Monogamy – Is It A Dirty Word?

Everywhere you look it seems as if someone has fallen over the line of monogamy into the dark forest of unbridled desire. LOL. It sounds poetic when stated that way but there really is nothing pretty about it.

Monogamy has all the trappings of joy. It’s so simplistic and straightforward, find someone you love and therein lies untold happiness. The exultation, peace, excitement and sexual satisfaction that you gain in exchange for the spoken, or sometimes unspoken, declaration of commitment/fidelity seems very worthwhile to most of us. Who needs all the ansgt associated with dating and sifting through the masses, to find someone who digs you and is worthy of you and vice versa? Most of us, despise dating and are willing give up the freedom of sexual choice and variety for our favorite flavor, whomever that might be.

BUT.

If it’s so desirable why do people consistently break their word with such alarming frequency? Who amongst us, has not experienced the stings of the betrayal of infidelity? Crickets. If you are one of the lucky ones, please acknowledge that’s not the case for the majority and count yourself blessed. The rest of us are still trying to figure out why.

It’s so typical and (yawn) boring to blame yourself. Been there, done that. Women, in particular, seem to blame themselves for their mate’s infidelity. If we did more kegels, kept up with the stars, looked radiant and were sweeter, he wouldn’t stray. I blame that on societal programming and home training. Bullshit, say I.

Even the famous, the gorgeous, the rich and the powerful have to deal with the same issue. Just look at Maria Schriver, Jackie Kennedy, Mrs. Clinton, Mrs. Woods, Vanessa Williams, Halle Berry, Mrs. Cain and the list goes on and on.

Which makes clear that in spite of one’s very real insecurities, attractiveness and demeanor are not the cause. I’m betting my money if you asked most of these women they thought their relationship was great, ok well fine, right up to the moment where it disintegrated in front of them.

The next myth that is bandied about so freely is that men cheat. They just cheat. It’s like breathing, like air and we must just accept this flightiness as reality and deal with it. Ask Mrs. Cain, clearly she is operating on that ideology. I don’t believe in the veracity of those statements because I know MANY women who cheat too, quiet as it’s kept. Men don’t like to trot out their battle scars for examination, particularly at the hands of a woman, but if you talk to them they will tell you their truth.

Now, of course, being of the female persuasion, I will say that women are “raised” to believe in the sanctity of a relationship. Only whores going running about spreading their goodies to any and all takers. That stereotype is still being battled and just beginning to devolve as sexual freedom for women becomes more acceptable. However, it is far from a given. Whore and slut are entrenched words in our language for a reason. All too often, I believe they are used to keep a woman in “her place”, in my opinion. Added to this entrenched belief is female  emotionalism. Most of us see love as the ideal and it goes hand in hand with commitment and fidelity. That’s how families are built, that’s how you stay disease free etc. etc. We can argue about that too as partners on the DL (down low) present a serious and ever present danger to their partner’s health.

Not so, men. It would be erroneous to say that most are raised with the same ideals outlined above. Many of them, are moving off other things upheld by our wonderfully patriarchal society, like power, influence, women as a status symbol, or hearkening back to the days of their youth. Objectification does not instill fidelity, if you get my drift.

Now, please note I did not say all. It would be horribly inaccurate to say all women/men operate off the motivations above. Nor, do I really believe that either sex is naturally more monogamous than the other. Relationships are complex and highly individually so that would leave any discussion of this subject as voluminous as the perpetrators. I am merely trying to debunk some of the more popular ideas about why folks cheat.

The issue of cheating can not be discussed without addressing the core value that is being thrown out the window – lying. Worst of all, lying to one you profess to love. Where is the honor in that? “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Clinton will never live that down and I shudder to think of what foolishness Hilary had to hear.

