My Alternative to Monogamy

  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Sep 02, 2013 2:54 AM GMT
    OK, so, apparently, a lot of guys on here are looking for "monogamy", by which, I am assuming, they mean, you know, the "monogamy" our parents enjoy (50% divorce rates, and 50% of that 50% within the first five years of "marriage").

    I'd like to compare two sets of "vows", and ask the monogamy-loving guys which of the two they would prefer:

    VERSION 1: (Let's call this "their" version), goes more or less like this:

    "I, (so and so) take thee (so and so) to be my lawful wedded (whatever), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part,...(and then usually something to do with swearing before god, and this congregation, and all my friends, and family, and aren't we just great for taking this "oath" in public, and you should all think we are marvelous, and so on and so forth...)".

    The people who take this "oath" generally mean, of course, that they MEAN this....UNLESS.....he looks at another women, she finds him in bed with another man, he catches her in the act with his law partner, or....they just "don't like each other any more" (I mean, oops, "irreconcilable differences").

    VERSION 2: (Let's call this....my version):

    "I promise I will never leave you. Ever." No ifs, ands, or buts.


    Now, which version makes you feel more...secure, liberated, honest, open, and - if you really intend to spend a LIFE together - is infinitely more...practical?

    We can spend beautiful lives...together...without imitating a model that wasn't made...for us. (And, apparently, doesn't work for a lot of "them").

    Just a thought.






  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Sep 02, 2013 3:22 AM GMT
    TheGuyNextDoor saidOK, I'll be the first to finally bite here....

    I applaud your honesty!


    And that might be a quintessential difference between some of us: I don't think honesty deserves applause.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Sep 02, 2013 3:29 AM GMT
    .... til' death do us part .... wouldn't it be fun to take up sky diving icon_twisted.gif
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Sep 02, 2013 3:34 AM GMT
    Aristoshark saidYours is a very different sort of promise. My daughter was married last week in Brooklyn, and she and her wife followed a path that was sort of between your two alternatives. A very moving ceremony, sort of partly Jewish-traditional and partly lesbionic-modern. But quite wonderful.

    For me, that ship has sailed already. My problem with marriage isn't monogamy, it's that it customarily involves putting up with another person.


    Yes, I think mine is a "very different sort of promise." I think it is one.

    Do you mean other "promises" carry "qualifications", some innocent ("I promise to meet you tomorrow at The Algonquin at 5pm, unless it rains..."), and others less innocent ("I promise to feed our one-month old baby every time it cries for food, unless I'm too busy doing something else..."), and what does a "qualification" do to a "promise." I think that's the point I'm trying to make.

    Surely, the more "qualifications" the promise is contingent upon, the less of a promise it is?
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Sep 02, 2013 3:46 AM GMT
    Aristoshark said
    WrestlerBoy said
    Surely, the more "qualifications" the promise is contingent upon, the less of a promise it is?

    Your promise, taken literally, is the promise that you will never abandon him. It is a different sort of promise than saying you will remain faithful, etc. That's all I meant.


    Isn't "not abandoning" someone, no matter what happens, the ultimate expression of "faithfulness"?
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Sep 02, 2013 3:50 AM GMT
    WrestlerBoy said
    Aristoshark said
    WrestlerBoy said
    Surely, the more "qualifications" the promise is contingent upon, the less of a promise it is?

    Your promise, taken literally, is the promise that you will never abandon him. It is a different sort of promise than saying you will remain faithful, etc. That's all I meant.


    Isn't "not abandoning" someone, no matter what happens, the ultimate expression of "faithfulness"?


    I think it is a big fat lie ... there are many possibilities to abandon someone, no one ever knows what the future will bring and no body really ever knows the mind of another person
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Sep 02, 2013 3:52 AM GMT
    AMoonHawk said
    WrestlerBoy said
    Aristoshark said
    WrestlerBoy said
    Surely, the more "qualifications" the promise is contingent upon, the less of a promise it is?

    Your promise, taken literally, is the promise that you will never abandon him. It is a different sort of promise than saying you will remain faithful, etc. That's all I meant.


    Isn't "not abandoning" someone, no matter what happens, the ultimate expression of "faithfulness"?


    I think it is a big fat lie ... there are many possibilities to abandon someone, no one ever knows what the future will bring and no body really ever knows the mind of another person


    What's the "lie", you weren't very clear?
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Sep 02, 2013 3:53 AM GMT
    Aristoshark said
    WrestlerBoy saidIsn't "not abandoning" someone, no matter what happens, the ultimate expression of "faithfulness"?

