SL Letter of the Day: Monogamous Week, Day 3

Comments

1
You keep running letters from nonmonogamous people who end up acting monogamous, but are happy with it because they're nonmonogamous in principle, or have at least seripusly considered it.

Very subversive. I like it.
2
I love the underlying message of these letters: consider all the possible arrangements and find what works for you (and don't be afraid to reconsider if your views change). You don't have to experiment with things that make you uncomfortable, but at least have the conversation. At the core of this issue, all of the happy monogamous, monogamish, and non-monogamous couples that have written in share one thing: open, honest communication. It's really never more complicated than that.
3
Conscious relationship models >> unconscious relationship models.
4
Okay... but...

Life is long, if all goes well. If two people marry young and live long healthy lives... they may easily reach their 50th wedding anniversary. Many people do. A snapshot from early on in a marriage (the mention of glitter suggests around year 10?) doesn't tell us much about year 40, or all those pesky years in between. So: suppose ISWHTSAS screws up in year 15, and keeps it to herself. Or has a 3-month affair in year 25, and tells her husband, who forgives her. Does that make them non-monogamous? Monogamish? Or are they still a monogamous couple, with a couple of blips that aren't worth counting?

Seems weird that ISWHTSAS could keep her monogamy card by marrying 5 different husbands, but one screw-up in 50 years would mean her marriage was forever after "non-monogamous." Can we think of "monogamous" as a goal for some couples, rather than a switch that goes to "non-monogamous" the minute one partner screws up?
5
@3, that's a good way to put it. I was feeling kind of alone: am I really so unusual if I'm just not into non-monogamy? But you are right: making a conscious, considered choice usually ends up with a happier result; and I do fit in that camp.
6
Ok, well, this is getting closer - it's not a letter from the husband and it is, yet again, a from a woman who is at least in theory open to the idea of being non-monogamous in a theoretical relationship with a guy who is not strictly monogamous.

I guess my feeling is: these are all couples whose sex life is quite good, I suspect, because they are quite open to a lot of variety. They are GGG.
7
@4 EricaP
I thought the glitter suggested the LW was 10, not the marriage.

Yes, monogamy is a process or an aspiration that one can always commit to. It's not analogous to virginity which may be lost after a milestone event. You may not have been monogamous in the past but you still can be in the future.
8
Indeed. You are monogamous at a given time, or you are not. A monogamous relationship can become non-monogamous. In which case it was monogamous in the past, but is not monogamous now.

And a non-monogamous relationship can become monogamous, making it non-monogamous in the past, but monogamous now.

Or it can go back and forth as the couple desires. Or stay one or the other. It is what it is at any given moment.

I think it would be a mistake to look at it as if it were some kind of all or nothing game of some kind. An affair or mistake or even a period of deliberate non-monogamy doesn't undo the past monogamy, nor does it make future monogamy pointless. It is just the state of the relationship at that given time.
9
4) I certainly don't think one lapse makes a couple non-monogamous forever. It would be like saying if you're a vegetarian and in 20 years once nibbled on some bacon it makes you not a vegetarian. Non-monogamy has to be either a currently ongoing practice or a negotiated possibility for me to consider a couple non-monogamous. So the couple who once has a threesome just to try it out and decides it's not for them and never has another one is still monogamous but the couple having threesomes once every few years to spice things up is non-monogamous but just barely.
10
Monogamy is a sincerely held mindset, not a record of how long you've gone w/o fucking other people or a trophy. You can, in theory, be monogamous and slip up, regret it, and remain monogamous. The first two letters, IMO, were not good examples of monogamy, though. They didn't sleep with other people but they were at least open to the idea in practice. The dynamics of a relationship where that is completely off the table are very different, I think.
11
I just want to say that, on Monday, when I bitched about there being only one "Happily Monogamous" letter, I didn't realise it would be a week long event.
Sorry for bitching! Thanks for the week long event!
12
@9 I think you're right except for "the couple having threesomes once every few years to spice things up is non-monogamous but just barely" part. Certainly, a couple fitting those parameters can consider themselves non-monogamous, but I think that it's more like house paint; if you live in a green house, you can reasonably round down to green even if you decorate it every few years.
13
I think the "what is monogamy" question can be answered as a combination of the rules of the road and the actions of the participants. For your relationship to be monogamous you need for it to have monogamy as the agreed upon arrangement and a high degree of dedication to it by the participants.

