I was reading this blog – https://polytalkbykitty.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/monogamy-under-the-microscope-cnn-time-and-the-ashley-madison-hack/ – and it was a good one, too, and one that got me thinking about monogamy and the fact that monogamy isn’t dead, but there are more people who are understanding that monogamy just isn’t as fulfilling as it may have been intended to be. Yeah, that whole Ashley Madison thing was a joke – lots of hypocrisy and infidelity going on there as well as the owners of the site using “dirty tricks” to entice people to pay for membership and in the hope of hooking up with someone who’d be interested in having an affair.
There are a lot of people who think that because there are so many other people “turning away” from monogamy, we’ve become immoral and we’ve lost our way and so much that there’s great fear about the future of our society. My own thoughts, such as they are, are that there are those of us who are finally realizing that monogamy isn’t all that it’s been hyped up to be and that being monogamous is more of a hinderance when it comes to certain things, namely, the satisfaction of one’s needs and the growing, obvious fact that one person just isn’t capable of handling all of which their partner may want and need which, I’m thinking, is why the tenets of monogamy imply that you shouldn’t have any other wants and needs that don’t include your partner.
Yeah, some people find it easier to cheat than it is to attempt to negotiate for a form of non-monogamy – and understandably so since for some folks, asking for permission to be unfaithful just doesn’t make any sense at all. Some folks find that there’s a certain… arrogance in play here as well as a great deal of indifference; “I should be all that you ever need and if I’m not, well, too bad, huh? If you don’t like it, you can always leave… and don’t let the doorknob hit in you in the ass on your way out!”
Some find being monogamous to be severely limiting, not just in the areas of sexual congress but in other areas of personal growth so, as such, some folks find that monogamy is more oppressive than anything else since they’re not allowed to be the person they feel they need to be and are forced to be the person someone else expects them to be. Still, monogamy isn’t dead, but there are people who are just tired of being put on lockdown, tired of having their wants and needs ignored or suppressed for some greater good that never seems to appear and, yeah, to them, monogamy just doesn’t make a lot of sense these days. Since humans are some pretty creative animals, we’ve learned that we can have our cake and eat it – and that everyone involved can have fun chowing down on the cake as well by engaging in what’s being called ethical non-monogamy or, as I like to call it, negotiated infidelity. No matter what you wanna call it, it is quite oddly like being bisexual in that you have the best of both worlds – the stability and security and comfort of being monogamous as well as the sheer thrill of being able to attend to your needs – or the needs of your partner – as required.
Monogamy isn’t dead, but maybe it’s no longer wholly capable of handling the needs of the folks in a relationship. I was thinking about some of the conversations I’ve had with a fellow WordPress blogger (she knows who she is) on the subject of monogamy and her views on it… and then her response to what is, for me, a simple question: What if there’s something you need or want that your husband cannot provide for you? What do you do? She’s funny in that on the one hand, she contends that she’s never supposed to want anything or anyone other than what her husband can provide… but there are, in fact, some things she needs that there’s no way he can provide. For my friend – and for countless other people bound by the tenets of monogamy, this is a problem – no, it is a major problem because monogamy demands that in this situation, you are unconditionally assed out and you’re just gonna have to learn to live without whatever it was you wanted that your partner cannot – or, in some cases, will not – provide to ensure your continued happiness in the relationship and, no, sex isn’t the only thing that can fall into this category.
Monogamy isn’t dead, but some folks, as I’ve said, are just tired of being put on lockdown; they’re not allowed to have close opposite sex friends or even close same sex friends; your life, such as it is, it totally and, supposedly, irrevocably in the hands and under the control of the dominant person in the relationship or, kinda simply, you do things in the relationship and in the way they want you to do them or else. The way some folks approach and interpret monogamy is, plainly, frightening because, in their minds, they own you and the only hopes, dreams, desires, whatever, you are allowed to have are the ones they allow you to have. They have this “my way or the highway” mentality that, at the end of the day, proves to be so oppressive and suppressive that not only there are thoughts of being non-monogamous to escape this environment, actions are taken toward that end… and what I believe to be the worst thing is that if there’s no action taken – and it’s not taken out of fear – a very nasty sense of resentment will settle onto the relationship and one that will signal the beginning of the end – the relationship will die a slow, terrible, and painful death.