    Yes, in one very important sense it is. But it's not what's generally meant when used in the context of marriage, where it also carries the meaning "abjuring all others". I have no particular brief for monogamy. I observed it in my LTRs because my partners insisted on it, but it wouldn't have been my preference.


    Yes, but you've just fallen into your own trap: The thread is titled "My ALTERNATIVE to monogamy..."; so I've sort of lost your point?
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Sep 02, 2013 3:56 AM GMT
    It's all a big crap shoot ... you just take the vow and hope for the best, that is all you can do.

    If you are both taking a vow, then the most important thing is that you are both taking the same vow ... then at the end make a cut across your hand and sign your vow in blood icon_twisted.gif
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Sep 02, 2013 3:58 AM GMT
    AMoonHawk saidIt's all a big crap shoot ... you just take the vow and hope for the best, that is all you can do.

    If you are both taking a vow, then the most important thing is that you are both taking the same vow ... then at the end make a cut across your hand and sign your vow in blood icon_twisted.gif


    It's an interesting point of view, yes, and I think many people look at it that way. However, you're forgetting (or deliberately disparaging) one thing: Some (many?) people DO keep the promises they make...right?
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Sep 02, 2013 4:05 AM GMT
    WrestlerBoy said
    AMoonHawk saidIt's all a big crap shoot ... you just take the vow and hope for the best, that is all you can do.

    If you are both taking a vow, then the most important thing is that you are both taking the same vow ... then at the end make a cut across your hand and sign your vow in blood icon_twisted.gif


    It's an interesting point of view, yes, and I think many people look at it that way. However, you're forgetting (or deliberately disparaging) one thing: Some (many?) people DO keep the promises they make...right?

    I believe it would be 50% of those who do not stay together ... somebody fucked up ... or maybe nobody fucked up at all ... maybe you just grew and your partner didn't ... or maybe your partner changed and you didn't ... or maybe you came to realize that his belching in your ear during sex just wasn't that cute any more

    People change and split up for as many reasons as there are people.
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Sep 02, 2013 4:07 AM GMT
    AMoonHawk said
    WrestlerBoy said
    AMoonHawk saidIt's all a big crap shoot ... you just take the vow and hope for the best, that is all you can do.

    If you are both taking a vow, then the most important thing is that you are both taking the same vow ... then at the end make a cut across your hand and sign your vow in blood icon_twisted.gif


    It's an interesting point of view, yes, and I think many people look at it that way. However, you're forgetting (or deliberately disparaging) one thing: Some (many?) people DO keep the promises they make...right?

    I believe it would be 50% of those who do not stay together ... somebody fucked up ... or maybe nobody fucked up at all ... maybe you just grew and your partner didn't ... or maybe your partner changed and you didn't ... or maybe you came to realize that his belching in your ear during sex just wasn't that cute any more

    People change and split up for as many reasons as there are people.


    Which 50%? You mean of married people who take those vows? Yes, and I'm not arguing FOR those 50%. Have you read the thread?
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    Sep 02, 2013 4:18 AM GMT
    AMoonHawk said
    WrestlerBoy said
    AMoonHawk saidIt's all a big crap shoot ... you just take the vow and hope for the best, that is all you can do.

    If you are both taking a vow, then the most important thing is that you are both taking the same vow ... then at the end make a cut across your hand and sign your vow in blood icon_twisted.gif


    It's an interesting point of view, yes, and I think many people look at it that way. However, you're forgetting (or deliberately disparaging) one thing: Some (many?) people DO keep the promises they make...right?

    I believe it would be 50% of those who do not stay together ... somebody fucked up ... or maybe nobody fucked up at all ... maybe you just grew and your partner didn't ... or maybe your partner changed and you didn't ... or maybe you came to realize that his belching in your ear during sex just wasn't that cute any more

    People change and split up for as many reasons as there are people.


    ..and if I may, people also get together and grow together for as many reasons as there are people. icon_wink.gif
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Sep 02, 2013 4:18 AM GMT
    yes I've read the thread ... by 50%, what I mean is that between two people that take the vow and then split up because one of them did not keep their part of the vow .... that is 50%.

    Neither vow you proposed literally states that you promise to only have sex with the one you are taking the vow with. That's why it is so important that you talk about it with the one you want to take a vow with so that you get straight what the vow means to each of you, otherwise, you really shouldn't even be making any sort of commitment to each other.
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Sep 02, 2013 4:20 AM GMT
    TheGuyNextDoor said
    WrestlerBoy said
    Aristoshark said
    WrestlerBoy said
    Surely, the more "qualifications" the promise is contingent upon, the less of a promise it is?

