November 26, 2008

Monogamy Part 2- Making The Dream Possible

Monogamy Requires Special Abilities

Not everyone has the body type, flexibility, physical stamina or emotional commitment to be an Olympic pairs figure skater, which involves putting the body into forced positions and the same goes for monogamy which is just as unnatural as figure skating.

Imagine if all your life, your parents, your religion and society told you that you had to be an Olympic pairs figure skater in order to be happy, accepted respected and spiritually sound. Regardless of your physical ability, availability of a place to train or freedom to learn, you were expected to just know how to perform triple flips, camel spins and contort your body while balancing on one narrow blade, while moving at breakneck speeds on slippery ice. You look at your parents and see that much like everyone else around they are also skating on ice but far below Olympic standards. They fall on their asses everyday, more times than you can count. Yet, they keep asserting, that somehow you are supposed to do this better than they did.

It just does not make sense! Neither does a lifetime of monogamy starting from your very first relationship.

Not everyone has the body type, flexibility, physical stamina or emotional commitment to be an Olympic pairs figure skater. It involves putting the body into forced positions and it is not something everyone can do naturally. If you read the first article, you will know that monogamy is just as unnatural as figure skating. It goes against our intrinsic nature. It can therefore only come from serious practice, true commitment and most of all, the temperament, emotional stability and stamina for the sacrifices involved. Forcing everyone to be monogamous has resulted in inarguable failure. Yet we fail to admit it and keep on falling on our asses. When will we learn?

Does this sound dismal to you? Cheer up. Just as there are a rare few with the natural potential for exquisitely graceful, effortless figure skating, there are those with pre-existing favourable qualities for monogamy like: a strong sense of your purpose in life, selflessness, humility, kindness, patience, the ability to forgive, a sense of humour, a sense of personal responsibility, self-esteem, the desire to learn and perfect yourself and the ability and/or desire to love another person unconditionally the way God loves you.

It is unfair to expect everyone to naturally perform a lifetime of triple axels with one person for life, especially if it is their very first time on the ice with their very first partner. Sometimes you need practice with several partners before finding the right one. The vast majority do not luck out and find the perfect partner on the first skate, not even your parents.

Not everyone is born with these qualities but just as some Olympic figure skaters can become very proficient and athletic through practice, these attributes can be learned. So never fear, even if you aren’t naturally blessed with a monogamous mentality you can make a commitment to it that comes from maturity and learning from your experiences. And that brings us to….

Monogamy Is Not For Novices

The most boasted about "virgin until marriage" shows that sometimes experience trumps religious morality when it comes to successful monogamy.

It is unfair to expect everyone to naturally perform a lifetime of triple axels with one person for life, especially if it is their very first time on the ice. Just as with figure skating, even those with the natural gift for monogamy also require individual experience. That’s right; you need to be a mature, well-lived, self-enlightened person to enjoy successful monogamy. In addition, you need practice with several partners before finding the right one. The vast majority do not luck out and find the perfect partner on the first skate, not even your parents. You need to first know who and what works best for you before you commit and that means availing yourself of the opportunity to a few intimate relationships. If you are really sharp about knowing thyself, all it takes is one just former relationship to teach you all about yourself, what quality of mate you deserve, what your deal makers and deal breakers are. Then based on this, you can make a more informed decision about whom you intend to train and skate with for life the second time around.

The Associated Press analyzed divorce statistics from the US Census Bureau. They found that Massachusetts had the lowest divorce rate in the U.S. at 2.4 per 1,000 population. Texas had the highest rate and the highest divorce rates are found in the "Bible Belt."

