A Huffington Post blog post by Lisa Haisha has sparked some discussion about monogamy and marriage. Lisa writes that seeing as recent studies show that 41 percent of spouses admit to infidelity (either physical or emotional) maybe we should ask, “Are we really supposed to be with just one person our whole life?” And if not, do we really have to get re-married five times? Are there other ways to view and do a marriage that will guarantee its success?
Just make it what you want it?
Lisa would like us to consider letting marriage evolve so that both partners simply agree on what their marriage will be: monogamous or not. She argues that this so called freedom to self define marriage is the “surest way to ensure a happy and healthy relationship.” But I’m not sure that it is.
What Lisa fails to grasp is the complexity of human psychology. The simple fact is that most of us can’t clearly define what we want. And often what we think we want is not what we need.
I’m sure you can remember times in your past you did what you thought you wanted, only to have it blow up in your face. Often it’s clear enough that your friends will be warning you of the pending disaster. (Like not being able to see you’re with the wrong guy)
Sometimes we need to trust that we don’t always know what’s best for us. And what may be best for us is not always easy. Monogamy in marriage may be difficult, sure. But the good in marriage can’t be reached just by adjusting the boundaries. (For the soccer inclined of you, have you ever tried moving ou
t a goal post in a game of backyard soccer? How’d that go?)
Good stuff = Hard stuff
Most good things require effort and sacrifice. Just ask Mark Spitz who won 7 gold medals and set 7 new world records in the 1972 Olympics. But I’d suggest that marriage is a much higher good than a bunch of gold medals or sports records. So it shouldn’t really be a surprise that a happy, fulfilling marriage is hard work. Even really hard work.