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Old 09-29-2010, 02:53 PM
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Idle Speculation

Cheating has been on my mind for a couple of months now. I'm shocked, and comforted at the same time, by the almost universal experience of infidelity of posters in this forum.

So I get to wondering about cultures where faithful monogamy is not the norm and is not expected. Could I live like that? How does that work? For instance, don't the French have a more accepting attitude toward infidelity in marriage? Or maybe they don't really. What about polygamists like the Mormons in Big Love and Sister Wives (which I haven't seen, but the promos are nauseating)? What about Jacob's wives, Leah and Rachel -- THAT was jealous, twisted mess. I was madly in love with a guy once who told me he could never be faithful and marriage would make me miserable because I could never accept that.

Anyway I'm just wondering about accepting a sober-ified, good-provider, otherwise responsible husband who simply could not be faithful to one woman. In light of the statistics on cheating, it seems like it would be helpful to be able to accept it. Anyone here able to? Anybody else ever think about this?
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Old 09-29-2010, 02:59 PM
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Maybe it's just me, but if a person isn't prepared to be faithful to one person, they have no business getting married.
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:11 PM
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relationships are very personal things, as long as everyone is rigourously honest and open about their boundaries and feelings and motives etc, and there is equality of opportunity and respect for all partners, then I see no reason why a polygamous or polyandrous marriage can't work with the same degree of success that on average monogamous ones do.

could I do it? not sure, probably not, doesn't mean others can't make it work, and its really none of my business what makes other people happy as long as it's between consenting adults.

FWIW, I'm not sure the french do have a different attitude about infidelity in their own personal relationships, I think they have a different attitude when it comes to people in the public eye, they don't think that a rich man having a mistress makes his business/political decisions less sound.
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:16 PM
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Back in the days before STDs were so prevalent, I might understand how some people could possibly agree to have that kind of relationship, but not anymore.
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Daybreak View Post
Anyway I'm just wondering about accepting a sober-ified, good-provider, otherwise responsible husband who simply could not be faithful to one woman. In light of the statistics on cheating, it seems like it would be helpful to be able to accept it. Anyone here able to? Anybody else ever think about this?
As Jen said, it's an entirely personal thing. However, I don't base my personal values on statistics. I don't care if 90% of men cheat, I don't have to accept it.

If, in your own cost/benefit analysis, the good outweighs the bad, then you are entitled to make whatever decision is best for you. But the thought that I might as well accept infidelity because chances are slim of finding someone capable of monogamy just doesn't sit well with me.

L
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:36 PM
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My husband has a psychiatrist he tried out when he got out of rehab. He told him we were working on being closer but that I was having problems intimately. The psychiatrist did not last long. He told my husband that lots of couples live happily in open marriages and that we should think about that. My husband said he wanted a relationship with ME, told him goodbye and left. I guess my thought is a bit different now at age 35 than when I was 20. I believe I deserve respect and a husband that loves me. My husband being in bed with someone else would not be very respectful or loving at all, so no way!!!

One thing I have noticed about those with an addict. The sense of what is right and wrong is changed. Mine was too until recently. It was if he could just not do this as much or he only drove drunk twice or whatever. Those things are wrong and we need to see them as that. Don't let their sense of warped reality change yours!
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:46 PM
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I'm reading a fascinating article about a "new" monogamy emerging more mainstream in our culture. It basically says that the hurt that comes up with cheating is linked to the deceit and betrayal, and that a lot of couples bypass that by having open and honest conversations about it. They then preserve the emotional, financial, familial, etc. aspects of their relationships while having sexual relations with other people that their spouse knows about and understands to be ONLY sexual in nature. There is no secrecy, no betrayal, no deceit...none of the ugly stuff that tears people apart inside, as many of us know all-too-well.

It's interesting, not sure how I feel about it. Not long ago this would have been a black and white issue for me, but if couples create an open, loving, supportive relationship with tons of honesty, who am I to say it's wrong? Plenty of couples report that it's working for them.

Hm. Food for thought.

