Tuesday 2 December 2008

Honesty And Relationships

Myself and the Baker were sitting in the pub a week before my niece was due. He was relating how stressed he was by the whole situation, indeed he was already negotiating with D for the two of us to have a weekend away a couple of months after the birth to give him a break.

And then it came out 'Sometimes, Crushed, it's all just too much. The amount of time you have to devote to all this. Sometimes I just wish I had more time to spend with you, the way it used to be, when you I and could just take the Monday off every month or so and have a good session. Now I feel I don't have a life. It's all work- and relationship. No time for the good things'.

I smiled. 'That's kind of why I avoid committed relationships. Though I think, to be fair, it's kind of the wrong time for you to be thinking like this'.

He winced. 'I know'.

I carried on watching the football and slurping my pint. And it had me a little perplexed. If this is how the Baker was feeling, what hope was there for anyone?

I've generally put down the fact that most of my relationships have been hell to the fact that I was with the wrong people. I suppose I always thought that in THEORY it might conceivably possible, even for me, to actually be able to live with someone, if I loved them enough, in a committed relationship- without me being miserable.
I know now, that almost certainly isn't true.

It's interesting to watch the Baker and D finding ways to make this work. And they are. And how they do make it work, is interesting.
D, of course, is the model girlfriend in so many ways. The Baker is lucky. A man couldn't ask for more.

My parents, when they ask about how they're getting on, find the whole set up bizarre. The Baker lives in North Wales, where his factory is. She lives a few streets away from me.
The Baker can work from home two days a week, so he comes down here every fortnight. He'll spend Saturdays and the Monday evening with me, Sundays with D and the baby, and work from my PC in my flat Mondays and Tuesday daytimes.

My parents don't see this as the way it's 'supposed' to be.

To them, the two should marry and live together in the same place. I point out to them, why that it isn't the best solution, and that things as they are really are the best way, for so many, many reasons.

Firstly, with the career the Baker has, he's working fifteen hour days many days. It's not necessarily a bad thing that whilst actually at the factory, he doesn't have a 'family' to worry about. What he now has, is a little holiday every two weeks, where he stops off at Shrewsbury on the way down to see his Mum and brother, then drives on down here. So it all adds up really. It fits in. And he gets to spend time with me as well, plus the Chimney Sweep lives not far away, so in terms of organising social events, etc, keeping the Midlands as a base for his life, with his factory being the place he works at, works well. When he's at work, he's like a soldier off at the trenches in that respect. And D doesn't want to move up there. Her Mum lives a few streets away, she sees her Mum every day. Plus, I can go visit my niece whenever I want, so I don't want her to move either.

The Baker could move down here, my parents say. No, I say, because the group don't have any factories down here. He'd have to seek an identical position down here, and that might involve a pay cut.
The fact is, looking at the bigger picture, things being the way they are, is best.

But deeper than that, I really don't think that people of my parents generation see just how differently we view things in our generation. My Dad always points out he was married at my age and I was already born. My parents still believe- as I think most parents do, that our generation are kind of late developers, flawed in some way, that really we're just fighting against what is NORMAL; settling down and marrying to raise children.

I have said before we are no longer divided into nations, but generations. It really is true that the dynamics affecting our generation are so very, very different.

Our parents grew up having family values instilled in them by people who believed in them.
We didn't. Not really. My parents were married, yes, but you were still aware that they had kind of sold out on ideals they'd once had, when they wondered round the Isle of Wight starkers singing about Peace And Love. Your parents told you that all this stuff sounded great, but they'd tried it, it didn't work, settling down into monogamous relationships was the thing to do. As they played John Lennon and Joe Cocker in the background.

I think most of our generation growing up in the Thatcher years asked the same questions.
The message society gave us was; principles are crap. The sixties proved that. The Hippies became Yuppies. That's what the eighties was all about. It was when society shamelessly said 'No, we don't really have any underlying principles, we sold our principles to get five bedroomed homes with en suite bathrooms'.

And we rebelled. Our rebellion was the rave scene.

And the male of my generation has grown up seeing things very differently to our parents.
Because we actually did try, in a way they didn't, communal living.
We were students for three years, and in that time, you do pretty much practice communal living. We actually did run our house at Uni pretty much as a commune. And it did work.

And like many people in my generation, I look back on those years as the best years of my life. And like many of my friends, keeping as much of the way we lived then alive, has been important for me.

