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To think monogamy is a myth?

49 replies

Nagoo · 05/06/2013 00:03

The more I know about life, the more I think that monogamy isn't a real thing. I live it. I believe my dh does. But when i hear all the time of other people's indiscretions, I think I must be so naive!

OP posts:
LyingWitchInTheWardrobe2726 · 05/06/2013 10:45

Nagoo... I feel that way too. I suppose, in my 'happy bubble', I don't see many examples of affairs around me. My friend's shook me to the very core. Not just the affair but the aftermath. She's been almost destroyed by it. The OM, not so much - I think with a bit of fancy footwork, his family is intact and he seems ok. I'm a distant colleague of his, work with him very occasionally, and either he puts up a very professional front or he just IS at peace with himself.

What I'm saying, I suppose, is that IF affair partners can keep quiet, keep their heads, not get sloppy and not let their feelings overrun, they could - in theory - carry on and their partners will be none the wiser. I think this happens more than we think it does. My friend's affair has highlighted that possibility.

I now think: Hope for the best, make a mental contingency plan for the worst.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe2726 · 05/06/2013 10:47

... and I think, what you say about 'risk assessment' is absolutely true. Nobody thinks they will get caught. If they knew for certain that they WOULD, they wouldn't do it. It's the possibility that, with the 'right' planning, they won't.

PearlyWhites · 05/06/2013 11:03

Yabu what a strange thought

Lazyjaney · 05/06/2013 11:06

Monogamy is not the natural animsl/human state, but as the cost of raising kids has steadily increased since hunter- gatherer times it was ever more important that men know the kids were theirs, the quid pro quo was that they had to forsake all others too. Of course, thiscwas a social construct so hascalways struggled against natural tendencies.

But the pill and women's economic freedom is now changing all that, I guess predictably as women are more capable of economically supporting their own kids they are less willing to put up with crap fathers, and men see less need to contribute economically to kids.

ChickensHaveNoEyebrows · 05/06/2013 11:12

It's not a myth, it's a choice that you make. You don't have to make it, of course, but you're a spectacular twat if you pretend you have while still fucking about. I don't think monogamy is an easy choice, though.

havingamadmoment · 05/06/2013 11:14

I dont think its normal to only desire one person, BUT desire is different to action.I dont think anyone can EVER say that under no circumstances would their/their dh ever cheat because you have 50/60 years to look at.

ComposHat · 05/06/2013 11:23

I make a distinction between a non-monogamous relationship that everyone is happy and aware of and non-monogamous relationships based on clandestine affairs.

A non-monogomous relationship, isn't necessarily one based on secrecy and deceit. I know examples of these that work for those concerned.

worldgonecrazy · 05/06/2013 11:28

Yes, monogamy is a myth, if you think monogamy means that most people are happy staying in one-one relationships for their entire lives. What is a myth is that monogamy is somehow the societal "norm". Depending on which figure you believe, between a quarter and half of adults have some sort of relationship outside their marriage, so whilst monogamy may be a majority situation, it certainly isn't the only situation.

But I guess for a lot of couples, ignorance is bliss. Maybe we would be happier as a society, if it was accepted that not all couples choose to be monogamous.

The ideal relationship is one that is based on honesty, rather than monogamy. If both partners are happy to be monogamous, that's great. The problems happen when one person feels forced into a monogamous-pretence.

SolidGoldBrass · 05/06/2013 11:29

It's not a myth, but it is socially constructed, just like religions are. (Please don't waste bandwidth trying to convince me that your imaginary friend is the real, special one, because it isn't.) Also, despite all the propaganda about women needing monogamy and 'forcing' men into it, monogamy was actually designed by men to keep women under control and ensure that men didn't spend time raising children that they hadn't made with their own sperm.

This doesn't mean that wanting, or having, a monogamous relationship is a bad thing (though I dislike and avoid them myself) just that it's important to find a partner who feels the same way as you do about it rather than acting as though someone uninterested in monogamy should obey you and have an exclusive relationship with you against his/her inclinations. Monogamy is neither compulsory nor is it the 'best' way to live.

lifeisaboxofchocolates · 05/06/2013 12:21

I think it's a myth. It's an ideal people try to conform to but few do. I have been very surprised over the years at the number of people I know who have had affairs, myself included.

dogrosie · 05/06/2013 12:42

It's not a myth - I'm doing it and have been for 16 years. I agree that open relationships etc are all fine if both partners honestly agree (IME, this has never been the case really) and there are no children involved.

