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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 05:00 PM
Original message
Why is fidelity important?
Edited on Mon Nov-03-03 05:29 PM by Xithras
Ok, lots of sex and relationship threads on the board right now, so I thought I'd toss this one out: Why do you feel that fidelity and monogamy is important in a relationship? If you don't, why not? Just about every person I've met feels that fidelity is important in a relationship, and the "pain" felt when someone discovers that their significant other has cheated is nearly universal, but I've never been able to really wrap my mind around the reason WHY we feel this way. Is it simply cultural, or is there something deeper to it?

I don't want to know HOW you'd respond if you found out your "other half" was cheating...I want to know WHY you would respond that way. I'm just doing a little research here :)

So nobody misunderstands this post: I'm not advocating anything here, I just feel that our cultural memes need a little poking from time to time in order to maintain their validity. My personal take is that the need for monogamy is an ingrained artifact of our western Judeo-Christian traditions. We all grew up with a mon & dad, mom & boyfriend, dad & girlfriend, dad & dad, mom & mom, saw friends parents together, etc. I believe that growing up in that environment imprinted a belief about what is "normal", i.e. two people together, and that this belief persists in many western people in the subconcious desire to "find that right person to grow old with". Other civilizations today and in history tell us that dedicated, monogamus relationships aren't biologically driven, with many cultures embracing the concepts of polygamy, polyamory, or doing away with the concept of marriage altogether.

So is monogamus marriage simply a cultural artifact? Or is there more to it?
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4323Lopez Donating Member (307 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. Cheating is wrong
Edited on Mon Nov-03-03 05:17 PM by 4323Lopez
Sleeping with someone else when you're involved with another isn't just gross, its dangerous in this day in age. Would you honestly subject the person you love to someone else's genital bodily fluids over a crush?!? No way.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Isn't that what condoms are for?
n/t
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4323Lopez Donating Member (307 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. yes, but...
You could probably still get warts and herpes? ewwwwwww.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. So do you also advocate absinence until marriage?
The only way to completely avoid transferring sexual diseases to your partner (or catching one from a partner) is for everyone to abstain from sex until some type of permanent commitment is in place. Without abstinence until marriage, the "you could get diseases" argument for monogamy just rings a little hollow to me :)
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4323Lopez Donating Member (307 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #11
32. I'm not that extreme or hollow.
You're taking it way to the other side of the pendulum based on what I said, just because I don't believe in cheating and can give a strong reason why, doesn't mean that I haven't been in past relationships where cheating hasn't occurred, its just that this is the main reason that I choose to turn to remember to "watch my step". You never know who you meet and what they've been into, haven't you seen the herpes commercials, those people looked like everyday Joes to me. Having a family later is important to me, I just want myself and the person I am with to take sex somewhat seriously, lots of what you can pick up these days can adversely affect your plans later...
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think it's a feeling of having something stolen
Sex within a relationship is supposed to be something special and private for those two people. Cheating is like letting someone else into the relationship without permission.
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THUNDER HANDS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 05:11 PM
Response to Original message
3. because
cold beds suck.

Feel free to use that in any of your philosophy classes, kids.

:)
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ant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 05:12 PM
Response to Original message
4. I'm not sure that it's fideltiy but honesty that matters
There are people who can be happy with open relationships, and I think what hurts is not so much the cheating but the lying - it's a betrayal. You thought one thing of this person and then s/he turned out to be something else. It would still hurt, I guess, though maybe not as much, or in a different way, if your significant other said, "I'd like to see other people, what do you think?" I'd be hurt if I heard that, but I'd have a hard time justifying any anger or resentment, things I think are reasonable when someone's been lying to you.

