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Marriage Without Monogamy

Discussion in 'All-Star Threads' started by hooker, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. hooker

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    I recently befriended (yes, just friends) a fellow who maintains an open relationship with his wife.

    I am a terribly sexual person, with VERY few hard limits - but I still struggle with the idea of being open with someone you love.

    Although I have always been curious - I feel like no matter how good your intentions are to begin with, things eventually will start to get complicated.

    Focus: Does anyone have experience with this sort of thing? Did it work? Did it fail miserable? Do you know couples who have tried, and failed or succeeded?
     
  2. Now Slappy

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    Paging Scootah...Scootah to a white courtesy phone please.
     
  3. Guy Fawkes

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    My neighbors of 5 years had an open marriage and since I was pretty close with them I got a glimpse of how it worked and didn't work.

    The biggest issues that came up were because of two things.

    1. The frequency of new partners being brought into the relationship

    2. The initiations of new relationships being unbalanced between them.

    Essentially he was far more into it than she was.

    Both are attractive, successful, and in their mid-thirties and she could have easily banged every available guy on the block but for her it was more of an occasional thing. Every three months or so she would want to go out and pick up a guy to give their love life a boost. He on the other hand would be dating two other women all the time in addition to going out to meet random women.

    They're still married so whatever issues exist it isn't enough that they've ended the relationship because of it.
     
  4. hooker

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    This was interesting:

     
  5. Howie F

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    A while back, my fiance and I had a discussion about this topic that came up after she'd seen an episode of The Tyra Banks Show (or some other dogshit talkshow). The conversation between us wasn't exploratory, but a few interesting things came out of it:

    The guests on the show were all people who in or had been in open relationships. The successful ones were those who were more or less involved in tight circles with other couples. All the members in the group were very close to one another and perfectly comfortable with their partner spending intimate time with another person. It was more about sharing experiences with other people than it was simply about having a green light to get some strange every once and again. The conclusion I came to was that it took a very open, trusting approach to the idea on the part of both partners; a mutual understanding of the boundaries along with a commitment to communicating their feelings to one another.

    I personally think that, in the overall scheme of things it takes a very specific personality type in order for it to work, and that those personality types are somewhat rare. The unsuccessful open relationships were the ones where one partner was more for it than the other, or where it was primarily about the sexual activity, or where there was significant dishonesty involved.

    We ended up talking about it for a while, and we speculated about what it would be like. She actually surprised me by saying that she might be OK with it at some point, but if I am going to get to bang another chick, she gets a pass to do the same (except not with a woman, as that would not be a problem for me).

    So ultimately, her with another dude = deal-breaker for me.
     
  6. minny47

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    I think it's all those years of Catholic school education that cause me to have an immediate knee-jerk NO reaction to the idea of an open relationship.. but even when I step back and truly think about it, I'm completely puzzled as to how anyone could be happy in one. I'm not an overly jealous person, I don't draw self confidence or worth primarily from relationships or having it affirmed by my significant other.. but I'm sitting here trying to seriously contemplate what it would be like if my significant other and I were in an open relationship, and I'm going crazy at the thought of it. Why get married if you don't want to be with that person for the rest of your life.. whats the point? If you let strangers into the bedroom with you what's left that special, that's just yours, just between the two of you?

    These are totally honest questions-- I would love to here from someone who feels like they are in a successful open relationship where both partners are really happy and what not.
     
  7. E. Tuffmen

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    My wife and I just found out about a year ago that her sister's marriage has been an open relationship for many years. As far as we can tell, they have a very happy loving marriage. However, like Howie F. stated about the show he saw, they go to a "retreat" with a lot of people that they know very well who engage in the same lifestyle. So there very well may be something to "tight circles" idea.

    After we found out, my wife and I talked a little and there is no way either one of us could do it. I can't imagine someone else being intimate with my wife and she states flatly "I don't share". For the most part we have a great relationship. We hardly spend any time apart and are both surprised that we never get sick of each other. We've had a lot of friends visit over the summer and they all think we're "cute" because pretty much all my wife and I do is giggle at stupid shit and kiss. We've been together for 8 years and it still goes on. How could sex with someone else possibly be better?
     
  8. Spacesatan

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    I think the point with an open marriage is that you DO want to be with that person for the rest of your life, to the point that it is no longer contingent upon being exclusive sexual partners.

