Open Marriage Skepticism

I love the New York Times, but last week they irritated the ever-living fuck out of me by running their Open Marriage series on the online front page — for days. (Really NYT, isn’t there enough insanity in our daily news cycle without having to plumb the shallow depths of “Daniel’s” dissatisfaction with vanilla sex?)

“Does Open Marriage Make a Marriage Happier?” asked the Finest News Fit to Print. Which seems to me a sort of challenge to the conventionally married — hey, are you maximizing your happiness to the ultimate degree? And if not, why not? Oh, here’s a novel idea — bring new partners into your marriage and recapture that zing!

Except it’s not a new idea, this whole Monogamy Is for Squares schtick. Anyone remember the 1970s? I do. My sandbox friends Brendan and Gilbert’s parents got divorced after they tried open marriage. See, Gilbert’s mom and Brendan’s dad decided they enjoyed this new partner arrangement a bit too much, and that didn’t sit well with Brendan’s mom, who came after them with a gun. (She had six children, I can see how she might’ve temporarily lost her mind at the prospect of single parenting.) She didn’t kill them, she got the divorce she didn’t want instead. (Not to worry. She found lasting love later with a very nice architect.) Gilbert’s mom killed herself a few years later.

Good times!

And I remember this particular bit of childhood suburban psychodrama because I came home and told my mom that I was going to marry Brendan some day. But then divorce him. Because that’s what grown-ups did.

I’m sure the edgy and sophisticated would tell me that the problem back then was divorce, not polyamory. And if Brendan’s mom could just shake off the shackles of her conventional upbringing and learn to share Brendan’s dad with Gilbert’s mom (love is not finite!), she could enjoy the attentions of Suzy’s dad, and everything would be copacetic! And we could avoid the dreaded specter of Brendan’s mom divorcing and finding a nice man who respects her.

Ugh.

The other problem I had with this New York Times article, is that I had the misfortune of reading it immediately after I read “You’re My Only” by Linda Kass, who describes her parents’ Greatest Generation romance. They had fled Nazi occupation as young people, lived through World War II, settled down to middle-class normalcy in Columbus, Ohio — and loved each other ardently until death. Take a moment, read the article, have a nice sob, now tell me your thoughts on open marriage. If you’re pressed for time, just look at this picture.

Should we pity these people for their monogamy?

I am skeptical about open marriage — and let me say for the record that open marriage is NOT infidelity. As long as you’re being above board about your choices, and following agreed upon sets of rules of engagement, that’s not cheating. But let me also point out that polyamory is no defense against infidelity. All it takes to be chumped is for one side to unilaterally change the relationship terms. Cheating is a character problem, not a monogamy problem.

But back to my skepticism. Here’s what I don’t get — WHERE DO YOU PEOPLE FIND THE TIME?

I don’t know about you, but my life is full to the brim with job, spouse, kids, aging parents, friends I don’t have time to see, car registrations, deadlines, my Netflix queue, grown-out roots, expiring gym memberships, plants that need watering… I mean, FUCK, I can’t get my basic adult-ing done in 24 hours, so morality aside, where would I find time for an auxiliary boyfriend?

I can’t get past that basic math — that to devote time to polyamory takes time from something or someone else (see child, aging parents, spouse).

Here’s another part of the calculus. Sometimes (okay MOST of the time) my child, my aging parents, and my spouse are not maximum, super awesome fun. Sometimes they even kind of… (sorry!) suck. Like my son is home from college for one day and informs me at 3 p.m. that oh hey, he needs new contact lenses, a physical, and tire rotation on his car today. That kind of thing.

And how would I guard against the beautiful escapism of polyamory when I have shit to do? I could take my father to his chemo appointments, or I could have a lovely naughty weekend with the boyfriend. Who picks up the slack? My husband? I would always have the option of checking out — and how is that a good thing? If my husband is sick or filing the bills in an irritating manner, I would have the option of running to my healthy boyfriend who never asks me to time-stamp things. How would I not compare? How is it that everyone isn’t pick me dancing constantly?

Also, I’m not a joy to live with either. So do I have to worry when I’m sick and infirm or not properly time-stamping things that my husband is enjoying his girlfriend more than me? Oh sure, it’s his job to reassure me, and we have these Rules of Engagement we’ve just agreed upon, but let’s face it, she’s probably younger than me and files better.

I prefer monogamy. Not because I love captivity or vanilla sex or Columbus, Ohio — but because I believe in being cherished. And isn’t that really what everyone wants? To win the pick me dance definitively and enjoy devotion?

It seems to me the cheating cake eaters and the open cake eaters (all the coupledom! none of the monogamy!) want devotion just fine, but they don’t want to devote exclusively. And to me, devoting yourself to another is where the joy is — to write to your dying husband “You are my one and only” and mean it. And to hear in return, “You are my treasure.”

Maybe you need to flee Nazis or survive World War II to sufficiently appreciate the simple pleasures of stability and a loving spouse. Maybe this age is beset with too many choices. But I believe in One and Only’s. Besides, thanks to monogamy, my life is less complicated and no one is coming after me with a gun.

Photo credit: Linda Kass at Full Grown People

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chump-tastic
chump-tastic
6 years ago

??????????????

AB
AB
6 years ago
Reply to  chump-tastic

WELL SAID CHUMP LADY!

My mom was majorly depressed; my parents fought and said mean things to each other. My mom was so sick she went to the psych ward. It showed me how much my dad loved my mom, even in the worst of it. When her hair was matted and she wore the same robe for months, and hardly spoke. He visited every day, helping her, loving her, worried for her. I know even in rocky times that monogamy is for me. I can see what it takes and I see what love looks like. P.s. my mom is better now.

RoseThorns
RoseThorns
5 years ago
Reply to  AB

I love your story!!! For better or worse were the wedding vows after all. Unconditional love is what most of us want.

The flip side is, meaning those vows is exactly why I stayed after Dday1 & opened myself to the deepest kind of hurt I could of ever imagined 12 years later. Ugh! Thanks for sharing your parent’s story which shows what true unconditional love looks like. Your father is one amazing man!

StartofSomethingGood
StartofSomethingGood
6 years ago
Reply to  chump-tastic

This ^^^^

theotherwhitemansburden
theotherwhitemansburden
6 years ago

The thing that bothered me the most is that the central couple in the piece was actually non-ethical — or started out non-ethically, and by treating all arrangements the same, the NYT actually condoned the old line of thinking: “Cheating? Oh, this old thing? No, it’s just that we have an open marriage. What, you did not guess that? I wasn’t lying or sneaking around, I was just having an open marriage which you failed to notice. And if you have a problem with that, you’re really close-minded.”

People can make all sorts of agreements. As long as they are consensual. And they do not pr

Michael
Michael
6 years ago

“And if you have a problem with that, you’re really close-minded.” – Battle cry of the covert-aggressive .

I am not sure how it works either. I mean I’m a one woman man. To think that my woman is being affectionate with another man would make me jealous as hell. No arrangement could fix that. Not that ‘she’s mine’ or anything, just that I thought I was that special person.

And I guess that’s where it lands? To be in on open marriage you must not think of your spouse as very special. Maybe they are just an accessory? Maybe they all are?

I don’t think trying to understand this with a chump mind is working. I can feel my brain shorting out.

marriagedetective
marriagedetective
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael

I had never even considered open marriage at the time that I married my STBX. Of course, OF COURSE, it came up after DDay. I’m a one man kind of woman as well.

I’m with CL here and I had the EXACT same argument with my STBX on this subject of open marriage. Open marriage is, quite frankly, complicated. In my opinion, life is complicated enough. Plus, there are other things that I want to pursue in life instead of just romance after romance or the proverbial stomach flip first kiss that Cora H. is talking about. I have other things that take up my time that I enjoy and still want to pursue. Plus, when it comes to relationships, I would like to enjoy a full journey instead of just always looking for the next exciting moment that makes us crazy about each other. Creating a long-term relationship requires big investments of time that are meant to pay dividends in the long run. That’s what I want and have never received from my STBX.

There are additional investments in these open marriage situations that just blow my mind as well. Financial. What about gifts at Christmas and birthdays or any other holiday? What about kids? Do you have kids with partners outside your spouse in the open marriage situation? How would that work? From what I can tell, these relationships are terribly, terribly messy. No thanks. I’d rather be single if that’s sophisticated.

brit
brit
6 years ago

What about kids marriage detective? who cares? they’ll get over it, when they’re younger alternate weekends, holidays, which one will be attending school events, maybe both sets of parents attend, who to walk up to afterwards, getting used to seeing their parents with different partners, having to spend holidays without the other parent, no big deal.
Children eventually become adults, they have families of their own, babies, children and now they have the continued pleasure of juggling holidays, birthdays, events not only with their in-laws but between their parents dragging their families from house to house on holidays, birthdays, each home with different rules including the new spouses weird extended “family.” If they host an event or holiday at their home which parent do they invite and which one will feel left out. Cheaters or whatever title they choose don’t care because it’s not their problem. It’s all about them. Selfishness shatters their children’s security, the world as they’ve known it Messy and shitty, like an endless bout of explosive diarrhea.

Jessica
Jessica
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael

An open marriage is a situation where everybody enjoys being a triangulating Narc.
These are the people who could never have love, so they chose power instead.
A chump will never get truly wrap his/her head around it.

Awake
Awake
6 years ago
Reply to  Jessica

Amen

Michael
Michael
6 years ago
Reply to  Awake

+1

Cora H.
Cora H.
6 years ago
Reply to  Jessica

This is an excellent point.

It is a hypotenuse from Hell. It is also an obscene bargaining chip in monogamy- for that option to even be on the table.

I love you but, I crave that first kiss stomach flip. Let’s explore that together to make our relationship better. What a pig in a poke.

When you say no to that shit sandwich, you get the false “but I tried to save the relationship” manipulation.

Romantic love is exclusive. None of the magnificent love stories that capture our imagination for the eons involved our heroine getting plowed by Ford, the 24 year old hipster, while she pines for her Man.

Anything else is just getting your rocks off, no matter how elitists at NYT package it as edgy, alternative lifestyle or a think piece.

Lady B
Lady B
6 years ago
Reply to  Jessica

I saw a doco on it and they focused on one women and two men. It was really awful and there was clearly a favourite man. It kind of reminded me of the popularity competition games people played in high school, no thanks.
I’ve had a version of this thrown at me, ex is trying to creep back and doesn’t mind if I have a boyfriend, clearly doesn’t know me very well

Aeronaut
Aeronaut
6 years ago
Reply to  Lady B

LadyB,

Tell ex it’s great that he doesn’t mind if you have a boyfriend, but you’re done with him.

Peace.
aeronaut

theotherwhitemansburden
theotherwhitemansburden
6 years ago

That got sent before the time. Sorry.

So: as long as both partners give their informed consent, have *prior* knowledge, and are *full* partners in an arrangement, you can have whatever agreement you want, within legal limits. But let’s not normalize one-sided, secretive and abusive behavior as “open marriage.” It ain’t.

Polytastic
Polytastic
6 years ago

I kind of feel like NYT chose really terrible open marriages to feature on purpose. If the question is “are open marriages better?” And then they feature cheaters and abusers, the answer to be determined is “no, open marriages are not better.”

They didn’t pick relationships where people started open, they didn’t talk about they each handle jealousy and time management. They chose to feature cheaters. Let alone the fact that people who announce to the world via newspaper that they’re open tend to be attention seekers, anyway.

Lots of people have quiet arrangements with their spouses which aren’t shitty and demeaning. Lots of couples, triads, and polycules operate nicely, but they don’t get featured. Everyone can understand a cheating dynamic where one spouse holds the relationship hostage “so this or we’re over.” Most people aren’t interested in the normal mundane aspects of this lifestyle.

Vastra
Vastra
6 years ago

Shame on you NYT! I prefer their beautifully written and thoroughly researched articles on obscure topics like the joys of semi-colons, not this open marriage trash.

Polytastic
Polytastic
6 years ago
Reply to  Vastra

Open relationships are for people who want them, and will work for them, not for everyone to shoe horn themselves into because it’s chic. they take a lot of work and open communication.
1. Poly doesn’t “get rid of” all your problem, it just trades for its own set of unique issues. You find the dynamic up that’s fits you best
2. Poly Scheduling apps are a thing, many of us use them. Love may be infinite, but time isn’t. We all know that.
3. There a numerous ways to be open/poly/non-monogamous, every dynamic is different. Most of us like the extra emotional support and widened social network.

