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‘Silicon Valley’ Star Thomas Middleditch: ‘Swinging Saved My Marriage’

By October 8, 2019 November 16th, 2019 Uncategorized

Unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere you’ve no doubt seen the recent Playboy interview with actor Thomas Middleditch and his revelation that he and his wife Mollie are in the “swinger lifestyle,” as he puts it. His comments took off like a wildfire out of control, catching hold of every ounce of oxygen and sparking flames in a host of follow-up articles (mine included).

Being a swinger myself, I was cheering him on from the sidelines. It’s about time someone is unapologetic about a relationship model that works. I couldn’t help but sit back in agreement of his choice. But I was the minority, at least if you look at the host of comments online.

Reading through all the negative comments about Thomas Middleditch and his swinging marriage is troublesome to me. Out of all the comments, only a handful were supportive. The majority were personal attacks against him and his wife—everything from attacking his ability to understand marriage and being selfish, to victimizing his wife Mollie through abusively exposing and dragging her through the seedy world of swinging. Those commenting also talked about the damage this couple will do to any children they have in the future due to their consensual decision to live an “alternative” lifestyle.

I mean, this couple became the brunt of countless fear based reactions. The Middleditches were bombarded by those looking at their open relationship through the lens of monogamy, never stopping to consider what their cruel based narrative may be inflicting upon the targeted couple. Now I’m sure Middleditch and his wife aren’t sitting at home pouring over all the comments from these online news sources, but I was. As the owner of swinger clubs and in an open relationship of seven years myself, I know a thing or two about consensual non-monogamy.

What bothered me the most about reading all of those painful attacks against this couple was that no one was taking the time to see the Middleditches’ relationship from the view of Thomas and Mollie. Thomas, who even says in the interview how much he loves and adores his wife, is completely shot down by the readers.

The Middleditches never claimed ownership over the holy grail of marriage models when Thomas brought up their swinging marriage structure. They don’t claim to have all the answers, nor does he ever say the relationship model in which they’ve chosen to adopt will 100% protect the union.

Yet, comment after comment shoots down any positive quotes he made. Instead of the greater population applauding this young couple for staying conscious, intentful, transparent, honest, and trusting about their marriage and what they can do proactively to create an environment in which they feel at ease, we as a nation want to burn them at the stake.

In short, we (we meaning society in general, not me) don’t want their relationship to succeed. We want to take our traditional monogamous structure and cram it down their throats. We do this by trying to shame them, guilt them, invalidate who they are, put them down, and treat them like they don’t matter. This form of bullying is really nothing more then a form of discrimination. This couple has found (whether long term or short) a relationship model that works for them. A relationship model they discussed, TOGETHER!

I love how the naysayers are so quick to interpret all that’s wrong with this couple’s choice—all the ways in which they don’t know how to have a meaningful marriage. The commenters write about how selfish Thomas Middleditch is and how he controls his wife, wonder why the couple even bothered to get married, and why they feel the need to discuss their relationship. Let’s not talk about the fact that Thomas was specifically asked about swinging in the interview. He bravely gave an honest response. Was he applauded for his honesty? Nope… he was chastised.

I’m proud of the Middleditches for their courage and obvious acceptance of a marriage that works for them and saddened that so many were ready and waiting to discount Middleditch’s claim that, “We’re not off on our own, we’re together, a unit.” This doesn’t sound like a callus or selfish person, but a husband who loves his wife.

What I do care about is the couples (like the Middleditches) who want to pursue a more open relationship model. I want them to have the freedom to make choices that don’t impact the relevance of who they are. None of us has a crystal ball that sheds light on the future of Thomas and Mollie Middleditches’ marriage anymore than we have crystal balls into our own lives.

Look, if you were to ask yourself and those around you, they would say that the choices they make are with the intent of things working out for the benefit of the decision. We don’t often go around making choices that are going to go against what we believe to be the best choice in whatever moment we find ourselves. Most of us aren’t going through life saying, “I wonder what decision I can make today that is really going to F*%K up my life?” Of course not. We make independent choices based on our individual situations.

There are literally millions of couples on the planet who are currently in consensual non-monogamous marriages… millions. They’re the trusted employee and capable parent (this is scientifically proven). They’re standing in line behind you at the grocery store, sitting in front of you at church, on the PTA board with you, they sold you your new car, set up your bank account, and washed your car. They invest your hard earned money; perform brain surgery; and help write local, state, and federal laws. They run for office, they put out fires, they teach, they’re business owners, blue collar workers, they wear a suit and tie and protect you militarily. They’re millionaires and those living paycheck to paycheck. They have children, grandchildren, dogs, and cats. They travel, hell some even fly you to your next destination. They decorate your home, install your new swimming pool, and live on both sides of the political fence. Both sides. They’re society.