And as you go through your twenties, you find yourself confronted with all the pressures of life. To conform, to fit in, with social expectations.
The way it's always been done.
But you're far less inclined to fit in with the norms than your parents were. Because you are the children of Hippies. And you actually believe you CAN make it work without compromising your freedom.

I've tried living in monogamous committed relationships. Hated it. I actually found it just too much stress.
Because I guess I'm finding like so many do, that having experienced through University days that a great quality of life can be achieved without it, having experienced through life in my twenties, that in many ways you ARE happier being single, there's far less reason to 'settle down'.

Now this wasn't true in my parents days. Being single at thirty, had little to offer.For one, you are going home alone to an empty house, devoid of company apart from the TV, with only three channels. You probably won't get much sex- some, but to get regular sex and affection, you needed a committed relationship.

Well- it's not like that now.

It's perfectly possible for me to get everything I need, emotionally and physically, without ever committing. Ever.

So- why would I want to?

The problem is this. You meet a girl, you get to like her, you want to carry on seeing her, you enjoy her company. It's great at first, the wining and dining, the talking.
Problem is when you get to talking about the future.
And this, I think, is where me, like so many men get caught out. Because I guess we do sometimes convey we want something different to what they want. Ultimately, I think there are things we do want in common with what they want. But we're not honest about it.

Or I'm not. Or not always that I'm dishonest- just I allow them to draw the wrong conclusions. And things go pear shaped.

You see, I DO want someone to be the mother to my children one day. I do. Not just little cuckoos that I seed about the place and then abandon, not having a clue what their names turned out to be or even what sex they are. Children who I have regular contact with. Children who bear names I gave them. Children who grow up to be Birmingham City fans, children who are baptised in the Catholic faith.

And I want the mother to be a regular feature of my life, someone I'd count as one of my closest friends, someone who was always there for me, someone who would always be a part of my life.
Part being the operative word.

I think I really do just want to find a woman I can actually be honest and have that with. Where we never marry, never even move in together, always retain separate living space, but spend perhaps two or three nights a week together, and maybe alternate weekends. Without any commitment of exclusivity. And we keep our lives totally separate. I keep my finances, she keeps hers. It would only be the finances of any children we had, that we'd manage together.

An I'd still have my friends, she'd have hers, we'd have separate social lives, but sometimes I might bring her along to social functions, other times I wouldn't. And the same for her. We'd be the lasting, stable features in eachother's lives, but we'd each be able to have short term flings for both emotional and physical reasons with the latest fancies of the moment. Or longer term. And we'd actually be able to talk to eachother comfortably about these things.
And I'd still be able to keep all my relationships with mates, with blogging friends etc, totally unaltered. I'd still probably spend more time with my mates overall, than I did with her. She'd understand that whilst she was important to me and PART of my life, so were these other things and other people.

And if I said to her 'I'm not going to be able to come round for a few weeks' that would be Ok. No big deal.

That's actually what I want. And it really would be great to find someone you could be that honest with and say 'Yes. I want to spend my life with you. Kind of. For you to be ultimate love and affection in my life, the eyes I look into on my death bed. But please, do you mind if we do it a different way to the way it's expected? Can it not be an all or nothing deal? I want you to be the mother of my children and I commit to putting an equal share towards raising those children, but can we do that as people living separate lives? Without either of us being beholden to the other? Can we love eachother and still both stay single?'

That's what I want.

And I just want to be able to be honest about it.


Anonymous said...

To each their own. I think that monogamy has it's rewards. I have been in a very happy relationship for 3 years now, not much has changed since we first met. Don't get me wrong, it is work and it is about having a mutual respect for boundaries etc. but for me it is worth it.

With respect to your friend's family life, it has to be a hard transition for anyone. I don't have kids, but when and if I do I know it will be a different life for me.

Anonymous said...

So you plan to be involved in the lives of your children, but it sounds like the woman or women you impregnate are doing the majority of the caregiving, leaving you free to frolic. Of course this sounds appealing to you. You have next to no responsibility, at least none of the difficult work of child rearing. I wonder how your children will feel about this sort of arrangement.

You should wait until you can take on the real responsibility of kids before you go deliberately making any. It's a far bigger commitment than marriage if you want to get it right. Frankly, I question why you would want to do it at all since you get stifled by romantic relationships. Maybe you are dynasty building. A bunch of little Crusheds.

