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Are Human Beings meant to be monogamous by nature or not?

By Alycia Gordon

Staying forever with our one and only better half is what most of us dream about. Once you find the elusive ‘one,’ you cannot imagine letting them go. Building a relationship with roots of loyalty, faith, and trust – the idea of each partner going elsewhere for sexual gratification is out of the question.

From around 5000 species of mammals including human beings, only 3 to 5 percent tend to form monogamous, lifelong relationships. Monogamy is when two people make vows to each other. They promise to stay together and never indulge in sexual contact with someone other than their primary partner while polygamy is the practice of having more than one sexual partner at the same time.

You would be surprised to know that a committed partnership between a man and a woman has not always been the universal norm. Humans carry the evolutionary imprint of polygamy. The practice of monogamy initiated only around 1000 years ago.

Types of monogamy

As for human beings, there are two types of monogamy:

Sexual monogamy: This is when a couple remains sexually active exclusively with one person.

Social monogamy: When two people live together, find resources in co-operation with each another. They raise their children together, but they have flings with other people as well.

Needless to say, this defies the moral stature that is formulated by the societies today. Families are considered as a prestigious institution of the community. Uncertainty or confusion of fatherhood is a given in cases of polygamy. This may result in deterioration of moral spectrum of children.

Are humans sexually monogamous? Not Really.

To state that human beings are wired to be monogamous would be a false statement. It is entirely unnatural for human beings to stay attracted to a single partner for the lifetime. 80 percent of the early human societies practiced polygamy. The system evolved with the passage of time, and now modern societies firmly believe this shall bring order in the communities.

Varying impulses

At this point in time, only 17 percent of human cultures are monogamous. It is stated by anthropologists that only 1 out of 6 societies implement monogamy as the rule of marriage. While some anthropologists also believe that human beings could either be polygamous or monogamous. Impulses for each vary according to the individual’s cognitive levels. At times resembling mixed dementia, the sexual urge a person feels is constantly modifying.

Stephanie Coonz, a History and Family Studies professor at Evergreen State College, provides cultural patterns as the determent of monogamy.

She says:

“We are trying to figure out how to combine long-term romantic relationships with the plethora of opportunities for other forms of sexual or romantic entanglement, and different people are making different choices.”

Coonz asserts that it is the culture which determines their inclination, neither biological construct nor genetics.

A Latest Human Development

Monogamy, as we find is a recent practice of humanity. It is a societal recreation of present times. Men and women, as per the statement of David P. Brash, seek multiple sexual partners for numerous biological reasons. It is only a social construct that shaped as a response to the need for child-rearing, financial and material security.

Monogamy – pros and cons

There are some benefits associated with the practice of monogamy as well as some disadvantages that could be detrimental to the communities. The biggest gain from monogamy is the stable brought-up of children. It could sometimes be a marriage of convenience where partners stay together for the sake of their children.

Nonetheless, monogamy brings in certain demerits too. At times, it forces a person to commit infidelity or cheat on their partner. They cannot resist the sexual urge to some people, and they find unfair means to gratify their needs. Almost 90 percent of Americans think cheating is morally wrong. However, ironically, 70 percent have just thought about cheating while 40 percent actually committed cheating on their better halves. Frustration and boredom are not uncommon in monogamous relations.

According to an NBC survey, usually at some point, most of the people would cheat on their partners:

Source

Troubles with polygamy

There are uncountable examples of how people escape a monogamous relationship due to their attraction towards someone other than their partner. This behavior is the demonstration of the innate polygamous tendencies possessed by human beings.

Polygamous attitude, on the other hand, is also followed by complications. A person may feel jealousy, fear of losing out, intense competitive vibes and various ugly emotions gather up within. Dealing with them is a next level struggle in itself.

To keep oneself secure, psychologically sound and serene; it is often recommended that a couple stays loyal. Lifelong commitments would mean there is honesty between two people. The care and love for their counter-part would keep them away from sustaining sexual pleasure elsewhere.

Last words:

In a nutshell, human beings are not exactly monogamous by nature. It is a product of social construct, but as long as it brings communal stability and satisfaction to the individuals, it should be continued in the same pattern. Polygamy and monogamy are two sexual orientations which may vary from one person to another. Each makes a choice according to their norms. Sometimes, while repelling the normative influences, they find themselves at a place that keeps them happy yet makes them lose their stature in society.