The fact that monogamy requires existing ability or learned ability is why I cannot support the “abstain till marriage” movement which results in young people marrying the first person they fall in love with, just to sanction their desire to take the relationship to the next sexual step. These engaged and under-aged couples are not getting married in the 1920s with social constraints and female subjugation to force them to stay together through unhappiness, unexpected self-discoveries, drastic changes in life goals, financial challenges, infidelity and disastrous incompatibility. In our day we are demanding more emotional, spiritual and sexual fulfilment in our relationships; women in particular are not as long suffering towards men as they used to be. As a result, current statistics on divorce and demographics show Evangelical sects (who push the abstinence before marriage with the most fervour) are having the highest rates of failed marriages.

The Associated Press analyzed divorce statistics from the US Census Bureau. They found that Massachusetts had the lowest divorce rate in the U.S. at 2.4 per 1,000 population. Texas had the highest rate and the highest divorce rates are found in the "Bible Belt."

According to the Boston Globe:
"The AP report stated that 'the divorce rates in these conservative states are roughly 50 percent above the national average of 4.2 per thousand people.' The 10 Southern states with some of the highest divorce rates were Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. By comparison nine states in the Northeast were among those with the lowest divorce rates: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont."

One reason for the higher divorce rates in the Bible Belt may be the lower percentage of Roman Catholics in the South. But the study points overwhelmingly to culture not just religion. The fact is that:

1. Couples in the South enter their first marriages at a younger age.

2. Family incomes in the South are lower which puts a strain on relationships

3. Educational attainment is lower in the South: One in three Massachusetts residents have completed college. while only 23% of Texans have. College graduates marry later on and tend to acquire more life experiences and self-knowledge by that time.

Let's hope the Purity Ring Wearing Jonas Brothers do not make the mistake of marrying the first person they fall in love with way too young, like so many have done to regret later on.

To make matters worse, a large number of these young, inexperienced, couples were led to believe some unfortunate and simplistic lies:
1. That somehow marriage in of itself is some kind of magical, holy thing that will pave the way for them becoming one with their spouse
2. Their spouse will complete that missing half and everything they will ever need for their life’s happiness and personally fulfilment will be found in their marriage
3. Applying Paul’s (a man who never had a mate for life) opinions on marriage will automatically make everything ay okay, because everything in the bible is infallible and universally applicable.

Every day, thousands of couples around the world continue to say “I do” in front of friends and family without the slightest clue about what they are getting into. Most of them are not even good candidates for monogamy. Even those who are, do not even know themselves well enough to set the terms (coming up later) of their relationship. Some have all kinds of personal demons, hidden agendas, emotional deficiencies that cannot be solved in marriage but through individual therapy.

Some people just disqualify for monogamy: control freaks, the emotionally shallow, low self-esteem cases and those who simply just function best alone. I call them lone wolves.

I read a heart wrenching story of a young woman in Texas, raised in a strict Christian home. She and her boyfriend (they were each other’s firsts) wore their purity rings and abstained till they married at 21. After just two years, they had to divorce. On their honeymoon, sex was extremely awkward and unfulfilling for them both. She managed to get pregnant in their third month of marriage but sexual intimacy continued to be a challenge and he became more and more depressed and distant. Eventually he confessed to her that he was gay. She of course, had no idea (most gay men can easily fly under the radar) and was madly in love with him. He loved her too but he loved her as a friend. He thought the power of prayer and getting married to the only woman he felt close enough to, could change his orientation but he realised he was wrong. In the 1920s they would have probably stayed married and led a miserable life full of secrets and lies. If both these young people had been allowed to date at least one other person and have a longer period of self-discovery before such a big commitment and kids came into the picture, this could have been avoided. The divorce rate; currently at 65% in some states will hit 70% if this madness continues.

The fact of the matter is whether we realize it or not, we are now smarter than the myths. The first step in finding the balance is to be honest about what a committed relationship truly is and what the purpose of monogamy is.

What Is The Purpose Of Monogamy?