Ah, well, so long as you tell the prospective mothers-to-be that you intend to just visit your progeny whenever it suits you, I guess it is not my problem. When said women and children turn out to be angry thorns in your side, don't say you haven't been warned.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, realtionships can be alot of work, and from the outside I say better off without them. But then, once someone snags your heart, that all flys right out the window. At least with me.
As Pooh would say, bother...

Anonymous said...

that sounds like a great relationship you describe. The thing is - I would expect it would have to evolve that way, organically, over time, through a common mindset of open-mindedness and honesty (honesty with ones' self primarily, then outwardly) - rather than be planned to happen that way. I do know a couple couples who've lived that way successfully over decades but not ones with shared children where the children were the biological product of both.


Anonymous said...

I am sure that if you look hard and long enough you will find someone who would be willing to have that sort of a relationship with you as well. So many people in the world - surely there are more than a 100,100 for you to choose from that may share your point of view. Doncha think?

Anonymous said...

"have a weekend away a couple of months after the birth to give him a break"

Him? He's going to have a weekend away to give HIM a break? From what exactly? Oh do pray tell..?

"It's not necessarily a bad thing that whilst actually at the factory, he doesn't have a 'family' to worry about."

Yes he does. He just chooses not to worry about them. When you can't see them they don't cease to exist or, indeed, need him. Y'all should have learned that by now. And hiding your face in a pillow doesn't make them cease to exist either, boy.

"And the male of my generation has grown up seeing things very differently to our parents.
Because we actually did try, in a way they didn't, communal living.
We were students for three years, and in that time, you do pretty much practice communal living. We actually did run our house at Uni pretty much as a commune. And it did work.

Blimey - you were the first students? Wow!

"And like many people in my generation, I look back on those years as the best years of my life. And like many of my friends, keeping as much of the way we lived then alive, has been important for me."

Yes they were good years and we had fun. But that hasn't stopped my friends or myself growing up. They are all happily married with children. University doesn't stop you wanting to make a life with someone or making a commitment to someone you love and to children you cherish. Only you do that.

"You see, I DO want someone to be the mother to my children one day. I do. Not just little cuckoos that I seed about the place and then abandon, not having a clue what their names turned out to be or even what sex they are. Children who I have regular contact with. Children who bear names I gave them. Children who grow up to be Birmingham City fans, children who are baptised in the Catholic faith."

My my you do want a lot don't you? And offer so very little in return.

You are clearly SUCH a selfish asshole. I just want to be able to be honest about it.

Anonymous said...

crushed: haven't read this post yet but wanted to tell you that when I typed in your url in my address bar it directed me to a sex/porn site!!!

Nice for a Wednesday mornin' haha

Anonymous said...

Aunt Reeny- Horses for courses. For me, personally it's too much aggro. My view is, my living space, my rules. In fact, my life, my rules. I'm not big on compromise when it comes to my own life and my own space.

It has been a hard transition for him, yes.
But he seems to have found middle ground.

Vicarious Rising- Well, at least they'd have their father in their lives.

Whether or not I am a father already is a mott point I don't really want to go into.

But yes, the important thing to me is knowing I've passed my genes on.
I want as many children as I can posibly have.
But I also want to have children I actually DO do it right with.

I like to think intelligent liberal asults can work these things out.

Fusion- I find that...

Confusing, isn't it?
This head and heart conflict..

Thing is, I love my independence too much.

FWG- Well, I still live in hope it can be found.

Yes, it is about open mindedness and tolerance.

I'm looking for VERY open minded :)

Cat- I like to think so, yes. I have met many people who share my viewpoint on this.
But of course, then I need to find someone who shares my viewpoint AND rocks my world, intellectually, spiritually, sexually and physically...

Yeah, I guess I'm a peefectionist, and I'm not settling for second best :)

Philipa- Er- from the stress of being stuck in a one to one family situation?
It is pretty stressful, I've been there.

No, it doesn't make them go away. But he has a career.
And he has to focus on that. As long as he does his financial duties to them- which he does- it's best he devotes his work time wholeheartedly to his career without distraction.

No, but we were the first mass generation of students who probably embraced the life we did the way we did to the extent we did.

And is marriage and commitment growing up? Or selling out to a life that can never make you happy?

Monogamy is no better than slavery, it's one of the most evil, pernicious and nasty inventions humanity ever came up with.

Yes, I'll commit to any children I ever have in the future. Because I've grown up and want to do it right this time. But I'll not sell myself to do so. Nor accept the neck of the woman I love in a dogleash.

Marriage is slavery of the body. You don't need to have it to raise children.
I know couples who actively swing AND raise children.

