Cheating: More Fashionable & Popular!

Yes, the results of the “anonymous” polls and the historical court records are in, cheating on your spouse (sometimes called “irreconcilable differences”) is today more popular, perhaps run-of-the-mill and even expected, more than ever in our societal facade of til death do you part! Why? Why in the early, middle, or latter years of a long-term commitment do two people wonder away from each other emotionally, mentally, and/or sexually from lifetime vows, promises, and contracts? How many acclaimed cinema films tell the truth about love, dying love, love rediscovered, or mistaken naïve love despite the noble vows, promises, and contracts?

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A May 2016 New York Magazine article says women now “cheat” or have extramarital relations as much as men always have throughout cultural history with their mistresses, concubines, courtesans, and harems, but fortunately with much fewer severe consequences.

It is, perhaps, another milestone in the march to equality. Women and men are now taking an equal-opportunity approach to extramarital hanky-panky. A report out of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University found that, for the first time in modern history, women are cheating at nearly the same rate as men. Another study, published in the National Opinion Research Center’s 2013 General Social Survey, found that while the percentage of men who admitted to infidelity has held constant over the last two decades, the percentage of wives who reported having affairs rose almost 40 percent.

[…]

Another recent study found that some women are genetically predisposed to “extra pair bonding,” euphemistically speaking. Men don’t have this gene.

But the prevailing theory is that modern marriage is what’s killing marriage — that the more deliberation women put into whom they pair up with, the more willing and motivated they are to make a move when something’s not working.

[…]

Women now are more aware of the alternatives to monogamy and more inclined to demand to have all their needs met. That’s because happiness is such an important part of marriage. Fewer women are marrying out of need; instead, they’re marrying to please themselves. But that also means when they’re dissatisfied with something they feel justified to go elsewhere.”

I would argue quite earnestly on the validity of one claim the article made. It says The crazy part, [Rebecca] elaborates, is not the apparent epidemic of adultery, but that it’s the women who seem to be fueling it. I disagree. As the popular and truthful cliché goes it takes two to tango — that is, consensual tango. Thriving and loving lifetime marriages are a 50/50 responsibility as well as a 50/50 risk or reward, no more, no less… always. Is that not the correct definition of full and true equality? And using the description epidemic of adultery is unnecessarily harsh when an action/behavior is a choice, not a contagious virus which is not chosen. Last I checked, adultery is a human choice.

What is wrong with having dreams and hopes in life? Isn’t it inherently and socially accepted, even encouraged, for a man or woman to “have it all” in a lifetime monogamous marriage? The article later reads:

Lauren, 41, admits she wanted it all: “the best friend, the domestic partner, the professional equal, the lover,” she says. She had two out of four when, some eight years and one baby into her marriage, she began sleeping with a co-worker — a guy who was more her professional equal than her low-earning husband, who’d largely given up on his career. “A healthy attraction to a person does demand you have a little bit of intrigue and imbalance, which in male-female-empowered relationships is not a priority,” she says. “Wanting some hetero-normalcy isn’t something people want to talk about, not in that bougie Brooklyn world I live in. A lot of women I know stick with it and suffer through it even as they have that fantasy of being with someone who is their equal, or even their superior.” — New York Magazine article

The journalist Alyssa Giacobbe reports the very real and justified anger of a husband who has been deceived and cheated-on sharing two examples of his public shaming of the unfaithful wife. But once again, if one is expected to impeccably honor their words, vows, promises, and contracts, then it applies equally to both husband and wife. Yet, examining our human social, patriarchal history doesn’t quite bear that ideal, does it? What I found very comically intriguing in Giacobbe’s report was what Dr. Ian Kerner, a sex and relationship psychotherapist, had found in his decades of practice:

When the woman strays, there’s anger, yes, but there’s also much more interest from the [husband] than there ever was to collaborate and talk and work it out, [while the wife has been having an affair with] some douche bag down the street. — New York Magazine article

The husband erroneously thinks it is a phase she is currently going through and will pass like a common cold. Many men rarely ask, Might it have something partially to do with me, or a LOT to do with me!? What a novel question! But to be fair, a novel question for either spouse. And why does it take something so painfully dishonorable or negligent by both spouses, and so late in the infection, if you will, in order for a sudden inspiration “to work it out” and improve, to be a better husband or wife? Why the delay?

