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Old 09-29-2010, 09:46 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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But, really that's my point. It's not about 'sharing' your beloved with someone else. It's about sharing yourself with that person on an intimate level. If they are not on the same page, then the relationship is doomed. It's about giving. If the other person doesn't feel the same way about it, it's not up to me to coerce or guilt them into it. It's my responsibility to walk away from anyone who does not respect and honor my giving.

The idea of 'mine' just does not enter into it, in any sense. That's pure ego.

Really hard to put into words...

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Old 09-29-2010, 10:37 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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My general rule is a dont ask dont tell policy. I can't see myself with anyone else but if makes a sloppy mistake then I better NOT find out about it I am a very jealous person.
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:51 PM
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Jealousy, also another thing I can't fathom anymore. It puts me in a lesser position. Giving away my power, my autonomy. Why would I even want to be with anyone who provokes jealousy? I wouldn't. Gosh, I guess my whole idea of what 'love' is has changed....

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Old 09-29-2010, 10:54 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Interesting topic. I got some attraction with several guys I have known and it would be wonderful to be able to kiss them and bed them whenever I feel like it. Why not?? while we are it, I would also like to have cellulite declared as the new beauty standard, to have my favorite pizzeria open 24x7 and something like "Miss Universe" just with males. I want every country to invest in finding the best looking man, then have all of them parade in Speedos and smile at me invitingly, even if they don't know me, so I can judge them like small pieces of meat created for my pleasure and satisfaction.

Sorry I got carried away. I mean, if you like that lifestyle, then why marry or have an "official" partner at all? just "date" whoever... like in high school....
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:56 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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I hate my jealousy issues. I know they are my issues so I work hard to not let them get the better of me. They are based on my own insecurities (not feeling worthy of being loved, blah blah blah). This much I am very aware of.

I've gotten much better though. Because when I hear my jealous demon start to peer out I look at why I'm feeling like this instead of react.
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:10 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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I only feel jealous when I feel there's a threat to the relationship or some sort of shady, underhanded stuff going on behind my back and usually I'm right. But, I wouldn't let my partner know I'm jealous...No way. I just sit back, bide my time, observe and wait for evidence that inevitably appears telling me my gut feeling was right all along and then I let them know I know what's going on...does that make any sense?

The problem with many cheaters and liars is they do such a good job of convincing their partners they're the only one, they'd never lie and cheat, blah blah blah so that their partner thinks they're both on the same page until voila, their true colours come out! Sometimes this type of deception can go on for years...leaving devastation in it's path and trust broken...

Most people are not going to say up front that they're the type who will screw around on their partners...that's what makes them liars and cheats! If they are upfront and their partner can accept that in the relationship, good on them. If they can't I agree, it's their responsiblity to walk away....
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:48 AM
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I'm not judging here, I'm just (rather feebly, I'm afraid) trying to explain how my thinking has shifted. It's one of those paradigms that Sesh and CLMI talk about. I used to think that I had the power to demand certain behaviors from someone in a relationship, simply due to the fact I was in a relationship with them. The whole 'mine' concept--ownership, control, whatever. Now I see that I don't. And, with the benefit of hindsight, I can see that the only person I can control is me. Yes, I have been fooled by men who claim to be the kind of person I want to have a relationship with, but in part I allowed myself to be fooled because of the thinking that I had some sort of control over their behavior. I'm still finding it difficult to articulate, so I think I will just shut up, lol.

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Old 09-30-2010, 07:58 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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LTD, I get what you're saying... that's why I even have a small issue with the term "MY AH/AW/whatever" although I don't know how you get around phrasing it that way without getting really cumbersome "The A I have a marital relationship with" etc....

I think the more we can see our partners as separate entities, apart from ourselves, the healthier we'll be and the less need to control we'll feel we need to have. It's like that old 70s poster:
"I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.
If not, it can't be helped."

We don't "own" anyone, that's a fact. We don't even "own" our children--I love Kahlil Gibran's saying that our children come through us but are not of us.

I think that my really believing I don't own AH may be why, although I may be obsessed with the relationship in many ways, I'm not a jealous person.
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:45 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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I have known many couples who have had open relationships. It usually doesn't work out.
Furthermore, no one can rule the human heart and there is always the possibility that one may fall in love with someone who was meant to be a "for play only" partner.
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:10 PM
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wow this is such an interesting discussion.
thank you daybreak for starting it. =)
i personally would never be comfortable with sleeping with one man while dating/being married to/enaged to another. why not just be single? i don't see the difference.
(takingcharge, i agree with you 100% on that notion)
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:12 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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I totally get you LTD and SoloMio and agree. I see what you guys are saying as the highest level of detachment. (Although, IDK, maybe there is more detachment around the corner for me?) I have also gotten to the point that I realize I came into this world alone, I am going out of this world alone, and really, if I think about it, I am actually living my life alone.

For so long (so many decades of tears and angst) I tried to force people to BE with me in a way that no one could deliver, and yes, I agree, that was some form of possessiveness or ownership based, maybe, out of the fear of being alone. And I do also have a slight problem referring to anyone in the romantic sense as "mine." Though I have no problem referring to my parents, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins as "my ___."

