To wonder if having high standards of fidelity is a good or bad thing.

(9 Posts)
pettybetty Thu 27-Mar-14 15:33:10

A bit of a weird and introspective aibu - I have never experienced jealousy over boyfriends or husbands (on my 2nd) and sometimes wonder if I'm abnormal as I can't imagine getting worked up over a purely sexual fling by a partner/husband.

To my knowledge I've never been cheated on or had any reason to be suspicious, and the relationships that didn't last broke up for other reasons. I too have never had an affair.

A bit tmi, but my dh and I did some swinging after a year of getting together because we were both curious and while we don't do it anymore because of a relocation, we still chat fondly about some of the racy things we experienced and both of us are comfortable with what we did. If a good opportunity afforded itself, I think we would be open to it again, but are certainly not looking; our only mixed doubles is on the tennis courtsmile

I never check up on him when he's away on business or out to dinner with work friends, and while I have the password to his phone and he leaves it around openly, I have never checked his history or texts. I don't have a password on my phone but I don't think he's ever looked at it. When we're out, I never worry if he talks / flirts with other females, and we often have lighthearted chats about who we would choose to 'do' at a particular function in the post mortem of an evening.

I'm not saying I would like it if he had an affair as I think we would lose our closeness and something of our rapport if there was long term lying, and that is what would upset me, not the thought of him being with another woman as I've seen that in person and it never bothered me.

We've only been together for 6 years, so who knows what will happen in the future, but we each have plenty of space for our own interests and I probably go out with friends more than he does. I arrange most of our socialising, and we both indulge in risque talk and light flirting with friends. What I'm saying is that if we wanted to, we would both have plenty of opportunity for an affair but neither of us worries.

I have a friend whose husband is always checking up on her, and a few of my friends are always checking up on their husbands, or getting cross because they haven't had a text by a particular time. This seems to cause arguments because of the checking up, not because of any evidence of wrongdoing.

Surely arguing about mistrust will inspire the mistrusted person to keep secrets to keep the peace, leading to a separation in mental attitude, and then unhappiness, then looking for something bettter, ad infinitum......?

Thinking about this, I am happy that I don't have these feelings of jealousy, but then also wonder if there is something weird about me because I was sexually abused often by a family friend between ages of 6 - 8, and maybe don't see sex as something for 'lovers', and prefer rough sex rather than romantic. Therefore, I can't see myself getting very worked up about a physical act if our relationship stayed the same as it is now.

I can't remember specific threads, but there have been a number where a woman (or man) has found out that they had been cheated on at some stage, and the cheater has said it meant nothing (one night stand?) and they regret it but it was a dealbreaker for the cheated on, and they've split up.

When I read these types of threads, I am enormously sympathetic because the pain the poster feels is tangible, but I also feel relief that I probably wouldn't feel the same way. If he detached emotionally from me because he was getting attached to someone else, that would be different I think.

I'm aware that it may be because of my past that I am wired differently, and I have great respect for the women who place such a value on their self-respect that they will not tolerate a cheat. I do have self-respect, but my partner being unfaithful isn't tied in to that, or so I think atm.

I realise I haven't been put to the test so can't imagine it properly, but I do wonder if anyone else is / was like me, a bit indifferent to sexual fidelity and not possessive? Did this change upon getting evidence of an affair?

whois Thu 27-Mar-14 15:43:21

You are not jealous or suspicious or possessive because you have no reason to be! Sounds like you and DP have a great relationship and trust.

I in no way check up on DP, or worry about home going out with friends etc because it simply doesn't occur to me that he would cheat on me.

I think if I had a reason to suspect he might, my behaviour would be different and I'd see situations in a different light.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 27-Mar-14 15:55:41

I think the thing is that you don't regard monogamy in the same way as most people as you will countenance sleeping with other people and your partner doing the same. Obvious this is fine as you both consent to this type of relationship and you keep the emotional and sexual aspects of your relationships separate. But for most people they only sleep with their partner and sex and emotional attachment are interwoven in a way that amounts to a betrayal that is almost unbearable for most people.

Also you may be projecting how you would feel if your partner had a affair from how you feel when he sleeps with someone else and you know about it. I would actually say these situations are totally different and you might not see this as a silly sexual indiscretion if it involves deceiving you.

MaidOfStars Thu 27-Mar-14 16:06:28

OP, despite not having conducted the same types of relationships as you, I agree with your post. I think that the act of sex has an extraordinarily false weighting on it.

The thing that made me think about this was hearing the following: What would happen to your own relationship if you were unable to have sex any more? If you'd stay together without sex, then it shows that sex is not the focal point, or even the most important part, of the love you share. In which case, if you yourself recognise that love is much more than sex, why do we place so much importance on it if sex happens with someone else?

Of course, in many cases, sex is used a marker for trust. There's an implicit (or sometimes explicit) "I won't sleep with anyone else" promise in any relationship, but this seems more like convention than anything else.

Just my rambling thoughts. Probably change my mind sharpish if confronted with the harsh reality of it.

CailinDana Thu 27-Mar-14 16:35:28

Very interested to read this as I feel the same and I was also abused.
The way I feel is that as long as DH continues to treat me well and love me I don't really mind if he has a fling with someone else. The danger of course is that that fling turns into something else or she gets hurt or pregnant. So in reality it's just not simple. DH has no interest in having an iopen relationship so it's not an issue. However I think that if he came to me and said he'd has a ONS with someone I'd not be upset.

pettybetty Fri 28-Mar-14 16:15:13

Sorry I couldn't come back yesterday, didn't have a moment. I agree that I would hate it if my dh had an emotional affair as that is what I find more valuable than the physical side.

I know when he fancies other women as we sometimes tell each other naughty stories during foreplay and they often involve people we know. I would probably encourage him if it seemed like there was a mutual attraction and she was very sexually appealing. I wouldn't if she weren't though, as I would wonder what the attraction was (v. twisted I know).

It's really interesting that you feel a similar way and were also abused Cailin (and I'm sorry that it happened to you too). It certainly does remove the specialness of sex knowing that it can happen and be 'enjoyed' with someone you hate. I do enjoy sex and have a high-ish drive, but I don't need to love someone to have sex.

NeoFaust Fri 28-Mar-14 16:36:12

Interesting thread.

My girlfriend and I have an open relationship. As long as there's openness, communication and no emotional attachment a fling is fine; Lucky wench bagged an ex-that-never-was recently and I'm envious not jealous. Wish it was that easy for me smile. We have a relationship very similar to the one you describe petty

Without doing more than hinting at my girlfriends personal history, I think there might be a correlation appearing on this thread between very youthful sexual abuse and a disconnection of sex and emotion. However I don't believe the non-sexual monogamy thing is dysfunctional or always evidence of abuse. On a purely personal level it seems like a better way to function - the more conventional way seems a bit possessive and carries a lot of potential for deception and heartache.

Oblomov Fri 28-Mar-14 16:54:52

I am polar opposite to OP. Fidelity is everything to me. Love is ultimate. Sex comes alot lower.
ONS never really interested me, I was always attracted to someone and had sex , for the first time, whilst already in a relationship, or hoping that it would develop into a relationship. Rarely it didn't, mostly it did.

MaidOfStars Fri 28-Mar-14 23:20:55

Oblomov Fidelity is everything but sex comes a lot lower? Those two statements don't appear to be compatible.

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