Is Monogamy The Best Policy?

Posted on August 27, 2011



I recently came across an article asserting that monogamy is so difficult that many couples may be better off having open marriages, as long as they can agree upon the rules. Am I too mired down in traditional values, or is this idea ludicrous? Is sex outside of marriage not considered an “affair” if your spouse knows about it?

The article references the many celebrity affairs that have made recent news. We can’t get caught up in assuming celebrity relationships are like our own. They’re not. It seems that cheating is almost accepted in celebrity circles,despite the pain it causes. So let’s not compare ourselves to celebrities, or lose faith in monogamy just because famous men can’t keep it in their pants.

The article proposed polygamy with boundaries will help create a healthy marriage. To me, this is admitting people are not capable of a monogamous relationship. I suppose it could be true. Let’s face it,most men can’t keep it in their pants — famous or not. These rules help by setting boundaries around who each person can hook up with and how much they can do. Still, if my wife was out with another man, I’d sit home alone wondering what she was doing — even if I had the green light to be with someone else. I’d want to be with the woman I love, and no one else. So why allow anyone else in?

The article does make a great point about sexuality among married couples.  The advice is to be extremely open about what excites you. The article states that you should be “whores” with one another. Sex, just like other parts of the marriage, can go through “vanilla” phases. The best way around this is to experiment, and keep and open mind.

They say sex is best with the one you love, so why do so many people look outside of marriage for sex? I suppose people mistakenly think they are in love when they get married, or fall out of love after they’ve said “I do.” I would also say that there are monogamous people by nature and others who simply don’t have it in their DNA. I have plenty of married friends, and I’m certain they will remain faithful. So, there are people who can do it. The article harps on  the lofty impossible dream of monogamous marriage.  But, the idea that an open marriage, even with rules, can be healthy and void of drama seems pretty lofty and impossible to me too.

Are we saving marriage by proposing “polygamy rules?” We’re saying “OK, we agree we can’t be faithful, but we love each other so we’ll make it work by allowing each other to be with other people.” That statement seems a little odd to me. We all get urges, but purely physical urges are empty. To me, it should be easy to withstand an empty urge,or take care of it through masturbation.

Do you think an open marriage with boundaries would help your marriage? Could you ever been in a union like this?

By Rich Santos/Marie Claire

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