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Old 06-26-2011, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serialmonogamist View Post
Or do most people just learn to control themselves and get used to monogamy?
Quote:
Originally Posted by serialmonogamist View Post
I have a hard time believing anyone is 100% monogamous. If they were, how could they break up from one person and start a relationship with someone new? I have heard many people say that when they are in a relationship they're just not interested in anyone else, which I can understand, but that doesn't mean the potential for attraction isn't there. Certainly you can love your partner so much that you wouldn't want to risk losing them by falling for someone else, but that doesn't mean that you're not susceptible to temptation (hence the prayer, "lead us not into temptation"). I think some people are just in denial that they're susceptible to temptation, since everyone is ultimately. What you do with the feelings is another story.
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Originally Posted by Abstract View Post
I don't know anyone who has been in a long term mono relationship which I am defining as (10+ years) that hasn't cheated, or been cheated on.
I was married for 11+ years before my husband asked to separate. There was no cheating ever, by either of us, in all that time. This I know without a doubt. When he first told me he wanted a divorce, I'll admit, I was floored and searched for some excuse. I asked him if he had ever cheated, and cited numerous trips he had taken for work as potential situations for him to do that. He said to me, "What about you? When you went to Europe with your school? Did you cheat on me?" I said, "No!" He asked me, "Why not?" And I told him, "It just never occurred to me to do that." And he said, "Well, it's the same for me. It never occurred to me. I'm married to you."

We have both had friendships with people of the opposite sex (we're both straight), and acknowledged attractions, but these were not attractions we'd ever want to act on -- they were more like, "Oh, wow, that waitress is gorgeous" or my undying crush on Kevin Sorbo. But honestly and truly, we didn't have to fight anything to be faithful. We made room for naturally finding other people attractive physically/intellectually, etc., but just knew that those attractive people were simply friends or acquaintances, not a possible reason to cheat (I can't even wrap my head around this type of thinking!!!). We did not struggle with this. I trusted him; he trusted me. I would never have done anything to violate that trust. I made a promise and it was easy to keep because I loved him. If we knew that someone was angling for one of us, we automatically distanced ourselves from that person. That didn't mean I couldn't look at a hot guy or enjoy someone's sexual energy. Human beings naturally feel attractions for many reasons -- we don't automatically equate an attraction with jumping their bones. Sometimes, I walk down the street and feel a pull toward someone, and just get a sense we could be friends. That's an attraction.

I can appreciate someone's beauty and enjoy a sexual charge without feeling the need for something to happen between us. Sexual energy is like electricity. It's there in all of us, and palpably obvious sometimes -- big deal. We're sexual animals. It doesn't mean, for me, that I need an awful lot of willpower to avoid it. I was committed to the man I loved - end of story. Being loyal was never a challenge for me. Attractions and sexual tension ebbs and flows in normal human beings, and when you are monogamous and believe in your commitment and the vows you made, all that doesn't get denied, but rather, becomes like the wallpaper. Just there and a part of life. The attractions my husband and I felt for anyone, and any person we felt close to or drawn to, were not temptations to avoid. They were people we liked - that is all. We simply felt that we loved each other and that was that, there was no danger of falling for anyone else. That possibility was never even remotely a part of our realities.

Our marriage fell apart for other reasons, which I won't go into. It was only after I looked around and realized I was now alone and could create a life the way I alone wanted it, that I started exploring polyamory. I had heard of it from an acquaintance and it was interesting to me, but not something I'd ever wanted to pursue while married. Now that I am single again, sexual attractions are a whole different ballgame than they were when I was married, because now I have the option to pursue.

Personally, I don't think of monogamy or polyamory as something that a person is, like a sexual orientation. To me, it's nothing more than a system of relating. I don't think people are mono or poly, I just think people are people who make choices about how they want to live based on their experiences and/or belief systems. For now, I want polyamorous relationships in my life. I can foresee living polyamorously for approximately the next five years or so. After that, I don't know what I'll want. I could definitely get on board with monogamy again -- but I'm not choosing to do that yet. As far as cheating goes, I choose not to, so it's a no-brainer; I just don't, and it's not a temptation.
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Last edited by nycindie; 06-27-2011 at 02:32 AM.
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