Most or perhaps many of the stories of marital struggles and/or infidelity are quite familiar to you the readers I’m sure, and among your social or job circles, possibly within your own family or your own past relationships or marriages. Cheating is honestly not uncommon (to utilize a juxtaposition here 🤭) despite those appearing as “civil” marriages that underneath are hush-hush and closeted. It is however, unsurprisingly, a long distorted and ‘mystified’ result frequently manifested by limiting, proprietary, phobic or paranoid protective (hyper-jealousy), verbally silent, and repressive structures in those marriages. Furthermore, one should never presume that one’s own marriage or long-termed relationship is forever immune to such changes, possibly major surprises and challenges, when humans and circumstances are constantly fluid, moving and changing. I purposely emphasize this to my own heterosexual gender fooled into thinking that a socio-religious contract is unbreakable or unsinkable! Many old and ancient marriages — including those of our grandparents, great grandparents, etc. — simply remained intact due to the potential hardships the woman faced having to survive solo as a divorcee, even harder if publicly labelled an adulterer. Not so for the man.

man checking out another womanWith all of the above said, known, or unknown — intentional distortions, deceptions and mystifying of cheating — is there more to it, something mainstream traditional society has not considered, or is too afraid to seriously consider for far too long? I think so.

I suggest that the old, antiquated, mainstream construct of marriage, in particular monogamous marriage, was never ideal or realistic in the first place. Traditions that fail to evolve and adapt eventually die-out. Therefore, there are a number of reasons (supported by continued, advancing sciences) for our apparent(?) rise of marital cheating. I will list just five important reasons and the last two are critical to understand, possibly requiring our acceptance and embrace if you are a strong advocate for total marital monogamy. If so, if you believe lifetime monogamy is the best or only marital setup, then put on your thickest battle armor and prepare for years of relentless, 24/7, 365 days of acute alertness, attentiveness… never letting your guard down. Warning! Keeping a lifetime monogamous marriage/relationship in tact, much less thriving, is and will be a visible and sometimes invisible struggle upstream against natural (rarely against immoral or evil) forces everywhere. And even if you foolishly believe you have been victorious, sometimes your “enemy” is in and has been in your encampment for a long time and you did not notice. Faulty intelligence is ever-present, anywhere at anytime. That is simply human nature.

Nevertheless, for those who believe in Walt Disney-style eternal love and romance with one person their entire lifetime, it can be done. I have 3-4 different married aunts and uncles who have done it for 50-60+ years. They all have one thing in common:  societal remoteness. In other words, they are quite recluse when it comes to daily social engagement; it’s very infrequent. Think about that.

To the five contributing factors of marital cheating. The first three reasons are summarized from Dr. Susan Whitbourne’s excellent report on PsychologyToday.com. The fourth reason is summarized from Ker Than and LiveScience.com. And the fifth and final reason below is from yours truly. I feel it is an overlooked or badly ignored factor in an already maligned, faulty, antiquated marital construct. Hence, I list it last.

Emotional Dissatisfaction
These spouses are seeking emotional intimacy and understanding they feel they are not experiencing in their primary relationship or marriage. Feeling appreciated and valued on a regular basis is an integral component in marriage if it is to last lifetimes. The precise details of this dissatisfaction can and do change over time for various reasons. The priorities of partners/spouses change and fluctuate over time, for example, when children enter the picture. Or a residential move or job-relocation occurs. How attentive we are to those fluid changes and what actions we take (or not take), verbally and non-verbally, will also dictate or influence future solutions and/or behaviors.

Sexual Dissatisfaction
This is the most common reason cited by clinical-counseling studies. I find this very interesting for two reasons. One, I discuss below in Mammalian/Primate Biology; it’s a natural biological force in 97.9% of humans, for a segment of humans it is a raging force relative to their sexual organs and hormonal makeup, starting as an embryo and genetically from their parent’s families and ancestors. Let me say this though.

Humans want to improve and/or explore their natural sexual desires. Medically, this does not generally decrease until a person’s late 40’s or 50’s, later if they lead a healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, participants in these studies cited desires to experience additional sexual encounters with non-partners or outside of their spouse. This number is typically and predictably low due to societal pressure of it being unacceptable, historically of women, as if a marriage was NOT 50/50, but 30/70 or 20/80… where the woman either was expected to have the lowest desire for good/great sex or the higher expectation of responsibility of always pleasing the husband! HAH! Yeah, riddle me that one.

Dying Love and/or Redefined Love
This is a lower cited reason in clinical-counseling studies probably because love is difficult for many people to unanimously define. Today, it is indeed more complex socially (vs. biologically) than it was 100, 500, or 1,000 years ago. Overall, the studies suggest that deeper emotional and sexual intimacy are more compelling reasons for extramarital behaviors. They both can be simultaneous expectations or demands too, not necessarily one or the other. And falling in love with someone new is not often cited as the driving force for infidelity. This might be because keeping an affair secret often requires a sometimes exhausting amount of preparation, forethought, juggling of schedules, physical, mental, and emotional energy, and the careful explanations (disinformation, deception) for activities “without” the spouse and/or kids involved. When a cheater’s secret lover usually only comprises maybe 5% to 20% (give or take) of the cheater’s realistic available time in a day or week (factor in children), there is little to no time for deeper definitions of love to develop. Not in a reasonable, sane(?), stable fashion.

