I have witnessed enough infidelity car wrecks over the years to know, that it’s the marriages without any dents that stand out the most. Although the statistics vary, it is estimated that up to 50% of marriages might be touched by infidelity and it is still one of the leading causes of relationship and marital breakdown all over the world.
So, is monogamy too much to ask for? Is it just an outdated notion, more befitting to back-in-the-day, when a women’s livelihood was far more dependent on her marital status than it might be now? Does our 24/7 access to porn, private messaging and the tinder-tastic smorgasbord of opportunity make not straying damn near impossible?
Let’s be honest – Having sex with the exact same person, for like EVER is a very big ask.But then again – so is living happily ever after. Or raising a (relatively) well-adjusted family. Or starting a business. Or following your passion. Or getting to and staying at your ideal weight. Nothing worth fighting for is easy my friend – so in the spirit of optimism let’s look at how we (might) be able to master, or at least manipulate this cherished notion of monogamy into something that is closer to the happy ending (Ahem!) we are all hoping for.
It’s Normal to Fancy Other People.We are all sexual beings and finding other people attractive does not mean you love your partner any less. The human brain is sophisticated enough to allow us to love someone wholeheartedly, but still, maintain the impulses and drives that prompted us to partner up in the first place. As the rather sexy Mariella Frostrup said when questioned on this topic – ‘Being in a long-term relationship doesn’t lobotomise the part of your brain that deals with physical attraction; it relies on your ability to choose.’
Our Expectations Are Too High.Let’s be honest – the whole fairy-tale deal is messed up. You are highly unlikely to find ONE person who is going to meet all your emotional, romantic and sexual needs. It might feel like you have when you first fall in love, but this chemical reactive ‘infatuation stage’ is just that – a stage. Down the track, true love is less of a hormonal hotbed and as much a mindset of respect and commitment. Just because everything isn’t perfect, and you don’t want to jump your partners bones every minute, does not mean it is time to saddle up with someone else.
You Need to Be in It, To Win It.Having sex with your partner increases your chances of being in a monogamous relationship. It might seem obvious to most… And yet, I know women who never have sex with their husbands, but who are appalled when they find out they have been having it with somebody else. I am not saying you should be swinging from the chandeliers, legs akimbo, 7 nights a week – but if you are genuinely interested in a close, intimate relationship with your partner, then sex is, for many people, a pretty key ingredient. Communication here is key - having your needs met with a loving partner can be a lot less messy than having them serviced elsewhere.
What Works for You?
For more self-help with a side of sarcasm head to Thin.Rich.Happy