Monday, December 11, 2017
 
Readers Have Field Day With Provocative But Vacuous NYT Feature

NEW YORK, NY May 15 (DPI) – The New York Times Sunday Magazine went Cosmo this weekend, posing one of those permanently inane questions, which sound reasonable to inexperienced young people but to every married person over 50 is amusing bunk.  The headline? “Is an Open Marriage a Happier Marriage?”

The author, Susan Dominus, pulls back the curtain on several “open” relationships – as well as her own marriage, a tiny bit.  And her conclusion is that, today at least, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice are doing just fine, and we all could learn a thing or two or three from them.

And the comment board, predictably and probably by design, lit up with 1500 posts, many of them hooting with amusement at the notion that polyamory leads to happier marriages. “Maybe for a few months – why not a follow up with these folks in two years?” wrote one.

In fact the most popular comments brought varying levels of objection to the whole idea of an “open marriage.”  And a few dismissed the article as simply poster bait, designed to trigger a comment board bonanza.

And the most popular comments confirmed that even NYT readers are fuddy-duddies when it comes to sex and marriage.

The most popular comments:

I am pretty open, sexually speaking. But, this feels like a long, elaborate case to normalize relationship behavior that rings false to me. I find it hard to believe if you really love  someone enough to want to have children with them and spend the rest of your lives together that you would be okay with them sharing intimacy and finding joy with someone else instead of finding those things with you. It feels like a last desprate effort to save a relationship that is sick, dying, or dead because the parties are afraid, unwilling, or unsure about moving on.

If that is what people want to do, however, I don’t think they should be judged for it. But, I don’t think glamorizing it is helpful or honest, either. It would be interesting to see what the long term survival rates are on these marriage rates. Good luck to all of those in the article as they try to find happiness and meaning in life, which is not easy. At the same time, for those with children, I hope they are being careful in terms of what their children see. I would think it would be destabilizing for them as they form the foundations for what their own relationships will be like.

 

I have had several friends and acquaintances over the years tout the benefits of open relationships. I listen politely, and then shrug. To me its simply a desire to have one’s cake and eat it too. All the open relationships of my friends either closed back down at some point, or they ended. One partner was always more into the openness than the other. Pursuing one’s own desires at the expense of growing as a couple, can lead to focusing too much on “I” and not enough on “we”. Chronic self-absorption and an adolescent desire for continual new experiences, and “new energy”, sap energy from the primary relationship in my opinion.

 

I literally cannot take this anymore. You’re not having enough sex. Your relationship isn’t exciting enough. You need that spark again. The pressure is killing me! I’m getting older, my spouse is getting older, we both work full-time, our kids rarely leave the house and love our company (at least for now), and now I am supposed to fit in a lover on the side to freshen things up? Stop the madness!! I give up.

This article is a banal copy-and-paste job from any number of marriage forums on the web today. You’ve offered nothing new, and simply rehashed common points of view about a suspect lifestyle choice that has rattled around the fringes of society unchanged for decades, for the sake of titillating your readers with posed angsty, lustful photos. I assume NYT will soon be announcing an editorial partnership with Ashley Madison?

 

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