Let’s confront a couple of truths that nobody wants to accept:
Humans are not monogamous by nature. Sex and morals have little to do with each other.
Now, I know we are all taught that monogamy is essential to a successful long term relationship, that we should all strive for lifelong fidelity with the one we love, that marriage will (miraculously) prevent us from ever straying again; but this is not the norm, it is not part of the happily-ever-after because there is never a happily-ever-after in real life, it is not something we should expect, it is something that is so rare as to be virtually extinct; in real life infidelity is rife and real life just keeps going. And that’s the truth, whether we like it or not, whether we choose to accept it or not, whether we try to fight it or not.
Of course, ideally, we would all like to meet our ‘one’, fall in love forever, have amazing sex for eternity, raise fabulously interesting and successful children and live in bliss always – and of course, this is what we are taught to expect and this is what we are ‘miseducated’ to believe is ours by right; it is our right of passage, it is our destiny, it is ours because we deserve it.
In reality, we simply make the same mistakes as everyone else, we live in denial, we marry someone because they are good enough and we have run out of options or time, we are victims of infidelity (whether we choose to know it or not) and we end up making the same mistakes as the generations before us because we refuse to think outside the box, we refuse to accept the truth and we put little or no effort into keeping our partner happy both sexually, mentally or emotionally; and then we are shocked when they stray.
So, if reality is where we live, then why are we so averse to seeing the truth? Why are we so hell bent on living a lie?
If a couple marries in their twenties, it is ridiculous for them to expect to be sexually active without infidelity into their sixties or seventies; it just doesn’t work this way – children, finances, time, arguments, dissatisfaction and life all contribute to the sexual breakdown of a marriage; they all add to the likelihood of extra-marital sex; they are all a part of the recipe we call life that leads to the food we call change. Fact.
Yes, I know that there are relationships without infidelity, there are relationships that are upstanding and good and right; but I would not want to be in those relationships because they are dull, self-congratulating and sexless – you know it’s true whether you choose to admit it or not. If a couple manages to last fifty years without infidelity, then they have missed out on something, somewhere; they have denied themselves their true emotions, they have withheld from the truth of their nature and they have limited their existence to a level that taught them to deny what was before them, to hide from fully enjoying their lives. This is not for the many, it is for the very, very few; the few that are probably not you; get used to it.
I am well aware that this might be a shock to many of you, a shocking way to talk about love and life; and I am sure that even if you see my point, you are still thinking that it will be different for you, that you will be part of the fairy tale minority that manage to wed, breed and succeed in every single aspect of life; but the truth is different – any psychologist will tell you that after eighteen months the sexual addiction dies, that children kill libido, that men feel neglected because they run on ego (and so they stray), that women feel ignored because they need to be nurtured (and so they stray), and this combination does not bode well for fidelity – of course, most psychologists still preach the fairy tale of ‘the one true soul mate’ and still encourage you to marry despite the statistics that are so stacked up against marriage, and this is where psychologists miss the point of the truth, and I continue to drill it home.
I am not here to bubble wrap your life, I am here to help you understand life, to see the truth and to enable you to navigate and handle that truth no matter how far removed it might be from what you were taught or from what you wish for.
Now, in this society we have been told that infidelity is immoral; even if you are simply boyfriend and girlfriend it is wrong, and once you make the vows of marriage it is inconceivable that you should stray; that any upstanding member of society should turn their back on any extra-curricula activity; and I am all for that way of thinking, I do believe that it is possible to be monogamous (for a time) if you find someone with whom you have a great connection and great communication; but that is the point – it is essential to keep the communication open, to be broad-minded and honest with one another, to remember that sexuality is mostly mental and to work at keeping the sexual side of life as a priority. We have been led to believe that it just happens naturally, that we maintain the connection even if we give up working at it, that the vows are enough to keep someone happy, that having average sex once in a while is good enough. Well, it isn’t, it is not good enough, in fact, it is a recipe for disaster, and the disaster is all around us in the form of divorce, separation and rampant infidelity from even the most revered members of society.
So let us face the truth, let us accept what we are up against, let us change our attitude.
Rather than preaching fidelity as a given, let us teach that infidelity is a probable; let us rattle the cage a little and let us go forth into this battle we call love with our eyes wide open to the consequences of our inaction; let us no longer preach that their is a moral side to sex, let us no longer accept that we are monogamous by nature, let us be honest about our nature so that we can actually nurture ourselves into better sex lives with a possibility of monogamy because we know what and who our enemy is. Let us accept that marriage breeds complacency and complacency encourages infidelity; let us consider not getting married so that we are kept on our toes and we are aware of the consequences of becoming complacent.
If we lie to ourselves about who we are; if we refuse to see the truth around us; if we will not accept that infidelity is a probability, then how are we ever going to overcome the problem? We either have to accept infidelity and learn to curb our jealousy, or we have to accept infidelity and learn to work damn hard to defeat it; either way, we have to accept that infidelity is here, it is real and it is part of our nature.
If we accept infidelity as a given (which we have to), then we can enter the battle field of love with the right weapons at our disposal, we are prepared for our enemy (infidelity) and we are then able to combat what is before us by living with the truth – once you know that infidelity is here to stay we can finally deal with it, we can see the signs, draw up a better battle plan, maneuver into a more advantageous position, change the way we look at the situation in front of us and deal with it accordingly.
There is no point living in denial, there is no point just hoping for the best, there is no point thinking that other people care about you as much as you do, there is no point wanting the world to be moral, kind and sweet – not one of these will help you when dealing with relationships, love or infidelity. Discard the illusions of the past, throw out the fantasies of your childhood and learn to deal with life as it really is, not as you wish it was.
Sex and morals are so disconnected as to be useless to each other; no matter how upstanding someone’s exterior may be, their interior holds secrets and desires that may never be revealed willingly; no matter what someone says, look at what they do; no matter how much you may want to believe in lifelong fidelity and a lifetime of bliss, all you have to do is look around you to see that change is the only certain part of life and therefore pretending that there is anything different is only going to lead to disappointment and let down.
Do not allow your ‘miseducation’ to drag you onto the wrong path; do not accept what you are told, live by what you see; do not expect monogamy to be your right, work hard to maintain a connection with openness and communication; then, and only then, will you have a chance of finding that relationship we all hope to achieve.
Guy Blews is the author of ‘Marriage & How To Avoid It’ and is the instigator of Realistic Relationships. He has a blog at http://www.RealisticRelationships.com where he explores all the possibilities to extract the best possible hope of finding long-lasting and honest relationships based on truthful ideals. His latest book is called ‘Realistic Relationships’ and is available at his website.