While contemplating my romantic history one day, I realized that I’d had four serious long-term relationships in a row… all colossal failures, or at least by my definition of failure at that time. By ‘serious’ I mean involving co-habitation and/or marriage; and by long-term I mean lasting longer than 2 years… so much for ‘happily ever after’.
Of the four, three ended because he found another romantic interest (either for sex or for falling madly in love with) and I’m not used to sharing my man. That was not what I was promised and it was not my expectation, though in hindsight, perhaps it should have been. I don’t mean that I should have expected my man to betray me. You’d be crazy to expect that and still proceed with a relationship. I just mean that I should have expected that at some point he would fall in love with someone else and/or want sex with someone else. That is, after all, what happens much of the time. Why do we ignore statistics?
Perhaps if I had expected it, we could have planned and agreed on how we would each behave, if or when that moment came. Instead of sneaking around behind my back he would just say:
“Although I care about you, I am attracted to someone else and I think our relationship has to come to an end”.
Or at least that’s the line to use IF monogamy is what he truly wants. Instead, what I heard after 3 months of lies was:
“Yes, I admit I love her, but I love you too. Please don’t leave me.”
It is interesting that the man who wanted to keep me, and have his new love, was also the most prone to jealousy whenever I even looked at another man.
We were brought up to believe in fairy tales. Not everyone is natively a monogamist. Relationships are not one-size-fits all and many of us are taking the monogamy path because anything else is socially unacceptable. There is no conscious choice. We just blindly do what generations before us have done (promise monogamy) and some of us are living a lie.
As a natural monogamist (I like to think I’m naturally that way, not just the product my education) I would like to find a man who is also naturally monogamous, but if I end up with one who isn’t, I would rather know from the start than believe in fairy tales. If he has more than one love interest, I should have the option of doing the same… well, let’s be fair!