Why do I come to this site? Married cheaters often come to open poly gatherings looking for easy affair partners. Most of us won’t engage with cheating, so cheaters lie to us as well. This site helps me recognize cheater behavior and how to handle them, and possibly how to break the news to their wives if need be. There was a situation last year where a man came to a party with a date. Turns out he had a wife and six kids. His wife was not his date. The date was rightly furious and exposed him. He’s blackilisted from the community now.

…Also, I like Chump Lady’s no nonsense way of putting things and she’s actually extremely understanding to the open/ poly community.

ChumpedupChik
ChumpedupChik
6 years ago
Reply to  Polytastic

What is a poly app? ?

Polytastic
Polytastic
6 years ago
Reply to  ChumpedupChik

An app for your phone for example. Usually scheduling software or a dating app like OkCupid. Scheduling software, I imagine, is not dissimilar to the scheduling software people use when handling custody arrangements, but now add 3, 4, or 5 people to it. People use Google scheduling as well.

TheMuse
TheMuse
6 years ago
Reply to  Polytastic

Did anyone tell his wife?

Polytastic
Polytastic
6 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

I’m not sure, I didn’t know the cheater, the date or his wife. I live in a different country and the conduct wasn’t in my mother tongue, but that’s part of following this blog now. Knowing how to deal with it if/when it comes up again.

I have a strong feeling the date told his wife, but I can check it again with my partner, he would remember better than I do as it was in his native tongue.

Polytastic
Polytastic
6 years ago
Reply to  Polytastic

By the way: this was one of the experiences that initially got me interested in reading Chump Lady. I was bridged over from Captain Awkward and how Chump Lady disagreed with CA recommending that an LW NOT inform a wife that her husband was cheating. I’ve seen “monogamous” spouses try to cheat with poly or BDSM oriented people twice now. Why not automatically inform? If you read that CA article, there’s a lot of the same misguided thinking about “is it proper to insert myself in something so personal?” “Do I want to be responsible for ruining someones life” and of course there’s questioning the source altogether. Married cheaters lurk in poly and BDSM communities thinking we’re easy sluts and that we will be dismissed that way if we ever open our mouths. People lose custody of their kids for pursuing alternative lifestyles. Cheating doesn’t automatically lose you custody of your kids, having multiple boyfriends might, and being BDSM can lose you your job AND the right to see your kids. We can tell a spouse and they can out us.

horsesrcumin
horsesrcumin
6 years ago
Reply to  Polytastic

Thanks Poly. Your input is very appreciated here. I know the poly community is all about honesty and that it is quite a difficult choice in many ways. There are so many misunderstandings about it, and predators out there trying to take advantage of people who are just trying to live life the way they feel happiest and most comfortable.

I like your thoughts about CN being a good place to hone your radar about cheaters. Wishing you well.

Awake
Awake
6 years ago

Every couple I know who tried the open marriage thing is now divorced. Typical New York Times liberal rag b.s.. I’m sure Huffington will run the article next. Smh.

Patience
Patience
6 years ago
Reply to  Awake

Awake: The one couple I knew who tried the open marriage thing was tragic. It was one of their best friends, she preferred him over the husband and chaos ensued. During the divorce proceedings, the husband took his life, leaving 2 kids behind. Horrible. This was over 20 years ago, I often wonder how those two innocent kids turned out.

LiningUpDucks
LiningUpDucks
6 years ago
Reply to  Awake

“Every couple I know who tried the open marriage thing is now divorced.”

Exactly. It’s one of those things that sounds good (to some) in theory, but doesn’t work in practice. Every story I’ve heard about open marriage ends the same way (in heartbreak).

UXworld
UXworld
6 years ago

(I posted this in the forums last week when the topic came up — apologies for my repetitiveness to those who’ve already read it )

More triggers in the NYT article than I’d find in a Glock factory.

I guarantee you, KK (who proposed the open marriage with the words “You’re my best friend in the world, and I would never want to jeopardize what we’ve built together…”) has clipped or bookmarked this article and will wave it proudly as Exhibits A through Z as to why UXworld was controlling, the marriage was unsavable, and how lucky she is to have found a fellow sexual sophisticate who allows her to be “the person I was always meant to be.” (#alwaysmeanttobeacunt)

This is when the documentation I compiled is so important — it serves as a reminder of the true reality of what I was dealing with.

The following bears repeating — if there is full honesty, transparency and commitment “preserving the primary relationship” at all costs, infidelity in and of itself is not cheating. As CL (and the auther) note, it’s when one person decides to change the rules to their own benefit in order to gain a relationship advantage that the situation delves into narcissism, entitlement, and every other fuckwit trait we all have to deal with.

If “Elizabeth” or any of the others profiled in the story had confessed to falsely telling a secret affair partner that his/her spouse was physically abusing them, would the NYT even be running an “Is Open Marriage Happier?” series?

Aeronaut
Aeronaut
6 years ago
Reply to  UXworld

And my response to that post (much like UXWorld’s above).

The article itself contains some damning evidence against open marriages, but you have to look for them. In the article, Daniel and Elizabeth have an open marriage. Joseph is one of Elisabeth’s alternate partners, but Joseph’s wife isn’t clued in on the whole open marriage thing.

“neither Elizabeth, Daniel, or Joseph thought Joseph’s spouse deserving of being given the truth.” Well, maybe those three should ask Joseph’s spouse how she feels about that. Or maybe Joseph should end the marriage and be with someone who is deserving of that ‘truth’. Hypocrites, all of them. Open and honest if you’re in our special club, otherwise you’re not important.

Hugs. Strength. Peace.
aeronaut

TheMuse
TheMuse
6 years ago
Reply to  Aeronaut

Thanks. I started the forum post and that was my key objection to the NYT article as well. The three “open” marriage participants colluding in deceiving the unknowing wife. Nice. “Sophisticated,” “open”. B.S.
I will say that the comments section on the article, though now closed, contains a refreshing number of comments condemning the deception and hypocrisy.

CleotheFormerChump
CleotheFormerChump
6 years ago
Reply to  Aeronaut

Damn. That is JEDI-LEVEL passive voice! “neither Elizabeth, Daniel, or Joseph thought Joseph’s spouse deserving of being given the truth.”

“deserving of being given the truth”–way to softpedal.

My edit would be, “Elizabeth, Daniel and Joseph agreed to deceive Joseph’s spouse.”

Or as I say to students, “Make sure your sentence makes clear who is doing what to whom.”

Kettle
Kettle
6 years ago

“Elizabeth, Daniel and Joseph also decided to fuck Joseph’s spouse, but not in a good way.”

PuraVida
PuraVida
6 years ago
Reply to  Kettle

+1 🙂

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
6 years ago
Reply to  Aeronaut

Yes, yes, yes. It actually made my blood boil quite a bit, because I am pretty poly-friendly, but this is gross misrepresentation of what it actually is. The example you cite isn’t “progressive” or “poly” or “open” at all – it is cheating. Disgusting.

Polytastic
Polytastic
6 years ago

Open relationships are for people who want them, and will work for them, not for everyone to shoe horn themselves into because it’s chic. they take a lot of work and open communication.
1. Poly doesn’t “get rid of” all your problem, it just trades for its own set of unique issues. You find the dynamic up that’s fits you best
2. Poly Scheduling apps are a thing, many of us use them. Love may be infinite, but time isn’t. We all know that.
3. There a numerous ways to be open/poly/non-monogamous, every dynamic is different. Most of us like the extra emotional support and widened social network.

Why do I come to this site? Married cheaters often come to open poly gatherings looking for easy affair partners. Most of us won’t engage with cheating, so cheaters lie to us as well. This site helps me recognize cheater behavior and how to handle them, and possibly how to break the news to their wives if need be. There was a situation last year where a man came to a party with a date. Turns out he had a wife and six kids. His wife was not his date. The date was rightly furious and exposed him. He’s blackilisted from the community now.

…Also, I like Chump Lady’s no nonsense way of putting things and she’s actually extremely understanding to the open/ poly community.

ANC
ANC
6 years ago
Reply to  Polytastic

Thank you Poly, Sam lmm,
You have described what healthy poly and open relationships are.

Although it’s a choice I could not make, I very much appreciate your candid discussion about these kinds of relationships.

So many of us went into exclusive relationships to find it was ‘open’ the entire time or were given an ultimatum for it to open. It all comes back to the Character of the people in the relationships-no different than monogamous.

Cheaters cheat and liars lie.

UXworld
UXworld
6 years ago
Reply to  UXworld

For those who don’t know, KK actually did that — and the secret affair partner in question boasted about carrying a gun with him at all times. That’s how sick this shit can get.

FSTL
FSTL
6 years ago

After I left my Cheater X, I started seeing a very nice girl. Unfortuantely my picker wasn’t fixed and boundaries poor and it took me a little while to work out she had BPD. Felt sorry for her, but wasn’t prepared to stick with someone who wouldn’t take responsibility for her actions.

One of the many fucked up things she tried to guide me towards was an “open” relationship (spoiler alert…. she really liked the First Couple in House of Cards). But her idea of open involved a shit load of lying on her part and basically was her doing whatever she wanted, whilst calling on Chumpy me whenever she needed something. She still does (without the romance) – thank the Lord for “BIFF”.

I am embarrassed I even gave this more than the 2 mins I heard her out…..

But cutting to my point – I think it noteworthy that this the dream setup for someone with BPD…. it’s completely one sided for the advocate of the idea, but they don’t really understand the other side of it (which is you get to shag people as well and won’t be available to them on tap). Yep – a dysfunctional person thinks this is a great idea!!! How could it possibly go wrong?

Could never do it (but don’t judge those who do) as it is the complete opposite of what I would want from a real life partner.

Dixie Chump
Dixie Chump
6 years ago
Reply to  FSTL

I have always tried to be open minded about many things … but I admit that I DO judge on this one. What kind of person can know their beloved is being intimate with another and not be jealous, not care, not be undone? I will never understand it and I think it says something about a person to be capable of this choice.

marriagedetective
marriagedetective
6 years ago
Reply to  Dixie Chump

AMEN Dixie Chump! I have NEVER been able to wrap my head around this either and I’ve thought about it a lot. I could just never do it. There’s so much that goes into that – the way I was raised, my own thoughts that I’ve formed through a lot of experience. That’s just me.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago
Reply to  Dixie Chump

I consider myself VERY open-minded, especially about sex. But I have to agree. How would a person feel if their partner was sitting at the dining room table with a shit-eating grin on their face, remembering some little cirque du soleil shit that happened at Suzy’s mom’s house earlier that day?

Here’s the thing: XH was crap in the sack, and I’m quite sure if we’d had an open marriage, I would have easily found someone who did a better job of ringing that bell, so to speak. So how could *I* not compare? How could *I* not bring that home to my (open) marriage to XH? What would I think: Well, he’s a crap lover but he does a fantastic job with the petunias in the front yard so I guess we’ll stay together?

I don’t know. Open marriage just doesn’t make sense to me. As CL says, pick-me dancing 24/7.

Polytastic
Polytastic
6 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

Well after reading this NYT article, I would expect you be suspicious of the lifestyle. They featured cheaters and people who held their relationships hostage and asked “are open marriages happier?” The answer you are supposed to come to is “no theyre terrible!!”

Nobody is interested in poly dating apps and scheduling software, the long stretches of time where you don’t have multiple partners, all the conversations about boundaries and feelings. The numerous types of non-monogamy and how not all intimate relationships need to have sex involved. This helps where one partner is asexual and another isn’t. There’s a joke in the poly community that open relationship are having sex with multiple partners, while polyamory is just talking about it all the time.

You don’t need to want or understand this lifestyle, just don’t take this article as gospel on how it’s done.

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
6 years ago
Reply to  Polytastic

+1

FSTL
FSTL
6 years ago
Reply to  Dixie Chump

I agree – but I also think there are lots of shallow people out there who put their own need for sparkles ahead of their need to be monogamous. If two people are ok with that, then good luck to them.