And whether or not you want to believe or admit it, they’re here to stay. The relationship model of consensual non-monogamy has survived the ages and it will continue to survive. No 500+ people spouting negativity on some news site are going to stop this movement, no matter how much they rant and rave.

I don’t have to prove to you it works because it’s already working, for millions of couples—those who are newlyweds and those celebrating 50+ years together. Don’t let the rantings of a few dictate the future of a marriage structure that works. Don’t let them scare you away from the one relationship model that could hold the answer to your relationship woes.

Oddly enough though, I get it. I understand the haters because I used to be one of them. Years ago, I too chose not to educate myself on a relationship structure different from my own. It was easier to judge then seek out understanding. I too hid behind a veil of judgement. “That poor couple, too bad they don’t know how to have a loving marriage. Too bad they don’t understand the value of commitment.”

Years before I adopted a swinging marriage model, I found myself on the receiving end of a rumor. A rumor about a local couple who were supposedly swingers. I assumed the reason this rumored couple were swingers was because they didn’t love each other.

To me, the definition of marriage had love and sex intertwined. If you were having sex with someone other than your partner, it meant you didn’t love your partner. I was looking at swinging through the lens of monogamy. I had no frame of reference for swinging. The only relationship model I had to pull from was monogamy. Of course in the world of monogamy, having sex with someone other than your spouse was a deal breaker. Dr. Phil said so.

Besides, the only reason you would be sleeping with someone other than your spouse would be because something within the marriage was broken. If I was having feelings towards another to the point that I would want to have sex with them, this automatically meant I didn’t love my partner any longer. We might as well call up the divorce lawyers and start the paperwork.

This was how I viewed swinging. My ability to be objective (even if I’d wanted to be) about someone in an open relationship was nil. I couldn’t grasp the concept. Having sex with others while married was bad. I couldn’t see (nor did I want to) any positives resulting from this kind of behavior. Why would you ever want to risk a temporary high (random sex) for the security of marriage? I just couldn’t understand. So, that’s where I left it… I left swinging in a field of misunderstanding. It was way too foreign, way to edgy, and besides I didn’t want to “catch” swiningitus or something.

Best to leave well enough alone. I would secretly feel sorry for the rumored swinging couple from a distance. It didn’t matter that anytime I did see this couple they seemed to be happy. They were touchy with each other and attentive, which I found somewhat confusing. I figured they were putting on a show of contentment because we all knew a swinging couple wasn’t really happy. They were miserable, right?! I mean, they needed to be miserable in order for the storyline in my head to make sense. Their laughter and tender touches couldn’t possibly be heartfelt. Everyone knew that swinging didn’t work.

All of us in our traditional monogamous marriages were the ones with the gold star of marriage success. Even if I was miserable in my marriage, at least I wasn’t one of those swingers. I might not be happy, but I was faithful.

Looking back, I truly believed being faithful trumped everything. It didn’t matter whether or not this swinging (or rumored swinging) couple was happy or not because how they felt about themselves, each other, or their relationship didn’t matter to me. The only thing that mattered was whether or not they were following the marriage tradition—only having sex with each other—everything else didn’t matter.

I held my chin up high in quiet superiority. I might have a marriage on the verge of collapse, but at least I didn’t step outside my “marital duties.” I wasn’t going to roast this couple in public, yet I judged them all the same. Matter of fact, I judged them without confirmation. I was so afraid of swinging that I couldn’t even bring myself to ask them about whether or not the rumor flying around was true. I had always prided myself on not judging a book by it’s cover, but here I was being the Queen of Judgement… I never did ask.

I’m not saying you have to agree with Middleditch or his marriage structure. He didn’t reveal his marriage secret in order to garner support or to turn everyone into swingers, he simply answered a reporter’s question with honesty and transparency. The fact that society so quickly passed judgement on his honesty should horrify us all. We can’t ask for honesty as a nation and then react to said honesty with a lie, one about how we’ll be supportive, even if we don’t agree. We’re supposed to be a nation of diversity and acceptance. We tout ourselves as a nation steeped in freedom, yet when someone exerts their personal freedom we chastise them for stepping out of line. Where is our compassion? Our curiosity for knowledge?