I want to quote one of the paragraphs in the PsychologyToday.com article and invite commentary on its validity:

The findings also show that a substantial group of people who engage in extramarital affairs are pretty good at shifting the responsibility away from themselves. Many claimed that the decision to enter into the affair was a mutual one, that their affairs were justified, and that they felt no guilt.

My contention with these spouses claiming the decision to enter into the affair was mutual, I would immediately rephrase by adding and asking “Was it a verbalized mutually understood decision!?” In other words, penetration was consented to? What type of penetration? What about fellatio or cunnilingus? And often the real biggie, what about emotional attachment or love? Allowed? Disallowed?

what-does-it-mean-when-a-woman-stares-at-youWhy should these liberties or boundaries not be openly discussed, negotiated at anytime in a healthy marriage? Better still, BEFORE the wedding day! More on this later in my last reason for cheating while married. And when should guilt and remorse be genuinely felt and expressed by the cheater, or should it at all? Is this the popular PR counter-move of turning oneself from a villain into a victim while portraying the true victim into a villain. We see this save-face tactic too often in politics by officials in power positions or celebrities in the public eye. The tactic does have its successes, though warped as they are. Take Tiger Woods or President Trump as two prime examples. Both are blindly adored by their fan-base despite their adulterous habits.

In the end, should any of these conditions, reasons, or results be the standard, the higher road? I don’t think so. I think it all stinks, or they set themselves up for future repugnance of the most vilest stench, if I can be frank!

Mammalian/Primate Biology
We humans, us Homo sapiens, are unequivocally lifetime members of the aquatic and terrestrial animal kingdom on Earth. We all share the same origins, period. DNA sequencing has put to bed any slight, wild doubts, misconceptions, or ill-founded blatant denial that this is not true. Much can be learned about ourselves by studying and thoroughly understanding animal mating behaviors. Let me begin this section by quoting a portion of Ker Than’s article from LiveScience.com:

Of the roughly 5,000 species of mammals, only 3 to 5 percent are known to form lifelong pair bonds. This select group includes beavers, otters, wolves, some bats and foxes and a few hoofed animals.

And even the creatures that do pair and mate for life occasionally have flings on the side and some, like the wolf, waste little time finding a new mate if their old one dies or can no longer sexually perform.

Staying faithful can be a struggle for most animals. For one, males are hardwired to spread their genes and females try to seek the best dad for their young. Also, monogamy is costly because it requires an individual to place their entire reproductive investment on the fitness of their mate. Putting all their eggs in one basket means there’s a lot of pressure on each animal to pick the perfect mate, which, as humans knows, can be tricky.

Our closest relatives, or cousins you might say, are the bonobos and common chimps of the Hominidae family of which we also belong from 4.5 – 5.5 million years ago (click here). We share 99.6% of their DNA. I likely do not need to go into the mating and social behaviors of the Bonobo chimpanzees; it is well-known. Read this article if you are unfamiliar with their distinguished behavior and social structure.

As it turns out, the neurotransmitter chemical dopamine is heavily linked to sexual and emotional love. But news flash, it isn’t that simple. Dopamine does not distinguish between monogamy or non-monogamy as some biased experts may claim. In the animal kingdom as well as with humans, individual, familial, diet, exercise, and the social dynamics surrounding those components play a significant part in levels of dopamine production just as much as sexual and/or emotional situations do. According to Healthline.com, there are 10 natural methods of increasing healthy levels of dopamine. No surprise, of those 10 ways, frequent exercise is one. Now, how many various ways can we humans regularly, erotically exercise? Exactly. By the way, emotional exercising is a part of exerting ourselves physically and/or mentally. Hence, how many different ways can we exert and challenge ourselves and our partner/spouse, or significant other(s), mentally and emotionally? I can name a minimum of five ways! Not all discomfort or nervousness is bad or life threatening in moderate, short-term amounts.

Like many different animals in their natural habitats and social environs, we humans also require regular mental, emotional, and physical stimulation in order to live, thrive, grow in strength, i.e. 3-part strength, and pass on the best possible genes and lifestyle to our descendants. That said, why then are cheaters labelled with or risk such distressing, troubling, negative feelings and connotations after engaging in extramarital affairs? Again, it is not so simple.

Poor, Ambiguous, or Impeded Unreserved Communication
These marital situations are not simple primarily because of one initial reason:  communication. Communication between cheating partners or spouses typically has not been open, voluntary, articulated well or accurately to reflect behavior, honest in other words, and therefore not well understood or erroneously understood by the listening, inquisitive, attentive partner/spouse. These ideal, lofty components of a happy, thriving, intimate relationship or marriage are an essential foundation for a long-term commitment to one person, much less a lifetime commitment. Why?

