by Bitch. Ph.D. (When I graduate law school, I'm tempted to change the name of my blog to Bitch, J.D.)
One of Dr. B's friends or colleagues asked "what is it you are getting out of this boy that you are not getting from Mr. B.?"
"The truth," she answers, "...[I]s that it is impossible for one person to be 'everything' to someone else. Impossible and, I think, cruel: setting the other person (and, incidentally, yourself) up to fail. In part, this is the answer to the 'why open marriage?' question in a nutshell: because I think it is loving to deal with your fear in order not to limit the other person's growth."
I this is remarkable, and, am, thus, remarking upon it. We expect, culturally, as Americans, our spouse to be our be-all and end-all.
I think it's connected to the increased mobility of Americans and the subsequent partial demise of multi-generational households and neighborhood support networks for the raising of children, in conjunction with a rise in the expectation of "romantic love" as the basis for a good marriage.
I've written about this before, though I can't of course find the damn entry right now, but the American ideal of marriage is a loving husband and wife and their children, and no one else, and that puts a real strain on the relationship because of the expectations placed on that husband and wife. They have no one but each other, yet we're a deeply social species, and I think we simply need more than just one person to connect with. To depend on. To love and be loved by.