What would be better is if they then just left the rest of us alone to our “boring” monogamy. Perfect world?

AB
AB
6 years ago
Reply to  FSTL

I do get judge-y over poly relationships too, even though Polytastic seems like a nice, decent person. I’m glad to read they don’t like cheaters as well. If only we could tell the world that monogamy isn’t boring and all poly people aren’t predators. Even tho…poly scheduling apps::::smirk:::::21st century penis wrangling
Also, I’ve been reading this column for a couple years and I think there are more men commenting. I think it’s more accepted in society for men to reach out about emotional issues… which I love! Humans win!

Polytastic
Polytastic
6 years ago
Reply to  AB

I don’t think monogamy is boring. I’ve been in monogamous relationships before, I didn’t choose poly because I have “a wandering eye.”

Most of my friends are married, I happily attended their weddings. Some polycules in my social circle include married couples and families with kids, though most of us are child free so far. We’re normal people, with jobs and families, who value honesty and commitment (yes there’s big time commitment). We have to work through multiple commitments, so it’s not like we don’t understand, respect, or value someone else’s monogamous commitment.

AB
AB
6 years ago
Reply to  Polytastic

@Polytastic Nice to hear its working for you.

Tempest
Tempest
6 years ago
Reply to  FSTL

as long as they find each other and leave those of us with romantic integrity out of the equation. But no….. they like a sturdy old chump to fall back on.

Polytastic
Polytastic
6 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Cheaters come lurking about in poly/non-monogamous communities and lie to us as well. Many of us wouldn’t engage with a cheater, so they “cheat” on us too. The best litmus test is if I can ask to speak with the spouse: if they reply that they are in a “don’t ask, don’t tell” arrangement I always assume it’s cheating. But cheaters can lie and gaslight people trying to practice non-monogamy as ethically as possible.

marriagedetective
marriagedetective
6 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Yup. Finding a chump to fall back on is well, the way to make an open marriage work, isn’t it?

FSTL
FSTL
6 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I think that’s a whole other issue!!

How many people out there in CN were asked to do an Open marriage AFTER they caught their cheater? Or another view of this sort of fuckedupedness…. how many people were given grief about non-existent affairs/infidelity whilst their cheater was having an affair? One rule for Chumps, a whole different rule book for the cheater….

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
6 years ago
Reply to  FSTL

Asking for an open relationship was how I knew my Husband #2 was cheating or thinking about cheating. Because I had an open relationship prior to meeting him, we had talked about long before we ever got married, and he was vehemently opposed to the whole thing. He said many of the same things that have been said on this thread today.

“That’s not love.”
“That’s not a real relationship.”
“That is fucked up.”

Cue seven years (and one child) later, when I was pregnant with our second child, and he suddenly thought we should talk about it. He wasn’t pursuing the OW at the time, but he had made the internal decision to do so. I didn’t know any of this in those moments, but I knew – I mean I KNEW – there was someone else he was interested in. It wasn’t my first rodeo. I asked him point-blank who it was, and he acted flabbergasted that I would think there was someone else.

Cue me beginning Operation Catch-A-Douchebag within half-hour of that conversation. The rest is history. I gave him myriad opportunities to come clean over the next month (the whole time being one step ahead of him and already knowing the answers to the questions I was asking), and instead watched him lie to my face over and over.

What they say is true – if you are being asked to have an open relationship, you are already in one.

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
6 years ago

Operation Catch-A-Douchebag was easy, actually. Some computer knowledge, some smart phone app knowledge, a bit of luck, ZERO guilt about snooping and the fact that Cheater isn’t very savvy about technology.

First order of business was getting into his work e-mail. He was not aware that any e-mail on Microsoft Exchange is typically available via the web remotely. It was easy-peasy to navigate to his e-mail account on the web and guess his password. That was done in the time it took him to take a shower. That provided me with 98% of what I needed, because I was watching them e-mail each other at work in real time as he started “grooming” her to go out with him and give him a chance.

I also installed spy software on his phone the following week. Expensive as hell. Phones were in my name, so it was legal. Then I had text messages, too. They did not call each other, EVER, because he knew I would see that in call logs. He thought texting was safe, and it would have been, but for the spy software.

Turned on his Location History in Google (Android phone), and checked it compulsively.

Then it was legwork. He lied his head off to her, too, and it took him a couple of weeks before she agreed to see him outside of work. I knew all this, naturally, so I showed up. I did not confront. I sat in the parking lot and took pictures of them. I snuck in to one restaurant a week later unnoticed and took further pictures of them dining together. That was the night before I confronted. I was back in my borrowed car (I should be a PI, lol) in the parking lot when they came out and I witnessed their first kiss. That is when I knew it had gone on long enough and I was ready to confront. He came home that night and I let him lie about his whereabouts.

The following evening, he made some excuse to go out again, and made a beeline to meet her at a bar. I drive faster than him, and he stopped at a gas station, so I beat him there. Parked across the street and waited until he showed up. Went right in, pregnant as can be, and confronted them both. She dumped him then and there.

FSTL
FSTL
6 years ago

It’s not an Open Relationship unless you’re both “open”. If only one of you know about it, it’s cheating.

And yep- asking them stuff you already know the answer to and watching them lie is heat stopping stuff. Just think of all the other times they gave you that “tell” and you missed it.

FMT
FMT
6 years ago

I’d love to hear all about Operation Catch-a-Douchebag…

Marked711
Marked711
6 years ago
Reply to  FSTL

Her first words were ILYBINILWY. Then her second was a question as to if I’d like an open marriage. I didn’t even know what that was. They all use the same cheater handbook.

cuckedoff
cuckedoff
6 years ago
Reply to  FSTL

My STBX asked to have an open marriage after D-Day. When I asked her to define “open marriage,” she told me that it means that she could go out and have sex with other men while I stay home and watch the kids and then she would come home to tell me all about it. She went on to say that I would not be allowed to date other women because it is the “man’s place” to pay for dates and that we did not have it in our family budget for me to take other women out on dates.

Giddy Eagle
Giddy Eagle
6 years ago
Reply to  cuckedoff

That is an absolute riot! I hope you laughed in her face before you walked out the door.

ZHUCHI
ZHUCHI
6 years ago
Reply to  cuckedoff

What the holy fuck????

Aeronaut
Aeronaut
6 years ago
Reply to  cuckedoff

Wow, that’s some really fancy footwork there to justify a half-open marriage.

I hope in the divorce settlement, she counts half of the money spent on dates for her by other men as income, which means that it should reduce any alimony you owe her.

More importantly, I hope you divorce her ass hard and fast.

Hugs. Strength. Peace.
aeronaut

Beth
Beth
6 years ago
Reply to  Dixie Chump

Agreed!

Ali
Ali
6 years ago

I got my NYT yesterday and was hoping you would address this. The time issue really bothered me, too.
How can anyone find the time to maintain two relationships and also care for parents, children, friends, work, themselves, etc.? It’s ridiculous.

buddy
buddy
6 years ago
Reply to  Ali

I agree. My guess is in most open marriages, the power imbalance dynamic is still in play, just like with infidelity. The one with more power has more “open” opportunities (and probably downplays them and breaks any rules established) and does less around the house. The one with less power performs far more domestic duties and has far fewer “open” escapades.

My guess is the one who first suggested the open path is the one with more power, and possesses higher skills of manipulation and emotional control.

I’m skeptical of these arrangements.

I also have friends who stayed married for the sake of their kids, are not romantically engaged and are free to see other people, and even in this case, the one who did not suggest this arrangement (but agreed to it) does all of the money earning and about 70% of the parenting.

Polytastic
Polytastic
6 years ago
Reply to  buddy

This article features cheaters and people who held their marriages hostage. Whatever your opinions on open marriages/non-monogamy, don’t take this article as gospel on how things are done or how people strive to behave in open relationships. There are other sources, literature, and forums that explain the inner thinking and conduct so much better than this.

Buddy
Buddy
6 years ago
Reply to  Polytastic

Good point Polytastic,

I don’t have any real data but I’m just guessing that many marriages that are “open” really are not, but instead have the cheater/chump dynamic at their core. But yeah, I’m not trying to comment on or be skeptical of poly or open marriages that really are on the up and up with respect to honesty and following any rules established with integrity.

Polytastic
Polytastic
6 years ago
Reply to  Buddy

The thing is: being poly doesn’t make me any less immune to being lied to or abused as anyone else here.

You know how cheaters are always pulling the “open marriage card” or “poly lifestyle” card to justify and hide their cheating? Well they bring it to real poly communities as well and deceive poly people trying to start relationships in good faith.

We get chumped too, it sucks for us as well.

AB-meh
AB-meh
6 years ago
Reply to  Polytastic

sucks being lied too, at the same time, how much does it really sting if you are spreading your emotional vulnerability over 2-3 people. Asking to understand. Maybe its not that vulnerable and its about sex, so one sex dude is a loser: “bye to him, now let’s check the app, ah yes Sex Weekend with Darren, yay!” How high are the stakes, really, for you. Maybe duped spouse blames you and comes after you?
Yeah, I think swinging is more appropriate term, IMHO. Open marriage tries to give it emotional weight. Like saying someone is a sugar baby vs prostitute. Swing around with your spouse? Sure why not- but those people are sex toys no matter how “Eat Pray Love” you try to spin it. I have friends I love and help without fucking involved. Do you keep the partners until age 75….I’m guessing nah, that’s too many tubes of aspercreme in the bathroom cabinet.

but anyway, what do i know. 😉

Polytastic
Polytastic
6 years ago
Reply to  AB-meh

You’re both actually kind of right. LMM is right about the theory, you’re not off about the practice with some people. The answer is: it depends on the relationship. Without getting heavy into poly theory (not the right place) some relationships are more committed…and more important to me than others. I have a primary partner, who I call my life partner, who I live with, who I’ve made a life with, who I love more than there are words in the English language. If this relationship breaks up, for whatever reason, I will be devastated, but you’re also right having more than one partner to support you can give you a soft place to fall in some ways. Does having a less devastating break up mean I had a less loving or less ‘real’ relationship? Does suffering at the end of a relationship correlate to how much I loved the person?

I have one relationship that was primarily sexual, but has recently cooled off into a sexless friendship. I miss the loss of her in this way, but I’m really happy to connect to her in a different way. I have one current partner who started as a good friend and I would feel the loss of him if the relationship were cut off. I use passive voice here because I could cut it off, he could cut it off, his wife could cut it off, or my partner could cut it off (everyone knows everything).

People aren’t toys, they don’t exist to just please me (that’s kind of mutually using each other in my opinion) and personally I think having sex WITHOUT any emotions involved is bizarre and unnatural… And I personally can’t enjoy sex with someone I don’t like or care about. Sounds pretty monogamous right? But I can do it with more than one at a time and that’s what put me firmly into poly territory, the emotions.

If somebody wants casual, no strings attached sex okay have fun, be safe, and don’t be a dick to people…. But I’m not wired that way.

I would be happy to expand into a poly family and grow old with a poly household. I’m not afraid of all the tubes of aspercream in the cabinet or helping someone read their medication bottles or shared parenting if it came to that. Six Feet Under put it best when they said “love is when you get old and shit yourself in the movie theater and their the one to help you clean it up” (I’m not romantic). Realistically, it’s hard to do this with one person, let alone with 3 or 4 who ALL want the same thing and like each other enough.

I hope that answers the question.

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
6 years ago
Reply to  AB-meh

One of the tenets of the poly community as I understand it (and Poly-tastic could speak more intelligently about this than I can, I’m sure) is that there is no “spreading your emotional vulnerability out,” as though it is a finite resource. Instead, poly-friendly theories assert that emotions like love and vulnerability are an infinite resource. Sort of like how you don’t start loving members of your family or close friends in your friendship circle less just because you add more members. That each person and addition is unique and special in their own way, and our capacity for love grows, rather than gets spread thin.

JC
JC
6 years ago

I got a bit riled at the Times, myself. It was a giant click bait article from their magazine.

–one of the wives actually cheated and then forced her spouse into an open marriage, and her “boyfriend” is still cheating on his unknowing wife. That’s not open marriage; its infidelity. And I (and Free Vix as the “boyfriend’s” unknowing wife) endured pretty much the same exact situation…except unlike Daniel, I didn’t eventually agree to the open marriage.