Personally, I do prefer monogamy. I think I'm too much the jealous type to handle an open relationship, and it seems some amount of intimacy must be lost when you're carrying on relationships with multiple people at once. Now that I've written that I can see how it might not make total sense - it's not like intimacy is a zero sum game, and certainly my being friends with Jane doesn't take away from my friendship with Mary, every relationship is unique in some way, etc.....Hmm, interesting question. Can't really say I know the answer, I guess, not even for myself. I guess I just like the idea of me and my partner together, no one else. The fact that it's exclusive makes it more special somehow. Partners in crime and all that.
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1monster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 05:12 PM
Response to Original message
5. Why? Because we all feel the need to have at least one relationship
where we can believe that we are the be all and end all for someone else. And in finding that there has been an infidelity, we are threatened, we lose that secure feeling that having an exclusive relationship can give.

Then again, in today's world, a non-exclusive sexual relationship can bring some really nasty incurable diseases in its wake...
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
6. I think knowledge and consent enter into it.
If everyone is cool with whatever the arrangements are then go for it. It isn't cheating then. But it's so seldom the right set of circumstances happen that supports this that I'd say the majority of us are destined to be monogamous and not cheat on our spouses.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. My wife and I have an arrangement
She can cheat on me for Brad Pitt
I can cheat on her for Halle Berry

& we'll both understand
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 05:29 PM
Response to Original message
10. Good question
I guess that it is important between my husband and I because it is what distinguishes our relationship that we have with each other from that with others. It allows us to have close friendships with others without feeling threatened since we agree not to have sex (or other physical, sexual acts) with other people. We are both introverted types who are very emotional about people who we are closest to. I think even if we agreed that having sex with other people would be alright, sex with others would be destructive to our relationship and our relationships with other people with they were our friends as opposed to picking up a total stranger at a bar for a one night stand. In other words, we would both get hurt.
If I found out my husband was cheating, I'd be hurt but I don't really know how I'd respond. When strong emotions are involved, sometimes my thinking is temporarily suspended. I'd be inclined to leave him, but since I am so emotionally close to him, that might be difficult. I'd probably end up cheating on him to get even. I know that would not be productive, but that's probably what I'd end up doing.
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izzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
12. You give your word and that should mean something to your self.
What you do in your mind and how you think about your self is very important to what you are.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Only if you're married
I've never heard of two people verbally promising to be sexually monogamus during a relationship before marriage, and yet I've seen people emotionally devastated and/or furious after discovering that their boyfriend/girlfriend has cheated on them. If no word was given, why do we automatically assume that the partner will be faithful? Where does that assumption come from? Is it valid?

Even in marriage, the "forsaking all others" line is more a formalization of tradition than anything else. For nearly all couples, the assumption that their boyfriend or girlfriend will forsake everyone else begins LONG before the marriage or proposal...in fact, it usually begins shortly after the first date.
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. I do think that things get "serious" too quickly
I know that my other posts in this threads have endorsed monagamy and fidelity, but I think that things in American dating do get too serious too quickly. By that I mean, it is assumed that you will only date one person if you agree to go out with them on the next date. Maybe, you can date a couple people for the first few dates at most. After that, you are suppose to be "with" them. I think that often it is a little bit too much to be expected to make a temporary committment to someone after knowing them for only a few weeks or even months. I think that by endorsing this model of dating, we are setting people up to be emotionally devestated. I don't know what a good alternative would be. It seems like the choices are either promiscuity if you have sex with all your dates immediately or after a short time or not having sex until you are engaged. I am not sure which would be better considering the diseases out there, but also considering that most people get engaged and married long after they become sexually mature as opposed to 200 years ago. I am just saying that I think that such temporary committments cause a lot of unecessary hurt.
I think that many couples do verbally agree to be faithful to one another or talk at least about it. My husband and I agreed to be monagamous shortly after "going together". My friend told me of an incident involving his wife making out with another guy a couple weeks into their relationship after which they agreed that they were "togther" and another such incident would result in them not being "together". I think that every couple should talk about these things, preferably even before having sex.
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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #14
23. Huh?
"I've never heard of two people verbally promising to be sexually monogamus during a relationship before marriage..."

