married forever?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

This blog is in response to a comment made on an earlier entry. I'm reposting it here as it is anonymous and to give background:

Mrs. Wonderful,

In the past year I have been thinking about a similar sentiment, but it is definitely hard to get past because of our socialization. You said, "the expectation that as humans we are only to bind ourselves to one singular individual for the entirety of our lives despite how we and they may evolve, is rubbish".

I want to hear more of your thoughts on this either here in reply or in another blog (look at me making requests). I ask because currently, I have been married for 6 years, but have been seperated for the last year. He is dating and Lord knows I'm trying (can't seem to meet anyone though). I feel the need to explore and see my options. However, there is a gnawing part of me that says, you should try and work it out. He has begged to the point of tears several times. It's not that I think we have evolved in seperate directions (we have, but I think with this distance we've had from each other, there is the potential to overcome that challenge), it's moreso that I love the man, but don't feel all the romantic stuff anymore. I really don't want to be out of his life in absolute terms, but I want to feel romantically inspired by the one I chose to love. I always ask myself if I'm being silly, because all I'm asking for is "infatuation"--And I wonder if I am holding out for infatuation only to end up in the same place in years to come---or whether or not this is the end and the both of us should really begin the legal process????????? Of course, I don't expect you to have the answers, I just wanna hear more on your views as they may challenge my own.

So I'll attempt to tackle this. :-)
I am currently convinced that marriage as we understand it in the U.S. is a load of crock. In advance, for anyone who is devoutly Christian this may be hard to digest, but this is just my sentiment. The whole, you are bound to a singular individual to have and to hold, till death do you part, just is unrealistic. Think about it. When you get married, this person is your romantic partner for life. They also become like a sibling. A business partner. Depending on you situation, they may control or spend all your money. Sometimes, they become that child you never asked for. The relationship becomes multifaceted. You may be fortunate enough to be ones of those people who claim, "my spouse is my best friend," but everyone who I know who is married has a best friend elsewhere. My point is, it is very difficult to remain head over heels infatuated once you know everything there is to know about your spouse.

Beyond that, why should we be expected to limit ourselves from potentially cosmic connections of various sorts with various individuals once we have decided to form a family with one person? Currently, I cannot find the article, but I read a piece on a group in Northern Nigeria when doing research on concubines. This particular society is a patriarchal one, however, women are also permitted to have what we would define as concubines. The term they use for them is iko m'bara, until I am corrected otherwise. The iko lives on the property with his own hut and is essentially at the beck and call of the husband as far as chores and other domestic work goes. However, he is the lover of the wife and only her. She may keep him as long as she pleases and when either of them decide that their attraction has wore off, he is free to leave. If he should impregnate the wife. the husband claims the kids no question. Among this group they have a saying, something to effect of sex is sweetest among lovers. And think about it. Marriage essentially becomes utilitarian for most. Sex with a spouse often becomes a chore and is not as thrilling as it was initially. Romance tends to leave because their is no longer a need to please one another. Your already contractually bound. It's a done deal. Am I saying go get yourself and iko? No. I'm just presenting the thought that what we "know" to be right changes when you cross the water. In many matriarchal societies, women are free to divorce as often as they choose and no looks down on them. Issues of paternity are none existent because children belong to the mother's family and generally have an uncle as a father figure whether or not their biological father is around. If he is around, he is busy raising his sister's children. And life seems to go smoother, at least from the tiny bit I have gathered so far.

I have to ask this: are you dating with the intention of finding a someone? Or dating to just enjoy different people's company? Dating to find "someone" is damn near impossible I think because no single individual can possess all the qualities each of us look for in partners. However, in seeking to enjoy people's company and appreciate different unique human traits, I think you, or anyone will find those qualities in different people. I think this is where infatuation comes in. I understand where you are coming from. That brand new feeling, every time you see your loved one's face or hear their ringtone is so special. I miss it myself. :-( You can try to do many things to get it back, but the attempts have to be made on both person's parts. And even so infatuation never lasts so would both would have to be dedicated to recreating these feelings over and over again. Or, you have to deaden yourself to become complacent and satisfied with lack of. But doing so, I believe, would do great disservice and detriment to yourself. That's why I suggest meeting many different people. This doesn't mean one needs to be romantically involved with all of those people, and is doesn't even mean it has to be a man/woman type of relationship. Meeting someone who inspires you to improve on yourself can be just as infatuating as meeting that person who causes you to tingle. There's so many different ways to explain this. The best way, I think is to share the thought I have for myself.

In my mind, (and all married people think about this) I have considered what would I do should I ever unfortunately separate from my husband. I have determined that would not like to be married again, but rather would be sure to surround myself with contientiously like minded individuals. I would seek to create lasting friendships with males and females. When romantic scenarios present themselves, I would enjoy them while it lasts understanding that the other individual involved is their own individual and I would never try to own them for myself. That, in itself, is an attempt at slavery. As for the father of my child, I would never cast him out my life completely. I love him deeply and he is a wonderful person. I imagine I would always be "available" for him as I would for any person I love and admire as much. Of course, this is all based on hypothetical future projections of my Utopian imagination.

Your husband wants to be back with you and you are considering it but still seem to be on the fence. You have to truly ask yourself if you do want to be stuck to one person forever and ever. You only have this life for all we know. Whatever you decide HAS to be what you want for yourself and not based on someone else's pleading. I think it is possible to remain in one another's lives while not necessarily being "exclusive." I guess most would call this open marriage, but the connotations of that term is not what I mean. I'm not condoning swinging or multiple spouses. But I am offering not limiting ourselves to what we have been taught is supposedly right and acceptable.

I want to thank you for sharing and giving me the opportunity to discuss these ideas. I didn't get as deep as I would like, but perhaps for another post. What should I talk about next?


One response to “married forever?”
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Wow, that was like a "Dear Abby"...thank you for taking the time to answer me so conscientiously...I'm bringing all my troubles to you for feedback ;-)

In regards to me actually dating, I only want to, but aren't really. I don't seem to meet people. Those two that I have met in the past year didn't have much to offer or keep me calling...and I do think that this (as in dating) is something that I need in my life as I was heavily influenced by the Christian tradition in my most formative years and never had the oppurtunity to date pre-marriage and get to experience other people full-ly. In fact, he (my husband) was my friend first-we never "dated" per se. At this time, I have only now come to realize that I don't really want a forever love right now. For the past year, I did. I shy away from anything that feels like bondage now--but I am also very domestic and like to have people to care for--I think right now I just want infatuation and/or even someone to just go out with and cuddle up and watch a movie with. Kinda like the iko (when I need him), 'cause truth is for the majority of the year, I am just waaaay to busy.

So, what I am taking from your post is to challenge myself to think outside of this box (further). I consider myself liberal and someone who typically does think outside the box and dance to the beat of my own drum, AND I study cultures and its influence on psychological one would think it might be easy for me to do so---but it really isn't. It's like when you cook in the house and can't smell it, but you would if you go out for a minute and come back in. I need to get out the house and go back in to decipher reality from social influence. This may mean I hold to what I have learned as well as it may mean that I embrace some new ideals as it pertains to romance. Nonetheless, my decision will not be limited to the one pond I swim in; meaning I will educate myself further and embrace what I embrace. Thanks for further inspiring those ideals ;-)

....hmmmm, what should you talk about next??????.....well,.... I have this problem with my big toe...Haha!---j/k...I will let you know as I process this.


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