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  #1  
Old 06-02-2012, 06:13 PM
mostlyclueless mostlyclueless is offline
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Default Another judgy thread: Opening up marriages

I wanted to bring this up as something I have seen that is starting to bother me, and I'm hoping to hear some other perspectives will help me be less judgy.

I find myself getting irritated at the posts about opening up a marriage. It seems wildly dishonest to me to enter into a monogamous relationship, sign a contract saying you'll do that forever, co-mingle your lives in a way that makes it very difficult to extricate yourself, and then tell your spouse you want to change the rules.

Are these people really blindsided by their desire not to be monogamous? It never occurred to them before they got married? It seems more likely to me they always had a hunch, and didn't bring it up until all the contract signing was done so their spouse was more likely to try to put up with it.

Ok, that's all my judging. Tell me I'm wrong! Tell me your stories!
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  #2  
Old 06-02-2012, 07:12 PM
TheHistoryBoy TheHistoryBoy is offline
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I've been lurking for several months, but your question relates to my situation. I went into monogamy on autopilot, it was just the default setting. It was only when I developed feelings for another girl that I realised I was poly (this took quite a while) so no, I don't feel I was dishonest with my fiancee.
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  #3  
Old 06-02-2012, 07:23 PM
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KitWalker KitWalker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mostlyclueless View Post
I find myself getting irritated at the posts about opening up a marriage. It seems wildly dishonest to me to enter into a monogamous relationship, sign a contract saying you'll do that forever, co-mingle your lives in a way that makes it very difficult to extricate yourself, and then tell your spouse you want to change the rules.
A couple of things right out of the gate here.

I don't recall signing any such contract when we got married. Is this a local thing? The marriage license and the marriage certificate only state the names of the parties and declare them to be husband and wife. The application we signed only required us to provide identifying information and to certify we aren't lying. Nothing about monogamy. Now, the law does say we can't MARRY an additional person, which means we can't file another application and get another certificate, but it says nothing about what our relationship should be.

Even before we got the paperwork, we have always known and agreed that the piece of paper isn't what makes a marriage. We are married because we agree on that and behave accordingly. This is evidenced by the multitude of cheating spouses - the paper certainly doesn't stop them.

Now, we also had a church wedding. The exact vow we took was ""I take you as my wedded wife/husband, and I promise you love, honor, and respect; to be faithful to you; and not to forsake you until death do us part"

When our relationship changed and someone else entered we still fulfilled the conditions. I love, honor and respect her, she loves, honors and respects me. We have not forsaken each other and have no plans to do so.

As to the "faithful" part, that is something we had lengthy discussions on. We thought about what that means to us, and, luckily, we came up with matching definitions. It's about trust and honesty. Faith and trust are synonyms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mostlyclueless View Post
Are these people really blindsided by their desire not to be monogamous? It never occurred to them before they got married? It seems more likely to me they always had a hunch, and didn't bring it up until all the contract signing was done so their spouse was more likely to try to put up with it.
Personally, I haven't given it much thought until we met our girl. I never had an explicitly articulated "desire not to be monogamous". It's just that one day I realized I also love this other person as well. Surprised the hell out of me.

One thing I've learned lately is that love doesn't work the same for everyone. So, my experience may not be transferable. People may have had this desire and ignored it, or hid it because they haven't come to terms with it. Or they might have hoped it would go away, or thought it was just a phase. Who knows.

Also, people do change. Neither me nor my wife are the same people we were when we got married. This is probably a good thing, since I would call a lot of our changes growth. (One caveat here - this in no way validates the idea some people have that they can change their partner. There are many factors in how people change and only a tiny minority of them are external.)
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:54 PM
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rory rory is offline
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Oh yeah, nowhere have I made a contract about monogamy when marrying. The only thing that was stated is that by getting married, we form a family; nothing about who else that family can entail. [Neither have I promised forever, simply said that I want to commit in the present moment.]

It is simply not realistic to enter into a union, and expect there to be no changes, ever. People change, and relationships need to be adjusted or they will break. That's just life.
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  #5  
Old 06-02-2012, 08:11 PM
mostlyclueless mostlyclueless is offline
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Let me clarify -- I'm talking about the threads where people come here and say, "my spouse is adamantly opposed to open/poly relationships, how can I convince him/her to let me have one?"
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:42 PM
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KitWalker KitWalker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mostlyclueless View Post
Let me clarify -- I'm talking about the threads where people come here and say, "my spouse is adamantly opposed to open/poly relationships, how can I convince him/her to let me have one?"
Oh, those...

Well, the stuff about contracts and change and all that still applies. That said, there is a definite problem there. The problem isn't necessarily one of dishonesty towards the partner, though.