Because everything about humans change, evolve over time and the circumstances around them, e.g. family, careers, finances, ups, downs, health, births, deaths, and a plethora of societal and regional variables are constantly in play, whether weekly, monthly, annually, or longer. The only setup where these variables and components have little effects on a relationship or marriage is if the couple are consistently recluse, or lacking in those aforementioned healthy emotional, mental, and physical exercises. In those recluse cases, the “changes,” the “fitness” tends to be slower (non-existent?) due to much less diverse stimulation and exertion. You don’t know what you don’t actually experience or push yourself to achieve. You are unable to honestly say you have it best if you haven’t tasted the joys or pains of many bests and disasters. Many!

Therefore, everyone should always ask themselves, monitor attentively, maintain attentively their committed relationship, by gauging its health and asking… how freely, how proactively, how accurately, honestly with no reservations or shame or fear of shame do we both vulnerably express ourselves to each other? How often does this intense, safe level of intimate communication/expression occur between us? If your answer is not at all, or not so much, or could be better, or all of these above case studies of cheating spouses and victims admitted the same, examined the same, then the likely conclusion is that they, yourself, and your partner/spouse have poor, ambiguous, or reserved, impeded (greatly impeded?) communication with each other.

Paolo Coelho quote

That silent, distorted, secret or fearful relational environment becomes a nitroglycerin catalyst for much bigger problems and less time to redirect or solve if allowed to fester. In today’s mainstream, traditional, moderate relationships/marriages dishonorable cheating apparently then becomes one of the most common (easier, quicker?) reactions or results of poor, ambiguous, or impeded unreserved communication. The quick fix that doesn’t really fix at all.

What do all of you think? Why has “cheating” become more popular, more accepted, fashionable? Is there an easy or easier preventative measure to be implemented? Let me know in the comments.

————

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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43 thoughts on “Cheating: More Fashionable & Popular!

    • I agree LoR, the lying, deceiving, secrets, omissions, etc… are completely unnecessary and as you pointed out, behaving in these dishonorable ways shows little or no respect or value toward your partner’s/spouse’s dignity. As Paolo Coelho points out in his heart-piercing truth (image above), showing someone you deeply care about and/or love sometimes means hurting their (temporary) feelings. However, you are remaining true to yourself AND true to your Loved, respecting their dignity to know the raw truth. Open or disclosed sex or emotional attachments to others beyond your partner/spouse are not the problem at all. Most of us humans are sexual, emotional beings; behaviors deeply embedded in our 4.5 million years of DNA! It is the lying, deceiving, secrets, omissions, etc, that are the poison.

      Thank you LoR for your feedback! I appreciate it. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Being Wrong & Feeling Right: Two Parts | The Professor's Convatorium

  2. I admit I haven’t read your entire loooooong post, but the topic hits rather close to home in that the daughter of my other-half is going through the pangs of separation and divorce based on this very topic. He cheated. When she found out, she decided to also cheat. Then he found out she had cheated and in his mind, this made her the villain. The marriage is, predictably, over. However, he has assumed the upper hand and refuses to cooperate related to any official dissolution, plus he is treating her like sh__ in the meantime. (They are living separately.) A most unpleasant state of affairs (no pun intended).

    One thing that happened in this situation that I feel played a major role in the big picture (and possibly addressed in your post) is when she “retaliated.” For whatever reason, it seems it’s “OK” in the man’s mind to play around a bit … but not the wife. I guess it goes back to that “male sex drive” … or something.

    Anyway, when I have more time, I’ll take a look-see at your composition. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha…yes, every time I include a YouTube video or write a long, involved, expansive post with many links, I inevitably think of you Nan, what you’ll say or do or not do (watch videos) and not say. 😉 😛 Cursory, or overly casual, hasty, have never been characteristics of mine. LOL

      I’ll wait on your 2nd comment to say more. 🙂

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      • There’s absolutely nothing wrong in being thorough! Covering all the bases keeps one out of trouble. 😉

        So now that I’ve read the entire post, I guess my primary thought is “why marriage at all” — especially if there’s (nearly) always going to be the temptation of cheating?

        For many — perhaps women more than men — the union of marriage is more than just “living together by law.” It is an emotional bond. When a person says, “I love you,” it generally signifies a certain commitment between two individuals. However, having said that, if the inborn trait of humans is essentially similar to the “aquatic and terrestrial animal kingdom,” then perhaps “cheating” is in our evolutionary genes.

