My current relationship lasting a bit over three years is the longest one I’ve been in by far. My first and supposedly true love who assured me of her eternal love for me with corny recycled text messages that at the time made me incredibly smite and go red in my black cheeks didn’t last six months.
And we were barely eighteen. A couple more reality inducing, jarring, brief flings disguised as relationships, and then i met KAF who’s getting married next month to a man who’s not me. My current relationship overlaps that with KAF slightly.
The current relationship may or may not have ended last night. Or more likely three months ago when I bedded an incredibly attractive close friend and admitted to it. With this background I may appear not too credible a contributor to the topic Monogamy. However, my experiences I believe put me in a good stead to speak on this contentious issue. Is `Mongamy feasible? Is it natural? Is there one person destined to be coupled with you forever?
No. Well according to common sense and logic. Marrying for love as we know it now only began in the 18th century. Prior to that marriage was primarily to form business ties, secure already existing family worth, expand family networks or even pay family debts.
Indeed back then a man was better respected and admired if he had multiple women. Montaigne the renowned essayist said in the 16th “any man in love with his wife was a man so dull no one else could love him”. This best reflects the values and standards of the time.
Monogamy is a social construct that aims at organizing our sex lives and furthermore provide a stable environment for the raising of children, but also (and this is often overlooked), that by pairing up couple for life, it does a good job in alleviating the jealousy and mayhem which would ensue from a sexual free-for-all.
Countless examples in our everyday lives alone is enough proof that jealousy and mayhem is rife in monogamous relationships. This is because it takes a superhuman level of discipline and commitment for monogamy to work to achieve the aims for which it was constructed.
No doubt, there are countless examples of couples being together and staying committed until death. A close look would reveal however that these are the ones who CHOSE to stay even after one or both partners strayed from the concept of monogamy.
An even closer look would also suggest these couples usually have more at stake in the relationship than mere love. Business ties, wealth, societal connections play a huge part in couples who remain committed which is what marriage was about in the first place before we were seduced and swayed by fairy tales. Ardor and enthusiasm dwindles. The mystery and fascination of a new partner in most cases wears off. The dream of endless cuddles and eternal smooches and kisses gets chased away by the nightmare of morning farts, messy partners and dealing with individual idiosyncrasies.
What then remains is a resolve and commitment to stay. It becomes a choice
In my experiences, the ‘never-ending happy ending’ is one that you create, together, deliberately, day after day, in the moments of connection, in between the bins and the dropped socks.
However, sexual fidelity is not a one-time deal – sign on the dotted line and never think about it again. It is a gift, given freely if it means anything, and given each time the question arises. Like making a happy ending, it is an act of will and of love.
Harder work perhaps than riding the head-rush of sexual chemistry – but, I think, far more satisfying.
Sticking to a life partner is not and cannot be innate or natural. It is a choice, one that is totally influenced by a great assortment of benefits, proximity, individual values etc.
What is your take on monogamy and what has experience taught you?