Note that high does not mean absolute.

Dan often says it. If you spend decades married to a partner and you or he/she only cheats a few times, you were good at monogamy. Monogamy is not virginity, it's not lost the instant someone goes outside it.

Another thing is that monogamy is not invalidated in theory or in practice if one of the participants is not of monogamous tendency themselves but makes and keeps the agreement for other reasons, like this writer. A nonmonogamous person who concedes to monogamy is not lesser to a monogamous person who concedes to monogamishamy (damn that spelling Dan), and their concesion does not invalidate the status of the relationship either way.
14
@13 I like your point that people don't have to be absolutely monogamous to call themselves monogamous. Maybe there's a useful distinction between the "strict monogamists" and the ordinary kind.

@9 I like your comparison to vegetarianism! Makes sense. But I can't help posting this link:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anim…

Six percent of the individuals surveyed [in a 2002 Times/CNN poll] said they considered themselves vegetarian. But when asked by the pollsters what they had eaten in the last 24 hours, 60% of the self-described "vegetarians" admitted that that had consumed red meat, poultry or fish the previous day.
15
@14
*pounds head on desk*
16
@15 don't do that!
17
I know, but seriously. I'm inoculated against the "fish don't scream so their muscle isn't meat" mentality, but c'mon! Red meat? It's in the name!
18
Well, since they lumped all three answers together, maybe all the "yes" answers were people who had eaten fish the day before. Does that help?
19
@4 Sounds like maybe you're a little on hung up on the labeling. A rose by any other name ...
20
One of my daughter's friends raves about this really cute guy she knows who has an 8 pack and is a vegetarian, he only eats turkey and sometimes chicken. Sweet girl, not the brightest bulb on the string.

That to me is similar to people who don't consider oral sex to be real sex, and therefore isn't a violation of the monogamy clause in their mariage. But perhaps that wife doesn't want to perform oral, and they have an agreement that since it's not something they do together, he can have that with someone else and they are still monogamous. And if I'm not a part of that dynamic, then I guess it really isn't up to me to define what they are, or tell them they're wrong because their definition doesn't mesh with mine.
21
Can we please, please, please hear from a man? I don't doubt that many if not most men are happy making and keeping monogamous commitments. But I would be so very disheartened if none are defending monogamy as a life choice. Please? Save me from being disappointed with the human race?
22
I've been ovo-lacto vegetarian in the past, but balk at vegan. I've had a couple of lovely vegan meals, enough to think it isn't hopeless, but can't live without cheese and egg containing baked goods.

Practically I am stuck at no mammals, with very infrequent forays into deer or bison (even whale recently) "on vacation". I feel thrilled to have missed "pink slime". It seems like chefs are getting much better at providing at least one ovo-lacto entree on the menu, along with other healthy options as well.

Peace.
23
an open relationship and all its attached complications

Give your marriage a little time, honey, and then talk to me about complications.
24
I want to echo a few comments that are critical that these vignettes circle around gutless monogamishists rather than monogamist by choice types. My wife and I started as a rebound that became a marriage in 5 months and that's grown to 10 years in what feels like the blink of an eye. We have chosen monogamy with no conditions not out of laziness or safety but as an expression of love. Yeah it sounds like I drank the Kool Aid but I spent most of my life to find a woman like this one so sexual exclusivity didn't seem like some anchor holding me down. If anything it's more like the roots of a tree that allow it to grow to great heights, spread its foliage, and protect it from the storms.

While we have good times at the strip club, cruising the bdsm scene, or checking out a live sex show we never negotiated monogamy. All those fun times are brought back to our bedroom where Dan's brilliant GGG formula means we can grow and change sexually as the years go on...

25
@21: Ok, here ya go. Im a straight guy that is married and happily monogamous. Not "ish", not really interested in changing (barring horrible illness or something) or reevaluating it in the future. To us its hot/fun/safe/easy and it works great. I think there is something really hot about focusing all of your sexual attention on one person you love, and I certainly dont feel like Im deprived or missing out.

