Do you believe in monogamy?

Posted: July 30, 2011 in Life, Life changes
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
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While I was away on my holiday I still tried to be online every once in a while, cos let’s face it… I am way to curious about what is happening everywhere. It was during this time that a blog post from the lovely Nikki B, on monogamy, caught my attention. Read it, share it, discuss…

I shared the post with my sister and others and it seemed everyone had an opinion on this subject. This prompted me to do a post about this, trying to consolidate the points raised.

Traditionally monogamy has long been the “correct” way to live your life – the whole “for ever and ever ’til death do us part”. I look at my parents who have been married for over 50 years – was it meant to be that way?

Going back generations, life was very much different. Life was harder, more physical demanding and taxing healthwise. People created a family and died much earlier than today. The sanctity of marriage and a monogamous family life ensured that the next generation had a stable, safe ground to grow up in. Time to rear children was limited and many did not live many years after this was done. Yes, I am generalizing now but I hope you get my drift.

This idea that we are meant to be with one person our whole life no longer seems viable. Today’s generations are very much different. The health care of today (First World countries) ensures longer lives well past our biological child rearing years. During my discussion the most common opinion I encountered is that we today are a society mainly made up of serial monogamy. (No big surprise there.) That life today has several stages.

Starting out young. Falling in love and promising never-ending love for all time. Maybe in the late teens or early twenties. The following years people change a lot. The influences are too many to count and as individuals all develop and sometimes the person they are with develops in a different direction. The first cracks in the foundation of the relationships appear and for many it is the beginning of the end.

More mature (hopefully) and perhaps looking for someone to start a family with the next stage takes shape. Children are born and raised. Life is all about schools, activities, parenting. Life becomes a project to keep afloat. Then when the children have flown the coop – then what? Can the relationship survive this transition? For some it does and for some… it doesn’t. Once again people have changed and developed.

Entering maturity and with many years still ahead people try to find someone to be with that matches their desires, hopes for the future and love.

These stages are just an example raised. In my opinion these and more stages exist for almost all of us, in infinite variety. With kids or not, with same-sex partners or not. Etc.

Enter the next discussion – would you be in an open relationship? Personally… I am not sure. I have no problem with anyone else wanting to do so but me… I am not sure I’d like to share. Might sound a bit silly but there it is. It is not that I am a jealous person. I have actually never been jealous of any of my previous partners. I believe jealousy rears its ugly head due to insecurities and doubt and I can honestly say I trusted the guys I was with at the time. BUT knowingly sharing my partner with someone else… hmmm it is an interesting concept and I will never say never. Most of the people I spoke to about this were very hesitant to the idea. Not condemning it (which is great) but it was not something they were interesting in trying themselves. Maybe I will delve deeper into this subject in a future post.

The most important thing to remember is that we must keep an open mind. Serial monogamy, one person for life, open relationships or whatever variety is out there is a personal choice. Not everyone wants an open relationship or to be with one person in a committed relationship all their life. We must choose what feels best for ourselves and what makes us happy. At the same time we must understand that others around us might want something different and that it is nothing wrong with that. Being open, understanding and keeping a discussion alive to see the different point of views that are out there. Not too much to ask for really is it?

 

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Comments
  1. timkeen40 says:

    I could not be in an open relationship. I like to lay down next to a woman who is only laying down next to me. I have been doing that for going on twenty-one years now and will be happy to do it for another fifty if I am granted the time.

    http://timkeen40.wordpress.com

  2. Ivy Blaise says:

    That is great! A happy relationship (in whatever shape) is what is important in the end of days.

