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Is it possible to have a healthy open sexual relationship? - Page 4

post #61 of 69

I think that relationship strength, excitement and survival is always based in trust.  If two people decide to be open in their relationship and can vow to keep communication open and always work on themselves and their relationship to ensure a great sense of trust between themselves, then yes, it can work and thrive.

post #62 of 69

Being a partner in a monogamous relationship doesn't exempt you from cheating or being cheated on, or exposure to STI's .

 

I know many many people and couples, and would have to say that a solid 85+% of all of the ones who are supposedly currently choosing to live monogamously with partners, have either been through infidelity or divorce due to infidelity, or are being cheated and aren't accepting or aware of it yet.  

 

Believing in or wanting monogamy can't save anyone from what most fear when they think of polygamy.  Which is their partner being with someone other than themselves.  That is about trust and communication and security.  Humans stray.  There are a few species who mate for life, but most animals do not stay with one partner through their entire existence.  Humans are one of the longest living species as well.  Maybe it isn't even in our nature to be tied for life to one mate.   Even super solid bible loving Christians cheat.

 

Again, I feel it alll comes down to trust and communication between two people in love.  To me, that is the base, and what you choose for yourself will be what makes your happiness in your relationship.

post #63 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by number572 View Post

Being a partner in a monogamous relationship doesn't exempt you from cheating or being cheated on, or exposure to STI's .

 

I know many many people and couples, and would have to say that a solid 85+% of all of the ones who are supposedly currently choosing to live monogamously with partners, have either been through infidelity or divorce due to infidelity, or are being cheated and aren't accepting or aware of it yet.  

 

Believing in or wanting monogamy can't save anyone from what most fear when they think of polygamy.  Which is their partner being with someone other than themselves.  That is about trust and communication and security.  Humans stray.  There are a few species who mate for life, but most animals do not stay with one partner through their entire existence.  Humans are one of the longest living species as well.  Maybe it isn't even in our nature to be tied for life to one mate.   Even super solid bible loving Christians cheat.

 

Again, I feel it alll comes down to trust and communication between two people in love.  To me, that is the base, and what you choose for yourself will be what makes your happiness in your relationship.


You can exempt yourself from cheating by...not cheating.  I have been in the position of having incredibly strong feelings outside my relationship.  I ended the relationship before i acted on them.  No one HAS to cheat.

 

You cannot guarantee you won't be cheated on, but you can actively work on keeping communication active and trust strong, on maintaining a healthy and happy relationship.  You don't have to just accept you'll probably be cheated on and there's nothing you can do about it.

 

Your post made me think the message is almost that those in open situations are at least AWARE of what is going on, whereas those who think they're monogamous are just lying to themselves and one another.  It might not be the human norm, but i can still stick to and demand monogamy, no?

 

post #64 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post




You can exempt yourself from cheating by...not cheating.  I have been in the position of having incredibly strong feelings outside my relationship.  I ended the relationship before i acted on them.  No one HAS to cheat.

 

You cannot guarantee you won't be cheated on, but you can actively work on keeping communication active and trust strong, on maintaining a healthy and happy relationship.  You don't have to just accept you'll probably be cheated on and there's nothing you can do about it.

 

Your post made me think the message is almost that those in open situations are at least AWARE of what is going on, whereas those who think they're monogamous are just lying to themselves and one another.  It might not be the human norm, but i can still stick to and demand monogamy, no?

 

I agree with you on all of this, but I also know quite a number of people who stick to and demand monogamy who have ended up being cheated on. I don't think there are any guarantees.

 

And, I have to admit that, while monogamy suits me just fine, I've wondered more and more as I've aged if it really is a natural state for human beings. When I consider that adultery exists even in cultures with really severe penalties (up to and including death), it just makes monogamy seem somewhat unnatural, yk?

 

I'm honestly not worried about dh cheating on me. (After slipping and sliding into an emotional affair with him, while still married to my ex, I do have a lot more understanding of how it can happen. (I wasn't even close to being a rational human being at that point, and if I hadn't still been so locked into "I can't just walk away from ds1's dad", my marriage would have been officially over long before that point.) I didn't cross the line of physically cheating until after I left my ex, but I have a lot more understanding of how it can happen, at lesat in some cases. I honestly didn't even realize how far over the line I'd stepped until my ex had been gone for months.) I could see things getting bad enough that he'd be tempted. I can even imagine a "perfect storm" of factors that could cause him to have sex with someone else...a very unlikely perfect storm, but possible. For a lot of reasons, I can't imagine him lying to me about these things. And, the lying is the part that would really kill me. BTDT - not about sex, but I still remember how it felt to fully realize that someone who supposedly loved me had been playing me for a fool for years.
 

