Monday, January 10, 2011

Cheating and Nonmonogamy

Omgrey argues that there would be less cheating if polyamory and other forms of negotiated nonmonogamy were consciously adopted by more people, and looks at the “That doesn’t work.” charge.

Perhaps it is monogamy that doesn’t work. Certainly not for everybody. That said, alternative lifestyles like Polyamory don’t work for everyone either. Couples are like snowflakes: no two are alike. What works for one couple may not work for another. There is not a magic tool that will fix all marriages, but it helps to have as many tools in your toolbox as possible; that is, if your goal is to have a healthy, happy marriage.

Let people decide for themselves.

Perhaps the greatest problem with the monogamy model is that it does not leave room for personal growth and personal satisfaction. The monogamy model shows us that once you are married you stay married…or you get divorced. Or, of course, you cheat. But then, you are no longer monogamous.

I disagree in that I believe that there are people who experience personal growth and personal satisfaction within monogamy. I would agree that monogamy provides more restrictions to these ends.

What happens if someone finds mutual attraction with another, outside of a committed relationship?

So. What are your choices? Deny your own desires, or worse, your heart if you’ve fallen “in love”? This can mean to emotionally castrate yourself, which can actually cause physical ailments.

Your other choice, the one that has become far too common in our society, is to cheat on your spouse, jeopardizing your marriage and family, if you have children. All for what? To feel good. Not attractive options. Especially because this new “in love” euphoria, too, will fade over time. As many people find out in their second and third marriages. It always does. It is biology.

Here is a third option: Polyamory.

Polyamory is many things, but it is not a license to have sex with whomever or whenever you want. Not necessarily. Not unless that is what you and your spouse decide.

Omgrey goes on to give advice for being in the situation of not wanting to cheat on a spouse when finding attraction with another.

I strongly recommend not cheating. It is possible that a committed partner would be willing to negotiate about the involvement of others, such as moving from monogamy to polyamory or some other form of nonmonogamy. I’m not saying it is likely, though. This is why I strongly recommend that people discover who they are before they make what they intend to be a permanent commitment in the first place. Are they suited to marriage? If so, what kind of marriage? Be honest with yourself, and honest with potential partners.

Something else to keep in mind is that even with a great spouse who agrees to a form of nonmonogamy, someone can still be a jerk and a cheater who violates the generous agreement negotiated. But I do believe that having the legal and social freedom to choose a form of nonmonogamy will reduce cheating and divorce in general.
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