General Question

aviona's avatar

Do you and your significant other have "exceptions" in your relationship?

Asked by aviona (3242points) April 4th, 2009

Whether they are spoken or unspoken, do you have any kind of “agreement” as to when it is acceptable to say, break the rules of fidelity?

I was just thinking about this because, for example, whenever my ex and I did ecstasy (ha, that’s kind of a pun) together, it was kind of an unspoken agreement that it was okay to kiss other people. I mean, duh, we were on ecstasy. We gave each other verbal permission, but we never had a huge conversation about it. I watched him make out with some of my good friends (girls) and he watched me make out with guy friends. It didn’t bother us at the time and there were no hard feelings in the morning. In terms of strangers of the opposite sex it got a little dicier, but I think we were into each other enough to to feel compelled to kiss anyone else. But strangers of the same sex were completely fine.

It’s just interesting, months—a year later, to deconstruct all of this. It’s kind of fucked up in a sense, but hey, we’re young, we were on drugs.

Anyone else have similar relationship rules/exceptions, either under the influence or not?

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43 Answers

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Nope. No exceptions.

essieness's avatar

Well, because I’m in a long distance relationship, we have an unspoken “open” agreement. Don’t ask, don’t tell, as far as casually dating someone else goes. But the thing is, neither of us have met anyone who comes close to comparing with each other, so why bother?

eponymoushipster's avatar

I’d say i’m pretty exceptional.

5lisadianne's avatar

Oh, yeah…we have talked about this a lot. Our marriage is strong in the love & respect department & our intimacies are v. nice but we both miss the excitement of that first kiss. We usually are ok with flirting with others & getting a dose of that excitement but it’s harder when we discuss moving toward the physical. My husband has tried a few things with others & usually it feels all weird for awhile & then we kind of move on. The biggest problem we had was when an old crush contacted him & wanted to get together. That shook us up for awhile & basically sucked…though I completely understand the interest & allure…oh, yeah…

TechScott's avatar

Interesting. I work outside the country for long periods of time, like 6 months or more and she has given me permission to have sex with other women but not to have a relationship with them. Though this sounds like a great thing (from a guys perspective) I’ve never taken her up on the “permission” because it seems like a violation of her trust. She is very realistic about guys but is extremely loyal to me and strikes me as the type that couldn’t live with herself if she cheated. As a result I can’t bring myself to take her up on her offer.

Having said that… Every relationship is different and has different “rules” both spoken and unspoken. If you look to others for permission then it’s likely your partner will be hurt by your actions.

kevbo's avatar

Exception is the rule, but I’m fairly horrible at following the rule.

augustlan's avatar

Well, we have ‘the list’. Certain people (celebrities, aliens, what have you) we’d be allowed to sleep with in the extremely unlikely event an opportunity presented itself.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

my husband and I are in an open marriage
as long as it all gets talked about, we both can go as far as we want both sexually and romantically with others
lately, though, with two kids under 3, neither of us has time to bother, :)

VzzBzz's avatar

No. When I was married, that meant I was married. What’s the point of getting married in the first place if you’re going to look for “exceptions”. In relationships, I only accept a clean, committed and monogamous one. No exceptions. This is good news for everyone else, I leave a lot of fish in the sea.

Facade's avatar

not at all. and i agree with vzzbzz

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

this is a random tangent, but is there such a thing as a ‘clean’ relationship?
and to answer your question, the reason one gets married and stays non monogamous is because we can have primary partners that we commit ourselves to, for life, but it doesn’t mean we ‘own’ each other…him interested in someone else doesn’t mean he loves me less…

casheroo's avatar

Reading your question, makes sense why you two aren’t together anymore.

No, there are no exceptions in my marriage, or during my past relationships.

kevbo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir, I appreciate you sharing your POV. It’s oddly rare for the Fluther crowd.

casheroo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir My opinion is that a man/woman does love you less, when he is involved with others, or wants to be involved with others.
I understand that open marriages exist and that’s fine with me. But definitely not something I would consider for myself.

aviona's avatar

@casheroo I definitely appreciate that, but it has nothinggg to do with the breakup at all. Fidelity had no role in it.
My craziness, yes, but faithfulness, no.

VzzBzz's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: I have answered this question from my point of view, from my experiences, my rules for my life.

I didn’t ask you any questions about yourself

Staalesen's avatar

Well, yes. We have the opinion that as long as you are the person who i share a home with, the rest is ok.

cookieman's avatar

Yes. The exception in my marriage is that if I have any interest in being murdered in my sleep, I am more than welcome to sleep with someone else.

bythebay's avatar

No, no exceptions in our marriage. But in reading the answers above I find it very interesting to see how others define the parameters of their relationships and their safety zones. I can’t say that I could ever operate under such open rules as my insecurities and need for stability would get the best of me. That said, if it works for you, and both parties are cognizant & compliant, work it. Ahhh, my husband just reminded me that we do each have a hall pass; me for Andy Garcia and he for the 7 of nine chick; guess we’re more flexible than I thought! :)

dynamicduo's avatar

When my partner and I started our relationship, we both wanted to be with each other but to not let that limit meeting and having relations with other people. Thus, our relationship is an open relationship, meaning both of us are free to indulge in other people. We are also very open with sexuality, I think this plays a big part in the aforementioned.

janbb's avatar

I believe that I have (or would take) a “hall pass” if George Clooney suddenly wanted me; he would probably take one for Michelle Pfeiffer. Seriously though, the question of “exceptions’ has never come up as a discussion; neither of us is particularly religious, but we’ve just assumed monogamy. I have had crushes and “platonic” friendships with a few men in the 35 years of our marriage and I assume he has too; some of which have been hurtful to the marriage. (I have also had healthy friendships with men that have not been a problem.) I can’t imagination either of us being o.k. with unfaithfulness; it would just hurt too much. Having said that, I try not to judge others for any agreements they may make with their partners.