My previously held judgment and fear of swingers and the lifestyle turned out to be a stark contradiction of who I am as a person. We’re all guilty of opposing a concept that goes against what we’ve been taught. It’s easy to stand on a soap box of righteousness condemning the lives of others. Acceptance is sometimes a hard pill to swallow because we mistakenly believe that our acceptance means our long held beliefs may be wrong. This skewed logic prevents us from being tolerant and respectful.

Does it really matter why Thomas and Mollie made the choice they made? In what way does this couple’s decision impact anyone else? Rather than finding fault in their decision, why not wish them continued happiness and unconditional love. Why not embrace the fact that human fulfillment and joy is found on so many different levels depending on the person. I’m grateful for my CNM relationship and sincerely hope that everyone finds happiness in their personal relationships on their own terms.

PS – If you want to learn more about open relationships and swinging, then join us inside the World Love Summit. You Will Discover ​The Secrets Of The World’s Leading Love And Open Relationships Experts: https://worldlovesummit.com/

5 Comments

  • Hello again John/Jackie!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this blog-post! Thank you a hundred times for sharing it and being steadfast in your “Positive Sexuality” for all brave enough. I mean, how can I say more that hasn’t already been said hundreds of times about you two—and now for Mollie and Thomas Middleditch! I am so proud of their unflinching courage to be brutally honest and open about who they both are. to each other, to the world, and the struggles many of us went through because of society’s antiquated unnatural systems. Bravo to them BRAVO!!!

    I know personally of at least a dozen married couples in DFW that echo the same grateful sentiments as the Middleditch’s. And there is always ONE common theme I hear from all of them:

    The level of raw, articulated, vastly improved communication between us—even more liberating, the proactive communication—is a world, a dimension and deeper bond than we EVER could have imagined before! How can you unless you bravely step out, completely bearing your naked soul, and go there despite your own fears?

    That is a theme I hear over and over again. It is so impactful and exhilarating to hear and witness Jackie/John! But I don’t need to tell you guys this, do I? (grinning & chuckling)

  • John says:

    Logically, the disproof of what the haters say comes from us old timers. We’ve been married and swinging nearly 20 years, we have friends who’ve been married and swinging twice as long. But then again logic isn’t particularly effective when religion and emotion are behind the argument….

    — J.S.

  • Mark Clayton says:

    Hi Jackie,

    An interesting read.

    In my 40’s I shifted away from being a conservative born again evangelical religious Christian and shifted to a place where I became a spiritual person rather than a religious person and I adopted love as my religion. A few years later, my wife and I opened our marriage. We were virgins when we married. I had never had sex with another woman in my whole life prior to opening our marriage.

    I began living my ECNM (Ethical and Consensual Non-Monogamous) life thinking Christians held the license on being self-righteous, pious and judgmental. To my surprise, I was wrong and found people involved in all areas of an ECNM lifestyle can, and often are, every bit as self-righteous, pious and judgmental spreading more negative energy and discord around than positive energy and love.

    I am a very cognitive person. I sit back, watch, think, and learn. I have learned and grown so much in the 13 years I have lived my ECNM life. I would like to share a few things I learned.

    — I learned we are energetic beings in physical bodies and we respond to most things in a physical way rather than in an energetic way because we don’t know and understand energetic things.

    — I learned we all have a personal energy. Our personal energy is our words, thoughts and feelings. Our personal energy can be positive or it can be negative. It can be in harmonic balance or out of harmonic balance. It is in harmonic balance when the 3 components of our energy (words, thoughts and feelings) are all in alignment either all being positive or all being negative. It can also be out of harmonic balance.

    — I learned most people spend more time living on the negative side of life than the positive side of life. They do that being a roller coaster of positive and negative words, thoughts and feelings and mostly not being in harmonic balance.

    — I learned most people live internal conflicting lives rather than cohesive lives. People often are very different on the inside than they are on the outside and not even the people closest to them in their lives know the real person they are. Heck, most are so internally conflicted most of the time, they don’t even know themselves deep down because they are constantly trying to fool not only all those people outside of themselves, they are also busy at work trying to fool themselves.

    — I learned most people are not at all authentic and true to their inner being. Even those living an ECNM life so often put on a mask of being monogamous. People living an ECNM life live in the same place LGBTQ people lived 30 years ago for all the same reasons; in the closet.

