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Fidelity with a Partner: Old fashioned or still pertinent?


W_L

  

17 members have voted

  1. 1. Is fidelity to a Partner still relevant in modern romances?

    • Yes
      16
    • No
      0
    • Depends on the level of Betrayal
      1


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I can make this a trashy post like "Did you cheat on him?" :P However, I thought it'd be more interesting to open up and ask this question about modern romances and keeping fidelity with your lover.

 

I know Polyamory is far more fashionable; plus, I am not role model for monogamy either :P However, I do try to put my heart out there, but it just never works out.

 

Also, keeping fidelity does not always just mean sleeping around with another guy or girl or both at once. Betrayal comes in more flavors than the light spectrum and you can be betrayed on anything from lies, false intentions, money, or even emotional baggage. At the heart of all betrayal is fidelity, how much do you trust him/her not to break your faith?

 

Trust is a big part of being together at least in old fashioned relationships, but nowadays, we come together, go off on dates, screw around, and call it a relationship. I've never completely trusted the guys I've been with in all honesty; my gut instincts are usually accurate too.

 

However, if I really do want to love someone fully, Can I really trust them? Can they really trust me?

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Whilst the concept is definitely old fashioned, that doesn't mean that it is something that should be ignored or mocked.  Being faithful to your partner is as relevant today as it ever was.

 

Before we got together, Brett and I were known to spread ourselves around.  I'm not saying we'd entertain any guy with a heartbeat, we did have some degree of self-control, it's just that we both had our share of boyfriends.  However, we were always both faithful to the one we were with.

 

We've now been together fifteen years and there is no way we'd be together that long without being faithful to each other.  There have been times when temptation has been there to stray, when I could easily think 'Brett will never know' and go with some random guy I'd never see again.  I love Brett far too much to do something like that.to him, and I know I would never want to be the one to be cheated on.

 

Even though marriage wasn't legal when we first got together way back when, we still made a commitment to each other to have and to hold for richer for poorer etc. etc. and to forsake all others.  I don't see how any couple can survive unless there is total monogamy.

 

When you offer your heart to someone there is always a risk of being hurt, but when it works the risk is so worth it.

 

I hope you find what you are looking for W_L :hug:

Edited by andy021278
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I know a polyamorous threesome. They're very committed to keeping it in the family. And I know a couple that has been together for 30 years or so, and they regularly go out on each other, and then swap stories. They are still very committed to the relationship.

 

 

Sexual fidelity is one thing, relationship fidelity is another. As long as the ground rules are set and respected, it's all good, I think. Fidelity is important but can mean different things to different people. Since LGBT relationships are non-traditional anyway, why do old customs have to apply?

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I agree that fidelity has to be based on trust, but also it needs to be based on respect for your partner(s).  A mutual understanding is fine, as long as all parties (whether it's two, three, four...eight?) know exactly what the others are expecting out of that relationship.  Fidelity often involves total transparency.  There should be no big secrets kept, no baggage unopened.

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16 years committed to the day in and day out that is the slog of walking side by side with another person. Sometimes it's great and sometimes... not, lol. I don't think it is outdated at all, just hard and people have grown lazy. When I read, though, I want commitment to the ideal of romance. Not froofy gestures, but the time spent together taking care of the one you love. Even when it isn't the easy thing to do.

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Wow, I would never say fidelity or trust is old-fashioned.  Wow.  Try being untrustworthy with ordinary friends and family and see how far that goes.  

 

Sexual fidelity is very much dependent on gender dynamics.  A average straight relationship will have certain dynamics that differ from a gay relationship, which will also differ from a lesbian relationship. We can say on average, women tend to  nest, but guys tend to roam.

 

Perhaps the bigger issue is that we assume sexual fidelity is part and parcel of a committed relationship. Should this be so?  Is this a reasonable expectation? That's a question that you need to answer for yourself. 

 

But the important thing is for you and your prospective partner to be honest about what you want out of a relationship. If all they expect is regular sex and having a goto restaurant/movie buddy then the relationship is what it is. However if you want someone rock solid in times of good and bad, and then obviously that comes with heavier responsibilities.   But the problem is people all too often self-servingly muddled about what they want.  They want to screw around, but they want the luxury of calling someone theirs alone.  They want maximum benefits with the least amount of input. They want to be the special one in the relationship.  They aren't willing to give the other party the same roaming license they accord to themselves.  Why is that?  Why do people find it so hard to be up front roaming around? Because monogamy is a very very powerful idea.  Many people are willing to cheat, kill, die to maintain the ideal of monogamy. 

 

Monogamy comes with the promise of certainty.  In our modern age, if there's anything we crave is certainty.  You can't trust God, or government, or your family, your networks, your ideas of heaven and hell to save you in times of trouble. Everything is up in the air. North is south, east is west. Liberating, isn't it? You owe nobody shit, and by the same token, no one owes you shit either, not even love.  As you grow older, the thrill lessens and the need for certainty grows.  And suddenly the idea of fidelity, sexual or emotional, isn't such a quaint old-fashioned idea anymore; it becomes an absolute need. But then again, being liberated moderns, we like to have our cake and eat it too.  

