a lot of people seem to think that honoring a relationship means upholding the principles of monogamy, and in the event you make a mistake, slip up, cheat, it is your moral duty to inform your partner, and absolve yourself (given of course that it was just a one-time thing). but what about those couples who remain faithful but disrespect one another? or the ones who disagree on everything? or the abusive ones?

how has sexual exclusivity over the other become the first basic tenet of a functional relationship?

it would be unnatural for someone to desire only one person in their entire life, so why do we shame and ostracize those who don’t? and why have we demonized desire beyond the life partner?

about 10,000 years ago, somewhere along the plains of eurasia, people transformed from hunters to farmers to land-owners and there was conceived the idea of inheritance. sexual polygamy had been typical of human reproductive patterns for millennia before that. babies were raised by tribes rather than by couples. but once possession and personal wealth were part of the equation, monogamy became the way to keep that wealth within the nuclear family. people even preferred endogamy (marriages within the close family) because it kept the wealth and property even closer within the group.

but that was 10,000 years ago, you might think. that has nothing to do with now?

it doesn’t, if you look at it as a frozen moment in the fourth dimension. but in the space-time continuum, this shift to privatized plough agriculture would be utilized and integrated into culture as wealth increased, technology advanced, and the gods were born. new ideas of morality and “high gods” who favored it were born out the growth of these societies. rulers would enforce marriage to protect their own wealth and power. caesar encouraged marriage and reproduction within his inner circle to force the aristocracy to divide their wealth and power among multiple heirs. the church enforced monogamy because wealth passed to the closest living, legitimate male relative, often resulting in the wealthy oldest brother being without a male heir. thus, the wealth and power of the family would pass to the “celibate” younger brother of the church. cut to the late 19th century, major economic and demographic transitions, industrial revolution, and depression pushes people to have fewer offspring, ensuring the offspring themselves have enough initial wealth to be successful–that is how you value reproductive success.

this late 19th century trend is still what prevails today (at least in westernized cultures). people have less children every year, and their children are generally wealthier and better educated than they were at their age. thus, as a tool for wealth generation and protection, monogamy has proven, over the last 10,000 years, to be extremely effective.

when the foundational tenet between two people in a romantic alliance is social/sexual monogamy, essentially that alliance is founded on possession. is that what love is about?

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