Bjoern-Erik,

Thanks so much for your thoughtful response to this story. I hope you'll comment on Part II as well. I agree with so much of what you have written.

My story is personal and for the most part factual with some creative license.

Doug and I grew up in conservative, rural homes/communities, and monogamy was a central value. No one questioned it or, for the most part, any of the values we were taught. It was based on the belief "all you have to do is find that one soul-mate who will provide everything you need."

These values were so entrenched that even to bring up the desire to negotiate the rules would have seemed shameful. No one talked about how difficult monogamy would be. To suggest you didn't want to hold onto that value would have been seen as a weakness of character.

I think central to your argument is the difference between sexual fidelity and emotional fidelity. As I mentioned in Part II, I no longer believe fidelity is defined by what I do with my penis.

In response to the questions you posed, I would answer them much differently today than I would have when Doug and I got together 34 years ago. I think he would as well.

I would not object to his having sex with another person providing he was safe. I would not object if it didn't result in "emotional infidelity" in our relationship. I would probably not want to know with whom he was meeting. I would not want to know the details. I would not interfere or give him "the third-degree." I wouldn't be jealous if he reassured me his primary investment was in our relationship.

But don't lie to me about it. Lies, not sex, are what destroy a loving relationship.

Written by

Gay father; Psychiatrist; Award-winning author FINALLY OUT. Chapter excerpt here: http://bit.ly/2EyhXTY Top writer on Medium. Not medical advice.

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