Various news stories have reported that Newt Gingrich asked his second wife for an open marriage. So far as I can tell, it isn't quite true:
Marianne Gingrich, in her first television interview since the couple's 1999 divorce, told ABC News that when Gingrich admitted to a six-year affair with a congressional aide, he asked her if she would share him with the other woman, Callista, who is now married to Gingrich.
"And I just stared at him and he said, 'Callista doesn't care what I do,'" Marianne Gingrich told ABC News. "He was asking to have an open marriage and I refused...that is not a marriage."
Marianne Gingrich, in a separate interview with The Washington Post, said Newt Gingrich initially asked for a divorce.
His original proposal was a divorce—the conventional resolution to such a situation. When his wife turned that down, he offered an alternative.
But that alternative does not seem to have been an open marriage—it is clear from other accounts that that was her term, not his. An open marriage would have meant not only that he was free to sleep with other people but that she was as well; so far as I can tell from the news stories, that was not what he proposed, although it is possible he would have been willing to. What he asked for was a different traditional solution, although the tradition is perhaps more French than American.
Labels: Gingrich "Open Marriage"