If you read the first article you know now that monogamy is not needed to build a successful civilization or raise children. A committed relationship between two consenting adults, is also not the culmination, the prize, the salvation or the happily ever of fairytales. A committed relationship is simply a safe, intimate forum you and your beloved have created to each work on your personal shit. That’s right! It is an exclusive support group of two! It is not a magical state of being! It does not all by itself create stability and happiness. It gives back to you only what you are willing to invest in it, no more, no less.

Yes, it is considerably less romantic, but all a monogamous relationship does is provide a safe forum for both of you to work out your shit. It is an exclusive support group of two, with hopefully some good sex thrown in.

Yeah, I know this sounds considerably less romantic but it is better you find this out today than experience the disappointment after the afterglow of the glamorous wedding, exotic honeymoon and first year of newlywed sex fades and you realize all you are left with is: your baggage, your partner’s baggage and your joint ability to deal with it and life’s challenges that come helter skelter at you. Remember that you do not need another person in your life to deal with your baggage. In fact, for most people I recommend that they do not pull anyone else into their quicksand of dysfunction. If you are fiercely independent, have trust issues, unhealthy addictions or do not even recognize your need to learn and grow and are simply looking for a happy ending, monogamy is not for you. If you are too weak to support your emotional growth and nurture yourself, monogamy is not for you because you have to be strong enough to share each other’s emotional load. The weak and needy end up becoming a parasitic burden in such arrangements. Others who disqualify for monogamy: control freaks, the emotionally shallow, low self-esteem cases and those who simply just function best alone. I call them lone wolves.

So before you make a lasting commitment ask yourself: Am I truly monogamy material? If you still want to commit, but you know you have problems with some of the pro- monogamy attributes, perhaps you should address these right now and let your beloved know before-hand that you are not ready. Still, think you are ready? Good! Before you commit….

Negotiate the terms of your monogamy!

Imagine some people spend more time negotiating over the price of a pound of plantains at the market than the deal-breakers and allowances within their relationship. Again, this is why monogamy is not for novices who believe in fairytales and religious oversimplification. If you and your spouse have some former experience and maturity, you can draw up a much more comprehensive and personalised monogamous contract based on everything you have learned and know works best for you. Some things you must discuss are:

What is considered cheating? For some couples, fantasizing about another is perfectly fine, even titillating. For others, this is a no-no. For some, their hubby could take a l’il wine on another person for Carnival, for others this is a no-no. I personally have no problem with my partner lusting over others. What I consider unacceptable is emotional intimacy with someone else on the same level we share. I find that even more offensive than sex.
What are the deal-breakers? Sex outside? Lying? Physical or sexual abuse? Drug addiction? Betrayal? Refusal to contribute financially? Change of religious or ethical values? You need to discuss your expectations and your limits to forgiveness, co-habitation and relationship status. Of course, keep in mind the longer a relationship goes on for, the deeper your investment and the more you find you are able to forgive.
Can past lovers and outside crushes be discussed without judgement? I recommend that they should be. It builds honesty and keeps you aware of what your partner is feeling, gives you insights into their personality and sexuality and perhaps what they may be needing from you.
What is the protocol if you are no longer in-love? Yes, it happens. The time comes when your love can turn more to Agape with no trace of Eros whatsoever. Some couples still remain together because the friendship and companionship is what is really important to them. Sometimes after a long winter a spring full of hot sex may return and they fall in love all over again. Sometimes it never does. You need to discuss what you will do in such a case. Some agree to stay together as friends and life- partners and seek sexual satisfaction outside with the blessing of their spouse by redefining their monogamy as “emotional and family monogamy” only. I have no idea what my partner and I will do but the most important thing in such a situation is HONESTY. My mate and I have agreed to tell each other when the flame goes out, BEFORE we look elsewhere.

Have you sat down with your beloved and worked out the terms of your monogamy yet? If not, do it today!

