Here’s something I’ve been meaning to share for a while – an article on non-monogamous relationships. I don’t want to add a whole lot of commentary on the subject right now; I’ll just point out a few of my favorite points, and then leave it to those interested to read the article.
I agree that it’s better for everyone to recognize monogamy as something to be consented to, not coerced into. I think for many people monogamy is the only relationship structure they’ve considered accepting, so they haven’t really chosen it. They’ve been “forced” into it, and this isn’t good because 1) some of these people may actually be happier in non-monogamous relationships, and 2) people who have been coerced into monogamy will never be very accepting of those (other couples) who want to choose something else.
The author makes a point about marriage that I heartily agree with, even in the context of monogamous relationships. “When we commit ourselves to someone for life, we often fail to fully take into account the degree to which we grow and change over periods of ten, twenty, or thirty years.” Yes, people change, sometimes in ways that render them incompatible. The universe does not guarantee that two humans who love each other deeply will continue loving each other for the decades of time that our now-long life spans afford us. That is why I do not think marriage as a promise of lifelong committment is a tenable concept.
The author makes another point about marriage – we have a cultural expectation that one person should be able to “fulfill us in all ways—romantically, sexually, intellectually, and otherwise—for the rest of our lives.” What reason is there to expect this, other than the fact that we’ve always been told to? It’s quite a tall order, and, empirically speaking, it’s false. Many “monogamous” people go outside their relationships/marriages to obtain fulfillment that they aren’t obtaining within. Wouldn’t we be better off considering that, for at least some couples, non-monogamy works better? It’s a valid point. I’m not saying that non-monogamy is for me, but it’s clear that it works for some, and I think such a choice should be respected.
The rest of the article is worth reading.