Just Us Two: Why Monogamy Is A Realistic Expectation


“It’s unrealistic,” a guy friend told me one day when we were discussing the subject of only having sex with one person until death do you part. “Even if I were married to Beyonce, I’d still cheat. It’s not about looks. All men cheat on their wives and the ones who don’t are lame.”

James was attractive, slightly older than I am, accomplished and a certified ladies man. If they gave out degrees in bed hopping, his would be summa cum laude. He said he wanted to be married one day, but he also said he wanted to divorce at 40 and start all over again. “Monogamy is cool for, like, the first year,” he told me. “But after that, no way.”

It’s these types of men – and the women who share those same ideas – who would do the institution of marriage a favor by never getting married. Or at least they should take care to marry someone who agrees with the fallacy that the best thing about sex is novelty.

Men and women like James believe monogamy is unrealistic simply because they lack the experience and the desire to be committed to one person. Some eventually commit, either through coercion or the misguided belief that a ring changes anything fundamental about them, and they end up stepping out on their marriages. We can all recall those at the center of several affairs that made headlines in the past few years: Arnold SchwarzeneggerRupert SandersChad Johnson, and Tiger Woods to name a few.

When that happens many wonder if the hurt, pain, and humiliation could be avoided if only we’d abandon the “one person until death (or divorce)” requirement of marriage.

In my opinion, the hurt, pain, and humiliation would be avoided if these types of people would just stay committed to their marriages. One person’s – or even a group of persons’ – selfishness does not make the whole idea of monogamy obsolete. Not living up to a reasonable standard is not a reason to do away with it.

If anything, knowing that people believe different things about monogamy just means that we should be certain we’re marrying someone who shares our same ideals on the topic. It’s the whole “you can’t turn a man-whore into a house-husband” thing. As one wise writer succinctly put it “a cheating boyfriend is a cheating fiancé is a cheating spouse.”

It’s not monogamy itself that’s unrealistic. What’s not plausible is the idea that one can easily go from having indiscriminate sex to being content with one person.

(Continue reading at UPTOWN…)