No, you'll find I do offer everything expected. In both time and money. Any children I father in the future, will have everything a father should give.
It's just I refuse to be bound in any way to another human being.

So no, I'm not selfish.

I just think monogamy and sexual chastity are some of the NASTIEST and VILEST concepts the human mind ever dreamed up.

Kate- Bizarre. Who knows, maybe you found the secret link to the porn on my hard drive.

Anonymous said...

Well that's just great from your point of view but the woman is basically a single parent with all the stress which that brings.

What you have described is basically a single person having the best of both worlds and not giving a jot about his children and their mother who basically have to look after themselves. Don't kid yourself that you are equally sharing in the raising of those children.

If you ever find a woman who is willing to live that way, do yourselves both a favour and don't have any children. Everyone will be better off all around.

Anonymous said...

I can see what you’re trying to say, I think. If that is what you want, then pursue it. I wonder if it has as much to do with adapting to your hang ups, but maybe we all do that and yours is just a little out of the ordinary.

But I sure have reservations about when you say “I think I really do just want to find a woman I can actually be honest and have that with.”

Because that sort of implies that, with most women, you can’t be properly honest for some reason. Is that so? And if it is why not?

If it is because if you were they would not let you get your way, or would not hang around you so long then I figure not being honest, even by omission, seems a selfish thing, rather a dent in the integrity.

If you really want that honesty maybe you should be upfront about it with all the girls, maybe you would have more chance of finding one you could have it with?

As for it all looking like hard work, well sometimes it involves compromising with each other. Cutting each other some slack, showing a consideration for each others likes, dislikes, that sort of thing. But don’t you have to do that in all relationships? Even with your mates? Maybe you just don’t notice?

Anonymous said...

What difference is there between the Bakers life or the life you aspire to and the life of a divorced father separated from his kids? The majority of marriages end in divorce, and the majority of divorces are instigated by women.
Therefore males would be wise to avoid the emotionally and financially demanding marriage and divorce scenario in which the male will come off worse. A marriage license means nothing apart from a commitment to enter into a temporary arrangement for an undetermined period of time. The terms and conditions of which can be changed without prior warning and applied retrospectively. Therefore you could enter into an arrangement with another, you could plough alot of time and money into the project only to find your wife chooses to end the agreement via a no fault divorce and walk off with the house and kids and leave you with little to show for it accept a continued financial commitment to maintain her "in the manner to which she is accustomed" ie the person who breaks the contract will be rewarded for doing so.
If you ever consider entering into any long term commitments with a woman then you should enter into a cohabitation agreement. ie a designer marriage, make your own specifying what your intentions and commitments are to each other. This would be a contractual agreement that would be legally binding including what happens should the arrangement break down. They cost £600-£1,000 but they are a fraction of the cost of marriage and divorce so you could save much more than that in the long run and you know exactly where you stand at any one time. These agreements are becoming more popular due to the insane marriage and cohabitation laws imposed on people by the government which needs to be kept out of peoples lives as much as possible. You are very wise to try to achieve your goal. That way you can maintain control of your life, and should things go wrong you can still maintain your right to raise your kids rather than be forced to pay someone else to do it should things go wrong.

Therefore, the Baker has got it right and hopefully you will as well.
The shaming comments of others posted hear are shameful and I suspect they are from a feminist agenda. Ignore.

Anonymous said...

I tried to talk a few friends out of marriage. It ended up being a terrible idea because nobody listened and it made a few people angry. But in recent years I've had the opportunity to laugh and joke with all of them that I was the only person in the world who was telling them good advice and they didn't want it.

It's sad, but the bond of marriage is looked at as disposable. So if it's not anything permanent, then a lot of people won't even put in the honest foundation a relationship like that should stand require.

Anonymous said...

Marriage itself is dieing.

Anonymous said...

What I don't get, is how you would raise kids without actually being there? You'd rarely see them upset, hurt or angry because you're only around for a few days, and in the time that you are around, they want to spend it happily with you, because that is the most pleasurable way to live as a child. In that way, they're actively keeping things from you, and putting a wedge between you two. You won't know them as in depth as you would if you lived with them all the time. Unless you're just waiting for them to get to an age where they are rational beings with a defined value system based on and adapted from that of their parents (or rather, in your case, primary care giver, ie parent. note the non-plural form). In which case, why would they want you as a father? I sure as hell wouldn't want to call someone a father if they only turned up in my life twice a week.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the double post, but I just read through the post again, and found some more issues I wanted to raise.

