Originally Posted by Tonberry
On this specific point... I'm thinking of someone who would want to change careers. Who has a revelation about what they want to do from now on. It would require adjustments from their partner, and it's not what they originally agreed on when they got married, and it could upset them if it requires a very different schedule, or a move, or causes a big change in income.
Yet most people, it seems to be, would agree that you need to support your spouse who has found their calling, possibly even be the only breadwinner while they get a new degree, etc. It doesn't seem that rare, I've heard many people mention that situation.
Never when I got married did any of the paperwork mention monogamy, except to say we couldn't marry another person while still being married. (What it did say, though, was that regular sex between the married couple was a duty. Thankfully few people demand that when their partner is not in the mood, or is sick, etc).
So to me the expectation was never something we signed on, just something he expected of me, just like we expected to keep the same careers and keep living in the same place.
But for most couples, sexual and romantic exclusivity is a condition of the relationship, whereas continuing to, say, be a math teacher isn't.
I am glad I posted this thread. I am realizing that my assumption was that most people's thought process before marriage including some kind of analysis like: I am promising lifelong exclusivity, and I know it will probably be hard at times, but we will just tough it out. And then when the hard part comes, they say, just kidding! Let's do this "polyamory" thing! But it sounds like more commonly, both partners were not that invested in exclusivity, or the alternative had really never even crossed their minds.
Thanks for sharing your stories with me.