Jenny Block has a somewhat different view on romance, relationships and monogamy than most people would admit to. She has authored a book entitled Open; Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage.
This brings up lots of reactions: “It’s against God’s Plan,” or “Infidelity is the worst sin,” or “I can forgive anything except a cheating partner.”
I won’t speak about God’s plan. I think we are all bathed in God’s plan each and every second of our entire lives — Hint: It’s not in a book folks, books are written by men, not God.
I won’t speak about what sin is the worst, although why would one think that an unfaithful lover is worse than a sadistic killer, I have no idea.
And again, if you can’t forgive your partner, even a cheating partner, then you have no clue about what unconditional love is all about.
But Jenny Block is not about cheating. Far from it. She is about exercising her ability to grow in directions that most people fear. And more power to her! Bravo.
Now would you feel threatened by a partner that openly desires, and has other lovers? Very likely you would. But you could not accuse that partner of cheating. All you could do would be to look at yourself and ask what is it that is bothering me about this?
Here is a new way to look at the fidelity question. And I don’t think most people have even begun to think about love and partnership in this way, but it is a new start —
Do not judge your partner by how she or he treats others, judge only by how your partner treats you.
Look at that statement. Read it. Commit it to memory. Bring it close to your heart. The more you attempt to restrict your partner, the less whole you are. Remember it only your neediness that attempts to force another to your rules. And neediness is never romantic.
Does that mean that you must enjoy a partner’s extra-curricular activities? Absolutely not. In fact, if you have a truly deeply held value about monogamy, there are plenty of people in the partner pool that share that value. A partner that slips, has an affair, or visits a prostitute, it only means that your partner is not honoring one of your deepest values. But your option is to tell your partner how much it hurts, how it hurts, and allow a mending or parting of the ways. Or you an grow into a new set of values.
In fact, allowing yourself the freedom that you extend to your partner will allow your partner to grow and realize the value of the gift of acceptance that you offer. Now that’s unconditional love, and unconditional love is the most romantic of all.
But what ever your preferences about monogamy, swinging or whatever, be clean and safe. Be responsible.
So, thanks, Jenny for stepping up and sharing your new way of pursuing life’s peak experiences.