        I do know of individuals that are totally and completely committed to monogamy. Period. IOW, nothing is going to compel them to seek sexual satisfaction elsewhere. However, based on social trends, it seems these people are by far in the minority.

        Perhaps in the distant future, marriage as an “institution” will become extinct. Individuals will accept that love and devotion to one individual is often temporary and non-binding. Those that choose to remain “faithful” will continue their existence “together,” but there will be no moral laws to judge them if they change their mind.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Why marriage at all?” A very good question Nan. I guess I would rephrase it this way… What type of marriage exactly? When our Hominidae evolutionary biology — on a basic, genetic, hormonal level — is designed for frequent risk/reward dopamine and procreation, mostly (not always) obtained by a wide spectrum of diversity, and even these biological, environmental, and behavioral systems change with time and circumstances… WHY bind yourself into an inflexible, unrealistic(?), counter-intuitive(?) LIFETIME contract? And furthermore, one that is an ancient socio-religious tradition for heartless, proprietary-legal reasons at that!

          Then finally, something I’ve promoted for about 20+ years now:
          How utterly egotistical, delusional, and arrogant of me if I constantly claim/believe that I am God’s gift to women, but more so the only one to my partner/spouse, 24/7, 365 days, for the rest of my and her life!? Hahahahaha! 🤣 That is insanely NUTS to even think that way, ever, given that there are millions/billions of men (and women) out there that have all sorts of talents, gifts, and ways of thrilling and inspiring my partner/spouse that I could never imagine!!! That’s just the facts, the reality; like it or not. Hence, I know beyond any shadow of doubt, I NEED HELP, frequently to possibly become that pseudo-Demi-god 🤭 for my partner/spouse. There’s no way around it. Please notice some of my realistic humor.

          The rest of your 2nd comment Nan, I wholeheartedly agree with, and I say that even though I am a 30-year member of the Alternative Lifestyles. One of the BIGGEST cons and poisons on our societal (maligned) understanding of marriage or mating habits was caused by ancient Abrahamic religions making most forms of “love and sex”… evil and humanly unmanageable in its passionate states. Also, back then in the Middle and Near East, then Europe, effective contraception was yet to be discovered and safe until the 12th or 13th century CE with the Caribbean hibiscus, Flower of Barbados. However, the knowledge and medicine was quite well known in non-Abrahamic regions around the world at least 2,500 years ago. For example…

          https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/1442711/Indians-test-ancient-herb-recipe-as-a-contraceptive.html

          But in European empires, effective contraception does not fill the ranks near as quickly for enormous armies and navies for Imperial interests, as peasant lower-class “ignorance” does. Go figure, huh? Once again, societal cons (Imperialism) begat loveless marriages which in many ways still permeate our modern Western culture.

          Regarding your in-law’s daughter and collapsed marriage, I’d repeat my last 5th reason above between the spouses: poor, ambiguous, or reserved, impeded (greatly impeded?) communication with each other, likely from the get go. My sympathies for them. Hopefully thru this they will learn some hard VALUABLE lessons for the next Lover(s).

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        • Btw Nan, I did want to mention that your daughter-in-law’s husband has absolutely no justified ground to stand on for his behavior and lack of forthright, honest, communication FIRST with his wife before violating their agreed terms of matrimony(?). However, your daughter-in-law just exacerbated the whole situation by going vengeful vigilante on him, indirectly that is. But doing the whole tit-for-tat accounting on each other almost never gets anywhere. Why? Because the raw, proactive, honest communication by both of them wasn’t present nor their fully disclosed expectations of each other. At least, that’s my hunch based upon many, many years of couple/marital counseling along with a ton of friends and family in identical situations. :/

          Liked by 1 person

        • Absolutely! As soon as I heard she had “retaliated,” I knew the bell had rung.

          While I agree the “forthright, honest, communication FIRST” would have been the preferred course of action, in my experiences, this rarely (if ever) takes place — for several and varied reasons.

          Beyond the fact the marriage is kaput, his refusal to discuss and negotiate any terms for the divorce has made it even more difficult for her. How can either party move forward when they can’t even talk to each other?

          Liked by 1 person

        • …in my experiences, this rarely (if ever) takes place — for several and varied reasons.

          Eh, perhaps. That’s not my experience in the field nor among friends and family. I will say this however and to your point. How and where we are raised and taught as children and teenagers by our parents, guardians, family, and community/culture dictates much of how we “view” people and life, including what “love” is supposed to be without actually dissecting it, examining it, and how it is expressed… from ourselves as well as by others. We just think, Well this is how it is and supposed to be swallowing it hook, line, and sinker without testing it or refining it, or overhauling it. In my personal opinion, I think that passive or stagnate posture is unfortunate.