  3. Thom Davis says:

    Quite an interesting discussion. I suppose I tend to fall more towards the category of one who prefers monogamy for myself but that is MY personal choice, based obviously on my preference. I just recently became open to being in a relationship at all for the first time since a hurtful divorce nearly 6 years ago so I am not the typical example, I’m sure. But the debate here could be interesting…

    I have always had difficulty pushing my view or preference on others, this is no different. I too would just have trouble sharing probably more because of the potential complexity and dram of it then any feelings of jealousy…

    • Ivy Blaise says:

      I do not think there is such a thing as a typical example… we are all unique and that makes our relationships unique as well. Which makes this discussion oh so much more interesting. 🙂

  4. Fantasminha says:

    First, I would say that everyone I have read/heard speak about this speaks as if they are the part of a couple already and considering the idea of allowing a third person in. I think it would be beneficial to all to think of it from all angles: not just as part of a couple but also as the now new third person, and also as potentially a person getting now involved (possibly for the first time) in a 3-person relationship. All three have their potential areas of emotional risk, don’t you think?

    The first and IMHO obvious risk is emotional. What if you are emotionally invested totally and the others are not? Second is the obvious physical risk. Let’s face it: we live in a modern society.

    When I was young, I followed my parents example without question as we all do for a while. Then after a really nasty divorce at 29, I swore off the opposite sex entirely. Then I decided that serial monogomy was the only way forward for me since I think i seem to change more than most people around me.

    Then to my surprise, totally out of the blue, I met the love of my life. It sounds corny, but there it is. I don’t want to be far from him even long enough to go to work. I enjoy his company and he mine. I keep waiting for the honeymoon to be over, but after 12 years, we are still going strong. The idea to allow a third person into our relationship, while it would not be completely off the table, would make me feel as if I had let him down in some way, like I am “not sufficient.” Thinking about this, it’s because I don’t need someone else to feel this relationship whole. If he does, then it would be a failure on my part. If it was something that we both wanted, then maybe that would be different.

    Having said all that, life is too short to spend it missing key factors in your life that would make you happy. Once you find out what it is you want, you should go after it with both hands. Don’t judge others and don’t allow the judgement of others (or potential judgement) stop you from going after what you think will make you happy. In the end, you will wind up old and bitter.

  5. Ivy Blaise says:

    it is not corny… it is sweet – and more uncommon that we like to think. So I would say you guys are very lucky. 🙂

    Yeah, life is too short to spend it bitter. Or as someone once said (which I just loved):

    “As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn’t supposed to ever let us down, probably will. You’ll have your heart broken and you’ll break others’ hearts. You’ll fight with your best friend or maybe even fall in love with them, and you’ll cry because time is flying by. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, forgive freely, and love like you’ve never been hurt. Life comes with no guarantees, no time outs, no second chances. you just have to live life to the fullest, tell someone what they mean to you and tell someone off, speak out, dance in the pouring rain, hold someone’s hand, comfort a friend, fall asleep watching the sun come up, stay up late, be a flirt, and smile until your face hurts. Don’t be afraid to take chances or fall in love and most of all, live in the moment because every second you spend angry or upset is a second of happiness you can never get back.”

  6. Movedup says:

    Seriously I am absolutely monogamous! No question – there is no way that I could or would entertain the idea of a “open relationship” – it completely goes against everything I believe in. The very core of my being. Inviting a third in to my relationship would not be acceptable on any level. I do not share well with others. It has nothing to do with jealousy either – it has to do with my view of commitment. The old saying of too many cooks in the kitchen come to mind. I have friends that are poly and that’s fine for their chosen lifestyle – I do not judge them for that. It works for them for me its incomprehensible. To go against myself and the very core of my being – I would not be true to myself and when it comes to a choice I choose me first. I have a partner that has the same view and we work through downs of our relationships that pop up from time to time. Its a part of life. Personally for myself with a third party in the mix would completely undermine the long term ability to continue the relationship on healthy terms. It would get ugly – I understand my view my be considered “old fashion” and if that is the case then ok – I am “old fashioned”. There’s nothing wrong with that either.

    • Ivy Blaise says:

      I am not sure I would share well with others either. So for me it is serial monogamy that is the name of the game. If it will change… who knows.

