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Top 10 Reasons for Being – and Staying – Monogamous

Wed, Oct 20, 2010

Advice, How To

photo by mikebaird

Monogamy gets a bad rap these days — people say it’s unnatural, impossible, outdated, stifling. And, yes, sometimes it is! Especially if your wedding anniversary now contains two digits. But anything worth fighting for will usually put you through the ringer, and monogamy is no exception. So before your partner’s bad habits drive you to the brink of insanity or you start taking your fantasies about the UPS guy a little too seriously, let us remind you of 10 good reasons to keep fighting that good fight by staying true to your one and only.

Note: Please also check out our companion article, Top 10 Reasons for Being – and Staying – Non-Monogamous, in which we state: “Both monogamy and non-monogamy have their pros and cons; in both posts, we’ve tried to focus on the pros. Neither is an attempt at telling you how to be, but rather an encouragement of who you are and how you choose to be.”

1. Sex can improve with time. Monogamy isn’t just about marrying off before everything starts to sag. Age can also mean that you get to know your body better, you become more comfortable in your own skin, you leave girlish insecurities behind, and your partner learns your body so well he could navigate you blindfolded. Given enough time, you and your partner can discover untold routes to your happy place. Why would you want to keep starting from scratch and having to break out the instruction manual all over again?

2. Cuddling comes naturally. There’s no awkward pre-sleep shuffle as you try to find the best spooning position that will be comfortable all night. After years together, your bodies just naturally fall into place around each other.

3. Peace of mind about STDs. Assuming both of you are true to your vows of sexual fidelity, then you don’t have to worry about contracting any (or any more) sexually transmitted infections.

4. Freedom from relentless beauty rituals. We’re not saying that once you make a sexual commitment to someone for the long haul, all thoughts of personal hygiene and grooming should go out the window. In fact, the longer you’ve been married, the nicer it is to regularly gussy yourself up. However, the ridiculous beauty standards we women are expected to live up to are automatically lowered when you spend day after day after day with one partner (thank goodness!).

5. Open relationships are for an elite few. It’s the rare, highly evolved person missing the jealousy gene who can successfully navigate the complicated waters of relationships with an open door policy. We’re not saying it can’t — or shouldn’t — be done, we’re just saying most of us are mere mortals, ones who thrive from the simple security of the pair bond.

6. Cheating is addictive. It’s kind of like breaking the seal: after you’ve gotten away with it once, it’s even harder not to do again. You convince yourself that the affair made you feel more alive than you’ve felt in years, that it didn’t change your feelings for your husband, and that what your husband doesn’t know won’t hurt him. Lies! First of all, the more often you do it, the more likely you are to get caught, especially as you get cocky about your sneaking-around skills. But more importantly, the more you cheat, the less you will respect your partner (for example, you’ll start to look down on him for being so clueless), and the less you’ll respect your own marriage. Eventually, you’ll start to view all human connections with a cynical eye. And what kind of life is that?

7. Monogamy is good for the world. Being a trusty monogamist is good citizenship as well as good karma: If you’re faithful to your partner, then that’s one less person that someone else’s spouse can cheat with. Monogamists pay it forward!

8. Kink is for couples. Dirty sex — the kind that might involve role-playing or spanking or a little light bondage — is best enjoyed with someone you love and trust completely. Letting a first date tie you up? Not such a good idea. Plus, the more domestic and settled your day-to-day life is, the hotter it is to break out the ping pong paddle at night.

9. Monogamy is meaningful. “Loyalty.” “Trust.” “Fidelity.” “Honor.” “Respect.” These are all just words until your actions either give them power and importance or deflate them. Monogamy isn’t meaningful because the church or government says so and it isn’t meaningful because you wore a pouffy white dress and said you wanted it to be meaningful. Rather, monogamy’s meaning expands with each day that you and your partner commit to it. And that’s some pretty powerful stuff.

10. Scrabble. Enough said.

This article first appeared in Chic Mom Magazine.

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64 Responses to “Top 10 Reasons for Being – and Staying – Monogamous”

  1. Michael Says:

    You say it it not about the Church or Government and in a sense I agree. But I do believe it is about being the kind of people we were made to be. God created us and he knows what is right and fullfilling for his creation. The Bible when applied right really does teach us what will give us the real joy and completeness that life can offer. I think we know that and I believe your article proves it.

  2. Seth Says:

    Right, that’s why Solomon and all those other biblical figures only had one wife.

  3. Jason Says:

    There’s a difference between “cheating” and “open relationships.” Cheating involves breaking rules, by its nature. Open relationships involve establishing your own rules – so if you’re a responsible member of an open relationship, that’s still one less person for somebody else’s spouse to cheat with. As for “missing the jealousy gene,” it’s a rare open relationship that doesn’t have jealousy in it occasionally. The jealousy is still there, it’s just dealt with constructively through open, active communication.