Monogamy Must Be Your Choice And Done For Your Benefit

No church, politician or parent can force monogamy on you or anyone else. They have never been successful at it anyway. If you are being faithful only because of what other people have said or out of fear of Divine punishment, your commitment will always be tinged with resentment and a feeling of being trapped. If you believe powerless unhappiness is somehow a virtue that your God will reward later on, I guess you can do like my grandmother and stay married to a man who did not hesitate to demonstrate for fifty years that he resented being married to her. All that did was create a loveless, abusive home in which my father and his siblings were raised to be dysfunctional adults with failed marriages and countless other self-esteem problems of their own.

If instead you believe that joy is a spiritual virtue and the Creator intended for you happiness and empowerment you will always be responsible for your own choices. Some people were just meant to be together but it takes a few mistakes before they find each other. I want you to have a successful monogamous relationship! I do not want you to be monogamous for monogamy’s sake! It does not contribute to you being a successful human being. Monogamy must not be done even for your partner’s sake but for your sake. That may sound selfish at first but when those difficult times and temptations arise, you will see the wisdom in it. Trust me.

The main purpose and motivator behind your commitment to be monogamous should always be:

“I want (Name) to intimately and exclusively share my process of growth while they intimately and exclusively share their process of growth with me. I choose to commit to grow together through making each-other happy and learning how to truly love each other like God loves us, unconditionally. I choose to do it for me. I do it because it aids me in becoming a better person. ”

Make no mistake monogamy means DEPRIVATION! Olympic pairs skater Rena Inoue may be tempted to eat donuts but she MUST deprive herself. She does this, not for her partner's sake, or America's sake or her coach's sake but because she WANTS to! She wants that gold medal! She wants all that training to pay off!

Only when this reason no longer applies does the monogamy end. This trumps all other reasons including, “Staying together for the kids” or staying together because, “Divorce is a sin,” The foundation of your monogamy, must be based on unconditional love and personal growth. If you are with someone who refuses to learn to love you unconditionally and/or you cannot love them unconditionally and being with them contributes zero to your growth as a person and in fact retards it, then you can leave with your head held high. When you both choose monogamy because it is what you both want for your own benefit, you are truly setting yourself up for success. Let us put this to the test, shall we?

When Monogamy Is Tested

Scenario: You are three years into your relationship and during a particularly rough time in your relationship, a co-worker enters your life. This person’s qualities literally blow your spouse out of the water! They make your beloved look like chicken feed and most of all; they are just as attracted to you as you are to them. It’s so intense, you being to wonder if you picked the right soul mate. What do you do?

Make no mistake, monogamy MEANS deprivation! Just like learning how to figure skate means giving up fatty foods and no longer having the luxury of sleeping late, when you choose monogamy, you are choosing to deprive yourself of other potentially wonderful new lovers and romantic experiences. And no, “Love for your spouse does not make everything just go away”. It just makes you feel torn and sad. When you confess to your life-partner that someone else has captured your eye and they feel insecure and hurt your heart breaks for them. By the way, if you have a healthy relationship, you should be able to do this without being punished or held in derision as sooner or later your spouse/partner will require the very same understanding of you.

Now if your only motivation to remain monogamous was religious guilt or loyalty to your spouse, you are standing on very shaky ground when faced with this tempting scenario. Religious guilt and fear of God is easier to overcome than most people think. If it wasn’t, you would not have so many confessing their sins every Sunday. As someone who grew up in a staunch evangelical sect, I cannot even begin to count the number of sexual indiscretions committed by the “God-fearing” in my congregation. You see, more often than not, when you find yourself in a situation with this superior crush, where it feels oh so right, I guarantee that some distant notion of Divine punishment in the after-life will be the furthest thing from your mind! You will always find a way to talk yourself into it and justify it, including, “God will forgive me, I am weak and a sinner”.

If the fear of God or hell was enough to stop sexual infidelity, you would not have so many god-fearing people having to confess anything so often. In the heat of the moment, the last thing people think about is some distant notion of Divine punishment.

