In the aftermath of Weinergate and the Sperminator, most people are disgusted, amused, or just bored with all the scandal.
Wherever you lie in the spectrum, infidelity in our society gives us an opportunity to reflect on our own relationships. Since you’re planning a wedding, one that — even in the newfound gay acceptance world — usually means “for life,” it doesn’t hurt to talk to your partner about how prepared you are for the life of monogamy, if, indeed, that’s part of the plan.
And before you say, “oh, it’s a straight thing,” or, “oh, it’s a political thing,” look around at your own partnered-couple friends. How many of them have had an easy path down the road to trustworthy bliss? Know what you’re getting into and discuss any of your issues today.
Fidelity: Have the two of you talked about this, or is it just something you’re certain is “understood”? It’s probably not — and if it is, then it can’t hurt to vocalize the subject. What kind of record do you have in regards to previous lovers, and what kind of track record does your partner have?
Also, what constitutes “infidelity”? Anthony Weiner — of this printing anyway — has claimed he never met any of his contacts in person. Is sexting okay? What about Skype? How would you feel if your future spouse was downloading porn? The important thing is to discuss this now so you don’t encounter anything later on that, in your mind, constitutes cheating. If your spouse was never told sending a dirty text was “cheating,” can he or she be blamed?
Monogamy: This is a two-part question. First off, are you planning on practicing it? If not, can you handle the alternative? While some couples, gay and straight, say that monogamy is not a necessity to make a good marriage, how are you going to feel if your partner takes a partner? If you’re having children, have you discussed how that might affect them? Would you talk about outside relationships, or would you rather not know? What about safe sex? There are so many complexities to this issue that you can’t afford to ignore any of them. If you are having premarital counseling, many of these issues will come up. If not, bring them up yourself.
Till Death Do Us…? While that vow is starting to vanish from weddings, the sentiment remains. Even the most stable, loving, faithful partnerships go through rough patches, so discuss how you’re going to deal with the downs. If you’re having a legal marriage, did you sign a pre-nup? Have you discussed things like credit debt and income? If the two of you have joint accounts, and you separate, you could be stuck with his or her bad credit. Now that we’re entering a more equal world, we’re having equal problems. That’s the good news.
How is this a wedding-planning column, you ask? Simple. if you aren’t paying attention to the important issues which are at the heart of every relationship, you might as well cancel the caterers now.
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David Toussaint is the author of the Gay Couple's Guide to Wedding Planning, Gay and Lesbian Weddings: Planning the Perfect Same-Sex Ceremony, and TOUSSAINT!.