Let’s just tell the truth, humans are not built for monogamy. We’ve been lied to, tricked and bamboozled. We have set an expectation that is highly unrealistic. Adding free will and a higher brain function to the mix has done us NO favors because most of us are, or have been at select moments in our history, selfish creatures. It’s tough even for the animal kingdom. We go after what we want, lie, cheat and steal to get it, and deal with the consequences later. I believe that the real basis for infidelity is biological as many anthropologists and scientists do. That will be explored in a second post.

I have stated previously that I am a serial monogamist. For most of my dating life, I have been in long relationships and yes, much to my shame, I have fallen twice. I consider myself a highly principled person and still when temptation came my way, coupled with the right set of circumstances, I caved because it was what I wanted. I came clean but that helped no one, including me. I was young and the havoc it wreaked on myself and the people I loved taught me it was simply not worth it. I felt guilty for YEARS afterwards and it ensured that I never did it again. That’s real.

Nonetheless, I can say with certainty that I do not believe it’s a natural state. The alternative, polygamy, seems rife with problems as well lol. In any case, I have stated unequivocally that I am never surprised when people lie to me, ESPECIALLY about sex. I expect that the veneer of civility and social norms will be constantly battled by baser desires…and even the valiant will sometimes fail.

Like Lauryn Hill said, “If people lie to God, what makes you think they won’t lie to you?”

What say you? 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Monogamy – Is It A Dirty Word?”

  1. Coco, I’m behind you one hundred percent. I read the part in your post where you mention that women take the blame for their husband’s infidelities and thought of myself. I remember being married to husband #1 and while I didn’t know he was cheating on me at the time, I pleaded with him to not leave the home and turn my children into statistics of a broken home. I negotiated. I bartered. I will talk less. I’ll give you more space. I’ll make less demands. Little did I know at the time, that he was already bonking someone else and my pathetic pleas were falling on deaf ears. Do I still believe in the sanctity of marriage? I don’t know. Is monogamy for everyone? Absolutely not. That said, those who know it’s not for them, should stay the hell out of marriage. It takes great emotional maturity and commitment and sadly, some folk are just lacking in this department. I’m with Annie–I will not tolerate unfaithfulness. Cheaters and beaters don’t get second chances. And anyway, I wouldn’t be able to trust someone’s who’s lied to me. And for me, if trust is missing, we may as well throw in the towel. It’s over. It’s time to move on. After all, we’re worth more than a man who doesn’t know how to value that he’s married to a queen. I’m just sayin’. 🙂

    1. Thank you for your honesty, Bella. “Cheaters and Beaters don’t get second chances”. Right on, Sista. I was just prattling on today that a person’s actions speak much louder than words. The older I get the more weight that has with me. I’m sorry about your ex but glad you grew past him.

      Alot of us have trouble trusting, understandably, after such betrayals but the reality is that people will often disappoint you. It is a test of your spirit to accept their inadequacies as their own and continue blossoming in spite of it. I’m just saying 🙂

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more on this, Coco. I divorced a man because he said he would have to have affairs. I knew I couldn’t live with the knowledge that if I accepted his statement as truth than I was condoning his behavior. People make excuses all the time…”his dad did it so that’s all he knows…he’s European…he is handsome so he can’t help that he gets hit on a lot” but the bottom line? He/she is a liar and a cheat. It’s all about how much you are willing to take. Herman Cain’s wife will obviously believe any lie…and Hillary had to swallow hard to stay in Bill’s arms. And to those who feel I should lighten up? That’s fine, but when you start to teeter on your core values, there becomes a disconnect with life. I have no problem walking out the door if my mate cheats…and he feels the same way about me. It works for us, but I doubt that would fly for many couples today.

    1. Don’t lighten up, Annie. I’m totally with you. We must each decide for ourselves what is acceptable. I divorced for the very same reason. Sadly, he was not that honest and had to be caught instead. It never ceases to amaze me that even when you give some people the opportunity for truth they REFUSE to come clean smh.

      People who compromise their core values to attain gratification often get bit in the ass in the end. You think we’d learn! Props to you and your mate for keeping it real.

      Signed,

      Once Burned Twice Shy

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