–we didn’t evolve to do plenty of things that go against our biological nature (such as use birth control). So, do these enlightened swingers forego ALL behaviors that we didn’t evolve to do? Or just the convenient, pleasurable one? I believe that CL has made that point here before.

–as CL notes, only the pleasure is shared. The actual responsibility of a marriage (raising kids, in-laws, disease and death, finances) are almost never shared. They should change the term from “open marriage” to “open sex, but with almost all other responsibilities unshared.”

I used to think I was more liberal and open to others doing this if it didn’t harm anyone. But as the negative externalities are borne by society as a whole, and not just the swinging 3 or 4, I’m less sure after reading this article. The people didn’t sound like they’d actually thought it out, other than to justify their behavior.

Free Vix
Free Vix
6 years ago
Reply to  JC

And the boyfriend’s wife, who did nothing but make him miserable, was portrayed as not deserving to know the truth because she was too much of a pleasureless kill-joy who would never agree to sacrifice her dignity for her husband’s jollies. (The nerve!) What we chumps know is that while she was painted as the villain, she probably works hard, loves her husband, has good days and bad like anyone, and has probably tied herself in knots trying to make her jackass of a cheating husband pay a fraction of the attention to her that he lavishes on Mrs. Zen Yoga (barf).

As for this persistent crap that monogamy isn’t in our nature, that it goes against biology, I call bullshit. Monogamy is highly natural to me. It’s natural to a LOT of people. I think polyamory is also perfectly natural…for some. But not for everyone. The first order of business for everyone should be integrity, transparency, and character. If you do that right, the rest will work itself out no matter how one chooses to partner (or not).

I’m glad you didn’t give in to the bargaining stages of grief and spackle over your wife’s affair like “Daniel” did in this story. He struck me as desperate, not creative. I don’t for a minute believe they’ll come through this in the end, because it was launched from a place of coercion and inequality. As ol’ Babs said…just say no.

Sad Shelby
Sad Shelby
6 years ago
Reply to  Free Vix

Yeah it’s super unfair on the unsuspecting wife because you KNOW he never said “hey wife. I need excitement. Let’s have an honest conversation about our marriage and possibly open marriage or whatever trendy thing is going on in the “liberated” world.”

In my situation our “honest conversation” before he went out whore fucking was “I want more sex.” He conveniently forgot to add “If you don’t do what I’m saying I’ll replace you with the whoremat.” And believe me I tried! I tried to give him more sex. I did what he told me he wanted. But, of course, goal post moved and it wasn’t enough.

We all know she’s not a frigid bitch and terrible wife. She’s all of us. And even if she WAS the worst wife EVER, the Hitler, Chairman Mao and lady Satan combined into one ultra awful wife, he has the right to divorce her and move onto greener pastures not to “suffer” and be “tortured” in his “awful marriage” behind her back. If you asked her I bet she’s pretty happy and doesn’t realize how “awful” her marriage actually is ??

And the “we weren’t made for monogamy” is a pathetic argument. Humans are animals. We were made for all the things animals were made for. Not smart phone usage or creating and consuming media or altruism. All the things we enjoy in modern life we’ve had to overcome our baser natures to enjoy. If we only did what we were designed for it would be nothing but survival. Society has nothing to do with a natural behavior but everyone agreeing to unnatural behaviors we all take part in for the greater good. But the greater good is always the cheater’s crotch and fuck everyone else.

buddy
buddy
6 years ago
Reply to  JC

Excellent points.

How many “open” marriages were preceded by infidelity? To me, if a marriage is impacted by infidelity, then you lose your privilege to propose or engage in an open marriage since trust is already too damaged.

And yes, if one spouse has “open” relations with a partner who is cheating on their own husband or wife, then that is direct participation in infidelity making that “open” spouse a cheater as well as bringing great destruction into another person’s life.

Sad Shelby
Sad Shelby
6 years ago
Reply to  JC

I’m open to the idea (for other people), as long as nobody gets hurt. But people suck and do shitty things to one another and someone always gets hurt. It’s the nature of the game.

ANC
ANC
6 years ago
Reply to  JC

Really great response. As long as all parties are aware, go ahead and ‘open’ your marriage. Your point REALLY clarifies this arrangement because as you said, none of the unsexy responsibilities of the marriages are shared. Responsibilities like mowing the yard, making and taking kids to doctors appointments, filing taxes, taking out the trash, cleaning the house, etc..

So…… isn’t this really just Swinging? Which sounds a lot less sophisticated than Open Marriage. You are knowingly adding strangers into a sex circle. All in the open, of course. No hiding. Swinging doesn’t sound as enlightened. It sounds like rounds of antibiotics and copious amounts of Purel. I see no difference.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago
Reply to  ANC

And if anyone remembers tales of swinging in the 70s, remember there was always that last set of keys no one wanted to end up with. How does that person feel, then? It’s just sad and desperate, IMO.

horsesrcumin
horsesrcumin
6 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

Totally! It’sounds kind of a case of “I’m not against it per se, but it’s probably not for me.” In other words, maybe I’m just a bit of a hypocrite?

The idea seems fine. But the logistics and boundaries are so much harder to define, and then keep to.

I knew my ex’s sexual history. I knew he had sexual partners when we broke up for a while whilst I travelled overseas. I know some of these women. It was never weird for me. I don’t really have a sexual history, as I’ve only been with him sexually. At first, immediately after D-day, I thought I could treat the cheating (with an old friend of mine) like those cases. When I was away. There was no cheating or lying then. I knew he was living a sexually active single life. I wasn’t. Not out of loyalty, it just kinda never happened. I think it is a part of who I am. I prefer to love the person I sleep with. Not because of any moral judgements. Have fun, have mutually exciting sex with people you know well, or people you’ve just met. Go for it. Enjoy life!

I couldn’t put the cheating in the same box as the sex he had with women when we were not together. Funny that. Lying and endangering my health is the bottom line. Not sex.

And that is the thin line that is difficult to walk in open relationships. If those damned feelings get out of control, and then you ‘have to’ start lying.

Mjo
Mjo
6 years ago
Reply to  horsesrcumin

I don’t understand why most people are being judgmental here, especially to the person who commented about being pro-open (Sam). If a couple enters a relationship with an open understanding of what they want, what business is it of ours? You can call it cheating, dishonest, whatever, but it’s between them. We’re not part of that picture. You can project all you want about your emotions or compare your experience as being cheated upon but that’s not the case with them. They are having a consensual agreement of what they want.

The only problem I have with the BYT article is the mentioning of “love is not finite”. Saying that, to me, suggests that we monogamers (I made that up!) are limited in our loving? Well, I love my mom, my dad, my best friend, my sister. Aren’t I on the right track?

Polytastic
Polytastic
6 years ago
Reply to  Mjo

You’re 100% on the right track. “Love is not finite” is not meant to suggest that monogamists are emotionally limited, it’s to portray that loving people is only ever perceived and treated as finite when it comes to romantic relationships. We never say “I have only a certain amount of friendship that I can distribute across X number of people.” And to suggest that love is finite with children… Dear Lord heaven forbid. We just expand the idea one step farther into romance and sex.

Monogamy is an active choice and your preference, and that’s totally legitimate. My choice to be poly isn’t supposed to be an insult to or de legitimize your choice to be monogamous.

Anita
Anita
6 years ago
Reply to  Polytastic

Actually, there is evidence or a study, forget the details that a person can only sustain a certain number of close relationships with people across all sources. Can’t remember the number, maybe 9 to 15. This includes friends, families, romantic partners, everyone. At some point, all relationships you are involved with will start to suffer. Add a job to that, and household and child care duties, and you are really stretching yourself thin, at least speaking for myself. For example, I have one child, and a couple of close friends. Several siblings, and a few elderly relatives in the mix. This is really all I can, or want to handle. If I were like the Duggar family and had 20 children, would my relationship with each child be the same as it is with my one? That would be difficult, just based on the logistics. And I’m not saying one child or many is better or worse, just different. That’s one reason I’m glad I don’t have too many relationships, it’s a conscious decision.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward
6 years ago
Reply to  Mjo

// , I do not think they judge the prima facie *idea* of an “Open Marriage”, but rather the ease with which a common positive regard toward the practice enables a certain type of abuse, if one person involved happens to be an abuser or chump. If you want to understand how someone may justly criticize a behavior that is not itself immoral, merely for the situations it is historically most likely to produce, I suggest looking into the term “Moral Hazard” in ethics, to which most of these criticisms of the swinger lifestyle implicitly point.

Also, please consider books on the behavioralism of sexual markets, au la “Rational Male” and Rudder’s OKCupid Data Analysis Book “Dataclysm”.

Both books, and behavioralism in general, follow Chump Lady’s guideline to watch what people do, not what they say.

Sucker Punched by a Saffa
Sucker Punched by a Saffa
6 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

Like the last kid,the uncoordinated one, picked for the kickball team…Makes me ill thinking about monsters that gleefully wreak havoc in the lives of theirs partners and children because they are SELFISH !

StartofSomethingGood
StartofSomethingGood
6 years ago

I. LOVE. THIS. POST!!!

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
6 years ago

Cheating aside, the problem with open marriages for me is that most likely one of the two changed the rules AFTER marriage. It seems to me that the person who agrees to the open marriage may also be doing so to ‘save’ their wonderful marriage….or so they think!

But if open marriage was discussed BEFORE marriage and agreed upon, then all good.

It all sucks to me.

Creativerational
Creativerational
6 years ago
Reply to  IHaveHate

I agree with your statement. I know a poly couple who make their world work, and work well. But they decided this was their life before they got married they established rules and their friends and partners know the score. Its a lot of work and a lot of honesty. I don’t think its for everyone but I also don’t think its impossible. I just think it would be reallllllly hard to also be good at being a grown up. I imagine I would never be ok being the side piece and yet … My friend who is dating the male of the duo says she loves that she gets a lot of the fun. There is talking etc but none of the mundane and yet on the other hand… Sometimes my favorite part of life was hip bumping while we did the dishes. So mundane can be lovely. I don’t think its fair to blame the lifestyle. I think a lot of assholes use it as their seguay or justification or last ditch at trying to stay married even though they are cheating assholes, not poly. There’s a ton of people out there claiming to be amazing monogamists and shocker they are lying too. .. If its not for you thats fine. But keep the spite for the characters in your story because pushing it onto general groups without understanding is often unfair. I mean….. Tons of people think chumps are all fat housewives who stopped putting out and degraded their spouses and never put thought into how their spouse felt. And thats not fair either. To any of us. We rail about it. Just… Be careful is all.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
6 years ago

polyamory can be a family, rather than how it’s portrayed here. I’ve met people who did this successfully, at least up till I last saw them. It was actually a good family unit with shared responsibilities. Two men/two women with kids sharing the raising of, and taking care of the family. Sharing the sex went along with it. I agree it’s not so great to paint anyone polyamory as bad regardless of the awful NYT articles.

ChumpSaidBuhBye
ChumpSaidBuhBye
6 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

I’ve known some people in poly relationships. One relationship was as dysfunctional as it gets, another relationship lasted for several years until one of the partners got hooked on pills and chose the addiction lifestyle over accepting help, and the last two relationships are long term stable family units.

The stable ones aren’t in your face about being poly. They’re putting their energy into being a family and fly under the radar. The one where a partner got hooked on pills was a bad deal, but before that they were all really committed to being there for each other.

My opinion is that people who are more interested in being a family that happens to be poly are more stable than people who are more interested in being part of the poly lifestyle.

If you’re doing each other’s laundry, taking care of each other when they’re sick, and cooking meals together, you’re probably in it for more than the opportunity to have multiple sex partners.

Polytastic
Polytastic
6 years ago

+100,000,000 Thank you so much for this comment

MightyE
MightyE
6 years ago
Reply to  IHaveHate

Yeah, I would not be happy in a polyamorous arrangement. But, if that’s the ground rules you lay down at the beginning, before there’s a third person in the picture, and everyone involved in the diagram is informed and on board (including the third person’s partner,) well, it’s not for me to judge. I can think it’s not a very good idea (and in fact I do think that), but adults with a full grasp of the facts can make their own decisions.