          Nevertheless, thanks so much for your valuable thoughts and feedback Nan! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • I guess my primary thought is “why marriage at all”

          On a purely personal level, I don’t see the point in it. It is basically inviting the government and/or the church into the relationship as a third party, and it makes ending the relationship (which is bound to happen sooner or later) far more messy and complicated. I suppose it has practical benefits for people who want to have children or to make each other heirs in case of death, but otherwise, with the fading of the taboo on sex and relationships without marriage, it’s hard to see what purpose it serves.

          Liked by 1 person

        • It is basically inviting the government and/or the church into the relationship as a third party, and it makes ending the relationship (which is bound to happen sooner or later) far more messy and complicated.

          Infidel, oh MAN you could not have hit the nail on the head any harder or more precise!!! You probably have not read the 2-3 posts here I’ve written on my last marriage/divorce (with 2 wonderful, beautiful kids!) to an Evangy-Fundy preacher’s and missionary’s daughter. But to make a long, complicated, messy story short regarding exactly what you stated there, because my God-fearing, pure and holy ex-wife filed the divorce in Denton County, Texas, and by default with the Texas Attorney General’s Office, Austin, I shit you not, I am STILL paying child-support for my 24-year old daughter (who married in 2015!) and will be until my son turns 18-yrs old… this coming March.

          Now, I can “request” a judge’s review on possibly changing that, however, the OAG legislates that request only every 3-years, and it takes a minimum of 6-months to receive the judge’s decision… in my favor or against my favor (i.e. or making it worse). Does that support your above statement from a firsthand, real-life testimonial of involving the state in personal/family matters? 😡 😒

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        • Yes, that does sound like an example of the consequences of letting the government into your relationship, although child support is an issue that can arise even without marriage. Being required to pay support for a married 24-year-old sounds weird to me, but I guess you’re kind of at the mercy of the judge in those situations. Luckily for me, I’ve never had children nor wanted to (I’d be a disaster as a parent), so the issue has not arisen.

          The messy ongoing divorce Nan describes is a good example of what I had in mind. It should have become obvious to both parties at some point that the relationship was unsalvageable and that they would both be better off simply making an end to it. But being married means it can’t be that simple.

          I’ve never been married, but I’ve seen several marriages up close. All but one of them either were travesties or ended in disaster.

          As Nan says, some people feel a genuine commitment to long-term monogamy (ALoR in the first comment is presumably among them). Others don’t. We’re a fantastically varied species. Where we go astray is in thinking that there is some one model that’s right for everybody, and that anyone whose life deviates from that one model is “wrong” or immoral. Cultural pluralism is integral to a free society.

          Liked by 1 person

        • We’re a fantastically varied species. Where we go astray is in thinking that there is some one model that’s right for everybody, and that anyone whose life deviates from that one model is “wrong” or immoral. Cultural pluralism is integral to a free society.

          That is in every way, Infidel, SPOT ON! However, tell that to a zealous group of Abrahamic religious followers (who btw are nuts for Monism and Binary-restricted human behaviors) and lay it all out in sound, factual, evidence-based, vivid Technicolor to them… and watch their little craniums start to turn fire-red, overheating, and collecting stoning-rocks to throw because you and I, and all evil non-believers are trying to live in that reality-based, culturally pluralistic, bigger loving society! We don’t fit in their singular or binary little God-box. LOL 🤭😈

          Like

    • Hahaha! Yeah, wouldn’t that just be a complete mockery of our famed federal Executive Branch history and image!? I mean, if the President did have a long history of lying and cheating — and few could do little about it to correct his immorality & remorselessness for the habitual behavior — then the entire diplomatic world would be laughing at the man non-stop!!! Like at the U.N. 😜😄

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Whoa… one detailed and interesting article with lots of info to absorb. My Fave astonishing fact is that women are genetically predisposed to extra paired bonding. Wow. At the same time, I relate to societal remoteness, just like your aunts. So maybe there is hope…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha! Yeah Luda, you may need to read it 2-3 times to fully absorb everything. I hope you get the chance to. 😉 ❤

      "Genetically predisposed” is a reasonable THEORY based at least on the social-familial behavior that women naturally do tend to have higher levels of empathy, compassion, patience, understanding, mothering, etc, within intimate/family settings — which ironically translates VERY WELL into societal leadership positions for a more PEACEFUL, MATURE world!!! — and therefore, women also have expanded capacities to love (in many ways) children, family, friends, and acquaintances all in less singular ways compared to men. 😍 Now of course I’m speaking in general terms, on the average. There will be exceptions with both men and women — for example, I am completely able to allow my partner/spouse to LOVE in whatever forms she wishes with however many she wishes and can reasonably manage. Same goes for me. 🙂 Apparently, I am a male anomaly. LOL 😄 But I’m certainly not the only one.

