The older I get, the less sense being monogamous makes. I’ve been of a mind that I kinda/sorta understand why the rules insist that everyone be monogamous and everything I’ve looked into keeps pointing back to making babies and being able to control how that’s done – think of it as highly selective breeding.
We get this pounded into our heads via social programming and how it’s the worst thing in the world to, say, have a girlfriend and wanting to have more than one girlfriend; guys and gals who, while single, date several people “at the same time” are not looked at kindly and get told to pick one person and stick with them and if it doesn’t work out, go pick one person to try to make it work.
The push to be monogamous is so insidious that people who aren’t married but having a relationship are held to the same standards of behavior that married folks are; keep only unto yourselves, let no one put asunder and all that happy crappy. And we believe it; we live by it; and we get our heads all fucked up thinking and worrying about being cheated on and to the point where we get paranoid about it and, indeed, just assume that the person we’re with is, at some point, going to cheat on us… and we’re thinking that before we even agree to be with that person and in whatever way that’s gonna be.
We’re told how to be in love, i.e., only love one person at a time. Many people believe that once they fall in love, that’s it for them – it’ll never happen again, well, unless they become single again. We approach any relationship with the mindset that once we’re with that person, they are always going to be everything we will ever need for the duration of the relationship, well, right up to the moment when we find out that we can’t be, they can’t be, and that shit just doesn’t always and consistently work the way they say it’s supposed to.
So people cheat. They break up. They get all fucked up in the head about it and start asking why, what did they do to deserve this – I’m sure y’all know what I’m talking about here. I’ve seen women get cheated on and going forward, retreat into a shell and close themselves off or, if they get into another relationship, they’re highly paranoid about being cheated on again. I’ve seen men act some kind of way when they get cheated on and, yeah, sadly, violently so depending on the guy. Some guys “swear off” of women and some just say they ain’t ever gonna be in another relationship because you can’t be cheated on if you’re not in a relationship.
The thing is that before this was put into play, humans weren’t monogamous; just to be able to survive, doing it “as a group” was the best way to ensure survival and, yeah, that meant a lot of interaction of the carnal kind in the group until, as I’ve read, humans became more agrarious, taking a mate and kinda/sorta moving away from the crowd to farm, hunt, have babies and, oh, yeah, obey the religious mandate to do things like this or else.
But the very, very dead people who decided, for whatever reason, that everyone has to be monogamous probably thought that by mandating this and trying to enforce it would stop humans from being human and not want anything or anyone other than the person they chose to be with.
They were wrong, by the way – humans do not really work like that and there are many experts today who have discovered and are saying that being monogamous is an unnatural state for humans to be in, you know, given how much of a social animal humans are…
That and people change even though, when in a relationship, you’re made to become static and if you can’t stay static, well, pack your shit and leave before you get tossed out on your ass. Oh, there’s some interesting natural history shit behind this and in the area of sperm being plentiful… but eggs aren’t and if you understand what this means, you also understand why women are the way they are about giving up the booty although, today, it’s more of a knee-jerk reaction that’s been programmed in over our evolution and reinforced by young girls being told to only have sex with a man who is going to be devoted only to her, can provide for her, and loves her… and having sex without this very serious commitment is a very bad thing and, “really,” for anyone, male or female.
Somewhere in the 1950s, wife-swapping surfaced. Some things I’ve read say that this began with military personnel and their families and having been in the military, yeah, I can see why this might be true. It became more… prominent in suburbia and for reasons I don’t pretend to understand but it is what it was and all that – who doesn’t know about the movie, “Bob, Carol, Ted & Alice?” The practice of wife-swapping was seen to be so heinous that it eventually went underground – on the DL – and, I’m guess, found its way out of suburbia and spread almost everywhere.
Even I heard a lot of people saying that this shit didn’t make sense, that it was immoral, and in direct violation of marriage vows… even if you weren’t legally married and included those areas where common law marriages were allowed and recognized. It was unholy behavior that would result, if not called to a halt, in a very long vacation in a very, very hot place.
