Is Long Term Monogamy Natural?


To quote from the Princess Bride “…Mawwage that w(bl)essed arrangement, that dweam within a dweam and w(l)ove, true wove will follow you foreva…so treasure your wafe….” Yep, I do love that movie and Mel Brooks is a comedy genius. Even though marriage has become some what of a farce in pop culture, I still believe in its sanctity and intrinsic meaning. I still believe that marriage stands for something. However, in order to weather the passage of time, many married couples face the challenge of staying in long term monogamous relationships.

My initial post was entitled “So how many ex-wives do you have” and then a friend texted me with a note on whether monogamy is truly possible. It got me thinking about the correlation of long term monogamy and the number of exs. Do people with more exs have problems being faithful or sticking with only one?

Within the last two years, I have met two men with multiple ex-wives. Guy #1 is probably in the process of seeking wife numero 4 and Guy#2 is 3 years in with wife number 4.  Ironically, I was also sitting across from a Guy #3 who started his married life in his 20’s and is still married to his wife of 16 years. What they have in common is that all three men started their marriage journey at a young age. What makes these men so different is the way they managed their relationships. When Guy #1 first told me he had 3 failed marriages I actually started laughing because I thought he was joking. After all, these sorts of things was for Hollywood types.

Long term monogamy, the ability to stick to one partner over an extended period of time, seems to be very challenging for so many people. Is the idea that the grass is always greener with someone else? At least  until the new person gets old. Even our religious forefathers had difficulty holding on to one person.  King David, in his old and dying years, took a very young wife for his comfort. What happened to the “old wives?” The greatest evidence for the difficulty of monogamy is prostitution. The word on the street is that it’s the oldest profession which has endured the test of time and many marriages.

Is it natural to wake up next to the same person every day, sharing the same space every day, being accustom to this permanent fixture in your life until death? How do you stop yourself from getting bored or disinterested?

Monogamy is relative. It’s relative to the people entering in the relationship, their frame of mind about the relationship and their resiliency to be committed. Divorce happens because of a failure from both individual. Monogamy is possible (without infidelity). Monogamy is a realistic expectation for those people who are honest and committed. Our culture has bred an instant gratification generation. This has spilled over into intimate relationships.

Men can be faithful. Actually, the good men are faithful in the face of temptation. Even  though many people are opting out of marriage, they are still involved in romantic relationships which are very short lived and probably doomed from the first hello. The point is monogamy is very natural; however, not everyone chooses to be.

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5 thoughts on “Is Long Term Monogamy Natural?

  1. I really object to your comment that divorce happens because of both individuals. My ex-husband cheated, lied, conducted an affair behind my back, and then left me for his mistress. I loved him, I supported him, I took care of the house, I prayed for him, I made sure we had date nights and time with friends…I was a great wife and didn’t deserve his treatment. So please – divorce can happen because of just ONE individual…

    1. I am sorry about what happened to you and I would never wish such treatment on anyone. I usually ask one question to people who are divorced and this is it. The behavior your spouse exhibited during your marriage ie deception, was that evident before you married him? Was he always a good upstanding guy then just suddenly turned bad. The reason why I say divorce falls on both people in the relationship is because the “betrayed” also had a choice to make when about the character of the person s/he choose to marry.
      Most people usually give signs of their character over time and the other person tend to ignore these things because they are committed or in love etc. The issue with your husband could have started long before you married him. Because I don’t know the details of your relationship, I cannot comment specifically on your situation. However, I do pray for healing for you.

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