Loyalty to your spouse/partner can also vary. The day your spouse seriously angers, disappoints or frustrates is the day you are wide open to cheating with this crush of yours. In the heat of your displeasure, you will not be particularly inclined to be loyal to your partner. You will not believe how much cheating (revenge fucking) happens this way. Some they feel they “deserve” to get some on the side when their partner lets them down.

On the other hand, if you are motivated by looking out for your best interests, your will is strong as like pairs figure skaters Rena Inoue and John Baldwin, the first and only figure skating pair team to land a throw triple axel. When they are in training for the Figure Skating World Championships, there is no way Rena is going to have a plate of donuts because as tempting as they smell, the scent of that gold medal and those endorsement deals with Nike are stronger. She deprives and punishes her body, not for America, not for her parents not even for her coach or her partner John, but for herself. Similarly, you can make the choice to deprive yourself of other potentially more wonderful lovers with far more confidence and no resentment if you are doing it for you. Of course, you have to believe you deserve that much! Again, that is why low self-esteem cases are not monogamy material. If you believe that you deserve a wonderful, safe, intimate space with your partner, where you can be loved unconditionally and grow with honest feedback and confidentiality, it trumps all, even a hot crush.

Isn’t preparing yourself for outside attraction paving the way to failure before you even begin? No. It is being honest and smart because the outside attraction WILL happen whether you plan for it or not.

But let’s imagine, the worst happened and Rena indulges in a donut and gains an extra two pounds. She knows the price she has to pay. Her partner, when he finds out and he will when he lifts her, knows the price as well. If you flirt, kiss or invest any emotion into this hot crush, the price will be hard to pay! You must know that. First, you have to confess your cheating and hope that your life-partner, will not quit you as a partner over a momentary sugar rush weakness and throw away the years of training you invested together. If they choose to still train with you, you have to submit to scrutiny and your partner’s hurt and betrayal. You must submit yourself to the required work-out to burn off those calories. You have to allow the long path to forgiveness and work twice as hard to regain their trust. In return, when your training partner sees you busting your ass and going the distance for them they cannot keep resenting you for one donut, even if you fail at the Championships.

If you gave in and had a bite of the donut, you HAVE to tell your skating partner and hope when they weigh the training and goals ahead and their own feelings, they are still willing to keep training with you.

If cheating was a deal-breaker in your initial negotiations but your infidelity was forgiven, you have just negotiated a new deal. If they continue to hold it against you, and keep punishing you and blaming you, they do not love you unconditionally, the old deal still applies and your contract is over. End it and move on. If you find cheating easy to do, you aren’t really giving your relationship 100% or the foundation is cracked or a deal in your relationship has been broken and you have not the guts to end it before moving on. There is also the chance that you simply are not monogamy material. Take your pick.

If you are giving your relationship your all, you simply do not have the energy to cheat. Honestly, you don't.

You ask: Isn’t preparing yourself for outside attraction paving the way to failure before you even begin? No. It is being honest. You see, the outside attraction WILL happen, whether you plan for it or not. But at least if you have discussed this eventuality before with your partner, that honesty and safety zone created is what will allow you to tell your partner,
“Honey, there is a woman at work who I find really attractive,” instead of keeping it a secret and letting it fester to the point where it becomes a big problem. In turn, your partner cannot get mad or upset at you because you both know it was bound to happen. She is now allowed to ask,
“Why do you find her so attractive?”That knowledge can prove to be extremely useful to someone who is keen on self-improvement through accepting every lesson life has to offer. I will tell you how later when we get to the benefits of monogamy.

If your relationship is healthy, you should be able to tell eachother about outside crushes freely. If you cannot deal with spells of discomfort over outside attractions and feeling inadequate and then learning toovercome it, monogamy is NOT for you.

