This is my monthly column about our life, life in a triad in general, or whatever rants & raves I feel like talking about at the time.

Previous editions of this column can be found in the Monthly Columns Archives.

Miserably Monogamous

I overheard a conversation at work one day that got me to thinking. A few of my female coworkers were talking about getting together for a ladies night out. In the process of this conversation, one of the women said "I'd love to go, but my husband will have to come too". Obviously I wasn't a part of this conversation, but listening intently to hear the mindset behind a man accompanying his wife to a ladies only social gathering. Thankfully I wasn't the only person interested in this thought process, because one of the other woman asked why she would want her husband to go with her.

"It's not right to go out without your spouse, it only causes problems." she replied.

I was actually stunned to hear this explanation, mostly because in my mind I could see absolutely no way that problems could arise from this type of harmless fun. It's not like these women were planning on going out to pick up men; well not all of them anyway. I'm sure that the single ones would be engaging in some flirtation and interaction with people they found attractive, but why not? I'm sure even some of the married ones would too. I mean come on, what's wrong with a little harmless flirtation? It's great for the self-esteem when someone you find attractive returns those feelings. When did it become so wrong to have fun once you became married?

That's when it started to dawn on me. I think it all comes down to one base emotion - insecurity. I've talked before about how I feel that jealousy, in and of itself, can't thrive. It takes other base emotions to fuel this fire, and in this instance insecurity was the accelerant keeping this nasty feeling burning. What I truly don't understand is why?!

Do some people actually place such a low value on their own self worth that they feel the need to track their partners every move? Has self-esteem sunk to such a level that fear and worry about what your significant other might be doing forces you to want to be at their side twenty four hours a day, seven days a week? Don't get me wrong, I love to spend as much time as possible with Sister Dagger, but not at the risk of stifling her own individuality and social life. In fact, I encourage her to broaden her social circles and meet other people, romantic interests or otherwise. Not to mention that not every person we meet and interact with in a social setting immediately becomes an attraction we wish to persue. I meet a lot of people through work, some I see several times a week, some every day, but not many that I have a desire to get to know on a romantic level. Physical attraction is great, don't get me wrong, but it takes much more than that for me to become interested in a person, and one night at a club or bar simply won't spark that interest in me.

So again I ask, Do some people actually place such a low value on their own self worth that they feel the need to track their partners every move? Apparently the answer is yes, and I think that the reason behind this answer, in it's most boiled down form, is monogamy. It all goes back to the "one partner, forsaking all others, 'til death do you part" theory. Society as a whole is largely programmed that one partner is all you will ever need to be happy and fulfilled. Once you meet that person, all of your needs and desires will be met; you'll get all of your phyiscal and emotional needs met, and you'll live "happily ever after". While "happily ever after" is a great concept for a fairy tale, it's not often the reality of monogamy. If that were the case, the divorce rates would be much lower. While many divorces are listed on the books as "irreconciliable differences", how many are in actuality the result of one person meeting someone else and wishing to be with them instead? Doesn't it make much more sense to, rather than divorce your spouse to marry a new one, simply include that person into your life in addition to your existing spouse?

It makes perfect sense to me. Especially given the fact that this new partner most likely provides you with entirely different things than your previous one did. Eventually this fact will be realized, you'll meet someone new, and the process will repeat itself. While serial monogamy works for many people on the surface, I think that beneath it all they would practice some form of polyamory or open relationship if given the knowledge and chance. That is if society didn't force them to live miserably monogamous "'til death do they part". I understand and respect the fact that monogamy is a fantastic way to live life for a good part of society, but what about the equally large number of people who fail miserably at it only because they are programmed from their earliest days that marriage is a black and white union? I'm not saying that polyamory is a way to cure a person's "wandering eyes", nor is it an excuse to cheat. When done right, however, it's a fantastically fulfilling lifestyle that provides rewards well worth the effort of maintaining multiple relationships.

~ Chias, March 07, 2007


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