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tle
Nov. 27, 2009, 08:42 AM
There are threads about cheating spouses. A thread about being a mistress. Threads about divorces. It's insane! What is it about making a commitment and being in a relationship that makes it so hard! Granted maybe I am naive... I'm 40 and have been married for only 18 months (together for 4 years now). It just seems sad to me that folks can't seem to make life together work.

Which brings me to the real subject of this post. Divorce is on the rise... Adultery is a main cause of most divorces... And Serial Monogamy seems to be the relationship style of most people anymore (the "I'm faithful to him/her... until something better comes along, then I'll break it off with this person to be faithful to that one"). So I ask... why are so many people against "alternatives"? What about a couple having an open marriage makes people FREAK OUT so badly?

I have my own opinions on the subject and no one is likely to change my mind so I'm not entirely sure what I'm asking for here... maybe a debate? maybe just a poll to see where Coth folks stand? I dunno. I do know that reading some of the off topic posts about cheaters and divorces makes me wonder why people DON'T think about alternatives if they're unhappy.

SaturdayNightLive
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:17 AM
Another couple being in an open relationship/marriage doesn't freak me out. However, I know that I would be very unhappy with such an arrangement. And I think that most people probably would be, which is why you don't see it very often. It would still feel like you were being cheated on, weren't good enough, etc..., no matter what name you gave it.

equineartworks
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:25 AM
I think it is because we live in a society of people who really just take have any responsibility for their actions.

Do marriage vows really say "forever until someone better comes along"?

tle
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:36 AM
equineartworks -- I think you're on to something there. Society today is so much disposable, one size fits all, instant gratification, no personal responsibility. I do think people don't think about what they are truly doing (to themselves, their family, the planet, whatever) that they just want what they want and since everything is ready made and packaged for quick sales, folks jump in without thinking of the consequences and then simply jump out again when it suits them.

SNL -- I think a lot of people might feel that way, but I know for a fact it isn't always that way. People can and do live in those kinds of relationships without feelings of inadequacy or always being the "other". I do think good relationships of ANY kind (monogamous, polyamorous, polygamous, open, swinging, whatever) are hard to find and hard to maintain. But I certainly am not one who thinks that one size fits all. Of course I'm also one who believes that the institution of marriage as far as teh government is concerned is little more than a legal contract and they have no right to not allow people who are otherwise legally able to enter into a legally binding contract to do so (whether they be gay, straight, bi, or poly).

tkhawk
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:39 AM
Well I have never been married and I am not sure I wan't to-well maybe if I meet the right person. I think any relationship between consenting adults is fine as long as all parties are ok with it. If they have an open relationship and wan't to explore separate or even together-then that is their business.

The cheating stuff-maybe in a country where you can never get a divorce until you die fine-I don't agree with. But to each his own-I guess that is why it as even mentioned in the Bible-do not covet thy neighbour's wife or was that oxen?:lol:. But I think it has been there for ever and ain't going away-so I don't bother, just make it a point never to get involved with someone who is cheating.

tle
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:46 AM
I'm not saying divorce shouldn't be available. I guess I wish people took more responsibility. Look at some of the famous stars who have gotten married only to get divorced days (or HOURS) later. THAT to me is what makes a mockery of marriage (not the gay couple who's been together for 15 years down the street). ;)

I have friends who have an open arrangement of sorts. Got into a conversation with someone I know a few days ago about it and they were adament that the spouses were cheating on one another with their boyfriend/girlfriend. I guess that conversation, combined wtih the various cheater topics is what prompted this more than anything because I don't believe they are cheating on their marriage vows. Like I said, I don't believe marriage is a one size fits all arrangement and people CAN makeit what they want as long as the discussion is blunt and honest and the parties involved truly agree and stand behind their decision. It's when one party is coerced into an agreement they don't believe in that things fall apart (lack of honesty!). If a couple agrees that their marriage should not be limited to an intimate (define how you wish) relationship between the 2 people, then who is to judge that they are cheating? Isn't the definition of cheating "breaking the rules"? If the rules allow you to sleep with another man, then is the woman really cheating on her husband?

Sorry... it's black friday, I'm at work, it's slow, few people are around and I am in a mood obviously. ;)

Jazzy Lady
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:48 AM
This is why it is very scary to be 25 and single. I want forever. I believe it exists, but sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one.

