Friend: Well, certainly that would be the honest thing to do- but even asking the question reveals a lot more than people want to. If your partner is not interested in an open marriage, you could be spelling the end right there.
V: When there’s trouble in a marriage, it sometimes feels easier to ignore it.
F: Yes, and if you’re happy with your home life but sex is boring, cheating is definitely like having your cake and eating it too- but the cost of that cake can be a lot of guilt and dark feelings.
V: Polyamorous relationships are frequently short, and that’s part of what people use to judge that they don’t work or aren’t worthwhile, what are your thoughts on that?
F: Well, almost all relationships end, so I don’t think that can be used as the success standard. One thing I’ve seen is that a lot of people open up their marriages as a last ditch attempt to stay married, and those marriages end, but they were probably going to end anyway.
V: Right, and I don’t see divorce as a failure.
F: If the relationship has become unhappy, divorce is a success! But part of the judgements on poly relationships is because it’s not heteronormative behavior- we’ve seen one pattern in our parents and grandparents, and so we think that’s the only way to have relationships.
V: And you learn things from divorce, about how you could do better, or about what you want in a relationship.
F: Yes, ending relationships is always painful, not just married relationships. Not getting married does not help you avoid that pain.