Friday, March 5, 2010

Open and Closed

All this "Open Marriage" nonsense has gotten the best of me ! What a stupid oxymoron. Marriage is a covenant, which is closed, not open. It is a holy covenant between a man a woman, and their God for a lifetime. Simple as that. It kills me when we start trying to create the things that we want and call it something it's not. Plain and simple, relationships outside of marriage while married is adultery, just like sex before marriage is fornication. So when you are married and give your spouse an open invitation to commit adultery, just call it what it is, a "sham". So it seems, the counterpoint to this is all of the cheating that goes on in marriages, that is being kept "secret" and the idea is that if you are "open" then you can have outside relations as long as you are honest about it. Seriously ? That makes it OK ?

If you have never experienced adultery inside of a marriage, I don't know if you can ever be prepared for how it truly affects you. Especially if cheating, or the suspicion of it, is not something that you ever encountered when dealing with your spouse even before marriage. I really don't see how knowing about it in advance could really minimize how it makes you feel, how it can destroy you. There are all of these ideas floating around the internet & in discussions with folks about monogamy and why it is not realistic, etc. I guess my point is, if you can't be monogamous, then why get married at all ? I fail to understand why folks can't just stay in their lane. Why don't all the people who believe that we are not meant to be monogamous deal with those who feel the same way, and leave marriage for those who truly believe in the Covenant and stop making a mockery of it. I mean why not just "shack up" as the old folks used to say. Whats wrong with just having an " open relationship" ? I just don't get it.

Interestingly enough, when my ex-husband cheated, I actually was willing to try to work through it. Trust me, no one was more surprised about that than me. Before we got married, when we talked about cheating, adultery, etc. I was always the one who insisted it was a deal breaker & was convinced I could not get over it. However when confronted with the reality, I found that I felt totally different. I did not want to lose my husband, my marriage, or my life as it was. In hindsight, I think I was more afraid of the loss of our relationship and friendship after such a betrayal, and I did fear divorce and how it would totally change my life (it did), but what I didn't initially understand was how much was actually already lost by the time he decided to step out. The simple fact is, some things you lose cannot be recovered, ever. It didn't matter in my case, because in his mind, he was already gone once he made that choice, he did not want to reconcile, so ultimately we divorced. The truth is, I will never really know if I could have gotten over it or not, or whether we could have ever had a positive relationship. It may have been impossible.

I have a couple friends and some close family members whose marriages have actually survived adultery. I can honestly admit that I have been envious of the fact that some of those marriages survived, because they have not lost all of the things that I had to lose and have not had to go through the life rebuilding and many transitions that I have. I am not proud of my envy. But truthfully, not all of these marriages that have survived are to be envied, because upon closer inspection, I see what has been lost. There is one marriage that I can honestly say IS better for it, but I still don't know if I believe that the trust can ever be recovered, or that you can have anything close to what you had before such a betrayal, especially when the woman has cheated.

I have begun to consider for real whether or not you can really continue to have the type of intimacy that I crave in a relationship, when you know the other party has cheated, permission granted or not, and I just can't see it. But I understand that everyone's expectations are different. Since the only legitimate grounds for divorce in the bible is adultery, I think God understood exactly what he was doing. I am dating a new guy, EastCoast, we talk about everything that we both have experienced, the good and the bad, in past relationships. He is 39 never been married, but has several close friends that are married some happily and some not. We talk about many things as it pertains to relationships and marriage. He is adamant that cheating for him is a deal breaker. I initially tried to explain to him that sometimes you may not be prepared for how you feel in a situation & there are many things to weigh and consider. I only expressed this to him because I remember I was as adamant as he is about this issue BEFORE I was married & ended up feeling totally different when presented with the situation. Also, I personally know a MAN who was willing to forgive his WIFE for cheating, and I know how unusual that is. But I will say this, I am leaning towards my original position before I got married the first time, that adultery is a deal breaker. I am thinking that my first mind was right. I do believe there should be some lines that you do not cross. People are always so bent on looking for the exception, the short cut, the get around, but truly what is wrong with having a standard, some integrity ? I think we should open our minds to what the true intent of the marriage covenant is, instead of looking for the way around it.

And as NeNe from RHOA told Kim " Close your legs to Married Men" LMAO!

Do you believe in monogamy ?

Does it seem that cheating these days has become common ?

What are your thoughts on "open marriages" ?

Do you think that trust can ever be retrieved after adultery ?

Beautifully Complex


Don said...

Great post. Well worth the read and filled with heartfelt knowledge of just how much cheating affects one's relationship.

That said, I have cheated and been cheated on. But I had no concerns about being cheated on (too busy cheating I suppose) until the mother of my youngest daughters had an affair with a supposed friend of mines, and it touched my soul.

There is some truth to where you talked about many not being able to get past it - add me to the list. Just as there are some relationships which survive and become strong. I know one in particular that has worked out their problems, then and beforehand.

I don't believe in open marriages. To each his own though. Yes, I concur the fact that it appears almost EVERYONE cheats.

Enjoyed the read.

Beautifully Complex said...

@ Don, it's funny how certain experiences can make you do a 360 degree turn. Until you have been there, you just don't know. Thanks for sharing your comments.