Sure, a swinging relationship is all well and good. It sounds like something I would do, to the dismay of my parents and the majority of my peers (I live in the Christian belt apparently). But it's not a climate in which I would raise children.

You state that you want your children with your names, to be baptised in the Catholic faith, and that they'll grow up to support Birmingham City (soccer I presume). you have to remember that your children will also be factors in the equation, not just objects that you can throw money at and expect them to become the adults you someday will have to deal with. Quality time =/= financial support. You have to teach them what you percieve to be right from wrong, and how can you expect them to follow your teachings if you're not there for them? Or that they don't trust you? The fact that you make up part of their DNA does not constitute as their obligation to give a damn about you or your values. You have to earn that.

Sure matrimony is a form of slavery. I agree with that. But I also think that having children places responsibilities upon you, not unlike those of marriage. Sure an open relationship would work (I'm thinking Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith here), but it wouldn't work in the presence of children you expect to call your own. Because when they get old enough, they'll decide no, they don't want your names, your religion, you football team, or your ideas. And that they won't want to acknowledge you as their father.

The motivation for men to have children is a shoddy attempt at immortality, with one major, jump-up-to-smack-you-in-the-face flaw: your children aren't you. They never will be, under your proposed ideas of freedom and equity.

Also, raising children is no walk in the park. Great, so you spend three days, let's assume doing all the standard raising kids stuff. That still leaves your partner with 4 days with the children, including the issues they'll have with nightmares, bed-wetting or whatever. On those three days will you actually sleep at your partner's house? Will you take over all the care required for the children, or share the tasks with the partner? Because if it's the latter, the woman is left doing 3/4 of the work.

And if you're keeping your finances separate, that means she has to work and balance out raising children, even if it is halved due to your generous contribution. Which, frankly, sucks.

Anonymous said...

Excellent work at keeping your identities separate. This sort of discipline will see you bring about universal change in no time!

Oh, and women seem to be *really* warming up to your ideas. You'll have the pick of the bunch.

Your ideas of a global strike, admissions that you regularly fuck strangers when drunk, with no recollection and contract STDs, ideas of what constitutes a happy relationship and well founded views on child rearing skills make you a real catch.

Most women want a man, not a little boy that likes to play make believe.

Anonymous said...

It's stressful? Oh boo hoo.

And you've been there? Been married have you? Had children? Been pregnant? Got the heamorroids and varicose veins and stretch marks that pregnancy might bring have we? Or held a bowl for your wife while she suffers morning sickness? Got out of bed every couple of hours to feed your child when you are so tired all you want to do is cry? Change nappies, deal with diarrhoea, fevers and waited in hospital on Christmas day praying that your child actually does not have meningitis whilst his complete bastard of what is laughingly called a father chooses not to visit - it's inconvenient. When you are a parent, you stupid selfish little boy, you are a parent every single hour of every single day of the rest of their lives.

You congratulate yourself that you would give what time suits you. Well that's not enough. What you choose to give is not enough.

Don't lie to another woman. If you have a shred of integrity don't even excuse yourself with her poor choices or limited intelligence - don't have sex. If you have sex it is possible to get her pregnant. Take responsibility. Grow up.

Use a prostitute.

Oh and find out what the Catholic faith actually stands for. And show this post to your mother and father. Why don't you? You have nothing to be ashamed of... have you?

Hopefully your parents might educate you that marriage can be wonderful. But you have to work at it. Being utterly selfish in relationships isn't a good start.

Anonymous said...

jbgood2 - women who dislike being left holding the baby are always accused of being 'from a feminist agenda'. Like being used and dumped with all the work is a good thing? Well excuse me!

Ok then - why don't you two pop out this saturday night, shag some drunken females and in 9 months YOU look after the babies? Forever. It's the age of equality you know.

It's also the current situation that a woman doesn't have to put up with some asshole. But that shouldn't be taken as encouragement to be one.

Anonymous said...

jmb- Not at all. Upbringing of the children could still be shared.
And of course, in many situations today, grandparents play a larger role than they once did in bringing up children.

After all, the situation I describe would still mean time spent together. Just that the parents don't live together, which is becoming far more common these days anyway.
I think one can FIND a way for both parents to play a full and equal part in raising children without building a home together.

I WOULD give a jot about the mother and children. Just as the Baker gives a jot about D and baby.
I just think that both and me and the mother would actually be able to get on with eachother better if we weren't perpetually in eachother's faces.