This case in the NYT is not that, though. The marriage “became” open after someone cheated, and the third guy has a wife who doesn’t know he’s in an arrangement with someone else. That’s fucked up, and that I will condemn. That hurts someone who’s not fully informed. Fuck that.

Paddington
Paddington
6 years ago

“I believe in being cherished.” Wow, CL. That hit me straight in the chest. Those were my exact words to him in counseling last year when this whole thing blew up…

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago
Reply to  Paddington

CL’s follow-up also hit home though: “And isn’t that really what everyone wants?”

… because immediately I thought, No. That’s not what everyone wants. XH doesn’t want that. “Cherish” isn’t in his vocabulary. “Adored,” maybe. “Worshipped.” “Sacrificed to,” perhaps. But what “cherish” really means? No. I don’t think narcs actually want to be cherished.

Sucker Punched by a Saffa
Sucker Punched by a Saffa
6 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

Yup…put ’em up on that pedestal and prostrate yourself !

PF
PF
6 years ago

If the New York Times is pro open marriage then CL you’re not really that hip. The monogamy ship has sailed and anyone too busy watering plants, working and raising kids and caring for aging parents is last century.

Might as well admit CL, you’re not sexually advanced in these modern times. You’re not using time management properly for getting extra on the side. Geeez….the New York Times staff of writers and editors are banging each other and still run articles, if they can do it so can you.

Don’t ya know that only lazy people believe in monogamy.

ICanSeeTheMehComing!
ICanSeeTheMehComing!
6 years ago
Reply to  PF

AH HA … now I understand why the app is called COZI.

Dixie Chump
Dixie Chump
6 years ago

People who crave being loved by multiple partners are very empty inside and believe they can fill that void with more adoration. But the true joy is just as much in the giving of love and devotion … and again, people who are empty inside have no love to give. So they are destined to be miserable in any type of romantic arrangement … open or closed. A spouse that states (or hints around strongly) that they want an open marriage have just revealed that inner void … time to get away from the disorder as quickly as you can while providing for your kids emotional health.

Jessica
Jessica
6 years ago
Reply to  Dixie Chump

It’s funny that AmEX is fiercely against open marriages and will judge the f* out of anyone who suggests the idea (consensual, of course). That didn’t stop him from pursuing coworkers’ attention all the while we lived together, because…oh no, wait, those were NOT affairs! (that’s right, it was CAKE).

So at least in my mind someone who will try to swing their penchant for multiple partners in the direction of an open marriage seems to have a bit more self-awareness than that (granted, still way not enough!).

QueenMother
QueenMother
6 years ago
Reply to  Dixie Chump

Yah, Dixie Chump, it’s all about the inner void. And yah, a marriage partner cannot be all things to a spouse. That’s why we all need such relationships and roles as being sons / daughters; mothers / fathers; brothers / sisters. We need friends, a faith community. We need a vocation, job or career. We need a creative expression. Take care of these things, and your chores, and see if you’re not then fulfilled and don’t even want some of these other distractions.

BeowulfSabrina
BeowulfSabrina
6 years ago
Reply to  QueenMother

Geez when my hub (after throwing the live grenade of his cheating) gave me the obligatory polyamory spiel about how renegotiating our marriage contract to Monogamish would be the bees knees for us (read HIM) because the 26 year long love he had for me was separate from the LOVE he felt for his 2week affair slunt, I told him a better solution to his inner void and boredom and midlife angst would be to get a hobby or volunteer with me to help those less fortunate or maybe even build a playhouse for our soon to be born grandchildren, not mess up all of our lives with bringing third parties into our marriage. Choices have consequences, I said, and he ran away. Literally. And is still gone a year later, delaying the divorce and angry at me for saying no to his polyamory fantasy. “You’d like her! She likes dogs, too!”

Longtimechump
Longtimechump
6 years ago
Reply to  QueenMother

Queen Mother, my cheater would have added “Yes, that”s why we need all these other relationships like mother, father, brother, sister, colleague, friend, lover, casual sex partner, passionate sex partner, business trip fling, love of your life partner, wife and husband.”

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago
Reply to  QueenMother

This is lovely, Queen Mum.

MN Moved On
MN Moved On
6 years ago

Truer words were never spoken: If your spouse brings up the topic and asks what you think of an Open Marriage, you are already in an open marriage — you just didn’t know it.

That’s exactly how I discovered that Big Chief Dumb Fuck had hooked up with both the Doormat neighbor and the Twatwaffle cantor from church.

Open marriage isn’t a “marriage” of any kind unless both parties freely consent and commit to the concept. If it’s unilateral, that’s called CHEATING.

Anita
Anita
6 years ago

I just don’t get the whole open relationship thing. Why bother? And like CL said. I have plenty of stuff to fill my time. Sex is OK, but it’s not really anything I want to devote my life to chasing.

marriagedetective
marriagedetective
6 years ago
Reply to  Anita

+1 Anita! Yes I have plenty of other pursuits in life, sex isn’t the only thing!

SuperDuperChump
SuperDuperChump
6 years ago

An elderly woman who was parked next to me at Wal-Mart couldn’t get her car started as I got out of my pickup. I had her raise the hood and had her car running in 5 minutes. (I am a mechanic.) She tried to pay me, but I refused and told her to have a good day. She stated that Walter always took care of her car and she has sure been at a loss since he passed away 2 years ago, but he told her on his death bed that he would still look after her and send help when she needed it. Her eyes and smile lit up while talking about how he cherished her for 57 wonderful years.

How can you possibly treasure memories like that with an open marriage?

buddy
buddy
6 years ago

I wish my cheater would have respected all I brought into her life and how much I cherished her. Is that too much to ask?

dang – that one brought deep tears.

tere
tere
6 years ago
Reply to  buddy

Buddy, I don’t think it’s too much to ask. I just think we have to fix our picker.

marriagedetective
marriagedetective
6 years ago

This is exactly the kind of marriage that I want. What a fantastic example SuperDuperChump!

Anita
Anita
6 years ago

What a sweet story. My parents were married almost 50 years, until my dad’s death. I think my mother grieved herself to death after he was gone.

I see relationships like that at church all the time. Husbands caring for sick wives, wives caring for sick husbands, etc. Try getting that from your fuckbuddy, it’s not happening. All you are is a crotch to them. When that goes bad, look out!

Lulu
Lulu
6 years ago

Oh man, that’s brought tears to my eyes!

UnknownComic
UnknownComic
6 years ago
Reply to  Lulu

+1. Sniff…

Blindside
Blindside
6 years ago

I hear about open marriages online, but I’ve never known anybody who has ever been in one. I have no idea how anyone would have the time for that either, but I suppose if you have 2 consenting people, then fine.

It seems more often than not though that cheaters use concepts like open marriage to defend their shitty choices. An open marriage would make them happy, or complete them, or let them live free…..or whatever. But it’s never an open marriage scenario with a cheater.

The problem is…….first, obviously you never consented to the open marriage because you never knew you were in one to begin with, and second………..even if you were to be with someone else, you know your cheater would absolutely explode. There’s nothing worse to a cheater than not having their spouse’s full attention and focus.

You see, the “open marriage” as envisioned by the cheater has them out enjoying themselves while you are waiting at home fulfilling whatever role they have in mind for you (i.e., watch the kids, cook the dinners, pay the bills…and primarily just stay the hell out of the way of their other relationship). And you can’t focus on those things if you’re out having your own good time.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago
Reply to  Blindside

I knew someone at XH’s restaurant who was in an open marriage. Can you guess what happened? Yes, the husband found someone he liked better and divorced the wife, same as in a closed marriage. — What’s the point of marriage, then?

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
6 years ago
Reply to  Blindside

I have only ever encountered this with people in boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, never in a marriage. In college I knew a boy who said he was in an open relationship with a girl he ‘loved” and then he tried to seduce me. Although I had had a crush on the guy for years, I said no because I did not want to be a sidepiece. A few weeks later they broke up when she decided she wanted to be in a monogamous relationship with somebody else. In this case, I think it was his idea and it backfired.

In another case, they agreed to be open right from the get go, but never found other lovers and they ended up married and monogamous thereafter.

NarcBait
NarcBait
6 years ago

My buddy summed it up with regards to life management and marriage (exasperated tone), “One is ENOUGH”.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
6 years ago
Reply to  NarcBait

Definitely. That was one of my many reasons not to cheat. It might be great if I had two men always there for me when I needed them, but what if they both needed me at the same time? With my history, that is the way it would work out and I would just be exhausted trying to please two men. One is definitely enough.

Lulu
Lulu
6 years ago

“WHERE DO YOU PEOPLE FIND THE TIME?”

Funny you mention that! Of the few “successful” polyamorous couples that I know, one thing they constantly fight about it is who gets to go out on dates when, how late they stay out, if they can go on vacation with their boyfriend or girlfriend. They argued in front of me once and it sounded like teenage siblings fighting over the car. “You stayed out with your boyfriend till 4 AM on Tuesday; YOU stay home with the baby this weekend!” It was really pathetic.

Now this is just my experience, but the people I know who are in open marriages or polyamorous always chasing the “high” of initial passion of a brand-new relationship. But maybe the reason why God or Nature made this phase of the relationship so brief is BECAUSE nothing would ever get done if we all were in a constant state of infatuation. Instead of building aqueducts, we would’ve been doodling hearts on the walls of caves all day. Instead of going to work and nurturing our children, we would stay in bed with our partners until noon.

Just my 2 cents.

PuanoMom
PuanoMom
6 years ago
Reply to  Lulu

BINGO! +1! So nice to know someone else thought of this. Mature love just isn’t the infatuated, high-on-hormones, can’t stay focused state of mind. It was MEANT to be temporary. Anyone who is looking to maintain this is stuck in adolescence.

PianoMom
PianoMom
6 years ago
Reply to  PuanoMom

Sorry about the typo in my name… with my luck PuanoMom is something naughty in another language.

Dixie Chump
Dixie Chump
6 years ago
Reply to  Lulu

More than one love interest would really cut into my ChumpLady time!! Ha Ha!!

Tempest
Tempest
6 years ago
Reply to  Dixie Chump

No doubt! My job cuts into my CL time!

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
6 years ago

To be cherished. That is the key. That is the vow my husband failed to keep.

STBX didn’t want divorce he wanted open marriage. To me this means I look after the house and kids while she gets the flowers, date nights and intimacy and if I am nice he might install the occasional household appliance for me. No thanks to that deal.

He tried to make this sound good by telling me “you could go find new lovers too.” There are several problems with that. First of all, I did cherish him. That means that I spend the 22 years of our marriage not thinking of other men in a romantic way because that was reserved for him. After that many years it is going to take a while to get over that. It’s not like I can just flip a switch and start lusting after other men. And, as Chump Lady so eloquently described, how would I find the time? I would have to neglect all of the other things demanding my time and the husband isn’t goin to pick up the slack because he is too busy with Schmoopie. The kids would just end up being neglected by both parents. Besides, what is the point of even being married if it isn’t exclusive? I told STBX “no, I don’t want a marriage that is just on paper”. Alas, I am a slow learner. It took another couple of months before I got around to initiating the divorce because he wasn’t and I realized that if I didn’t I would end up in an open marriage be default.

BetrayedNoMore
BetrayedNoMore
6 years ago

This was my biggest complaint while my cheater-wife was off having her fun. Her nose would be buried in her phone laughing and enjoying her time with her fuckbuddies. Anytime me or the kids diverted her attention she would get short and nasty with us.

buddy
buddy
6 years ago
Reply to  BetrayedNoMore

BNM, your simple example is the unchanging TRUTH.

That simple example explains far far far more than all the words ever written by Esther Perel and Willard Harley and Michele Weiner-Davis combined.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago
Reply to  BetrayedNoMore

Mine, too.

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
6 years ago

I met my first husband when I was 18 years old, and we were together pretty much every minute after that. We began talking about an open relationship about a year after our relationship starting, the conversation beginning out of his idea that I was quite young and was bound to “make mistakes” (his words). It started simply enough: I love you and you love me, and a failure to adhere to monogamy doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker, so let’s talk about it. He brought it up, but the conversations were quite mutual after that. After six months or so of negotiations and the establishing of boundaries, we went with it. We kept that open relationship going for the next decade plus, through engagement and marriage. Here is a shortened list of the rules, simply because that comes into play later in the story.

