Originally Posted by Jeff/BC
You REALLY need to let this go. So Carol and I are 57 and 48 respectively. We've been a couple for 17 years and married for 15 of them. Things seem to be getting better and better year by year. At what age and at how many years of marriage do we gain credibility?
Why can't you believe that this sort of thinking just has no place in our marriage or our brains? We both agree that if we even STARTED to think like this our marriage would already be so broken that divorce would be a great choice.
Everyone is not you.
I had you in mind in particular but also others in general when I posted this.
I am 57. Been married 35 years. I made my worst choices at your stage in marriage. That was just me. I learned from them. I was younger when I made them. I do not dwell on your marriage. You are just outspoken about your views about being sort of open.
Realize that at least one of the people posting this is not married and claims to still be a virgin. Others are getting divorced for other reasons and still another had their husband fall into an EA. Anoher never admitted to dating. Just hanging out with friends.
It is very common with young folks who are still hanging out with high school friends yet "married" to be very naive about what marriage is. Some may indeed want an open marriage. So they could say my spouse and I have an open marriage but these are our boundaries.
So indeed no I will not get off of this. The fact is that having experience in life and in a real marriage is quite different from imagining what it should or might be. It is naivete and idealism. In your case you should indeed know better. So you have made your choices with eyes wide open.
Most young couples are still in their infancy of figuring it out. I agree that we never figure it out altogether.
Lets make note that you go on record ( in a sort of open marriage ) see no problems with what some would refer to dating others. Hanging out with members of the opposite sex is ok.
That said, you have also gone on record that when your wife is propositioned she is to have them call you and explain what they wish to do with your wife and ask you permission to do so. If I have this wrong I sincerely apologize.
I just want to be clear we are not just talking about having friends. We are talking about what amounts to dating other people. A couple choosing to that is cool but lets not be vague about what is going on. Lets not call it hanging out with friends. That is unclear. Lets call it hanging out with an opposite sex friend and spending one on one private time with them.
You are hosest to admit to this. That is very cool. Others kinda kibitz and use vague wording when they really are wanting to cake eat a bit.
But to answer your question. I think you gain credibility over time. Not being married has pretty much zero credibility. It takes a few years to wise up. Sometimes it is more about dealing with events than time itself. I think once a couple has gone through soem tough times that gain some real credibility. Rough times does not mean marriage trouble per se. It is common for single friends to have all sorts of advice for their married friends concerning marriage. Kinda like giving advice to an astronaut about going into space.
Smart people learn from their mistakes. Really smart people learn from others mistakes.
I also think what you do in your marriage is fine for you. But it is good for folks to be able to see what your marriage is all about in the context of your advice.
It makes sense that you would agree to couples dating. So I get it.