    That said, there is still quite a bit to be said for monogamy. For some folks, it really is the best choice, and for those people, more power to ‘em.

    Those of us with actual open relationships would just rather not be labeled as cheaters, or forced to adhere to the monogamists standards, that’s all.

  4. Julie Says:

    It’s important to remember that different kinds of monogamy exist. For example, you can be emotionally monogamous while being open to sex with multiple partners. Monogamy isn’t just about sex, and open relationships don’t equal cheating.

  5. tamron Says:

    I don’t care what anyone says,an open relationship,is someone who isn’t really satisfied with His current Lover.I have never cheated.why would I want to.Make sure You truely Love the individual Your with,then cheating becomes obsolete.If You really Love someone no one else can take thier place in Your Heart.All My frioends are dead.They all had open relationships.They all contracted HIV! The best reason to be monogamous!nuff said.

  6. Roslyn Says:

    Far by my experience, children of monogamous parents are more stable & competent to face life knowingly that their roots are strong enough to hurdle elements of our present day stress.Surpassing the temptation to end up into a broken family relies much on the strong belief & practice of parents on the institution of marriage hence the monoganist attitude.As it passes on from generation to generation, the family lineage continues & the clan grows bigger due to the inner strength they have established for years.While polygamist parents most likely end up in broken marriages & their children end up in an endless cycle leading to dissolution of their families.

  7. DAN11 Says:

    I REALLY Thought this one out….. only 1 reason, YOU MAY VERY WELL GET CAUGHT!!! Bad… Bad..Bad..Bad deal there!!

  8. David Says:

    I am a monaogamist by nature. The ultimate freedom in love is to CHOOSE to be committed to ONE person and do everything you can to make it work. That implies being more concerned about your other than yourself. I follow this creed ‘religiously’, though I am an atheist. I do put my one and only ahead of any god or faith. For you weaklings that have to be coerced by religion to be faithful, you are not truly free, but are bound by silly rules that someone else created. Choose for yourself!

  9. Jeff Says:

    As Jason points out, open relationships should be distinguished from “cheating,” and, as Julie notes, there are far more variations in committed relationships than many suspect. Having a honest, faithful, trusting, and sexually fulfilling relationship is essential for any couple, whether sexually monogamous or not. While the attempt to forge that kind of relationship in a way that transgresses the rules of sexual exclusivity is difficult, it is not without very special rewards of its own. Hard as it may seem to believe, some partners take such joy in each other that they would not want to put each other in a cage (however socially acceptable that cage may be).

  10. Toni Lovergood Says:

    I have been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thank you, Iˇ¦ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your site?

  11. Lara Says:

    This article seems quite misinformed.

    2. How does number this solely relate to monogamy?

    5. Not all non-monogamous people are “missing the jealousy gene”, its just that they have worked harder on the root causes, triggers and their reactions to jealousy, due to partners seeing other people.

    7. Swap one word for the other, and you can say the same thing about polyamory.
    “Polyamory is good for the world. Being a trusty polyamorist is good citizenship as well as good karma: If you’re faithful to your partners, then that’s one less person that someone else’s spouse can cheat with. polyamorists pay it forward!”

    8. Kink can just as easily be a fun group activity with people you trust.

    9. Again, “Loyalty.” “Trust.” “Fidelity.” “Honor.” “Respect.” are not exclusive to monogamy.

    I get the sentiment, but the way you have put this sends a message that non-monogamy is somehow lacking in these things, and inferior.
    It would be a good idea to look up the definition of polyamory/open relationships etc. and maybe do some further research.

  12. powerpuff girl Says:

    I decided to read this article first before reading the top 10 reasons supporting polygamy.

    These are all good reasons to support monogamy yet I really wonder if these sort of old world values still retain their effectiveness in 2012. It seems more marriages aren’t working out resulting in shorter length marriages now.

    It beckons the idea if monogamy is really a human idea completely unlike what is innate and natural to the human being.

    Scrabble as the last reason brought everything home for me though.

    About to read the opposing “Top 10 Reasons for Being and Staying Polygamous” now.


  13. SuzyKnew Says:

    There are a lot of better reasons why monogamy is good and enhances your life. Try for example – piece of mind, deepened trust and commitment with your partner, etc. Great topic but could have been better.

  14. River Jameson r Says:

    My husband and I have been married 37 years.

    We are still totally in love, respect each other completely and have developed a bond and trust that goes beyond anything I’ve ever had or see in non monogamist couples that we’ve known. It is a choice and wow are we happy we make the one we do. Both of our daughters are very happy in monogamist marriages as well.

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