How to save a long-term monogamy in your couple? What tips are the best? How to prevent cheating in your family? You’ll find out everything you wanted to know about monogamy here!
Monogamy - is the original historical form of marriage and family. This concept means that the marriage is concluded between the representatives of the opposite sex. Monogamy is the antithesis of polygamy, where a representative of the certain sex is in a marriage with more than one member of the opposite sex.
This is the most accurate monogamy definition, but to get the total ‘monogamy meaning’ information we should talk about it in details.
Monogamous relationships: pros and cons
Every phenomenon has its positive and negative sides. Monogamous relationships have such pros and cons:
+ Feeling of complete union with a partner;
+ Norm in modern society;
+ No direct competition.
- The realization that you belong to the rest of your life to only one person;
- The risk of the collapse of the marriage;
- The limitations of being a member of a couple;
- Lack of direct competition, which helps keep the tone in relations, striving for self-improvement.
So the appearance of monogamy is quite clear. But what is the history of it?
Scientists have explained the cause of monogamy
German scientists have discovered a biological mechanism that could explain the loyalty of partners. The results of the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), showed that, when you look at your permanent partner the hormone oxytocin stimulates the pleasure center in the brain, which increases the attractiveness of a woman in front of her partner and strengthen monogamy.
Monogamy is not very common among mammals: according to statistics, only 5% of the species in this class are monogamous. At the same time a relatively large number of people involved in a permanent relationship with one partner and do not have ‘outside’ connections, which is a scientific phenomenon.
Previous studies have found positive effects of oxytocin on the psycho-emotional state of people. Thus, it was found that this hormone is involved in the sexual arousal response, increases the level of trust and reduces the level of anxiety during social contacts. A team of scientists from the Medical Center of Bonn University decided to examine the effect of this hormone in more detail and its role in strengthening relations.
20 heterosexual men were involved in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Each man was shown pictures of his constant partner and other women for comparison. Before the study volunteers received a nasal spray oxytocin or placebo. The brain activity of the experiment’s subjects was studied using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
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‘When the men took a placebo instead of the oxytocin, the system of the brain's reward was activated when they looked at a photo of their partner, which they perceived more attractive compared with other women,’ - Medical Xpress quoted the words of the leading author Dirk Scheele. The researchers also found that oxytocin enhances the activation of the system of remuneration only when looking at the pictures of their partners, and when they look at pictures of women they know, there is no similar effect. This allowed the scientists to conclude that ‘being acquainted with someone’ is not enough simply for the appearance of the effect of ‘binding’, as it requires being a couple in a romantic relationship.
In general, the results showed that oxytocin activates the brain reward system, thereby strengthening the bond between the partners and maintaining monogamy. ‘This biological mechanism acting in a love relationship, is very similar to the effect of the drug, - said Rene Hurlemann, the Chief Physician and Professor of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the Medical Center of the University of Bonn. According to him, the love condition, as well as drug use, stimulates the pleasure center in the brain.
‘This explains why people get depressed parting with their partner: due to lack of development of the brain's reward system oxytocin is inactivated, it causes a condition similar to drug withdrawal syndrome,’ - said Dr. Hurlemann.
At first glance, monogamy does not make sense, since, from the point of view of evolutionary biology, men have the advantage of spreading their genes ‘as far as possible’ through a variety of sexual partners. However, according to scientists, when oxytocin strengthens the bond between partners, it increases the stability of the people, providing food to all heirs, which increases their chances of survival.
Who is better husband - polygamous or monogamous?
Men, like animals, are monogamous and polygamous. The first store loyalty and it doesn’t bother them as they are happy with one, the best woman he loved. But polygamous men barely maintain an alliance with one lady. They strive to have another affair all the time.
A lot of women believe that all men without exception are polygamous. But it is not quite right. Also, do not think that if a polygamous (by nature) man truly loves you, he will immediately become monogamous and he will not be interested in the other representatives of the opposite sex. Incorrectly assume that a polygamous man cannot love a soul mate. It can be a wonderful and loving husband as a polygamous relationship does not prevent him to combine a happy family life with his ‘hobby’.
To understand who better husband is - polygamous or monogamous – we should learn the phenomena of both with the maximum details.
If we turn to the monogamy of animals, it is based on a biological mechanism – ‘sexual imprinting’. This is an imprinting of the image of sexual partner. After ‘the first night’ monogamous animals are simply cannot replace the partner physiologically as the male sexuality does not respond to other females. His partner is the only one female. The sexual behavior of animals is controlled by their genetic program. But often there are some errors or just some individuals get used to certain conditions of existence and polygamy can be replaced by monogamy and vice versa. So it was with mankind.
Previously polygamy was widespread. But it gradually gave way to monogamy. And sex with someone besides his wife or her husband was considered a criminal and dirty. This idea of the society was formed by a strict religion. But when her influence waned, they began to weaken, and the marriage bond and a lot of monogamous ideas remained in the past. But not everyone became polygamous. The most romantic people remained monogamous. After all, only monogamy makes you feel exaltation of the senses. In monogamous relationship the sex attraction is concentrated in one man, and reaches its highest point. And in polygamous relationships it is scattered by the plurality of objects.
In monogamous couple sex is not lust, as in the case of polygamy, it is the euphoria of the body and soul. Also, the most romantic nature get cannot get real pleasure from sex without love. Therefore, the last avoid sex without feelings. Monogamous man believes that sleeping with an unloved woman - it is vain wasting of valuable energy source and defile their own energy. However, among women there are much more of such romantic natures than among men. But in a society there are some of them too.