    Your promise, taken literally, is the promise that you will never abandon him. It is a different sort of promise than saying you will remain faithful, etc. That's all I meant.


    Isn't "not abandoning" someone, no matter what happens, the ultimate expression of "faithfulness"?
    Hummm... I'm not certain I follow this logic.
    Sure, if you get diagnosed with a disease it would be nice if you wouldn't bolt, but if we're no longer seeing eye to eye and enjoying each other company, please say goodbye with some dignity and let me go my way too.
    Just like people, some promises in life change.


    Yes, and my point is, some promises don't.

    Note the "ful(l)" in "faithFUL" (so, your "logic" doesn't allow you to follow that if it isn't "full" (complete, total) it wouldn't then be...."full", complete, total?

    The other "alternative" to both of my versions in my original post should be quite clear and "logical" to follow: Don't make the "promise" in the first place?

    I do this all the time: I have sex with plenty of guys, but I make no vow, no promise, no nothing, I simply have sex with them. Nothing wrong with that, either. My original point was to suggest that not only "monogamous" relationships are worthy of being rendered in vows.

  • BillandChuck

    Posts: 2024

    Sep 02, 2013 4:22 AM GMT
    Ours was a simple: 'Til death do us part, we commit to one another our lives. We committed to grow and change and suffer and rejoice together, regardless the work required. All else is details, to be worked out together. Neither of us has hesitated.... And it hasn't all been a cake walk, either.
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Sep 02, 2013 4:25 AM GMT
    AMoonHawk saidyes I've read the thread ... by 50%, what I mean is that between two people that take the vow and then split up because one of them did not keep their part of the vow .... that is 50%.

    Neither vow you proposed literally states that you promise to only have sex with the one you are taking the vow with. That's why it is so important that you talk about it with the one you want to take a vow with so that you get straight what the vow means to each of you, otherwise, you really shouldn't even be making any sort of commitment to each other.


    So, the traditional "marriage" vow does not literally state that you promise to only have sex with the one you are taking the vow with? Ok, then I obviously didn't make my point clearly enough, in "my ALTERNATIVE to monogamy", sorry about that.
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Sep 02, 2013 4:28 AM GMT
    BillandChuck saidOurs was a simple: 'Til death do us part, we commit to one another our lives. We committed to grow and change and suffer and rejoice together, regardless the work required. All else is details, to be worked out together. Neither of us has hesitated.... And it hasn't all been a cake walk, either.


    I think you're being cagey, B&C, but I like it. I actually think this is a lot closer to my "vow." ONCE you have promised "I'll never leave you" (and that's it), it makes perfect sense to me that those "rules", "ways of being together", as they develop, are...what...negotiated, intuited, felt out, or whatever works for the two people involved? Seems perfectly sensible to me.

    I think this is a lot closer to what I was suggesting, yes.

  • BillandChuck

    Posts: 2024

    Sep 02, 2013 4:30 AM GMT
    WrestlerBoy said
    BillandChuck saidOurs was a simple: 'Til death do us part, we commit to one another our lives. We committed to grow and change and suffer and rejoice together, regardless the work required. All else is details, to be worked out together. Neither of us has hesitated.... And it hasn't all been a cake walk, either.


    I think you're being cagey, B&C, but I like it. I actually think this is a lot closer to my "vow." ONCE you have promised "I'll never leave you" (and that's it), it makes perfect sense to me that those "rules", "ways of being together", as they develop, are...what...negotiated, intuited, felt out, or whatever works for the two people involved? Seems perfectly sensible to me.

    I think this is a lot closer to what I was suggesting, yes.


    We think you've got it, Eliza! icon_lol.gif
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    Sep 02, 2013 4:34 AM GMT
    isn't it easier to just shack up...without putting a label on it? kinda like these two.

    Bert-and-Ernie.jpeg
    new-yorker-cover-bert-ernie-gay-marriage
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Sep 02, 2013 4:39 AM GMT
    TheGuyNextDoor said
    BillandChuck saidOurs was a simple: 'Til death do us part, we commit to one another our lives. We committed to grow and change and suffer and rejoice together, regardless the work required. All else is details, to be worked out together. Neither of us has hesitated.... And it hasn't all been a cake walk, either.