People today are still of a mind that there is no good reason for a couple to not be monogamous and because the rules say this is the only way to be given that fornication – that’s sex without being married – is a bona fide sin. What wasn’t – and isn’t – taken into consideration is that people do change; they find that they can be happy in a relationship and, oh, shit – someone will catch their eye, the chemistry that most people don’t really understand kicks in and they want to explore it… but they can’t… and while some people can shake this off, some people just can’t.
Relationships start out in a whirlwind of things; heady, spontaneous, mad crazy sex along with other expressions of deep love and affection and we believe that it’s always gonna be like that right up until “the honeymoon” is over. And how many people have been in a relationship and have found themselves asking, “How can we spice things up and recapture the heat and passion of when we met?”
Oh, the shit gets even deeper. We get so wrapped up in handling the business of being in a relationship that we can get tunnel vision – focused on only what’s in front of us – that we “forget” there are things we should be doing with each other, oh, like having sex and otherwise being emotionally intimate with each other. A lot of shit tends to form that even in the best of relationships, what they have isn’t really enough for them, although they may not be of a mind to say anything about it.
And, yeah, we do go about having relationships with a mindset that once it’s on its feet and running, it’s just gonna take care of itself and, again, the person we’re with should never, ever want anything or anyone other than that which we can provide them…
You know… if we’re in a mind to provide it. This mindset is so bad that I’ve seen and heard couples argue fiercely because the woman in the relationship wants to better herself – go to school, get a job, stuff like that, only to be shut down by the man who believes there’s no need for her to want or even think about such things – that bullshit about a woman’s place is in the home, barefoot and pregnant.
We assume, again, that once we fall in love or, um, have carnal desires for someone, it cannot happen again… and it does. Men and women find reason to stop having sex with each other even though the need to have sex is still there or, bluntly and as I have, myself, asked the woman I was in a relationship with, “If you’re not gonna fuck me, who’s supposed to?”
And the answer is forever and ever: “No one.”
Some people accept being made celibate… and some people ain’t trying to hear any of that… and infidelity is introduced. It’s not just the sex, although that’s a huge part of this dynamic – it’s the emotional succor that winds up missing as well. You love the person you’re with and you’re reasonably sure they still love you… and not showing or saying it. Have you ever gone to hug your partner and you feel their body stiffen up at first before relaxing… or remain stiff? If you, you’re seeing a bit of what I’m talking about.
How many people have asked their partner, “Why don’t you tell me that you love me?” Sure… the love is “implied” and once it’s there, uh, why keep talking about it; you know I love you, baby – don’t you? As such, we wind up getting emotionally disconnected from each other and then, one day, we run into someone we get emotionally connected to. Not love in that sense but it’s a void that’s being filled, for lack of a better phrase. We need those we are with to give a shit about us and when they don’t, that need doesn’t go away and, inevitably, either someone is going to come along and give it to us or we will remain “stuck” with someone who has, for various reasons (and some legitimate) become emotionally unavailable.
We do, in fact, run across people we’re just attracted to… when, by rule, we’re not supposed to be. It could be a sexual attraction or not so much but the fact remains that the attraction is felt and it’s both exciting and disturbing all at the same time. I’ve heard people say, “I shouldn’t feel the way I do about you!” and while that sentiment doesn’t mean any infidelity is gonna happen, it does make people wonder why the person they’re with isn’t doing such a good job of making them feel this way… and when it’s their “sworn duty” to do this 24/7 and without fail.
Yeah… people just don’t really work like that, do they?
Cheating. We worry about it. Have great angst about it. We ask why people do this heinous thing and I think I know the answer: When someone’s needs are not being met or otherwise ignored, well, something has to be done about it. Ideally and by rule, you’re supposed to go to the person you’re with to have those needs addressed and taken care of and if they do, fine… but if they don’t, well, that’s a problem.
“If you don’t take care of your man/woman, someone else can and will.” It’s a truism that we all are aware of – and if you weren’t, now you know – and knowing this scares the shit out of us. Some of us say and mean with great purpose that if you don’t like the way you’re being taken care of – or not, in this case – leave and go find someone who wants to be bothered with you – I ain’t got time to be holding your hand or whatever and you damned sure better not do that while we’re still together!