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Old 09-29-2010, 03:49 PM
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Well, I'm not trying to say what I think is right for anyone except me. It's no skin off my nose if a married couple wants to sleep with everyone on the planet who is willing.
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:59 PM
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My DD was asking me about this kind of thing, and my response to her was that it's all about the agreements couples have--sometimes they're even unspoken agreements.

So, if it understood that a relationship is open, and each partner plays around, so what? It is, by agreement, an open relationship. The problem is when the relationship has been built upon monogamy, and one cheats, then it is a betrayal of trust. So it's not the act, it's breaking of the agreement that matters.

I was watching the show on polygamy, and that's a case in point. Most of us could not FATHOM sharing our husbands with multiple other wives, but if the wives have not been coerced, and are happy in that agreement, I wonder if it's wrong....

I also read about Rose Kennedy, who knew full well what kind of a man Joe Kennedy was, and when she realized she couldn't rely on him for a couple of aspects in their marriage, she resorted to her faith... and daily spa treatments.
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:04 PM
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Different strokes for different folks.
I know of people in open relationships and it isn't as its cracked up to be. One partner seems to be more 'open' than the other who usually just goes along.
Being honest with yourself and your partner is really the only thing you can do regardless of what you both agree on. No relationship is black and white. Men AND women cheat. It is part of the human condition. If you can't be monogomous then find someone who can handle that. It is about fairness and not hurting those you love.
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:24 PM
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Interesting topic. Cheating so prevelent these days, but not something I will ever accept.
When I love a man, he's mine, all mine!

Emotionally, I don't think any human is willing to share love. I bet those women in the polygamy show get hurt, but don't show it.
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:40 PM
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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....
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:57 PM
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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....
exactly!!!!
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:05 PM
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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....
I've known plenty of women who stepped out on their husbands, so it's certainly not a gender thing. And I'll bet they wouldn't have been okay with their husbands doing the same thing.

But I agree with your premise. What's good for the goose isn't always what the goose wants for the gander.
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:17 PM
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Pithy and perceptive replies. As a Christian, I believe it is morally wrong myself. However, there is quite a lot of polygamy in the Old Testament. Mostly for kings, of course. Men can be such rationalizing pigs.

Maybe an "open" marriage can work for certain kinds of people -- good point about it's usually one partner who is all for it and the other is dragged along. It's the transcendental knowledge of each other that I don't want to share with another person. Plus the STD's of course. Thanks for discussing it a bit.
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:36 PM
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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....
I have evidence to the contrary.. that is, I know situations where the woman wants to roam and the man wants her to stay home


Edited to add, I am not endorsing this lifestyle, just saying that it's an option for some people
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Summerpeach View Post
When I love a man, he's mine, all mine!
Only speaking for myself here, but that kind of thinking got me all kinds of pain and suffering in the past.

The way I see it now, love has nothing to do with 'possession' or 'ownership.'

L
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:23 PM
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Slowly, slowly, I've become almost vigilante when it comes to liars and cheats. That's because I've seen it happen with friends and family, as well as experienced the devastating effects of it. I think the lying, betrayal and cheating behind the back of another is a very low act. I don't like the lack of integrity and the dishonesty. It is something I cannot or will not accept in a relationship.

On the other hand, if two people choose to have an 'open' relationship or are into swinging (ie, keys in a bowl...ha ha) then that's their business. It seems to be an accepted lifestyle now but I too think that one person would usually be 'all for it' and the other one 'going along for the ride'. It's not my cup of tea, because I think I'm too conservative for that I'd become the jealous type, but who am I to judge others?
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
Only speaking for myself here, but that kind of thinking got me all kinds of pain and suffering in the past.

The way I see it now, love has nothing to do with 'possession' or 'ownership.'

L
that's not what I meant!
I never assume to possess or own another human, I do however feel when I am in a relationship with someone I love, I have no interest in sharing
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:30 PM
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I agree, love has nothing to do with possession or ownership, but I most certainly wouldn't want to share someone I love with anyone else either! I think I could turn vicious if that happened! Ha ha...
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