Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Closed Relationship

I read often on various gay forums, blogs, and fetish sites about gay guys who have an "open" relationship. To them, it is okay to "play around" (i.e., have sex) with men other than their partner. That is how they live their respective lives and understand their relationship to be.

I have a rather strong opinion that such relationships do not work for the long term, but who am I to judge -- a guy who is for all intents and purposes, monogamously married.

The common marriage vow expresses a couple's relationship to each other "to have and to hold, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part."

I know that is rather hokey in today's society, but I have to say that this is exactly how my partner and I feel about each other. We live by the meaning of that vow even though the law does not allow us to express it to each other formally and have it be recognized by the state.

We have a "closed" relationship. We love each other without question, without judgment, and without reservation. I almost said, "without condition" but I have to say that there are indeed some conditions. We didn't put these conditions in writing; rather, we obey the tenets of the conditions by what we do (or don't do.) We must remain honest with each other. We will strongly protect the other as best we can. We must communicate with one another clearly and meaningfully without using words that can be hurtful. We must respect each other and show that respect by our behavior.

These are the conditions of our relationship, and we are proud of it.

And notice in all that I said above, I have not yet said anything about sex. Another important "condition" of our relationship is that we remain faithful in a sexual way to the other.

There are some who believe that it is okay "just to have sex" as a casual fling, but since "it's just sex" then it cannot (or should not) cause problems in a couple's relationship. To my partner and me, though, sex is a part of our intimate relationship that we hold dearly and sacred. That's why neither one of us would consider having "just sex" with someone else. It is not "just" anything -- in our opinion, sex with someone else would destroy the most intimate relationship that we have and break our bond of trust.

I realize that many gay couples struggle with maintaining monogamy. Some have said to me, "hey, we're not married; we have no Contract in the eyes of God." That may be true, but in our opinion, we have a contract to remain true, faithful, and honest with each other.

I have to say, that is one reason why we have been together for over 18 years, and plan on being a couple in love (as well as "in like") with each other until we die.

Life is short: maintain trust through personal integrity.

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