And some people do just that and by doing so, accepting the risks of loss and other nasty shit like violence or the involvement of lawyers. And you gotta wonder if this makes any sense to put each other in a position where some infidelity just might happen. How do you prevent cheating?
By removing the reasons and conditions under which will foster it. But we’re only human – we can only do so much to, with, and for each other. Most of us are aware that we’re doing shit – or not doing shit – that just might make the person we’re with cheat on us… and we dismiss it and say shit like, “They’d better not even think about cheating on me!” but they’re very unwilling to do anything to prevent it and, again, if you don’t like it, get the fuck out.
And, sometimes, that’s the thing that has to be done because once a person decides to stop doing those things that keeps a relationship alive, you’re never gonna change their minds about it and, really, if you decide to leave the relationship – or are told to leave – they’re of a mind to tell you to not let the doorknob hit you in the ass on the way out.
But sometimes leaving the relationship isn’t the thing that has to happen. There is still love in some form and, usually, financially it’s just not a viable option and, indeed, the relationship, as a whole, works well… except for some shit that’s missing, being ignored, whatever.
This is the part of this really long scribble where I usually ask, “What if you could get what you want and still keep what you already have? Would that be something you’d be interested in?”
Wanna guess what most people would say? Then, for extra credit, do you wanna guess why they’d answer in what I’d call a predictable manner – that would be “no fucking way!” if you were wondering.
What a lot of people are learning is that monogamy sucks. It has its good points and a whole lot of bad ones. And – gasp – some couples (in particular) decide that the rules of monogamy just ain’t helping them as a couple and definitely doing nothing for them as individuals. Cheating? Eh, no one wants to do that… and now I’m talking about having your cake and eating it and a whole lot of it, too. You can defeat infidelity by eliminating it from the relationship and, wisely, under controlled conditions because, um, there’s no getting away from the need to have rules.
Do you know why people don’t do this or fail at it? Because we don’t know how to do it although we do know how to love more than one person at a time – we were taught to do this as we were growing up, believe it or not and more so if you had siblings as well as other family members. No, I’m not talking about the “I” word – just that we’re taught to have positive feelings for those who are around us – then told to narrow that down to one person because the rules demand this.
And we abide by it even when everything we are is screaming at us that this ain’t working as advertised. True enough, some people resort to cheating because, to them, it’s the only way.
But it isn’t… and many people are finding this out and, yeah, I found out a long time ago that monogamy ain’t all that and that more often than not, it creates more problems than it has to the ability to solve and the solution is, oddly, to be monogamous… and not so much and, in this, very ideally and I think very necessary, if it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander… provided you can convince them that staying together – but not really being monogamous, is not only a good thing for them but a good thing for “us.”
Hmm… how many of you are reading this and thinking this is a bunch of bullshit? How many of you are reading this and saying, “Yeah, but…” and are thinking of all the reason why something like this shouldn’t happen and there’s no reason for it to happen? And, as I tend to do when I scribble about this, ask yourself why you’re thinking like this and, more extra credit, I’ll even point out to you that if you’re thinking this is bullshit or otherwise impossible and undoable, um, perhaps you don’t realize or are aware that these thoughts aren’t really your own.
They were given to you and you are actually believing something that isn’t as true as you were told it is. You don’t have to believe me and I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t because, once upon a time, I believed the same thing you did about this… and I found out that I was sadly mistaken about that which I believed in. I’m not saying it’s outright wrong – it’s just not as correct as we’ve been told.
There are those of you reading this who will say, “I’d never do some shit like that!” as well as, “I don’t believe in that shit!” and that’s all well and good; you are more likely to dispose of someone – and, perhaps, someone you shouldn’t let get away from you – than to give a single thought of stepping out of the box our social morality has put us into to not only keep them but to keep growing as in individual.
Just ask yourself why you don’t believe in such a thing then consider the source of your belief and maybe, just maybe, all this shit I’ve been writing will start to make sense. Now, not being 100% monogamous does have its bad points because we don’t know how not to be 100% monogamous but, yeah, people are smart and adaptable and do figure it out how to make this immoral thing work for them.
