Is Non-Monogamy The Key To An Affair-Free Marriage?With each new sex scandal splashed across headlines, it’s become impossible to hide from the realities of marriage, i.e., monogamy is hard. And with so many high-profile persons seemingly shirking fidelity, it’s easier for couples unsatisfied in their relationship to start wondering if these cheating politicians just may have the right idea. It’s these concerns and questions that The New York Times Magazine took on when reaching out to leading sex-advice columnist, Dan Savage for their recent exploration of monogamy and marriage.

Savage tells the Times that many of us have a hard time admitting that being monogamous is difficult. He believes that when people treat monogamy as the sole indicator of a successul marriage, it casts unrealistic expectations for not only themselves but for their partners. In other words, monogamy just may be more of a romantic ideal than a reality.

All couples, according to Savage, should be honest about their sexual urges, even if they include having sex with other people, and openly discuss the drawbacks of monogamy. This includes, but isn’t limited to, non-monogamy. By being G.G.G—good, giving and game, i.e., skilled, generous and up for anything—couples can create a more realistic sexual ethic for themselves.

8 Comments to
Is Non-Monogamy The Key To An Affair-Free Marriage?

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  1. Im a 33 year old woman that had to re consider my beliefs after 4 failed marriages, due to affairs by all 4 partners. I believe we are capable of loving more than one person. And now that i seperate sex from love i have found completeness.
    I see everyone has needs there is not one person that completes me, and just because i choose to have a physical relationship with one man at a time, i have many relationships. All fufill me in a different a way. I can see how some people need more sex than others i need more attention than most. I have reached out to others when i need more just not sexually..

  2. I’ve been in a non-monogamous relationship for 4 years. It has worked well for us because we both respect each other and are honest to each other about who we see and what we do with others. I don’t have to fear him leaving me because his honesty reassures me that he is dedicated to our relationship first. I’ve gotten to know some of his other partners, too, and they are really good people, some are good friends of mine now.

  3. Monogamy is not the problem, and has nothing to do with why so many relationships fail in this day and age. Monogamy and the covenant of marriage have been around for thousands of years and have survived many periods of decline and revival. The real problem lies in the moral relativism and desire for instant gratification that flourishes in our modern culture. From my own personal experience the good things in life take work, sometimes painful, hard work. Non-monogamy is not the answer to an unfulfilling relationship. Seek Jesus! His is the only relationship that does not disappoint and leads to an abundant life. God Bless

    • You are right, but I must also add that this society has accepted premarital sex as the “norm” and young people grow up with this being the accepted social standard. You can’t simply expect a person who has had 10 or more sexual partners to suddenly be comfortable and willing to sleep with one for the rest of their life. Our socirty in general is oversexed.

  4. Um, no, “non-monogamy” is not the key to an affair free marriage.

    “non-monogamy” is an affair-full marriage, where, I guess, both partners (theoretically) agree to put up with affairs.


  5. I agree w/holmegm & bob (xcept for the religious part). If you want to play the field, stay single. If you want to commit and be married, be an adult about it and be married– which means monogamous. It’s that simple. There is a certain amount of dignity and self respect that seems to be missing in persons willing to share their spouses with others. Frankly I don’t see how a non-monogamous “marriage” could last before one spouse falls for one of the outside partners. A disaster waiting to happen. The assertion that men can’t be monogamous is B.S. A woman willing to share her husband is not a woman in love. Period. (and vice-versa)

  6. After almost 40 years of marriage with 2 different men, I feel that monogomy is more for the young and still idealistic couples. Having been cheated on and having cheated, the dynamics between long-term couples constantly change and usually for the worse. Happiness sometimes comes in the form of a new partner for however long. There is something to be said for new beginnings. That doesn’t mean one has to give up your long-term spouse or even be honest about infidelity. I find that my happiness spreads to my spouse and he benefits.

  7. I’m still young and have only been married for 2 years and my husband and we agreed that we were going to be completely monogamous. I have been on both sides of the issue now and, while polygamy (partners, not marriage) can work for some, there is no such thing as a truly honest “open” relationship. One partner will eventually lie to the other, whether it is to deny having sex with another or how satisfying it was; or it becomes a power-play between the more adventurous partner pushing the less extroverted partner into jumping into something they may not be comfortable with or ready for just to try to please them.
    The point of marriage is a commitment to each other, and being faithful to them, whether it is because of religious, health, or a myriad of other reasons, is what makes it successful, in my opinion. If you need spice or variety in you love life, try something new with the partner you have, don’t go looking for someone new.

  8. Hmmmm. The solution doesn’t seem affair free to me. More like marriage where affairs are allowed… not affair free at all.

    Maybe we should abandon marriage after and live like how some animals live (bears for example) where men does not come into picture of caring for the infants. Without marriage how can there be an affair?

    My suggestion is a joke… really.

    I believe this affair stuff is more cultural thing. Succumbing to temptation is in style now days. Whether its hooking up, drugs, violence, affairs, and others… many would think its ‘cool.’ We seem to be living in the age where this sins are… in someways,,, appreciated.

  9. The article offers an umbrella solution to a marriage problem that affects a minority of marriages. Granted, statistics are likely underreported, but even so the 14-20% would hardly rise to a majority if researchers were able to conjure more honest responses. Yes, monogamy is possible for the majority of couples. For the few it isn’t, either do not get married, or try an open marriage. But the assumption that ALL, or even the majority, of marriages should be open marriages because humans are incapable of monogamy is ridiculous.

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