June 4, 2003
Send us your questions
* Sex outside of marriage. Why not.
The issue I am going to raise probably enters all young married persons
minds sooner or later. When you take your marriage vows, do you also vow
to only sleep with your partner for the rest of your life? Does is necessarily
mean you love your partner any less, or that you are not as committed
to your marriage as you should be, if after 10 years, for instance, you
start getting an urge to look at, or even wish to have sex with other
I have been married for over 11 years and love my wife probably more
than I did when I first met her. We have a lovely little baby girl who
is our pride and joy. I cannot possibly imagine life without either of
them. My wife and I have gone through many challenges and hardships that
life has thrown in our paths. I believe that we have grown to be stronger
and more complete individuals because of said challenges. Through it all,
the one constant in our lives has been the love we have for each other.
Recently, upon return from a business trip, my wife discovered a certain
item in my briefcase which, correctly I might add, made her suspicious
that I had been unfaithful. The fact of the matter is, however, although
I did entertain the thought, the guilt trip prevented me from doing anything.
I am guilty of thinking about it, as charged, but in actuality did not
commit adultery. Needless to say, this has created a dilemma in our marriage
with the central issue being the loss of trust by my beloved wife.
Life has been bitter since her discovery but eventually once the bitterness
subsided, we started talking candidly about the whole issue of faithfulness.
Our discussions revealed a willingness by both of us to explore alternative
sexual partners. The fact of the matter is that young, attractive individuals
through their normal daily life encounters come across situations where
they feel magnetism and sheer physical attraction to others.
What is wrong with adultery strictly for the sake of sex? Is it too simplistic
to think that sex outside of one's marriage can be practiced for purely
physical reasons without actually influencing ones relationships? The
question is, why should people deprive themselves of alternative carnal
pleasures just because they are living within the social confines of what
society calls "marriage"? Should such an outlook be necessarily
synonymous with something "dirty" and "disgusting"?
Your insightful assessment of such a situation is most welcomed not only
by me but most probably by many others in similar predicaments.
Abjee Fotti and Abjee Pari write:
Let's take your questions one at a time.
"When you take your marriage vows, do you also vow to only sleep
with your partner for the rest of your life? "
We believe the simple answer to that is "yes", that is the meaning
of marriage. It is a commitment to be life partners, go through the bad
and the good together, create a family unit.
I don't know why for some people it sounds like a death sentence to sleep
"only" with your partner for the rest of your life. We would
think people who enter the commitment of marriage do it because they have
done it all and seen it all in the dating pool and finally have found
their match not only emtoionally or socially but sexually as well.
"Does it necessarily mean you love your partner any less, or that
you are not as committed to your marriage as you should be, if after 10
years, for instance, you start getting an urge to look at, or even wish
to have sex with other partners? "
No of course not. Getting sexual urges to look at or even fantasize about
sex is not to be condemned. It is a natural human reaction. We are not
in a George Orwell world where thought police is going to prosecute us
for the instincts we have. And having sexual urges is crucial to having
a fulfilling and constantly evolving sex life with your partner. That
is why people like to play sexual games, role playing, etc. The difference
between thinking and taking the actual step towards cheating is, however,
a world apart.
"Is it too simplistic to think that sex outside of one's marriage
can be practiced for purely physical reasons without actually influencing
one's relationships? "
Our answer is one you don't want to hear but the good news is you don't
have to follow our advice, you are ultimately responsible for your own
destiny. We would say that it is very naive to think that sex outside
marriage can be put neatly in a separate compartment to be locked up every
time you step back into the matrimonial home and then let out again whenever
you feel like a sexual escapade.
Your wife may agree with you to explore other sexual relationships simply
because she is afraid to lose you, or she thinks that by being open, at
least you won't go behind her back and she will have some degree of control
over who you sleep with and don't. But even as much as a man can make
himself believe that sex is nothing than pure mechanics, there is no way
to predict what the emotional aftermath will be.
How do you know how you will feel the morning after you sleep with another
person. What if you get into an affair, a pattern? There is no way you
can't let the emotional be involved. Even if you have one night stand
after one night stand, the emotional consequence will be felt at home,
in your relationship with your wife.
And think honestly to yourself, how would you feel knowing at this very
instant your wife is disrobing, caressing, kissing and embracing another
man? Do you honestly believe you can be rational about it and think of
sex as a purely physical experience.
Not to sound pompous, but we think of another famous guy who had the
hubris to think he could be a rational being and not feel guilt, remorse
or any other human emotions after he committed a crime. His name was Raskolnikov
and we all know what happened to him. Of course, it was not the same moral
crime, but you get the picture? We are all too human to pretend to be
some kind of rational and logical superbeings.
"Why should people deprive themselves of alternative carnal pleasures
just because they are living within the social confines of what society
Please don't blame society for this one. If you truly felt that way about
marriage, why did you enter one? Plenty of people out there are confirmed
bachelors to the end of their days and choose to remain that way, even
have children outside of wedlock and keep separate residences. Don't be
a hypocrite just because now it would suit your needs to all of a sudden
morph into Gene Simmons.
You entered what you call the "social confine of marriage"
by your own volition. If it is a radical lifestyle change you want, you
have to also have divorce and separation from your family with it. You
can't have your cake and eat it too.
"Should such an outlook be necessarily synonymous with something
'dirty' and 'disgusting'?"
We don't think your outlook is dirty or disgusting. What it is, it's incredibly
naive. I think you are lying to yourself and want to believe in what you
preach to justify sexual infidelity. But underlying it all, we detect
problems even behind the rosy picture you painted of your marriage. While
wife and child and harmonious home are what you have, do you also feel
tied down? Are you looking for an escape from the eevryday routine of
bills and mortgages and baby diapers? Are you having a mid-life crisis?
Nowadays, seems you don't even have to hit your fifties to have a mid-life
crisis. Instead of having an affair, maybe you should take a lengthy vacation
with your wife (leaving your child with one of your parents) and rediscover
the spark that you have lost and now makes you long for those "purely
physical" sexual experiences of yonder. If you are bold enough, you
may even go to one of those couples retreat who offer not only respite
and relaxation but also counseling.
Abjee Pari and Abjee Fotti
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