Whatever works for the rest of you, go for it.
26
My square, Mormon, virgins-at-marriage friends seem to be doing A-OK with monogamy. Once I jumped off that bandwagon, not engaging in affairs (fully disclosed, and only when my A-relationship is long distance) was not a realistic option. I think I could have been monogamous had I only had one sexual partner, as expected, but now I've discovered a taste for variety. It's disingenuous to say that there are no comparisons. I don't understand wanting to have free reign and then give up a freedom. I never want to have done drugs, so I don't do them. Seems like the best option for not experiencing other cocks. Isn't marriage itself pretty damned square these days? (Unless you're gay, then it's chic.)
27
Whether it's banging 7-gram rocks or 7-inch cocks, I don't think mine is a personality that can simply look back on a pleasurable experience and say, "welllp, I'm good." I have a (cough) wee bit of an obsessive personality. I had completely, intentional monogamous relationships . . . but I was a virgin.
28
@24

I think this is the type of letter most people have been hoping to hear. Write in and expand on your story! It can seem an awful lot like monogamy is doomed to fail, if you read these comments/blogs enough.
29
@28 shurenka
There is a self-selected group of commenters here, many of whom are unhappy people. There's lot's of interesting discussion but I wouldn't go so far as to say that this group is somehow representative of any wider population.

Once again we are caught up in the specific definition to go with a label. Whether it's "vegetarian," "monogamist," or "happy" there's lots of gray area. I would take issue with the "happy" component of Dan's request for letters from monogamists. What is "happy" and who will we allow to claim the title? Does it even matter? I'm unhappy about a lot of things but I would argue that that has nothing to do with monogamy and everything to do with bipolar. Can I not be a candidate for "happily monogamous" if I'm never happy anyway? Or should we focus on the monogamous component and say, okay, he's satisfied with that so he's happily monogamous?

I don't think that having some monogamish longings disqualifies you either. If monogamy is what you've chosen to live with and you aren't miserable about wanting to escape it then you're happily monogamous.

(btw I'm not in fact happily monogamous, I'm just trying to make a point)
30
I guess I am just so vastly different in thought than most anyone. To me love is not about ownership and control. My relationship is not about telling KK what she can and cannot do.

This eliminates any reason to lie between us. We both know there is nothing either one of us can say to each other that is a deal breaker. This promotes honest and real communication and allows each other to be human, warts and all. If you've told your S.O. that if they do _____ it's a deal breaker...or if you've told your S.O. that if they thought or did _____ it would make you emotionally unstable, you've handed them a damn good reason not to tell you if they have ever thought or done _____. You've put a barrier to good communication between you. Instead I choose to tell KK that she owns her life and all things in it and because I love her, she is free to make any choice without me trying to manipulate her choices by interjecting my thoughts of how she should, and shouldn't behave.

How does that relate to monogamy and this discussion? Two things come to mind when reading them. One is that you have no idea what your partner has and hasn't done so in many cases this monogamy is an illusion set up by the rules one partner has made. Meaning that because there were rules, they have guaranteed that if the other strayed...there is no chance that it will come to light. I'm not saying that always happens, but alas...I have known countless monogamous ruled couples where one or the other could easily have written this email. Happily touting how great their monogamy is while not realizing it was illusion.

The other thing that has come to mind is that in the first letter..it wasn't monogamy by rule, but instead monogamy by happenstance. There weren't rules in place saying monogamy or else, but instead a great communication going on where monogamy ended up being the reality because of circumstance (laziness...or with others I've known it's been too much trouble to go out and look for things).

I say to anyone that will listen that jealousy is about your own insecurity and rules are about a want to control your surroundings. The problem with that isn't a moral issue, it's that control or others isn't possible and all it sets you up for is resentment and blame. Expectations are premeditated resentment. Instead let go of all expectations of how others should behave and you'll find you will be a much happier person in life (basic REBT/cognitive therapy ideology) . Love the person for who they are to the core and give up any idea of molding them to what you wish them to be. Freedom is love.