I tell my hubby about all my crushes and visa versa. Most of the time, it is harmless and we laugh about it. On one occasion, my attraction to another person occurred during a very difficult time in our relationship. The qualities I longed for in my hubby, I saw in someone else and it appealed to me. Admitting that to my partner was hard and it was not well received. I never intended to pursue the object of my crush, no matter how compelling my feelings. Still, things were unpleasant between my hubby and me for quite some time. But spells of discomfort over potential lovers and feeling inadequate and then learning toovercome it is part and parcel of a healthy monogamous relationship. If you cannot handle that, monogamy is NOT for you.

When your monogamy is based on a commitment to learn about yourself and grow together with your beloved not only does it become an exclusive support group of two but you become extremely possessive and protective of it. Note I said, of IT, not of your mate. This brings us to the difference between unconditional love and ownership.

Successful Monogamy Is Based On Unconditional Love Not Ownership

When your relationship becomes a support group project over which you both rule and protect, you are able to hold on to your separate identities yet share a common goal. Remember you are not ONE as the simplistic, fluffy sentiments would have you believe. Nor does one person belong to the other. This loss of identity is often what scares many people away from monogamous relationships.

A man who stalks and harasses his ex-girlfriend (a common problem in Trinidad and Tobago) and ends up committing acts of violence or murder against her does not love that woman. He may argue differently but the fact of the matter is that his love is a childish, possessive, selfish dependency. She is MINE! Nobody else can have her! This kind of ownership does not respect the individuality of the person or desire their happiness. We all know the signs and the Dear Auntie Agony Letters:

Dear Aunty Agony,

Me and my girlfriend broke up two years ago and I really thought I moved on. Then I saw her with her new boyfriend and all the feelings I had came rushing back. I cannot stop thinking about her. I tried calling and e-mailing but after a while, she said she does not want to talk with me. I know she says she is happy but I am so much better for her than he is. Can’t she see I love her! Should I try to fight for her love or is it a lost cause?

Still in love.

If I were Aunty Agony, I would reply:

Still in love,
You are not in love with your girlfriend. You are in love with how she made you feel. You think that her only reason for living should be to keep on making you feel the way you want to feel. You do not truly wish for her happiness, peace of mind and her future. You only care about yourself. I suggest you learn what unconditional love is. It is loving someone whether they choose you or not. It is above all else, wanting their happiness and finding joy in their joy, even if initially it hurts to have your relationship with them change from lover to mere acquaintance. You have a lot of growing up and emotional maturity to gain. Best of luck and stop harassing her!

I read a true story of a couple in their nineties. They had been married for seventy years and after two world wars, the Great Depression, social changes, technological wonders, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, the 95 year old wife told her 98 year old husband,
“Honey, I love you but I met a man in the retirement home and he makes me feel things I never imagined I could feel! I do not know what to do.”Do you know what her husband said?
“You have given me seventy years of love. What more could I ask of you? So go with my blessing and pursue your happiness darling. I will be here waiting for you no matter what.”

Perhaps it is the wisdom of old age and perhaps it takes that long to learn the meaning of unconditional love. I know if my hubby were to tell me they truly found the ONE and it is not me, I will be crushed. Actually, I would be pulverized. That would be the worse tabanca ever! Believe me, I will plunge into the spiral of anger, hurt, shame, resentment, cynicism and sadness and lose about 20lbs. But ultimately, as I heal and forgive myself and my hubby, I will remember how much I truly love them. I will realize that I still do love them whether they are with me or not. My main commitment was to love them unconditionally and that stands no matter what. Even if I cannot have their romantic love, their happiness and friendship will have to suffice. That my friends, is the difference between ownership and unconditional love! Still willing to take the monogamous route? Good! So let’s talk about the benefits!

Why Be Monogamous?

1. It not only shows you are brave it actually increases your bravery!

Three cheers for those of us who are not pathetic wussies who give up on learning how to do figure eights the moment we feel a little muscular pain. Three cheers for those of us who attempt a triple flip even if it might mean falling and busting open our knee! In the long run, we develop into stronger, skilful souls who can skate circles around those no-commitment cowards.

