Originally Posted by WhatHappened
Regardless, my main question was for input and perspective on the concept of outside relationships 'enhancing' a primary relationship. I've seen the idea in OKCupid profiles, articles, plenty of places, over the 18 months I've been reading. And I never got the impression they were saying 'Our marriage sucks, we're trying to enhance it,' but more like: 'Our marriage is wonderful, we're deliriously happy, and we want to add you/outside relationships to enhance it even more.'
Yes, I am sure we've all seen those ads and profiles that say that. And I would run for the hills if that is what someone in a couple wanted from me! I see what you're talking about when these people want a specific type of relationship, dynamic, or end result, and then they search for someone to fit into that role they have in mind. "We want to enhance our marriage with extra sex and lovin' from you. Please step in and do me so my partner reaps the rewards." Blecchh. It is exactly what you talked about, being a toy, bauble, or "marital aid." No, thank you!
It's an entirely different thing when someone who is part of a committed couple says, "I am open to having more than one relationship, and we have an agreement that that's okay. Here's this second person I really like. I am drawn to him/her because we really work well together/laugh at the same things/seem to hit it off, etc. Let's see where it goes" The PERSON is the important part, not a role they are expected to play. And then AFTERWARDS, they realize, "Wow! I never expected my second relationship to affect my first relationship so positively. It's really enhanced my marriage/partnership to be involved with him/her."
When someone is good for you, and a relationship with them is healthy, fun, loving, satisfying, and whatever other positive feelings and benefits we get from being with them - those positive effects are felt EXPONENTIALLY. It enhances one's LIFE
, not just their established relationship, because no part of our lives is conducted in a vacuum. We are whole human beings, and when we are touched and effected by one person, we are changed forever. And so we walk into another sphere with another person and there's a subtle or not-so-subtle shift in who we are, and in our dynamic with that
person. Those feel-good vibes reverberate and are felt exponentially, including in any and all other relationships.
The difference, as I see it, is whether one makes it goal to get from someone, essentially to use them for their own purpose, or it's a discovery made from simply being present and noticing how wonderful life has been in all areas since getting involved with a particular person.
Hope that made sense.