*Late Hollywood icons Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis revealed in their joint autobiography that they had an open marriage and this alternative lifestyle strengthened their bond.
We previously reported that in their memoir “With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together,” Ruby and Ossie note that “extramarital sex was not what really destroyed marriages, but rather the lies and deception that invariably accompanied it.”
“We decided to give ourselves permission to sleep with other partners if we wished,” Ossie wrote, “as long as what we did was honest as well as private, and that neither of us exposed the family to scandal or disease.”
Below are more excerpts via I Love Old School Music:
“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. And for the most part, we were.”
Ossie: “But looking back, I’d say no matter what did or did not happen, we freed each other. And in doing that, we also freed ourselves…Sex is fine, but love is better. That’s the most important part of being free. In light of what we learned, is extramarital sex something we recommend as a regular part of marriage? Not now…not anymore. Not since AIDS has entered the equation, and genital herpes, syphilis, and other veneral diseases…”
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 a rediscovery of something from the beginning. It’s not something that you’d recommend to everybody. But often Ossie has said – and I’ve thought too – the best way to have somebody is to 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. So, we thought an open marriage was appropriate for us but it turned out not to be. But then that’s what we’re all about, we are moving from one position to another in the process of trying to unravel this thing call life.”
At the end of their open partnership experiment, Ruby and Ossie came to realize that “they were very fortunate that, in all of the deep profound, fundamental ways, they really, really only wanted each other.”