[NetBehaviour] Rethinking Marriage, Monogamy and Infidelity

marc 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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