In a culture wherein there are lingering vestiges of the Victorian times, mixed in with a corporate and media manipulated and constantly hammered image of sex sells, and wherein it seems a decent percentage of people are (or have) secretly cheating on each other open relationships probably seem kind of weird, radical, or out there to most. At least, most don't seem to understand it when they have found out my partner and i have an open relationship (or rather the option thereof).
Lot's of the questions and reactions are kind of funny to us. Some of the reactions have been kind of extreme. Others just humorous or expressing bafflement.
Despite having lived this lifestyle, i actually have quite mixed feelings to polyamory because i've seen it in others as an excuse to indulge one's sex drive wantonly, to avoid forming real or deeper relationships, and other issues i see as limiting and non constructive.
But on the other hand, a lot of prejudice out there is kind of knee jerk and well, prejudice based on lack of experience or knowns about a subject. And on cultural conditioning and one might say brainwashing.
A bit of a background. Becky and i have been together for some 13 years and lived together most of that time. About 7 years ago we got officially married. For a huge chunk of all that, we were completely monogamous except for one minor instance of her being kissed by someone else. About 5 or 4 years ago, we moved 2 hrs apart because of job opportunities. We thought it was only going to be a year, but fate had other plans. Ended up being almost 3 years living apart.
When we first moved apart, we talked more seriously about something that we had previously only shallowly talked about, the possibility of dating other people. We had always been honest and open with each other about our attractions to others, because we're basically pretty individually secure and happy, and happy and secure in our relationship.
So, we took the plunge. Earlier on, i had a couple of brief relationships, but more or less realized it wasn't for me, not that i'm not tempted sometimes (but that is usually more the hormones of a male body and not really me). She on the other hand, became more active in it. She met at least one person with whom she had a very deep connection with. She had dreams occasionally wherein she knew and observed that they had been married before, etc. I haven't yet to meet someone besides her that i have felt that deeply connected to spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and that's one of the reasons i stopped thinking about getting involved with other women romantically (beyond the occasional hormone flashes). If i ever did, i might reconsider, but i don't want to base relationships on a little emotional or mental attraction and sexual desire.
It was interesting, and at times challenging to be in the position of watching someone you are attached to, fall in love with another man, and learn how to be ok with that and not having someone else in my life too. No need to go into specifics but yes, honestly at times it was very tough and oddly at other times it was very easy. During the tougher times, all kinds of repressed insecurities and little fears and little moments of selfishness came up occasionally.
However, i don't regret it, it helped me grow as a person, to get over some of that shadow stuff. My heart is now more open, accepting, and i'm a stronger person for all the challenges i've been through (speaking of life in general on the last one).
I really don't think one size fits all for most anything (except for the importance of love/kindness/compassion/patience/ethics), and so i don't think polyamory is for everyone, not by a long shot. Yet, at times, i can't help but look at the various individuals and couples i know or know of, and think that they might benefit from a temporary trial experiment of it, if only for the challenge to and conscious stirring up of ones shadow side. Or when i read threads like, "what matters most in life", it kind makes me think that honesty, communication, and openeness is far better than secrecy, lies, etc.
So, what are your thoughts on open relationships, polyamory, etc. Any experiences or others who have experimented with that lifestyle (and i don't mean horny, immature, young men bachelor types)?
I might just erase this, not sure why i wrote this, though in part was spurred by the other thread relating to relationships.