Every longterm relationship I've been in I've had a verbal agreement with my partner to be sexually exclusive. That was one of the considerations that went into determining if we wanted to be a couple. And that is the case with most of the other couples that I have known in my life -- fidelity is one of the things that makes it a committed relationship.

Fidelity is damn important to me because my health is potentially at the mercy of my partner. I decided during the herpes explosion that only a monogamus relationship would work for me -- today, there's a heck of a lot more out there to worry about.

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TopesJunkie Donating Member (979 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #14
41. Huh?
You've never heard of people making the promise to be fully monogamous before marriage? You're kidding, right?

Heck, in this world, people make that promise and mean it to last forever without marriage. The choose monogamy without the legal ties. Same thing, if you ask me. Marriage is not some magical construct. You can be much more than married without going through the ceremony.
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radwriter0555 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 05:39 PM
Response to Original message
13. It's about commitment to the relationship. Respect for the person
you're paired up with. The knowledge that the person meets the needs most important to you. Commitment to the family unit by knowing you won't violate the trust they have in you.

By remaining monogomous you commit to staying with the family unit and not moving to another cave, so to speak. It fosters a sense of emotional dependence you have to be willing not to betray.

I always point back to the concept that our cave dwelling ancestors only remained monogomous until the offspring were about 7 years old, when they could fend for themselves. Hence the history of the 7 year itch, when humans move on to new relationships and different mates for propegation of the species. It occurs even now, interestingly enough. Divorces tend to occur overwhelmingly when the youngest child is around age 7.

We pair up when we're young to propegate. We pair up later for companionship and friendship.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. Marriage and fidelity aren't the same.
Note that we require fidelity from boyfriends and girlfriends with whom no permanent bond exists, and that we're often very upset when that desire for fidelity is violated. Also realize that many societies around the world, most famously the Muslims across the Middle East and Africa, embrace BOTH marriage AND an open sex life by allowing multiple sexual partners within the marriage bond.

In western society, marriage and monogamy are related, but a global look at societies shows that they are in no way dependent on each other.
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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #17
27. Open sex life for whom?
"Also realize that many societies around the world, most famously the Muslims across the Middle East and Africa, embrace BOTH marriage AND an open sex life by allowing multiple sexual partners within the marriage bond."

The husbands? If the women don't have the EXACT same sexual freedom the men have, then that is not some great cultural indicator, just the same ol' guys-choose-not-to-keep-it-in-their-pants crap.

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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. Not quite
Islam has the same prohibitions about unmarried sex as Christianity, and most Muslims take those prohibitions more seriously than most Christians. Muslim men don't just get to bang every woman with a well cut hajib, he has to marry her and dedicate himself to financially supporting her and her children first. A man who takes on more wives than he can support will likely find his wives taken away by his local church elders. A man who screws a woman out of wedlock may find himself castrated.