  7. Movedup says:

    The thing about it Ivy is being true to myself, recognizing what is important to me and asking for my needs to be met up front. If they can’t do that – there is the door. I will not emotionally invest in someone who, for whatever reason, will not emotionally invest in me and me alone. If someone I am with wants that type of relationship – they need to speak their needs. If they can’t do that and figure what I don’t know won’t hurt me – they are not on the same page with me in the first place and are up for a spinning side kick to the curb! I am upfront and I expect the same. If they are not ashamed of their beliefs then there should be no reason for them not to speak now or forever hold their peace.

  8. FeistyWoman says:

    I would never be in an open relationship. Besides I’m far too possessive. What’s mine is mine and I don’t want to share it with anyone else. Some people are cut out for it and some aren’t however, those who proclaim to be accepting of it, I believe, are just fooling themselves.

    I simply don’t believe you can have a deeply fulfilling, intimate, and trustworthy relationship with more than one person at a time, at least not without major conflict. If you truly care about someone, there is bound to be some jealousy and some ill-will.

    In short, I’d rather eat dirt than share the man I love with another woman.

    • Movedup says:

      With you on that one Feisty!

    • Ivy Blaise says:

      I do believe that it does work out for some people but also that it is rare. At least if you look at it from the deeply binding emotional view. If you look at it from a pure sense of just having sex then it is more common. I’d say once an emotional connection becomes involved then it seldom works out for all involved. However for some it does.

      I know that I would never say, yes let’s do this unless I felt 100% sure about it – hence I have never done so and am hesitant if I ever would. My point is just that people should keep an open mind and not judge other for their chosen lifestyle – not everything is everyone else’s cup of tea.

  9. Nikki B says:

    Nice post, Ivy! Thank you for extending the discussion!

    I think the bottom line is to each their own. Period. No judgement. I think monogamy as it stands is and will probably continue as the predominate form of relationships in our culture, for the reasons stated here – because that is what most people want.

    However. I think we should do our best to avoid pressing our views on to someone else. How we feel on to *someone else’s* relationship. Because even entertaining the idea of an open relationship, or inviting in a third on occasion, or being polyamorous (ahem – these are different things) makes you uncomfy for *these reasons*, it doesn’t mean *those reasons* are at play in someone else’s relationship. For instance. Being involved in a non-monogamous relationships *does not* mean you are not committed to one another, that you don’t have boundaries, that you don’t love one another just as much as other couples (even if that means you love more than one person), that you are not fulfilled, that your relationship lacks trust, that you are going to be jealous or unhappy any more than anyone else – that you’re going to automatically have emotional issues if you open things up. OR that you are living a more “dangerous” lifestyle. Living life non-monogamously *does not* even mean you’re having more sex, or more unsafe sex, or more sexual partners. I realize in theory it might, but hello – people cheat in monogamous relationships all. the. time. And you don’t become less able to have safe sex the more frequently you have sex (and you’re starting to walk a very fine slut-shamin’ line when you start talking that way – my “number” doesn’t make me more unsafe than someone whose “number” is lower than mine).

    SO. I think we should all strive for a relationship that makes us happy, and celebrate the ones around us that are, too. I think we should allow people to choose that for themselves, and to not pass judgement. Celebrate love in all its forms.

    AND we should continue to talk about it, to question and think, to evaluate and re-evaluate our views, to listen to what other people have to say. As such, I would also encourage people not to take my word for it, but to see what people actually practicing (I’m a baby non-monogamous, not sure how far I’ll go with it) non-trad relationships have to say…

    Samantha Fraser: http://notyourmothersplayground.com/ – and her fab interview with Met Another Frog: http://www.metanotherfrog.com/2011/07/14/sfgd13/

    Evolving Evie: http://openandkinky.blogspot.com/?zx=d07cf4e3755c1552

    • Ivy Blaise says:

      It’s about knowing what works for you and what makes you happy. I have always been of the opinion, do whatever makes you happy – provided you do not hurt someone else and you stay safe.

  10. For me, personally speaking I’d prefer monogamy any day. Sometimes, open relationships get way out of hand and then trouble starts over. Besides, any relationship is defined by what makes both happy and at peace with each other. And from what I have seen, it involves a lot of love, compromise and understanding.

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