I truly wish more people would open their minds and question more, and not just about sex. There's a few great books on non-monogamy and I highly recommend EVERYONE read them! They are:
1. Sex at Dawn, authors Christopher Ryan. PhD, and Cacilda Jetha, MD. "How we mate, why we stray, and what it means for modern relationships"
2. Mating in Captivity, author Esther Perel, "Unlocking erotic intelligence: Can we desire what we already have? Does good intimacy always make for hot sex?"
3. Stepping off the Relationship Escalator, book not yet released but you can get info and a free 22-page download at www.offescalator.com
I've read and re-read these two books. They're fascinating. Please download them or buy them from a real bookstore. I guarantee you will learn something useful, even if you are like my frenemy who thinks I shall go to hell for having recreational sex. (I guarantee he/she is suffering from extreme repression and probably a closeted nymphomaniac!)
My mother, God rest her soul, had sex with only one man in her entire lifetime: my father. They were married nearly 60 years when she passed away. She was a virgin when they married in 1955 and she was twenty-years old. My father, now 87, slept around prior to their meeting, but was faithful forever after.
Are there marriages like my parents anymore? And I'm referring to subsequent generations. I know one in particular; a friend of mine since kindergarten is still very happily married to her husband and they've been together 32 years. Has either of them cheated?? I would guess that it's likely he cheated on her but not the other way around. I have often wanted to ask her, but since we live on opposite coasts, we have only seen each other a handful of times in the last two decades and it's not like the topic is easy to bring up. They seem very much in love and happy.
I had the most interesting conversation with the gal that does my eyelashes (I get extensions and yes I absolutely love them!!). She's just turned 24 and single. A bit jaded, as she's recently come out of a terrible break-up. My favorite topic is marriage and relationships, so as I lay there with my eyes taped shut every other week, we cover everything. I adore her. And as usual we got to talking about marriage, and she revealed her parents have been divorced since she was around 10 years old. She lives near her mother, who is about my age, but she is retiring early from her job. She has not re-married. She hasn't really mentioned her dad and I haven't asked, but my point is this--she (my eyelash filler) still believes in the Disney ideal of "one true love". Shocked, I asked her how could she possibly believe in that, given all the evidence around her (divorces among nearly everyone she knows). And her answer threw me completely: she said, "I don't know, I guess it's because I just want to prove my parents wrong." She went on to explain that it's not that marriage itself is the issue, but rather, the partners they chose to marry and their unwillingness to try to stay together and work things out.
I have thought long and hard about that answer.
Soooooo, instead of being jaded about marriage, having seen plenty of marriages dissolve, she, and apparently many young people like her, believe they just chose wrong, and jumped ship too quickly.
I think she's certainly correct about them both--we need to truly know ourselves before we can commit to another person, and how many of us do the hard work BEFORE we get married?? And, as things get hard in a marriage, as they will, how many flee thinking the grass is greener elsewhere??
My goal is to tamper her thinking to admit that marriage is an outdated institution, and isn't necessary in today's world. I want her, and you, and everyone to remember that marriage is a contractual agreement. A business contract. What's less sexy than a business agreement forcing you to stay in love with someone FOR THE REST OF YOUR FUCKING LIFE AND NEVER FUCK ANYONE ELSE????!!! Because that's what society has proscribed for you. And we all walk around wounded and feeling like shit about ourselves because a few years in--around years 6-7, sooner if you have children---you will fall out of love with your spouse and no one warns you about what the fuck to do about it when it happens. That "omg i loveeeeeeee him" feeling WILL PASS. And you will start to fantasize about fucking ANYONE but them.
If you're mature enough to have that conversation BEFORE you exchange your vows, you are head and shoulders above 99% of everyone else.
Don't wait for it to happen, and don't think for a second that it won't. That's the shit Disney tries to sell you. It sells movie tickets and destroys people's lives. Plan for it, and make a plan for what to do about it.
I haven't told my children about our non-monogamous marriage, but I do talk to them about this subject. Believe it or not, it comes up quite organically.
It's shoved down our throats that there's "one and only" and that they will fulfill all our needs forever till death do us part.
I beg you to question this insanity, and open your mind to a new way of thinking, even if you never open your marriage as we have.
More on this another time.
Have a great weekend!