Sakata's avatar

Yea, I get to fuck Drew Barrymore twice (if the opportunity ever arose).

And to all the people giving the textbook response “when we got married it was to each other forever and nobody else ever,” that’s crap. There are millions of couples who engage in threesomes, swing parties, and even orgies. If that kind of thing works for those people and makes their sexual & emotional relationships stronger than there’s no problem.

The only reasons for eternal monogamy are religious beliefs and fear. If you’re insecure about your relationship then monogamy is the only way you feel you can keep balance.

As far as religion stopping you from exploring life in that manner… I’m not going to let Sherlock Holmes dictate my bedroom activities so why would I let some Guy in another book do it?

SuperMouse's avatar

@Sakata twice! Impressive!

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

My wife and I discussed this years ago, and we do have an agreement. No sneaking around, if one of us ‘strays’ we tell the other, so there are no ‘surprises’. Our marriage is sort of open, but since neither one of us are very aggressive in our pursuit of others, we look at it as an insurance policy should something ‘happen’. Nothing has, but there are always possibilities. We’ve had a three way and once with another couple. Some fantasies are best kept in the fantasy realm. The reality of a four way doesn’t quite add up to the excitement that fantasizing about it does.

So yeah, we have given each other the opportunity to do so should the occasion arise. I think we both can handle it because we follow the CCT of relationships; Compassion, Communication, and Trust. We’ve been married 20 years, so we must be doing something right.

@Augustlan, if you are ever visited by sexy aliens, send them my way after you have your way with them, okay? :-)

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Sakata much lurve for shooting straight from the hip! Great Answer!!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

i know you didn’t ask me directly
but you posed a question and i thought i had an answer
please feel free to disregard

Aethelwine's avatar

@Sakata I’m not religious and I’m not fearful. I believe in eternal monogamy. I also believe that anyone can go about their marriage however they want and I’m not going to tell them that their beliefs are a load of crap. There are also millions of couples that are monogamous.

laureth's avatar

We have friends that are poly and/or open, and both of us have tried to be poly in the past (with spectacular flaming failures on record). Some people are just naturally OK with poly relationships, and it doesn’t mean you love each other any less, and some people are just naturally monogamous, and that’s okay too.

I have no interest in sleeping with anyone else, and he doesn’t really want to see me go off with anyone else. The reverse is also true – I don’t want to share him, and he doesn’t particularly want to be shared. It’s not that we “own” each other, it’s that we prefer each other.

So when we got married, we discussed the “open” question (har har!) for a few minutes and realized, no, we’re two naturally monogamous people who are getting together, and there’s really no reason to have special “exceptions.” It’s just us: happy together.

tinyfaery's avatar

We have the list, as @augustlan mentioned. If I called my wife and said “Milla Jovovich is in my bed”, she’d find something else to do for a few hours. :)

5lisadianne's avatar

Ok…but what about the whole internet “adult-friend” thing? My husband has several “friends” that he visits regularly via the web but does not ever meet in the “flesh” (so to speak) Since he has a higher sex-need (not intimacy need or love need) than me, I have been relieved that he has an outlet & I don’t have to freak about it. He feels more fulfilled & I feel more comfortable. I guess I can look at it as purely a pleasure principle but it really would be different if it was real world…then it’s the whole person…the feel…the taste…etc.

Facade's avatar

@5lisadianne Are you saying he has “cyber sex” with women?

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Sakata i’m pretty sure everyone gets to fuck Drew Barymore twice. it’s in her contract.

DrBill's avatar

Only one rule “When I die, you can play” but when it happened, I didn’t want to.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I think two people who are completely happy together don’t need/want to be with anyone else. I guess people who say otherwise are trying to make themselves feel better.

tinyfaery's avatar

@BBSD Don’t assume that what is right for you is right for others.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

same can be said for people who say they never look at another person ever like ever ever and would never cheat like ever ever and do…same can be said for people who think their partners are happy but they are feeling trapped instead…basically for a lot of monogamous couples

Aethelwine's avatar

Where was everyone when Sakata put down people that believe in monogamy. Why just point out @BBSDTfamily. I’m just sayin’.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

i’ve actually been told by a number of people how flutherers are extremely pro-monogamy and not open to discussion on anything else…either way, unhappy couples exist and you can’t say it’s all monogamous or all non monogamous are this or that..

Aethelwine's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir If you look at my first response to this question, you’ll see that I have no problem with other couples and how they live their life. I just wish to receive the same respect.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

i didn’t mean you or anyone specifically
and i’m not sticking up or trying put down anyone
i was just responding to the last post on here, not trying to make someone feel bad

Aethelwine's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Than we both agree on that. Lurve :)

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

There are no exceptions. Now when we first started dating then it was agreed to on the first date that neither of us was implying exclusivity just because we were so interested in each other. We gave each other some time and mental room to feel the pairing out, ease into it without deep analyzing or dissection. Basically it was lip service but much needed since each of us has deep past relationship hurts and we needed to go slow in building trust and being sure our affection was more than lust, rebound or distraction.

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