My core story goes something like this:After I wrote that, I thought about it some more, and there are other iterations of the marriage example that make sense to me. I.e., being brave enough to admit to your spouse of many years that you want to have sex with someone else, knowing what you risk with that confession. Or, conversely, asking your poly partner to turn monogamous with you, again, knowing what you risk in that request. Or possibly even, knowing that your supposedly monogamous partner is cheating on you, and letting it go. Or not letting it go. It's odd, but I think both of those last might be valid options, under my core story. It all depends on who you are.
There is no God, no meaning to the universe, beyond what sentient beings bring to it; there is no higher Being forcing us to be good, and it is often incredibly difficult being good in the universe as it stands -- and thus, when a sentient being manages to be good anyway, that is a beautiful thing. [Edited later to add: Ben might phrase all of this as 'making God up,' though I wouldn't swear to it. But I probably wouldn't argue with it either.]
This plays out in all sorts of ways, for example, from keeping the promises you make (i.e., deciding to be monogamously married, and then not cheating, even when you really want to), to not making promises you don't really want to keep, even if someone you love is pushing you hard to make them (c.f. monogamously married above).
It is integrity, foremost, and generosity, despite pain and grief and difficulty, immediately thereafter.
What are your core stories?