    As for me, personally, I would feel jealous if I found out a partner cheated on me, because it means that someone else could make her be dishonest and break the trust between on. But if we had agreed before hand that to do so wouldn't be a violation of trust, then I would be fine with it. In other words, I'm alright with my girlfriend engaging in sex with someone else, but not if she lies or goes behind my back to do it.

    It's hard to think about marriage, because I'm a pretty young guy. But if I meet someone and our relationship is really solid and communicative, and each of us place great value upon the other person's happiness, I would be alright with an open marriage. If there are times that we are apart due to work or other obligations, we shouldn't necessarily be depriving each other of sexual pleasure. I would love her enough to support her enjoying her human experience; hopefully she would do the same.
     
  9. Dmix3

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    I think anyone on this board in a relationship who has seen Hooker's or Anna's tits on the Boobie thread has contemplated polygamy.
     
  10. shegirl

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    Perv.

    I'm far too selfish to play this game. You want to fuck others, then go right ahead. But you're going to do so single.
     
  11. E. Tuffmen

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    ...Or at least masturbation. Monogamy does not imply death. It just means that you won't have sex with other people, not that you won't look or find beauty elsewhere.
     
  12. Dmix3

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    Give me a beret and put me in the Louvre and I'm a fine art connoisseur, but just because a guy likes looking at some breathtaking titties on a message board he's a perv, I expected better SheGirl. Tsk tsk.
     
  13. shegirl

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    I thought that's what porn is for. Is it because you interact with the owners of the boobs... or can?

    You expected better? From me? HAHA. You know better.

    I too don't understand why these people marry. Wouldn't life be a lot better with little to no debating with partners about this topic if they weren't? You can be a "couple" and not be married.
     
  14. Pinkcup

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    What is the difference between marriage and a long-term partnership (or "couple", if that term is more comfortable for you)? Only a piece of paper and a different box to check on your taxes.

    I don't think the 'Can-We-Be-In-An-Open-Relationship' discussion would be much different between two people who've been together for 10 years and two people that've been married for 10 years. They both have equal amounts of love and commitment (after 10 years together, neither partnership is more likely to dissolve than the other), so the piece of paper doesn't really matter much if you're contemplating a change from monogamy to non-monogamy.

    That being said, I don't have the jealous gene. I just don't get this whole territorial attitude about sex, so an open relationship would work for me. I would demand that there be open and honest communication regarding all other sexual partners, and safe sex for all parties involved....other than that, I'm down. It can work beautifully if everyone involved is self-aware and willing to honestly communicate.
     
  15. shegirl

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    If everybody is open and honest from the get go, like everything else that pops up in life, there is next to no problem that cannot be resloved. But, we know many people are very poor at practicing both of those qualities. Let alone communicating them in open and clear ways.

    Yes the piece of paper only makes a difference in the things you mentioned but, what happens if one party felt this way prior yet never said anything and then dropped it like a bomb?
     
  16. jakeblues

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    This is completely true. I've only been in this type of marriage since July but so far it seems to be fine. Honesty is indeed the key. I've been married for 12 years.
     
  17. Supertramp

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    I used to have this problem shegirl*, you know that it's not as easy as "okay, you'll do so single" when the emotional attachment is stronger than the sexual attachment. i.e. After the I-Love-You's have been exchanged.

    If my girlfriend was honest and said that despite her love for me she wants to sleep with other guys... I'll have to really meditate on it. My initial reaction, now, would be to say "No, I can't do that" though.

    *The problem wasn't about open relationships, but similar enough.
     
  18. Crown Royal

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    I'm married, and sure I loved being single, but I'm fine with monogamy. Call me retarded, but there's something I just don't like about having to share your spouse and mother of your daughter with other men's dicks.

    Just sayin'.
     
  19. Bryan

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    If you're a guy and really intent on doing an open marriage, think of it as an investment. You'll take your lumps now when she's still aesthetically serviceable and fucking other dudes, but in a few short years she'll be over-the-hill (like she would had been anyway in a closed marriage) and you can plow away at young tail unconcerned with how much dick your aged wife takes.
     
  20. Supertramp

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    And that's one of the major facets of Evolutionary Psychology: Men tend to get better looking and more desirable as they age, women decline as they age. It changes how relationships are formed as it has to do with the biology behind it. A man can reproduce at (almost) any age, and virtually many, many times, so he must be sexually desirable throughout that span; women don't have such luck, they can only have one child at a time and only a certain amount of children overall. It's more competitive for men, so men evolved to be better looking.

    As Bryan said, take the bumps now, reap the rewards later.