Yeah, I said it. I do actually agree that monogamy isn’t natural. However, when using this argument to justify or hold oneself faultless for cheating on a spouse or significant other, it doesn’t hold water. Many, especially men, use this argument to alleviate the guilt and shame associated with infidelity, but in reality, it is just a cop-out and a poor excuse for failure to honor one’s commitment.
nat·u·ral adj \ˈna-chə-rəl, ˈnach-rəl\ based on an inherent sense of right and wrong
Based on the definition above, monogamy is not natural in the sense that, failure to be monogamous is not inherently right or wrong, if you are not married or in a committed relationship. Generally, no one is “justifiably” burning your clothes on the front lawn or slashing your tires if you never promised them fidelity. The practice of monogamy is largely dependent upon where you live, your religion and your core beliefs and values. However, those who say that it is not natural just to justify a lifestyle of promiscuity seem to imply that because it is not “natural,” monogamy is not possible or in order to be monogamous, you have to be some sort of super human. But, this is simply not the case. These days, the desire to be in monogamous relationships is not only fueled by the fact that we want our significant other’s body all to ourselves, but also because of the negative consequences associated with sleeping around, such as sexually transmitted diseases (which no matter how much protection you use are inevitable) and unwanted pregnancies.
Different religions have varying ideals on monogamy, but being that the majority of Americans identify themselves as Christians, I will use those principles to make my point. I believe that our nature is naturally sinful, meaning that we seek to fulfill the lusts of our flesh at all costs. Therefore, it would follow that monogamy goes against what our bodies or our flesh desires, which is all things sinful, making it essentially unnatural. That’s why it is so difficult for many to practice. But, just as we deny our flesh sweets if we are overweight or have diabetes, we deny ourselves food when we fast, or we deny ourselves alcohol or cigarettes when we have determined that continuing to smoke or drink could be detrimental to our health, we should be able to be monogamous. The crazy thing is that, with monogamy, you’re not really denying the flesh AT ALL. You’re simply committing to fulfill those desires with one person. So, why then is it so difficult to be monogamous even when you stand to lose just as much, if not more, than you would lose in abstaining from the guilty pleasures above?
So what if monogamy is not natural? If monogamy is what your man or woman wants and you’re not willing or able to give it, don’t promise it to him or her. Monogamy is more about expectations than anything else. It requires a humble mixture of love and respect for your spouse or committed partner, and discipline. If you want to be able to sleep around, find someone who wants the same or at least is able to allow you to live the life you want to lead. Don’t make a vow to forsake all others if that’s not exactly what you intend to do.
And ladies, next time your man uses the ‘monogamy isn’t natural’ argument to explain his cheating ways, shock the socks off of him and agree, but then explain why his failure to keep his lollipop out of the candy shop isn’t about whether it’s natural or not, it’s about the promise and commitment he made to you and to God (in marriage) to forsake all others. I guarantee, he’ll be speechless.