About the original topic of open relationships, what's the point of SAYING you are committed to someone if your ACTIONS don't match what you say? Sounds like disrespect and abuse to me, with which I am all too familiar so No Thanks. If you don't want to commit, then don't.
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:34 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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I want every country to invest in finding the best looking man, then have all of them parade in Speedos and smile at me invitingly, even if they don't know me, so I can judge them like small pieces of meat created for my pleasure and satisfaction.
TC, you are really cracking me up these days!
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:56 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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I guess this topic is a hot button for me, because I HAVE been the Hillary Clinton/Rose Kennedy in my relationship. AH (see, I didn't say "my" had a fairly long-term affair when my kids were growing up. He is also a very flirty person, and I know he started to fall in love with an employee, although I truly believe he didn't act on it.

I, on the other hand, have been completely 100% loyal. In fact, I have only had one partner in my life. There was one time, in the midst of his affair, when I met an AlAnon guy, and he was so much the opposite of AH, and I was feeling a bit like "why not--he's doing it" but I just couldn't. Not that I'm so high-and-mighty, but I couldn't see how that would do anything but complicate my life, especially as I was raising 4 kids at the time.

So the reason this whole topic interests me is, why do women like me stick around??? I have tried to understand, with the help of a therapist, what I get out of my relationship, and I can't answer that. There is a part of me that was happy that I could remain at a distance from him--still be the mom, raise the kids, be the family matriarch, and not feel obligated to him emotionally--or even physically.

Sometimes I feel like, if I do leave the relationship, or he dies from alcoholism, I wonder if I'll be lonely? I'm not familiar with loneliness, despite some of the crap that's gone on. But he's the "fun" guy, the gregarious one, the Mr Personality. I'm introverted, even too timid to ask a neighbor if they'd like to go to a movie or have a glass of wine. He is that half of me. Maybe that's what I'm "buying" with this relationship. A connection with the world, with no obligation for intimacy.

Hmmm...
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Old 09-30-2010, 03:49 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by PurpleSquirrel View Post
My own 2 cents:

I bet if you ask any man if it is OK for him to have an open relationship, he will be all for it. But if you ask him if it is OK for his wife/girlfriend to do the same, he would go ballistic. JMHO....
Most men, probably. My 1st wife wanted to have an open marriage so she could date. She supported her position by telling me it was fine with her if I dated as well. To me this was unacceptable, I didn't want to date and replied with a FTS! I was soon after proceeding with divorce plans.

I can't get my head around why anyone would want to share such intimate moments with another who places no more consideration on that intimacy than just shaking hands or bumping uglies?
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:13 AM
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This topic really hits home for me because it was exactly one week ago today that I found out about AH's infidelity. It has cut me to the core, because it has no place in my belief system, and until AH started to lose his grip on the disease, I really believe it wasn't in his moral nature either.

Since I found out about the affair, I've talked to MANY friends who have revealed to me that there's been infidelity in their marriages too. It's a club that no one wants to belong to, but now that I'm a member, it feels like they're crawling out of the woodwork, and most of them have gone on to rebuild happy marriages. I don't know if this makes me feel better, knowing that it's so prevalent, or if it makes me feel worse. As in what's the sense of moving on with someone else if chances are very likely it will happen with the new person too.

I truly believe that AH's infidelity was a result of the deterioration of his morals, character, and judgement due to the drinking. And while it by no means gives him an excuse, in some strange way it does make me feel a bit better to think that the man I married wasn't a cheat and a liar to begin with, but eventually became that way due to the nature of his disease. Since AH has recommitted to sobriety because of the fallout of this, it's the only way I can have hope of rebuilding our marriage to think that way.

I will say this though, I now understand why they tell them in AA to make amends only when it won't harm the other person, and advise against telling the spouse about past affairs. Obviously I would want to know about a long term attachment to someone and the threat of STD's is very real, but I'm not sure knowing about it has been worth all the pain it's caused. Which is not to say I condone a "don't ask, don't tell" type of marriage, but it just means that I can understand why it might be best not to reveal a one-time lapse in judgement and add more pain to an already hurting spouse.
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:52 PM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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to me, this is mixing up 2 very different issues, infidelity is a break of a contract, a promise to be sexually faithful, an open marriage or polygamy/polyandry is an honest contract that includes multiple partners. For some people this works, it IS different to being single, it just isn't the cultural norm where I live. It has been at times in the past, and in other cultures, building a number of relationships with differing or similar levels of intimacy, physical/spritual and emotional isn't "wrong" it's just different to what we culturally expect here and now: one person to be our "everything" forever.

I can only see problems where honesty isn't involved, from all partners, and for me, that is the same in a one-to-one monogamous relationship.

When I had a partner who had sex with other people, it really wasn't the sex that bothered me, it was the deceit, he had pushed for an exclusive relationship, he built lie upon lie to keep me faithful to him in a relationship but carry on with other people, he lied when confronted, he worked hard to help me believe I was paranoid and irrationally jealous, everyone else knew, and I lost friends over it, who backed away rather than make the decision to let me know.

If at the outset, we had both sat down and honestly explored whether the pair of us wanted the opportunity to have/build relationships with other people, then we both could have made decisions based on that. I wasn't given the choice, I thought I was agreeing to a particular sort of relationship, and had to find out years later and in the process my confidence was eroded.

I really, really don't agree with this

I now understand why they tell them in AA to make amends only when it won't harm the other person, and advise against telling the spouse about past affairs.
I am an adult, it is not for others to decide what would "harm" me, especially if it co-incidentally involves letting them off the hook for a broken promise. It could free me, it could open up a period of self-discovery and a stronger marriage, or one on a more equal footing, it could explain or validate feelings and problems that I was experiencing at that time. Why, in an equal, honest, relationship, does someone else get to decide that for me? a one-off infidelity wouldn't necessarily end a partnership for me, lying about it "for my own good" absolutely would.
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