The Odd Wife

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Modern Day Marriage

As times change, most traditions and institutions evolve accordingly. Others don't make the leap so smoothly and are in desperate need of an overhaul.

Marriage needs some updating.

For starters, people are now seeking different things. There are those who want a true commitment with another person. They want children, intimacy, friendship and trust. They want a faithful relationship.

Others are seeking similar companionship, but want a more sexually free relationship that allows them to feel free to experiment whenever the need arises. They aren't interested in monogamy.

I'm sure there are many, many more scenarios. Children, no children, same sex marriages, platonic marriages, sexless marriages and so on...but my focus at the moment is just on the two choices: Open Marriage or Monogamy.

I'm as open minded as you can get. If your idea of a good time is to dress up like your grandmother and serve as a wet nurse for local prison inmates, then hey - so be it. But for me, there are boundaries and expectations that have to be in place.

All parties have to agree, for starters. If you want an Open Marriage and your partner expects Monogamy, then you have a problem. If you know from the start that you can't be monogamous, then it needs to be addressed in teh same conversation that includes whether or not you both want kids and where you plan to live. It has to be in place up front. Should you change your mind down the road, you're going to have to have that conversation with your spouse and reach a decision. Maybe spouse will agree to your needs for an Open Marriage or perhaps you'll start dividing up the dvd collection and part ways.

I've chosen Monogamy. I've been in many, many, many relationships of all shapes and sizes and had nearly every imaginable kind of sexual encounter. I know what I want and I found it in EH. We agreed to monogamy from the start and should one of us breach that, it's cheating plain and simple and will have consequences.

Because this is my choice does not mean that I judge an Open Marriage situation for someone else. Not by far. I would embrace it with the same open mind that I apply towards a Same Sex Marriage. That is their choice and their life and I admire them for being honest about their needs.

For those who are unattached, I implore you to be honest with your future partners about your preferences. Misleading your SO is cruel, hurtful and can cause insurmountable emotional and even physical damages to their life.

If you've already exchanged vows, then you have made a promise to someone who shares a life with you. If you swore monogamy and now feel trapped, then your marriage is not going to work. You both need to be happy. However, to cheat secretly is just plain deplorable. Again, you are being cruel and hurtful to someone who you share a deep connection with.

For the unattached or attached who are looking to play...when a potential playmate arrives in your life, you need to know the situation. Are they single or married? If they are married, is their spouse okay with them playing with you? And yes, you need to know this. I know people in an open marriage who actually insist upon getting permission directly from the other spouse before proceeding and I admire that. If you engage in a relationship with a married person whose partner is still believing they are in a monogamous relationship then, my apologies, but you are crossing a line. At some point, someone is going to get hurt very badly and you are going to be responsible for it.

These days, the consequences of dishonesty are scarier than the prospect of having to confront the issue of your preference with your SO.

It's a scary world. The very best you can contribute is to be an honest person.

Posted by Red :: 5:25 PM :: |
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