Relationship bliss is sometimes challenged by the relative monogamy of the partners. On person is accused of being unfaithful. The other person is accused of being smothering. Both care for each other. What’s going on?
People can to be put into boxes labeled (more) swinger and (more) puritan. These labels are intended to be tendencies and not a way of life. The two seem to be at odds with each other, with the swinger chafing at the restrictions of the puritan and the puritan is wounded by the wanderings of the swinger.
The core motivations for the swinger and the puritan can vary. Some are positive, or at the least, neutral. There are self-loving shadow motivations that I want to mention. The swinger may be seeking comfort and love outside of themselves, when what the swinger really needs to do is to find that love within. The outcome is that the swinger cannot settle on one person because nobody can supply our own inner happiness. The puritan also has a deficit of self-love. Instead of seeking widely for it outwardly, the puritan finds a source of outward love and becomes the obsessive miser of the object of the love.
This sets up weird dichotomies. Consider the archetypal male that fools around while keeping the female locked up, away from others. This male very much has a puritan attitude towards his wife and a swinger attitude towards the rest of the world. This male is seeking for love outwardly while locking up the only "real" love they have found. Both actions are a lie and the entire archetype is doubly destructive.
How can the troubling contrast between swinger and puritan be healed? The answer is for each to move away from their shadows, those actions that sabotage instead of facilitate, and move towards the common desire for a healthy relationship. Sometimes people move apart when the differences do not allow compromise. Irregardless of the outcome – together or separate – the challenge is to learn from the experience, deepen the wisdom of relationships, and heal yourself.
Does this ring true with anybody? What are your experiences with swingers and puritans?