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Open For Business

open  More and more these days you hear about couples who enjoy having their cake and eating it too- with permission. What I’m talking about is participating in open relationships. When it comes to marriage, what makes a person secure enough to engage in this type of arrangement? Do these couples not like the thought of monogamy or believe that they can’t stay monogamous? Is there a difference between having an open relationship versus swinging?

Someone wrote to one of my favorite authors to ask for advice. In a nutshell, she met this guy and later found out that he had a live-in girlfriend. The girlfriend called her and they compared notes about the last few months or so of them dating. Together, they confronted the guy and he wanted to stay with both women, and eventually the couple asked the woman to move in with them (kids and all).

Many couples who come out or are even accused of being swingers are harshly criticized (ex. Will and Jada, MoNique and her husband). Some believe that they are incapable of loving their partner since they are having sex with others. Some think that they just get around (swingers or not, it doesn’t mean that they think about or look for sex all the time). Some believe that it’s not a committed marriage.

In the open and swinging couple’s defense, maybe a little spice spruces up their marriage. Maybe it’s for couples where one of the partners cannot have sex (for example, one person is paralyzed or just doesn’t enjoy sex, so they allow their partner to self indulge). Maybe they just like experimenting and exploring.

Some questions to consider (if you’re thinking about participating): 1). How will you feel after; 2). Is everything fair game or are there still cheating rules; 3). What if the freedom feels too good and you don’t want your partner anymore? Also, not only are you bringing another person into your bed, but increasing the possibility of STD’s, unwanted pregnancies, etc.

Now granted, I’m not particularly for this type of arrangement, but I’m just trying to gain some understanding about it. Can anybody share some insight?

My Wifey

wife

First of all, there is a bit of a difference between ‘wife’ and ‘wifey’. Let’s just get that out in the open. Wifey is a girlfriend or fiancee that is wife material. Men and women view this role differently. Men could: a. not wife you; or b. consider wifing you or moving in that direction. If you are a wifey, you need to figure out which category you’re in.

Women a lot of times put themselves in category B and start acting as if they have graduated to wife-hood. Ladies- stop it. If you start doing everything a wife does, why should you graduate? Trust me, it’s hard to stay in your role and not cross over. You hungry? Sure, I’ll cook something for us. You need to wash some clothes? Sure you can add your clothes to mine in the washing machine. It becomes really sticky if you cross boundaries, for example, if you live together or if you’ve been together for fifteen years. A man (and sometimes wifey) gets comfortable and sees no point in making the relationship official.

A wife, on the other hand, has the ‘wifey’ duties and some. We have made that commitment to you through God, to be with you forever. Wifey could be there today and get sick of you and peace out tomorrow because she can. A wife is committed to making herself and her husband (and vise versa of course) happy. Wifey could, but they aren’t obligated to. A wife has financial, emotional, spiritual, social and everything personal connected to her husband. Wifey may have one or two out of four (if you have all of the above, you’re doing too much).

Any thoughts? How did you move from wifey to wife or are you stuck in the wifey role?


The Key

  When is it time to say, “You know what. Let’s take it to the next level. Here’s my key.”? Some say when you become exclusive, some say when you’re married, some say for emergencies only, some say when you share the rent/mortgage. Whatever the case may be or whenever you decide that you’re ready, please remember that this is a huge step and that ALL factors must be considered first, such as trust, sustainability, comfort level, future plans, and purpose (in regards to your relationship and for actually giving the key).

Let’s look at trust, is this a person you can trust to have alone in the house without worrying about your TV or money stolen? Is this a person who you can trust as far as who they might invite over (your man might not rip you off, but their favorite cousin will)? This, to me, outweighs all other factors for the simple fact that you are entrusting this person not to copy and give your key to someone else, steal, and have their way with your stuff when you’re absent. This is serious business, ladies and gentlemen, and not a topic to be taken lightly. Now, if you’re handing your key to someone after two dates and saying, “I feel like I’ve known him/her forever.” Stop and check yourself. Two dates, two weeks, or even two months is not enough time to get to know a person and fully trust them. Sorry…no can do.

Let’s look at purpose. Is this a person who is in for the long run or are you trying to hold on so they don’t go elsewhere? Are you in a temporary booty call relationship or a monogamous long lasting one? If you are in a temporary relationship then what is the point? All that is going to lead to is you begging for your key back, worrying if they made copies before giving your key back, or shelling out money to change your locks. A solid purpose is needed before a key is given. Flat out.

All in all, a key means that you have fully invested in something, not just staked a claim on it. It is not owed, it’s earned. Consider all facets of your relationship before you hand over something as precious as a key to your life (and heart).

Shacking Up

  I heard an interesting topic on the radio earlier that I felt needed to be blogged about. Shacking up…plus children…plus unwed. Whatever happened to our old school values? Remember the lil nursery rhyme- “(So-and-so) and (so-and-so) sitting in a tree; k-i-s-s-i-n-g. First comes love, second comes marriage, and then comes a baby in a baby carriage.” Nowadays, everything’s all ass-backward and our old school values are almost nonexistent. The topic was not covering just your basic unwed couple who are living together with children, but moreso, a single parent having their mate move in without marriage.

I have two main issues with this particular scenario:

a. No marriage.

b. The values you are setting for your child or children (especially if you are a single mother with a daughter).

Let me break it down. Part A- I learned in a class that I took in undergrad years ago that the majority of couples who decide to cohabitate before marriage usually do not end up walking down the aisle. Sure, it’s great to see how you will live as a couple before marriage as a sneak preview, but what happens if you get a little too comfortable? What if one person thinks that the relationship is leading to marriage and the other party doesn’t have that goal in mind? Now, if you aren’t planning to get married at all (both parties agree to this), then this situation would not be a problem for them. However, you still have to deal with Part B.

Part B- Let’s focus on the children for a minute. Parents are the best teachers a child can and will have (once again, I refuse to talk about sperm and egg donors when I speak about “parents”). Kids soak up everything, especially when they are young. Mothers, if you have young daughters and you think that it’s okay to have men parading through your house, or you meet a guy and five seconds later he moves in, you have been sadly mistaken. What if your daughter sees this behavior and thinks that this is what should happen in a relationship or when they have their own children? When you are a parent, you have to put your children first and think about what they might be seeing, because what they see shapes who and what they become. How are you going to explain to your children that it’s okay for daddy to lay up on a woman, but your daughter should never allow that? Let’s just be conscious of our decision making skills, especially in regards to our children.

What do you think? Do you think it’s okay for a single parent to have their girl/boyfriend move in? Please leave a comment.