It seems that the idea of monogamy continues to bear more and more scrutiny these days. The idea that human beings are not biologically designed to be with one person for our entire lives seems to be quite prevalent in modern, western culture. Yet, the majority of us continue to search for that perfect relationship; to discover our soul mate, to find "the one."
So, what happens when you do find that coveted monogamous relationship? Is it everything you imagined? Is life super-awesome all the time? Since this isn't the end of a Drew Barrymore movie, it's more likely that you will eventually fall into a routine where both parties inevitably suffer from bouts of boredom. You annoy each other more often, and taking out your frustrations on the other person can become the norm.
But what if there was something that could fix those things? Something that could bring back the spice of when you first started dating and everything was hot and heavy? What if infidelity, the very opposite of what defines the nature of your relationship with this person, could somehow be the key to saving it?
It's not a new concept on any level, but it's one I haven't given much thought to until recently. The idea that cheating on your partner could somehow help improve and strengthen your relationship. Ever heard of a cuckold? By definition, it is the husband of an adulteress, but as this Daily Beast article details, cuckolding has evolved into a fetish where both partners are aware of the infidelity and the husband is in fact turned on by the wife's cheating.
For the right type of couple, it could be the key to an exciting sex life as well as a more fulfilled relationship. But for the wrong type, it could lead to a whole slew of issues for obvious reasons, with jealousy being only part of that equation. Personally, I can't imagine ever being OK with this scenario in my own relationship. How could the thrill and excitement ever surpass the gut-wrenching feeling of betrayal for either party? The idea of a threesome is a similar concept. Can you actually be so aroused by watching your partner engage in a sexual act with someone else that you don't feel resentful?
Then there's the idea that quiet infidelity, where you are not honest with your partner about your cheating, could actually be beneficial to your monogamous relationship. In this Thought Catalog post that I hesitate to even bring up due to its sexist and overall idiotic nature, the writer presents the idea that when men cheat, they will ultimately improve their relationship with their girlfriend because it will allow them to combat their insecurities and additionally, the guilt will force them to take the relationship more seriously.
Idiocy aside, the idea itself fascinates me. Naturally, women too have the occasional desire to sleep with other men while in a committed relationship. Could acting on these impulses, as long as in this case it was kept secret, ever truly improve a romantic relationship? The idea of cheating on my partner is completely unfathomable to me at this point in my life. Not only could I never get past the guilt, but I have no desire to experience intimacy with another person and I am confident that he feels the same.
But what about 5, 10, or 15 years from now? We've seen several examples in recent pop culture of infidelity that benefits a relationship. In the Netflix original "House of Cards," Claire and Frank Underwood never argue, they seem to deeply care for one another and they share an equal partnership. They have also both been openly unfaithful to one another. After all, it's very difficult to find a true partner in life who not only fulfills you emotionally and spiritually, but also fulfills you sexually. Could their open infidelity be the reason they are able to sustain a happy marriage?
The relationship between Claire and Frank Underwood is fictional, but it could ring true for some real-life contemporary couples. If humans really aren't biologically designed to only be with one person, could we could get to a point where infidelity is accepted as a way to improve a long-term relationship? Could this ever evolve to be the norm or is it a passing phenomenon?