 

I suppose that's my longwinded notion of saying, sexuality fidelity is important for most people to keep a stable committed relationship.  But it isn't necessary, neither is it sufficient. But honesty is absolutely necessary for trust and stability.  

Edited by crazyfish
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After 30 years of marriage to the same man, I can honestly say that fidelity is certainly a huge part of the relationship.  But, honesty is the foundation.  If you are not honest with someone, your love of them is questionable imo.  Learning to deal with quirks of life, becoming the other part of each other, and asking yourself each time you are tempted, "is it worth destroying what you have?"  Everyone thinks differently.  I see it everyday in all age groups, straight or gay couples. 

I've said it before.  When we sit beside each other on our deck late evenings, I'm still glad we're us.  It's been a very steep climb at times, but worth every ounce of effort that we put into it.

When you say fidelity, to me it means, putting your faith and security in your partner's hands, and not have to worry about it.  I know some that can't sleep when their significant other is away.  That's crazy.  When you say I do, you say, I trust.  Bottom line.  Life comes one day at a time.  You always have a choice.

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I've always been the monogamous sort. Since I was 15, I've been in three long term relationships. I've been with Magpie for four and a half years. I've never cheated. Magpie and I sometimes kiss other people at parties, for fun. Just kissing. That's part of our dynamic. And we see playful flirting as perfectly innocent, so we both do that too. I think we both draw the line at any kind of sexual contact, though the prospect of threesomes or even partner swapping has been discussed. Magpie used to be in an open relationship, though that was his ex's idea and not his, and it caused all kinds of trouble for them.

 

I suspect that my ex may have cheated on me, though I have no proof other than his general behaviour, and I didn't really start to suspect it properly until after we'd broken up. 

 

I too think, as many others have stated, that fidelity is relative. It all depends on the dynamics of the relationship. For certain couples, fidelity means complete and utter monogamy, while to others it simply means trust and honestly. And some people are polyamorous and that works for them.

 

I don't think fidelity is old fashioned or out dated; I think it's being redefined. 

 

Sexual fidelity is very much dependent on gender dynamics.  A average straight relationship will have certain dynamics that differ from a gay relationship, which will also differ from a lesbian relationship. We can say on average, women tend to  nest, but guys tend to roam.

 

I completely disagree with this. Where straight couples are concerned, in my experience and as far as people I know, the guys are far more monogamous on average, while the girls are much more sexually adventurous, more likely to want open relationships and more likely to stray. Women and men have just as much potential for 'roaming' and 'nesting', to use your choice of words. Whether they do one or the other is largely cultural, and historically married women have been just as likely to take lovers as married men have been to take mistresses, it just hasn't been as widely talked about because women were meant to be so 'pure' and 'sweet' and weren't really supposed to have a sexuality anyway.

 

It's the same with promiscuity as a cultural stereotype for gay men. It's not biological, it's nothing to do with 'what men are like' or 'what gay men are like'. It stems from a culture that began at a time when secrecy was extremely important, for reasons of legality, and forming lasting attachments is bad for secrecy. There is nothing immoral or wrong about casual sex, but nor is it somehow a default setting.

Edited by Thorn Wilde
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Of course it is still important. I have always hated the term, "open-relationship." IF there isn't a common trust, commitment, honesty with one another, then I really don't see the relationship and bond being a strong one. I've seen too many people give their significant others, "get out of jail free" cards, for cheating, lies, what have you. There isn't a "get out of jail free" card with me. If you are willing to go there with someone that isn't your partner, husband, wife, what have you... then the commitment isn't really there either. If you are willing, then that bond has broken to some extent. It doesn't mean that you can't go back and mend it, but usually people just don't want to at that point. It just seems like, once that part is damaged in a relationship, then everything else: the trust, the honesty, the bond is too.

 

A relationship's strength is that commitment to the other person. As soon as that begins to falter you better begin to mend it or end it there. Don't go out of your way to find what's lacking somewhere else. Don't go looking for happiness in the colder and tougher times. Once you decide to make a commitment to someone else, close the other doors that are open to you and keep them closed.

Edited by Krista
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I agree with you all, but there's still doubt.

 

If you can't trust anyone completely and always want to have one backdoor to hide behind, is fidelity still kept?

 

Let's say for me, I am afraid of certain secrets getting out, not about being gay, but other stuff like certain indiscretions that a family member had done, knowledge of other people's lives that I cannot reveal, and other things that I am sworn to secrecy about.

 

I know trust is a two way street, but trusting a person is harder for some than others. A betrayal of omission is just as bad as a betrayal of lies.

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I agree with you all, but there's still doubt.

