If you need any more evidence that monogamy is a failed, non-instinctual human construct, check out the infidelity statistics above, from this study published by the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy in August, 2013.
The numbers are stunning. If monogamy was truly the way we were MEANT to be, then why are we so prone to infidelity?
Someone might protest, saying the reason infidelity is so rampant is because we are all God-less heathens. We are sinful, so what do you expect?
But maybe there is another answer. Maybe we, as a species, are naturally promiscuous. Maybe we were not meant to be monogamous.
Perhaps the most telling statistic in the entire list above is the percentage of men and/or women who say they would have an affair if they knew they would never get caught. The percentage is virtually the same for both genders, approximately 70 percent!!!
So almost three quarters of all those surveyed admitted they would be interested in having sex with others if it didn’t mean the end of their marriage. Yes, I changed the wording slightly, but that’s what people are afraid of. The same survey proves it, showing that the percentage of marriages that survive after the discovery of infidelity is only 31%. So clearly, this is the big fear. Discovered infidelity will usually mean the end of a marriage, and often, tragically, a wonderful relationship.
The survey also shows, that despite this fear of getting caught, approximately 55% of males and females admitted to committing infidelity in at least one relationship, marriage or otherwise.
I took this snapshot of the Ashley Madison ‘infidelity site’ as I was writing this. Notice the over 22 million anonymous users! The founder of the site, Noel Biderman, gives an interesting TEDx talk on how he got started and why major universities are interested in their data, found HERE.
So we really don’t want monogamy, folks. We really don’t. Yes, we want love. We want partnership. There are some, of course, who have made monogamy work. But most of us, both male and female, don’t want to be limited to exploring sexuality and intimacy with only one person. This makes perfect sense on many levels. Anyone who has had more than one intimate partner in life will tell you that each intimate encounter has a different “flavor” and leads to new realizations about yourself. The variety enlarges us. The connections broaden us. There’s no argument that we all have the capacity to love—to really romantically love—more than one person in our lifetime. And if that is true, then surely we can fall romantically in love with more than one person at a time.
Yet this reality is often denied by those caught in infidelity. They say they have either fallen out of love with their old partner and into love with the new, or they only cheated for the sex. Really? Why can’t we admit that we are romantically attracted to more than one person. It’s okay.
Are you an infidelity stat? What would your confidential survey answers be? It is natural to feel loving sexual attraction to others. Lots of people in this crowded world of ours are likely to appeal to our spectrum of characteristics, each perhaps in a slightly different way.
What if we changed the some of the questions above? Would you be open to intimacy with others if your partner/spouse convinced you that they were genuinely okay with “sharing” you, and that such sharing (both ways) wouldn’t threaten your relationship? Yes or no? Even a ‘maybe’ would be a good start.
Embracing a framework that allows for a different experience of love and living than monogamy provides—a framework that shuns the cultural myths, like our problem with infidelity, which hurt, shame and bind us—begins with dialogue. That is our purpose.