This is based on a recent Skype conversation between me and one of my ex-fiancés:
He: Why can't you just accept 99% of me? Nobody is perfect. 1% of me will make mistakes sometimes. Flings and one-night stands are only temporary. But you will always be my partner.
Me: You mean, you will have sex with other women 3.65 days a year and you expect me to accept that?
He: Yes. But you are free to have affairs too, as long as you tell me everything afterwards.
Me: I, I...
He: I want to share your experiences and make them ours. I accept them because they are part of you. And I will tell you mine too.
Me: Well thanks. But does that mean I will need to force myself to have new adventures so that I have something to share with you when you share yours with me?
He: I don't understand. Why do you have to force yourself?
Me: So that I don't get emotionally dependent on you, so that you will never have all of me.
He: But that's OK. I don't need all of you. You can have lovers.
Me: But what if I get emotionally attached to one of them and decide to leave you?
He: That's the risk we both have to take. We have to keep reminding ourselves that affairs are just affairs. The relationship between you and me is the only real thing.
Me: I want real love, not real arrangements.
He: But this is a kind of love too. The realistic kind.
Me: For me, if there is no trust, there is no love.
He: Of course we have to trust each other to keep our affairs temporary.
Me: So when we go out dining and you smile at the pretty young girl sitting at the next table, how would I know if she is your current, past, or future affair?
He: I will tell you. We share everything, remember?
Me: We have completely different expectations of a partnership. I am sorry. I don’t think this will work.
He: It will work, if we have the mutual understanding.
Me: Marriage is for the people who believe in monogamy. You obviously don’t. Why did you even propose to me?
He: We are perfect for each other in many ways. You just have to change your way of thinking a little.
Me: We disagree on the most fundamental level. How can we be perfect for each other? I am sorry. I hope you find someone who also believes in open marriages one day.
He: I am very sorry too. I hope you change your mind one day.