    — I learned most people living an ECNM life are afraid of their children finding out. Living an ECNM life is a choice they made for themselves but they don’t want their children to even have the option to make that choice and so they hide their sexuality and being a sexual being enjoying sex with multiple people from their very children only giving their children the default of monogamy to live by.

    — I learned most people are more reactionary than they are intentional in the use of their energy. Those reactions can be full of positive excitement or they can be very negative in our words, thoughts and/or feelings. Without being intentional though we drift through life on auto-pilot defaulting to the norms we adopt into our life.

    — I learned most people will react with the same energy as those around them. If the comments and energy on this story are negative then the many people reacting do so negative. People will react and say things that deep down goes against what they really think and feel but they don’t want to expose themselves and so they allow their reactions to pile on with all the rest of the negativity.

    — I learned the more time people spend living in Pure Positive Energy the more positive good they can accomplish in this world.

    — I learned the first step to spending more time living in Pure Positive Energy is awareness. The second step is intentionality.

    — I learned the 3 elements of our energy work in our life as an internal GPS system moving us closer to the things we want in life, or taking us farther away from the things we want in life. Just like the GPS in a phone depends on three signals it gets from a satellite, so does our own internal GPS depend on our words, thoughts and feelings. When they are in harmonic balance in a negative way we are taken away from the things we want, when they are in harmonic balance in a positive way we move forward towards the things we want. When we are out of harmonic balance then we are mostly stuck where we are.

    — I learned what we feed our energy on grows and what we fail to feed our energy to goes away. This does not matter if the energy we feed to something is positive or negative. Whatever our energy is and whatever we feed it to gets fat and fatter. What ends up growing is whatever we feed energy to, even if what grows is not what we want. Most people feed more of their energy to the things they don’t want rather than feed what they do want. Hence, most people get more of the things they don’t want rather than the things they do want.

    People who begin having poor health focus their energy on their poor health and the poor health they have grows over the years rather than the wellness they desire. People who get out of a bad relationship pour their energy on all the things they dislike about the person they were in a relationship with and they end up in another relationship that is a repeat.

    — I learned our personal energy works with the laws of scarcity and abundance just as it does the laws of attraction. Most people live in a world of lack and scarcity rather than have and abundance because of what their personal energy feeds. Because we live in this world of lack and scarcity we attach ourselves to what we have. How this works in relationships is we attach ourselves to another human being from wanting to belong rather than wanting to be a part of a person’s life. These attachments are “till death do us part” because we live in this world of lack and scarcity rather than have and abundance. What we all want is love and happiness and most people lack it because they are afraid to let go of THE ONE.

    — I learned that people making the shift from monogamy to an ECNM lifestyle often struggle because they drag with them the norms they learn from a monogamous society rather than adopt new norms. It would be like a auto mechanic making the shift to become a dentist and then tries to use the same tools used as an auto mechanic when doing dentistry.

    Some of those norms are:
    — Conforming and living a conventional life that is rather unchanging rather than being progressive and not conforming to living a conventional life.
    — Living in scarcity and lack rather than abundance and have.
    — Being incomplete without another person who completes you rather than being a whole complete imperfect and growing human being that compliments other whole complete imperfect and growing human beings.
    — Belonging to and ownership of another human being rather than being a part of the life of a liberated and free human being.
    — It is a relationship you have with someone else that makes someone special rather than the relationship you have with yourself helping you know you are special for being who you are meant to be.
    — Attachment to one another out of internal unspoken (and often unrealized) insecurities and scarcity living rather than identifying opportunities for personal growth and development and living a life full of magical and increasing abundance.
    — Building a relationship increasing in dependence and unhealthy co-dependence rather than thriving in individual independence, co-creation and interdependence bringing an increase in all wanted things without having any decrease in things that are wanted.
    — Reliance on the other rather than reliance on one’s self and your ability to be the kind of person other quality people desire and want to be in a relationship with so there are always multiple people in your life who you can count on.
    — Looking for most of the solutions to your wants, needs and problems in life to come from someone else our outside of oneself rather than looking for the solutions to come from within oneself.
    — Always and forever in a relationship till death do us part bringing out less than the best in each of us individually rather than bringing out the best in each of us individually knowing always and forever can be in the love we share but not necessarily in the relationship we have as we are free to go our own ways if the relationship does not always serve us individually the best ways possible and as long as we live in abundance mode (rather than scarcity mode) then we know if one should leave it only means there are new opportunities for abundance in the life of the other also.
    — Love means one and only resulting in decreasing returns over time rather than many and resulting in ongoing abundant returns because there being no dependence on one individual.
    — Sex means exclusivity, limiting and restricting when in a serious relationship bringing scarcity and laws of diminishing returns into one’s energy rather than sex meaning something that is good and always desired and wanted abundantly and pleasurably shared selectively (but freely) between friends, lovers and people you just happen to like at the moment.
    — Faithfulness means not having sex with another person rather than being fully transparent, honest and open at the deepest levels of our innermost being with those we love and care about.
    — The list is even longer than this, but I think you get the point.

