Would You Give Your Spouse a Hall Pass?
So I had the house to myself tonight, and although I could have done many things, I found myself over on the Huffington Post reading about the failed ALS Ice Bucket Challenges and Sarah Jessica Parker's participation in her friend's weekend wedding, when this story of a cheating suburban mom caught my eye.
Right above it, was a teaser for this story (about cheating women not looking for divorce). Talk about juxtaposition. In the first case, a woman talks about how she felt compelled to go over the side during her marriage because she wanted out. The other features a study that says women who cheat don't want to get a divorce - they just want to get laid.
The two articles reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend of mine a year or so ago. She was telling a group of us about a girls' getaway she had planned with some friends in her adopted hometown. You know: The kind of weekend where all bets are off when it comes to behaviour. A “What happens in Vegas” sort of deal, where a group of married women would have a little bit of fun and then go home and do the laundry. The soccer mom version of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” if you will.
Image: Michael Cote via Flickr
I was a bit shocked. After all, if you’re not happily married, there are ways to extricate yourself. But it’s tough to go down that road with young kids, a house and debt to divide. I went away and thought about married life for awhile. These are my conclusions:
Here’s something no-one will tell you when you’re a newlywed. One day, you will wake up and wonder where your old life went. Where’s my money? Tied up in payments, braces and kids’ activities. Where’s my free time? What free time? You’re a glorified taxi driver, taking your kids to soccer, hockey, dance lessons, music lessons and – if there’s time left – a friend’s house to play. We haven’t even tapped the joys of endless laundry, overseeing homework battles, making dinners no-one seems to want to eat, packing lunches, bathtime and then the sweet, sweet joy that is bedtime.
Not your own, of course.
Add to all that changing hormones, stress at work, the responsibility of caring for aging parents – and it’s all a big buzz kill for the boudoir.
You don’t believe me, newlyweds and young lovebirds, but it’s true.
You will one day look across the table at the person upon whose face you beamed on your wedding day and ask yourself “Seriously? THIS is the best I thought I could do?” Oh yes, you will. And what you may find even more shocking is that, at some point or another, the person who chose to forsake all others for you has thought the exact same thing, too.
Then I thought about this article from Maclean’s magazine, which examines low libido in women. In a nutshell, it can be summed up in this paragraph from by its author, Anne Kingston:
“The issue, we’ve long thought, is that women just aren’t interested; female desire is simply weaker, and stoked by intimacy and familiarity. But scientists are now wondering whether commitment itself might be the problem. In other words, it’s not a libido deficit, it’s monogamy—an unspoken two-year itch. As Bergner puts it, the female drug we’re really seeking is ‘monogamy’s cure.’”
All of which made me wonder: Does familiarity breed contempt? Or, at the very least, complacency, when it comes to female mojo?
It’s the premise of the movie Hall Pass, where two unhappily married men are offered “hall passes” from their marriage for a week, where they can do whatever they want, consequence-free. Their frustrated wives figure what’s good for the ganders is equally good for the geese, so they take advantage of the time apart, too.
Spoiler alert: It all ends happily ever after.
So, let’s talk about sex. If all’s not what it could be between the sheets with your spouse or significant other, would a sweaty weekend with a relative stranger rekindle your passion at home?
Would you ever offer your spouse or partner a Hall Pass?
Would you ever ask for one?
What rules, if any, would you have?
Would you be afraid of losing everything you have?
Ever tried it? If you did, how'd it work out?
For more on the subject of low female libido, check out these provocative books:
Sex Drive: In Pursuit of Female Desire by Dr. Bella Ellwood-Clayton
What Do Women Want? Adventures in the Science of Female Desire by Daniel Bergner
Unmastered: A Book on Desire, Most Difficult to Tell, by Katherine Angel
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