Marriage is so disposable to my generation. It's just another relationship. Oh well... doesn't work out we get divorced... no biggie.

So scary.

Carol Ames
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:52 AM
Marriage is SO difficult:eek:! How many marriages do you know of where both partners are truly happy:cool:?

tle
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:54 AM
Marriage is SO difficult:eek:! How many marriages do you know of where both partners are truly happy:cool:?


I would agree with this.

As for the question... I know one... but there are 3 people involved in the relationship. And yes, they are ALL happy. :cool:

Carol Ames
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:57 AM
If a couple finds an arrangement which, works for them:yes: and harms :no:no one ; who is to judge their arrangement as unacceptable or not:no:, assuming:mad: that any children are well cared for?

4Martini
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:03 AM
I'll never forget when DH and I got our marriage licence and the women at the counter called over other people to see our application and said she hadn't seen one like it for years.

The unusual part- both of our parents were still married and lived in the towns we were born in...

I feel like for a lot of people the marriage has become too much about a fancy wedding and not soo much about working hard to make it work.

I am so glad we stayed engaged for nearly 4 years before getting married -after dating for a year or so- got a lot of the bumps in the road out over that period. I think people rush into too quickly these days. Maybe we need a waiting period for marriage licences?

strawberry roan
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:04 AM
Different strokes for different folks. I believe in marriage. But I think too many people get married for the wrong reasons and look at getting divorced as oh well it didn't work out. One of the things that keeps me on the straight and narrow (19 years married!) is wanting to be able to look back on what I have done and will do with respect. This it what works for me. :)

Ajierene
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:04 AM
I think a misconception is that marriage used to be all about monogamy and now *suddenly* in the last 40 years or so, people are not monogamous.

Contrary to this, marriage was much more of merely a legal contract in the middle ages. There was no such thing as cheating because you could have mistresses or a harem (depending on your status and ability to afford a harem). Concubines were encouraged by royalty.

In those days, of course the divorce rate was lower - until King Henry VIII of England (around 1500). Even after King Henry VIII separated from the church, specifically to divorce, he did not allow divorce in his time.

Hence, open marriages and mistresses were common.

Then, the pilgrims came up with the idea that marriages should be monogamous. This was not a new concept, just not a mainstream concept. These religious extremists came to the US and started a colony because they were not welcome in England, not just because of the monogamy issue

Divorce rate has gotten much higher because all those abused spouses that would have been ostracized had they divorced, are not being ostracized any more. There are people that should have taken a second thought before getting married, but there is a growing percentage of people that are getting out of miserable marriages than staying in them and I do not see that as a bad thing.

Still, many Americans see open marriages as an issue because of the culture that the pilgrims brought over. Still, I don't share, so I know I need to be in a monogamous relationship.

tle
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:08 AM
Different strokes for different folks. I believe in marriage. But I think too many people get married for the wrong reasons and look at getting divorced as oh well it didn't work out. One of the things that keeps me on the straight and narrow (19 years married!) is wanting to be able to look back on what I have done and will do with respect. This it what works for me. :)

Hence lovely indoctrinated terms into our society like "Starter Marriage". BLECH!!

MistyBlue
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:10 AM
There are still plenty of marriages that work and have two happy people in them. :yes:
But like the news...how many people like to discuss their happy marriages? Cheating and beating make the news on BBs...good marriages not as often.
And when someone does post an "I love my SO!" thread the gloomy folks, the cheaters and the beaters don't bother opening and reading them...and seeing all the responses from other happily married non-cheating, non-disease spreading, honest and mature couples. :D
Marriages that don't require a Jerry Springer intervention are out there and they're not myths. :yes: :winkgrin:

Of course marriage takes some adult and balanced compromise and some work and having two mature responsible people involved. Not many horse folks are known for being realistic, so the results may be a bit skewed on a horse BB. After all, there are tons of crabby broads on horse BBs that will read a thread that states, "My husband is upet because I spend all my time and money on my horses and ignore him and the children and the household. Why doesn;t he understand???" Followed by a hundred other crabby broads shrieking, "Dump his arse! Kick him to the curb! How dare he not like being ignored and broke just so you can ride a horsie! He's controlling if he thinks you need to be home once in a while or have some disposable income that doesn't go directly to the horsie!" :rolleyes:

So umm yeah...results on horse BBs may vary from reality.
Just a tad. :winkgrin:

equineartworks
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:31 AM
Marriage is SO difficult:eek:! How many marriages do you know of where both partners are truly happy:cool:?

