My Marriage is Different

When we have little to no experience in unchartered territory, the first thing that we look for are “signs.” Signs for what’s appropriate, boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed, and directions to help us figure out (A) where we are and (B) where we’re going. We do the same thing in our relationships – often looking outside in order to answer the questions that we have inside. To give meaning to our alien emotions.

Sometimes we look at other relationships and other marriages with disdain. “Your wife is evil…” or “Your husband is inconsiderate…” and sometimes we even venture into the “You should break-up/get a divorce/have an affair” conversation with your family members, our besties, our “bruhs.” We think that we’re being helpful when actually we have no idea what we’re talking about.

A woman was recently complaining about her husband, and her friend said, “So… you should leave him…” The woman then responded, “My marriage is different.” The way that one partner relates to the other partner is not the same in all relationships. People communicate differently, express love diversely and remain committed for multiple reasons. The way that two people act publicly is not always the same in how they act privately. What may be a pet peeve for one, may be undeniably attractive for someone else.

Our society has become very much in support of individualism. People are encouraged to “be who they are.” Yet, when it comes to relationships we establish very strict criteria. Monique (The Comedian) was put through the ringer when she announced that her and her husband have an “open marriage.” Chrissy from Love & Hip Hop was scolded for proposing to her boyfriend Jim Jones. Rumors are always flying about Will & Jada being “swingers” but who are we to judge? It is up to individual couples to establish the “constitution” of their marriage. A marriage is simply a life-time commitment between two people – everything else is negotiable…

3 thoughts on “My Marriage is Different

  1. Yes, and amen. You already know those are my sentiments exactly. And if folks get out of trying to define it so strictly, the would realize the immense power in two people connecting. John Selden said it best,of all the actions of a man’s life, his marriage does least concern other people; yet of all of the actions of our life, it is the most meddled with by other people.” Love the post!


  2. Sooo…on this one fam I have to part ways with ya. I am sorry, but I am not convinced that any woman actually feels good about having an “open marriage.” The idea that your lover is sexually or emotionally connecting with someone else hurts–period. Even if that is what you agreed to, it has to hurt. That can never feel good.

    I did see Monique’s interview with Barbara Walters some time ago. And it just felt like she had accepted this arrangement, but I was not convinced that even she thought it was really good for her or even something she actually wanted. (Granted I don’t know her.) It was simply what she agredd to do. In that interview she did indicate she had 3 previous failed marriages. Perhaps that is part of what influenced her decision. I don’t know.
    Now I really am all for people being innovative and doing what you have to do to make your relationship work, but not when that means willingly allowing your partner to hurt you. Every relationship does not have to be super traditional, but I think each person deserves respect and for their feelings and personhood to be valued.
    Finally, I will say that their are some spiritual foundations of marriage that should be considered. I don’t believe God designed the marriage in a way for anyone to get hurt. I am sorry, but I just do not believe that deep down in the heart of hearts a so-called “open marriage” feels good to anyone. That’s my truth.
    However, great post though. It invokes great questions and sparks critical reflection on the institution of marriage. If more we (as a society) asked such critical questions before getting married, perhaps we’d be more successful at it. Love ya!

    1. Cuzzo, I certainly agree that it is never acceptable to allow your spouse or partner to hurt you, I must push back. Our lens is both Christian & American and there are some cultures & religions that have a different view on monogamy. My larger point was that I don’t think its fair from a social or philosophical standpoint to judge other relationships or marriages. Just like you have your view there are others on the opposite end of the spectrum who were socialized differently & feel equally strong about their point of view. Thanks for commenting! Love Ya!

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