A friend recently asked me, “Is monogamy realistic in 21st century?” That made me thinking. In an age of divorce, hookup culture and widespread infidelity, “death do us part’ seems nearly impossible. Celebrities are flaunting openly their extra-marital exploits! With people constantlymoving from place to place and change jobs like they do with clothes, the ‘use and throw’ attitude is creeping into our thinking of how we view relationships like that of marriage.
Some recommends serial monogamy – a model in which people move from one committed long-term relationship to another and choose partners for different reasons at different stages of their life. But what kind of commitment is that? Do you consider 3 month as long term? Then what about children through all those marriages? Imagine someone saying, “these are my kids born in my 20s, then these in 30s, these in so and so country, these after retirement!”
The duplicity (or should we say multiplicity) of polygamy – in relationship with many women/men at the same time, does not have any commitment at all. All the time, both are thinking who else other person is flirting with. They never really give themselves to each other, without which they will never achieve deeper intimacy in the relationship. Suscipion, jealousy and mistrust are deterimental to building fulfilling marriage.
Then there is the concept of “open marriage” in which couples stayed married but were free to date other people. Now there is a dating site of married men and women, that claims profiles of over 5 million, has a tag line – ‘Life is short, Have an Affair.” Researchers have proven multiple sexual partners robs the real joy of sexual intimacy and fulfilling deep relationship.
More recently, polyamory — the practice of having romantic relationships with multiple people at the same time with the full knowledge and consent of all involved — has been getting a lot of attention. According to Newsweek magazine researchers estimate there are more than half a million polyamorous families in the United States. Dinner everynight with different people in different places, can sound very exciting, but it will drain your emotional vitality. It is not variety or number of partners that ensures pleasure or fulfillment, but it is exclusivity.
“Till a tempting partner do us apart” is symbolic of the Western cultural liberalism. A generation who have not seen marital fidelity and does not know how to spell COMMITMENT. Marriage is designed to be an exclusively relationship between a man and women. Attempts at reframing the basic equation to satisfy human selfishness and sinfulness will cause Western civilization to implode. Where goes the marriage in a society, there goes the nation!