At least one...mine. :)

tandem4u
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:32 AM
I'm happy to say I have a good marriage. We have been together 19 years now. We both can from broken homes and I think allot of people go one way or the other when they see how there parents lived. Often a child will live a relationship in the same way as there mother or father or they will choose to go totaly the other way and vow never to live there life like there parents (thats now I went). It's never true that marriage today is viewed as "disposable" and having sex outside of marriage is blasted all over tv and film. You olny need to watch the first half hour of "two & a half men" to see what our children are seeing as "cool" these days. Think now much has changed from our parents to our generations standards and then think what is seen as axceptable to our children and you can only wonder where our grand-children will be!

I look at marriage as a contract with myself first and then to my wife second. I would never cheat & never will. If anyone can not say that about themselfs then they are not honest with thereselfs. We all live three lifes and we must learn to manage each life we live in order to live a full and happy existance. I don't believe in judging anyone as long as it is not hurting or may cause harm to others. I'm not a religulous man & I'm not a atheist, rather I choose to believe in myself to do what is right.
I'm a strong believer in marriage for the right reasons. And I truly hope many of you know what comfort, having a wife or husband with you if life can bring. But you must be ready for marriage & you must make that commitment with yourself first before you make it to another.

Just my OP.
Robert

equineartworks
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:39 AM
I do need to say that some people should divorce. If there is abuse, adultery...absolutely. And then there are couples who really do fall out of love.

But then there is selfishness and lack of responsibility...I have a friend who divorced a wonderful husband and father because he told her they needed to adjust their lifestyle. :( Now three children are living in a house waiting for foreclosure because she forced him to support her lifestyle...while he lives in a one bedroom apartment and works two jobs. She is reaping what she sowed, and blaming it on her former husband.

bumknees
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:39 AM
25 yrs and happy. HAve had our moments of course but who hasent..

4Martini
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:45 AM
After all, there are tons of crabby broads on horse BBs that will read a thread that states, "My husband is upet because I spend all my time and money on my horses and ignore him and the children and the household. Why doesn;t he understand???" Followed by a hundred other crabby broads shrieking, "Dump his arse! Kick him to the curb! How dare he not like being ignored and broke just so you can ride a horsie! He's controlling if he thinks you need to be home once in a while or have some disposable income that doesn't go directly to the horsie!" :rolleyes:
:winkgrin:


This always cracks me up! I think people should have to state their marital status when giving advice to others- even if it's just informational!

tle
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:52 AM
I'll never forget when DH and I got our marriage licence and the women at the counter called over other people to see our application and said she hadn't seen one like it for years.

The unusual part- both of our parents were still married and lived in the towns we were born in...

:) The family of 3 that I mentioned... all 3 sets of parents are still together anywhere from 35 to 45 years. 2 of the 3 in the family were high school sweethearts and have been together for over 18 years (between dating and a legal marriage).


But you must be ready for marriage & you must make that commitment with yourself first before you make it to another.

robert, I agree! I guess this is where a lot of people fall short...they either don't know or simply don't care to make that commitment and stick to it!

EventingJ
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:52 AM
it seems so many people my age, or slightly younger (early to mid 20's) are getting married as a status symbol.. like "I must be doing something right cuz I'm married". People even say things like that to me "you must be doing something right - youre married, you own a house, etc"... No, I found the right person, I worked hard to achieve goals, no one helped me. Mom and Dad certainly didn't help me pay for a house or find me a husband.. I never wanted to be married before I was 30, actually... I thought 23/24 was waaaay to young to commit to something like that, but I did it, because it was right. We've been married for 2 years, and have been together for over 7.

IMO I would never never never have an open relationship. For one, I'm incredibly selfish and don't want to share... I would feel wrong being with anyone else too. BUT I don't judge (and have not judged) others who have the open marriage - although I can say those who I knew who were "swingers" or w/e are now divorced.

dressagetraks
Nov. 27, 2009, 11:38 AM
40, never married. Would like to be someday, but if the right one doesn't come along, I'm happy single.

