Monogamy. According to my Merriam Webster Dictionary, monogamy has a few different meanings, although they are similar. The first definition (classified by the lexicographer as "archaic") is the practice of marrying once.
The second definition is; the state or custom of being married to one person at a time. This is the monogamy we are familliar with. We like to throw this term around here in the United States, and we tell the world that we are a people who care about the welfare of our nation's families, but all that talk can be hushed when we look at marriage and infidelity statistics.
The third definition is; the condition of having a single mate during a period of time <~ common among birds>.
Beyond the dictionary meanings, I think monogamy (and lack thereof) in a relationship has significance in many other ways. When two people enter into a monogamous relationship, or MR, they are essentially making promises to each other.
They promise to not introduce drama by forsaking all others- this drama can come in many forms. There can be a distraction from the relationship which will cause a rift. If he's getting it form Suzy Saucybottom, then there's usually less and less of a need to get things at home. This can cause resentment and frustration. There can be the introduction of a disease/infection, which reeks of drama. And the biggest blow to a victim, it can introduce a baby to the equation. Of course it wouldn't be so dramatic if it were "your baby" instead of "her baby."
They promise to overcome their DNA- I read so many articles where men wanting to spread their seed is a natural thing that has been introduced by nature to help ensure that the human species continues on. OK. I can accept this as true. I can also accept that nature instilled in women the desire to have her children father by different men in order to ensure that the human gene pool doesn't get too shallow. However, we're humans, and the thing we do best is te;ling nature to screw off. Here are my examples (gathered from everyday like and the discovery channel): When an animal has to go potty, it does. It goes right where it is in most cases. Humans refrain from doing this as urinating during your conference is considered a bad career move. When an animal has an itch, consider it scratched. With people it will depend on where the itch is and what the social setting is as we've learned that public isn't the best place for us to relieve an itch that is underneath underwear. See, we humans have been metering our obedience to natural desires in many ways, mostly as a product of civilization. So, if we can resist the urge to bite into live cows and soil the living room floor (no matter how tempting it may become, sick-o) why then are we not held to the same standards for sexual activity? We can all admit, it's very difficult to control ourselves and our libidos, but then, if you can't do that, you shouldn't be in a monogamous relationship.