 

If you can't trust anyone completely and always want to have one backdoor to hide behind, is fidelity still kept?

 

Let's say for me, I am afraid of certain secrets getting out, not about being gay, but other stuff like certain indiscretions that a family member had done, knowledge of other people's lives that I cannot reveal, and other things that I am sworn to secrecy about.

 

I know trust is a two way street, but trusting a person is harder for some than others. A betrayal of omission is just as bad as a betrayal of lies.

 

Anyone who goes into a relationship not expecting past baggage probably shouldn't be getting into a relationship at all. There is always baggage of one sort or another. Still, it doesn't mean you have to share everything and if you think it does, once again you probably shouldn't be getting into a relationship.

 

Sharing tidbits about family members with someone you love, such as that time you caught your cousin Suzy blowing your neighbor in the back seat of his car is a far different subject than telling that Uncle Jimmy shot and killed a man in a bar fight and never got caught. Two very different things, one you can share and snicker together about at every family get together and the other you carry to your grave lest Uncle Jimmy comes and gets you. Share - Don't Share. It is really not as difficult as you make it seem.

 

Omissions and Lies - Folks lie all the time in relationships about small things. Most of the time the lie is to prevent an argument and a smart partner knows this because he/she will have done the same thing. If you catch your partner in a lie and it's not important, be smart, let it go. And don't lie about the big things. If you can't say anything because you are sworn to secrecy, then say you can't say anything if the subject comes up. Because if it's not yours to tell, say so, don't hem and haw about it, that only creates more interest. As for omissions, the advice is very much as with lies. Say you and your partner dress in formal wear for a fancy doo. He steps into the room puffed up and all proud of himself but he has chosen a cumber-band in a garish shade of puce, his favorite color, that you hate. If you're smart, you will say that he is the most handsome man on the face of the planet and watch him all pleased, big smile on his face and looking at you like he wants to devour you. See, you just omitted the fact that you hate the color and because of that, you are going to get laid later that night. But if you omit the fact that the doctor called about those test you took last week and he said you have two weeks to live... Well, I leave that one for you to decide.

 

There are levels and degrees of everything, W_L. Nothing is set in stone for any two people, you feel your way around each other and make up the way you want to be, together as you go along. Things change over time, you will change, your partner will change and you will change each other. Fidelity is something to be defined by you and your partner. You two will be the decision makers and be damned the slings and arrows of friends and family if you're smart about it.

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I could have a really long answer here, but i'm going for short and sweet.

 

I am a wolf, for all intents and purposes, loyalty is the most important thing to me. the inside of my wedding band says "he is my country". Certain provisos are required before i would ever even consider cheating on him ie; flying pigs, rivers of blood and i, Sasha, being seen in heaven with wings on. I have not and never will lie to him about anything i feel. i will lie about Christmas presents...

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One of the meanings of fidelity in the dictionary is conjugal faithfullness. I personally consider fidelity, in this context, to be an absolute necessity to a true and lasting relationship. I couldn't see myself long-term with a partner who didn't share that view. "For better or worse, in good times and bad,....". To each his own, but I'm the "In for a penny, in for a pound" type.

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I'm surprised to see some people saying an open relationship can't be a good one. I think it's pretty judgmental to say that one form of a relationship is better than another form. I'm pretty offended reading this tbh. My relationship is open but that does not mean we don't really love each other or are not committed to each other.

Edited by Voleuse
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I'm surprised to see some people saying an open relationship can't be a good one. I think it's pretty judgmental to say that one form of a relationship is better than another form. I'm pretty offended reading this tbh. My relationship is open but that does not mean we don't really love each other or are not committed to each other.

 

I think most people here are speaking for themselves and not really for others. Either they have bad experiences with open relationships and polyamory (a friend of mine knows this girl who basically uses the polyamory thing to get loads of guys to all buy her stuff and treat her like a princess so she never has to do anything for herself, which is pretty shitty) or they have too little experience to even imagine what it might be like. And some of us aren't built for that sort of thing. I myself am the jealous type. I need to have my partner to myself. I don't think I could be in an open relationship. But that doesn't mean that I don't respect you and your partner or the fact that you can. In general, you'll find that people aren't judgmental so much as, occasionally, ignorant. ;)

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Oh but I totally understand that it isn't for everyone! But some posts made a more general statement about open relationships, like this one:

 

Of course it is still important. I have always hated the term, "open-relationship." IF there isn't a common trust, commitment, honesty with one another, then I really don't see the relationship and bond being a strong one. I've seen too many people give their significant others, "get out of jail free" cards, for cheating, lies, what have you. 

 

It's that which I disagree with.

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Oh but I totally understand that it isn't for everyone! But some posts made a more general statement about open relationships, like this one:

 

 

It's that which I disagree with.

 

There's actually been another thread about this a while back. It's located here if you're interested in seeing what people had to say then. :)

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