Does Monogamy Really Work?


Is society's expectation of monogamy appropriate for modern times?

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For most couplesmonogamy is a normal expectation when they get married or commit to a long term partnership. Yet, as Peggy Vaughn, author of The Monogamy Myth told me, "Your wedding vows are not a one-time inoculation against infidelity." How To Take The Monotony Out Of Monogamy [VIDEO]


It is normal to feel comforted by the thought that our partner is never going to have sex with anyone else but us. Marriage can give us the illusion that our partner is bound by a legal agreement to never cheat. This comes from a long history of marriage as primarily a real estate contract, used purely as a way to perpetuate a name or lineage. For many centuries, marriage was completely and totally about property value; marriage guaranteed that real estate would pass on to one's own offspring, thereby keeping it in the family. The only way to guarantee that your own child would inherit your property was to keep your female mate safe (and trapped) at home. Those were dangerous times. But today, with birth control and DNA testing there is no longer a need to use the same harsh outside control. Today we are expected to marry not for our names or for property, but for love and for desire.

We marry someone we fall in love with and are expected to stay attracted to them and monogamous for a lifetime. When we can't, we trade our partner in for a better model, because obviously it is their fault. It can be easier to find fault in our mate than it is to live in a culture that supports infidelity...yet expects monogamy. We don't teach people how to stay faithful. We are expected to stay monogamous for 20, 30, 40, 50, sometimes 60 or even 70 years, yet there is no precedent in history for this kind of monogamy. We have never lived this long, nor have we been expected to stay attracted to one person for almost a century. Is Monogamy Too Much To Expect?

On the internet you can find dozens of websites that tell married folks how to find people to cheat with. In fact, one popular website designed for married people looking to cheat with other married people, says their biggest day of the year for female sign ups is the day after Valentine's Day. Their advertising campaign includes the slogan, "Life is short, have an affair." Except for a handful of church related programs and marriage and family therapists, very few marketing campaigns are aimed at keeping couples together for the long haul, and the technology available for helping people do just the opposite is only increasing. This is the first time in history that you can cheat laying in bed next to your partner, on your hand held device (no pun intended) or laptop. Cheating online is blamed for more divorces now than any other reason. Internet Sex And Porn – Is It Cheating? Keep Reading...

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Tammy Nelson


Tammy Nelson, PhD, LPC email me at

Location: Ridgefield, CT
Credentials: LPC, PhD
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Sex Therapy
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