Scrolling through my email one gave me pause. It was written in big bold black letters, "Is Monogamy Out?" From one of my favorite sites and magazines, Vogue. The article follows writer Karley Sciortino as she goes to a sex party (or what us normal people know as an orgy).
Karley says "By comparison, the couples at the party seemed open and honest in a way that many “normal” couples aren’t. Let’s not kid ourselves: adultery is rife. In a way, the socially accepted norm of monogamy requires lying. It’s almost like monogamous couples actually prefer to be lied to rather than deal with the uncomfortable reality of extramarital attraction."
Karley loses me here. Who said monogamous couples are lying to themselves and each other? True, one can always be attracted to someone else while being in a relationship. But the true test of one's character and strength of will lies in this: are you going to fall to the temptation to submit to that attraction or will you choose to stay true to that commitment you have made to this other person?
Karley continues "With nonmonogamy, you’re admittedly entering into risky territory. But with ground rules and communication, the result could be a more honest, fulfilling relationship. And since keeping jealousy in check and feeling secure can be the hardest parts of maintaining a relationship for me, I began to wonder if nonmonogamy could teach me something on a deeper level that monogamy couldn’t—if perhaps these orgy people were really onto something."
I think Karly loses me again. So the people who sleep around with each other knowingly are better off than the ones who fight those desires and stick together?
Later today, another post crossed my newsfeed that gave me pause. "The Side Chick Epidemic" written by blogger Courtney Carter where rapper Liv's "Sorry Mrs Carter" video is highlighted and discussed. Liv's claim to fame is that Jay-Z allegedly tried to pick her up. This claim led to radio and magazine interviews and now a music video where the self boasting, lip gloss slipping, randomly dancing (model? actress? whoever?) But who is this woman in comparison to this man's wife? Who would she be if Jay had allegedly never spoke to her?
Monogamy is defined by Merriam-Webster as "the state or practice of being married to only one person at a time; the state or practice of having only one sexual partner during a period of time".
But it seems that our modern culture has fallen out of practice with the notion, saying things like "it's unnatural", to which I would like to counter that even animals such as swans, wolves, certain fish, primates, and even freaking TERMITES and WORMS mate for life (and if they can do it, why can't we?)
It's disheartening, that bugs and birds seem to have no trouble linking up, but people who are supposed to be the highest level intelligence on this planet refuse to commit. It's scary when it seems like men, whether secretly or knowingly, cheat on their ladies. It's scary when there are so many women who are willing to disrupt a relationships rather than find and cultivate great ones of their own. It's a dangerous place for those who have good hearts and intentions upon really knowing and growing with a person.
Here is where I'm going to be transparent: I'm not saying all of this because I'm not guilty of cheating. I've done my fair share of dirt and cast no judgment on anyone.
What I will say is just because it seems that "adultery is rife" doesn't mean you must participate in it. Just because others are turning away from monogomy, saying that it's "too difficult" or "unnatural" doesn't mean you have to. You can have it if you want it and you and your significant other are willing as a team to work on it. But you have to be willing to do the work.
Thus far, my own story has a happy ending. I've been with my new(ish) guy for two and a half years going strong, both of us very committed and very faithful. Sure, there are other very handsome guys. Sure, I get approached ( more often than I would like) but I refuse to risk what I've been blessed to have.
Just a few things to consider:
1) If you would rather be the side or even the main chick (implying that there are others), there is something wrong.
A few questions to those who claim that "side chick is the new wife":
If this is true, why won't this guy just leave his "main" and be with you? Is it maybe because his main has the 80% he knows he needs and you are just the 20% he wants? You're just enough to keep him interested but not enough to keep him happy? Dont you think you deserve to be the only one? Why would you want to be one of many when you were meant to be one of one? Just a few things to consider...
2) If a man can be taken from you, he wasn't yours to begin with.
If "she" was able to slither in and get between you two, then he wasn't worth it. Dust yourself off and prepare for the one who is.
Also note: Just because one guy treats you bad doesn't mean they all will and it doesn't mean the next one deserves to suffer for what the previous guy has done.
3) Ladies: CAN WE PLEASE STOP GETTING MAD AT THE OTHER WOMAN AND GET MAD AT THE MAN FOR HAVING ANOTHER WOMAN???
When my mom left my father, she used to get terrible phone calls from his mistresses bragging about how they "took her man". She would just laugh and say "Take him! You can have him. I don't want him." Those women all later regretted their decisions and immature actions. While my mom never knew I was paying attention, I held on to that.
Sometimes we can be so stupid. We get so caught up about taking someone else's man or upset about there being another woman and wanna do all kind of harm to her, but in reality if the above was not true, there wouldn't even be another woman. Drop this sucker and get yo'self a real man.
4) Dont knock monogamy because you yourself are unable to achieve it.
We have painted a very untrue and unrealistic view of relationships and commitment. We think that we are meant to go out and find our best friend. And in some cases this is true. However in most, they are not. Most days will be boring and mundane. There won't be roses and romance and rosé every night. People are going to make mistakes, people are going to mess up, people are going to go through dark times. But that doesn't mean you quit. Monogamy is a commitment. Monogamy is work. That being said...
5) Anything worth having is worth fighting for.
Just because it's hard work makes it all the more worth having. But if you're unwilling to fight for it, why should you be allowed to have it?
Monogamy is serious. It is saying to yourself "I am commiting to this person, to stay, to fight it through,to get to know this man/woman. And should I choose to, I will have the character to end the relationship before I cheat on this person. The fact is that it says more about the person that is willing to cheat in the relationship than the relationship itself.
Monogamy isn't some fashion trend that can go in and out of style. And it's not something to be made a joke of by those who do not possess the strength, the will, the fortitude, the patience, or the heart to have it. Monogamy may be hard work, but it will always be worth it.