Eric and Edith Stehfest: Why their open marriage works so well

Eric and Edith Stehfest are married and are currently expecting baby number two. In an interview, they explain what is important to them.

Eric Stehfest (31) and his wife Edith (25) are expecting their second child. For the former "GZSZ" star and author of "9 Tage wach" and his wife this is anything but a matter of course – the two fought for a long time against their drug addiction and the psychological consequences of abuse. "The life that was intended for me was the life of a victim. I was fed up with this life in the role of victim," says Eric Stehfest in an interview with the news agency spot on news. How the couple, who have been married since 2015, live today, is told in the book "Rebellen Liebe Laut" (Goldmann Verlag). In it, Eric and Edith Stehfest address, among other things, their open marriage.

In "Rebels Love Loud" you give personal insights into your marriage. What makes your relationship so special?

Edith Stehfest: We decided 100 percent for each other from the start. We were together for two months and I got pregnant – that was wanted, we wanted that. After half a year we got married because we said that through the child we will be forever connected. And with our last transformation – our completely identical tattoos – we gave it all a new image. We never thought about it for long, but decided on this love.

What immediately fascinated me about Eric: He's not resentful. Early on in our relationship, he found out that I wasn't clean yet – and that other men were involved too. He was hurt and sad, but didn't scream. I thought: "Now the apartment is in a mess, something has to break". And that didn't happen. We are always about progress and solutions.

Eric Stehfest: We want to live radical honesty. We expect everything to be ours. There is nothing that we cannot say or address. None of us, with certain parts, still lives in our head instead of in the relationship. As a result, we discuss very often and disputes arise. But when I compare this relationship with my previous ones, I see that it never escalates. Even if we speak louder, it stays harmonious. We end our open topics. Before, I could never be so unconditionally open and honest.

You have an open marriage. You report on this in "Rebels Love Loud". You invite women to be part of your relationship. What rules do you set for such a relationship to work?

Eric Stehfest: I had to stop living my ideas in my head. I've started integrating my sexual fantasies into the relationship. We noticed that Edith and I still have many unrealized fantasies in our heads – starting with Edith's bisexuality, which she has not lived out. Because for her, sex was something you do for a man so that he is well. We then slowly approached these issues.

Edith Stehfest: Eric came to me and said he would like to give me the freedom to live my bisexuality. It never happened that we had someone at home with whom we had an everyday life. They were experiences that we were able to share with different women – as gifts for both of us. After that, we got a little closer each time. I prefer the term "modern marriage". Because it's not that I have other men while I'm pregnant and Eric has other women. It is first and foremost about us as a team. We want to share the experience with each other. We look for sex together.

Do you get jealous when you get intimate with a third person?

Eric Stehfest: That's the exciting thing! We've both been pathologically jealous in the past and we really wanted to get rid of that. I know jealousy destroys a relationship. That's why we actively work on our jealousy by approaching other people together. For example, when we had a threesome, Edith noticed that I hadn't even kissed the other woman on the mouth or that she wasn't allowed to give me a blowjob. Suddenly a certain respect arises within the act, which makes us feel even more connected than before.

For me, this pathological jealousy was linked to my addiction and dependence. As soon as I stopped using drugs, calm came to my mind. I also took care of my presence, because jealousy always means self-doubt. I no longer have these self-doubts so much. I know that I can manage on my own – that also applies to Edith. We are not dependent on each other.

Edith Stehfest: There are limits and rules. I had a relationship with a woman, the "Vixen", for half a year. In doing so, I crossed an unspoken limit. Because I discussed with her the topics that we usually discussed as a married couple.

Eric Stehfest: The limit was exceeded above all because the partner of the "Vixen" was not allowed to know about it. So three out of four people were involved in this very intimate topic and that's why it didn't work. Edith and I know everything about each other.

Will you later explain your open sex life to your now five year old son?

Edith Stehfest: Of course we don't talk to our son about what mom and dad do at night – nobody does that. We are a completely normal couple of parents who experience something on some nights that is absolutely nothing to children. That's why I don't have to explain anything to our child. Our child has the chance to get to know an incredibly cosmopolitan image based on our environment. It should get to know every shape, facet and color of love.

In "Rebels Love Loud" you talk a lot about self-love – also about not feeling good in your own body. How did you learn to be satisfied with yourself?

Eric Stehfest: I wanted to deal more with the complex topic of feminism, which is why I brought Edith on board as an author. I also dealt with my feminine side and brought it into focus. This started a very painful journey for me, because I had to face my pathologically masculine features. I then realized that I very often cross borders and tried to put myself above Edith. With this book, I want to invite other men to come and talk to each other. If we do not do that, abuse, suffering and hatred will result. Since doing this, I've felt less pressure in my chest.

I think I am a better man now than before because I can allow myself to be in all my facets and not be ashamed of anything. I am a victim of abuse, which is a very painful subject for a man. Because a man is told that he has to be strong, look after the family or not cry. That’s a shame. Because whoever is charged with negativity also radiates it into the world.

Edith Stehfest: Masculinity is allowed to change. Eric washes better than me, irons better than me, and vacuums better than me. It all stems from the fact that Eric dealt with himself. There are no typical male or female tasks with us. With our tattoos we faced all our feelings. It's painful. But the gift after that is much greater.

Do you see your tattoos as part of therapy?

Eric Stehfest: You are kind of a gift to have lived through this process. They are signs that you have finished something. The life that was meant for me was the life of a victim. I was fed up with this life as a victim. Edith and I were both molested. The tattoos are a sign that we have left our victim roles and are now creating a self-determined life. We now cultivate doubt and fear, they are important. Doubt and fear are good advisors when you think twice about whether what you are doing is really right.

In your book you report that you did not recognize yourself in the mirror. Do you feel comfortable in your body now?

Eric Stehfest: I became addicted to testosterone and anabolic steroids because I thought I had to pump myself up. After doing that, I didn't recognize myself. I was in a strange body. In the meantime, I no longer stand on the scales, but do sport the way I want and feel good in my body. The curse is finally over!