Open relationships vs. cheating

So today I am catching-up on my MySpace messages and such and a sponsored link on the right side of my screen is for “Affairs Made Simple” proclaims the headline, and it goes on to advertise: “Married Men & Women Seeking Affairs. Discreet Online Forum. Free Sign Up”

Now on MySpace such an ad doesn’t really surprise me since so many people use MySpace to hook-up with other people, and one of the most commonly asked questions I see on Yahoo! Answers is “I found my partner has a secret profile on MySpace and their relationship status is ‘single’. What do you think that means?” Plus, Mrs. Scribbens constantly gets emails from supposedly single guys on her MySpace, and nowhere on there does it elude to the fact that we have an open relationship. Both our MySpace profiles are totally vanilla and non-sexual in nature to protect our secret identities. But I guess these guys still think “What the fuck, it doesn’t hurt to ask, right?” And the correspondence to her always go the same route:

Stranger: Are you married?

Mrs. Scribbens: Yes

Stranger: Are you HAPPILY married?

Mrs. Scribbens: Yes

Stranger: Woud you like to meet anyway?

And it just goes down hill from there.

But MySpace actually allowing advertising that promotes it’s usage as a free cheater’s dating site just rubs me the wrong way. Especially since so many teenagers use it and could see the same sponsored links. What is this saying to them? What it’s saying is “It’s okay to lie and cheat, but not to be honest and open with your partner about your feelings, wants and needs.”

Does that surprise me? No. In my experience I’ve seen that most people can not be honest and open with their partner – the one person in the world they should be able to be the most open and honest with – because of the fear of their response: jealousy, anger, resentment. So they will be more honest with complete strangers than with their own partner. No wonder so many people say things after many years together like “I don’t feel I really even know you?”; “Why won’t you let me in?”. Well, experience has taught them that being honest and open with their partner about their fantasies always causes problems. They become insecure, jealous and defensive – “WHAT?! AM I NOT ENOUGH FOR YOU?!” And the fighting and hurt feelings start from there. And then they bitch to their friends about it:

“Why won’t he/she open-up to me? Why won’t he tell me his dreams and feelings and fantasies?”

Well, let me tell you why. Because whenever they do you become all insecure and butt-hurt and then at a later date use what they opened-up to you about to emotionally kick them in the balls whenever you are feeling insecure and butt-hurt again!

So it’s easier to just say nothing until years down the road a couple drifts apart because “they don’t really know each other” and they the find someone new and start the same destructive cycle all over again.

The funny thing is, according to virtually every study nearly 35% of women and 40% of men cheat on each other. And according to one study (I wish I could find where I filed it so I could reference it for you) 60% of women and 70% of men think about cheating and probably would if the opportunity arose and they knew they would never be caught.

So based on this fact alone, nearly 40% of couples do have an open relationship, just one member of the relationship is unaware of it.

So how many really do have open and honest open relationships of one nature or another? It’s hard to pinpoint a figure. I my experience and research the number that pops-up most commonly is 20% of all committed couples dabble in, or have an ongoing open relationship. This can be anywhere from trying a one-time threesome to dating others openly, swinging and polyamory.

Add this figure to the number cheating on each other and you find that 60% of all committed couples have an open relationship of some sort, and another 20% to 30% would if they thought their partner would go for it or they thought they could do it behind their partner’s back and get away with it.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep on living in bewilderment of those that would judge our open relationship while all the while cheating on, or thinking about cheating on their partner.

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