Monogamy Myths And Truths

Monogamy Myths And Truths.  Conservative estimates show that 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an extramarital affair. Most people expect monogamy to be a normal part of marriage or any committed relationship. When stating marital vows it’s either implicit or explicit that monogamy is expected. Some couples who come in for Affair Recovery do so where one of them has made a unilateral decision to open up their marriage by cheating.

Photo by Shawn Goldberg
Monogamy myths and truths

Some monogamy myths:

  • Society supports monogamy as the norm in society as a whole.
  • One person can meet all of your needs
  • If an affair happens, it’s strictly a personal failure of the people involved
  • Cheating and affairs are more common among the rich and less common in conservative cultures
  • If you really love your partner, you’ll remain faithful
  • We generally agree on what counts as cheating
  • Your partner won’t stray as long as you keep your sex life exciting
  • Most married people don’t cheat
  • Jealousy is an indicator of true love
  • Intimacy is only for romantic relationships
  • Monogamy means you don’t experience other attractions

Couples therapist

The reality about Monogamy is despite society’s lip service to monogamy there are significant societal factors that support and encourage affairs. Just look at advertising idealizing relationships by suggesting you can have it all.  That monogamy is not the norm by today’s standards

Monogamy is a choice. As years go by in long term marriage it is recommended to keep the line of communication open and be able to talk about what you like and don’t like in the bedroom. Being able to initiate conversation, express thoughts and feelings, and asking for what you need and want keeps the intimacy in tack to continue to choose monogamy. If and when couples choose otherwise, it would be advisable to develop New Monogamy agreements so relationship expectations are explicit rather than implicit.

For more information about monogamy and new monogamy agreements visit my website at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com or call me at (858) 735-1139.

 

 

Polyamory Or Monogamy Which One Is For You?

Polyamory or Monogamy Which One Is For You?  Polyamory means having simultaneous close emotional and possibly sexual relationships with two or more other individuals with the knowledge and consent of all partners concerned.  The growing practice of polyamory in the United States indicates a significant shift in the way marriage and intimate relationships have evolved over the past few decades. For some individuals, monogamy could be a better choice and for others, polyamory may be a better fit.

How do you know which one is best for you?  If you’re not sure what would work for you, I highly suggest you find out sooner rather than later, especially before you get involved in a committed relationship since compatibility seems to be the name of the game.  Polyamory is a new language for alternatives to monogamous relating.  Consensual non-monogamy and the New Monogamy is the preferred term in the academic world and is being talked about in Marital Counseling in my office as well as other clinicians who provide counseling to non-traditional lifestylers throughout the country.  This cultural obsession with monogamy has headed in the same direction as the gold standard, slavery, and for the younger generation, dating in general.  What I mean is, while serial monogamy is more popular than ever, lifelong monogamy is obsolete and whether we like it or not, polyamory is catching on.  Here is the latest information from author Deborah Anapol from “Love Without Limits.”

1. There is no evidence that monogamy is better in terms of relationship longevity, health, sexual satisfaction, happiness or emotional intimacy. There is also no evidence that polyamory is better.  Given that information, individuals should go on what feels right to them and their partners.

2.  Gay men are more likely than heterosexual couples, lesbians, or bisexuals to practice consensual non-monogamy and still struggle with jealousy issues.

3.  Polyamory is not necessarily easy, especially if family of origin issues and personal issues are not addressed and still present as issues.

4.  Women are not necessarily in favor of monogamy.  They don’t appreciate being lied to or having to go along with a double standard.

5.  Children raised in consensually non-monogamous families have been shown to do as well on many measures of health and achievement as children in monogamous families.

It’s extremely rare these days to find someone who has had only one sexual partner or “significant other” throughout his or her life.  There are definitely some people who are far better off taking it one person at a time, and then there are those who can have multiple partners sequentially or at the same time.  There are those who practice polyamory with ingenuity and vulnerability and those who justify what they refer to as polyamory but is really self-deception and lack of integrity by indulging in multiple affairs as a means of hedonism.

What’s important is not so much the Glamour of multi-partner relating as it is allowing Love to dictate the form rather than attempting to force Love into whatever Mold the mind has decided is right.  Polyamory is less about how many people you are having sex with or feeling love for than it is about allowing love (not lust) to lead you into whatever form is appropriate.

As a Marriage Counselor, I see a diversity of relationship forms in Marriage Counseling.  Whether working with Monogamous Couples or Polyamorists I have no position on whether people, in general, should be monogamous or not.  That fact is that it is very rare to find anyone who has had only one sexual partner for his or her entire life.  Monogamy works for some people and does not for others.  It’s a matter of what works for you and your relationship.  Having a dialogue about what you want in your relationship is a start.

In Couples Counseling I help Couples initiate a conversation that may seem difficult and make them feel vulnerable, as talking about what you want sexually is unfamiliar and awkward to some.  As a Therapist, I characterize my position on polyamory as Pro-choice rather than anti-monogamy and have no position on whether people in general “should” be monogamous or not.  It is encouraged for people to do what is right for them.  There is no judgment or criticism in however you choose to relate to your relationship.  What works for one person may not be the same for all people or even for the same person in different stages in life.

For more information on polyamory and if it is suited for you and your relationship please give me a call at (858) 735-1139 or email me at [email protected]

We’re Not As Monogamous As We May Think

We’re Not As Monogamous As We May Think.  Remember that quote from former President Jimmy Carter in Playboy magazine “I’ve looked on many women with lust.  I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times.  God knows I will do this and forgives me.” How many of us do the same thing?  An anonymous online survey was taken asking what behaviors would be considered Infidelity.

 The results are as follows:

  1. 73 out of 100 people thought falling in love with someone other than their partner with no sexual contact still counted as an infidelity.
  2. 31% thinks staying up all night talking to someone else constitutes cheating.
  3. 7%  thinks just thinking about another person inappropriately was unacceptable.

So where do you draw the line when it comes to Infidelity.  Being nice to someone who is nice to you? Reciprocating a sweet gesture?  Human connections are the lifeline of emotional survival.  To have conversations with the opposite sex that are genuine, deep and filled with substance can be fulfilling, especially if you aren’t receiving that connection with your partner.  Even the most fleeting kindness and flirtations with strangers enhance our well-being.  These brief moments of human interchange can heighten are senses all around.  Why wouldn’t it spike up intimate feelings?

Thinking such thoughts and acting on them are two different things, however, the thoughts do exist.  We may think because we are with one partner and haven’t had intercourse with another makes us monogamous.  As a Marriage Counselor, I speak to men and women who are in monogamous relationships yet talk about how they are attracted to someone at their place of work, a parent at their children’s school or how the neighbor next door is sweet to them.  They admit they flirt and like the attention they receive when engaging in “harmless” sexual banter. Sure the energy you receive from that connection is exhilarating.

More importantly, what do you do with that energy?  The ideal is to take that energy and incorporate it into your monogamous relationship and enhance that connection.  Some people do.  The point here is that as much as we say we believe in Monogamy, our behaviors don’t always support it. We continue to laugh and flirt with the opposite sex and encourage the excitement that can make our day.

So when these opposite-sex friendships serve the purpose of enhancing your experiences and adding to your life it’s difficult to comprehend what exactly is so out of bounds about it.

For more information on putting internal and external boundaries in place call me at (858) 735-1139, so you know when you may be crossing that line.

 

 

 

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