Posted by Tamar on March 29, 2005, at 16:10:51
In reply to Re: tis been awhile, posted by pinkeye on March 28, 2005, at 13:58:58
> I don't necessarily agree with the partner knowing everything. If my husband ends up having an affair, I would like if he keeps it to himself rather than come and tell me (unless of course if it is a long standing one and he wants to dissolve the marriage. I really wouldn't want to know if he has a one night stand somewhere - and expecting him to have taken care w.r.t STD s)
I can relate to this. I definitely subscribe to the idea that what I don't know won't hurt me. If my husband had sex with someone else I would expect him never to tell me! And I hope that no one else would tell me either. But if it happened, and I found out about it, I don't think it would feel like the end of the world. Sexuality fidelity isn't the most important thing to me; I would be much more distressed if my husband became an alcoholic or started gambling excessively than if he had sex with another woman.
I think that's part of the ethical difficulty: there's a social expectation that married people will not have sex outside their marriage. There's a general belief that one spouse's adultery inevitably hurts the other spouse. If married people have open relationships they're openly flouting social expectations, but they can be open about it. The grey area is when married people don't actively encourage their partners to be unfaithful, but at the same time don't really want to know.
I find it quite interesting that all kinds of sexual behaviour that used to be considered unacceptable is now permitted, with certain restrictions. My grandmother would have had plenty to say about same sex couples, sex before marriage, consensual sex between adult brother-and-sister couples, and so on; pairings that seem less remarkable now. But fidelity within those relationships is still considered to be the ideal. I wonder why that aspect of sexuality is so important still.
Nevertheless, I agree with Dinah that integrity is very sexy!