Well the point is, you see, I DO want children. And I would want a full role in parenting.

I think peoople can be adult about and work these things out like adults without having to share eachothers lives totally.

Moggs- Well, yes, I freely admit, it IS adapting to my hang ups.
I just can't share my life with someone to that degree. To me, it's total misery.
And it wouldn't matter who it was, no matter how much I loved them, I just find committed relationships of the traditional variety to make me unhappy.
When I come home from work, I like my time, to be my time.
Now, if there were children in the equation, then I could devote SOME of that time, as could she, and the grandparents too, in working out which time we all put in.

And then quite a bit of my time would still belong to me, and I'd still have an independent life.

I guess it's because you get to that point, after you've spent a month getting to know eachother, walking hand in hand round the shops, you buying her German chocolates from stalls at the outdoor market, watching films, romantic meals, you're having regular sex, and they're telling their Mum and best friends that yoyu're the nicest guy they've met and that they think you're the one and you...

Well, you don't know what to do, really. Your best mate knows you're kind of seeing someone, but that's it.
And you do kind of want to carry on seeing her, indefinitely maybe, but...

What do you say when she starts talking about the future and commitments?

I guess, yes it's sins of omission. I say, when asked, that I want children. I also say I don't believe in marriage. Although sometimes I actually prevaricate on that. I come up with things like 'You'd have to convert to Catholicism and the like', basically to try discourage them. Mostly, it works, but on a couple of occasions, they actually agree to that and on occasion I ended up engaged anyway. So I learned from that.

I guess, yes, really I DO have to start being totally honest. Totally.

Yes, well this is what I'm on about, creating some slack.
I think the difference in relationships with mates, is they are far more natural, people fit in with people, not an ideal of what relationships would be.

This is kind of what I'd like to bring to this type of relationship, the kind of open honesty and give and take that other relationships have.

jbgood- Very well said, yes, you make some excellent points.

I think yes, in this day and age one should take as read that a marriage is likely doomed to failure befotre it starts- some may not be, but the sensible option is to view that way.

So yes, never entering into it in the first place is actually the more RESONSIBLE choice for the long term welfare and happiness of all concerned.

I agree the way 'separated' parents often make it work, is a good example of just how it can be done, period.
No need for any of us to go through the facade of the marriage/ co-habiting relationship in the first place.

Of course, yes I agree, some sort of contract isn't a bad idea. But maybe the contract should be TO the children. From all concerned.

Yes, I think both myself and the Baker have got it right.
This is the way of the future.

Eric- I tried to talk my mate the Chimney Swep out of marriage. I suspect I'll pick the pieaces up there one day.

I think it made sense once, many years ago.
But it's been eroded to the point now where there's nothing good left in it. And we no longer need it. Human beings can live happier lives without it.

Yes, it is dieing.
And I have no intention of helping keep it alive.

Anonymous said...

Akai- You'll probably find a lot of parents who don't live with their children actually spend more time with them than many that do.
When I was little, I probably saw less of my father than many other children- he got home long after we'd eaten and tended to go away to his boat at weekends. But we still saw him.

I like to think I could ensure that if I was spending alternate weekends with the children and theit mother, there would be ample opportunity to take them to safari parks and do the whole family thing. Plus being there a few nights a week as well. and of course it would only be fair for me to take sole careof them sopmetimes, so she could go out with her friends and enjoy a life.

As for swinging, you do realise you don't have to explain it the children until they're old enough to understand.
But I certainly don't want children of mine brought up thinking its wrong.

I do agree with you on forcing your values on your children. Ironically, my own espousal of the Catholicism of my roots to the degree I do, may partly be a reaction to my father having decided when I was 10 that actually he was an Atheist. I was close to my Grandmother, so going to Church with her kept us close, allies against my father, if you like.

No, your children aren't you. My values are in many ways totally opposite to my father. But in looks and temperament, I'm a carbon copy of him in many ways.
Yes, it is of course a 'shoddy attempt at immortality', but fact is is that it is the ONLY genuine immortality there is.
It is passing on what we were given, in the relay race that started in the Hadean and ends with heat death.

Two- three days a weeks and alternate weekends works out as seven out of fourteen. With granparents involved too, that creates a good support network for children.

So, yes, I think it can be done and not 'suck' :)

Femme- Well, I speak for myself in this post, but I'm looking at a wider theme.
I know I'm not alone here- I talk to my friends and other blokes my age, especially those who went through University, etc, and feeling like this isn't uncommon, or structuring our lives this way.