31
@24

While we have good times at the strip club, cruising the bdsm scene, or checking out a live sex show we never negotiated monogamy. All those fun times are brought back to our bedroom where Dan's brilliant GGG formula means we can grow and change sexually as the years go on...

See, here we go again: there is a lot of sexual variety going on in that monogamous relationship - you guys are engaging in a lot of voyeuristic sex with other people - which is wonderful, but, yet again - includes a lot more variety than just one other person. You're doing it together and not having physical contact with others, and that's great, but this is far I think from the 'norm' people imagine when they discuss monogamy.

I dunno, in all these relationships there seem to be very sex-positive women with what seem like nearly stereotypical male attitudes about sex. I'm not saying they don't exist or even that they are unusual, but in my personal experience, they're unicorns.

@25 is closer to the mark.
32
Many people here seem to think that if it isn't traditional, puritanical, don't even look at other people monogamy, then it's not really monogamy and so it only serves to prove that monogamy is unrealistic and doesn't work. Which to me sounds really dumb. That's like saying that unless you're married to four different people you're not really polyamorous. There's not a single way to be monogamous, acknowledging that you might not always be happy with being monogamous doesn't make you less monogamous. And why are people demanding that in order for these letters to actually prove that monogamy can work they have to have lasted for decades and decades, when most open relationships don't last that long either? There seems to be a really big double-standard going here.
33
@30

This argument gets on my nerves, I hear it constantly and it's so frustrating. Monogamy at its core is NOT about ownership or control, unless the relationship is dysfunctional but that's not the standard by which monogamy should be judged. There are plenty of open, poly relationships that are dysfunctional and about ownership and control. Ownership and control have nothing to do with fidelity. In every relationship, not just romantic or sexual ones, there are always standards, things we will and won't put up with, and for me (as for most people I think), it has nothing to do with wanting to control the people around me, it's just about me and my preferances.
34
@21, when the man I married and I were dating, he told me, "Monogamy is sexy!" I really appreciate that he feels that way.
35
@#33

Maybe you have reading comprehension issues. I never said "Monogamy at its core is NOT about ownership or control, unless the relationship is dysfunctional" what you are arguing against. Maybe you should re-read what I actually wrote because your comment is a complete straw man.

36
@31, I disagree. I think most monogamous couples would define 24's relationship as monogamous, even with the voyeurism and other spices. You can get a charge out of looking at other people, just bring it all home.

Some others include emotional affairs as breaking monogamy--spending more time and energy with someone else, even if you're not kissing them. I don't think taking your spouse for an evening at the dungeon qualifies, though.
37
#33

Had you read what I actually wrote you'd have understood that what I said was that love isn't about control or ownership. Nothing to do with two people deciding they personally don't want to sleep with other people. It was about rules and expectations in a relationship - any kind of relationship. I've seen the same silly rules and expectation in both monogamous and non-monogamous relationship. I'll accept your apology in writing please.
38
@35, don't be disingenuous. Your whole post at 30 insinuated that monogamy was about control, jealousy, and insecurity and how those things aren't love. I'm not monogamous myself, but that kind of arguing is insulting to those who choose to be monogamous.

They're not stupid, narrow-minded, or dysfunctional people in controlling relationships simply by virtue of their monogamy.
39
I agree with 32. It seems like the anti monogamy contingent are setting up some kind of unrealistic paragon of monogamy, and those who don't meet that aren't really monogamous.

If you aren't having sex with other people than your spouse you are monogamous. We can have all the silly arguments we want about if oral sex is really sex, but to suggest that going to a strip club with your spouse and then going home and fucking them is some how not monogamy is a desperate attempt to find some way to put down monogamy as not real.

@21, I'm not only a man, but a gay man in a long term, monogamous relationship with another man. Despite that there seems to be a prevalent belief that monogamy is practically impossible for gay men, that isn't the case for me, and it would appear for most of my friends.

