The institution of marriage as we know it is rapidly deteriorating. Our society has invented a new jargon for the sacred union between two people. In this society dating means being physically intimate. “Hanging out” is what we old people used to call dating. Chilling means sitting around and doing absolutely nothing all day.
Monogamy is being challenged as an old-fashioned idea of vanilla sex with one person for the rest of your life; thinking you’re missing out on every opportunity to be intensely preoccupied with someone else. This other mystery person may have some new and different ideas about what your emotions are telling you is a few moments of pleasure despite future consequences.
According to Dr. Stan Tatkin in a keynote address delivered at the International Institute of Trauma and Addiction (IITAP), “Monogamy needs full transparency instead of each of us having our own secrets. The job of the therapist is to challenge “why is what you’re thinking of doing is a good idea? You’re building guardrails.” The principle of a monogamous relationship is for me and you to help each other build our character so we become better people, rather than giving in to what we want as individuals.
What is the purpose of your union?
• I have to think of you, you have to think of me, we’re tied together
• I protect you, you protect me
• We share purpose and meaning
• We depend on each other for safety and security
• We behave in a just, fair and morally acceptable way
• We both agree on the guardrails we set together
• We work together to plan for our future
Ask yourself, what do you want?
• Out of life
• Out of your relationship
• Out of your children
• Out of your work
• Out of your spirit
• Out of your body
When partners act in sync with the above purposes and discuss what they each want, you form an alliance to fully collaborate with each other and work on the relationship. When each partner is working to change the other, it’s a form of acting out against the purposes of this union.