Three cheers for those of us brave enough to attempt what seems so scary to others. We wind up being superb athletes at life!

When I speak of no-commitment cowards I am not referring to the enlightened lone wolves among us. Who are these lone wolves? Well, they are individuals who are dealing with their demons and baggage, but choose to do it alone. Occasionally they choose to enjoy the pleasure of sexual encounters but they do not want relationships. As long as they are having safer-sex and are being honest with their partners, I really cannot judge them. I actually know of such a man. He is a well-educated, successful person spends a great deal of time working on his personal issues and exploring his purpose on earth. He just rather not subject anyone else (except his shrink) to his emotional baggage and knows he is not monogamy material and has even had a vasectomy (no chance of a woman trying to trap him into marriage) because he does not want kids. It took him just one disastrous marriage (once again, the values of prior experience to chart your next relationships and make the right choice) to come to this realisation.

He is honourable and does not lead “monogamous-seeking” women on. He tells them upfront, “I have no interest in marriage. I do not believe in it. I have no interest in fathering children with you either. So do not expect me to ever go steady with you. Even if we like each other very much, please know that there might be other women and since I am fair, I don’t expect you to be exclusive to me either. We are both adults here and we can just enjoy a good time. If that is not what you have in mind, say so now.”

Some people are just lone wolves. Once they are honest about it with themselves and their sexual partners, I cannot really judge them.

Most of the women he’s interacted with still remain friends with him, even when they have moved on and married and had families of their own. He has even been godfather to some of their kids. These women respect his honesty and he is a true gentleman and is very generous towards his sexual partners. He does not leave a trail of destruction in his wake. In fact many are better off for knowing him and even credit him with making them better women.

We monogamists see a relationship as a means to become better but for these flutterbys, a relationship is used to distract them from their demons. All they are interested in is the hazy euphoria of the first hot moments of the hunt, courting and exploratory exciting sex.

When I speak of no-commitment wussies I speak of are those who are needy, dysfunctional, immature and flit from partner to partner using a great deal of deception and taking zero responsibility for their actions. They are like patients who pretend to commit to a programme of psychoanalysis but only take the introductory sessions with the therapist and flee when things start to drill down into the core of their dysfunction. When forced to deal with their shit, they jump from couch to couch looking for a shrink who will tell them exactly what they want to hear.

We monogamists see a relationship as a means to become better but for these flutterbys, a relationship is used to distract them from their demons. All they are interested in is the hazy euphoria of the first hot moments of the hunt, courting and exploratory exciting sex. The moment that wears off and they are challenged to show understanding (their partner is not in the mood for sex) empathy (their partner wants them to be tolerant of a difficult situation) or self-reliance (their partner cannot bail them out of a situation) or trust (their ugliness starts to show) or forgiveness (their partner lets them down or they let their partner down) they run away.

Granted, many of these flutterbys do not know why they are this way. Some are in fact non-monogamous material. Since society says the only way to enjoy sexual intimacy respectably, is to be in a serious relationship, many unaware lone wolves are forced to enter serious commitments just to have sex. Others have the potential for monogamy but have a lot of issues to work on first and no guidance on how to do it effectively. Sadly before they get the chance to work on themselves, their irresponsibility eventually leads to unexpected pregnancy and they are now forced to commit whether they can or are ready to. I think right away of Sarah Palin’s daughter and future son-in-law. Most of these arrangements end in divorce and heartache and it is the children who suffer.

All my fellow monogamists, cheer with me, “We have cahones because we dare to stick around and be told like it is and face down our demons and beat them!”

2. It polishes you

After all, you are in a support group almost 24/7 and you are constantly challenged to think before you speak, be empathetic, be tolerant, swallow your pride and most important, forgive and accept forgiveness. Successful monogamy can refine a person to a high polish.

There is only so much enlightenment a lone wolf can achieve, alone.

