This is really odd, but I actually listened to a podcast (This American Life) on Monogamy today and learned a lot.
This is a clip from the transcript of the podcast. A man talks about a conversation he had with his wife about monogamy. While the entire pasted portion is worth a read, the bolded part is what really got me thinking:
“We were having one of our conversational minuets in the dark, one of our gentle but ever so delicate chats about faithfulness, when my wife said that the only thing she missed as a monogamous woman– at least I assume she was speaking as a monogamous woman– was newness, new bodies, new hands, new sex. I said I knew what she meant. And I said, “But isn’t that kind of sad? I mean, if you go through your whole life, 20, 30, 40, 60 years of marriage without ever straying, you do that, you never get to know what it’s like to be unfaithful. You never get to know what it feels like to be emotionally illegal. And that’s an important feeling, one of the great human themes, after all, a whole constellation of humanity you’ll never know.”
My wife was quiet for a long time. And I could hear the fridge downstairs. And in the street light coming through the curtains, I could just see her outline. And I thought to myself, I’ve spent a long time in this bed. “Yes,” my wife said then, “That’s true. But if you do sleep around, you’ll never know what it’s like to be faithful to one person your whole life, which might also be an ‘important constellation of humanity.'” There was just a touch of sarcasm in her voice.
And then it was my turn to lie in the dark for a long time. I’d never considered monogamy as an adventure. I thought it was, well, domestic travel, where no international borders are crossed. But monogamy is an adventure, and in some ways, a more mysterious one than open marriage. Because trying to be faithful to one person is a trip that takes time. And you never really know if you’re getting close or if you’ve reached the destination. You never really know when you’ve arrived.”
I don’t necessariy believe that we were designed to be monogamous. But I wouldn’t choose any other relationship for myself. To each their own.