 

post #65 of 69

Late to this thread. DH and I have been talking about this for quite some time now, but have yet to take the dive. I personally think that it's unfair to expect one person to fulfill all your needs, although I think some people have their love, companionship and sex needs met just fine in only one relationship. I think that's great for them. For me, I discovered after marriage (and after letting go of awful sexual repression of religious upbringing) that I am bisexual. Now I am looking at never ever being able to have the experience of being with a woman in any capacity if I stay completely monogamous. DH has a similar experience since we have only ever been with each other - he often wonders what it is like to have relationships with other people. Do I wish I could go back and do this all before I was married? Absolutely. But I can't. So now I have to think about how I am going to feel if I get to being 85 and have never had this experience. Can I get over angsting about it? Can I get over the grieving process of lost time that I could have had if I hadn't experienced the repression? Maybe. But it also seems just as likely that I will end up feeling trapped by needs I have that just can't be met here. I can't magically make my husband into a woman (although both of us agree that switching bodies for a while or being able to magically change genders would be awesome).

 

I kind of agree with Storm Bride - just because monogamy works for some people doesn't mean it's natural. I think you could say that about a lot of things. Just because the public school system works for some kids doesn't mean it will work for all kids. Just because some people are perfectly happy with medicalized birth and "advancements" in pain relief doesn't mean that all women want that. Etc. etc. etc. I read somewhere that bisexuality is thought to be the possible original status quo for hunter gatherers - there would have been long tracts of time where the men weren't around to meet women's needs/have their own needs met. Coupling and monogamy were beneficial for guaranteeing that the children born to a woman could be guaranteed carriers of the father's genes and to ensure that the woman would have help while the child was young, but what happens in modern times where that isn't as much of an issue (ie, sex is not always procreative or medical interventions or adoption allow you to have babies that don't carry your DNA), or in cultures where everyone pitches in for the needs of the child or mother? Is monogamy natural then?

 

 

post #66 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



I agree with you on all of this, but I also know quite a number of people who stick to and demand monogamy who have ended up being cheated on. I don't think there are any guarantees.

 

And, I have to admit that, while monogamy suits me just fine, I've wondered more and more as I've aged if it really is a natural state for human beings. When I consider that adultery exists even in cultures with really severe penalties (up to and including death), it just makes monogamy seem somewhat unnatural, yk?

 

I'm honestly not worried about dh cheating on me. (After slipping and sliding into an emotional affair with him, while still married to my ex, I do have a lot more understanding of how it can happen. (I wasn't even close to being a rational human being at that point, and if I hadn't still been so locked into "I can't just walk away from ds1's dad", my marriage would have been officially over long before that point.) I didn't cross the line of physically cheating until after I left my ex, but I have a lot more understanding of how it can happen, at lesat in some cases. I honestly didn't even realize how far over the line I'd stepped until my ex had been gone for months.) I could see things getting bad enough that he'd be tempted. I can even imagine a "perfect storm" of factors that could cause him to have sex with someone else...a very unlikely perfect storm, but possible. For a lot of reasons, I can't imagine him lying to me about these things. And, the lying is the part that would really kill me. BTDT - not about sex, but I still remember how it felt to fully realize that someone who supposedly loved me had been playing me for a fool for years.
 

 



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by InMediasRes View Post

Late to this thread. DH and I have been talking about this for quite some time now, but have yet to take the dive. I personally think that it's unfair to expect one person to fulfill all your needs, although I think some people have their love, companionship and sex needs met just fine in only one relationship. I think that's great for them. For me, I discovered after marriage (and after letting go of awful sexual repression of religious upbringing) that I am bisexual. Now I am looking at never ever being able to have the experience of being with a woman in any capacity if I stay completely monogamous. DH has a similar experience since we have only ever been with each other - he often wonders what it is like to have relationships with other people. Do I wish I could go back and do this all before I was married? Absolutely. But I can't. So now I have to think about how I am going to feel if I get to being 85 and have never had this experience. Can I get over angsting about it? Can I get over the grieving process of lost time that I could have had if I hadn't experienced the repression? Maybe. But it also seems just as likely that I will end up feeling trapped by needs I have that just can't be met here. I can't magically make my husband into a woman (although both of us agree that switching bodies for a while or being able to magically change genders would be awesome).

 

I kind of agree with Storm Bride - just because monogamy works for some people doesn't mean it's natural. I think you could say that about a lot of things. Just because the public school system works for some kids doesn't mean it will work for all kids. Just because some people are perfectly happy with medicalized birth and "advancements" in pain relief doesn't mean that all women want that. Etc. etc. etc. I read somewhere that bisexuality is thought to be the possible original status quo for hunter gatherers - there would have been long tracts of time where the men weren't around to meet women's needs/have their own needs met. Coupling and monogamy were beneficial for guaranteeing that the children born to a woman could be guaranteed carriers of the father's genes and to ensure that the woman would have help while the child was young, but what happens in modern times where that isn't as much of an issue (ie, sex is not always procreative or medical interventions or adoption allow you to have babies that don't carry your DNA), or in cultures where everyone pitches in for the needs of the child or mother? Is monogamy natural then?