And there are plenty of people out there living open relationships.
And there ARE women who'd prefer it, only people don't advertise it.

So it's about finding one who is, who also has the other qualities I'm looking for.

The global strike, one of my better ideas, I think yes. Fucking strangers when drunk, well, that's not really an idea, more- it just happens. I wish it didn't, but I'm not really sure how to prevent it. STDs- Once, I think you'll find. Many, many moons ago.
A happy relationship is one that doesn't stress me out. One that doesn't take over and dominate my life. It should be something I enjoy, something that brightens up the time I put into it, it should never be a CHORE.

I doubt I am a real catch for any woman long term, no. That's pretty much why most women simply use me for a quick fling then move on. I amuse in the short term, a bit like a toy, but that's it really.

I have people to look after me and protect me in real life. You talk of what women want. Well, it's true, I'm far too vain, self indulgent, petulant, temperamental and capricious in many ways to be able to deal with the pressures of a committed relationship in the sense it is generally seen.

And it raises other questions. Mail, for example. If we had joint mail. Right now, my best mate deals with my mail. It's just something he's taken up over the years, because I couldn't be bothered, so I ended up missing stuff. Now he filters it for me and hands me the stuff that I need to deal with.

I wouldn't trust anyone else to do that.

Philipa- My other best mate has a child who he DOES see, that lives two hunred miles from him. He sees him every three weeks. He is a good Dad to that child.

It IS doable.

You may not see it as ideal. But if the child has a large enough support network, it's doable.

Who dictates what is and isn't enough?
One can be responsible about these things. I know many people who are.

I think you'll find that most of the time most people have sex, prodicing babies isn't why they're doing it.
Most of the women I've had sex with, I couldn't tell you their names.

And I really don't see why I should pay for prostitues when the world is full of free sex. And I don't think that is a bad thing at all. Franjly, I think we should all loosen up about the whole thing. It really is just sex.

Both my parents know exactly how I feel and the lifestyle I practice.

I'm not ashamed of it AT ALL.

You might well think marriage can be wonderful. Not for me it wouldn't be.
I work at my job. That's work enough.
I really don't see why interpersonal connections should be WORK. So no, I have no intention at 'working' at any kind of relationship. If it starts to bore me, I'm out of it. And I don't see why that shouldn't be the case.
There is no need in this day and age TO work it at, it's an obsolete ideal, and I'm NOT wasting my life on such crap. Life is too short.

But I think it can still be made to work in other ways. If one does it it without the traditional 'commitment'.

As I say, I'd commit to an equal share in raising the CHILDREN.
I cannot see the imperative for any other commitment, nor have you demonstrated the necessity for any other commitment.

Anonymous said...

Crushed, I'm glad you live in hope it can be found. This world of humans is a place of astounding possibility. Of course I wildly applaud your open mind and I know you're not alone.

Anonymous said...

Wow that was a tricky one...

"Can we love eachother and still both stay single?"

I guess that kinda summerizes my thoughts to, but maybe not in the same way u mean it.

being old fashion i suppose marrige has always been something that feels natural for me, but... dunno... sometimes I wonder if u really gain more than u lose.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I got married 2 years after our son was born. We married at that point because we wanted to - we already knew we could be good parents to our kid without the commitment. I didn't want him to marry me out of an obligation.

We've been married almost 12 years, and I've never thought it felt like work. I enjoy sharing space with him, but maybe it's because we've never been joined at the hip. In our new house we each have our own office, on different floors on opposite ends of the house. I like to stay up late working and he gets up like a normal person.

It's not perfect, but it's pretty great. I adore my husband now as much as ever. I don't think we've done anything special except been accepting of each other and given each other space within our commitment. When I talk of home, he is a factor of it. It wouldn't feel the same if I didn't have him to go to, even if he's asleep in the bedroom and I'm working in my office.

I don't see marriage as a dying idea. I think there are plenty of people who either have what I do or are seeking it.

Anonymous said...

crushed, I support you on many things, even though I don't often agree with you, but on this issue about having kids..it has really frustrated me.

It's so easy to sit behind a computer keyboard and wax lyrical about equality and shared care and blah dee blah. The crux of the matter is, this post is all about YOU and what YOU want. As soon as you have a child, it is not about you anymore. Not a jot.
Many people don't seem to figure that out, at the expense of the child.

