Will and Jada Smith's 'Open Marriage' Doomed for Failure?

Rumors of Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith breaking up proved to be false on Tuesday, however the news has caused some to question their unique relationship -- an open marriage.

The couple surprised fans when they admitted to being open to letting others into their marriage since exchanging vows in 1997. In a 2008 interview with Reveal magazine, Will spoke candidly about his open marriage.

According to Smith, the two did not choose to forsake others in their marriage vows.

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"In our marriage vows, we didn't say 'forsaking all others’,” Smith told Reveal. “We said 'you will never hear I did something afterwards'. Because if that happens the relationship is destroyed."

In the interview, Smith said that it was only natural to be attracted to others.

“Our perspective is, you don't avoid what's natural and you're going to be attracted to people," he said.

While promoting her television show in 2010, Jada told WJLB Morning Show that she shared her husband’s sentiments.

“We always have people that we’re attracted to that we talk about. That don’t stop just because you’re married,” the actress said in the interview. “Somebody’s always going to catch your eye. That’s real. Somebody’s gonna always be prettier than me, and somebody’s always going to be more in awe of him than me.”

However, Jada said that despite the unconventional relationship, the bond with her husband is more than physical.

“As far as somebody being right for us, is there somebody right for a nice night? Maybe,” she said in the interview. “But somebody that can sustain our life and sustain what we’ve built together, absolutely not!”

Karen Salmansohn, CNN columnist and author of Prince Harming Syndrome, wrote about the matter in a column. According to the self-help author, people use open marriage as an excuse.

“By the end of my research, I firmly believed that open marriage is merely an excuse for getting away with behaving self-indulgently and recklessly,” Salmansohn wrote in her CNN column.

Salmansohn’s claims seem to be in line with statistical studies that show open marriages have a 92 percent failure rate, according to Oprah Networks.

Steve Brody, Ph.D, a psychologist in California, said that less than one percent of these couples exist cohesively, according to CNN reports.

Salmansohn has said she is sure that an open marriage cannot work.

“Open marriage is pretty much the opposite of marriage. It seems to be about avoiding commitment -- one of the cornerstones of a happy marriage,” Salmansohn said. “You may be able to agree on the "rules for cheating" in an intellectual way, but doesn't the emotional nature of love always get in the way?”

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