Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Is Monogamy a Myth

I just watched a little documentary on divorce. Three billion dollars a year is spent on Australian weddings. You know the full merangue dress, 200 guests, flowers, cars, marquee's or harbourside venues, romance and photographs but six billion is spent on divorce. This program featured, 'normal' people, working class, middle class, swingers, family people and yet the promise hadn't come to fruition for them, men or women.

Then ClareBear emerged from her bedroom saying "I can't understand why men find women so impossible to understand". She has an interest in a fellow who doesn't seem to comprehend that she has an interest. He flirts but that's it. She's made it perfectly clear that she's interested but he just doesn't get it. Is that our problem? We just don't get each other?

I have good relationships with men, boys, in-betweens but the rift between the sexes is difficult to bridge. I often wonder (and I think I am 'wondering' now) whether I would have stayed married had my lovely boy not passed so young. I was 32, he 35 we had a two year old and a four year old, a mortgage that was breaking our back but by and large we were happy. We didn't fight, but our hours were weird. I was a stay-at-home mum, keeping daytime routines with small children, him working evenings and often not coming home until late. How long could we have sustained this ships in the night arrangement? I really don't know and it's a question that for some reason preys on my mind. Not that it matters.

There seem to be three waves of separation. The first 4 years. When the magic of the glamfest fades and issues such as family and becoming seriously financially committed raise their ugly head. One partner is ready, the other isn't. Then there's the famous 7 year itch which in my experience is more like 10 or 12 years when it all just gets too hard and the trials of owning the Australian dream and raising a young family just springs to breaking point like a perished rubber band and one partner decides it's too much. Then there's the 20 year "Who the hell are you?" when all that family and career stuff has been achieved and two people find themselves locked in a relationship without really knowing each other. Now this is a simplistic analysis to say the least but it has borne out in my experience. Then, to contradict this theory (I sometimes hate being a Libran) there are the childhood sweethearts and I know a few. One relationship that has held through the decades and beyond the kids leaving home. I envy those but wonder whether the people involved ever wonder what it would be like to 'be' with someone else.

I'm just throwing this out there. I admire fidelity and no matter why people don't get on and resolve to go their separate ways, I find it really hard to tolerate infidelity. Cheat and you're gone . . . but I guess we have to look beyond the cheating as to the reason for it. I think some people get so safe in their relationships that they think a little fling won't cause too much havoc.

The bottom line: I have a theory that monogomy isn't natural, we're meant to have several partners - not necessarily at the same time of course - but it is what society expects and when you decide to cohabit or marry, fidelity is one of the most important ties that binds. I don't know whether our relationship would have stood the test of time. I know that I haven't really been looking for another but after all these years, I can be more objective. Then the romantic in me hits hard. I'm still looking for that knight in a shining boiler suit for all I care, as long as he's intelligent, funny, reliable and promises that monogomy is not a myth.


K8 said...

You're right, we're not meant to be monogamoose. Women are constantly seeking the best genes in a potential mate, there's no way to switch that off. The more varied our partners, the better our chances of having children with good genes!

Did you know that women prefer girly-looking blokes whilst riding the crimson tide, and prefer tougher big-jawed wide-foreheaded blokes when we're ovulating?! Saw that on a documentary once.

Baino said...

Well I never! I wondered why I found the lads in Westlife attractive at times!
(I'm kidding)

K8 said...

Yeah right. Saddo.