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Taken from Huffington Post Lifestyle

Louisa Leontiades: Entrepreneur. Analyst. Polyamorist. Author. Part Greek. Geek. Woman

Statistics are great aren't they? Especially when trying to convince someone else of the 'rightness' of your position. But in the final analysis most of them can be interpreted to support both sides of an argument. Nevertheless in the debate over monogamy versus non-monogamy, some statistics bear out a strong inclination.

 

It is estimated that roughly 30 to 60% of all married individuals (in the United States) will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage.  And these numbers are probably on the conservative side, when you consider that close to half of all marriages end in divorce. [Infidelity Statistics]

 

Whilst some may argue that morality is an absolute, most agree that when comparing different norms and cultures, much of what we consider to be 'right' and 'wrong' can be subjective. When it comes to infidelity however, there's not many who think it the 'right' thing to do.

 

But when passing a judgement on infidelity, most pass a judgement not only on the act of sexual intercourse and/or emotional involvement with more than one, but also on the act of betrayal, the pain, and the deceit of the existing partner. It's 'wrong' because it creates a painful dynamic and goes against the agreement between two parties. But in open relationships this umbrella judgement simply isn't applicable.  If you are to judge at all, then the judgement must solely be made on the fact that one person has loving and/or sexual relations with several with full knowledge and consent of the other party(ies) involved. Polyamorists claim that the interaction can actually generate joy for all partners, as they see their partner become deliriously happy (for those who can't imagine it, think about the second-hand joy you experience when you see your child laughing and happy with others and you can approximate what is called 'compersion').  Love is fundamental to our happiness. And those of us in polyamorous relationships know that loving more... can generate more love. That means more happiness. And what's wrong with that?

 

An Examination of Fundamental Needs


Connection is an overarching label for many of our fundamental needs and humans perform any number of actions to get those needs met. And when you look at the 75 or so fundamental needs out there, it starts to seem truly odd that we require one person to satisfy so many of them. In fact requiring the fulfilment of all your emotional, spiritual, sexual, mental and intimacy needs by one person is an extremely heavy burden; one might almost go as far as to say it is abusive.

 

In a lighter analogy, if you adore Indian food and your partner does not, the most sensible thing to do is eat occasionally with a friend who also shares your passion. But Indian food isn't a fundamental need, it's simply a desire for more spice(!). And yet no one in their right minds would prevent their partner from fulfilling this simple desire even though the sacrifice of this desire would probably be negligable. And yet many people do ask those they love to sacrifice a fundamental need. Something that hurts a great deal more.

 

Proponents of monogamy will say that it's a choice - a sacrifice for the greater good to attain an important (often holy) ideal. Those in open relationships reply that by definition, sacrificing a fundamental need is detrimental to the self. It is therefore not a choice but a suppression. Others will say that they have no need for more than one. Those in open relationships say that monogamy is so ingrained in our culture that most who think they have no need for more than one are probably in denial. So in this murky area of right and wrong... who is right and who is wrong?

 

He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened ~ Lao Tzu

 


The best open relationships create a nurturing and honest situation where needs can be fulfilled from different sources. Some open relationship configurations mean that there is one 'main domestic relationship' and others build networks of loving relationships in parallel. Some people pick one need to be open about (say, sexual expression might be satisfied by swinging) whilst others like emotional intimacy, are reserved for those relationships where most time is spent. Because the great thing about open relationships is that conducting one necessitates, among other things, an honest and shameless examination of your own fundamental needs and an awareness of the strategy/action you perform in order to get them met.  And let's say your fundamental needs are already met by your current relationship interactions - including monogamous arrangements - then there is no need to be open in practice as long as you have been truly open in your evaluation. An open relationship means the permission to know and accept oneself ...and be accepted by your partners.

In fact the most successful relationships are those where we can respect and love one another as we truly are. That means loving enough to allow each other to explore the fulfillment of our fundamental needs. It is the ultimate and only way to truly love... and that's why open relationships are great.

Additional Info

Taken from AdultVacationParties.com

Everyone in this world has his or her opinion about open relationships. Eighty percent of who thinks it’s a bad idea and could never work. The most interesting part about that is, eighty percent of those who think open relationships are bad, have never been in an open relationship, and their views are purely based upon what they have been socialized to believe. Not facts.


The real truth is, the divorce or break-up rate of open relationships, is no higher than the break-up rate of monogamous relationships. Some think open-relationships are not real because they are not a “committed relationship.” That statement makes no sense whatsoever as commitment is used in a very general sense and you are talking about individuals. What does commitment mean? What are you committed to? Each person has their own commitments to their family, career and social life. I did not choose my career path based on what my neighbors were doing. The same way each person has their own commitments to their relationships, or they should. My commitment to my relationship is living life to the fullest with my partner, sharing everything there is to share and enjoy, as long as it is of mutual interest to us both.  Being in an open relationship for me is being open to listening to any conversation, interest of desire my partner may want to share.


This level of openness keeps an ongoing, healthy line of communication between us. There is an overwhelming stream of honesty in our relationship, with both of us knowing that we can share whatever thoughts and fantasies we have with each other, without worrying about how the other may react. The number one reason for break-ups is lack of proper communication. Being in open relationship forces you to constantly communicate. Those who are against open-relationships are hiding behind their need to look good to their neighbors, while they sneak behind their partners back, lying cheating and lusting with every opportunity they get.


This is not to say that everyone in a monogamous relationship is a liar and a luster, if you are that rare human being that your sexual interest and natural desires are only limited to one person, then that is who you are. Monogamy works for you, but your relationship will still only work if your partner has a similar interest. Any relationship with suppressed feelings and desires will inevitably fail. If I was being totally honest, I see way more miserable monogamous couples than I see miserable couples in an open relationship.


Being monogamous was not a choice that was made freely and willingly. It is a program that was written and installed in our brains by those in society who wish to control and manipulate and claim they are following the book of what’s right and what’s wrong. The same people who are ok with building nuclear bombs that can eradicate nations; the same people who are ok with driving past a homeless person in their Ferrari, the same people who constantly cast judgment on those who are not living life according to their ideals.


The same rules apply for all relationships. A relationship will only work if both parties are relatable. Being in an open relationship will not work for you if it is one partners desire to be selfish and use it as an opportunity satisfy those selfish needs. As a matter of fact, being in a successful open relationship takes one hundred percent self-less-ness, where both parties get true satisfaction from helping their partner fulfill a fantasy.


If you are a monogamous believer, and you can read this article and honestly say that you have never had the desire to experience something other than the conventional sex you share your partner, then monogamy works for you. If you have however had those fantasies and you have kept them from your partner, you are a liar and a hypocrite if you cast judgment on those in open relationships.


What monogamous couples don’t get, is sex and love are not related. I can have sex with a million people and not love them, and I am totally cable of loving somebody I have never had sex with.


Sex is purely a physical act, the ultimate gift from God to humans that creates life and pleasure.  Couples in an open relationship embrace sex and sexuality, we embrace the many pleasurable experiences that sex has to offer, and we share and enjoy those experiences. The same urges that monogamous couples have but chooses to suppress because looking good means more to them than being real.


Who are you to judge?

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