I wrote a post during my first year blogging, called Sex is Just Sex? In it, I did a very poor job of trying to describe the first couple I had met, that had an open understanding in their long distance relationship. My writing was limited by my desire not to offend, and to not give the couple away, and in turn made that whole post a convoluted mess. Also, and the reason I am sharing this post again, is to outline why I started blogging. I can see clear growth in my understanding of open relationships and how I can now write about them, with the freeness that I actually feel in my day to day life.
When I met the male in that referenced couple it was before he was married, and I got along with him great. I respected him, and trusted his judgement. For this reason, and this reason alone, I kept my mouth shut when I found out that he had slept with another woman, while his soon to be wife was studying abroad. As I mentioned in that terribly written post, the couple had an open understanding whenever they were in different countries. I did not understand this concept at the time. And clearly I did not have the clearest understanding of the value of this sort of relationship norm when I wrote about it.
I now see a much more human element in this foundation. This friend, trusted that I would not judge when he told me his story. I failed him, and judged him hardcore on the inside. How, could sex not mean something? How could sex with others be part of a healthy and loving relationship? At the time, I was monogamous, and had only ever slept with one man. That was my relationship identity. I could not help but hold them to the same standard that I held myself to.
I have felt judged and criticized for being in an open relationship many times over the years. Now however, I can look back on how I reacted to this couple which was less than mature, and how now I feel I have had a fairly good friendship with this man over the years. I first ignored the personality flaws that I didn’t like (openness) and then I just forgot all about that. It was none of my business. Now, I embrace that about him. I can see a braveness in him for sharing this possibility for non monogamy nearly 15 years ago. There was nothing in the media, or internet about those types of couples at the time. Nothing mainstream anyways.
He and his wife are still together, with a beautiful family. I have not yet asked if they are still open, because it just really doesn’t matter to me. They are wonderful people, with great careers and a lovely family. Their relationship values work, even if they have changed over the years. For some couples, sex is just sex when it is with other people. It can fill a necessary function of life when in a long distance relationship, or just because both parties want the extra physical contact in their lives.