“It occurred to us from observation and reasoning, that extramarital sex was not what really destroyed marriages, but rather the lies and deception that invariably accompanied it–that was the culprit. So we decided to give ourselves permission to sleep with other partners if we wished–as long as what we did was honest as well as private, and that neither of us exposed the family to scandal or disease. we had to be discreet and, if the word can be apt, honorable in our behavior, both to ourselves, to whomever else might be involved and most of all to the family.” ~Source “In This Life Together with Ossie and Ruby” A joint biography page 317
You could have bought me for a penny when I was researching one of Black America’s favorite couples and found out they had an open marriage for many years. I have always admired these two and for some reason after learning this I gained a new level of respect for them. As I continued reading I came across a quote by Ruby; “But we both came to realize that we were very fortunate that, in all of the deep profound, fundamental ways, we really, really only wanted each other. It was like rediscovery of something from the beginning. But often Ossie has said-and I’ve thought too-the best way to have somebody is the let it go. If it doesn’t come back you are free in another kind of sense-in that you find the strength to let go and wish somebody well.”
This statement alone shows the power of true love, two people who felt that sleeping with other people would somehow free them and allow them the ability to love one another deeply found that they only wanted each other to begin with. While both Ossie and Ruby were married prior to their union they remained happily married for 56 years, when they took their vows it truly was until death, when Ossie passed away in 2005 they were still happily married.
It’s sad to say but people just don’t stay together that long. Almost as if we are so quick to jump into a relationship without knowing what it takes to make it work or to be healthy. Often times we make fast assumptions on someone being the right person for us without knowing what or who that person truly is, no relationship can survive like that. I look around and I see fewer and fewer healthy black relationships, women constantly dogging men and saying they are this and they are that. Sometimes you have to stop pointing the finger and start working towards a solution. Love of any color is an amazing thing. Make it work.