1. Total transparency and honesty on all sides at all times, including to the 3rd party.
2. If any person at any time becomes uncomfortable with the arrangement for any reason, the arrangement stops immediately, and the person who said “stop” does not need to explain nor defend their choice.
3. No spending of marital monies on 3rd parties or in the pursuit of strange.
4. No fucking people we both mutually know, as that could be potentially very awkward.
5. No fucking people at work, because we are not idiots.

There’s more, but there are some of the rules. To answer the question of “how do you find time?” I will just say we had no children, and outside relationships were not frequent nor long-standing for either of us. It was more of a “hey, if you have an opportunity to hook up with someone else and you want to, it’s cool.” We didn’t “date” outside our relationship. It wasn’t polyamory. There were no regular side pieces.

Almost 13 years into our very happy relationship, he struck up an interest in a woman from work. We discussed it at length, and eventually I said I thought it was stupid (because WORK), but I trusted his judgment. After they had hooked up twice over the course of a couple of months, he let me know she was married WITH A CHILD, and her husband was unaware. He had failed at “transparency” for two months, and allowed me to believe she was single. I pulled out Rule #2 and said “absolutely no way. This stops now.” He stopped seeing her (other than work) right then.

Two weeks later, he let me know he was struggling avoiding the temptation, and she was putting on a lot of pressure, as well. I gave him a week to change his mind and cut her off completely. He refused. I divorced him. Done.

I remarried later, and actually thought I might have some issues myself with a traditionally monogamous relationship because of my history. I hadn’t had a monogamous relationship ever! Turns out, I wasn’t the one who struggled at all with this – go figure. Cheaterpants Dickhead, on the other hand, seemed to have a problem keeping his side of the monogamy bargain, and had a short (4 week) EA with a cute coworker, with all the gas-lighting, deceit and blame-shifting that goes along with such things. They never had sex, I was able to confirm this through CIA-level super-sleuthing, but he most certainly lied and lied and lied.

I say this to point out something pretty obvious to chumps everywhere. What is the common thread here? Is it sex? Nope. My first husband had lots of outside sex without any issues whatsoever for a really long time, and my second husband didn’t have sex with anyone else at all.

So what broke it both times? Deceit, my friends. Deceit, of course. Taking the agreed-upon rules of the relationship (whatever the rules might be) and deciding to unilaterally change them without my consent. In whatever form that takes, it is an act of aggressive disrespect and emotional abuse. End stop.

Whatever your arrangement might be, one partner doesn’t get to decide it doesn’t apply to them. A healthy relationship cannot exist after that. So, I have a very “you do you” attitude to different types of non-traditional arrangements made between consenting adults, but I come down like the hammer of God if “doing you” includes denying your partner the right to make completely informed decisions about their life.

Creativerational
Creativerational
6 years ago

I agree with this. Thanks

UXworld
UXworld
6 years ago

LMM — as perhaps one of the few other members this unfortunate “wtf did we agree to?” club, I’m with you 1000% on your comments. It IS IS IS an act of aggressive disrespect and emotional abuse. TO watch them justify it, blameshift back to us, etc. makes it all that much more evil. You sound like the prize of all prizes.

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
6 years ago
Reply to  UXworld

@ UXworld – I know, right? I mean, not to toot my ow horn, but JEEZ. Guy had a loving, committed, progressive-thinking wife without issues with insecurity or jealousy, who stood by him through thick and thin, AND had the opportunity to have sex with other women (within very reasonable boundaries!) when you wanted to do so without any flak at home, and you still decided you needed to lie? Moron.

He regrets this terribly as the mistake of his life to this day. His loss.

Then, Husband #2 had the opportunity to have a similar arrangement within our relationship from early on – I OFFERED, for God’s sake. I offered because I had experience being down that road, and I hadn’t been shattered by what had happened to the point that it put me off the idea completely. I knew for a fact it could work if everyone stayed committed to honesty. But no, he simply could not abide the idea at all, and insisted upon monogamy…and then broke his own rules! Double moron.

Idiots, the both of them. And I’m really cute, too 😉 LOL

Longtimechump
Longtimechump
6 years ago

Cheater cheat. No matter if they are in an open or closed relationship. Cheating creates buzz. Adrenaline. Open marriage also becomes boring after a while so they need that buzz.

Awakeningdreamer
Awakeningdreamer
6 years ago

Little Mighty Me, yourvpoint about deceit and informed consent are bang on and so relevant to my experiencez

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
6 years ago

@ Awakeningdreamer – this is my tried and true belief to this very day. If I really stop and think about it, two adults rolling around in the hay for…what, 20 minutes if yer lucky…well, it is really more foolish than anything. What happens specifically with someone’s genitals is, frankly, not the thing, at least for me. But the deceit! That is a flat-out robbery. It robs me of my ability to be informed. It robs me of the ability to make the best decisions for myself. It is dehumanizing, and I don’t say that lightly.

Ultimately, the deceit shows me unequivocally that you don’t respect me as a human being enough to allow me to be your equal partner. THAT is a deal-breaker. I will not and cannot be a second-class citizen in my relationship. Liars, GTFO.

NoMoreEvil
NoMoreEvil
6 years ago

Agreed!!!!

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
6 years ago

Little Mighty Me, very well said; thank you for posting this.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
6 years ago

I don’t think it is just the deceit but also the emotional attachment to others that is really the problem here. Things worked fine above until the husbands developed emotional attachments to others. This is why most of us are not ok with open marriage because we know that with sex comes the very real risk of emotional attachment to someone new followed by discard of the primary relationship. This is what usually causes open marriages to fail in the long run. It is hard to keep emotional and physical attachments separate.

At one point STBX proudly declared “at least I never paid for sex”. I almost wish he had (aside from the increased risk of STDs). Then he could have dealt with his curiosity and been done with it. Instead he made himself vulnerable to emotional attachments outside of his marriage and that is what killed us in the end.

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
6 years ago

This is an excellent point. My first husband and I, when explaining our situation to other people (we were pretty open about it, and damn if there isn’t a HUGE amount of curiosity from other people) often used the phrase “playing with fire.” We were certainly aware that was the case. Sexual attachment can lead to emotional attachment quite easily. Even without sex, just the “pursuit” can lead to emotional attachment, because what do most people do when trying to get someone else in bed? Why, they get to know them at least a little bit first, right?

Emotional entanglements were beyond my comfort zone, and that is why our relationship was never a poly relationship. It was much more rigid than that, with 90% monogamy interspersed with the occasional, short-lived foray into a casual hook-up outside of the primary relationship.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
6 years ago

No emotional attachments was the unspoken rule your ex failed to follow. I guess that’s what either spouse can end the others involvement at any time without complaint was supposed to cover.

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
6 years ago

Oh, no, that was an explicit rule, it was certainly not unspoken – lol! No emotional entanglements. I did not list the rules comprehensively, just gave an overview of a few. I was uncomfortable with emotional entanglements. He was less so, and had always been. I did not ultimately divorce him because of emotional entanglement, however. I was legitimately scandalized that he had sex with a married woman twice and her husband didn’t know. It was seedy, in my opinion, and grossly unfair to her husband. He knew I would think that, so he elected to “neglect” to mention she was married. The lying is what I couldn’t stand. Lying, by omission or commission, is just unacceptable.

Anita
Anita
6 years ago

I read that nyt article and tripe like that just makes my skin crawl.

I spent enough time on the reconciliation blogs to know that most of the time, unless both marriage partners were game for an “open relationship” when they met, it’s usually done due to coercion from one person, aka the Cheater.

Creepy ex tried that on me. When we were about to reconcile, I said something that he apparently interpreted to mean it was OK for him to date whores while married to me. Uh, no. Should have booted his ass right then, that was really all I needed to know.

ICanSeeTheMehComing!
ICanSeeTheMehComing!
6 years ago

I got nothing.

For me, if you want an open marriage, don’t get married. Just keep dating.

WTF… is nothing sacred?

Awake
Awake
6 years ago

Exactly

Let go
Let go
6 years ago

Little ole cynical me. Always, always follow the money. The NYT is trying its hardest to keep readers. What better way than have a bunch of people buy the paper, or subscribe online because it is now edgy and current. Every time you click on anything like, oh, say, Facebook money rolls in. I have no doubt the NYT does the same thing.

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
6 years ago

When people open their marriage to others they have justified dropping a boundary for personal gain. If my husband ever wanted to “enlighten” me in the joys of fucking others, I would end the “marriage” and then embrace the “joy” of fucking others.

Open marriage? Hogwash. Literally.

sam
sam
6 years ago

After being cheated on in every relationship I’ve ever been in I am now in an open relationship. It is based on honesty and communication.

It isn’t about endless sexual partners, it is about understanding that, for us, trust, honesty and communication is the key.

I am bi- so I don’t want to have to pick a gender to have a relationship. If I do find another person I am interested in I would discuss this with my partner. We are more likely to add that relationship to our existing relationship, rather than me keeping that relationship separate from my current partner (polyamory). In three years of an open relationship neither of us have felt the need to have sex with anyone else. Being in an open relationship for us is about not putting restrictions on each other.

Clearly this is not for everyone. My rule is every person involved is on the same page, knows what is going on and honesty is a requirement. I will not get involved with a cheater. If they are single or in an open relationship for real, then I will want to have some communication with their partner to verify that this is ok with them.

So, no, this isn’t about endless sexual partners for me/us. Neither of us are focused on having sex or getting involved with other people. We simply decided that neither of us want monogamy so we will be honest with each other about situations that may come up.

Flame away lol but I am far more secure in my current relationship than any other relationship in the past. We trust each other and talk about everything. Rigorous honesty is the key for us.

Alternative relationships are far more common than you might think. Polyamory and open relationships can work and they do work for some people.

Polytastic
Polytastic
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

I’m with you Sam, (I’m also named Sam so that threw me for a hot minute). I’ve been in a non-monogamous relationship for three years and its the most loving relationship I’ve ever been in. We started poly, so no one ever lied to anyone else. We are always involved with our metamores, at the very least we know them and are friendly with them. We’re a bit different in that we didn’t foresee every possible scenario that could happen, but we deal with things as they come up.

Nobody should be coerced into a relationship they don’t want. Monogamists are perfectly fine wanting what they want. However, we don’t need to be told “we don;t know how to love.” Seriously, how can anyone tell anyone else how they feel? You can call out shitty behavior, but how does anyone else know how deeply I love or that its invalid?

Honestly the question the NYT article poses is “are open marriages happier” and I sincerely believe the articles intended conclusion is “no open marriages are terrible, cheating by another name, and holding the marriage hostage.” I don’t blame people for reacting so strongly if this is the case given for any type of open relationship, The people who do it well and are in it for the long haul aren’t featured on the front page of NYT.

Lulu
Lulu
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

You say that in the past, all your partners cheated on you. I don’t see how opening your relationship fixes the problem of dating people who are dishonest and don’t respect you. Relaxing your boundaries doesn’t mean you won’t encounter people willing to trample all over them anyway.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
6 years ago
Reply to  Lulu

Opening a relationship doesn’t mean relaxing your boundaries, in fact Sam’s post indicates the opposite, they actually communicate with one another on those in a very real and honest way.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Yep. In truth, I’m jealous. Sam’s communications with his/her partner actually conveys exactly the kind of respectful communication and transparency I wish *I* could have had with XH!

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
6 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

Okay. For you and Dat it would not be relaxing your boundaries. But, for me and many others here, that is exactly how we would feel. In other words, being in an open marriage or relationship regardless of honesty, would be relaxing our boundaries.

In a perfect world, everyone would be very open with what they would and would not accept in a personal relationship.

I now know to ask this question to prospective suitors. Thanks for the enlightenment.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago
Reply to  Lulu

I dunno, Lulu. Keeping up boundaries didn’t save my own marriage. Cheaters and liars are going to cheat and lie, no matter what the boundaries are.