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        • Yes, jealousy is not one of my hangups, not in the least. However, one thing I will NOT tolerate is being lied to, deceived, or pertinent info/facts intentionally omitted or ridiculously delayed info/facts in their full verbal delivery. After two strikes, you’re out; except in extreme extenuating circumstances. Then I’ll give 3 strikes.

          To me and for my partner/spouse there is no reason or excuse — unless some horrible accident has left her unconscious for a long period of time — not to be kept superbly informed, abreast of exciting, thrilling, arousing erotica with another person when I actively support it for her AND encourage it… if she wants to explore its endless beauty, challenges, and stimulating growth! After all, isn’t that EXACTLY what partners/spouses are suppose to willingly, openly share with each other!? 😉 ❤

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  4. I suggest that the old, antiquated, mainstream construct of marriage, in particular monogamous marriage, was never ideal or realistic in the first place.

    I think there’s a lot of truth in this. Most humans do seem to have a preference for one-on-one relationships, but the desire comes with a time limit — given enough time, people change and drift apart. For one thing, with greatly extended lifespan and improved nutrition and health, the typical modern person’s sexually-active period of life lasts much longer than it did for most people in, say medieval times. Our priorities are also different. In an environment with a 50% infant-mortality rate and with disease, violence, hunger, and poverty all far more prevalent than today, sexual dissatisfaction or curiosity was probably not among the top pressing concerns for most pre-modern people. Humans today can attach more importance to the details of their sexual needs because so many other concerns which formerly loomed larger have been dealt with.

    And even before the sexual revolution, life may not have been quite as we today tend to picture it. No doubt you’ve heard of those genetic studies in the 1950s which concluded that about 10% of children in the areas studied (California and England, I think) could not actually be the offspring of their alleged fathers. And side affairs by men with enough money or social status to attract women easily seem to have been fairly common in every time and place. If women did it less often, it’s understandable given the draconian penalties they faced in many cultures if caught, and the fact that women are probably generally less inclined to be casual about sex due to the risk of pregnancy.

    I recently finished reading Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan (the guy in the video you posted here), and I’ll probably review it on my blog eventually. His claims about pre-agricultural societies being low in violence can safely be dismissed — there’s simply too much data supporting the opposite view. But his contention that humans are more adapted to what we would now call “polyamorous” sexual relationships, and that such were the norm in pre-agricultural times, seems much more convincing.

    If so, the increase in extra-marital sex would just be a reversion to biologically-normative human behavior, probably explainable by the factors I mentioned above and by the decline of religion and of its associated taboos. People no longer fear being sent to Hell by a God they barely even believe in any more. When temptation arises, there is far less motivation to resist it than there was before.

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    • Infidel, an excellent comment, summary, and elaboration. I can really add nothing more to what you’ve stated/written. Well done Sir. 😉

      However, if I may, I would ride your coat-tails a bit and say in your first two paragraphs you touched on the vast differences we modern humans have available to ourselves and from modern society, while also not having to stress about or work so unbelievably hard to make ends meet to survive. Of course, I am referring to the average-to-peasant humans in any civilization, not the nobility or imperial figures throughout history and anthropology. The latter were generally just as amorous, mischievous, unfaithful, mega-horny(?), and manipulative with their birth-right positions as modern humans are today. That’s where I see very LITTLE difference in sexual behavior now compared to say pre-Classical, Classical, post-Classical, and up thru the remaining eras into Modern civilization.

      That said, don’t confuse my assessment of modern human sexuality with promoting recklessness and free-for-alls every weekend. I’m not saying that at all! Intelligent, responsible sexual and emotional liberties are just as crucial in human relations as the natural, normal, honorable and respectful aspects of connectivity. They just no longer need the ancient taboos, chains-n-balls, and social ostracizing they once had 2-4 plus millennia ago. All humans are capable of much more “love” (and multiple expressions of that love) with more than one person (3 to 5? more?) for an entire lifetime GIVEN THAT our modern societies — with the exceptions of today’s war-torn, famished, bass-ackward religious regions and nations still trapped in those fraudulent ideologies — no longer see or live with the horrible trials, wars, church-oppression, and death that the ancient world dealt with daily/weekly. It’s time to evolve higher, progress, and simply learn and spread more quality ‘love,‘ if that makes sense.

