The Infidelity Industry
Makes me wonder.
I can understand some aspects of infidelity. I've had to deal with it in relationships enough that it's become a necessary survival trait.
To me, infidelity is "cheating" on a partner, and has an element of secrecy. I don't consider it cheating when you have an open relationship and you play within the bounds of that relationship, or if you are poly and stay poly within the rules.
If you stray outside of those bounds that you and your partner(s) have agreed upon, that (to me) is cheating. What that means is a part of a larger picture.
For instance: I have never ended a relationship strictly because of infidelity. It has turned out to be a symptom of a larger problem, something so basically and fundamentally broken that... well, I understand what the phrase "irreconcilable differences" means. And in those cases, it was really the right choice to end it rather than trying to fix something that wasn't fixable, something that would remain forever broken. It was hard to give up, but it was right.
I have a friend who is in a relationship with a guy who is married and has a child. They have been together for over three years now, and I don't understand it: she is amazingly beautiful, sexy, smart, and talented, and he... well, not so much. I think she deserves something more.
At the same time, their relationship is a lot more stable than mine. And I suspect there is something deeper there that I don't fathom. It could be that they both enjoy having sex with defrosted monkeys, and finding someone else with that particular kink is so difficult that it makes sense to stay together.
His wife doesn't know. He hasn't told her. He keeps promising to end his marriage, but he never does, and she's been with him for... well, a few years anyway. I just have so very little respect for him that it's difficult to spend time with them when they are together.
I don't understand that part. To me, if you're in a relationship that isn't providing you with something that you need, either talk about it with your partner and come to some kind of a compromise, or get the hell out of the relationship.
Easier said than done, I suppose. Things get complicated when there are children, or when you've been together for a long time. But in my experience, it is most often just plain cowardice that keeps the cheater from confronting their mate, and I have very little respect for that kind of cowardice.
My friends have a wide range of relationship types, from strict monogamy to open relationships to swinging to polyamory to choosing to remain single. Some of them are working, and some aren't. Truth be told, I'm really glad to know people who have such a wide variety of relationships, and who are willing to talk about it. Because I really don't know what kind of relationship I am cut out for.
I think that I am most comfortable with a two-person primary relationship. It doesn't have to be exclusive, though that is something that I have done in the past, and would probably do again. I don't know that I would be happy being a third in somebody else's primary relationship. But then again, I might be, if that was clear from the outset and it was not exclusive. There is still a part of me that wants to be somebody's first choice, the best choice.
And I am my own first choice.
I'm not in a huge rush to find out. I have discovered that after 12 years of captivity, there is a freedom that I rather enjoy. I am finding myself being more creative, freer to explore those dark nooks and crannies within myself. I'm free to head to the strip club, or to flirt with the waitress, or dance naked to the rhythmic sounds of my washing machine if I so choose. As it turns out, I'm spending most of the darktime either making zombie parts or writing.
Either one is pretty damn satisfying overall.
My writing is taking on a distinct edge. A style is starting to cut through when I can get into the right space, kind of a hybrid of Mark Leyner and Stephen King.
I'm still a little afraid to go into that space. It's not something done lightly-- it takes time to go in and come back out. And I'd like a span of more than a few hours to do it. And I know I need more work. I'm still very much in the exploration stage, and everything is still rough around the edges.
But you know, I'm okay with that.
And now, the soothing sounds of cheese.