The magazine section of the New York Times recently featured a lengthy cover story called "Infidelity Keeps Us Together." The story -- which has sparked much discussion online, due to its subject matter and front-and-center placement in the magazine -- focuses on gay advice columnist Dan Savage and his views on non-monogamy within relationships.
There is some discussion of Savage's marriage, which he describes as "monogamish." As long as each partner is honest and forthright, the couple may have flings with others. Savage explains that opening up his marriage has helped stabilize it.
Savage believes that truthfulness is the key to a happy partnership; if one partner is desiring someone or something else, they should be honest about it.
Some people need more than one partner, he writes, just as some people need flirting, others need to be whipped, others need lovers of both sexes. We can't help our urges, and we should not lie to our partners about them. In some marriages, talking honestly about our needs will forestall or obviate affairs; in other marriages, the conversation may lead to an affair, but with permission. In both cases, honesty is the best policy . . . Treating monogamy, rather than honesty or joy or humor, as the main indicator of a successful marriage gives people unrealistic expectations of themselves and their partners.
Besides delving into Savage's ideas and upbringing, the story also highlights quotes from others regarding Savage's viewpoint.
One thought on “Non-monogamy on the cover of NYT Magazine”
I think this is fantastic! I *heart* Dan Savage for being so open and no nonsense about ALL the issues that people face. And this is one is dear to me. I am in a “V” Polyamorous relationship. My partner and her other partner are both loving and wonderful people. Some days, it is an uphill battle with a range of emotions we are still learning to deal with. We have faced some pretty horrific responses to our lifestyle (one partner was severely injured by one person she told) but in general we believe as long as no one is being hurt, we are all honest, and we are all consenting – who should really care what our lifestyle is. We all realize that a monogamous relationship is not natural to humans. And things happen in life one can not explain – like falling in love with two people. How many “monogamous” married couples have extramarital affairs? I bet the percentage is fairly high. And with divorce rates being over 50% it becomes quite clear that monogamy is not always realistic. What we are doing is not unusual – with the exception that all of us are “in the know” and that is so much nicer than being suspicious, jealous, sneaking, lying, or anything else that goes along with fighting to be in a monogamous relationship. I believe the reality is that “couples” who find themselves in a fully-invested-100% monogamous-until-death-do-us-part kind of relationship are actually the rarity. People need to stop lying to themselves and judging others (like us) all the while being hypocritical. I am so glad to see this topic coming out in the open. Hurray!
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