      So you liked Sex at Dawn, huh? It is/was very enlightening. If you liked that Infidel, then I’m sure you’d also enjoy The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy. Those two authors/professionals really break it down on just how easy it is to have respectful, thriving, honorable, ETHICAL, loving relationships (sexual or not) with multiple people or couples simultaneously. If there are any difficulties or fears, they are with one’s self, NOT the lifestyle. And I say that with over 25-years firsthand experience in the Alternative Lifestyles. 😉

      Thanks so much Sir for your comment! Feel free to share more. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks! I would say that the great Classical civilization (Greco-Roman-Persian, which I define as extending from the coronation of Cyrus the Great in 559 BC to the murder of Hypatia in 415 CE) was actually more sexually liberal and sophisticated than our modern civilization in one respect — that bisexuality in males was normative to the extent of becoming practically institutionalized, and across society in general, not just an elite. The modern West has broadened the range of acceptable sexual options, but until very recently, this was only true for those whose orientation was exclusively heterosexual.

        Where Classical civilization fell short, of course, was in limiting many aspects of sexual freedom to men. Women were held to harsher standards. The Roman culture did eventually allow more freedom, at least to unmarried women (I think the fact that women are more emancipated in the modern West than in most other societies is mainly due to our essentially Roman cultural roots), but the basic principle that women should have exactly the same sexual freedom as men has only won widespread acceptance very recently, and a lot of people still have trouble with it — such as the man in the divorce case Nan described. To me, whatever view of sexual freedom or standards one subscribes to, it must apply equally to both males and females. Anything else is hypocrisy.

        A sexuality of “recklessness and free-for-alls every weekend” doesn’t appeal to me, but I have no objection to others indulging in it if they do find it appealing. The real problems are practical — unwanted pregnancy and increased risk of venereal disease. Technology has already made unwanted pregnancy largely avoidable, with abortion as an option in case of accidents, and I expect that venereal disease will be eradicated in a decade or two. The scolding of those still in the grip of tired old religious taboos can safely be ignored.

        I don’t know whether you’re familiar with the writings of Larry Niven, but the future he describes strikes me as more plausible than most, including the reversion to a more natural sexuality after such annoyances as religion and disease have been disposed of.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Agree on all counts again. I would only add — from your coat-tails again — that we do still risk digressing back to a Dark Age or Medieval Age of illiterate masses (as far as high-level critical-thinking, critical-analysis skill sets) by modern attacks (reversions) on Intellectualism and Science and those challenges to remove secular, humanist philosophies in all corners.

          If we Atheists, Humanists, Agnostics, and Egalitarians are not vigilant to those attacks, the blatant in your face (ala Trumpism and the like) or by subterfuge, and wisely counter their Monistic or Binary ideologies… sadly our species will return, go backwards, to those dark, horrible days/nights of the 5th thru 11th centuries CE wallowing in constant fear, ignorance, warring, and ill-equipped to respond to or manage/survive the Earthly turmoils and catastrophes that anti-Intellectualism & anti-Science help increase, let alone what our solar system and Cosmos can throw at us. Quite remarkable to think about when we are such a brilliant and ingenious species capable now of colonizing the Moon and Mars!!! 😳 Imagine that. What a waste that would be, huh? 😖

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        • Yes, if we continue to deny the hardcore facts/science of our 4.5 million years of evolutionary biological makeup and still not see we are < 0.01 – 0.03% different than each other as Homo sapiens, and obsess about elitist hairline distinctions over just 0.02%… then it is indeed bleak isn't it? :/

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  5. You know my story, PT. I’m not down with traditional marriage at all. Statistics repeatedly prove that MOST married couples aren’t happy. Look at the number of adulterers, the countless divorces and domestic violence accounts (the ones we actually know). I’m a firm believer in serial monogamy and polyamory. I know I’m not the only one. Many refuse to admit this about themselves because both lifetyles are considered immature, thoughtless and irresponsible. I know I’m incapable of being everything to one person and no one is capable of being everything to me. We’re all adults here, let’s not pretend to have our shit together. I’m sure being with only one person for 50 to 80 years might work for a few but I doubt that it works for a lot of people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahaha! Charity, you are a real breath of invigorating fresh-air! I could not agree more or doubt I could’ve stated it as succinctly. Thank you for this hardcore, “get over yourselves already,” heart-piercing summation of TRUE human nature and long established, verifiable, biological evolution! Bravo Ma’am. 👏🤩

      And though I know you were being kind and diplomatic when you said, “I’m sure being with only one person for 50 to 80 years might work for a few…” but intuition tells me that you and I know that unless a person forces them self to be a social, mental, emotional, and sexual recluse, then it is possible(?) with just one. But even that facade begs the question of hypocrisy, yes? Or at least some type of medical, psychological, chemical, or organ dysfunction. 😉 😈

      Great comment Charity!

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      • I can so relate to this quote. It was me for many years. Judging myself harshly for the sinner I saw myself as, with my thoughts of sexuality, bisexuality and polyamory. Having that same sick sense of self loathing, and judge others harshly who seemed free.

        Liked by 1 person

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