Through a common interest, I've recently become friends with a couple. Let's call them Jack and Jill. (Quick aside: *not* the bloggers Jack and Jill - it was just the first male/female pseudonyms that came to me.) They're talented and fun to hang out with. I've done a number of fun things (day trips, evenings out, etc.) with them over the past few months, sometimes the three of us, and sometimes with the Sensual Goddess, who agrees that they're the cutest couple and are fun to be with. Sometimes they bicker as only a longtime couple can - and while it alarmed me the first time I witnessed it, I've since learned that it's just how they interact, and I've never seen any lingering resentment.
The only thing that makes the situation noteworthy is that they're not married to each other. Jill is single (long-time divorced) and has never mentioned a man in her life. Jack is married with children, and we often hang out at his house. His wife greets us warmly and then continues about her business - gardening, making dinner, whatever.
When she first became aware of the situation, SG grilled me closely, with all questions boiling down to "do you think there's anything going on between them?" I honestly have no idea - and while I'm curious, I really don't care what their relationship is or isn't. They do seem to be more than friends. They spend a lot of time together, and Jack, for a married guy, spends a lot of what would usually be "family time" with Jill. It's definitely not "normal" (as most people would define "normal.")
But whatever it is, it's *not* sneaking around, it's completely out in the open. There's no tension or animosity - at least that I've ever detected, and I'm paying very close attention. Jack's wife and Jill chat happily about kids and house and whatever, and then she (Jack's wife) leaves us alone.
I find observing couples to be very interesting. I ask myself "why did you get together?" and "why do you stay together?" I'm a perceptive observer, but I'm also well aware that no observer, no matter how close, knows anything about the inner workings of anyone else's relationship.
When I was younger and had a very black-and-white sense of "right" and "wrong", I would have been very suspicious of this relationship. Now I don't really think "right" and "wrong" have a lot of meaning in situations like this. Is there an arrangement (whatever that might be) that all the adults are comfortable with? Are any children involved being properly cared for? If so, then it has my blessing.
I *love* seeing people who are brave enough to choose non-standard ways of being. I don't know if that's what this is or not, but I will continue to observe with interest.