Lulu
Lulu
6 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

But that’s exactly my point… cheaters and liars cheat. So if you’re continually being cheated on (like Sam) your solution should be to fix your “people picker” so you can avoid dating them, not lower your standards.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago
Reply to  Lulu

I think you’re doing Sam a disservice by implying she’s not in control of her own thoughts and feelings. I get the feeling this is something she also wants, not merely something she has “settled for.” Just because you don’t want it doesn’t mean other people don’t.

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
6 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

+1

sam
sam
6 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

I haven’t lowered my standards at all. I chose this relationship model. I haven’t settled. In fact, by requiring the level of honesty that is required in an open relationship (honestly with all people involved, not just with each other) I have actually raised my standards.

I get that you don’t get this Lulu, but just because you don’t approve or understand doesn’t mean I’m flawed or that other people who are in alternate relationships are flawed or stupid, etc.

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

Whatever floats your boat, Sam.

With all due respect, Polyamory is the new word for fucking around. Nothing has changed there since the beginning of time.

BeowulfSabrina
BeowulfSabrina
6 years ago
Reply to  CalamityJane

I totally agree with you. Need to stop reading comments now defending this “lifestyle”. It’s a trigger for me to re-enter the depths of discard day hell with this talk about how I’m so morally rigid and everyone is doing it-just get with the program already-after 26 years of supposedly happy monogamy. I can’t deal with it right now. I believe in cherishing my husband and being cherished and not letting him find other holes to get excited about. Sorry, not sorry. That’s how I feel. I think if you want to be polyamory, just go ahead and don’t be married. Then you all can do whatever you want. But leave me out of it.

Polytastic
Polytastic
6 years ago
Reply to  BeowulfSabrina

Open/Poly relationships aren’t an indictment against non-monogamy and they shouldn’t be used that way. This article takes cheaters and people holding their marriages hostage and calls it “open.” It’s not open, its abusive.

Sure there are smug assholes out there saying that non-monogamy is more “enlightened,” but assholes are assholes first and everything else is just to justify their assholeness. Open relationships are no protection against an abusive partner and deception is awful for whomever is experiencing it, poly or monogamous.

I’m in a poly relationship for three years and I hear comments floating around like “they don’t know the meaning of the love!” “You two need to settle down and get married already!” or by contrast “What man will marry these sluts now?” “What will happen ‘when’ they have children?”

I’ve seen some pretty awful marriages, but I’m expected to hold my piece out of politeness. I am not extended the same courtesy.

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
6 years ago
Reply to  Polytastic

+1,000,000

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
6 years ago
Reply to  BeowulfSabrina

@ BeowulfSabrina, I am one of those defending the lifestyle. It isn’t for me, not anymore (not in a long time), but I admit to defending it here. I just want to say, as someone on the “other side,” so to speak: You were treated horribly, no one should EVER have said to you that you are morally rigid or you were somehow not enlightened enough. Your ex is an asshole. You had every right to expect monogamy, since that is what you agreed upon, and your ex is the one who isn’t evolved. A deadly pox on him. You were the real one, the enlightened one who understands that one does not just simply browbeat another into changing the terms of an intimate agreement based on love and respect – and if someone does that, it is an act of abuse and aggression. You didn’t deserve that.

Hugs.

marriagedetective
marriagedetective
6 years ago

Thanks for confirming this LMM. I had much the same experience as BeowulfSabrina and was told that I wasn’t being sophisticated or progressive enough. Yet the AP was! It was deeply, deeply hurtful and ultimately humiliating. An open marriage/relationship was just one boundary for myself that I could never go over and I allowed so many other boundaries to be crossed in my relationship with my STBX. I do firmly believe that this is one of those ideas that should be set up at the very beginning of a relationship for it to work. Being 10 years in and then having your spouse come and demand a polyamorous relationship was changing the terms of the original marriage contract too much for me. Ultimately though, it wasn’t the idea of the open marriage that was so revolting, but the abuse that I received because I wouldn’t buy into the idea and that he could never come to respect that drove me out of the marriage.

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
6 years ago

Open relationships should be put on the table early in a relationship if that is what one person desires. To bring it up way past the point that I love yous have been exchanged, bodily fluids have been exchanged, VOWS have been exchanged, children are shared, credit is joint….gah. No. Just no. Maybe it can be handled maturely and respectfully, I’ll allow for that. But to browbeat someone to try and get them to agree? Vile. To abuse someone because they DON’T agree to your newfound #relationshipgoals? GTFO.

First rule of a healthy non-monogamous relationship – if it ain’t okay with your primary partner, it ain’t okay. And if you think THEY are weird for not thinking it is okay, you are an asshole.

ANC
ANC
6 years ago
Reply to  CalamityJane

So BE poly if you and your partners are honest and upfront about everything. Once deceit and deception creeps in, it is no longer poly. It’s unilateral = someone is cheating someone else.

If this situation works for people, then great. They should continue because it works for them. I can’t understand how it works with kids, because even Sister Wives get shafted watching someone else’s kids while the other two go out on a ‘date’.

I’m not wired this way and I see no real distinction between poly, open marriage and swinging. None of which fit my future relationship goals.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago
Reply to  ANC

Well, ANC, it’s fine if you aren’t wired that way. That’s your choice and your freedom.

Clearly, Sam & his partner have worked it out and seem to have a happy open relationship — as I said in posts above, I’ve not ever known them to work, from stories of friends who have been involved in them — but clearly Sam and his partner are open and committed to each other but have made allowances for desires outside a traditional relationship and it’s working for them, desires that BOTH of them seem to have and are honest about. Personally, I think it’s a refreshingly mature approach to a committed relationship to one another and I admire them in the same way I admire anyone who takes a conscious and mindful approach to their relationship.

Not everyone thinks about sex in the same way. I’ll just speak for myself and say it doesn’t have to be a big committed emotional thing. If I feel like someone is really looking for a relationship, and I’m just looking for sex, then I honor that person’s feelings and won’t get involved. Similarly, I don’t feel people should judge me for engaging in a consensual physical act and not being emotionally involved.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
6 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

Agree NWB

ANC
ANC
6 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

Not judging anyone in an honest relationship or casual thing. I did spend a decade+ doing the casual thing, the non-exclusive dating thing and various committed relationships.

My comment above is a personal headscratching thought about how would this work with kids? Seriously. I want to hear how it worked in a healthy poly or honest open relationship. My assumption is it would take very emotionally sound people to raise kids like this. There was a comment above about an open marriage couple who argued over who got to go out and who had to stay and watch the baby. That doesn’t sound healthy to me.

I’m certainly not all over Sam for describing her relationship. Honesty is where you form trust. Trust creates the foundation. She has this in her relationship. Can’t say that existed in my marriage :).

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
6 years ago
Reply to  ANC

I am curious about this, as well. My Husband #1 and I did not have children. We did not plan on having children, either. I have two young children myself now, and would not have an open relationship if you paid me – lol! Raising kids is so taxing at times, I can only imagine I’d get quite pissy if I was at home with an angry three-year old while Daddy was out with the guys and possibly hooking up and having fun while I got yelled at for not putting the apple juice in the right cup. No, thank you.

For me, it wouldn’t work with kids AT ALL.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago

Well, in a balanced relationship, Daddy would also get yelled at regarding the apple juice while YOU were out with a playmate. IMO.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago
Reply to  ANC

Mine either, and thank you for clarifying. — I agree it would take a very healthy set of psychological skills to navigate raising kids in the relationship. But I don’t know that “watching the baby” is any harder to figure out for folks like Sam than for … well, I have a friend who just finished a monthlong sabbatical as scientist in residence for a remote community while her husband stayed home and watched the kids, the dogs, the chickens… That takes some navigating, as well. Similarly, I would take care of the house whenever XH wanted to go on some big adventure, like a several day canoe trip or big ski thing. — In all of these situations, if someone feels they’re getting the short end of the stick over & over again, then it’s not healthy. I don’t know that I think either parent going on a date is much different, logistically.

sam
sam
6 years ago
Reply to  CalamityJane

No, polyamory is about relationships. I understand that there is a lot of prejudice about this, but if you actually talked to people in poly relationships you would understand that you are very wrong.

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

I believe that polyamory is about “non exclusive” relationships. You have your number 1 man or woman or gender neutral romantic sexual love interest and it is mutually agreed that you can enter into another similar relationship (your number 2 man or woman or gender neutral) or another (your number 3 etc., etc.) while remaining in a non-exclusive relationship with your number 1. I get it.

But, it is not completely fluid and all lovey dovey because there are usually rules one must abide by and people change, grow, mature, get sick or prefer to be exclusive, decide to go straight or be bi or be gay and HOPEFULLY they are honest to number 1 when the changes take place. But then again, they can honestly say, they weren’t sure at the time and that’s why they didn’t say anthing but now that it’s out in the open….arrrrgggggggg.gg……

Sorry folks, to me this is an old story with a new name.

Chumpalongtime
Chumpalongtime
6 years ago
Reply to  CalamityJane

I’m with Calamity on this one. New name , same game. First DD of The Hemeroid was with a bi-nurse married to a doctor and they had a polymorous relationship. She, the nurse, had no problem with rubbing my lack of sophistication in my face- until I told her I had copies of her very graphic and disgusting texts.
The texts were pure smut , nothing to do with friendship, growth , yet they ( nurse and my ex) felt they were so above me and enlightened. My husband And she laughingly discussed including me in their sexual escapades, but he drew the line at that ( he said nobly).

I am so ashamed. I married someone who had so little respect for me that he allowed anther woman discuss ( in the vilest terms) what she would do with me. Sexually. And laughed about it. Together.
Yes it is about sex- period.

Polytastic
Polytastic
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I’m a 20-something in a long term poly relationship. We started poly so we were both honest and open from the get go. I love my relationship and our partners and our life together.

Part of the reason I started reading this blog is because married people come to poly gatherings looking for affair partners and lie not only to their spouse, but to a non-monogamous individual starting a relationship in good faith. “Fucking around” aside, deception is awful and abusive when it happens to a poly person as well….and make no mistake being poly or open is no defense against getting involved with an abuser, Figuring how to ethically deal with this issue when it comes up, how to be respectful to a deceived spouse, how to sniff out cheaters looking to exploit honest, though unconventional, people is a high priority for me.

I would never want to be an instrument of deception and cheating. I would never want to hurt someone the way so many people on this blog have been hurt. Being aware of how much pain cheating causes is important, but also being able to recognize shady behavior to avoid being in that situation is vital. We don’t deserve to be treated like shit either.

Choosing polyamory is not an indictment against monogamy and honesty and trust are still foundations of our relationships. Chump Lady is pretty open minded concerning poly and open marriages and that’s why I keep reading.

sam
sam
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Yes we both feel cherished. I am treated better in this relationship than any other relationship I’ve ever had.

We aren’t “dating other people” or even looking for other sexual partners or relationships. We are in a committed relationship with each other. We are just honest with each other that situations may present themselves in the future and that we are open to the possibilities.

As I said, this is about honesty, trust and communication, not f**king around. Neither one of us has had a relationship or sexual relationship with anyone else in three years.

The misperception is that being in an open relationship is primarly about sex. Maybe for some, but not for us and not for the people we know who are in open relationships.

As for the details, we are in our 50s. My partner has adult children and grandchildren. I do not have children. Since we are in a committed relationship we handle the time constraints just like you do. We prioritize what needs to be done and make sure we make time for each other.

As I said, I am bisexual. If I do meet someone of the opposite gender as my partner and I was interested in perhaps getting to know that person better, I would discuss this with my partner first. No hiding, no lying, no cheating. I would also be completely honest with the new person about our situation. If they weren’t comfortable with it I would simply let it go.

I get that this is fairly new in terms of social discussion, but I assure you we know many people in open relationships and they are doing fine. Do they break up? Sure. So do monogamous relationships.

Again, yes we feel cherished. Yes we deal with the same issues as people in monogamous relationships. Yes we have time constraints. No, this isn’t about f**king every person we run into.

ICan SeeTheMehComing!
ICan SeeTheMehComing!
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

Sam – Please update us when your relationship has run the rigorous honesty gamut after one of you has had sex outside your relationship and wishes to continue doing so.

I may have misread, but your polyamorous relationship has been monogamous to date.

sam
sam
6 years ago

We have both had sex independent of each other with other people while we have been together. We have also has sex with one particular person together. Just in the recent past we haven’t found other people to include.