    Sharing space with another is rarely a cake walk, but the good, by far outweighs the bad.
    If it's the other way around, you're doing it all wrong. I'm sure you two have it all going in the right direction.


    Again, yes to all of this, but, for fear of getting off topic, I suppose the idea under discussion was... can all of this be done (the being a couple, living together, growing together, changing together, i.e, living a life together)...can all of this only be done in the context of monogamy. And, not only that, is "doing all this" in the context on monogamy somehow better (or worse) that "doing all this" non-monogamously?

    Maybe a concrete example helps: We live together, share a life together. He's on business for a week in....Japan; I'm on business for a week in....Iraq. I'm at the bar of the hotel, long day, a long way from home, I'm horny, so is the hot guy next to me (whom I've never seen before, and never will again): He's a male animal, so am I; we fuck. I never see him again, he never sees me again.

    The next morning...does that mean "I love my man LESS.." or I am "not faithful to my man?" If, by the latter, one means not "genitally" faithful, fine...but that's my point. Am I less "faithful" to him, do I "love" him any less, after that night, in the sense that he still has my...."full faith"?
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    Sep 02, 2013 4:49 AM GMT

    Wrestler said, "I suppose the idea under discussion was... can all of this be done (the being a couple, living together, growing together, changing together, i.e, living a life together)...can all of this only be done in the context of monogamy."

    *horrified at the idea*

    NO! icon_wink.gif

    There are couples that are open in varying ways, and what they've discovered and love about each other is as unique and as valuable as anyone's else's experience.

    Monogamy, really, in the final analysis, is but a choice people make and a demonstration of simply being who and how they naturally are when in love, just as those in open partnerships have made a choice in who and how they naturally are when in love.
    To celebrate both monogamy and non-monogamy for those it works for is only good, as far as I can see.

    To condemn one or the other can cause some people to feel they have to be other than they are. A great recipe for heartbreak hotel when meeting others.
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Sep 02, 2013 4:50 AM GMT
    TheGuyNextDoor said
    BillandChuck saidOurs was a simple: 'Til death do us part, we commit to one another our lives. We committed to grow and change and suffer and rejoice together, regardless the work required. All else is details, to be worked out together. Neither of us has hesitated.... And it hasn't all been a cake walk, either.

    Sharing space with another is rarely a cake walk, but the good, by far outweighs the bad.
    If it's the other way around, you're doing it all wrong. I'm sure you two have it all going in the right direction.
    It would take a lot for me to consider leaving my partner, but I'm only human and have my boundaries as I'm sure he has his.


    And I agree with all this, too, and it seems to be bringing me closer to my ultimate point (I think!). TGND and B&C all seem to be suggesting that this is a matter of almost extraordinarily personal and intimate "intimating" between the two parties involved.

    Why, then, is there this undercurrent (or not quite so "under") that monogamy is somehow morally "better than" non-monogamy.

    I started this thread, originally, as a counterpoise to the monogamous "REAL relationships" thread running alongside.



    My instinct would tell me that (some, many most, depending on all kinds of factors) monogamous couples....simply are not, at some point(s). WHY, then, this notion of suggesting that monogamy (especially for gay men who are not reproducing and in no need of inheritance laws for estate) is "better"?
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Sep 02, 2013 4:52 AM GMT
    TheGuyNextDoor saidI don't think that's for anyone here to truly judge.
    If it works for you two, that's all that matters.
    You're relationship is no less solid than a couple that chooses to remain sexually closed. The bond is what holds you together.
    Not the scorecard. I guess that's why so many couples write their own vows these days.


    YES! And my point, again, is, why are so many guys (and, for reasons I simply cannot fathom, YOUNGER guys on here) under the illusion, then, that only monogamous relationships are "real" relationships?
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    Sep 02, 2013 4:58 AM GMT
    WrestlerBoy said
    TheGuyNextDoor saidI don't think that's for anyone here to truly judge.
    If it works for you two, that's all that matters.
    You're relationship is no less solid than a couple that chooses to remain sexually closed. The bond is what holds you together.
    Not the scorecard. I guess that's why so many couples write their own vows these days.


    YES! And my point, again, is, why are so many guys (and, for reasons I simply cannot fathom, YOUNGER guys on here) under the illusion, then, that only monogamous relationships are "real" relationships?


    Because they're YOUNG and really can't think that far ahead.
    Hell most wont find out their precious roll model of traditional hetero-normative parents cheated on each other for years yet.

    What your talking about is an open relationship, plenty have it and make it work.

    For us, our mirage is negotiated on a daily basis.