I'm not holding Islam up as some pinnacle example of marriage, I'm just using it as an institution with BILLIONS of believers who eschew the need for monogamy.
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corarose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
15. Why would you get married if you were gong to play around?
Stay single and go out with other people. Cheating is Cheating.
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
16. Monagamus marriage works well for introverts
There is nothing scary to me about being with one person for the rest of my life. If I were not allowed to have other friends and be emotionally monagamus, this would be scary though. It is comforting though having someone who makes a vow to always be with you when you prefer close relationships as opposed to having lots of aquaintances. I suppose that this introvert fullfillment could be made by having a close friend or two. American society tends not to value such friendships though. For it to work, your friend must feel as strongly as you do even when his or her family, other friends, romantic partner, workplace, ect. is pulling him or her away from your close relationship. American society values marriage and understands you placing your spouse above everything else, but not your friend(s). Because of these outside demands, you may lose close friends or at least the closeness and be hurt. With marriage, your closeness is values by society and the other person has made a legal agreement with you and often a religious vow. That is comforting to introvert types like my husband and I.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. So you agree that it's strictly societal?
Also, I took from your post a view that our society is flawed in that we can only be guranteed a lifelong friend and partner by marrying them. To extend that, would you say that a polyamorous relationship (where you can "marry" several people for life) is actually superior to our current "you only get one person" western societal norm?
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #18
26. We're social creatures though
I guess that marriage is societal. It is more likely to result in having a lifelong partner. It is also more likely to result in having someone to help raise one's child. I suppose that it originated as a way to help a mother raise her child. That is the evolutionary view. Woman mated with men that would stay around. Men wanted women to only mate with them if they were to stay around and help raise children. They did not want to take care of children that were not theirs. Alright, we are past that now. There are arguements whether or not children benefit greatly by having two parents or if the same goal can be accomplished by having family and friends help raise the child instead.
As far as polyamorous, I think that there could be advantages to that kind of relationship but only if all the partners really were committed to each other. I think that most people are still attuned to the two people only relationship. The relationship could fall apart if one partner preferred one partner and jealousy entered into the relationship. You would also have to worry about, in addition to helping keep one partner happy, to helping keep all partners happy with you and each other. There would be many legal problems with inheritance, cases where one or more partners wanted out of the marriage, insurance benefits, parental rights, and spousal rights. These legal problems could perhaps be resolved but I don't see that happening any time soon. I think that it could work and a successful polyamorous relationship would probably be rather happy minus the discrimination that such families would face.
Yes, I do think that there is something wrong with this being the only way to have a guarenteed lifelong friend.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 06:03 PM
Response to Original message
20. Why is fidelity important? Why is fidelity important?!
Excuse me, I'm about to hyperventilate here. Fidelity is important <huh, uh, huh-uh-huh> because . . . <gasp> because . . .

You get crappy sound otherwise!!!

<Calms self, reads thread. Realizes what it's really about. Turns red.>

Never mind.
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Character Assassin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
21. If you take an oath, you stick to it.
Other civilizations today and in history tell us that dedicated, monogamus relationships aren't biologically driven, with many cultures embracing the concepts of polygamy, polyamory, or doing away with the concept of marriage altogether.

Please point out one other 'civilization' today that isn't monogamy-based.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #21
28. Uhhh....Islam is the most apparent
Depending on which numbers you believe, there are between 1.5 billion and 2 billion Muslims in the world, roughly 1/4 to 1/3 of the human population of this planet. Of that population, nearly all believe that Muhammed's statements about the acceptability of multiple partner marriages (polygamus, non-monogamus) have merit, and a large percentage actively practice those beliefs. Until most of the "primitive" world was "Christianized" a few hundred years back, there were far more societies that practiced it, and there are still others today which maintain their open beliefs about marriage and committment.

Historically, the Jewish people were the first on record to believe that sex was part of marriage and a sacred institution between two people dedicated to each other. They passed this belief on to Christianity, which then passed it on to western civilization. Even the Greeks and Romans, who we historically hold up as peak examples of early civilised behavior, were notoriously sexually open until they converted to Christianity.
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Character Assassin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. Umm.....perhaps I wasn't clear enough
Depending on which numbers you believe, there are between 1.5 billion and 2 billion Muslims in the world, roughly 1/4 to 1/3 of the human population of this planet. Of that population, nearly all believe that Muhammed's statements about the acceptability of multiple partner marriages (polygamus, non-monogamus) have merit, and a large percentage actively practice those beliefs. Until most of the "primitive" world was "Christianized" a few hundred years back, there were far more societies that practiced it, and there are still others today which maintain their open beliefs about marriage and committment.

No, polygamy is fine in Islam, but the man may not stray away from his wives (nor they from he). Fidelity is still part and parcel of the arrangement. Cheating is not officially tolerated, nor is it in any other major civilization today.

As to societies from the primitive world, they are hardly civilizations.

Historically, the Jewish people were the first on record to believe that sex was part of marriage and a sacred institution between two people dedicated to each other. They passed this belief on to Christianity, which then passed it on to western civilization. Even the Greeks and Romans, who we historically hold up as peak examples of early civilised behavior, were notoriously sexually open until they converted to Christianity.