Alycia Gordan

Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia

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Should I Forgive My Partner for Lying About Their Mental Health?

By Alex Moore

Although engaging in a long-term romantic relationship has the potential to be a blissful and nurturing experience, it also gets tough. Navigating through the years with your significant other is hard work even when the waters are clear and calm. If the road gets bumpy, it can become quite complicated to find a middle ground between the two of you.

One problem that many couples face at least once during their run is lying. The difficult thing about coping with this particular issue is that it can occur in many forms. But perhaps the most sensitive situation is handling the fact that your partner hasn’t been honest with you about their mental health.

Should you forgive them for hiding or minimizing the severity of their disorder in front of you? There is no simple one-word answer here. Here are the factors that you need to consider before taking a decision.

How Advanced Is Their Disorder?

To determine how to proceed, you need to find out how advanced their disorder is. This is important because it provides you with a better picture of what your partner is going through. If their condition wasn’t that advanced in the past, it means that there is a high chance they could manage it on their own and didn’t want to burden you with it.

But as a mental illness progresses in severity, it gets harder to hide. For example, it might be harder for someone to hide their schizophrenia in its the acute stage than in other moments, because that’s when its symptoms are most active. If your significant other is struggling with this particular disorder, they might have chosen to reveal it now because it became impossible to manage.

How Long Have You Been Together?

The first important thing that you need to weigh in after discovering your partner’s covert mental health issue is the length of your relationship. If the two of you haven’t been together for long enough, then perhaps he or she had been waiting for the right time to tell you. After all, if you’d do the same if you’d suffer from a serious disorder.

Confronting someone with mental illness from the onset of a romantic relationship is disarming, thus you need to understand that most people that struggle with this prefer to wait it out.

If you’ve been together for a long time, your partner might have been afraid to open up to you about their mental disorder because you have reacted poorly to the truth in the past. Furthermore, it’s possible that they were healthy when they met you, but then their condition got triggered by to stress and other factors.

Consider the fact that they didn’t want to burden you with their issue. There are many reasons for which your partner would hide this from you. Instead of acting harshly, hear them out and make room for an honest and civil discussion.

Why Did They Hide It?

One final question that you need to ask yourself and your partner is this: why did they hide their condition from you? The reasons behind such a choice are many. As previously mentioned, it’s highly likely that they didn’t want to burden you with this information.

However, some people aren’t aware that they are ill and refuse to get help. This can lead them to act aggressively towards their partners and even resort to mental and physical abuse in to mirror their misery in the other person. Doing this to someone, regardless of your inner turmoil, is not acceptable. You are not obligated to put up with your partner if they hurt you.

However, if the intention behind their secrecy isn’t nefarious, keep in mind that forgiving your partner is healthy in a long-term relationship. On top of that, now that the truth is finally out, you have the opportunity to be the moral and emotional support that they need in order to get better.

While it’s by no means your job to save them, you can assist them in saving themselves. Prompt your partner to seek medical help if they haven’t already, and ensure that they stick to said professional’s suggestions and treatment plan. Don’t babysit them, but don’t ignore their turmoil either.

Conclusion

According to Psychology Today, forgiving your partner too soon can leave them thinking that there are no negative consequences to their actions. However, if the person you love most is struggling with mental health issues, you need to keep in mind that it’s not the right time to teach them a lesson in this way.

Find the power inside you to forgive your partner for hiding their illness and support them in getting the help they need. Unless their disorder has hurt you emotionally or physically, there is no reason to hold a grudge. Be glad that you now know the truth and stand by your loved one during this trying time for them.

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The Toxic Power Dynamics After a Breakup

By K Thompson

Your ex broke up with you. You cried, you sobbed, and you begged. But your ex still doesn’t take you back. You decide that it’s best to just leave her alone and focus on rebuilding yourself. You stop contacting her.

But unfortunately, it’s not as straightforward as you thought. You open Facebook and you see a post of your ex looking happy and having fun with her friends. You see her Instagram story with a text in picture that says she is finally feels free. You fire up twitter only to find out she had a wild party last night.

And seeing all this makes it hundred times more painful than before.

