Common Law Wife
In another lifetime I was in what used to be called a "common-law marriage." What the heck- we were young, shared some interests, and both needed to get out of our existing family situations. Some things about it were good: cheap rent, no TV (not even a telephone for a couple of years!) and similar senses of humor. The problem that emerged after a while was lack of growth in the personal relationship department (i.e. sex.) I tried to make a go of it, but after a while (four years!) it was pretty apparent that it was not to be. She was fairly comfortable with this living arrangement. I was miserable. I found a lover. She still stayed. Finally I insisted that we split, she moved out, and we both moved on.
Later I heard that she had "changed sides" in her sexual orientation. I HAD MADE HER INTO A LESBIAN! Well, maybe not. I never had that effect on anyone else before or since; I think she just hadn't thought about it when she "shacked up" with me. Is lesbianism the trend of the future? I think that a lot of women who would have been inhibited in a different era will be more open to the opportunity. Conversely, if you aren't "wired" that way, I don't think anything will change your perspective. The dynamic in men is somewhat different, I suppose. In this, as in many things, men are more polarized and volatile. Still, regardless of what orientation you opt for, you have to enjoy some kind of relationship with another person. I won't even comment on multiple partners or "open" arrangements. That issue is almost beyond discussion. People get into relationships to fulfill human needs. If it works, it's good. If it doesn't work, it's not good. What is bad is not being honest with yourself - life is too short to spend years in pointless frustration.
Summer Rerun Series
First posted December 18, 2004