Monogamish? Stars on open relationships

Bonnie Bartlett details "painful" open marriage with 'Boy Meets World' star William Daniels

Stars Insider

18/01/23 | StarsInsider

CELEBRITY Relationships

Hollywood seems to be a hotspot for drama and infidelity, with many relationships ending in highly public spats and expensive divorces. On the bright side, however, some stars have managed to rethink traditional relationships while under the spotlight, and redefine commitment altogether.

Bonnie Bartlett, the Emmy-winning actress best known for her work on 'St. Elsewhere' in the mid-1980s, is spilling all the tea on her life and her 72-year-long marriage to 'Boy Meets World' star William Daniels in her new memoir, 'Middle of the Rainbow.' The pair were married in 1951 and while they've stood the test of time, the tests were plentiful near the start. "I guess it was a little bit of an open marriage at first," Bartlett writes, as per ET, "but that was very painful. That didn’t work well."

"It was a time when people were doing that. It was at a time in New York when there was a lot of sex and a lot of people doing all kinds of things, you know–very free," she continued. "But I don’t know if there was a lack of commitment a little bit, and that’s not good." Bartlett explained that it didn't suit them because "there was a lot of pain connected with any transgression, with any extramarital thing," but that it was "something we had to go through, because we never went through it."

Daniels was her first boyfriend, so it makes sense that they'd want to try out an open marriage, even though they hadn't labeled it as open back then. She had an affair for a few months with another actor and wrote, "I never felt guilty because I never felt tied to fidelity, and neither did Bill." But it was Daniels' affair with another woman that emotionally ruined her and changed her mind on the whole concept, saying she "could no longer tolerate any kind of open marriage." Luckily they were able to move through it together and "somehow stayed together for seven decades."

Click through the gallery to find out which other celebs either prefer open relationships to monogamy, or have dabbled in being “monogamish.”

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