How can she be this happy when you are still barely able to get out of the bed in the morning?

This is a very common scenario after a breakup. I call this “the toxic power dynamics after a breakup”. It doesn’t happen after every breakup. But it does happen when one party in the breakup is the type of person who likes to have power in all their relationships.

One way to not let such a person affect your emotional and mental health is to understand this toxic power dynamics.

They are using social media to get to you

This weird power dynamics usually starts happening once you stop contacting your ex. When you stop begging, pleading, asking them to get back together. Until now, you have been providing a sort of comfort for them. Even though they broke up with you, they know that you are there for them. Waiting for them to change their mind.

So, in a way, even though you have broken up, they didn’t have to go through the pain of losing you. They never had to go through the grief. They never had to entertain the feeling that they might lose you forever.

On the surface, it may seem that your ex should be okay with the breakup because it was their decision.

But grief doesn’t work this way. When you lose someone you were attached to, you go through grief. It’s as simple as that. There is no way to avoid it.

You contacting your ex was making them feel like they haven’t lost you.

But when you stop contacting them, they panic and become scared of losing you forever.

The Toxic Power Dynamics comes from an Egoistical Mind

This is where it gets little bit tricky for your ex. They never expected this grief. They never thought they will feel so terrible after breaking up. Wasn’t the breakup supposed to make them feel better?

If your ex is in touch with their emotions, is self-aware; they will soon figure out that they are going through grief and they will be fine after a while.

But if your ex is the type of person who always needs to be in control, who always needs to have the upper hand in a relationship; they will do mental gymnastics to make them feel better.

She will do things to get a reaction out of you. She might do something to make you feel like you still have a chance of getting back together or she might do something to make you feel like she is already over you.

In both cases, her subconscious mind is trying to get a reaction out of you. It’s trying to get you to contact her, so she doesn’t have to go through the pain of losing you forever.

What should you do?

Ideally, you should just continue grieving and healing from the breakup. You should only contact them after you have done no contact and are sure there is still something there.

If you don’t play into this toxic power struggle, your ex will soon stop playing the mind games. They will eventually accept the grief and start healing themselves.

 


If You Don’t Trust Your Spouse, Are You Destined for Divorce?

By Brian Bayati

Trust is essential in a successful marriage. Some people consider it the foundation of a healthy relationship. In some cases, a partner’s trust has been violated, and the marriage is in danger. People suffer from trust issues for many reasons. Whether there has been infidelity or not, couples must restore the trust in their relationship before they can work on rebuilding the marriage. Is divorce inevitable without trust? The answer is sometimes. Before you can understand trust issues, you must first understand the complex nature of trust in a committed relationship.

Trust

Trust is both a feeling and choice. To trust someone, we believe in them, rely on them, and we place confidence in them. Trust can feel safe and secure, as well as allow you to decide whether a person is honest or reliable. The strongest friendships and the most stable marriages are built on this kind of trust. While it may take years to build a relationship, it can rapidly fade if there are any issues causing friction in the marriage. Once it is gone, trust is difficult to restore, but not impossible.

Infidelity

When someone cheats or has an affair during a marriage, confidence is broken. Infidelity is a violation of the boundaries of their marriage vows and one of the main reasons couples file for divorce. By law, adultery is considered offensive and immoral. However, divorce is not the only option for couples experiencing adultery. Counseling and professional help can be useful once the guilty spouse decides to apologize and remain faithful. At that point, the couple can begin to rebuild the trust in their marriage.

If infidelity has destroyed your marriage, then divorce might be inevitable. You will need to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can explain your rights and file a divorce on your behalf. People used to believe the innocent spouse was somehow at fault. However, this is not true, and often the guilty spouse feels compelled to cheat due to a lack of intimacy. If spouses are not diligent about strengthening their relationship, they will gradually grow apart.

Other Trust Issues

A wife or husband may want to obtain a divorce regardless of whether infidelity affected their relationship. Many trust issues can indicate the marriage is falling apart. No one wants to be treated like a child or accused of cheating if they are faithful. Couples must practice effective communication to avoid the following trust issues. Here are some other examples:

Finances

  • Each spouse in the marriage should have the authority to handle their finances, as well as discuss any mutual finances in the household. Unless your spouse has mishandled money or has been spending money that does not belong to them, you have no right to demand an accounting for every dollar spent. It is more efficient to plan a budget as a couple and spend accordingly. During a divorce, the court will review your financial records and determine support based on any earnings or property acquired during the marriage.