When people are unfaithful, there are many adjectives and epithets used to describe such heinous, immoral behavior like being weak-minded and susceptible to temptation, not being able to commit to the relationship, being a dog, a slut or whore and, well, the list gets longer and nastier; it’s always the fault of the person being unfaithful and while there are some situations where a partner knows that they’re the reason why their partner is being unfaithful (or having thoughts in that direction), I don’t think that anyone ever thinks about the real culprit in any of this: Monogamy. They don’t see – or can’t see – that monogamy was designed to accommodate a particular need and in order to accomplish that particular goal, it was necessary to suppress any or all desires that would make the goal unreachable; there’s a reason why we promise, vow, and are expected to keep only unto ourselves, that no man can put asunder, and hanging in there for better or for worse. For a lot of people, monogamy is a hostile environment and one that’s designed to inhibit some shit even though monogamy is supposed to allow us to grow together… but only in a specified, limited way so, if you’d really care to think about it, monogamy isn’t always what it provides as a state of relationship – it’s what it doesn’t or can’t provide that causes the most problems.
Indeed, we think that the tenets of monogamy are forever sealed in lead, that the rules can never, ever be changed… except, when we’re in a relationship, we’re told that our relationship is only going to be as good as we can make it but, um, didn’t it ever occur to anyone that in order for us to make our relationship as good as we can make it, er, we might have to tweak or even break some rules to make this happen? In being monogamous, we’re supposed to be of one mind, one heart, and all that good stuff which, depending on how you care to look at it, removes the individuality of the people involved from the equation; you’re expected and required to give up who you are as a person – all your hopes, your dreams, your desires, and even your thoughts – in favor of this supposedly better dynamic. And, yes, sometimes it works… but not always because, again if you care to look at it, the logic of monogamy is flawed because it really doesn’t leave room or allow for anyone to change anything. People eventually see this in some way and they think that there’s nothing that can be done about it other than dissolving the relationship and starting over… but that’s not exactly the truth and it’s a truth that, overall, we – society – won’t acknowledge… because we’re not supposed to – we’ve been told not to.
Monogamy isn’t dead, but, yeah, there are a lot of people who are learning, and often the hard way, that monogamy doesn’t always work as advertised; if you need something that your partner cannot or will not provide, you are fucked and not in a good way and if you don’t like it, well, all you can do is not like it – or hit the road which is something, oddly enough, isn’t really an option for a lot of folks. So, um, if you have wants and needs that your partner can’t or won’t provide for your continued well-being and finding yourself being single again just ain’t gonna work for you, then what do you do? It’s an obvious and proven fact that there are some people who will not choose to do nothing about this situation… but they also don’t want to give up the good things that being in the relationship provides them, either. So people cheat… or they find a compromise to the situation that is agreeable to everyone involved.
It’s playing by the rules… and not so much. That people are finding some creative ways to have their cake and eat it has always been seen as being immoral and anyone doing this is deemed to be morally bankrupt… but is that really the truth? What more people are discovering is that they can, in fact, create their own version of what it means to be monogamous so that they can make their relationship the best it can be for both of them; they do this because they dare to question that which is supposedly never to be questioned, they fiddle with the rules that are supposed to be inviolate and, I’d say to the dismay of those fierce believers in monogamy, they find a way to make it work and keep each other happily together.
Ah, man… this is such a hot-button topic, ain’t it? At least in my mind, it comes down to something I find interesting: When you’re in a relationship, are you supposed to do things with and for each other out of love… or are we supposed to do things because we’ve been told to do only certain things? I know that I love Linda… just as I also know that for me to think or even believe that I am all that she will ever want and/or need is just patently ridiculous; I’m good… but I’m not that good. Monogamy requires me to be all that she will ever want and need… but my love for her is quite capable of finding creative ways to handle this. Given that we’re both bisexual – and this is usually a problem in a monogamous relationship – if she were to tell me that she wanted a girlfriend to play with and it would make her a happy camper, my love for her will not allow me to tell her no – but monogamy demands that this is exactly what I’m supposed to do… and I’m thinking that monogamy has no fucking idea what it’s like to live with Linda when she’s unhappy about something. I know that if I were to tell her that she couldn’t have a girlfriend/playmate, one of two things are gonna happen (or both will): She’s going to be hell to live with and she just might veto my decision and go get that girlfriend/playmate anyway. In my mind, it’s kinda simple: If I can’t be totally responsible for her happiness, then she has to be responsible for her happiness. My choice in this is easy – it’s better to contribute to her happiness and growth than it is to be subjected to her ire and displeasure and, really, running the risk of her walking away from me and all because I wanted to be stubborn about it and hold her to a standard that just ain’t working for her totally and completely.
Monogamy isn’t dead… but it’s not the only way to have a good and meaningful relationship. Yep, cheating sucks but most people just cannot see or understand why cheating happens and one of the reasons why it happens is because of the restrictions being monogamous puts on us. It is said that it’s better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission – and this is what a lot of people do and often with disastrous, catastrophic results… but a lot of people have found that is it better to ask permission and, of course, more so when permission is given and shared because what’s good for the goose can be good for the gander. Happiness in a relationship is something that we have to make for ourselves and not something that’s”automatically” provided or assumed.
This is my thoughts about this for the moment and I’ll leave you to your own thoughts about it for now…