Michael loves his wife, Kamala. Michael also likes his 27-year-old girlfriend, Rachel. So six months ago, Kamala decided to do what most wives would never even consider: she invited Rachel to come live with them and their six year-old son.
Monogamy just doesn't work for the couple, whose relationship is featured on Showtime’s "Polyamory: Married & Dating." What does work for them is a polyamorous lifestyle, Kamala and Michael tell Nightline reporter Nick Watt in the report above. (Rachel is not the first person they've invited into their relationship during the course of their 12-year marriage; the couple previously shared their home with another couple, and Kamala has been in a relationship with another woman for two years.)
"Monogamy can be a really beautiful agreement between people when they're deeply in love and they don't have desire for another," Kamala says. "But most people in our society are just monogamous because their vows said 'I will forsake all others.'"
The trio's seemingly blissful relationship -- they do yoga together, love tantric sex and collectively raise the couple's son -- leaves the Nightline reporter wondering if maybe they're on to something. With so many marriages ending in divorce -- oftentimes because of infidelity -- is polyamory the answer to all our divorce woes?
Jenny Block, author of Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage, thinks so.
“It’s becoming clear that heterosexual monogamous marriage simply doesn’t work for most people. And I think people are tired of being unhappy and dissatisfied," she told the Daily Beast earlier this month.
"We cannot control our own desires and we certainly cannot control the desires of others,” said Block, who has been in an open marriage for the past 10 years. “You cannot tell someone, ‘Don’t be attracted to anyone else. Don’t desire anyone else.’ You can say, ‘If we’re going to be together, I want it to be monogamous.’ But you cannot control the other person’s heart and mind. The heart wants what it wants.”
Conversations about polyamorous relationship may be increasingly common, but that doesn't necessarily mean American couples are adopting the lifestyle in large numbers. Pamela Haag, whose 2011 book, Marriage Confidential, included discussions with couples in open marriages, says that by her estimates, only about 5 percent of all marriages meet the definition of "open."
Watch the video above to hear more about Kamala and Michael's open marriage, then check out the slideshow below for 5 celeb couples who've been rumored to be in open relationships.