Quite.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. I guess I wasn't clear either
The point of my asking these questions isn't to draw the distinction between monogamy and fidelity, but to inquire as to the source of the western belief that relationships should only be between two people.

Of course, the ultimate point of all this was to illustrate another belief that has nothing at all to do with sex, marriage, or dating: That even those of us who are supposedly "enlightened" and who readily disavow the imposition of religious morals onto an areligious society readily believe and enforce belief systems with religious foundations in the guise of protecting "normalcy". How many of our societies presuppositions about the "proper" order of the world stem from ancient religious customs that no longer have any foundations in reality or reasons for existing, but simply continue because "that's the way things are?"

As I said in my first post, I believe that regularly testing our societal memes is good for us...it allows us to determine which practices we really need, and which are merely holding us back from acheiving something greater. This entire post was meant as a thought exercise, nothing more :)
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 06:11 PM
Response to Original message
22. So you can hear all of the instruments clearly
oops...nevermind
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #22
29. What a lame joke!
And I'm so ashamed I made it first.
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #29
36. Sorry, didn't mean to steal (I'm not Milton Berle or Robin Williams)
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indigo32 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
24. It's about respect and caring
somebodys gonna get hurt no matter how you look at it when you are cheating.
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salmonhorse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
25. "Why is fidelity important?"?
Between enlightended partners there is none but fidelity. In your face: false witness, coveting your neighbor's partner, lust in your heart infidelity is far more important in that it is far more hurtful. Unless of course you are some writhing slut of a Zion whore stuck in a scene from The Matrix on some cutting room floor somewhere. Most of the 10 commandments are forms of protectorate' of the human heart in my opinion. They call for an enlghtened response to human relationships; an understanding of the hurt brought on by not playing fair so as to say.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #25
35. So you answer is: Because God says so?
Just checking.
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salmonhorse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-03 01:37 AM
Response to Reply #35
47. Hey...you wanna lie, cheat, steal...
...destroy the lives of the people who pretend to love you that's your business. But make no mistake about it: it's your business. It is otherwise what? "fidelity is un-important..." by your definition/summation, "...and sucks because I say so..."?

Good night sweet prince. It need not be me but some other. With a moniker such as your's turn not your back to your jilted lover. Where lies the human heart; she/he may have no more words for you, My Dear, only points.
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alwynsw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
34. I know that i certainly don't want a stereo with poor sound
or a wife that needs someone besides me to be fulfilled.
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geniph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
37. I'm not monogamous, but I am faithful to our agreements
Our relationship is based not on mutual monogamy, but mutual honesty. Cheating would be lying to my husband, or him lying to me, or hiding another relationship. Monogamy doesn't work for either of us. Principled polyamory does. The other partner has veto power at any time for any reason, and our agreement is that the primary relationship always comes first.

Monogamy is not the only way that works. Many more people than you think are polyamorous, and many consider themselves married to multiple partners. I think people would be really shocked if they knew how many of their friends and neighbors are non-monogamous by choice.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. If monogamy is cultural...
...what was it that allowed you and your husband to overcome those cultural taboos and embrace a more open relationship? Was there a concious realization that societal boundaries are largely artificial, or did you always beleive the way you do now?
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geniph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #38
43. Neither of us are into social conformity, to start with
but the big thing was the realization that monogamy never worked for either of us. We just weren't any good at it, and both of us had left relationships that were otherwise successful because we craved the excitement of a relationship without the day-to-day minutia that saps romance. For us, it was either cheat, split up, or rework the cultural assumptions. Well, we'd both had bad experiences with cheating, and neither of us felt good about that. Splitting up has never been an option - we're each other's other half. So we reworked the cultural assumptions and made an agreement that works better for us.