It’s not for everyone and I’ll even admit there were times once monogamy packed its bags and left that I wished we’d never agreed to not be monogamous… but it was less problematic than being cheated on and otherwise deceived. The hardest thing for me? Admitting that I really wasn’t and couldn’t be all that she wanted and needed and lemme tell you that saying that it hurt doesn’t even begin to cover how I felt to find this out. But, logically, “getting rid” of her was out of the question and beating her to a pulp was even more out of the question and I found myself saying the equivalent of, “If you can do it, I can do it, too.”
Because nothing else made sense. And it worked… and sometimes didn’t. It was the best thing I’ve ever done and the worst thing. The most sensible thing… and the craziest thing ever. Yet and still, I learned a lot about myself and my wife and things that, had infidelity hadn’t come to pay us a visit, I would have never learned and I sure wouldn’t have seen the flaws in the tenets of monogamy. It’s idealistic at best but in application, it just does not always work the way it’s supposed to – it’s how some long dead people decided we needed to behave… and not so much how we can behave if left to our own devices, oh, like having a partner and having other partners join in the fun – and headaches – right along with us, from just getting laid because that’s what works for the moment to the establishment of an extended family that employs some parts of monogamy while throwing away most of it.
So that we can be happy, not only with ourselves but with the person we’re with. We avoid this like the plague; we assume that suffer loss is a better option. Hell, some people get into this and still fret over loss or behave as if it’s not ever supposed to happen but the fact is nothing is forever.
Nothing. The moment you decide to join with someone else, the loss is implied – the risk is very real and we do go out of our way to prevent it… and not so much. We do, indeed, throw up shields around ourselves and do shit – or don’t do shit – that we think is going to keep that other person by our side until death do us part. Experience does shit to us that makes us say, “I love you – but I don’t love you that much…” or we decide that there are things we will not and cannot do “simply” for the sake of love.
And as such, many of us are in miserable relationships or not in a relationship at all… and all because we believe in something that isn’t as true as purported to be and just as we believe that those rules we’re held to are inviolate and can’t be changed.
But don’t we also hold true that rules are made to be broken and breaking them ain’t always a bad thing? What… allowing your spouse to have a lover is dishonorable on their part for wanting one in the first place? Well, aren’t you being just as dishonorable when you refuse to give them that which they need, that your vow of “for better or worse” has gone by the wayside and because of that which you don’t believe in? Haven’t you lied like a rug when you’ve told someone you love, “I’d do anything for you because I love you…” and then there’s some shit you won’t do and love for them be damned?
Do we not put conditions on love when love, in and of itself, is unconditional? Okay… I’m not gonna go rob a bank or kill someone because that’ll make my lady really happy but if she wanted something I couldn’t provide for her and someone else could, well, hmm, why not make it possible for her to have it… even if it means I might wind up losing her? If we take this from being about “me” to being about “us,” might that work toward keeping us together despite what we may or may not be doing individually and, wait – isn’t it possible that we can even do that together?
It is possible. We just don’t believe that it is because we’re not supposed to believe it. Ever been cheated on? Ask yourself – truthfully – how and why it happened and even if you are fairly sure that you did nothing to allow infidelity to come visit. Ever ask yourself what you could have done – or what your ex-partner could have – should have – done to keep cheating from knocking on the door and ruining everything?
And do you know, understand, or even think that the one thing you’ve been told never to do for any reason could have kept the two of you together, you know. How do you prevent cheating? Remove the reasons why it can happen. We believe that it’s better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission because it’s assumed that we can never get permission so we don’t ask – because the answer is usually, “You’re out of your fucking mind!”
But what if giving each other permission is the thing that will keep you together? What if being able to share this with each other will result in the two of you loving and appreciating each other more?
Would that be something you might be interested in? Here’s the sad part: Most of us wouldn’t be and I think you know know why… but does it really make sense?
People are learning quickly and “in droves” that it really doesn’t. Your relationship is only going to be as good as you are willing to make it so what are you willing to do to make and keep it as good as it can be?
Not much, as it turns out.