    I can say so much more about all of the things I learned but won’t. I want to comment a little on how this all relates to what you wrote.

    I found your writing on this matter very interesting. It would be easy for me to jump on board thinking your words are great but I can’t because the energy of your words (and I am sure your thoughts and feelings likewise) is mostly focused on feeding that which we don’t want rather than feeding that which we do want. I would have to go from living in a place of Pure Positive Energy (PPE) to being in a place of negative energy with my thoughts, feelings and/or words being negative and I just won’t go there.

    As I like to say, and teach; I’m here for you but I won’t go there with you.

    I would really like to see you dissect your words here and do a re-write turning it all around to focus PPE only on what you want using rather than feeding what you don’t want and helping what you don’t want to grow.

    To understand this in action: Think about the war on cancer, the war on poverty, the war on drugs, the war on health care and health care spending, the war on weight and obesity, the anti or pro abortion war and any one of the many other wars, many of which aren’t even called a war… Are real solutions found and reached, or does it seem like the problem only grows and gets larger?

    When your energy is focused on what is not wanted rather than on what is wanted, you become part of the problem rather than part of the solution. I know you and John work very hard to be part of the solution in an ECNM lifestyle being part of normal and acceptable life. Being part of the solution doesn’t always happen though because you have not learned some of the things I wrote in this message and you are essentially subjected to the influences of monogamy in our society instead of knowing how to put the power of our personal energy to work to transform and change the world.

    Gravity is a powerful force of energy. For centuries we were merely subject to it. Then Newton discovered it and people began to study it. Jump ahead to the space program in the 1950’s and scientist learned how to put the power of gravity to work for them rather than merely be subject to it. As a result, we have satellites that orbit the earth today doing all kinds of amazing things and so much more.

    People living an ECNM lifestyle can do more to evoke positive change in this world learning and understanding the things I wrote of. Just like not everyone became scientist studying gravity and knowing how to put its power to work in our lives rather than be subject to it, not everyone living an ECNM life needs to know and understand these things I write about. And just like those few scientist who learn how to harness the power of gravity have impacted every life here on earth today, when a few of us ECNM advocates begin to know the things I wrote of they learn how to harness the power of natural forces that will transform this world impacting the majority of those living in it.

    Studies indicate there are 12 MILLION people living an ECNM lifestyle in the US today (occasionally or all the time). There are another 35 Million people in the US who have a secret curiosity and interest but dare not tell. And then of course there are about 50 Million adults in the US whose life is a part of or impacted by cheating in a relationship.

    What this all amounts to is the impact we can have is tremendously HUGE as we move closer to making the changes in our society we want to see happen. Just like the few scientist who learned to harness the power of gravity changed the world for everyone, a few people living an ECNM life learning how to harness the power of their energy can make an impact on society they can’t even imagine.

    Until we begin harnessing the power of our personal energy, we remain subject to the norms of monogamy in this world and unknowingly are often part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

    You said: “What I do care about is the couples (like the Middleditches) who want to pursue a more open relationship model. I want them to have the freedom to make choices that don’t impact the relevance of who they are. None of us has a crystal ball that sheds light on the future of Thomas and Mollie Middleditches’ marriage anymore than we have crystal balls into our own lives.”

    You know what you want and yet you feed so much of your energy to what it is that you don’t want. Perhaps with new awareness, knowledge and intentionality of the things I wrote, moving forward you can become a stronger force than you already are for advancing the ability for people to live an ECNM lifestyle being a perfectly normal, acceptable and viable choice for the way people live their lives.

  • MICHAEL RICHARD WHITE says:

    Love You Both;
    How sweet it is to Not succumb to the tragedies of the FUGLY behaviour we all have committed through jealousy, insecurity, absence of confidence, possessiveness, now you are both free of ruining a perfect love !
    Thank You Always to Jackie & John & the Lifestyle.

    M.R.W.

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