Open MY Marriage! [Ask Dr. Miro: What You Didn’t Learn in Health Class]...

Dear Dr. Miro, I have been faithful to my husband for the entire 19 years we have known each other. With all the news focused on Newt Gingrich and his open marriage attempts, I’m beginning to think it’s a good idea. I don’t want to cheat but I’d really like to have some new adventures that don’t involve him. Am I terrible for wanting this? I don’t think it will make everything in my life better but it certainly will make me feel better about some things. Sincerely, Wanting More Dear WM, Are you asking me for permission to redefine your present marriage confines? You may simply be bored and need to liven things up in the bedroom so try to figure that part out, first. Are you ready to open this Pandora’s Box in your marriage? Start simply by watching some adult movies together and see where that leads you. Wanting to open your marriage is nothing to feel badly about. In fact, why should one mode of sexual intimacy be applied to all people? It is rather unrealistic to believe that everyone will be completely satisfied by one person for the remainder of his or her years together. You say you want some adventures that do not include him. Consider traveling alone or with a girlfriend. How about skydiving, horseback riding through Arabian deserts or white water rafting? Is it possible your desire for more may not even be tethered to the sexual realm? If you truly want to explore alternative dynamics to “traditional” marriage, there are many options available to you. However, the MOST important part of all this is to keep in mind that what separates cheating from an open relationship is COMMUNICATION. Everyone involved in your relationship(s) must understand...

Hearing My Voice Break [Hippie Squared]

When we write we are speaking, in print, in the voice of whatever we are. I find myself in a weird place right now. As I enter my fiftieth year, having come through two years of chaos and crisis in more than one arena of my life, I feel so changed that I’m not even quite sure that I know the sound of my own voice anymore. I feel the tectonic plates of my internal landscape have shifted so drastically that I’m on the other side of a faultline from the old “Hippie Squared,” and now, when I open my mouth to speak (when I hold my fingers poised above the keyboard), what comes out sounds like a squawk to me, a croak, a squeak. I hear my voice breaking. At forty-nine years old, you no longer expect to hear your voice break. Almost half a century old, and I feel like I’m speaking with a fledgling’s voice. I have to try out my old wings as if they’re new. They creak and moan with arthritis, yet it feels like I’m just learning how to unfold them and fly. I’m not even sure they’re not vestigial. I’m no longer even sure that flight is possible. But I feel forced to try. So yes, I’ve been through some hard stuff. I’m hardly alone in this, of course. The rough times are widespread. In my case: Grief. Layoff. Unemployment. Fighting to hold onto our house. Family health problems. The toll that all of these can take on our most intimate relationships. Hurting my loved one, terribly. Getting hurt. So who am I now–entering my 50th year, seemingly on the other side of the worst of it? On the earlier side of that faultline was a young...

Romance, Not Sex, at a Bed and Breakfast [Tall Drink of Nerd]

Let me start off by clarifying that the Bed and Breakfast I am referring to is lovely. The proprietor was very nice and her breakfast, consisting of platter bacon, two types of crustless veggie quiche and blueberry clafloutis was divine. The rooms were immaculate and the resident cat spent the night on the foot of our bed. We had a perfectly lovely experience. Now down to the nitty gritty, or rather, lack of any nitty or gritty. I’m not sure who came up with the idea that a Bed and Breakfast stay was “romantic”, but now I honestly think they were people who liked having strangers listen to them getting down. A B&B is cozy, yes, homey, sure, but romantic in a sexy way, no. The word romantic is so commonly paired with B&B, that it seems natural to just say “We’re going to a romantic B&B up the coast!” and when I made the reservations, that is exactly the thought that ran through my head. Me: “Ooh honey, this room has a fireplace and overlooks the river” Seen (the honey, sneaking a peak at a picture on the Inn’s website): “Oh wow, that looks romantic!” Me: “The place is all booked up except for this one room. Let’s stay here for our romantic night away!” This would be a much needed getaway. By both our estimating, we hadn’t had an overnight outting together, by ourselves, since December 2004. It wasn’t for lack of interest, just life kept taking over and getting in the way. After a few years of overwhelming family commitments and being broke due to double unemployment, my hubby and I lost that ‘we need time away’ mindset. But now everything has calmed down, and I decided on Friday afternoon that...