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With the concept of marriage imploding is RA the way to go.

(113 Posts)
noego Tue 07-Mar-17 17:14:22

It seems to me in this modern world that the concept of marriage is imploding in its pre-conceived way. I know in my case that the concept of marriage has long gone.
So as an alternative to the pre-conceived idea's on relationships, is RA (Relationship Anarchy) and CNM (Consensual Non Monogamy) a concept that can be adopted. I know that as I practice this type of lifestyle and have conversations about it with friends around this chosen lifestyle they become more interested in it as a concept. Just wondering as to how many MN'ers have view on it.
Please research RA before commenting.

StickyMouse Tue 07-Mar-17 17:47:00

What makes you think that the concept of marriage is imploding? I am attending several weddings in the next 12 months.

As for RA, its free love concept isn't it? (I did research it, Wikipedia has a page).

2014newme Tue 07-Mar-17 17:49:38

The concept of marriage is not imploding and is essential for financial and legal protection for women with children.
If you want to shag around go for it but don't justify it by wrongly claiming marriage is imploding.

PurpleDaisies Tue 07-Mar-17 17:51:34

Marriage is not imploding.

I would never be happy in a non monogamous relationship.

MsStricty Tue 07-Mar-17 17:53:19

RA is not free love; it's treating each relationship as unique and primarily led by the wishes of the people involved rather than what others want or expect. I am a sexually monogamous relationship anarchist.

Notagainmun Tue 07-Mar-17 17:54:54

The majority of my friends, family are married. Most still in their first marriages after many years. Lots of my friends adult children, my adult nieces and nephews are married or engaged. I am too be mother of the groom in the next few years. So marriage is not imploding in my circle.

Open relationships wouldn't work for me. Couldn't think of anything worse in my marriage but if it works for you great.

LostSight Tue 07-Mar-17 18:03:04

I personally think it is perfectly acceptable for people to formulate their own relationship rules.

I also suspect that what might happen mostly is that people will continue with either monogamy or more commonly, serial monogamy.

It surely depends, in part, what you want from a relationship. If church ceremonies are anything to go by, marriage was formulated as a way to provide a stable household for raising children. I suspect a long-term monogamous relationship probably remains the foremost way of providing that, though other models can work.

Whilst in theory, making up your own rules seems like a good idea, there is also the downside that people might feel pushed into positions they don't want to be in, but feel they have little choice. I recognise that can happen in more traditional relationships, but where there is a legal bond, and that ensures, for example, that the spouse is legally the next of kin, at least there is a degree of protection when something unforseen occurs.

WannaBe Tue 07-Mar-17 18:03:59

"If you want to shag around go for it but don't justify it by wrongly claiming marriage is imploding." this.

Notagainmun Tue 07-Mar-17 18:10:29

Every marriage is a relationship and unique. My marriage is led by the wishes of the two of us that are in it. We don't live our lives and marriage by what others want or expect. There may be lots of similarities to other relationships and marriages but that is not because we think we must be the same as others.

Labels are often umbrella terms to cover a vast area. OP you might think that marriage and monogamy are limited by your preconceived ideas but there are millions who don't.

noego Tue 07-Mar-17 18:12:19

Wasn't looking for judgmental emotional viewpoints but serious intelligent conversations around pre conceived idea's relating to relationships.

AuntieStella Tue 07-Mar-17 18:14:28

I don't think marriage is imploding.

But that doesn't mean it's the right choice for everyone.

The important thing is to be sufficiently honest about what you want in a relationship (so probably not first date, but quite early on). Seek the like minded, and keep seeking until you find.

WannaBe Tue 07-Mar-17 18:15:56

But everyone's idea is different. You live in an open relationship, presumably as all adults are consenting that's fine and your choice. But your choice has no bearing on other people's marriages, so just as marriage or monogamy doesn't work for you so open relationships don't work for the majority of the rest of society.

And you are making a judgement on marriage based on your own choices...

TrojanWhore Tue 07-Mar-17 18:16:37

Pre-conceived ideas?

Yes, you do seem to have a narrow and stereotypes preconceived idea of marriage. How did that come about?

Notagainmun Tue 07-Mar-17 18:18:22

I think your OP was judgemental with your preconceived ideas of marriage today

Notagainmun Tue 07-Mar-17 18:25:55

Oh and not particularly intelligent

ExplodedCloud Tue 07-Mar-17 18:30:04

It's difficult to discuss this starting from a point I inherently disagree with. I don't have time to research a topic of your choosing. It doesn't sound terribly stable for children though.

MorrisZapp Tue 07-Mar-17 18:31:18

Lol at telling us to research before answering. No ego indeed.

noego Tue 07-Mar-17 18:36:34

Facts - USA records divorce rates at 53% and rising with European countries showing higher rates Belgium being the highest recording divorce rates of 73%

So please lets have a debate.

And RA is described below.

Love is abundant, and every relationship is unique

Relationship anarchy questions the idea that love is a limited resource that can only be real if restricted to a couple. You have capacity to love more than one person, and one relationship and the love felt for that person does not diminish love felt for another. Don’t rank and compare people and relationships - cherish the individual and your connection to them. One person in your life does not need to be named primary for the relationship to be real. Each relationship is independent, and a relationship between autonomous individuals.

Love and respect instead of entitlement

Deciding to not base a relationship on a foundation of entitlement is about respecting others’ independence and self-determination. Your feelings for a person or your history together does not make you entitled to command and control a partner to comply with what is considered normal to do in a relationship. Explore how you can engage without stepping over boundaries and personal beliefs. Rather than looking for compromises in every situation, let loved ones choose paths that keep their integrity intact, without letting this mean a crisis for the relationship. Staying away from entitlement and demands is the only way to be sure that you are in a relationship that is truly mutual. Love is not more “real” when people compromise for each other because it’s part of what’s expected.

