Serial Monogamy

With the recent downturn in the success of marriage, I wonder what the future holds for the young couples of today? According to Google sources: “America leads the world in divorce. Current figures show that 41-50 percent of first marriages fail. Second-marriage failure rates stand at 60-67 percent. Even more staggering is that third marriages face a 73 to 74 percent failure rate!” Something needs to be done, and today I am proposing the discussion of the concept of serial monogamy as a possible solution to resolve this problem…

These divorce statistics are sobering numbers indeed! Think of the emotional toll on the children involved alone! In point of fact, I think that more marriages are failing now because of the simple fact that Americans are living longer, as I mentioned in a previous blog “Is Modern Marriage Obsolete?” Yet this fact alone cannot explain the fact of so many first marriages falling by the wayside, although it does make more sense for the even higher number of 2nd and 3rd marriages failing…..Just glance at the tabloids…

In this magazine cover image released by US Weekly Magazine, the Dec. 14, 2009 issue of marriages1marriages8

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I personally think that marriage is evolving, as we are as a society, into something new and different than what previous generations held to be obvious truisms, like that marriage was forever…In our rapidly changing, fast paced, geographically spread out society, I think that a new model, or paradigm, may have to be seriously looked at as a substitute for traditional marriages….

I think that one of the main paradigms for new relationships should be one of serial monogamy, the practice of having a number of long-term romantic or sexual partners in succession…I know this may sound radical at first, but with the breakdown of religious values and the ever evolving independence of women as wage earners there has been a historically significant change in the nature of marriage…

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Husbands and wives may share a home, but not necessarily share their lives. They may have conflicting schedules, different choices in friends and become more alienated because they no longer need to work as a team emotionally, but still need to combine their paychecks to make their homes economically viable….As traditional male and female roles are increasingly abandoned, it has created confusion on the part of both parties…

This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a new thing to think about, a new subject to factor into any consideration about entering into a long term relationship….The children involved are always the ones who suffer the most emotionally from a parents divorce….

But there has been a long standing argument about whether or not a child benefits more or suffers more from a traditional two parent home when the parents are always fighting, or becomes emotionally more stable when the parents are happy, together or apart, and they can feel more secure…The truth is somewhere in between, as usual….

My point is that with the adoption of serial monogamy, where the parents agree to be faithful to each other for a set number of years, it would be more helpful to not only the parents, but the children too, in the sense that happier parents would be able to provide a happier, more tranquil home life for the children…

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If serial monogamy were the norm, it would put an end to the bitterness and acrimony of “cheating” or “adultery” as a dirty little secret, as having an illicit affair usually ends up in bitterness, hurt feelings, and bruised egos and recriminations and hurtful accusations flung widely about….

If both parties agreed in entering such a novel relationship as serial monogamy, if they agreed upon entering a marriage they would have the freedom to “look around” after a certain number of years, there very well may not be so much hated, jealousy and antipathy towards each other like today, where all too often couples feel trapped in a dead end marriage….

When animals feel trapped, or cornered, they usually lash out with more ferocity and adrenaline fueled anger than usual, and so do we as humans….After all, people DO change over the years, and this change and growth is a natural and normal part of the aging process…

If each partner in the marriage had the escape valve of serial monogamy, the option to hook up with someone they felt more emotionally compatible with as the years went by, without fear of recrimination, I think it would end up promoting the long term stability of the marriage, at least as a viable economic union, and perhaps an even more closely knit emotional union….

It would eliminate the jealousy and insecurity common today when couples stray from the marriage bed, because it would all be out in the open and already agreed upon as an option….

I am not promoting rampant promiscuity here, just the maturity to realize that sometimes, in fact at least half the time, a married couple is often compatible in almost every way except emotionally…As it stands now, this divergence in viewpoints is what leads to our shockingly high divorce rates…

In a way, serial monogamy is simply an extension of the widely held and already acknowledged concept of having a “work wife” or a “work husband,” something we are all familiar with if we work in an office or a corporation and work closely with the same person every day…

Quite simply, as a matter of fact, we end up spending more of our waking hours with our “work spouses” than our actual spouses…. We have more in common with them, we may have lunch with them, or go to after work functions with them, we may work and bond together on special office projects, and we have the same familiar environment to return to 5 days a week…This in no way affects the fact that either or both of us may be married, have children etc.

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I think that in this respect, carrying it one step forward, as in the concept of serial monogamy, would not only be natural, but beneficial to our primary marriage bonds…Each person would be happier at home with their wives and/or children, knowing that their all too short weekends with chores to be done and family functions to attend, would not feel so much like the dead end of being trapped in an unsatisfying, emotionally barren marriage relationship they all too often are today…. Because they still would have their other significant other, their “work spouses” available 5 days a week….

Like I said, this is just a modest proposal, but modern marriages are just not working out today, and i think a frank and open discussion of the benefits, and the drawbacks, of a serial monogamous relationship outside of the primary marital relationship should be at least discussed between a couple before an actual legal marriage is performed…

It is already the norm in several European countries, and despite the pitfalls that may lurk, we could hardly do much worse and cause more harm than under our present system…

Think about it…

Just leave it like it is right now

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