Top 10 Reasons for Being – and Staying – Monogamous

Monogamy gets a bad rap these days — people say it’s unnatural, impossible, outdated, stifling.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 your hot, young mail carrier 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 youthful insecurities behind, and your partner learns your body so well they 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 people — especially women — are expected to live up to these days 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 spouse, and that what they don’t know won’t hurt them. 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 them 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/crisp tux 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.

Want the hard sell on open relationships?
Top 10 Reasons for Being – and Staying – Non-Monogamous


  1. It breaks my heart, we tried to live together in the country where he lives, I moved with him and left my life behind, but it did not work our for him and I went back to mine. A year later we still love each other and he invited me over for Valentines. We have seen each other for weeks when he has travelled to my country, where his sister lives, three times since we broke up. We are having a lovely time, we love each other so much, but my parter has sex with other women when we are apart because he says he needs the physical interaction, he needs to have sex to feel good, and since I am not around he has it with others, a lot. We are both over 50 and he carries Viagra in his briefcase and has some in the glove compartment in his car, and condoms galore at home, he is always ready to use it with other women, from the moment I board my plane home. He told me that if I were here 365 days a year, that would not happen. I am monogamous, have not have sex with anyone else since we started this relationship over two years ago. I try to have other partners when we are not together, but I do not find it attractive, I find it sad. And I do, thoroughly, enjoy sex with this man, who thoroughly enjoys sex with other women when I am not around. He tells me he cannot refrain from doing it and I am having a terrible time accepting it, although after our breakup a year ago we are not formally a couple any more. This makes me sad, depressed, and affects my naturally good nature. What can I do?

    1. Break up with him. You obviously have very different views on monogamy. Neither is wrong, they’re just incompatible. He’s made it very clear that he will have sex with other women when you’re away (at least he’s not lying to you!). You’ve made it clear above that this makes you incredibly sad and you can’t be consoled by pursuing your OWN extracurricular sex. You’ve already tried a committed relationship with him once and it didn’t work out. Consider the possibility that this love feels so real now precisely because it has so many obstacles to overcome — long distance, a lack of commitment, a partner who can’t be pinned down. It’s human nature to want what we can’t really have. Unless you can reconceptualize him and think of him as purely a fuck buddy (unlikely), then best to end it and look for someone you can be exclusive with.

      1. Thanks so much Em & Lo, I know you are right. I do try to see him as a fuck buddy, and think of coming back to visit just to have a good time, he lives right on the beach and I love the beach, there is great weather all year round since it is the Caribbean, and shopping is nice too because Puerto Rico has almost all the same stores as the USA, and I live in South America where shopping is not so much fun. Last night I tried to have a sincere conversation with him, it was akward, obviously he does not want to tell me the truth but finally this morning he confirmed that not only has he had sex elsewhere, but that he has brought women to this apartment which we rented together, which I decorated when we thought would live together forever, and finally, another woman has used my bed, my sheets, my pillows, my towels. So, as you say, I have to break up with him. I assume it will not be a big fight, probably not even an open and honest conversation since que does not like them and I have had my share, but simply let things die. I am flying home in two days, I will pack absolutely everything I can so as to leave nothing of me behind, and then forget this place, and he, exist. I love monogamy, I have read all about non-monogamous relationships and the concept does not make me happy. Having someone to rely on, to be his only one, to be partners in crime, in good and bad times, that is the cheesy, traditional o whatever people may call it, kind of relationship that makes me feel warm inside, and it is what I want. Thanks for your words of advice, I will follow them and look for someone who wants to be sexually exclusive.

  2. Statistics tell us that women commit infidelity with almost the same frequency as men, as some sources cite 57% of men saying they’ve cheated in a relationship and 54% of women confessing to the same.

  3. I’m in a happy long-term monogamous relationship but sometimes I wonder if sanctioned cheating with well-defined rules and boundaries wouldn’t be better. I don’t think I’d have the guts though: I could see it being great for me (my flings wouldn’t upset my feelings for my partner) but I’m not sure I could handle HIS flings (the jealousy and insecurity and not knowing would be too much).

  4. I have never been in a non-monogamous relationship because I feel comfortable and happier in those kinds of relationships. I think these two articles are really interesting because they give 2 awesome perspectives! Anyone considering a long-term polygamous or monogamous relationship should read both of these articles for cool perspectives. A few people have mentioned cheating being different than polygamy. That’s true but I think the point was that if you’re in a polygamous relationship, you may have sex with someone who is in a monogamous relationship and cheating, and if you want to transition from a polygamous relationship to a monogamous relationship, it may be more difficult.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.


  8. 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.

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