However, I think that once you have kids, you need to be able to commit just to each other as its a hard job. It's not a natural state but I think for bringing up children it is the best state. (Although I would be glad to be proved wrong by posters whose parents had open relationships / multiple partners and still gave them a great, secure childhood.)

fedupofnamechanging · 05/06/2013 13:22

I think it's natural to feel attraction to more than one person, so in that sense monogamy possibly isn't the natural state for everyone and is harder for some people than others to stick to.

But it is something that most people choose when we get married/are in a serious relationship. I don't believe in love at first sight, so people who have affairs are also choosing to opt out of their commitments and become liars and cheats. These things don't just happen by themselves.

There's no shame in saying 'this isn't for me',wrt monogamy, but there should be shame in all the gaslighting and emotional damage that people cause when they are actively deceiving their spouse so they can shag someone else on the side. Sadly, cheating isn't stigmatised by society - people just think that relationships break down all the time and it's one of those things, but it isn't. Someone has had to actively decide to treat their spouse badly.

So no sympathy from me for people who have emotional/sexual affairs.

kim147 · 05/06/2013 13:25

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Bonsoir · 05/06/2013 13:28

Monogamy is a personal choice not a social construct (marriage is a social construct).

SolidGoldBrass · 05/06/2013 16:04

See, what I really hate is the absolute bullshit that a monogamous couple-relationship is essential to raise children happily. I do not have a couple-relationship with DS' dad. We are on friendly terms; he sees DS at least twice a week and DS is happy and healthy and learning the very valuable lesson that there is more to life than the pursuit of heteromonogamy. This constant propaganda about soulmates and true love is what tends to make people miserable, because they fall for it, form a monogamous relationship, are unhappy, either leave and feel guilty or cheat or get cheated on, yet carry on with the same old rubbish that it';s the Ultimate Goal when it simply isn't. The best way to conduct your sex life is to work out what you would like, what genuinely matters to you, and seek out people who want the same things. No one way of doing it is superior to the rest.

Remotecontrolduck · 05/06/2013 16:23

I would never cheat on anyone, I can say that quite comfortably. If i ever found myself in a position where i wanted to sleep with someone other than my partner, I'd end the relationship.

Obviously you can never be 100% certain, but I couldn't be with anyone who cheated either.

To me personally, a relationship means staying faithful to your partner.

Each to their own and that, if you want an open relationship fine, but it's not for me.

Bonsoir · 05/06/2013 16:34

Lots of married monogamous biological parents are in dreadful dysfunctional families, that's for sure!

Sparklymommy · 05/06/2013 16:42

An interesting debate! Monogamy works for some but in all honesty I truly feel that we as a society make ourselves and others very unhappy trying to be monogamous.

For me, honesty is what counts. And acceptance from all parties concerned. If a couple both know the truth and are happy for it to be that way then it is nobody else's business.

CheerfulYank · 05/06/2013 16:52

Not a myth, just a choice.

DH and I couldn't do an open relationship, and we want to live together and raise our kids together. Also we're religious so the whole "vows in the sight of God" thing is there. So, we're monogamous. That's our choice.

Probably not for everyone, though.But for me personally, I want to be with DH more than I want to have sex with other people.

YoniBottsBumgina · 05/06/2013 17:02

I agree with SGB although I prefer to be in a monogamous relationship. I don't think it's at all damaging to children as long as they have the constant of their parent figure(s). I mean, several people moving in and out of the house, being introduced as "Daddy" and then leaving would of course be disruptive but I don't think that's what an open relationship entails.

concernedmate · 05/06/2013 17:04

I don't think its a myth either, I have never cheated on DH and I don't for one second believe he has cheated on me.

exoticfruits · 05/06/2013 17:05

I agree it is choice and not myth- monogamy suits me and I wouldn't want anything else.

Bonsoir · 05/06/2013 18:16

I have no desire at all to have sex with anyone other than DP. I sowed plenty of wild oats, they weren't always that exciting and I don't think I could get anything better than what I have.

Chunderella · 05/06/2013 18:19

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