I used to buy into all the stuff about monogamy, mostly because I myself lacked self-confidence. My opinion of myself was so low that I was sure, at some level, that in any comparison with another, I'd come in second best. So cheating was a direct threat to my relationships. The biggest thing that got me past that was my certainty that my husband feels the way he does about me. He's given me the confidence to leave the societal assumption of monogamy - which rarely works lifelong for anyone, look at the statistics on how many couples "cheat" - behind.

I can respect the opinion of those who believe monogamy is the only way to live, but I wish they'd recognize that it really doesn't work for many people, and there is another path between absolute monogamy and absolute hedonism. It requires absolute honesty and trust between the primary partners, and you cannot leave assumptions unsaid; they must be spelled out. Early on in our poly career, my husband was very threatened by my reaction to a fling, very much more so than either of us had expected. Reason being, I tend to become very infatuated very quickly - I get over it very quickly too, but it's all-absorbing for a little while. Once that was understood and expected, and I understood that he has to receive attention at the same time, we worked through that. Communication is critical.

But, you know, that's true of a monogamous relationship, too.
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #43
46. It's actually not so rare.
Edited on Mon Nov-03-03 11:11 PM by HuckleB
Actually, when one looks at the hard, sociological statistics of percentages of marriages where one partner or another cheats, it's quite close to the percentage of divorces. Those numbers indicate that it's quite likely that a very high percentage of life-long marriages do not involve cheating by one party or the other. I don't have a problem with your choices in arranging your marriage, but please don't presume that only some weird few can actually be happy within a monogamous relationship.
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #37
45. Thanks For Posting This...
... and for explaning it so well.

Love ya!
-- Allen
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populistmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
39. I have no problem with monogamy
I've only been with one man since I was 18 (no I wasn't a virgin though when we were first together). For me, it's what I prefer. I think difficulties can lie when there are problems either trust that the other person wasn't faithful, sexually incombatibility, relationship problems, more, and all of the above. Sometimes people stay in relationships for reasons that are complicated and sometimes perhaps they need something just to feel alive and sexy again. In an ideal world, this kind of stuff wouldn't happen, but in an ideal world, marriages would stay honest in many ways.
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TopesJunkie Donating Member (979 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 08:32 PM
Response to Original message
40. It's a choice.
It can be important to some, while not being important to others. I do think its bogus to feign fidelity, however. If you can't keep a promise, don't make it.

For us, the promise of fidelity is one sign of our commitment to one another as a supportive, holistic unit. We've chosen to reserve the act of love for one another as a symbol of the importance of the other and the whole. We've assigned a great deal of meaning to the act, and so fidelity acts a large, important link of our commitment. Others may not assign so much meeting. And that is their choice, as long as they don't pretend to make the choice of fidelity when they don't intend to keep the promise. While that is a choice, too, it is a choice of selfish deceit. In the end, fidelity is about the honesty of the relationship. And I don't think many relationships are going to fulfill their promise without honesty.
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DoNotRefill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
42. Because I love my wife.
Sure I LOOK at other women, but aside from the typical "ohhh....I bet SHE'd be fun!" inherent in being male I have no desire to be with anybody else.

Call me old fashioned, but when we got to the "forsaking all others" part of our vows, I really meant it.
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-03 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
44. Lots of reasons --
Edited on Mon Nov-03-03 11:25 PM by HuckleB
I know it's not for everyone, but it's part of our core promise of living for one another. To put it another way...

To Dorothy

You are not beautiful, exactly.
You are beautiful, inexactly.
You let a weed grow by the mulberry
and a mulberry grow by the house.
So close, in the personal quiet
of a windy night, it brushes the wall
and sweeps away the day till we sleep.

A child said it, and it seemed true:
Things that are lost are all equal.
But it isnt true. If I lost you,
the air wouldnt move, nor the tree grow.
Someone would pull the weed, my flower.
The quiet wouldnt be yours. If I lost you,
Id have to ask the grass to let me sleep.

Marvin Bell


Oh, and, in the west at least, monogamy has serious origins in Greek, Roman, and pagan culture, long before all-encompassing western religion took hold.
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