I do understand the cynicism, but the the bitter judgement is really hard to watch. Yikes. If it isn’t for you and/or you don’t understand, fine. But name calling (by some in the comments) and bitterness don’t seem appropriate.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

Agreed. +1, Sam.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

Appreciate your post Sam. I believe that a poly group family could actually cope better with all the things adulting requires, including crisis if everyone is living together and all in on the relationship. The perceptions people have seems driven by not differentiating between ‘swinging’, ‘open relationships’ and ‘polyamory’. In my view, deception is the betrayal no matter how you set up your relationships. I also think ‘swingers’ have colored the lens for alternate relationships, in a bad way. And of course cheaters who change the rules in mid monogamy don’t help either, as is obvious here.

Creativerational
Creativerational
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

I love this. It sounds honest.

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

I’m understand you, sam. See my above novel.

I have friends currently who spent more than four years within polyamorous guidelines because the guy is bisexual, and his girl didn’t want him to cut off that part of himself while they were dating. They got married after four years and closed their relationship at his urging at that point because they planned on having children. That raises the stakes significantly, putting a lot more practical pressure on both people to put the kids first (hard to be there to help out with a crying baby if you are out on a date with an extraneous boyfriend or girlfriend).

They are now 17 years in to their relationship (4 poly years and 13 married, monogamous years), have three children, and are the among the happiest couples I know.

Non-monomagous relationships come in all shapes, sizes and arrangements. Honesty is key.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

That’s pretty awesome, Sam. You & your partner must be pretty amazing people, indeed, to have come this far and to honor each other’s wishes. I’m glad you found each other in this mixed up crazy world.

GlassHalfFull
GlassHalfFull
6 years ago

Not gonna flame.

It’s all down to ONE question for me, all of this justification is….”Methinks thou dost protest too much”.

If you can answer this one question in the affirmative, with your SO sitting right there, then I have zero problem with you.

“Does your partner know that you are involved IN ANY WAY with someone that is not him/her?”

If the answer is NO or there is any hedging, then you are a fucking cake eating douchebag cheater of the most common sort. Bringing children and time taken and justifying why this works and that doesn’t work and rules and bullshit? Just that. BULLSHIT.

If you can have your SO sit next to you, in front of a third party (preferably a divorce attorney) and say, “This was known and agreed upon when I met her/him, he/she married me with the understanding and open communication that there would be others in the relationship and I have been honest/open at all times with my spouse.” I think your SO is an idiot for selling themselves so short, to be honest.

Seriously? You just think that much of yourself that you have to spread the joy that is you?

My ex said something on the line of, “Well, if I’d have TOLD YOU about so-and-so, you would have gone into a jealous rage! You wouldn’t have understood!” Um, yeah….because you are stealing from me and lying, asshole. You steal my time, my trust and my effort. You steal from our kids, my family and my self esteem. You are a LIAR.

I have never, ever met anybody in any type of situation like this who tells the complete truth about it. Never. And it’s always a power play. It’s always the naughtiness and the dirty secrets that give them a hard-on to do it. Until they get caught, then it is blameshifting to YOU that you wouldn’t have understood.

Yeah, I understood alright. I understood that you’re a liar and a thief and my life is a-okay without the joy that is you. Go spread your….whatever it is you spread….to someone else.

Newlady15
Newlady15
6 years ago
Reply to  GlassHalfFull

This x1000

Doingme
Doingme
6 years ago
Reply to  Newlady15

Sam

“Clearly this is not for everyone. My rule is every person involved is on the same page, knows what is going on and honesty is a requirement. I will not get involved with a cheater. If they are single or in an open relationship for real, then I will want to have some communication with their partner to verify that this is ok with them.”

I respect the fact you meet the partner. However, if it’s not just about sex as you stated I’m assuming you maintain a long term relationship with the person.

Trust is developed over time. If monogamy didn’t work for you then I question why commit to a primary partner through marriage? What is the point?

It appears you made this choice and communicated an open marriage from the get go. Regardless of your lifestyle choice I believe you are sincere and I see nothing that screams of deception.

I was approached by a man who was interested in booking up and then introduced me to his girlfriend. It didn’t offend me in the least because it’s the lifestyle they chose. It’s just not for me in particular.

While you say it’s not about sex I wonder what it is about?

Skinwalker
Skinwalker
6 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

>>>While you say it’s not about sex I wonder what it is about?<<<

Good question, Doingme.

I don't know why people say that stuff either.

Isn't that the whole gist of non-manogamy?

If having non-exclusive sex in the marriage or relationship is not the opposite of monogamy, then what is monogamy?

Or when someone builds a huge case to defend themselves (even when nobody is ever on the offense) for having sex with strangers, but also describes themselves as, "… those of us for whom sex isn't a big deal …"

It's like the "Puritan" past is so lodged in the back of our minds through history, that people feel a need to defend their sexual behavior while also "non-defending" it, if you will.

It just goes to show how societal "group think" of the past lingers on and affects those in the present who are living a different paradigm so that they are compelled to point out they're not sexual deviants, for lack of a better term.

I do get that people are not satyrs and nymphs, but these topics (non-monogamy, casual sex with strangers, etc.) are primarily concerned with sexual behavior. Or …?

TY to the people sharing your experience.

AFA I am concerned, you don't need to defend your sexual choices, but it's disingenuous to also claim that sex has nothing to do with it.

I think people have more trouble swallowing that than how you personally choose to express your sexuality.

Polytastic
Polytastic
6 years ago
Reply to  Skinwalker

Non-monogamy is not exclusively about sex, it;s about relationships, sexual and emotional. Monogamy is only used for sexual conduct. People on this blog talk about emotional affairs all the time as well as sexual affairs.

Non-exclusive sex is a defining characteristic, but its not the only characteristic, and yes, lots of people paint us as sexual deviants and liars, so there’s a lot of needing to assert that we’re normal people first, just simply making different choices and view things a bit differently. Different perspectives on certain issues is not a carte blanch to justify being terrible to people. Monogamy and Polyamory are not sticks to beat people with and they aren’t meant to shame people.

Polytastic
Polytastic
6 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

There are lots of reasons non-monogamous people choose to get married. Being able to visit their partner in the hospital for one. Inheritance, life insurance, the sheer privilege of being able to take care of your partner the way any married monogamous person can. All those rights that the LGBT community fought so hard for in marriage equality still count for non-monogamous life partners. Ideally it could be extended to poly triads and polycules, but you get my drift. My partner and I are two different nationalities, I have dual citizenship. If we move to another country, we need to be married or risk being separated. Sometimes its a privilege NOT to be married, depending on where you are from or where you are living.

sam
sam
6 years ago
Reply to  GlassHalfFull

Yes, we both have been attracted to other people and we have talked to each other about it.

I’m not ‘protesting’ I’m simply saying that any judgement about this without know actual people involved in alternative relationships is conjecture on your part.

Since me sharing my actual experience and the experiences of people I know is being misconstrued as “protesing” or “defending” or “justifying” I will now bow out.

Enjoy your discussion, but it would be a more fruitful discussion if you simply listened and learned instead of calling bullsh*t on things you don’t understand.

Mjo
Mjo
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

Hi Sam, I’m just curious, what is it that you are seeking in this type of lifestyle as opposed to a monogamous one?

sam
sam
6 years ago
Reply to  Mjo

Another misperception is that people in alternative relationships want different things than people who want/are in monogamous relationships.

We all want the same things. It takes the same stuff to may any relationship work

People are seeing differences when in the big picture it isn’t that different at all.

Mjo
Mjo
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

I’m sorry, I still don’t understand. And by the way, my question is from a non-judgmental view.

Maybe if I rephrase it to, what are you gaining from a multi-relationship? What need are you fulfilling?

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

I hope you won’t bow out Sam. Thanks for your contribution.

sam
sam
6 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Thanks to you as well Dat!

FTR I am a female ‘Sam’ not a male ‘Sam.’ I’m very curious if that changes people’s perceptions of what I’ve written lol 😉 Are females who choose an open relationship or poly relationship viewed differently than males who want the same? Are bi- females viewed differently than bi- males?

I made my choice prior to finding my current relationship partner so I was not forced into anything by a cheater. I made a choice for myself. I found someone who shared my point of view.

We are doing great and going strong and I’ve never been in a more honest relationship in my life.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

“I found someone who shared my point of view.” — Thanks for the inspiration. I hope to do the same, someday.

And I’d love to explore the notion whether you’re female or male has any impact on a person’s bias toward your perspective, but the dogs are begging me to “STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER!!!” 🙂

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

You’re probably not still reading along, Sam, but if you are, I just want to thank you for sharing your story. As I said above, I admire that you and your partner have found a way to find happiness in this world, with each other, by being honest with each other and with others outside your relationship. I wish you the best of luck living a long and happy life together.

sam
sam
6 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

Thank NW and LMM. Yes, I was curious so I am reading. Just want to thank you both.

Cheaters and liars cheat and lie regardless of their relationship status.

I’m not a cheater, I’m not a liar and I don’t get involved with cheaters and liars.

The type of relationship I am in requires rigorous honesty. So does monogamy. Relationships all require the same things.

I decided I was going to find partners that wanted the same level of honesty I do. I decided on an open relationship model for many reasons and none of those reasons are about sex. I only dated people who wanted non-monogamy. I will only get involved with people in the future who want non-monogamy.

Non-monogamy requires the same relationship skills monogamous relationships do.

I won’t say more, just thanks again NW and LMM for understanding.

Tempest
Tempest
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Newsflash: I have deleted posts with name calling. Please don’t make me do it again as I have better things to do with my time than chastise adults on how to have a civil conversation.

sam
sam
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

There is no ‘pick me’ when everyone is on the same page. When everyone agrees. When there is no deception.

If one person needs more of “xyz” at any given point or there are things that need to be attended to then emotionally mature people should be able to work it out.

I want the best for my partner and my partner wants the best for me. If that includes adding someone to our relationship (poly) or one or both of us having a relationship with someone independent of our relationship then that is fine with us.

There is no competition in my mind. I don’t need reassurance. When my partner is with someone else I don’t compare or wonder where I stand. I know where I stand. My partner and I are the primary relationship. We are in a committed relationship. We will both work towards that goal.

If you trust someone then you trust their judgment. I trust that my partner will be honest and that we will remain in a committed, honest and open relationship. My partner feels the same about me.

If it doesn’t work eventually, oh well. I do not know one couple, monogamous or not, who isn’t divorced. Realistically there is no way one person can be everything to another or meet all of another person’s needs.

I suspect that bisexual people may be more inclined to see this from my perspective. I wouldn’t want my partner to have to give up part of themselves to be in a relationship with me. My partner doesn’t expect me to give up part of myself. We see our relationship as open, but it could evolve into a poly situation if we were to find another compatible person or two to add to our relationship.

It does take a shift in perspective. There can be no jealousy or sense of ownership. Trust needs to be the foundation. Communication must be paramount. Honesty must be rigorous.

I do personally find the “sister wives” television situation hypocritical. He gets multiples and the wives don’t. That is unfair and patriarchal. Equality should be the goal. I find him immature, childish and ridiculous.

Steve
Steve
4 years ago
Reply to  sam

To Sam,You don’t know one couple that’s not divorced? Amazing I know many many couples. No wonder why you prefer this lifestyle. I’m sorry I am sure you have been hurt. Very sorry for that. I have been with my wife 31 years 27 married. I met her when she was 22 and we have a 22 year old son. We actually had a good laugh about that. So I am 58 now. I think that is pretty successful monogamous marriage. Yes we have had ups and downs but yes we know how to communicate to and we no we have not ever slept with anyone else. I’m not trying to down grade your style. I just wanted you to know that some people in your age range stay happily married. And yes we still have an exciting romantic sexual life. I’m not here to judge. I believe in infinite love also but not infinite sharing sexual intamcy. I think what most people here do not understand or should I say is the thinking is that sharing sexual intamcy cheapens it. And you don’t see in that way. And neither side will ever understand each. Just my 2 cents.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

+2

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

^^^Yup 🙂

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

Thank YOU for your courage. This isn’t the easiest place to share such a story as your own. (Ask me how I know!) 🙂