Monogamous man is the dream of every woman. He can give the lady of his heart intimacy, passionate sex and life together until death. But there is real evidence that the monogamous men are the most unreliable husbands. It is easy to prove. Polygamous man feels almost the same sexual attraction to all women he likes. And he chooses the wife, soberly assessing compatibility, and not in the heat of passion. Therefore, in such a careful and responsible approach to marriage, he will not change the ideal partner to another. Especially if they have common children. After all, perhaps he can really find a better lover. But she will definitely be less attractive than his wife in another capacity. Therefore, if a polygamous man pays attention to another woman, he is aware that the loss of a loved one due to cheating will bring a lot of pain to her, so it is not worth it. Polygamous man will understand that it is better to be faithful for psychological comfort, save the financial well-being and health.
Paradoxically, often monogamous sexuality makes representative of the stronger sex go to the polygamous lifestyle and polygamy leads to monogamous behavior.
The life story of one woman as an example
So you live your life in a long-term happy monogamous marriage, and consider: ‘when get rid of this marriage, I will see hundreds of fans, they will fight for me, and I will choose two evenings per month for those of them who has come up with the most interesting ideas!’
Well, not really. Within two weeks of free life you go on a date with two guys, you like the second of them, and do not have time to look back when he already brings a huge pan for preparing food to your house, and then asks a password from Wi-Fi and sits down to work. And a week later it appears that you are his girlfriend. Aw, nice. Relationship. Again. You are shocked. But nonetheless take that same pan and start making him soup. He will ‘taste’ the family life, all those troubles and problems, so he will be frightened and ran away. But he does not run away. Congratulations. Serious relationship. Again.
And you begin to rationalize; the serial monogamy is the perfect form of existence of humans.
Initially, when you start searching a guy, you think, ‘why do I need a man at all?’ And it seems that for sexual relationship, because all the other communication needs are well-satisfied by your friends. But then I found a ‘tiny’ problem that sex often causes love in human females. This may be explained by popular Ferguson reflex: any stimulation of the genital tract causes a huge release of oxytocin, and it is also engaged in forming o our attachments. It all appeared evolutionary to form love to the kids, but it works on men. And, realizing this sad fact, already getting stuck, you go on the next level and begin to think ‘why do I need love at all?’
I, at this stage, think that a person needs love for personal growth. As it, as we know from the scientists, activates areas of the brain, which are responsible for aim setting, different motivation and also preparation to action. That is, when fall in love, our brain makes us develop frenzied activity. And if your love is nonreciprocal, it's even better – the drive from it can be sublimated into some truly useful actions, well, for example to organize a business or educational trip to America (consciously and cynically telling yourself that the object of your love is bound to fall in love with you after such a cool upgrade, but ignoring the terrible truth you will not need this object of love after such a nice upgrade). But if love is mutual, it is also very cool because it allows you to expand your views and much more.
Every person - well, the one in which it simply makes sense to fall in love - becomes a huge unknown world. This person travels to other countries about which you do not know anything, except the name. This person loves writers, whom you know at the level of a few poems from the anthology lesson. He shows you new movies, new people, new places and new opportunities. I do not understand how this process becomes mutual, but it does. So it turns out that primarily love is the restructuring of the world. The world is becoming bigger, brighter. The world is getting richer. The world is becoming more diverse. The world becomes another. The world is new.
We all do not like Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s monstrous excuse for infantilism - well, that we are allegedly responsible for tamed, that in relation to adult capable people, of course, is nonsense. But there is another banality, the fact that love is when two people are facing the same direction, which suddenly makes sense. Love seems to be really the way you look, a new certain direction. And now I think, there lies the main point of all these romantic relationships. If I'm answering the question of why I need love and what love I need, then I would say that love is necessary in order to learn new things and it is relevant as long as the training is effective.
Therefore, the ideal model of relationship seems to me as not love for life, and not a series of random connections, but serial monogamy. And the most important is not communication (we have friends), not household questions (why an adult need other adult for that at all?), not support (we have a job and insurance arrangements), not even sex (there are a lot of different options nowadays) - but it is an opportunity ‘to catch’ the love, which is a strong motivation to learn new things in new areas and spheres. Love ends and new-built neuronal connections will stay and this is how it turns out that it has always been the main point.
I also admit that it is not necessary to fall in love with people. Ideally, development projects cause a similar drive, the same desire to act and develop. But I think (I hope I will find out that I am wrong), I have become too old and lazy, to get that light from work. ‘Switching on’ the person is much easier. We are on this set by millions of years of evolution. And once it gave us such a great mechanism for increasing motivation like love, it is necessary to use it. There must be some use from love! Besides the oxytocin, of course.
How to maintain a long-term monogamy
According to all the information, experience and tips we should say that monogamy is a choice. And each person must make it himself. But if you are going to get married, always build your relationship on the basis of love – it will make a lot of things much easier! Also it will let you to get rid of scary thoughts about your partner’s cheating. Trust, common interests, the same plans, direction – all of that will certainly help you to save your long-term monogamous relationship. Do not believe that all men (or women) are polygamous. All people are different. And maybe your partner is exactly the one you need and you are the one he needs. Love is the key. If you do not have it now – keep searching.
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