Find your core set of relationship values

How do you wish to be treated by others? What are your basic boundaries and expectations on all relationships? What kind of people would you like to spend your life with, and how would you like your relationships to work? Find your core set of values and use it for all relationships. Don’t make special rules and exceptions as a way to show people you love them “for real”.

Heterosexism is rampant and out there, but don’t let fear lead you

Remember that there is a very powerful normative system in play that dictates what real love is, and how people should live. Many will question you and the validity of your relationships when you don’t follow these norms. Work with the people you love to find escapes and tricks to counter the worst of the problematic norms. Find positive counter spells and don’t let fear drive your relationships.

Build for the lovely unexpected

Being free to be spontaneous - to express oneself without fear of punishments or a sense of burdened “shoulds” - is what gives life to relationships based on relationship anarchy. Organize based on a wish to meet and explore each other - not on duties and demands and disappointment when they are not met.

Fake it til’ you make it

Sometimes it can feel like you need to be some complete super human to handle all the norm breaking involved in choosing relationships that don’t map to the norm. A great trick is the “fake it til’ you make it” strategy - when you are feeling strong and inspired, think about how you would like to see yourself act. Transform that into some simple guidelines, and stick to them when things are rough. Talk to and seek support from others who challenge norms, and never reproach yourself when the norm pressure gets you into behaviour you didn’t wish for.

Trust is better

Choosing to assume that your partner does not wish you harm leads you down a much more positive path than a distrustful approach where you need to be constantly validated by the other person to trust that they are there with you in the relationship. Sometimes people have so much going on inside themselves that there’s just no energy left to reach out and care for others. Create the kind of relationship where withdrawing is both supported and quickly forgiven, and give people lots of chances to talk, explain, see you and be responsible in the relationship. Remember your core values and to take care of yourself though!

Change through communication

For most human activities, there is some form of norm in place for how it is supposed to work. If you want to deviate from this pattern, you need to communicate - otherwise things tend to end up just following the norm, as others behave according to it. Communication and joint actions for change is the only way to break away. Radical relationships must have conversation and communication at the heart - not as a state of emergency only brought out to solve “problems”. Communicate in a context of trust. We are so used to people never really saying what they think and feel - that we have to read between the lines and extrapolate to find what they really mean. But such interpretations can only build on previous experiences - usually based on the norms you want to escape. Ask each other about stuff, and be explicit!

Customize your commitments

Life would not have much structure or meaning without joining together with other people to achieve things - constructing a life together, raising children, owning a house or growing together through thick and thin. Such endeavors usually need lots of trust and commitment between people to work. Relationship anarchy is not about never committing to anything - it’s about designing your own commitments with the people around you, and freeing them from norms dictating that certain types of commitments are a requirement for love to be real, or that some commitments like raising children or moving in together have to be driven by certain kinds of feelings. Start from scratch and be explicit about what kind of commitments you want to make with other people!

Notagainmun Tue 07-Mar-17 18:41:01

I decline Noego

HattiesBackpack Tue 07-Mar-17 18:43:07

Are you looking for a debate, with people with different views? or for like minded people to have a chat about it?
(Hope that doesn't sound snippy I'm just trying to gauge before I join in!)

Butterymuffin Tue 07-Mar-17 18:50:02

Like the way 'research before commenting' became 'look, I'll copy and paste this for you' smile

Summerhillsquare Tue 07-Mar-17 18:56:10

Thanks OP, you've introduced me to a new concept! Reading with interest.

jeaux90 Tue 07-Mar-17 19:00:44

Interesting read OP. I'll never marry again I want to protect my assets. grin

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Tue 07-Mar-17 19:19:59

So it's saying that you should be yourself and not change yourself because of your partner, or compromise with them. Instead you both be yourself and if that causes you to move apart then that is fine. And if one of you wants to withdraw temporarily the other should be OK with this. And you see them when you want to, rather than because you have an obligation to see them or because they want to see you. And you can have bits of a usual marriage with different people eg regular sex with Sarah, have children with Amelia, buy a house with Jane and go on dates with Lucy simultaneously?

Frankly that sounds disappointing to me.
I love that our marriage has changed both dh and I.
We started out as two fairly difficult people, with quirks that made us both unsuited to commitment and cohabitation. So I guess we could have carried on having bits of relationships with different people and not confronting ourselves as per RA. As it was we made a commitment to each other and started changing together and challenging one another. Dh used to withdraw a lot and I definitely wasn't OK with it! Because he wanted to achieve a good happy marriage he worked on this, and now has better ways to manage his emotions which impact others less. I've also worked on stuff.

I feel we are both better people for our marriage. We have grown together. Yes you obviously have to choose a good partner who does want the best for you. Yes I've had to compromise on things, and I think that is healthy, to know how to not put myself first, learning to adapt together rather than be firm and rigid in my actions. Neither of us were perfect when we met, so preserving "myself" as I was then wasn't my aim.

I think these are good lessons for raising kids well - as a parent you have to put your child first, provide stability, adapt to their needs, meeting commitments you have made to them. Someone who only had "RA" type relationships wouldn't have a clue as a parent surely?!

Owlzes Tue 07-Mar-17 20:04:50

I think different strokes work for different folks. I have been in open relationships in the past. I'm not now but I know some folk who are, and are very happy. That includes people with and without children, and I'm very happy for them. Figure out what works for you, and go for it. If it's 2.4 children, and a picket fence and getting dinner for hubby on the table at 6, then that's awesome. If it's living in a free love commune where you live in yurts and live off the land, and you have happy and secure kids and feel good in yourself, then fab.

You don't judge, I don't judge. We're all happy.

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