At the time I met my partner I was dating three other guys. Just casual dating, so no monogamy implied. I was having fun and not really looking for anything serious. I had first seen the guy I eventually ended up with almost a year earlier. I was performing at a benefit function and he was in the audience. I saw him before the show started and he definitely caught my eye. But after the show I got roped into doing some publicity and by the time we were done he was gone (he later told me he wanted to wait to see if I came out from behind stage, but his friends were eager to get to a party).

I ran into him several times over the next few months, but circumstances prevented us from really having time to get to know each other.

Then almost a year later (I first saw him in February) I ran into him at a Christmas party and we ended up spending the entire night talking. As I said, I hadn't been seeking anything serious and was dating three other guys at the time fairly regularly, but the very next day I called each of those guys and basically told them it had been fun but that it was over.

Because even though I didn't know for sure where this was going to go, I knew this guy was special immediately, and I wanted to give pursuing him my full attention.

That was almost 17 years ago, and I still give him my full attention.

I had lots of fun when I was single. I wasn't exactly a prude, and I honestly never kept track of how many guys I slept with over my life, but it is enough that every time I have tried to recap I always come up with a different number for some reason. In the course of my life I have had four relationships that I considered monogamous. In none of those cases did I ever cheat, and only in one was I cheated on (he was actually bisexual and not gay, and decided he wanted to settle down with a woman, he just neglected to tell me that before he decided to pursue it).

The thing is that I have had the experience of sleeping around, dating multiple people, and all that, and I honestly don't miss it. Because along with the fun came a lot of other things not necessarily so much fun, and in the big picture, for me, not having the not so fun things is far more of a benefit than the variety of bed partners I used to have.

We made a conscious decision to be monogamous early on, once we realized that we were both interested in more than just dating but in a more committed kind of relationship. It was a mutual decision, and not something that one of us insisted on despite what the other felt. In fact I was trying to find the right time to bring it up with him when he actually brought it up first, so it was what both of us were wanting.

Would we renegotiate that if one of us had a change of heart? Probably, but that doesn't mean that we are monogamish. Right now we are both clear, we only have sex with each other and that is that. Being willing to renegotiate if one of us felt differently in the future is only sensible. People change and if they do and you want the relationship to have a chance the relationship has to change too. But our goal at this time is to keep things monogamous, and being willing to renegotiate doesn't mean that we would necessarily be able to save the relationship if one of us decided we wanted to open it up.

In fact I have a feeling that if we ever did open it up that would not be saving it but just an easing into the beginning of the end because I can't see either of us wanting to open it up unless we were having some other serious issues with the relationship. That isn't a comment on why other's open theirs, just us and our dynamic together.

But the fact is, I may find other guys attractive, and I may fantasize, and I may look at porn, and so may my partner. But that doesn't mean that either of us has an actual desire to pursue other guys in real life. In fact one of the things we both have agreed is that it is nice not to have to deal with all that. Being a couple we tend to hang out with mostly couples, but we do have some single friends, and have a few friends who weren't single when we met but broke up and are still friends. And we see their trials and tribulations in trying to negotiate the dating world, and the hook up world, and we both feel glad we don't have to deal with any of that anymore.

I know some people love that, and we do have a couple of friends who will probably never seek a committed relationship because they just thrive on the whole dating scene, and we are very happy for them. But it holds no attraction to us.

If we were straight and met I have no doubt we would have ended up as best friends. We really have a lot in common (but enough differences to keep things interesting) and honestly enjoy each other's company. Given the choice of going out and trying to meet someone new or doing something with my partner it is no contest. I love doing things with my partner and would pick just hanging out with him over almost anything else.

We have both changed over the years, and our relationship has evolved with us over the years, but neither of us have ever expressed any desire to open it up and I would be really, really surprised if either of us ever did. We both have what we want right now, and as they say, if it isn't broke don't try to fix it. Our relationship works very, very well. And one of the reasons is that we are on the same page when it comes to the most important and fundamental things about it.