I think that's a big key these days. So many people are not happy with themselves, satisfied with who they are. If you don't have good self-esteem, sense of responsibility, contentment with yourself as a person, you aren't going to suddenly develop all of that and have it last just by marriage. Be happy in yourself first, then be happier with him/her, but a lot of folks skip step one. Two incomplete people cannot make one complete relationship. That's based on something I've heard from many of the happily married couples I know - and from some of the wiser-now people who had failed relationships in the past and have realized why.

And yes, we have a "disposable society" concept. Instant gratification. Love is not an emotion, it is a commitment. Can you imagine a woman saying to her kid the umpteenth time she gets up in the middle of the night to change diapers or whatever, "Oh, the magic just isn't there anymore. I'm tired of getting up like this. At this moment at 2:00 a.m. when I haven't slept, I don't feel like I did at first, so I think we'd better go separate ways." Nope, she committed, and if that means changing goopy diapers when she's worn out, had a bad day, and would rather sleep, tough luck. Why is that same standard of commitment not carried to an SO relationship?

But we are a feelings-based society, not a commitment-based society. I'm not saying there aren't sometimes valid grounds for divorce, but it shouldn't be your alternative exit plan just in case things don't work.

And by the way, I know very many happily married couples. I just don't see them on TV, don't read about them in books, and don't see movies made about them, because the media knows good and well that we are by and large a feelings-based society, and that's what sells.

And no, I'd never have an open relationship. I don't even like other people riding my horse.

asb_own_me
Nov. 27, 2009, 11:59 AM
I'm one half of what used to be a happy married couple. Life threw (and has continued to throw) curveball after curveball, we grew apart, we grew more and more apart, and then I had an affair.

We are both miserable. I used to love this man like crazy....and he still loves me. I keep trying to figure out where my love for him went, like it's a file I've misplaced. We go to counseling. We do housework, we do horse stuff, we go to friends' parties and dinners.

I think about the man I fell in love with during the last year - the man I had the affair with. I wonder if we could have a life together. I wonder if he's the man I think he is. I wonder if it would be a mistake to leave my marriage.....or would the bigger mistake be to stay? I don't know.

What I do know, is that I damned well better be sure of what I do before I do it. I'm not leaving because I'm unhappy and not in love. There are worse things, like an abusive relationship....and having to sell your horses, and rehome others that aren't really useful. You then start thinking about the "what ifs"....like my semi-retired mare who is my heart, she's earned her retirement, and she's not useful to anyone else on this earth. But she's happy, and mostly sound even....if I leave this marriage, I might have to euth her.

So I stay until the question of "Can you take it anymore?" becomes "absolutely not, even if I have to euth my mare". I'm not happy - but I will go through a hell of a lot more to make sure that I'm not forced to euth a horse when there's no medical reason to do so.

And obviously, this is not an alter. I know what I did and I don't try to hide it. I made a choice.

MistyBlue
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:08 PM
And no, I'd never have an open relationship. I don't even like other people riding my horse.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Well put dressagetraks! :yes:

Imagine a cheating relationship in equine terms. (since so many horse BB members have a tough time empathizing with human stuff)
You own a horse...and when you're not at the barn or home (where you keep your horse) someone else decides they really like the looks of your horse and sneak in and take it for a ride.
The horse goes nicely for them and they've heard that the horse sometimes bucks with you or doesn't bend to the left or whatever. So that person decides *they* are better for that horse and they think the horse likes them better because theynk it performs better for them.
So they make it a common thing to sneak around when you aren't around to ride your horse.
Now in a normal thinking person's world...they'd buy that horse before making a habit of riding it without the owner's permission. And if the owner didn't want to sell, they'd go find another horse that was for sale.

tle
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:20 PM
I'm a little confused only because you commented on DressageTrak's note on open relationships then proceeded to carry her analogy into a cheating situation. Are you saying you equate open relationships to cheating?

The open relationship equivalent would be something like a partial long-term lease (or short term whatever you BOTH agree to) and that both riders get along well with the horse.

2DogsFarm
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:22 PM
A Marriage License is just a piece of paper.

The committment is either there or not.

Putting on the white dress or tux and hosting a fancy dinner for 300 of your closest friends & family does not equal a true committment.

I was with my DH for 30 years.
We were married just for the last 3 and would still be today if he hadn't passed away.

