Photo by Stocksy. I vividly remember the first time I felt it. My husband and I were in the backyard, lazing in the sun, sipping drinks as he told me about what he got up to the night before. As he talked, his face looked brighter, his eyes clearer.
Having sex with another man, to save her marriage
What brought on these feelings of joy in both of us? And, yep, I was stoked for him. But in that moment in the backyard when my husband was describing a spontaneous makeout session, I felt exuberantly happy for him about his connection with someone else. I felt slightly freakish for it, but it was at a point in our marriage when romance in the bedroom was at an all-time low. Sex in long-term relationships fluctuates, and between financial stressors, raising kids, and working like crazy, we weren't having much fun.
So, quite frankly, I think I was just happy to see that my husband was still sexual.
But it also felt scary. They would resoundingly disapprove of my husband having a lover and would heap even more disapproval on me for being happy for him. Even as it becomes more common, there's a strong stigma around consensual non-monogamy. Whose business was it if we wanted to be sexual with other people? Compersion fascinates me because it sanctions the idea of our partner deriving pleasure in a context separate from us, and from another source.
In this way, compersion is antithetical to how we view relationships and expect to operate in them. We are raised to believe that when we are one half of a couple, we should derive all our happiness and pleasure from that single partner and only experience it together with that partner.
And compersion, of course, challenges this ideology.
It supports the idea that you are individual beings with perhaps divergent desires or needs. This stifling setup can prohibit the joyful feeling of compersion. Can you pursue compersion in a monogamous relationship? It's a quality that can help enliven any relationship. By giving it a go you could open your heart to many happy and interesting possibilities.
There are so many polyamorous practices that could help monogamous couples. Sometimes people ask me if I get jealous. I absolutely do — I feel it all. And it is just that: a conversation, dynamic, evolving.
I want my beloved, spouse, mate, partner you choose the word to care profoundly about what makes me thrive, as I care profoundly about his happiness. I would not call myself polyamorous nor would I say I am monogamous. I have no interest in relationship labels and trying to follow someone else rules, especially in the most intimate of chambers — my marriage.
There are times my marriage is open. There are times it is shut. I want an ongoing, open conversation with my spouse. What do you need? Because love is a verb, and I want my actions to be responsive.
Of course, many forces threaten eros — bills, caring for kids, ambitious careers. But I still want an erotic charge in my marriage — and sometimes that comes by way of another person. My husband and I deliberately choose to have conversations about what we do with these sexual attractions. Cheating is so much more digestible to many people than "ethical non-monogamy.
But my intention in my marriage is so much broader. I want longevity, sure. A year golden anniversary sounds great. But only if we are still in love, if there is still a spark, a passion an excitement to connect. Having this open and honest communication keeps that spark. Bottom line? I want choices and intelligent discourse. Knowledge is power and intelligence. I want the illumination of fully knowing the man I love.
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Even if it sends my heart accelerating with some fear. Because even if there's fear, there's an opportunity for a conversation, an openness, a dynamism that will keep the spark alive.
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What husbands want wives to know about sex
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Explore Classes. She has degrees in Women's Studies and Acting from Bard College, and she writes prolifically about ethical non-monogamy, open relationships, and creating chosen families. Last updated on February 28, Why some people let their husbands and wives sleep with someone else. Why having sex with other people can make sense in committed relationships. What an "open marriage" really means.
Gracie X mbg Contributor. She has degrees in Women's Studies and Acting Emma Loewe. With Megan Bruneau, M. Mental Health. Jason Wachob. Sarah Regan. Jamie Schneider. Latest Articles Recipes. Eliza Sullivan.
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