For those who are happy without monogamy then great. I am for everyone having what ever form of relationship works for them. Mine works for us, and others can nay say, or assume that we are unfaithful behind each other's backs (and while anything is possible it would be really surprising since neither of us are very good liars and we know each other well enough that we can tell when the other is holding back even minor things), but we know the rock that our relationship is built on and we are both confident and secure in it. Let the doubters doubt, but I know I am happy and grateful to have the relationship I do have, in the very form I have it in.
40
#38 Obviously you've reading issues as well. No my comment isn't anti-monogamy what-so-ever. Two people choose to not want to sleep around with others, more than ok. My comment was about one person trying to control another by having rules and expectations about how the other should and should not behave. I even went on to explain that the first letter was two people that had done just that...they didn't have rules against it (it wasn't off the table was how they described it) but they both mutually decided that it wasn't for them.

Today's letter was one person laying down the law. Demanding monogamy or else. I personally think that can and most often does promote lack of honesty in a relationship and certainly curtails communication between couples.

And yes jealousy is about insecurity and wanting to control a situation around you as are expectations of how someone should, and should not behave. Totally different subject and topic than monogamy or non-monogamy. As was pointed out many times here, non-monogamous couples often do the same thing (meaning laying down the law, ultimatums and expectations). To me, that isn't love, it's control.
41
Monogamy gets to be defined by the individuals involved in the relationship. For some people this may mean wearing a blinder when it comes to the rest of the world and the only nudity you experience is with each other between the sheets. Others, and I'd guess that would apply to most monogamous SL readers, don't have such a stringent definition. Many of us may have a look and imagine, but only touch each other definition. There really is not one right way to do monogamy, except to do it honestly with compassion and integrity. Do not let fundamentalist thinking enter into your thinking. Bring boxed isn't all that fun if you aren't into being restrained. Let the individuals within the relationship define it. Just my $0.02. Toss it at will.
42
@29 *spit take*

Well done, sir!
43
Mr Fortunate - Very eloquent, and probably more similar than not to my own experience (except for the good fortune of joint survival), but please repeat or copy/paste the post if we ever get our own thread this week. I'd rather wait to swim with the tide rather than against.
44
@24, 25, 39 - thanks for sharing your stories! Good to get some male perspective.

@32 "why are people demanding that in order for these letters to actually prove that monogamy can work they have to have lasted for decades and decades"

As others have said, it's really not something that people should be judging from outside the relationship and its expectations. So I take your point.

But the reason people raise this issue is that for many people monogamy is easy for a decade or so. Of the people I know well enough to talk about sex, the ones married more than 15 years all have stories to match mine about their marriage's "complications." We have plenty of experience with monogamy, but we also know the challenges that arrive after a decade or so... Maybe that's just the people I know.

But it would be nice to hear monogamous stories that include the arrival of the awful midlife crisis and the unbearable urge to have sex with other people -- and provide thoughtful advice on managing that period while staying monogamous.
45
@44: I believe that the midlife crisis breaks up just as many monogamish and non-monogamous relationships as relationships that are completely monogamous, getting a relationship past the first decade is hard no matter what kind of relationship you have. So many people here complain that when a non-monogamous couple break up everyone assumes that it's because they were non-monogamous, but then do the same when it comes to monogamous couples. And as Dan himself has said, the success of a relationship should not be measured simply in years.

@40 Jealousy isn't about insecurity, it's a primal instinct, not only natural but also healthy, as long as you deal with it in a constructive way. If you really love someone, if you feel that they make you happy and you want them in your life more then you want anything else, why is it so bad to be afraid to lose it? Isn't that how you should feel if you really care about someone? And if you love someone, and sharing them sexually makes you miserable, why does it make them a bad person to admit it? The LW isn't forced to do or not do anything, it's a choice, just like any other choice. And the LW's husband can't choose how he feels. People aren't built to be rational, humans aren't rational beings and acting like we are only serves to make us miserable.
46
I want to see Savage U but I can't because MTV has blocked it outside the US. So boo on that. Has anyone found it somewhere else online?
47
@45 Good point. And maybe the conclusion is that after a decade or so, or when you hit a midlife crisis, the relationship changes. You can stay together or you can split up, but either way, you'll be entering what amounts to a new relationship. Some days it certainly feels like that.
48
#45 Thanks you for making my point for me. You said

"If you really love someone, if you feel that they make you happy and you want them in your life more then you want anything else, why is it so bad to be afraid to lose it?" Insecurity = afraid to lose. No jealousy doesn't have to be a part of any relationship and hasn't been a part of any of mine for the last 20 years. Please pick up a book on rational thinking. You feel the way you think, change the way you think and you change how you feel. I don't feel jealous because I am not insecure about losing my partner. I long ago realized that isn't something I can control so I spend no time worrying over it, just like I spend no time worrying about anything else beyond my control.

