Marriages are healthiest when husbands and wives allow themselves to have sex outside their union, a sociologist who studies sex and monogamy argued on HuffPost Live.
Eric Anderson, who authored the book "The Monogamy Gap: Men, Love, and the Reality of Cheating," told host Caitlyn Becker that his research shows that humans have a fundamental need to keep their sex lives fresh, which can mean seeking intimacy with someone other than their spouse.
"Cheating is a product of desiring sexual novelty, and that doesn't come through spicing up the sex another way with the same partner for year after year. That type of sexual novelty comes with a new body," Anderson said.
The sociologist asserts that a wandering eye can be viewed as a sign of a healthy long-term relationship, rather than a transgression.
"There's one thing we know about relationship sex -- the longer you're in a relationship, the less sex you're going to have," Anderson said. "Instead of recognizing that as a product of a failed relationship, we actually need to recognize that as a product of an improving relationship."
Check out the clip above to hear more from Anderson (and check out the full segment here), then click through the slideshow below for celebrity couples who are rumored to have open marriages.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett have been swatting down divorce rumors for nearly two years. The other rumor they've had to deal with throughout their 17-year marriage? Ongoing reports that they have an open relationship. The rumors first began back in 2008, when tabloids claimed the "Men In Black" star said his wife could be with another man if she felt she needed to. After giving an interview with HuffPost Live that sparked more open marriage speculation in April 2013, Pinkett Smith took to her Facebook page to clarify her statements: "Will and I BOTH can do WHATEVER we want, because we TRUST each other to do so. This does NOT mean we have an open relationship...this means we have a GROWN one."
When Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher split in late 2011, reports quickly emerged that the couple had been in an open marriage. "Demi liked women and Ashton would bring another woman into their relationship for flings, but they both agreed to it," an unnamed source told Radar Online. The report claimed that the couple split after Kutcher's alleged affair with Sara Leal because the actor had hidden the fling from Moore. "As long as she knew about it, she was fine," the source said. "It was the sneaky ones when he got caught that infuriated Demi."
Pink and husband Carey Hart split briefly in 2008 after two years of marriage, but by April 2009, the pair had reportedly reconciled. The cause of the couple's temporary split, according to The New York Daily News? A source told the paper that Pink was fed up with the couple's "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding seeing other people.
Country legend Dolly Parton has been married to Carl Dean, an asphalt-paving business owner, since 1966. In December 2007, the Daily Mail suggested that Parton, who denied divorce rumors in the early 1980s, had hinted that she was in an open marriage. "If we cheat we don't know it, so if we do cheat, it's very good for both us," the singer reportedly told a crowd in Rotherham, England. "I don't want to know it, if he's cheating on me. If I'm cheating on him, he wouldn't want to know it ... And if we do, if that's what's making it work, then that's fine too."
Speculation that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were in an open relationship sprung up after the actress shared her thoughts on monogamy in a December 2009 interview with Germany's Das Neue Blatt magazine. "I doubt that fidelity is absolutely essential for a relationship," Jolie said. "It's worse to leave your partner and talk badly about him afterwards." The couple, who has long been the subject of split rumors, announced their engagement in April 2012.