There is a multitude of ways this can come about. It might be that people truly got blindsided. It might be they deluded themselves. It might be they were dishonest. The one common thing here is that they are looking to change someone else. This, as I mentioned above, is a silly belief that ruins a lot of relationships. It's rampant across all types of relationships. How many times have you come across someone who suffers for years and bitches about some characteristic or other of their partner that they thought they would be able to influence? Anything from not picking up laundry to excessive drinking, to this particular issue. This, however, is a worst case scenario.

The other case is that, to be blunt, their desires are getting the best of them and making them drop an infobomb on their partner rather than having a discussion. It's damned hard to be patient.

On the third hand, it's entirely possible that some of these folks are just selfish and looking for validation. Can't say for sure, not being a mind reader.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:41 PM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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Well in my first marriage we were monogamous for 11 years before being other. Luckily we were on the same page about thinking that non monogamy would great, but I can certainly see how somebody would have no idea that they'd be interested in more than one person until it happened. I sure didn't.

But yes, trying to manipulate somebody who wants monogamy to embrace poly when they don't want to is kinda shitty. I certainly could see why you'd want to do it though, nobody wants to lose a person they love so it makes sense to scramble. Most people do want to have their cake and eat it too. I just feel bad when the falling in love with somebody else comes before conversations about non monogamy.

I think that it's great as alternatives to monogamy start becoming more known and understood that more people will know there are options and discuss them before getting married to hopefully prevent stuff like this happening as often.
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:41 AM
feelyunicorn feelyunicorn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mostlyclueless View Post
Let me clarify -- I'm talking about the threads where people come here and say, "my spouse is adamantly opposed to open/poly relationships, how can I convince him/her to let me have one?"
I`ll agree that the convincing thing is annoying. That being said, it`s not like it`s a level playing-field out there. I`ve been trying the poly-from-the-bat home run for about 6 years now, with no success.

Prior to that, I lived with someone. I remember sleepwalking through that relationship in college and suddenly waking up to a shared lease, jointly bought appliances, two cats, and monogamy. It`s just what I felt I had to do in order to have relationships and regular sex. But, suddenly, having sex with her sounded as attractive as chewing styrofoam (not because she lacked beauty; far from it).

That`s when I panicked.




-------------

I drank at dive bars waiting for her to fall asleep before walking in the door. I moved to the living room. In my defense, I didn`t get married. Not that it would have mattered. Nor did I try to sway her into open up. It was basically a go-alone thing right then. I`m going to be with other women. Either we open up, or we break up. Anything else would surely have lead to cheating.

The very first thing I did after that conversation was go to a brothel. Rainy day on the West Side of Manhattan. I picked the hooker whose physical perks I fantasized about, but were missing in my wife. It was like a ton of bricks lifted off my shoulders. My lungs opened up again. Indeed, we were open for about 3 months until she could no longer stand the fact I had another girlfriend.

I was engaged when I was very young, at 19. I look back upon that experience as essentially a way to defy and/or substitute my parents. The social symbolism of marriage giving me the false sense of security I needed when leaving my father`s home, without even being fully financially independent. Even then, monogamy issues cropped up since, I had gotten engaged to the woman I lost my virginity to. The thought of being with only one woman in my whole life haunted me. Needless to say, we didn`t go through with it.

I guess it`s all turned out for the best.
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Last edited by feelyunicorn; 06-03-2012 at 10:51 AM.
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  #9  
Old 06-03-2012, 03:12 PM
Vinccenzo Vinccenzo is offline
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Is someone able to be counted as truly okay with opening the relationship if they:
1. find their partner's gender preference for extra partners to be sexually ineffectual and therefor, non threatening?
2. have their eyes on what they can sexually gain from their partner being sexual bait to the non threatening gender?

I'm seeing this all the damn time in this open relationship exploration. It is annoying when the above situation is what motivates the people involved.
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  #10  
Old 06-03-2012, 07:06 AM
northhome northhome is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mostlyclueless View Post
It seems wildly dishonest to me to enter into a monogamous relationship, sign a contract saying you'll do that forever, co-mingle your lives in a way that makes it very difficult to extricate yourself, and then tell your spouse you want to change the rules.!
It seems wildly unrealistic to me to believe that you can make a promise never to change / grow / evolve / re-consider in your life. In our case the only thing we promised was that we would stay together as long as we both felt that we were being supported in our personal and mutual growth. Turns out to have worked (34 years) much better than 'till death do us part' stuff...

But I agree, unilateral decision-making is not a recipe for success, and this is probably something that should be sorted out in the beginning before the relationship settles down.
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