 

 


I don't know if it is.  I am perfectly ready to believe it is NOT.  But i still demand it.  Lots of things might not be "natural" for humans, but it doesn't matter, does it?  If a man wants his partner to have really high, fake breasts and she is happy to have them does it matter that it's not normal for humans to have them?

 

I cannot imagine DP cheating on me, because we developed feelings for one another before i was split from XP, and we both went through a number of YEARS of pain from the results of that.  We are both hyperaware of what happens when a relationship ends due to feelings elsewhere and have discussed how much worse it would have been if we had acted on those feelings before i had left my relationship.  It just isn't something either of us could do without knowing what we were doing.  We would be ending our relationship and completely changing our family (i cannot say "destroying", we have a child and would be a family no matter what hurts one inflicted upon the other).

 

If he did, well, i guess i cannot know what would happen in that case.  But to me the idea (or even FACT) that it is natural for him to stray would be meaningless.  If it is natural i expect the unnatural.  One could say Sin is inherently "natural" to humans, yet most religions demand better of us.

 

post #67 of 69

GBG, you have communicated with one another that you both want monogamy.  You don't simply have a blind demand for it, you have commitment, desire, communication, personal experience, etc that is all creating a good possibility for monogamy to be best for your relationship.  

 

What I was saying in my post was that monogamy isn't best for every one, and that it may not be natural for every person.  But, with communication, the people in whatever type of relationship, can work toward a healthy and happy relationship.  (having trouble with words, hope that makes sense!)

post #68 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by number572 View Post

GBG, you have communicated with one another that you both want monogamy.  You don't simply have a blind demand for it, you have commitment, desire, communication, personal experience, etc that is all creating a good possibility for monogamy to be best for your relationship.  

 

What I was saying in my post was that monogamy isn't best for every one, and that it may not be natural for every person.  But, with communication, the people in whatever type of relationship, can work toward a healthy and happy relationship.  (having trouble with words, hope that makes sense!)


Yes, that totally makes sense and i completely agree!  :)  I definitely think that it is the commitment that matters, not the monogamy.  I do think that it is absolutely right for some couples to say "ok, we know monogamy isn't natural FOR US and expectations of it are threatening our relationship more than having other relationships alongside our central relationship would, so let's explore that further".  I am certainly not saying monogamy should be universal or is necessary for happiness for anyone other than DP and I.

 

post #69 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post


I don't know if it is.  I am perfectly ready to believe it is NOT.  But i still demand it.  Lots of things might not be "natural" for humans, but it doesn't matter, does it?  If a man wants his partner to have really high, fake breasts and she is happy to have them does it matter that it's not normal for humans to have them?

 

I cannot imagine DP cheating on me, because we developed feelings for one another before i was split from XP, and we both went through a number of YEARS of pain from the results of that.  We are both hyperaware of what happens when a relationship ends due to feelings elsewhere and have discussed how much worse it would have been if we had acted on those feelings before i had left my relationship.  It just isn't something either of us could do without knowing what we were doing.  We would be ending our relationship and completely changing our family (i cannot say "destroying", we have a child and would be a family no matter what hurts one inflicted upon the other).

 

If he did, well, i guess i cannot know what would happen in that case.  But to me the idea (or even FACT) that it is natural for him to stray would be meaningless.  If it is natural i expect the unnatural.  One could say Sin is inherently "natural" to humans, yet most religions demand better of us.

 


I don't have any problem with that, and I can't imagine why anybody wouldn't be upset/angry about "straying", if the relationship is monogamous. I was kind of talking about two different things (whether or not monogamy is natural, and what effect demanding monogamy has on STDs, etc.) in my post. I believe I'm protected from STDs in this marriage...but it's not because I demand monogamy. It's because dh and I agreed on monogamy and dh is an honest person. I think a couple can agree on anything between them, and one party has no right to just decide to change the terms and lie about it (especially regarding outside sex, among other things, because of the potential for physical harm to the other party).

 

There's a difference between saying that I don't think demanding monogamy is necessarily going to mean that you get monogamy, and saying that you have no right to demand it. I expect it, too. It's part of the terms of our relationship. And, dh would be in really big trouble if he cheated, and 1000X as much trouble if he cheated and then didn't fess up immediately. I just have issues with the cultural idea that monogamy is the only natural, normal state for human beings, because I've seen very, very little evidence to support this.

 

I also have to say that "what happens when a relationship ends due to feelings elsewhere" isn't necessarily the same thing as cheating, in many ways. I've known people who cheat quite casually, with no feeling for the people they cheat with, and would proclaim their love for their spouse/partner to their dying day. I've also known people - a lot of people - who cheated after the marriage was already falling apart. My own (emotional) affair happened, mostly because I was stubbornly clinging to the stinking corpse of a dead marriage that should have been decently buried at least two years before that. (This really has nothing to do with the topic at hand, though. I just had to deal with a lot of crap coming from people who refused to accept that my ex's drug addiction and emotional abuse were the real homewreckers, as opposed to dh.)

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