Since many readers will, I assume, be interested in what creates monogamy, and since this often proves to be a highly challenging aspect of marriage, it’s definitely worth taking some time to understand what influences people to conform with this expectation or not.
Let me just state it plainly: No one will remain sexually “faithful” unless it fits in with his or her own hierarchy of values. In other words, there’s no such thing as being true to this woman or that man . . . only to one’s own values. Because all people have a complementary set of opposite traits or personas, you’ll find that everyone will be more trustworthy when it comes to their higher values and less so about their lower priorities. Realize that the experience of betrayal can be half of every partnership, because people live according to their ideals, not yours.
“Realize that the experience of betrayal can be half of every partnership, because people live according to their ideals, not yours.”
So if such values as monogamous marriage and relationship stability are high on the list, then sexual fidelity may result. If family ranks above a variety of sexual partners and your mate is unwilling to nurture children you while you have sex with other people, then you’ll do your best to honor the higher value, but you might not always follow through. It’s also possible that you might choose to pursue both interests and not tell your spouse. It’s a recipe for so-called dishonesty and affairs when a person is being true to their own goals but presenting a facade to preserve a partner’s fantasy.
If you’d rather not play the game of propping up one another’s illusions and then getting “disappointed, devastated, or dumped,” and you’d prefer to get to the heart of love in your relationship, then find out what’s important to the other person and don’t try to project your ideals onto him or her. You’re wise to pay attention both to what someone says and what he or she does. When you’re just getting to know someone, it’s not a good idea to overwhelm him or her with your own fantasies about relationships, but instead to really understand and honor that individual.
How do you do this? First and foremost, make it advantageous for the other person to be honest with you, because that’s the only circumstance under which someone will do so. In other words, practice hearing someone else’s truth without expressing your judgments about whether it’s “good” or “bad” (that is, whether it matches or mismatches your own values) and without trying to give punishments or rewards for specific values.
Please understand that people will only be up-front when they perceive more advantages in doing so than disadvantages, according to their values, and they’ll be deceitful when they believe it’s in their best interest. People are forthright and misleading in different settings, though most will imagine themselves as only one (honest) and deny their other attribute.
Completing this method will also help you wake up to your own disowned parts so that you’re able to proceed with balance instead of being driven by extremes. Consider the dynamics of the “overdog” and underdog. In couples, those who perceive themselves with the least overall power in the seven areas of life (spiritual, mental, vocational, financial, familial, social and physical) seek more monogamy (apparent constraint); those who see themselves as having the most strength seek more polygamy (apparent freedom). Generally, the extreme monogamist feels compelled to marry and “settle down,” while the ardent polygamist is driven to remain single and “run free.”
“Please understand that people will only be up-front when they perceive more advantages in doing so than disadvantages, according to their values, and they’ll be deceitful when they believe it’s in their best interest.”
Extremely powerful polygamists attract others who exhibit their disowned parts—extremely powerless monogamists—to neutralize their expressed qualities and to teach the balance of love, and vice versa.
“Overdogs” see themselves as greater than others, and seek more polygamous relationships; underdogs see themselves as less than others and seek more monogamous partnerships.
When you allow this imbalance to persist in your marriage, you’re likely to start playing familiar roles, such as parent and child or controller and controlled. Although this dynamic will occur to some degree in any relationship, the more equal the two people feel, the narrower the oscillation will seem—in other words, you moderate the interplay of power instead of having one person at each extreme. The greater the difference, however, the more it dampens sexual desire. “I married my mother (or father)” is the complaint of someone who’s become an extreme underdog in some domain and whose partner has become the parent. “Smothering” and “controlling” don’t usually foster sexual closeness.
Couples who perceive an equality of overall powers maintain a wise balance of monogamous and polygamous thoughts and actions and keep each other in check. This creates a more stable bond that has wholeness and wellness. Remember, when you’re dating the many, you seek the one; and when you’re with the one, you’re wondering about the many. This law rules all relationships.