My lone wolf friend may be a genius and ridiculously successful in the corporate world but he is a hard pill to swallow. Like Howard Hughes, another lone wolf, those same rough facets that give him his brilliance and edge in business also do not lend itself to a very kind, gentle, patient and understanding person. You can be the most enlightened hermit there is but in the end there is only so much you can do to perfect yourself, all by yourself. The greatest lesson your soul will ever learn is to love unconditionally and be loved in return.

Again my fellow monogamists CHEER! At least one person can stand to be around you for a long period of time.

3. It gives you a head start in the eternal race of soul perfection

Remember the crush I had that really hurt my hubby? It happened because of qualities I so longed for in my hubby that weren’t there. The object of my attraction possessed them in abundance. Well, I realized I could satisfy that void, not by cheating but by bringing those qualities out in myself.

What your partner lacks, forces you to develop self-sufficiency in those areas. People who flit from lover to lover in search of perfection never develop perfection in themselves. They always tend to be a bit emotionally retarded.

People get disappointed when they realize that whole “better half” thing is a big fat lie and they cannot say, Jerry McGuire style, “You complete me” to their partner. They get frustrated and dump their “incomplete” spouse and go looking for someone who will complete them. Well guess what? It does not exist! And you know what, thank goodness! For that would be the most boring, unchallenging relationship ever with absolutely nothing to learn.

What your partner lacks, forces you to develop self-sufficiency in those areas. People who flit from lover to lover in search of perfection never develop perfection in themselves. They always tend to be a bit emotionally retarded.

So once again my fellow monogamists, WE RULE! Cheer for yourselves again! Your successful monogamy puts you a few paces ahead in a long eternal race to enlightenment.

4. You have an intimate witness to your life

There is something to be said about knowing that other than God, there is one other person who knows almost everything there is to know about me. You see I am not 100% Jessie at work or among friends or in public but alone, in my baby’s arms I am 100% authentic, me. And I am loved anyway. If I were to die now, I can leave knowing one person really knew me and bore witness to my life, my struggles, and my triumphs. One person knows every birthmark, stretch mark and sexual proclivity. One person knows my lowest emotional low and highest emotional high. One person defends me with fierce loyalty and plots and schemes to make me blissfully happy. We are an army of two and made each other brave through our many misadventures. When I die, I leave behind an intimate witness to my life who can testify truthfully on my behalf.

One person can actually stand your company despite all your flaws and is an active and intimate witness to your life. That is precious indeed.

So there you have it! If done right, a monogamous relationship can provide a safe place where there is honest feedback, comfort, friendship, pleasure and appreciation while you work on yourself with help from your partner and visa versa. Hey, if monogamy isn’t for you, then it isn’t for you. Be a lone wolf but be an honourable, responsible lone wolf who, like the hermit on the mountain-top, still seeks self-improvement and self-mastery. Those of you who believe there is worth in monogamy, I applaud you and wish you every happiness. There are more benefits to be sure and I cannot wait to find out what those are. Give me and my hubby another eleven years or share yours on the comments page!

1. "Bible Belt Leads U.S. In Divorces," National Center for Policy Analysis, 1999-NOV-19, at:
2. "Bible belt has nation's worse divorce rate,", 1999-NOV-12.(Cache copy as of 2000-FEB-11. The page has since expired.) A similar report here

1 comment:

Guanaguanare said...

Eh bien oui!! I enjoyed this post, Jessica and especially this - "4. You have an intimate witness to your life." Please consider re-publishing your posts in print format. Maybe you could produce them as a series. I'd call them the "Wisdom In Transit/Common Sense To Go" series...small, inexpensive, easy to carry, large print booklets illustrated with local images (maybe your own) that people can buy on street corners, at City Gate, at the airport, in the supermarkets to read on the buses, in offices, on the ferries, on the planes, in their help people to really think about and discuss the important issues. Just excellent work that you do Jessica, just excellent.