Of course we were married in the true sense of the word for every one of those years.
Good years.
Bad years.
Routine years.
We were in it together.

SaturdayNightLive
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:22 PM
OP, from your responses I get the feeling that you are looking for some sort of validation for your choices. Why? As long as you are happy, why care what others think?

The choice to be in an open relationship/marriage is no better and no worse than any other choice. Honestly, who really cares what other people do with their lives?

tle
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:33 PM
SNL... not looking for validation for my choices. But you'd be surprised at "who cares what other people do with their lives". (so many of our country's problems could be solved if people REALLY didn't care waht others did with their lives!)

I don't remember this specific topic being brought up here before so perhaps was was curious as to what folks here think. And, per me being me, as I read the replies, I felt like commenting. No real reflection on what my relationship is or isn't, really.

So maybe I just should have asked... what would you say/do/think if someone you knew (acquaintance/good friend/whatever if it matters) told you that they were in a happy, stable, long term relationship that was made up of 3 people. What if this person was related to you? Do you really believe in live and let live or would your opinion of the person change?

RedMare01
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:36 PM
Good marriages do still exist...DH and I are both 25, have been married a year, and are very happy. We did date and were engaged for several years before tying the knot.

That said, if both parties agree to an open marriage, or whatever, I have no problem with their decision.

Caitlin

saultgirl
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:39 PM
If people get married, divorced, common-law, I really don't care. People should be happy. It's no better to stay happily married to one person for 25 years than it is to be happily single or to be divorced and remarried. It's not right or wrong or better it just is what it is.

I think it's pretty inappropriate to comment on whether someone "gave up" on their marriage or how seriously committed someone was or wasn't.

I would *never* be involved in any kind of open relationship but I don't give a hoot who is sleeping with who, it's not my business.

Go Fish
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:47 PM
Which brings me to the real subject of this post. Divorce is on the rise... Adultery is a main cause of most divorces...

Actually, it's money.

My parents have been married nearly 60 years. I married in my 30s with an education and a well-established career. I strongly advise that all women do the same.

I think marriage is a victim of our ever-developing culture and economics. Women no longer have to stay married for support/dependency and can make it on their own. I think this is especially evident with the younger generation now, particularly for women. I think I read somewhere that women now account for the majority of divorce filings. They don't have to sit around and take it anymore.

wendy
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:48 PM
If people get married, divorced, common-law, I really don't care. People should be happy. It's no better to stay happily married to one person for 25 years than it is to be happily single or to be divorced and remarried. It's not right or wrong or better it just is what it is.
ditto. Who cares who they sleep with. If they decide to have children, both parents need to commit to raising the kids, but who cares what consenting adults decide amongst themselves to "commit" to. I personally find the idea of "marriage" offensive- you realize it's all about selling and controlling women, right? what's so beautiful about a girl and her possessions being sold by her male relatives to an unrelated man?

tle
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:49 PM
Didn't say adultery was THE main cause of most divorces... but it is A main cause. Yes money is the #1, but infidelity is up there at #2 depending on what source you find.

tkhawk
Nov. 27, 2009, 02:27 PM
Well I have never been married, so not my experience, just my views. I think it really depends on the person. I enjoy meeting new people, new cultures, new food and the same goes for my personal life. It is just exciting to be with someone that is totally different. Now as with all things new, the novelty wears off!

But I don't confuse that with love. But the only rule I have is I won't have a relationship with someone who is cheating with their spouse. Not judgemental-that is between them and their spouse-but too much baggage and stress! Plus I really don't wan't to be the cause of heartache and breakups.

But open relationships on the other hand, as long as both are aware, then that is their choice. Both may look at their marraige a little different. Now if I ever get married(actually the thing that scares me away the most is alimony-at least in India you can pay off the judge and lower it!:lol:) I don't think I would wan't to be in one and have flings all over the place. But I also don't think I wan't to be tied down to that one person for ever. Me personally an occassional fling always livens things up . If you get married, then no point in sleeping with evrything that comes your way-but that is just my view. In the sense I would wan't a pretty close to monogamous relationship, with an odd fling ok here and there-I know kinda had to describe it-maybe that is why I am still single!

But I am happy either way. Plus marraiges end in two ways-death or divorce-then you become single again and find somebodyelse again! Unless of course you both die on the same day.