You really annoy me when you write about bringing children into the world like they are statues or something for your shelf.

Anonymous said...

JBG, Sounding a little bitter there, but maybe you have cause? Still let's not all tar each other with the same brushes, as they say. All women are not perfect any more than all guys. Gotta back Philipa's comments on being left holding the babies, very difficult, especially when there is not enough money to go round.

Sparsely Kate makes a good point Crushed.

I am still pretty positive about co-habitation, married or not.

Anonymous said...

Of course it's all about you isn't it?

One of your main problems in your 'relationships' is that you don't treat your other half, or even think that they deserve your respect.

You talk about uprisings and global revolts but to what end? That of which you describe? That will be the real break down of society.

Children are not toys or accessories or even pawns in your 'cause'. If you want them, you have to be willing to sacrifice yourself. You have to be willing to care for them, and love them every minute they are alive, not when it suits you.

A sacrifice that is clearly too much for you to make.

But then if that did happen, it wouldn't be about you anymore would it?

Your flatmate should be ashamed of himself. You can't pick and choose when you have a family. If he's man enough to create one, then he should be man enough to look after one.

Anonymous said...

FWG- I believe it can be found, yes.
It just takes being mature and being an adult about it.

I think it just involves a bit of thinking outside the box and not lazily following the way society says, just because its easier to not think for yourselves.

Monogamy is NOT the best way to live.

Crashie- I guess many people, in their own way, feel like that.

A large part of it, for me, is I don't want to merge my identity with someone else. Just be half of a couple, sharing a joint life. I don't want that.
I want to retain a totally independent life under my sole control till my final day.

I think you ALWAYS lose more than you gain.

VicariousRising- Well, It sounds like you've found a way of making it work.
Not being joined at the hip, I guess is what it's all about.
I'm used to leading my own life and pretty much making all the rules, I couldn't give that up.

I really just can't deal with being OBLIGED to justify myself to ANYONE, have someone who you don't have the choice about whether or not to have the company of at any time, etc, etc.

I used to feel my ex-flatmate, D, was part of my home. But let's be honest, one of the main reasons I was so comfortable about that was, because it was still MINE. I was quite lax and let her treat it as home, but ultimately I could still veto anything I wanted to. I couldn't ever live under a roof where I couldn't do that.

Kate- I guess it IS about me and what I want, yes.

I want to keep my freedom AND have children.
I want to have my cake and eat it, yes.
But I don't think that's impossible in this day and age. I think mature adults can do that.

As I say, i want to be able to be single, to all intents and purposes, yet still be able to have someone I love and have a family with.
And I don't see why that's too much to ask.

Moggs- Been there, done that, got the T-shirt, burned the T-shirt.
It just doesn't work for me. I just need to know when I come home that it's MY castle. MINE. My home, my life, my rules. That I can come and go as I please, and I answer to no one.
I find any other mode of existence a living hell.

Bunny- Not true, it depends on how they treat me.
Firstly- I do NOT and never will have an 'other half'. Half of what? I'm an individual with my own life. And I don't see the 'relationship' described as having any kind of exalted signficance over and above all the rest of your relationships put together, something some seem to think it should have.

I have other 'relationships' equally worthy of attention, and which sometimes and in some aspects would always have priority.

I show all my friends profound respect- but generally they don't seem to want to cross unacceptable boundaries and make unreasonable demands, which people seem to think are reasonable and acceptable in a 'relationship'.

No. If it's not acceptable for my best mate to expect it of me, it's not acceptable for ANYONE to expect it of me.

No it won't be the breakdown of socoety. Merely the unlamented end of the nuclear family and the start of an age where all children are cared for by a wider community.

People's lives are worth more than being wasted by being swamped by family life.

It's a sacrifice that is too much for ANY to make, wghich is why the burdenm of child rearing needs to become more of a collective responsibility.

He's not my flatmate, he has a key and he stays here sometimes. SHE, was my flatmate, until she got pregnant.

He does look after them. Very much so.

Anonymous said...

Crushed, You know you often come across sounding all socialist, well more communist, in the very original sense with the bogus idea of the state just fading away... Oooh... and every one living happily together...

But I figure you are really quite ferociously individualistic in many ways. Much more than most people.

You preach stuff for the rest of us, but don't even want to become one of a pair.

I am being slightly tongue in cheek here but I almost figure your ideas are more about making sure you have staff to provide the stuff and services you want, including sex.

Is there an element of truth there? Think about it.