marriage because he believes marriage should be between one man and one woman, yet behind closed doors, he thinks marriage can be between one man and multiple women.

      Had I been old enough when Bill Clinton was shoving cigars into interns’ orifices, I suspect I would’ve written about any statements on marriage that Clinton made that were in direct opposition to his actions–please feel free to bring them up here. While Clinton is Mr. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, I’m not aware of any anti gay marriage remarks he made–because I was 12 at the time.

  • LiveLong AndProsper

    “If you don’t want to be a one-woman man (or, for that matter, a one-man woman)” Um I know it’s nit-picking but doesn’t that line in some ways SEEM not in line in your otherwise pro-gay marriage stance? Please understand I agree very much with just about everything I’ve seen you write and feel Newt is like those he shares his name with: cold blooded. I just felt it needed to be mentioned because until people stop thinking in those terms won’t male/male, female/female, and other combinations be still second class marriages?? I’m not a blogger but this was one of those points I felt needed to be mentioned.

    • mereditor

      I see what you’re saying. Thanks for calling me out on that.