We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
She gives great room to the idea of monogamy and to the lovely tedium of routine that comes with loving someone over the long term. That tedium unquestionably has its pleasures, but so too does allowing your partner and yourself to establish routines separately. The mistress in Drury’s book finds that a relationship kept removed from the “housework” — not just the washing-up but also the repetitive actions and the small moments of the daily life — can still be sustainable. It’s not simply sexual passion; it’s long-term love as adventure, creating a dynamic for each partner different from the inward-turning marriage. How you choose to fill that solitude brings out your character in a way that a crowded life cannot. “[The mistress] is thrown upon her own resources and must frequently entertain herself, and this gives her time to read and think and follow her own pursuits. She soon not only welcomes this but defends it with all the fierceness of the self-preserving instinct.” Drury’s mistress reveals herself to be the exact opposite of the public stereotype.
I read the whole review. It might be a good deal for some to be a mistress (or a gigolo), but I am certain that She Who Must Be Obeyed would be grouchy if I had another woman on the side.
It's funny how we've come. Marx more or less said that marriage is an outdated concept because it was "created" by the bonds of Capitalism - the woman was reliant on the man. The man, more or less, "owned" the woman, she was to be a virgin to all but her husband and her role was to be his whore, in addition to doing the things around the house which were expected of her.
How odd is it that today so many men (myself included) see themselves as being "owned" by their wives? In many respects, I fear her retribution if I step out of line. But the difference is that I respect what she brings to the table in the marriage, and that's what keeps things going.
That said, while a mistress is what keeps some people going (I have many friends who have one or some), it's not for everybody. Frankly, I can't keep a secret, so it's damn near impossible for me to consider having one. I'd get caught in a flash. But if my neighbor feels it's important for him....then God bless and good luck. I don't have to agree with him, I just don't have to be like him. Or her. It does swing both ways, after all.
Jim ...You ask, "aren't all marriages this way?" Yup. After a long lifetime of observing, and having, a couple of marriages, I think all successful marriages are this way. And each, in its way, is unique and uniquely suited to the couple involved. And it evolves as it ages.