Update from the Editor (that’s me!)…
This post has garnered a lot of attention, as one might expect. It’s quite a digression from what I typically post (well, save for the cuppie-cake aspect). However, as we plan one of the most exciting and personal days of our lives, we can’t allow ourselves to ignore one very important thing. How do we – as a couple – define our relationship? It’s likely the most critical conversation to have with your significant other… whether or not you think you know how s/he feels.
The concept of monogamy is one that affects each and every one of us on a highly personal level, and the very thought that its traditional definition is being threatened can shake us to our cores. Your comments on the topic have been so deeply thought out and so incredibly serious that I decided to give this post another day of life above the fold. Let’s keep the conversation going…
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Ok, so yesterday I randomly came upon quite the blog-worthy item. It has little to do with wedding planning, but it has everything to do with love and relationships, which is of equal importance… some might even say greater importance. Let’s begin.
Sidenote: I’m also gonna sprinkle in another one of those cuppie-cakes, the first of which I premiered last week… because this topic is HEAVY, and we may need a little dessert to help it go down easy.
Ok, here we go…
It’s a concept I just heard about yesterday. Well, the name of the concept, at least (and the fact that it even has a name). It’s innocently titled, “The New Monogamy,” but it’s nothing new and, according to studies, it’s much more prevalent than any of us may be thinking. You know that thing called “cheating?” Well, it’s that, except now it’s called “the new monogamy.” How do we explain this apparent shift in understanding / move towards acceptance? My immediate reaction is to suspect that this, quite simply, is an extremely effective marketing campaign run by d-bags. They finally decided to unite, determined a cause, and we’re only now getting to see the fruits of their labors. Think about it; I’m actually talking about the concept of cheating as today’s freshest form of what constitutes a successful marriage!
Not so fast.
Here’s where I stand. If it works for you and you can honestly say that you’re happy, then fine, good for you. If you’ve worked out an arrangement with your significant other that redefines business trip flings as fair game, and monthly-one-night-stands-as-long-as-you-don’t-sleep-over are “bringing new life” to your committed relationship, I’m not going to tell you you’re wrong. Because who am I to know? All I can do is tell you guys what I feel confident is right for me, and I get this from a personal understanding of what I need and want out of life, coupled with tons of evidence that the plural partner approach isn’t healthy in the long run. Because it erodes at the very core necessities of a true, emotionally stable connection. And one of those necessities is trust. Whether or not those who accept The New Monogamy want to accept that the trust between them (if they ever even had it in the first place) is under attack… well, that’s their prerogative. But I’d like to stop preaching, and start quoting…
But first… a cuppie-cake break! (:
There’s a statistic floating around in the ether that you may or may not have heard by now. According to a study by Joan Atwood and Limor Schwartz in the 2002 Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, “55 percent of married women and 65 percent of married men report being unfaithful at some point in their marriage.” (At least that’s how many willingly reported their infidelity.) We hear about affairs all the time, in the news, even in conversation with friends sometimes but, until now, I really didn’t think it was becoming accepted. However, when I started tweeting about this issue yesterday, I have to admit that I was surprised to see how many tweeted back that this new approach to monogamy (which seems so oxymoronic a concept, really, because I mean can it really be defined as a form of “monogamy?”… but anyway) is something they might be willing to accept in their own relationships. Granted, the vast majority of you were appalled – the response I expected… but that handful of people who felt more accepting really started me thinking. And it forced the issue for today’s post. I am truly DYING TO KNOW WHAT THE REST OF YOU THINK.
It’s hard not to accept that infidelity does exist. It does and, clearly, it’s rather prevalent. And yes, there are countless situations in which an affair can be the result of a feeling that something is lacking in one’s current relationship, emotionally or physically. But it seems that in most of these cases, the infidelity is a tangible manifestation of an as of yet intangible problem, and becomes the catalyst towards/doorway into a deeper conversation between the (hah, I was gonna say infidel) cheater and his/her partner. I certainly take issue with this newly espoused belief that infidelity is a proper SOLUTION to marital problems.
Ok now… what are you guys thinking? Let’s have a discussion in the comments.
xoxo! – Alison