The Freedom to Marry…and Divorce

Do You Marry a Person or Their Genitals?

In considering my own upcoming nuptials, I find myself reflecting a lot on marriage, commitment, and vows, as well as shifting roles and identities.love-birds-2589-bs

I am marrying someone with whom I am deeply in love and who brings to our union most of the qualities I have been searching for in a long-term mate.

This person is attractive, funny, kind, compassionate, generous, loving, passionate, etc.

My chosen life partner also happens to be both other gendered from myself as well as monosexual and monogamous.

I am choosing to engage in a monogamous, heterosexual relationship with someone, not because of what they are or what labels they use, but because of the person he is.

The genitals of this person are not a primary consideration or deciding factor to a bisexual such as myself.

What is important is that I am choosing him, above all others, and making the choice to potentially limit or eliminate the option to engage romantically with anyone else of either gender for the rest of my life.

But because of who this is and my feelings for him, I am willing to do that. Yes, I might miss the soft curve of a woman’s hip, or the sweet scent wafting from a woman’s hair as I nuzzle her neck. But I have been blessed to have had those experiences and will cherish those memories.

Marriage: An End to Bisexuality?

My decision to marry this man does not make me any less of a bisexual. I am choosing a person, not changing my identity. However, this arrangement does contribute to bisexual invisibility and bi-erasure, which bothers me.

We don’t get to choose who we love, but I also worry about what looks like bisexual privilege – because I am attracted to both genders, it looks as if I’ve chosen to go the socially acceptable route. It’s convenient that my heart happened to align with what is legally approved in the state in which I live, but again, I fell in love with a person, not his genitals.

Free to Marry…and Divorce

My partner and I spent some time talking about what it means to marry, and the significance of the vows we’re writing. Those vows are promises, but they are also acknowledgments of responsibility. We are considering what we are willing to commit to in order to give this relationship the best chance at success and longevity.

People don’t make their vows lightly, just as they don’t decide to marry lightly (usually). But we are human, we have flaws, we make mistakes, and sometimes, despite our best intentions, things fall apart. So even while we’re vowing to do what it takes to stay together, there is always the possibility of dissolution of this union.

And so it is with same sex couples. With the freedom to marry, comes the freedom to divorce, as well. Same sex couples are beginning to be granted the right to dissolve the unions they fought so hard for the right to create. Some opponents of same sex marriage might see this as proof of the illegitimacy of the marriage in the first place, but I see it as simply a possible outcome for agreements or contracts made between people. The fact is, all relationships end one way or another, either through breaking up or by death.

Marriages take work. There is no “happily ever after” without conscious effort.

What’s the Key to a Successful Marriage?

My relationship is based, in part, on the values of honesty and transparency. Both my partner and I believe that committing to openness with one another is part of what makes our relationship strong and will help us work through any issue that crops up. By being willing to communicate, even about the hard stuff, we have so far dealt successfully with a number of thorny topics.

As a relationship coach, I see this in the couples with whom I work, as well. Those who have more open communication styles tend to do better in the long run than those who make a lot of assumptions about what the other is thinking or should be doing. Even when it seems like our partner is able to read our minds, they aren’t really, and in the heat of conflict, the ability to infer what another is thinking is impaired by one’s own emotional turmoil.

Believing that your partner “should” know what’s going on inside your head is a recipe for disaster. Here are a few of the skills necessary to upholding a commitment to openness, honesty, and transparency:

  • how to actively listen,
  • how to assess and convey your own needs,
  • how to establish your own and respect your partner’s boundaries,
  • how to manage your own emotional state.

Congrats to All Those Who Recently Won the Right to Begin or End a Marriage

I congratulate those in Wisconsin who recently won the right to marry the person of their choice, regardless of gender. I also congratulate the same sex couple in Missouri who recently won the right to divorce, even though same sex marriage is banned in that state.

Part of the freedom to marry is also the freedom to divorce, and all people deserve all those choices.

About Inara de Luna

Inara de Luna is a bisexual, polyamorous, kinky pagan who is also a Relationship Coach and a Sexuality Educator. She is a Gender, Sexuality & Relationship Diversity Specialist, with training and experience as a Marriage & Family Therapist. Inara is a sex positive activist, a published author, and a national presenter. She prefers to support those whose identities fall outside the mainstream norms. For more information, you can find her online at www.Sex-Positive-Coach.com or on FacebookK/a>.

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