[NetBehaviour] Rethinking Marriage, Monogamy and Infidelity
marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Sun Nov 27 14:36:52 CET 2005
Rethinking Marriage, Monogamy and Infidelity
For millennia, the rules concerning monogamy have been pretty
straightforward. Married and committed couples were completely
exclusive, and "forsaking all others" meant forsaking in every way.
Marriage was permanent. However, social and technical changes are
forcing couples to consider new options for managing their relationships.
Disillusioned by divorce in their parents' generation, yet with greater
freedoms for women, and more opportunities to hook up online are causing
people (especially young people) to question age-old assumptions about
love and relationships. Some couples are experimenting with negotiated
relationships in which some extracurricular activity, so to speak, is
okay. In many ways it's a throwback to the "open marriage" concept of
the 1970s, and even the nonexclusive relationships of religious communes
like the Oneida community of the 1840s. Such relationships challenge the
fundamental definitions of monogamy and fidelity; because of this,
advocates of negotiated relationships stress the importance of open
communication and establishing expectations early on in the relationship.
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