"What you do, agree on it. What you think, air it. What you feel, face it."
Advice columnist Carolyn Hax, based at The Washington Post, has a column appearing in many newspapers this week that (comments Michael Rios) "mentions polyamory in a positive light":
Is monogamy just a bad fairy tale?
Dear Carolyn: While “happily married” to me, my wife fell in love with another man.... The damage to our marriage has taken years to heal.... Based on our and others’ experiences, I have concluded that our cultural obsession with monogamy is a destructive fairy tale.
The more honest among us promote “open marriage” or “polyamory” — difficult lifestyles to maintain, particularly in the face of religious prohibitions and community disapproval. What are your thoughts on this seemingly ageless human predicament? — J.
Just one thought. Intimacy.
There is no one answer that suits every couple. The people who say that vows are paramount are right, that more than one love is possible are right, that monogamy is an antiquated concept being tested by modern lifespans are right. The people are also right who say arrangements within a couple are not the business of those outside it, except perhaps any children these arrangements fail to serve.
The responses to this “destructive fairy tale” that tend to go horribly wrong — tracking down exes online, secret affairs, porn, among others — are the unilateral ones, where one partner acts in secret.... Secrecy itself changes a couple. If you want the extracurriculars, then you can’t have the domestic status quo, and vice versa.
That is, unless your approach, whatever it is, is part of your relationship.
I don’t mean polyamory, which is far from a universal answer, but it has one at its heart: What you do, agree on it. I’ll add: What you think, air it; what you feel, face it. Intimacy alone covers all the variables of connubial blahs and outside attractions.
Since couples who communicate well handle monogamy best, the ideal solution actually precedes the problem: Don’t commit to someone who won’t communicate with you warmly, openly, bravely — or learn to, fast.
Read the whole column (Jan. 27, 2014), with cartoon.
See you at Poly Living? In three days I'm off to Loving More's Poly Living conference in Philadelphia; it runs Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, Feb. 7 - 9. Workshops. Schedule. You can still register. Walk-in registrations may or may not be available this year — the organizers post, "We highly recommend preregistering for the conference; there is a high chance Poly Living will sell out."
Labels: advice columns