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The marrying kind.

Christopher Rice's discussion of open relationships in his piece "Monogamy and Me" [Coastal Disturbances, March 29] was well-written. Those of us who don't buy into the idea of open relationships would do well to approach the matter in such an evenhanded manner. With that said, I do take exception to some of Iris comments regarding fidelity.

Rice spoke of the marriages of straight counterparts he admires. Each of those admirable marriages has had infidelity over the years. This whole idea of infidelity making a marriage stronger in the long run, should the partner who remained faithful forgive the infidelity, is bunk. As a child who grew up with a father who was unfaithful, I remember all too well the pain it caused to all involved. Rice contends that the true test of a relationship is how those involved with unfaithfulness respond to it. I disagree. The true test is whether enough mutual respect exists that allows for open and honest communication before things get out of hand.

Charles VanHarkness, Asheville, N. C.

Contrary to Rice's oven gross stereotyping, not everyone who questions either stone-sex marriage or monogamy is an immature, licentious gym bunny. Egad, some are even lesbians!

Having been in a happy relationship myself for more than three times as long as Rice has, I continue to be astounded that so many gays and lesbians seem to think their commitments need to be forced into a heterosexual mold and validated by the government in order to have full meaning. While there are certainly some legal rights and benefits that would be mighty helpful, civil unions or more innovative legal creations could handle those.

At any rate, Rice should be more skeptical. Should his own relationship ultimately sour, will he finally feel equal when he is making alimony payments and having his nondivisible assets seized and sold by a court? That should get him just about as close to heterosexual as possible without having "reparative therapy."

Stephen Clark, Albany, N.Y.
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Title Annotation:reader forum
Author:Clark, Stephen
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:May 10, 2005
Words:331
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