You said "Isn't that how you should feel if you really care about someone?" Nope.

"And if you love someone, and sharing them sexually makes you miserable, why does it make them a bad person to admit it?" I never said anyone was a "bad" person. In fact, I don't by into the idea of bad or good people. No one can "make" you miserable but you. It is the negative self talk you tell yourself that creates you negative emotions on any event. Again, please, pick up a started book on cognitive therapy or REBT therapy.
49
@48: I hope you realize that there is no such creature as a rational human being? Even with cognitive therapy the best you can hope for is rationalising, but not rational. Cognitive therapy doesn't change the way you feel, it changes the way you handle how you feel. The only way to not worry about losing something is to not care whether you have it or not.
50
@47 Erica,

I agree, what my wife and I have is a completely different relationship from when we first got together. We changed as individuals, and our relationship changed as well. I can easily see the points that were transition points (pre and con-children for example, but my wife letting herself squirt was the big midflight sex transition) and that as individuals we were still best suited to being together. At least in my opinion.

I think part of the trick is anticipating and expecting change. For me, shedding the strictures of my upbringing (or at least trying to) is one of the biggest "requirements" of meeting the changes in our ongoing relationship. Put another way, getting rid of the bad and the overbearing rigidity. My wife did well because she was encouraged, I did well because it was expected; guess which way we're moving...

@44 Friends,

I attended the Museu Picasso in Barcelona, and came out jealous of the artist. Why should so much genius reside in one man?! Outside of desire, how does this form of jealousy require control (well, outside of needing to go back)?

Peace.
51
@50 I never said jealousy required control, or had anything to do with wanting control, did I? If I did I certainly didn't mean to, but I may have, english isn't my primary language.
52
Mr Married - Didn't you properly mean envious rather than jealous?
53
@50 Friends,

Oops, I guess it should've been @40 Sphinx.

Your English is excellent. My memory isn't.

Peace.
54
#49 "The only way to not worry about losing something is to not care whether you have it or not. "

The single most ridiculous thing I have ever read on the internet. Congrats. In your mind worrying about someone is caring. I am glad I am not in your mind.
55
@52 Vennom-san,

*Bows resolutely*.

Envy and jealousy are feelings and terms I rarely use. Guilt and shame are more my modus operandi.

Peace.
56
#50. That form of envy, or jealousy doesn't need control, but then the topic wasn't about that kind of jealousy was it? However, that form of jealousy does require insecurity about what you bring to the table.
57
If your marriage makes it past the ten-year point, you're likely to stay married (barring any "staying together till the kids leave" nonsense).
58
@57 The point was that if you do make it past the usual ten-year crisis AND past the kids being old enough... then your marriage may look vastly different than in did in the early years.
59
I don't think there's anything wrong with saying that the most healthy model of monogamy is, "We could sleep with other people, we just don't want to." I'm not saying people aren't allowed to have insecurities and even to structure their monogamy around mutual insecurity (within reason and with respect), but shouldn't open monogamy, or whatever you want to call it, be the end goal for people in a monogamous relationship?

I mean...if monogamy is really worth its salt, if sexual exclusivity really is about the specialness of the bond with your partner, or monogamy makes the sex better for you, or any of those arguments monogamists use...you don't need the hostage situation created by mutual possessiveness. In fact, you don't need any rules against cheating at all because neither of you will want to.

That's the kind of monogamy I can get behind 100%. But trying to claim that insecurity, jealousy, possessiveness, distrust and repression are legitimate, healthy relationship values? Bullshit.
60
Mr Married - I can well believe they are terms with which you have relatively little familiarity.
61
@59 LadyLaurel
To some, sexual desire is born from love. Without the love being there first there can be no sexual desire. Non-monogamy in a loving relationship just does not compute to them.