Originally Posted by sailaway58
That is an interesting article. I am sure coming to their arrangement was much more stressful than the article made it feel. My question to you Andy is as a minister, how do you feel about the arrangement?
I have read other articles that suggest this as an option but I am not sure I could endorse it, (not that it would matter or that anyone would ask my opinion)
I guess I still kind of want boundary's, although it does seem to work for them.
I'm not skipping over Ben's thoroughly erudite post - it's just that all I could say to that would be, "Wow. Nicely thought out and written."
As to what I would do, say or recommend - I would honestly hope that I could be the pastor Ben described.
As has been a practice since long before being a minister, I try not to filter what others say in intimate or revealing conversations through my own moral barometer. My concern in a situation like that described in the article - or in Ben's - would be the two people involved.
While I am built to be monogamous, I do not presume that all others are - or that monogamy itself represents an ideal. I also have my boundaries, but they are just that - MY boundaries.
What does represent an ideal for me is that the welfare of all people involved be considered, and that any arrangements, such as "open" marriage or polyamory for instance, be mutually acceptable and be based on honesty and respect. An arrangement like that is not really problematic for me especially when compared to a secretive affair, which is also far more common.
I also come poorly equipped to be helpful in the long-run in anything other than a pastoral role. Most couples in this situation would need professional counseling, which I could not provide, but I could augment that by encouraging theological reflection and by affirming the Godly image in each of us. I would gladly work along with their counselling to deal with religious issues.
Now I'm just repeating what Ben said first and better.
I will say, however, that when Ben said ...
Mine was the unusual situation. I learned that I had been living for 30+ years with the man of my dreams.
... it struck me as a remarkably beautiful statement of love and fluidity.