Cell Phone & Computer

  • Technology and the Internet have revolutionized how people communicate and share information. Everyone has a right to their privacy, but if your spouse seems secretive and their cell phone and computer are inaccessible, you may want to discuss possible trust issues. This behavior may be considered suspicious. If you cannot trust your partner on their phone or computer, this can become a bigger problem unless you decide to talk about it. Protect yourself from suspicious activity on cell phones and computers by being aware any incriminating evidence or behavior that seems distrustful.

Are You Destined for Divorce?

Many people need help getting over the pain of an affair, the aggravation of an overbearing spouse, or a partner who behaves as if they are still single. It takes honesty and commitment from both parties to overcome trust issues. It also usually requires the help of a therapist, spiritual leader, or marriage counselor. Regaining trust takes time, and you cannot force the relationship to improve immediately.

If neither spouse is interested in saving the marriage, divorce may be your only option. You would be wise to seek the advice of a family lawyer, especially if children are involved. Children are witnesses to the mistrust and hostility at home. You must continue to co-parent with respect and figure out what the best interest of the children is with the help a good attorney by your side.

Divorce may or may not be the answer. Only you and your spouse know the truth. Do not delay, speak to a divorce attorney and then decide. You cannot change the past, but you do have the power to get the help you need to either rebuild your marriage or obtain a divorce.

Brian Bayati is an attorney who practices family law Orange County.

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How To Overcome Retroactive Jealousy OCD

By Jeff Billings

Retroactive jealousy OCD is a condition in which someone has an unhealthy obsession with his or her partner’s romantic or sexual past.

Often it can spiral out of control to the point where the sufferer is unable to stop thinking about their boy or girlfriend’s past and ends up resorting to destructive behaviors in order to try and make themselves feel better.

These often include constantly quizzing their partner about their ex-lovers, invading their personal privacy and spending hours online trying to work out how to overcome retroactive jealousy.

If you suffer from retroactive jealousy OCD you probably know just how stressful all this is, and how damaging it can be to your relationship.

Indeed, many end in failure when either party walks away from the relationship, unable to handle the stress anymore.

If you’ve been struggling to get over retroactive jealousy, however, this needn’t happen to you. In fact, retroactive jealousy is not as powerful as it may appear to you right now.

Getting Over Retroactive Jealousy OCD

In order to beat retroactive jealousy, the first thing you need to do is understand that this is your problem, not your partner’s. As with all areas in life, it’s how we emotionally react to events that are most often the problem, not the actual event itself.

This is especially true when it comes to retroactive jealousy OCD. The fact that your husband once loved another woman, or that your girlfriend once enjoyed casual sex is not the problem. Your emotional reaction to these events in the past is what’s causing you undue stress.

A negative emotional reaction like this is often due to how we perceive ourselves as much as how we perceive others.

In the case of retroactive jealousy, a sufferer often lacks a certain amount of self-confidence and/or has a low opinion of themselves. This in turn means they get anxious about the past because they’re comparing themselves to a partner’s former lovers and not quite matching up.

Have a think about just how confident you really are in yourself? Are there any qualities you feel are lacking within yourself that you worry your partner may find in someone else? If so, isolate what areas you’re feeling less than confident and then get to work rectifying them.

Take a moment now to close your eyes and think about the person in your partner’s past you’re most jealous of. Now imagine you’re a super confident individual who’s not afraid of anything and can take on the world. Does this person from the past still seem as significant?

Overall, to suffer from retroactive jealousy OCD is to be anxious about who your partner may leave you for in the present, not who they once dated or had sex with in the past. And working on your self-confidence is the best way of combatting feelings that your partner may want to secretly leave you for someone else, which in turn will stop the jealous thoughts and emotions about the past.

About the Author:

Jeff Billings is a former sufferer of retroactive jealousy and now spends his time helping others with his course, “Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy 101” and book, “How To Stop Being Jealous Of Your Partner’s Past In 12 Steps.” To find out more about overcoming retroactive jealousy, drop by his website Retroactive Jealousy Crusher.